State Round Up

Marshall Twp.: 840,000 gallons of oil leaks into Kalamazoo River
MARSHALL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A pipeline company says 840,000 gallons of oil has leaked into a creek that feeds into the Kalamazoo River in southwestern Michigan.

The oil leaked Monday from a 30-inch pipeline that carries about 8 million gallons of oil per day from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario.

The Battle Creek Enquire says the leak estimate comes from Chicago-based Enbridge Liquids Pipelines. Company General Manager Tom Fridel says the cause remains under investigation.

The oil spilled into Talmadge Creek, which flows northwest into the Kalamazoo River. The site is in Calhoun County’s Marshall Township, about 60 miles southeast of Grand Rapids.

Authorities have evacuated two homes near the leak.

Lansing: Companies selected to run Michigan insurance pool
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials have picked Priority Health and Physicians Health Plan of Mid-Michigan to manage a high-risk health insurance pool expected to begin enrolling members later this year.

The Michigan Association of Health Plans says the state selected the two nonprofit companies to handle a pool that’s expected to be set up under the federal health care overhaul passed earlier this year.

The insurance plan will be available for those who have been denied insurance because of pre-existing health problems.

Similar high-risk pools exist in at least 30 other states. States such as Michigan that don’t now have a pool have to set up their own or let the U.S. government run one.

The pool would operate until 2014.

Lansing: Michigan legislative hopefuls raise $17.3 million
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A new analysis says candidates seeking to get elected to the Michigan Legislature have raised about $17.3 million combined so far this election cycle.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network released the review Monday after looking at filings made by 663 primary election candidates for the House and Senate.

All 148 seats in the Michigan Legislature are up for election  this year. The primary election is Aug. 3.

Combined fundraising for House candidates is down 3.8 percent from 2008 and up 11.4 percent from 2006.

Senate fundraising is up 1.7 percent from 2006.

Candidates had a deadline of late last week to turn in their latest campaign fundraising reports to the state.

Lansing: ‘Tea Party’ group submits Michigan candidate list
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A self-proclaimed Tea Party organization seeking to become an official political party in Michigan plans to run a limited slate of candidates this November.

A list submitted to state election officials and released Tuesday by the secretary of state’s office says The Tea Party has not nominated a candidate for governor.

But The Tea Party says it did nominate candidates for secretary of state and attorney general at a convention last weekend. The group also nominated candidates for two of Michigan’s 15 congressional districts, six of 38 seats in the state Senate and eight of 110 seats in the state House.

Several Michigan tea partiers say the organization seeking to get on the ballot is a sham. They’re trying to keep the Tea Party name off the ballot.

Lansing: Late plans develop for Michigan governor’s race
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s candidates for governor are making late campaign plans headed into the Aug. 3 primary.

Republican Rick Snyder will debut a TV ad featuring Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. on Tuesday. Ford endorsed the Ann Arbor businessman last year.

Republican Attorney General Mike Cox will be joined by ex-Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee at a campaign stop in Grand Rapids on Thursday.

Other Republicans on the primary ballot campaigning this week are Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra and state Sen. Tom George.

Democrats on the primary ballot are Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and House Speaker Andy Dillon.

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