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Ferry company serving Mackinac Island says start of this year's service affected by ice

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. - A ferry company that serves Mackinac Island says the start of service this year will be affected by ice. The Petoskey News-Review and MLive.com report that Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry is waiting to see how ice-breaking work goes before posting a schedule. The ferry is expected to start 2014 service in St. Ignace instead of Mackinaw City. Ice mostly blocks the Straits of Mackinac, except for the shipping channel. Ice-breaking work is scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

Detroit's emergency manager rebuffs new art sale proposal

By Edward Krudy (Reuters) - Detroit's emergency manager Kevyn Orr showed little enthusiasm on Wednesday for a new proposal from a bond insurer to sell or securitize the insolvent city's world-class art collection. The collection, housed at the Detroit Institute of Arts, has been in question since Detroit filed for an $18 billion municipal bankruptcy last July, the largest in U.S. history.

Body found in lake confirmed as missing Michigan doctor

By David Bailey and Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - A body recovered on Sunday from a northwestern Indiana lake has been confirmed as that of a Michigan doctor who went missing early in December and likely drowned, authorities said on Wednesday. Teleka Patrick, 30, missing since December 5, was found not far from the spot where police came across her car with a flat tire parked along an interstate highway at night, Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller told a news conference.

GM to invest $450 million in two Michigan plants: Detroit News

(Reuters) - General Motors Co <GM.N> is expected to announce on Tuesday a $450 million investment plan in two of its Michigan plants to bolster its electric car research and production capabilities, the Detroit News reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The investment is expected to add 1,400 jobs and it will be divided between GM's Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant and Brownstown township battery assembly facility in Michigan, the newspaper said. (http://link.reuters.com/ver38v)

Teenager charged in critical beating of Detroit motorist

By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - A Detroit teenager was charged as an adult on Monday in the severe beating of a motorist who stopped to help a 10-year-old boy he accidentally struck last week, prosecutors said. Bruce Wimbush, 17, was charged with assault with intent to murder and assault with intent to do great bodily harm in the beating of Steven Utash, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.

Detroit's bankruptcy could bring upgrades to Coleman A. Young International Airport

DETROIT - An aging airport in Detroit could again get passenger service if $28.5 million in funding is approved as part of the city's bankruptcy plan, officials said. The money for Coleman A. Young International Airport on the city's east side would pay to upgrade hangars and the airport's passenger terminal, the Detroit Free Press reported (http://on.freep.com/1gUwpBD ). It also would fund a new loading bridge for passengers.

Bottled water company Absopure to promote 'Pure Michigan' tourism campaign on packaging

PLYMOUTH, Mich. - A bottled water company is partnering with Michigan's tourism campaign to showcase some of the state's natural beauty. Plymouth-based Absopure announced the plans with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Starting this month, 24 and 35 packs of Absopure Natural Spring Water sold in the Midwest will carry packaging co-branded with "Pure Michigan." In the coming months, other Absopure products nationally will be packaged with "Pure Michigan" imagery.

Researchers see growth in Michigan's tourism industry; expanded global advertising planned

LANSING, Mich. - Researchers say Michigan's tourism industry will grow as the state begins advertising more in Canada, Germany, China and the United Kingdom. Researchers at Michigan State University found that the state's tourism industry experienced a 4 per cent increase in overall spending in 2013. Hotel occupancy rates rose 2 per cent. The only exception to growth was a predicted dip in national park visits because of the federal government shutdown. Tourism spending is expected to increase 4.5 per cent in 2014.

Michigan attorney general charges energy companies Chesapeake, Encana with lease bid-rigging

CHEBOYGAN, Mich. - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Wednesday that he has filed criminal charges against Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Encana Corp., accusing them of colluding to avoid bidding against each other for Michigan oil and gas leases. Schuette said the antitrust violations happened in 2010, when Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake and Calgary, Alberta-based Encana bought natural gas leases in Michigan. "I will aggressively prosecute any company who conspires to break the law," he said.

Sunken oil pipelines raise spill fears in sensitive straits where 2 Great Lakes meet

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - A freshwater channel that separates Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas is a premier Midwestern tourist attraction and a photographer's delight, offering spectacular vistas of two Great Lakes, several islands and one of the world's longest suspension bridges. But nowadays the Straits of Mackinac is drawing attention for something that is out of sight and usually out of mind, and which some consider a symbol of the dangers lurking in the nation's sprawling web of buried oil and natural gas pipelines.
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