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Straits of Mackinac
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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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The Grand Rapids Residential Safety Program is being expanded thanks to a federal grant awarded to the Grand Rapids Fire Department. 

“You know it’s colorless, it’s odor less and carbon monoxide can incapacitate you very quickly and you’re not even aware it’s happening.”

A biodigester that turns food scraps into green energy has reopened after shutting down two years ago over financial problems. The new owner, Generate Capital Inc., wants the revamped Fremont Regional Digester to start running at capacity later this fall. The digester is expected to turn 165,000 tons of organic waste a year into enough green energy to power at least 2,500 homes. 

The original $22 million plant that opened in 2012 produced energy to power about 1,500 homes annually. Generate Capital is working with Dynamic Systems Management to run the plant.

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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.

The Grand Rapids City Commission has approved a new major forestry initiative they say will improve public safety. Grand Rapids forestry officials are set to begin removing nearly 1600 trees in the city after Commissioners voted to move forward with the initiative. Labeled as priority 1, the trees have been identified as potentially posing a threat to public safety, says Park Superintendent Joe Sulak. 

Man enters plea in attack on Michigan state trooper

Sep 14, 2017

An Indiana man accused in an attack on a Michigan State Police trooper has reached a plea agreement in the case. Nineteen-year-old Travis Wise, of Middlebury pleaded no contest Wednesday to a charge of assault with intent to commit murder. He's expected to get a minimum prison sentence of 15 years on Oct. 16 in exchange for other charges being dismissed. 

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