State Briefs

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Agency readies decision on underwater oil pipeline supports

MACKINAW CITY (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it's preparing to decide whether to let Canadian oil transport company Enbridge install supports for its underwater oil pipeline in Michigan's Straits of Mackinac.

Enbridge disclosed Wednesday that erosion had opened a gap beneath one of two Line 5 pipelines in the channel linking lakes Huron and Michigan. The gap is about 6 feet wider than allowed under a state easement.

The company says the pipe's integrity isn't threatened, but it wants to install more than 50 screw anchors for greater stability.

Michigan has granted a permit. Enbridge says it's been waiting 16 months for the Army Corps of Engineers to do likewise.

Spokeswoman Lynn Rose said Thursday the corps recently received information it needed from Enbridge to make a decision, which will come soon.

Michigan government boosting environmental sustainability

LANSING (AP) — The state government is stepping up efforts to boost environmental sustainability by using energy-saving efforts at prisons, converting state parks and fish hatcheries to renewable energy, and taking other steps.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the kickoff of the effort Thursday.

Whitmer has directed departments to implement more sustainable practices in state buildings and reduce energy usage where possible. A pilot program has started to conduct energy audits in the departments of Corrections, Health and Human Services, Natural Resources, and Transportation.

The state Department of Corrections is moving toward "green prisons," with solar panels and energy saving measures planned at its St. Louis Correctional Facility.

Meanwhile, a pilot program in the Department of Natural Resources is planned at Seven Lakes State Park and Oden Fish Hatchery.

Mahindra looks at Michigan site for possible auto plant

FLINT (AP) — Indian conglomerate Mahindra is looking at a massive former manufacturing site in Flint for a new auto plant that could create up to 2,000 jobs.

A statement Thursday says Mahindra Automotive North America signed a letter of intent with the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust to evaluate the former Buick City site, where General Motors once built cars. Mahindra says it's also in talks with other states about possible sites.

Most of Buick City closed in 1999. Portions have already been redeveloped.

Mahindra says the plant could produce mail trucks if the company gets a contract for vehicles from the U.S. Postal Service and it could be a production site for other vehicles.

Mahindra says its manufacturing facility in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills is at capacity.

Headstones toppled at Detroit-area cemetery, police say

SOUTH LYON (AP) — Police said vandalism is blamed for the toppling of 15-20 headstones at a suburban Detroit cemetery.

Police in South Lyon got a call Thursday morning about the vandalism at South Lyon Cemetery, WDIV-TV reported. Police said flowers and displays also were knocked over.

Police are looking for the person or people responsible for the vandalism. They're asking for tips from the public if anyone knows who might be to blame.

Michigan to host 75th birthday party for Smokey Bear

ST. IGNACE (AP) — State and federal agencies are gearing up for a Michigan celebration of Smokey Bear's 75-year legacy of preventing forest fires.

Smokey will join staffers with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other partners today at Straits State Park in St. Ignace. A family-friendly birthday party is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. It will feature a fire truck open house, displays of wildland fire equipment, fire-prevention games, refreshments and an opportunity to meet the iconic bear.

Smokey has shared fire-prevention messages with the signature phrase, "Only you can prevent wildfires."

Debbie Begalle of the Michigan DNR's Forest Resources Division says the slogan is still relevant. Nine out of 10 wildfires are started by people.


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