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State Briefs

By the Associated Press • Sep 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Ex-US attorney Miles running for Michigan attorney general

LANSING (AP) — Democrat Pat Miles, the first black U.S. attorney for West Michigan, launched his candidacy for state attorney general Thursday, emphasizing that he is the only candidate who has led a prosecutor's office.

Miles, whom President Barack Obama — a Harvard Law School classmate — appointed a federal prosecutor in 2012, left when President Donald Trump took office in January.

He is the third candidate to enter the race for the open seat, joining Democrat Dana Nessel and Republican state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker.

Democrats and Republicans will choose their attorney general nominees at conventions next summer, and the winners will battle in the general election.

The 49-year-old Miles, an Aquinas College graduate, grew up in and lives in Grand Rapids and played pickup basketball with Obama at Harvard. He worked in private practice at large law firms in Grand Rapids before leading the Western District, which covers 49 counties in the Lower and Upper peninsulas.

Reward offered in theft of handguns in West Michigan

CASCADE TWP. (AP) — More than two dozen handguns have yet to be recovered after being stolen from two West Michigan shops licensed to sell firearms.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced Thursday a $5,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the 28 guns.

Twenty guns were taken this month from a shooting range and retail store in Cascade Township. Another 13 were stolen from a retail store in Grandville.

Five of the weapons have been recovered. At least eight people, including seven juveniles, have been arrested.

Authorities believe the thefts are connected to two attempted break-ins at other Grand Rapids-area shops.

Company delays planned closure of Michigan nuclear plant

COVERT TWP. (AP) — The planned closure of the Palisades nuclear power plant in southwestern Michigan will be delayed by four years until spring of 2022.

The announcement from New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. came after the Michigan Public Service Commission said last week that Consumers Energy could opt out of buying power from the plant but couldn't recover all of the $172 million requested as part of the deal.

Entergy said Consumers Energy would have been able to recover $136.6 million through surcharges to electric customers.

The Palisades Power Plant employs about 600 workers and generates enough electricity to power more than 800,000 homes. The planned 2018 closure had prompted worries about the future for workers at the major employer in the region, but had been welcomed by environmental activists.

The plant is in Van Buren County's Covert Township, along Lake Michigan.

Covert school Superintendent Bobbi Morehead said people were dancing with excitement when they heard the new date.

"It means everything to Covert public schools. They're literally half of our budget," she said of Palisades' property taxes.

But radioactive waste specialist Kevin Kamps with Beyond Nuclear, a watchdog group focused on the nuclear power industry, said keeping the plant open until 2022 keeps the Great Lakes region at risk of potential public health and environmental threats.

Vice President Pence takes tax plan to Michigan workers

AUBURN HILLS (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence told a crowd of about 200 workers at a manufacturing plant near Detroit that President Trump's tax plan will allow businesses to create more jobs and pay employees more.

Pence's stop Thursday afternoon at automotive supplier American Axle in Auburn Hills was part of a swing through several states seeking support for the tax reform plan.

He called the plan "pro-growth, pro-job, pro-worker and pro-family." Pence said it calls for tax cuts to working families, a repeal of the "death tax," simplification of the tax code, and cutting the business tax rate.

The vice president also said "tax cuts mean more jobs, tax cuts mean higher wages, tax cuts mean more money in your pockets."

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