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Michigan officials: Don’t wait to lock in propane prices

Michigan officials say propane users should lock in fuel prices now, even though heating season is months away. The Michigan Agency for Energy says U.S. propane stocks are slightly higher now than they were a year ago. But they’re 27 percent below levels seen in 2016. Executive Director Anne Armstrong Cusack says customers should sign contracts soon instead of waiting …

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Business groups challenge minimum wage, sick leave proposals

Proposals to raise the Michigan minimum wage and require paid sick time came under fire from pro-business lobbying groups Friday, the deadline to challenge the two ballot initiatives. The first, a movement by the union-endorsed Michigan One Fair Wage committee to pay Michigan workers $12 an hour and abolish the tipped minimum wage, is being challenged by hospitality industry group …

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McDonald’s removing salads from 3,000 stores after illness

McDonald’s is stopping the sale of salads at 3,000 restaurants after people became sick from a parasite causing intestinal illness. The Chicago-based fast-food chain said Friday it’s acting “out of an abundance of caution” until switching to another supplier. Health officials in Illinois and Iowa say they’ve identified roughly 100 combined cases of cyclosporiasis apparently linked to consuming McDonald’s salads. …

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SERVPRO Recognizes Local Business for Outstanding Revenue Performance

SERVPRO® of Cass & St. Joseph Counties received the MILLIONAIRE’S Bronze award at the recent SERVPRO convention, held at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL, from June 25-29. Anthony Blodgett of SERVPRO of Cass & St. Joseph Counties and other high-performing franchisees were recognized during an Awards Extravaganza at the annual event, which was attended by nearly 3,000 …

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Musk company to build Chicago-to-O’Hare express transport

Entrepreneur Elon Musk said Thursday a high-speed transportation system that will whisk people between downtown Chicago and O’Hare International Airport at speeds of up to 150 mph could be operational in about three years. Musk joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to formally announce that a Musk-owned enterprise, The Boring Company, was selected for the project and will fully fund it. …

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Reboot your modem and router

Last Friday the FBI issued a warning about what’s being called the “VPNFilter” threat. This malware takes advantage of exploits in certain routers commonly used in homes and small businesses.  They (FBI Internet Crime Complaint Division) have taken down part of the command and control aspect of this attack, and recommend a reboot of your modem and router. This attack …

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State releases local unemployment report

April’s unemployment rate in St. Joseph County was four-tenths of a percent lower than the previous month. The monthly labor-market analysis by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget showed the county’s 3.3 percent April unemployment rate marked a decrease from March’s 3.7 percent. St. Joseph County was below the state unemployment average, which was 4 percent in April. …

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Disaster loans are available

Business and home owners, as well as renters impacted by February and March flooding, can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Twenty counties, including St. Joseph, Cass and Branch, were declared disaster areas due to the extent of flooding they endured from the three-day rainfall that started Feb. 19. SBA customer service representatives will be …

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Local unemployment shows a decrease

February’s unemployment rate in St. Joseph County was two-tenths of a percent lower than the previous month. The monthly labor-market analysis by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget showed the county’s 4.1 percent February unemployment rate marked a decrease from January’s 4.3 percent. St. Joseph County was below the state unemployment average, which was 5.2 percent in February. …

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Michigan OKs Nestle’s bid to pump more water for bottling

Michigan officials have approved a permit allowing Nestle Waters North America Inc. to pump more groundwater for its Ice Mountain brand. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality ruled Monday the company’s application to increase water output to 400 gallons a minute meets state standards. Officials say in a statement that most of public comments they received expressed opposition to the …

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