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Poll shows Michigan voters unhappy with factors auto insurers use for determining premiums

Michigan voters polled are none to happy about the factors auto insurance companies use for setting premiums. Lansing-based EPIC-MRA conducted a survey on behalf of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. It wanted to know what voters thought about auto insurers using education level, marital status, employment and credit scores as determining factors. For starters, 81 percent, an overwhelming majority believe they’re paying too much for auto insurance. When it comes to how premiums...

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Straits of Mackinac
Gregory Varnum via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

Michigan’s energy chief says damage to the protective coating on an oil and gas pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac was worse than initially reported.

Valerie Brater directs the Michigan Agency for Energy. She says Enbridge Energy initially reported small sections of Line Five’s protective coating were accidentally worn off down to the metal while underwater safety anchors were being installed.

Brater says the places where metal is showing are much larger than Enbridge said they were, and she says company was too slow to repair the damage.

Michigan won’t limit how much money corporations and unions can spend to influence elections in the state – under legislation that’s cleared the state senate.

In 2010 the US Supreme Court said corporations and unions could spend as much money as they wanted on political campaigns. Seven years later, Michigan lawmakers are putting that standard into state law.

Arlan Meekhof is the Senate Majority Leader. He voted in favor of the bills, “Because everybody should have free speech and the Supreme Court has said that free speech equals money in what you give.”

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Lawmakers in Lansing are gearing up for a showdown over Michigan’s auto no-fault law. A group of Republicans and Democrats in the state House announced changes they plan to introduce.

They said their plan would make car insurance more affordable without limiting coverage.

The bipartisan group plans to introduce legislation that would, among other things, bar insurers from using factors like gender and zip code to set rates.

A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate is likely to leave the race to instead run for a suburban Detroit House district opening up due to a congressman's retirement. Lena Epstein told The Associated Press in a statement Thursday she is "leaning toward" seeking the 11th Congressional District held by Republican Dave Trott.

A formal announcement is expected in the next few days.

Trott announced this week he will not for re-election.

A Republican businessman who says he turned around factories scheduled for closure is taking a "serious look" at running for U.S. Senate in Michigan.

Sandy Pensler of Grosse Pointe said Wednesday he'll form an exploratory committee for the seat held by third-term Democrat Debbie Stabenow, who's seeking re-election in 2018.

Pensler owns a buyout firm and Korex Companies, which manufactures dishwasher detergent and other products.

The 60-year-old Pensler criticizes Stabenow's vision and says the country's at a "tipping point."

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We are reporting today on the Supreme Court's 6-3 decision to uphold the nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act. One of the three justices who opposed the ruling was Justice Antonin Scalia, who issued a strong dissent.

Here are some highlights:

'SCOTUSCare'

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies

Jun 25, 2015

The Affordable Care Act survived its second Supreme Court test in three years, raising odds for its survival but by no means ending the legal and political assaults on it five years after it became law.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed the Obama administration a major victory on health care, ruling 6-3 that nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act are legal.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," the court's majority said in the opinion, which was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. But they acknowledged that "petitioners' arguments about the plain meaning ... are strong."

In the Medieval era, kings and queens hosted feasts adorned with surprisingly complex edible sculptures depicting humans and animals alike. Outside the castle walls, of course, people struggled to put enough food on the table — much less, worry about its presentation afterward. But in the modern United States, food sculpture is the art of the people. Nowhere is this truer than the butter sculptures so common at Midwestern state fairs.

The giant ostrich-like rhea, despite its largely useless vestigial wings, seems to be something of a flight risk.

Last year, we brought you the story of one of the birds — native to South America — that escaped from a farm in the U.K., startling cyclists and otherwise wreaking mayhem in the English countryside.

For the past 20 years, doctors have recommended that dialysis patients have a simple operation to make it safer and easier to connect to a machine that cleans their blood.

Islamic State fighters, who were ousted from the Kurdish border town of Kobani in January, have launched an offensive to recapture the Syrian city — setting off car bombs as a prelude to an attack, NPR's Deborah Amos reports.

Mourners will gather in South Carolina on Thursday for the funerals of the Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton and Ethel Lance, two of the nine people who were killed during a Bible study meeting in Charleston last week.

Both Coleman-Singleton, 45, and Lance, 70, were integral members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where police say a white gunman attacked last week with the stated intention of killing black people. The case is being investigated as a hate crime.

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