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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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It was Miguel de Cervantes' dying wish to be buried inside the walls of Madrid's Convento de las Trinitarias Descalzasthe Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians — where a dozen cloistered nuns still live today, nearly 400 years later.

The fossilized remains of a bizarre-looking reptile are giving scientists new insights into how turtles got their distinctive shells.

Some 240 million years ago, this early turtle-like creature lived in a large lake, in a fairly warm, subtropical climate. But it didn't have the kind of shell modern turtles have, says Hans-Dieter Sues, a curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Vietnam is having condom problems.

Hundreds of thousands of condoms sold there are substandard. They tear easily and don't offer reliable protection. While this might seem like a red flag, it's actually a sign of progress.

At The New Republic, Chloe Angyal pens a piece on the role of white womanhood in America's racial dynamics, and why she will "no longer be an excuse for violence."

The Confederate battle flag and three other symbols of the Confederacy were taken down Wednesday from the Capitol grounds in Montgomery, Ala., after their removal was ordered by Gov. Robert Bentley amid a growing backlash against the symbols following last week's racially motivated mass shooting at a black church in South Carolina.

This post was updated at 5 p.m. ET

Hillary Clinton's speech Tuesday at a historic black church in Missouri was mostly well-received by the audience, but three words angered some of the activists she was hoping to appeal to.

Clinton spoke to frequent applause about religion, racism, access to education, repairing communities and the shooting last week in Charleston, S.C.

The church where Clinton spoke, Christ the King United Church of Christ, is in Florissant, Mo., fewer than 5 miles from where the rioting and protesting happened in Ferguson.

Better communication with the families of kidnapped Americans — and a pledge that those relatives won't face criminal charges if they pay ransoms — are at the heart of an update to the U.S. federal hostage policy, released Wednesday.

When you hear the words "green brewery," you might picture gleaming solar panels or aerodynamic wind turbines. But the most valuable piece of technology at the $24 million headquarters of Smuttynose Brewing Co. on the seacoast of New Hampshire isn't quite as sexy.

"The place you have to start is the building envelope," says Smuttynose founder Peter Egelston.

While the debate over whether to label foods containing GMO ingredients plays out across the country, another engineered food has long been waiting to hit grocery stores: genetically modified salmon.

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