GOVERNOR'S RACE-MEDICAID EXPANSION
Snyder touts expanded Medicaid in re-election bid
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is touting Michigan's successful Medicaid expansion in his re-election run.
The governor said Tuesday that at least 385,000 low-income adults have signed up since the program was expanded in April. That's ahead of the 322,000 his administration projected to enroll the entire year.
Snyder's push to embrace and tweak a component of the federal health care law roiled conservative activists. But his campaign is hoping its appeal among the broader electorate is a plus in November.
Snyder on Tuesday received the endorsement of the Michigan State Medical Society. The group of 15,000 physicians has hailed the Medicaid expansion, known as Healthy Michigan.
It's just the second time the organization has endorsed in a gubernatorial race in its 150-year history.
House panel: Safety agency mishandled GM recall
WASHINGTON (AP) - A House committee has determined that the government's auto safety agency should have discovered General Motors' faulty ignition switches seven years before the company recalled 2.6 million cars to fix the deadly problem.
The report issued Tuesday by Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee raises serious questions about the agency's ability to keep the public safe as cars become more complex.
The report says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration misunderstood how vehicles worked, lacked accountability and failed to share information.
At least 19 people died in crashes caused by the switches in GM small cars. The company acknowledged knowing about the problem for at least a decade, but it didn't recall the cars until February.
GM to add 750 workers to build small pickup trucks
DETROIT (AP) - General Motors is adding 750 workers to a Missouri factory in anticipation of high demand for two new small pickup trucks.
GM wants to add a third shift to its plant in Wentzville near St. Louis by the end of March. The factory now employs 2,600 people who make the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups as well as full-sized vans.
Alan Batey, GM's North America president, says dealers already have ordered 30,000 pickups and 97,000 people have configured and built them on a GM website. Both are signs of strong demand.
GM is building the trucks and plans to start shipping them to dealers soon. Small pickups have declined in popularity, but Batey is confident people will buy the GM models for their hauling ability, gas mileage and price.
COAL PLANT POLLUTION-MICHIGAN
CMS spending $1 billion to settle pollution case
JACKSON, Mich. (AP) - The federal government says CMS Energy Corp. will undertake an estimated $1 billion program to cut emissions from five coal-fired power plants in Michigan to settle air pollution complaints.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that the utility's Consumers Energy subsidiary agreed to a plan to cut 46,500 tons of sulfur dioxide and other emissions annually from plants in Essexville, Luna Pier, Muskegon and West Olive.
The Jackson-based company also will pay $10.5 million in fines and remediation expenditures.
The government says the agreement settles claims filed in 2007 and 2008 that CMS Energy was violating the Clean Air Act.
Consumers Energy chief executive John Russell says the utility is moving to improve air quality and supply the state with "safe, affordable and reliable energy."
Natural gas leak prompts evacuation in SW Michigan
BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Authorities have evacuated residents within a mile radius of a natural gas line leak in southwestern Michigan and have set up a temporary shelter for those displaced.
No injuries are reported. Police in Berrien County's Benton Township say the natural gas line began leaking about 2 a.m. Tuesday. Local police, sheriff's deputies and fire officials worked to evacuate residents and police say air monitoring is taking place.
Police say representatives of energy company TransCanada worked to shut off the flow of natural gas. The cause of the leak wasn't immediately known.
The American Red Cross shelter was set up at a Mason Lodge in Benton Township.
TransCanada says the reported leak was on the ANR Pipeline and automatic closures isolated the affected section of the line.
Prep football star to return to court this month
DETROIT (AP) - A 17-year-old Detroit prep football star accused of assaulting a female student after he was released from jail for body-slamming a security officer in his school is due back in court later this month.
Jayru Campbell made a brief court appearance Tuesday in Wayne County Circuit Court on a probation violation case. A not guilty plea was entered. The judge set a hearing Sept. 26.
Prosecutors have charged Campbell with assault and unarmed robbery in connection with the Friday incident at Cass Technical High School. They say Campbell assaulted the 17-year-old girl during a dispute involving a phone. He's jailed and is due back in court in that case Sept. 25.
Campbell was sentenced in May to 60 days in jail. He admitted he slammed the officer head-first Jan. 22.
Authorities: 5th grader found with loaded gun
KINGSLEY, Mich. (AP) - Authorities say a fifth-grade boy was found with a loaded pistol at a middle school in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula.
The Grand Traverse County sheriff's department says another student at Kingsley Middle School told a teacher that the boy had the gun Monday afternoon. The Traverse City Record-Eagle and MLive.com report school officials and the school's liaison officer intervened.
No one was injured. Undersheriff Nate Alger says the boy had the .25-caliber pistol in the waistband of his pants. Authorities say the boy said that he took the gun from his grandfather's house on Friday and then brought it to school on Monday.
The sheriff's department is trying to determine why the boy brought the gun to school. Alger says classes continued as usual on Monday and Tuesday.
MILITARY SURPLUS-LAPEER COUNTY
Lapeer County receives military surplus vehicle
LAPEER, Mich. (AP) - The Lapeer County Sheriff's Department has received a specialized 18-ton military vehicle from the Saginaw County sheriff.
The Flint Journal reports the department recently acquired the heavily armored machine known as an MRAP, which stands for mine-resistant ambush proof. The 250-horsepower military-grade vehicle is designed to transport troops working to find explosive devices. It can deflect mines, grenades and gun fire.
The MRAP was given to the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department through the U.S. Army's program that provides military surplus supplies to local law enforcement free of charge. But Sherriff William Federspiel decided to get rid of it because its upkeep was costing his department too much money.
Lapeer County Undersheriff Robert Rapson says experienced local veterans have offered to provide free maintenance.
Symphony's neighborhood concerts get $3.75M boost
DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is getting a $3.75 million grant from the William Davidson Foundation in support of its Neighborhood Concert Series.
Officials announced Tuesday that the grant will support the series of Detroit-area concerts, as well as additional activities outside of Orchestra Hall, over the next three years. The DSO is renaming the concert series the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series.
Davidson died in 2009 at age 86. He owned the Detroit Pistons and was chairman of glassmaker Guardian Industries Corp.
To celebrate the announcement, three performances are planned Saturday.
Since its inception, Neighborhood Concert Series has grown from six venues to seven, and now offers performances in Beverly Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Wayne County's Canton Township, Dearborn, Grosse Pointe, Southfield and Oakland County's West Bloomfield Township.
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