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Upton opponent 2014

A Kalamazoo Democrat is jumping into the race for Michigan’s 6th Congressional district in 2014. Paul Clements is planning a tour of the entire district on Saturday, including stops in Buchanan, Benton Harbor, Cassopolis and Union Pier. He calls himself an “independent Democrat” on his campaign website and says Congressman Fred Upton has become “part of the problem” after 26 ... Read More »

50th Anniversary of Community Mental Health Act

State Rep. Matt Lori and state Sen. Rebekah Warren, of Ann Arbor, introduced resolutions Thursday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s signing of the Community Mental Health Act. In February, Lori and Warren were appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the Mental Health and Wellness Commission, and the two have been working to identify and address gaps in ... Read More »

Tax-break for businesses

Members of the Sturgis City Commission last week approved tax-break requests for three businesses. The requests for Industrial Facilities Exemption Certificates were granted to Mayer Tool and Engineering, Americraft Carton and Burr Oak Tool. Mayer Tool’s request was for a 12-year abatement of almost $55,000 on the purchase of new equipment. Americraft Carton sought $6.2 million was for new equipment ... Read More »

Plant to get reimbursed

Constantine village and township plan to reimburse more than $200,000 owed to a former manufacturing plant following a reassessment of its property taxes. Village officials this week were told Rexam Closure Systems appealed its 2011 tax assessment. The assessment was $11.2 million but reduced to $4.5 million following its appeal. As a result, the village and township owe a total ... Read More »

Sales-tax relief

State Rep. Matt Lori on Tuesday voted for legislation that offers sales-tax relief for Michigan residents who buy new and used vehicles and watercraft. The House and Senate approved bills that eliminate buyers having to pay sales tax on the full price of a car, watercraft or recreational vehicle purchase without subtracting the value of trade-ins. Michigan is one of ... Read More »

Conservation District keeps allowance

A 2014 allocation for the St. Joseph County Conservation District appears to be secured, as agency supporters successfully pleaded their case to county officials Monday. The district was at risk of losing its annual $14,000 allowance after county commission members last week unveiled St. Joseph County’s proposed 2014 fiscal year budget. Monday’s appeal included nearly an hour of discussion centering ... Read More »