8.28.14:  Michigan peach crop suffers after harsh winter


DETROIT (AP) — Michigan peach farmers are harvesting a significantly smaller crop than usual this year after an especially severe winter.


The U.S. Agriculture Department forecasts that the state’s crop will be down about 50 percent from last year. Extreme cold wiped out most peach buds in Macomb, Oakland and Lapeer counties last winter.


The state harvested 41 million pounds of peaches in 2013. The USDA projects Michigan will drop from the fourth to the eighth state in the nation for peach farming this year, with 20 million pounds of the fruit.


A Michigan State University Extension fruit educator says it’s been decades since the losses were so bad. He says not one of the 60 peach growers in his area have peaches.

8.27.14:   Marshall teen found safe


A 14-year-old Marshall teen that had been missing since the weekend, was found safe late Tuesday afternoon.


The family of Hannah Amaro, says the last time they saw her was on Saturday.  The parents reported her missing on Monday.


Authorities were able to track the girl down Tuesday at a hotel near Atlanta, Georgia.


Hannah was with a 29-year-old man that she reportedly met on the internet.  She is being returned to Michigan.



8.27.14:  After bad winter, new salt costs leave bad taste


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — With temperatures in the 80s, who’s thinking about winter road salt? Road agencies are — and they’re seeing higher prices.


The County Road Association of Michigan says there’s sticker shock out there. Washtenaw County is reporting an increase of at least $500,000 for the next winter. Road Commission operations director Jim Harmon says the “budget hits just keep on coming.”


The Kent County Road Commission expects to pay $66 a ton, more than double the price from a decade ago.


Denise Donohue, director of the County Road Association, says it’s a matter of supply and demand, especially after salt reserves were pounded last winter. The association says the average cost statewide will be up nearly 50 percent.

8.27.14:  Replicas of Columbus’ ships make it to Muskegon


MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — Replicas of two of 15th-century explorer Christopher Columbus’ ships have arrived in Muskegon.


The 65-foot Nina and the 85-foot Pinta made it to town on Tuesday.


They will remain docked at Heritage Landing until Sept. 2, and will be open for tours beginning on Wednesday.


North Muskegon resident Cheryl Eyestone says she didn’t see the replicas when they last visited Muskegon in 2011, but will be bringing her five daughters to see them this time around.


The ships’ Muskegon stop is part of a tour that has taken them to Maine, New York and Ohio.


8.27.14:  7 Michigan health care centers to split $1.7M


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Seven Michigan health care centers will split a federal award of nearly $1.7 million to support construction and facility improvements.


The money will allow the centers to adopt a primary-care set-up using teams of medical professionals to treat all of a patient’s health needs. That model is a focus of the nation’s health care law.


Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell says the funding will be used to provide higher quality services, treat multiple needs of patients at once and increase access to care. She says Michigan residents should have access to quality health care regardless of their ability to pay.


More than $35 million was awarded to 147 health care centers throughout the U.S. The funding will support 21 new construction projects and 126 renovation projects.

8.27.14:  Storms packing 60 mph winds hit Michigan


CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Severe thunderstorms have hit parts of southern Michigan, bringing 60 mile-per-hour wind gusts that knocked down trees and power lines and blacked out about 169,000 electricity customers.


The National Weather Service says winds reaching 60 mph in Wayne County’s Canton Township near Detroit and in Washtenaw County’s Pittsfield Township. It says a 2-foot-diameter tree fell in Redford, near Detroit.


DTE Energy Co. says 120,000 of 160,000 affected customers remained powerless Tuesday night. CMS. Energy Corp. says 3,000 of 9,000 affected customers remained out.


Flooding closed parts of some Detroit-area expressways Tuesday evening.


Lightning is suspected in a fire that heavily damaged an apartment in the Detroit suburb of Taylor.


Three people sustained non-life threatening injuries when lightning struck an Ionia County garage.


A lightning strike Tuesday afternoon caused damage to Holland Christian Middle School.  Smoke was seen coming from the roof of the gym but it didn’t take crews long to put it out.  Only minor damage was done to the school as a result.

8.26.14:  Stabenow, Levin: $488,000 for Great Lakes cleanup


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin have announced $488,000 in funding for a regional partnership to restore habitat in the Great Lakes.


The Great Lakes Commission will lead the initiative and work with state and local agencies on the habitat restoration.


A $488,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will pay for the work.


The Democratic lawmakers are members of the Great Lakes Task Force. They led an effort to pass the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which aims to restore and preserve the Great Lakes by combating toxins, invasive species and other factors detrimental to the habitat’s general health.


8.26.14:  Biden to speak in Detroit after Labor Day parade


DETROIT (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden will be Detroit on Labor Day for the second time in three years.


Biden will make his 15th trip to Michigan since taking office to speak following the Labor Day parade. He last participated in Labor Day events in Michigan in 2012.


The vice president also will meet with local labor leaders during his third visit to Detroit this year. He was in the city in July to tour a training program with Mayor Mike Duggan and hold a fundraiser for Michigan Democrats.


The event is designed to honor the American worker and usually draws prominent state Democrats. It has served as an unofficial launch pad for political campaigns in Michigan.

8.26.14:  AAA: Labor Day travel to increase in Michigan


DETROIT (AP) — AAA projects that more than 1.12 million people in Michigan are expected to travel during the Labor Day holiday period, up nearly 1 percent from last year.


The auto club says that of those more than 1 million people plan to travel by auto, while more than 43,000 will travel by air and over 79,000 travelers will go by rail, bus or boat. The travel forecast is for those planning to go 50 miles or more from home.


The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday to Monday. Many schools in Michigan start classes after the holiday.


8.25.14:  Michigan man hospitalized after welding explosion


ORLEANS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Grand Rapids-area man has been hospitalized after his welding project on top of an oil drum caused an explosion.


Orleans Township Fire Chief Leslie Doty says the man was trying to build a lawn roller Sunday and was welding on a 55-gallon drum in his garage.


Doty says sparks from welding ignited fuel residue in the drum, which caused the explosion. The top of the barrel flew through the wooden garage.


The man was burned on his arms and face. He extinguished a small fire on the garage door before authorities arrived.


He was taken to an area hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.