Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Legislation to weaken the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has ensnared Lansing in a spat over the agency's usefulness. 

One side is insisting the legislation tramples over ordinary citizens and the other side says the measure is too lax.

The first of the trio of bills would generate a private-interest panel with veto power over the department's rulemaking process. The other two would establish a permit appeal panel and an advisory board of scientific experts.

MARQUETTE, MI (AP)--   A group of Marquette artists has come together with an interest in growing the area's creative class and drawing creative industries to the Upper Peninsula.

Evolve MQT is supported by the Marquette Chamber of Commerce.

Tiina Harris is manager of the arts and culture division within the city's Community Services Department. She says the city adopted a 10-year Arts and Culture Master Plan four years ago with the goal of creating a community calendar and a community culture and creative alliance.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Nearly 30 projects in 18 Michigan counties will share $515,000 in funding for work on the Iron Belle Trail. 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently made the awards as part of an effort to push forward toward completion of the trail.

Funded projects were eligible to receive up to $30,000 for work including feasibility studies, preliminary construction, engineering of new trail segments, signs for trail segments and trailheads, and other uses. A list of projects getting funding is posted online.

DEARBORN, MI (AP)--   AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide have risen by about 14 cents per gallon in the past week.

The Dearborn-based auto club announced late Sunday that the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was about $2.71 per gallon. Prices are about 42 cents more than at the same point last year.

Michigan's lowest average price was about $2.64 per gallon in the Marquette area. The highest was about $2.77 per gallon in the Jackson area.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan House has approved legislation requiring state high schools to give credit for qualifying internships. 

The proposal sponsored by Iron Mountain Representative Beau LaFave cleared the chamber Wednesday. It would amend Michigan's school code regarding academic internships or similar work experiences that last at least four hours a week. The student must attend the internship for the same amount of time a typical course would entail.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan's unemployment rate edged upward to 4.8 percent in February. 

Figures released Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget show Michigan's jobless rate last month rose from 4.7 percent in January. It was seven-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate of 4.1 percent in February and unchanged from the state's February 2017 rate of 4.8 percent.

The agency says total employment was essentially unchanged over the month while the number of unemployed increased by 1,000.

MARQUETTE, MI (AP)--   An appeals court is offering sympathy to the Marquette County Road Commission, but not a favorable decision in a dispute over a new road and wetlands. 

The Commission lost an appeal on County Road 595 Tuesday. Local officials wanted to create a more direct route for trucks between the Eagle mine and a processing mill in Humboldt Township.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency raised objections over the impacts. The road commission decided to give up when the application was transferred to a different agency.

IRONWOOD, MI (AP)--   Authorities say an Ironwood fire that's blamed in the deaths of three people was the second on the same morning at the same building. 

Ironwood Public Safety Monday released updated information about the February 21 fire, which destroyed a building with apartments on two floors as well as an adjacent building.

The department says a small cooking-related fire was reported at 2:34 a.m. and extinguished. The call about the second, fatal fire came in at about 3:45 a.m.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has rescheduled its training academies for people interested in serving as instructors for the off-road vehicle safety education program.

The academies will be conducted in July and August, instead of in April and June as previously announced.

All instructors must attend a three-day academy to learn policies and procedures, classroom management and teaching concepts.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The fiscal health of each public school in Michigan now can be viewed on a new website. 

The Michigan Treasury Department says the MI School Financial Dashboard is easy to use and provides visual financial data about local and intermediate school districts and public academies.

It also features data on revenues and expenditures, enrollment and per-pupil funding. Schools are required to report such data to the Center for Educational Performance and Information.