DBusiness Daily Update: Flint Water Crisis Documentary to be Released April 29, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
“Flint: Who can You Trust?” — a documentary about the Flint water crisis — is set to be released April 29. // Courtesy of Cargo Film & Releasing
“Flint: Who can You Trust?” — a documentary about the Flint water crisis — is set to be released April 29. // Courtesy of Cargo Film & Releasing

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Flint Water Crisis Documentary to be Released April 29

A documentary film — “Flint: Who can You Trust?” — is set to be released April 29, eight years after the start of the Flint water lead poisoning crisis.

The film is narrated by actor Alec Baldwin and directed by Anthony Baxter, who first arrived in Flint in early 2015. He witnessed months of protests about the polluted water supply, which were waved off by officials who denied anything was wrong. The turning point came when a local pediatrician found conclusive proof that children in Flint were being exposed to “toxic waste levels” of lead.

Baxter returned to Flint in early 2022 and said he was shocked to discover little had changed.

“I saw the thrice weekly snaking queue of traffic for donated bottled water,” Baxter says. “The residents I filmed for the documentary told me they refuse to drink even filtered tap water today. Their supply can be shut off for non-payment, of what are, the highest water bills in America.  And they’ve received not a single cent in compensation for the damage done to them and their kids.

“I feel it’s crucially important that the people of Flint are not forgotten,” Baxter says. “Hopefully this film will shed a fresh spotlight on their ongoing plight.”

To read a feature story about the Flint water crisis from the pages of DBusiness, visit here.

Oakland County Takes Step Toward Carbon Neutrality Goal

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), developers of the LEED green building rating system, has selected Oakland County as one of 15 cities and counties nationwide to participate in the 2022 LEED for Cities Local Government Leadership Program.

This program brings together diverse local governments from around the country to support communities seeking LEED certification. The program provides networking opportunities, technical assistance, and access to educational resources.

“Ensuring our county government campus is operating in the most energy efficient and environmentally sound manner is the right thing to do and a top priority,” says Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “Getting this LEED certification is one more important step toward our goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 and contributing to a cleaner, healthier county for future generations.”

Oakland County already has taken several steps toward the Coulter administration’s environmental sustainability goals. The county executive appointed Erin Quetell to be the county’s first environmental sustainability officer. She is managing efforts to develop and implement sustainability practices at the county.

Oakland County also has reduced its energy consumption by about 45 percent at the LEED Gold certified terminal building at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford. Plus, the county is saving both energy and money after converting outdoor lighting on its government campus from incandescent to LED lights.

“Local governments have the ability to make a big impact and serve as an example of sustainability achievement,” said Peter Templeton, president and CEO at USGBC.

Royal Oak was the first city in Michigan and the third in the United States to achieve LEED v4.1 certification in 2020. The city implemented practical and measurable sustainability strategies to improve the quality of life for residents.

In partnership with Bank of America, the program has provided more than $2 million to promote action on climate change, resilience, and social equity through LEED for Cities certification.

“USGBC is a leader in supporting environmentally sustainable buildings, cities and communities and we’re proud to build on our partnership of more than 25 years,” says Rich Brown, environmental program director at Bank of America. “Creating thriving, resilient communities where residents have sustainable places to work and live meets this moment for climate action and building healthy living environments.”

Beaumont Health Opening Livonia Facility, Hosting Walk for Miracles at Detroit Zoo

Beaumont Health will be opening the Beaumont Outpatient Campus – Livonia (39000 W. Seven Mile Road) on April 27 but the public is invited for a preview tour on April 25 from noon-2 p.m.

The facility will offer essential health services all under one roof, including: a Beaumont Breast Care Center, offering mammography and ultrasound; non-invasive cardiology; imaging; physical and occupational therapy; infusion services; laboratory and pharmacy. The campus will also be home to physician offices and a comprehensive Emergency Center. For more information, visit here.

Superheroes of all ages are invited to Beaumont Children’s Walk for Miracles at the Detroit Zoo on Saturday, June 11. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. All proceeds benefit Children’s Miracle Network programming at Beaumont Children’s.

Participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite superhero. Children will meet Super Beau, the Beaumont Children’s mascot bear, and other popular fairytale and comic book heroes. In addition to the zoo exhibits, families will enjoy snacks and refreshments and each child will receive a superhero cape. Walkers must register for the event and make a minimum donation: $5 per person or $20 per family. Visit here for more information and to register.

