The 3rd Annual Flint Water Festival

Photo Credit: Shannon Millard, The Flint Journal

Photo Credit: Shannon Millard, The Flint Journal

As Independence Day nears, so does the 3rd Annual Flint Water Festival. This event takes place from 5 PM-9 PM at Riverbank Park in Downtown Flint, Michigan. The Flint Water Festival was created by a nonprofit organization called RICH Kids, Inc., a non-profit group based in Flint that aims to create safe entertainment and education programs for the youth in the Flint area who have felt the detrimental social and health effects of the water crisis. The purpose of the The Flint Water Festival is to raise funds for water and resources to combat the negative health effects of the recent water crisis, as well as create a fun and enjoyable event to lift the spirits of the Flint community. The festival not only raises awareness to local communities about Flint’s lack of clean water, but lack of clean water globally. According to water.org, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people worldwide access clean water, 844 million or 1 in every 9 people, do not have access to clean and safe water.

According to CNN, “In 2011, the state of Michigan took over Flint's finances after an audit projected a $25 million deficit. In order to reduce the water fund shortfall, the city announced that a new pipeline would be built to deliver water from Lake Huron to Flint. In 2014, while it was under construction, the city turned to the Flint River as a water source. Soon after the switch, residents said the water started to look, smell and taste funny.” In fact, in August and September of 2014, multiple boiled water advisories were issued, as coliform bacterium, “a warning sign that E. coli or other disease-causing organisms may be contaminating the water” was found in Flint’s water. Then, “Tests in 2015 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Virginia Tech indicated dangerous levels of lead in the water at residents' homes.” As such, it has been 4 years since Flint, Michigan has had clean and safe running water. Although the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assisted Flint by providing water, lead test kits, and filters, the assistance ended in August 2016. Because of the loss of federal aid, the Flint Water Festival has been accepting donations to purchase water to give to Flint citizens for free.

In addition to giving out free water, the Flint Water Festival has live music, games and prizes, inflatables for children to play on, an interactive art collage that attendees can help create, and free giveaways such as lead reducing tumblers and first aid kits. The night will end with a firework finale over downtown Flint, Michigan.

As Flint continues to struggle for clean water, the Flint Water Festival gives the people of Flint an opportunity to relax and celebrate while bringing awareness to both their community’s and the world’s water crises.

If you are not from Michigan or are unable to make it to the Flint Water Festival, donations can be made on their website or by clicking the button to the right.


The Michigan Law Firm, PC handles all types of motor vehicle accident cases. Our accident attorneys make the legal experience as easy for clients as possible, so that victims of auto accidents can focus on recovering from their car accident injuries instead of fighting with insurance companies. Contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free, legal consultation.

Rock Thrown From Overpass Kills Michigan Man

A Michigan man has died after the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by a large piece of concrete. According to the Detroit Free Press, on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, Kenneth White, 32 of Mount Morris, Michigan was riding in the passenger seat of a work van, traveling south on I-75 at about 70 MPH. As the vehicle approached the Dodge Road overpass, a chunk of concrete weighing about 6 pounds smashed through the windshield. White sustained fatal injuries, most notably a fractured skull, and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The accident occurred in Vienna Township, Genesee County, about 80 miles north of Detroit. White leaves behind a fiance and a young son.

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Investigators immediately suspected that the chunk of concrete had been thrown from the overpass intentionally, as opposed to other accidents in which debris has fallen from overpasses accidentally. Before White’s vehicle had been struck, approximately 20 other rocks had already been thrown, and 4 vehicles had been hit and were pulled over waiting for police to arrive. Those 4 vehicles only sustained minor damage.

Mlive reported that investigators were handling the accident as a homicide investigation, and initially offered a $2,500 reward for anyone with information who was willing to come forward. Police received a social media tip that lead them to take 5 teenagers into custody for questioning. Kyle Anger, 17; Mark Sekelsky, 16; Mikadyn Payne, 16; Trevor Gray, 15; and Alexander Miller, 15, all of Clio, Michigan, have since been charged as adults with second-degree murder. They have also been charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and six felony counts of malicious destruction of property. They face up to a lifetime in prison, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled yesterday morning, November 2, 2017.  According to Fox 2 Detroit, "police say the 17-year-old Anger is accused of throwing the rock that hit the van."

