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State Briefs

By the Associated Press • Nov 8, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Retired couple from Michigan among the dead in Texas church shooting

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — Robert and Shani Corrigan moved around during his three decades in the Air Force. Married the summer after graduating from high school in Michigan, the couple first learned about the tiny town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, when he was stationed in San Antonio.

The couple bought a home in nearby Floresville and didn't sell it when Robert was stationed at Air Force bases outside the state. When he retired about two years ago, the couple were able to put down roots, and a big part of their lives was First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

The Corrigans were among the more than two dozen people killed Sunday when a gunman opened fire inside the small church.

The rampage killed several other longtime married couples and members of their extended families, many of them children. About 20 other church-goers were wounded in the attack, which was the worst mass shooting in Texas history.

Michigan senators seek federal investigation of pipelines

ST. IGNACE (AP) — Michigan's U.S. senators want federal regulators to determine whether the company operating twin oil pipelines in a crucial Great Lakes waterway has violated safety requirements.

Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters asked the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration on Tuesday to investigate recent disclosures about damage to protective coating on the pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac.

Enbridge says coating is missing in a number of spots, although there have been no leaks. The company acknowledges it knew about the coating problem in 2014 but disclosed it only recently.

Stabenow and Peters asked the federal agency to investigate. They also asked the company if there's other damage that hasn't been reported.

A spokesman said Enbridge is committed to keeping the public informed about its pipeline operations in Michigan.

Supreme Court to decide who pays for judge's legal mess

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has heard arguments in a dispute over who's responsible for paying $1.1 million to a former Dearborn court employee.

A lawyer for Dearborn's 19th District Court said Judge Mark Somers exceeded his authority when he signed an order making taxpayers responsible for liability in employment matters.

Somers was sued by Julie Pucci, who said she lost her job after she complained that Somers was sending religious messages on stationery and proselytizing from the bench. Somers said her dismissal was part of a staff reorganization.

A jury awarded $734,000 to Pucci, and legal fees were added.

Pucci's attorney, Joel Sklar, said the Supreme Court should uphold the autonomy of a District Court chief judge to indemnify employees in legal disputes. Justices heard arguments Tuesday.

Michigan agriculture director leads trade mission to China

LANSING (AP) — Michigan's director of agriculture and rural development is leading a trade mission to China.

This week's mission is the second led by Jamie Clover Adams in search of new markets for the state's farm products.

Joining her are representatives of a number of Michigan fruit producing companies and organizations. Among them are Shoreline Fruit Growers Inc., Graceland Fruit, the Cherry Marketing Institute and Cherry Central.

Some of the companies also will visit South Korea under guidance of the state agriculture department's partner, Food Export Midwest. They'll meet with buyers in Seoul.

The Michigan department has an International Marketing Program, which helps food producers and processors develop trade opportunities.

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