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Agency urges Michigan propane users to lock in prices now

Officials are advising Michigan’s propane users to lock in prices before the heating season gets underway. Valerie Brader of the Michigan Agency for Energy says customers can save money by signing contracts now, while propane supplies are significantly above the five-year average. Prices in more than 30 states jumped during the 2013-2014 heating season after cold temperatures and other factors …

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Michigan unemployment rate unchanged at 5.5 percent in June

Michigan’s unemployment rate has held steady in the latest month at 5.5 percent, 1.6 points lower than a year earlier. The state announced Wednesday that the seasonally adjusted jobless rate for June was identical with the rate in May. The U.S. rate fell 0.2 points to 5.3 percent in the latest month. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget …

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan designates local physician practices as patient-centered medical homes

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has designated five Saint Joseph County practices as patient-centered medical homes for the 2015 program year – meaning they have particular qualities and processes that help improve health care quality and outcomes by maintaining a coordinated, team focus on their patients’ health and wellness. Designated practices include: · Colon Medical Clinic · Bharat M. …

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State loses appeal over tax break in certain home sales

The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled in favor of home sellers in a tax dispute involving property in a market that’s down or slowly recovering. In a unanimous decision, the court says some sellers are exempt from a real estate transfer tax. The tax break applies if a home’s state equalized value is the same or less than the value …

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Adopt-A-Highway cleanup begins

Motorists along state routes are advised to use extra caution, as the second Adopt-A-Highway roadside cleanup event of the year begins Saturday and continues over an eight-day period. Thousands of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers will be back picking up litter along state roadways starting Saturday, as they’ve done each summer since 1990. Every year, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers collect about 70,000 bags of trash, …

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Silver Street bridge construction detours traffic

A detour on a major north-south route in St. Joseph County will remain in effect at least through September while a bridge is replaced. Crews from Hudsonville-based Grand River Construction started work Tuesday on the Silver Street bridge at the Portage River. The job is a full rebuild to replace a bridge that job foreman Dean Stewart said was in …

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