State Briefs

TNS photo/Ellen Creager, Detroit Free PressA Star Line ferry passes under the Mackinac Bridge twice on a small detour enroute to Mackinac Island on a May morning. 

Report: Great Lakes cleanups boost economic development

ANN ARBOR (AP) — A new report says cleaning up some of the Great Lakes region's most heavily polluted areas has led to billions of dollars' worth of economic development and brought communities closer together.

The study released Tuesday was conducted by the International Association for Great Lakes Research in Ann Arbor.

It reviews efforts to restore harbors, river mouths and other spots that were contaminated with toxic wastes during the industrial boom era.

The U.S. and Canada identified 43 such "areas of concern" in the 1980s. Work remains to be done on most of them.

The report highlights 10 places where cleanups have spurred development.

Among them are the Buffalo River in New York, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, the Detroit River in Michigan and Toronto's Lake Ontario waterfront area. 

Michigan agriculture officials plan trade mission to China

LANSING (AP) — The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is planning another trade mission to China.

The fourth annual trip is scheduled for Nov. 8-12 and the agency says representatives of Michigan food and agriculture companies will travel to Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Shanghai. It's part of an effort to better understand the Chinese market and meet with Chinese buyers interested in Michigan products.

Michigan officials say China is the state's fifth-largest export market for food and agriculture products.

The Food Export Association of the Midwest will also conduct a trade mission to South Korea on Nov. 6-7, giving Michigan companies another chance to explore trade prospects.

Mackinac Bridge tokens only usable through Sept. 10

ST. IGNACE (AP) — The Mackinac Bridge Authority says will no longer accept bridge tokens for tolls beginning Sept. 10.

The authority on Tuesday announced the date. It decided last month to end their use in toll lanes because of declining use.

Executive Secretary Kim Nowack says the authority currently only see two or three customers use tokens to pay the toll each day. Most customers pay tolls with cash, MacPass cards or credit cards.

Nowack says customers can redeem leftover tokens at the bridge office or hold on to them as keepsakes.

The authority has issued tokens over the years available in rolls of 24. Commemorative token sets of two are still available for sale. 

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