The Latest: Music mogul Russell Simmons offers hand in Flint

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Posted: Feb 01, 2016 7:34 PM
The Latest: Music mogul Russell Simmons offers hand in Flint

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The latest on the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

Music mogul Russell Simmons is helping distribute water in Flint, Michigan, as it deals with a crisis caused by lead-tainted drinking water.

The Flint Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1WY2r2r ) Simmons went door-to-door Monday to deliver cases of water to residents. The water comes from AQUAhydrate, a bottled water brand partly owned by Sean "Diddy" Combs and Mark Wahlberg that pledged to donate 1 million bottles to the city.

Simmons says he first learned about the city's problems a couple weeks ago and wants to help. The Def Jam co-founder spoke of his "love" for Flint and fondly recalled the warm reception Run-DMC received touring in the city decades ago.

High lead levels have been detected in Flint's water since officials switched from Detroit's system and began drawing from the Flint River to save money.

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8:15 a.m.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has undertaken a five-part strategy to determine whether Flint's water, which has become contaminated with lead, is safe to drink.

The state says the plan to help ensure that drinking water no longer is tainted with lead includes residential water testing, school testing, food service and restaurant provider testing, blood testing and overall testing of Flint's water distribution system.

DEQ Interim Director Keith Creagh told the Detroit Free Press he hopes "to be able to say something about the general health of the system come mid-April." Officials with the DEQ and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which have been meeting daily, planned to meet again Monday afternoon.

Flint switched in 2014 to the Flint River from Detroit's water system to save money. The river water was not treated properly and lead from pipes leached into Flint homes.