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Officials say the the debris were gathered from a dead-end street in Vienna Township, Michigan, and then transported to the overpass in a flatbed pickup truck. Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said in a statement that “while some may be saying well we want first-degree murder, I don't believe there was pre-mediation (to cause a death) here. It's not a prank. It's second-degree murder. I don't think anybody is laughing. This is not a prank.”

According to ClickOnDetroit, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, who is trying the 5 teenagers as adults echoed Sheriff Pickell saying, "I don't believe this was a deliberate act to take someone's life...It was a willful and wanton act that resulted in someone's death. These people should've known better. They should've known this could kill someone, and under Michigan law, that's second-degree murder."

While we can all make choices to drive as safely as we can, accidents like this are unfortunately something we have no control over. Nothing, a rock or otherwise, should ever be thrown from an overpass. It’s not a prank, it’s not funny, and it could be deadly. Drivers already have enough to pay attention to on the road in order to avoid being involved in motor vehicle accidents. Adding something that's falling from the sky that the vehicle will likely be unable to avoid is has proven to be deadly, and anyone who thinks that doing such a thing is funny or harmless will likely find themselves in serious trouble.


Any sort of "prank" that involves distracting drivers or adding another element to the road that drivers need to be prepared for is not funny, and could lead to a serious car accident and fatal injuries. If you or someone you know have been the victim of an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

August Is National Water Quality Month

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Since August is the month that usually wraps up the summer, it is filled with last minute family trips to go enjoy the Great Lakes and streams that make Michigan so pleasant. It is for this reason, that sustaining water quality is so important. In fact, since the implementation of the Clean Water Act of 1972 (amended in 1977), and since an agreement was also signed in 1972 between the United States and Canada to protect and restore our Great Lakes, the water quality of the Great Lakes has improved. Another Michigan water quality problem that has not improved however, is the Flint Water Crisis. 

Flint Water Crisis

Citizens of Flint, Michigan have been without proper drinking water since 2014. According to The Detroit News, tests taken last year in August of 2016 showed that lead contaminants have been reduced to almost federal standards, however, there are still locations with very high lead levels. Karen Weaver, Mayor of Flint, believes that it will take two more years for Flint’s water to be drinkable. From July to the end of 2016, 90% of Flint lead levels have been around 12 parts per billion (ppb); the federal action level is 15 parts per billion.

Michael C. McDaniel, retired Brigadier General, stated that he wishes to see Flint residents use water filters until lead levels consistently test below 10 ppb. To reach the lower lead levels, over 20,000 pipelines must be replaced. McDaniel says the total cost for pipeline replacement will be $100 million. Mayor Weaver stated that replacing the pipes could take 3 years, that is, if they have enough funds. Over the three year period, the city has enough money to fund pipe replacements for 2017, about half the money for replacements in 2018, but not enough money for 2019.

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As of March 2017, Flint has replaced around 800 pipes, but plans to accelerate pipe replacement and have around 18,000 replaced by the end of 2019, if it can receive the amount of funds necessary. Leading up to March, Congress funded Flint a total of around $253 million, and this number only continues to grow. So thankfully, the likelihood that Flint will receive enough funds to replace 18,000 pipelines seems positive.

Tips For Sustaining Clean Water

Flint is showing positive strides in its improvement of the city’s water quality, but there are still obstacles to clear. Hopefully the city will be able to obtain the funds they need and execute the replacement of pipelines faster than they have thus far, through 2017. The overarching issue however, is that no city, or more importantly, individual should be deprived of clean water. Also, improving water quality is only half the battle. Sustaining clean water and protecting it from pollution can sometimes prove even more difficult. In honor of National Water Quality Month, below are some tips provided by Natural Choice that homeowners can use to help sustain clean water in their community:

  • Do not flush non-degradable products down the toilet. These products can damage the sewage treatment process. Also, do not flush medications down the toilet because they can prove harmful to the water supply.
  • Avoid using pesticides and other fertilizers on your yard, as they can pollute ground water. Instead, use natural fertilizers such as bone meal or peat.
  • Avoid using antibacterial soap because these soaps are known to have pesticides that can damage marine life.
  • The only thing that should go down storm drains is water because the drains flush out into waterways.
  • Make sure to clean up after your pets because their waste can fall into storm drains.
  • Stay up to date with your local water quality report and see how you can improve the water quality within your community.

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a civil litigation law firm. We handle all varieties of personal injury cases including automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical provider cases, dog bites, and slip and falls. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with an experienced attorney today.