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Gas prices continue to rise

The average price of gasoline has jumped by 17 cents over the past two weeks, to $2.02 a gallon for regular grade. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that the hike is due to growing demand for gasoline across the nation and higher crude oil prices. Lundberg says the increase is part of a trend that has seen the price spike nearly …

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$10 million project to overhaul former foundry building

A $10 million project is planned to transform a former foundry building just east of downtown Kalamazoo into a campus-like office space. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Kalamazoo-based Treystar plans to convert the building for office and other uses, including on-site dining. The company says it plans to upgrade the building while preserving it and paying homage to its past. Built …

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More closures for FirstMerit Bank

FirstMerit Bank has confirmed the closure of two of its St. Joseph County branches, in Colon and White Pigeon, effective June 3. Colon’s branch operation will become consolidated with the Sturgis branch. Officials could not confirm how many employees are affected, but all have been retained and offered positions at other locations, said Rob Townsend, media relations officer for FirstMerit …

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Michigan unemployment rate at lowest point since June 2001

The state says Michigan’s monthly unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest point in nearly 15 years. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget said Wednesday the seasonally adjusted jobless rate for January was 4.9 percent. That’s down two-tenths of a percentage point from December and 1.1 percentage points below the January 2015 rate. The state’s January unemployment rate …

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Plans move forward for southwestern Michigan solar project

Plans are moving forward for an Indiana Michigan Power solar power project in southwestern Michigan. The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph reports an estimated 50,000 solar panels are planned for a 35-acre site in Berrien County’s Watervliet Township. Plans call for it to generate enough electricity to power an average of 700 homes. Local officials are reviewing a permit request for …

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Sheriff’s department warns of telephone scams

The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department has fielded a number of reports from residents complaining of telephone calls claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. Sheriff Balk said the IRS does not conduct business by telephone. He encourages people to do the following if they receive such phone calls: Record the employee’s name, return-call number and caller ID if …

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