Michigan's electric rates higher than national average

Michigan's electric rates are now more than 10 percent higher than the national average and have increased eight percent over the past year. The Customer Choice Coalition and Energy Choice now say that's according to January data recently released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Officials with two advocacy groups say while Michigan's rates remain higher than its regional competitors, with industrial and commercial rates now more than 10 percent higher than the regional average, it grows increasingly difficult for Michigan business to compete. (MRN)

State Legislature nixes open burning of household items

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley has signed into law legislation that bans the open burning of certain household items. The law amends current legislation to now prohibit the uncontrolled burning of plastic, rubber, foam, chemically treated wood, textiles, electronics, chemicals or hazardous materials. Michigan is the last Great Lakes state that lets rural residents incinerate household waste in burn barrels. Calley says the new law does not prohibit all burning, but instead targets the substances most dangerous to public health.(mrn) image by (xedos4)

State lawmaker unhappy "Pure Michigan Magazine" printed out of state

Oops! It turns out that the "Pure Michigan Magazine," published by the state to promote Michigan tourism and other business, is being printed by an out of state company. And a state lawmaker is not happy about it. Tourism officials say there's no qualified company in the state to do the job to specifications. But State Senate democrat John Gleason says he "finds that hard to believe."

Job market improving in Mecosta Co. according to Michigan Works!

With some national reports indicating that the job market has actually been improving within the past year or so, I asked Michigan Works Business Services Director Michelle Herron if that has been reflected locally. "I've been fortunate enough to go on a few retention calls with our economic development professionals in Mecosta County. The companies that we visited with all indicated that they have had an increase in sales and orders, which all equates to an increase in employment and increase in their bottom line and financials.

State Lawmakers introduce bill to eliminate personal property tax

Legislation will be introduced in Lansing today to phase out the state's personal property tax. The PPT is an industrial tax, based on property held by, for example, a local plant. Revenue goes to that local government for things like police and fire departments. Business groups say phasing out the tax will be a boon for job growth. But others say it will negatively effect the ability of many local communities to fight crime, as well as fires.

Dole Foods recalls salad bags due to possible salmonella

Dole Food Co.'s fresh vegetables division is recalling 756 cases of bagged salad, because they could be contaminated with salmonella. The bags of Seven Lettuces salads were distributed in 14 states including Michigan. The company said the bags are being recalled, because a random sample tested by the State of New York came back positive for Salmonella. No other Dole salads are included in the recall. The recalled salads are stamped with a use-by date of April 11, 2012.

Michigan Agriculture contribution to state economy up 50% from 03-10

An updated report from Michigan State University says Michigan’s agriculture industry now contributes more than $91-million dollars annual to the state's economy. That's an increase of more than 50% between 2003 and 2010. The MSU study on "the economic impact of Michigan’s food and agriculture sector" was conducted by the MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio. (MRN)

DNR reminds about bass season opening date

The Department of Natural Resources would like to remind anglers that catch-and-release bass fishing season opens April 28th in LP, and May 15th in the UP. Michigan conservation officers have noticed an increase in fishing bass illegally this spring, likely due to the early warm weather. The DNR recommends fishing for crappie and bluegill in particular, as April can offer some of the best panfishing of the entire year.

Marion man takes police on drunken high speed chase

A Marion man who took sheriff deputies in Montcalm County on a drunken high speed chase has been arraigned. Police say the incident happened Sunday around midnight when deputies attempted to pull over 53-year old Keith Mark Wondergem on Stanton road in Montcalm County. They say Wondergem got back in his vehicle during the stop and fled. Deputies followed him to Baldwin Heights Elementary school where the suspect drove on the lawn and then around the school's playground, eventually the Marion man crashed his car into a tree.

Ford recalls Focus compacts due to faulty windshield wiper

Ford Motor Company is recalling more than 140,000 focus compact cars because of a faulty windshield wiper.  Federal Safety Regulators say the seal in the passenger-side wiper wiring is missing, which could lead to the wiper to stop working, increasing the chances for an accident.  Ford says there have not been any reports of crashes or injuries because of the wiper problem.  The recall affects focus vehicles produced from august 2010 through October of last year. (MRN) 

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This is really sad. I know this family...

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hah he got what was coming to him...bad part...

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The taxpayers dollars at work! The lead...

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