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On our rundown today: Trump says there were “very fine people on both sides” in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday; a Minnesota church leader urges people to stand up against hate groups; and civil rights groups are outraged over the potential pardon of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.

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Volunteers Canvass to Help Flint Get Safe Water

Volunteers led by AARP are pitching in to help thousands of Flint residents get their water pipes replaced. (Dan Heyman)
Volunteers led by AARP are pitching in to help thousands of Flint residents get their water pipes replaced. (Dan Heyman)
April 28, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. – It's been three years since a Virginia Tech team helped expose the water-quality crisis in Flint, Michigan. Thousands of homes there still need to have their water lines replaced - and this weekend, volunteers will fan out across the city to help.

Before crews can work on the pipes however, homeowners must sign consent forms. On Saturday, volunteers led by AARP members in Michigan will go door-to-door helping to get that paperwork in order.

AARP Michigan State Director Paula Cunningham says it's understandable that, three years into the Flint water crisis, many residents are frustrated and skeptical.

"There is a little bit of a trust factor in Flint, in terms of whose voice the residents want to listen to, and we have found that AARP has become a trusted resource," she explains.

Last fall, AARP Michigan was able to reach 500 residents during a similar effort. This year the goal is to knock on doors at 6,000 homes between this weekend and additional canvassing days scheduled for the coming months.

Cunningham says it's critical to get the word out that replacing the pipes is the only long-term solution.

"Some residents are telling us, 'Oh, but my water has been tested,'" she said. "Well, that's because they have a filter on it. We just want to make certain that each person knows that, regardless of whether your water has tested clean or not, you still have to have your pipes replaced."

The door-to-door effort is the result of several "listening sessions" and surveys AARP Michigan conducted with Flint residents last year to determine how best to help respond to the crisis.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - VA