Oakland University, Chief Financial C.U. Offer ‘Your Financial Future’ workshop

Chief Financial Credit Union in Rochester Hills is partnering with Oakland University’s Pre-Apprentice Program to offer Chief’s annual Your Financial Future workshop during April, which is Financial Literacy Month.

Chief’s Your Financial Future is a three-session workshop designed to teach teens and young adults the fundamentals of financial literacy. Students learn how to set up a bank account, how credit scores impact purchases and future goals, and how to establish good credit.

OU’s Pre-Apprentice Program brings students looking to learn more about trades and job certifications together for an eight-week course, connecting them with dozens of community partners to help guide their journey.

“We are thrilled that Chief has partnered with us again this year to teach these students essential life skills,” says Scott Crabill, associate professor of communication at OU and director of the Pre-Apprentice Program. “We are here to teach students life lessons: how to build a resume, how to set up a LinkedIn account, and what career options are out there through trade certifications. In the end, they will also need to learn how to manage their finances, and that is where Chief has stepped in.”

The full program is offered tuition-free through scholarships available for interested students. Additional partners in the apprentice program include Michigan Works!, Habitat for Humanity, Oakland Literacy Council, Oakland County Workforce Development, Baker College, Oakland Community College, and dozens of local and regional businesses. The eight weeks culminates with a career fair designed to introduce students to potential employers.

Chief’s Your Financial Future also offers its three-session workshop to high school students in Oakland County. Those interested in offering Your Financial Future at a high school or student community group can email Ashley Chambers at AshleyC@ChiefOnline.com.

Suburban Sports Group Launches Suburban Hockey Foundation

Suburban Sports Group in Farmington Hills is launching the Suburban Hockey Foundation to contribute to the growth of hockey in Michigan by providing financial support and assistance to hockey families and programs in need throughout the state.

“The game of hockey has been such a huge part of all of our lives,” says Tom Anastos, CEO of Suburban Sports Group. “It’s provided so many great experiences and life lessons as well as many opportunities for families to create friendships and special memories that last a lifetime. It is our goal to help more people enjoy these experiences. We think it’s incredibly important to help families in need and provide assistance to organizations that create opportunities for kids to experience the game.”

The new foundation will host its first fundraising event on May 21 with a Cornhole Tournament outside of the Athlete Lab in Farmington Hills. For more details or to donate, visit suburbanhockeyfoundation.org.

CDC Grants $2M to Community Health Awareness Group to Fight HIV in Detroit

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given a five-year, $2 million grant to the Detroit-based Community Health Awareness Group (CHAG) to tackle the issue of Black Americans being disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.

The CDC grant to CHAG will implement a high-impact HIV Prevention Project for Young Men of Color who have Sex with Men and their partners regardless of age, gender, and race/ethnicity in the city of Detroit. The grant will focus on those at the greatest risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV infection.

“For over 35 years, Community Health Awareness Group has worked tirelessly to address Detroit’s HIV challenge using the most effective proven interventions in response to the needs of those most at-risk,” says Cindy Bolden Calhoun, CEO of CHAG. “This new funding opportunity uniquely positions our organization in collaboration with LGBT Detroit to address those core social determinates of health, such as access to quality healthcare, education, poverty, stigma and racism, that continue to place the priority population of young black men who have sex with men at-risk.”

Tickets Still Available for Seth Meyers’ Forgotten Harvest Benefit

Tickets are still available for Forgotten Harvest’s 29th Annual Comedy Night fundraiser featuring comedian Seth Meyers live at the Fox Theatre in Detroit on Friday, April 29.

Proceeds from tickets, sponsorships, and auction sales will benefit Forgotten Harvest’s distribution efforts to their network of more than 180 agencies in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.

Tickets for the event range from $35 to $175. No masks, proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or negative tests are required to attend. Visit here for more information.

Sponsorship packages are still available and begin at $1,000. For questions about the event or details regarding sponsorship opportunities, please contact Erica Marra at emarra@forgottenharvest.org.

An auction will take place in conjunction with this event. For questions regarding the auction or information on how to donate an item, please contact Hank Wolfe Rodriguez at hwolfe@forgottenharvest.org.