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Ford recalling more than 160,000 vehicles

DETROIT (AP) - Ford is recalling more than 160,000 vehicles in North America for two safety issues.

The largest recall involves 159,395 Focus ST and Escape vehicles from the 2013 and 2014 model years. Ford says their engines could hesitate or stall because of a wiring problem.

Ford also is recalling 616 Focus and C-Max cars made earlier this month because their steering gears don't have the proper number of ball bearings. That can potentially degrade the remaining ball bearings and lead to a loss of steering control.

Ford says there have been no accidents or injuries related to either recall. The 616 cars are still at dealerships and haven't been sold.

Ford Motor Company will notify customers and repair the vehicles for free.


Top Snyder aide claimed tax exemption on 2 homes

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A top aide to Governor Rick Snyder says he'll immediately pay local property taxes that he says were "inadvertently" exempted on his Lansing-area house at the same time he took a similar exemption on a long-time home in the Chicago area.

Richard Baird is the governor's transformation officer and bought a house in Clinton County's Bath Township in 2011 while his wife and daughter continued living in Palatine, Illinois.

Baird shouldn't have been able to lower his tax bill in Michigan because the family took a similar Illinois principal residence exemption.

The Michigan house was worth about $500,000 last year. That means Baird may owe about $4,400 more in taxes for that year alone, plus penalties and interest. The Lansing-based news service MIRS first reported about the tax issue Thursday.


Jury rejected oil spill claim against Enbridge

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan jury has rejected two men's claims that Enbridge Inc. should compensate them for what they say are losses because of a 2010 Kalamazoo River system oil spill.

The Calhoun County Circuit Court jury in Battle Creek deliberated about 20 minutes Thursday before rejecting the claim over the spill, in which about 8000,000 gallons of oil entered Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River system.

Charles Blakeman Junior of Bellevue and Robert Patterson of Mason say the spill prevented them from guiding disabled veterans on deer hunts in the Fort Custer Recreation Area.

The Battle Creek Enquirer says about 30 cases have been filed against the Calgary, Alberta-based company over the spill and at least 20 have been settled without a trial.


Michigan's unemployment rate up 0.7 points in July

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan authorities say the state's unemployment rate rose 0.7 percentage points in the latest month, calling it a reflection of normal seasonal changes in the job market.

The state Department of Technology, Management and Budget said Thursday that the state's seasonally unadjusted joblessness rate reached 8.6 percent in July, up from 7.9 percent in June. It was 9.9 percent in July 2013.

The department says July's unemployment rates ranged from a low of 6.3 percent in the Ann Arbor region to a high of 9.8 percent in populous metropolitan Detroit.

The Detroit-area rate is up from 9.2 percent in June but down from 10.6 percent in July 2013.


Teen dies from injuries after being shot in head

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Lansing police say a 17-year-old boy has died of injuries he sustained when someone shot him in the head at a town house over the weekend.

The Lansing State Journal says the shooter fired from outside the town house Saturday and a single shot struck Richard Pruitt in the face. Police announced Pruitt's death Thursday and say they don't believe the shooting was random.

Police say four others were inside the home at the time and were uninjured. So far, no arrests are reported.


Truck driver pleads not guilty in fatal Ohio crash

DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) - The driver of a tractor-trailer involved in a central Ohio crash that killed two people and injured three has pleaded not guilty to charges including vehicular homicide.

Authorities say 58-year-old Randall Lee of Christiana, Tennessee was driving a tractor-trailer Wednesday morning on U.S. Route 23 in Delaware County when he rear-ended an SUV, triggering a four-vehicle crash.

WCMH-TV reports Lee pleaded not guilty Thursday to two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of failure to stop within an assured clear distance.

No attorney is listed for Lee.

The crash killed Curtis and Patricia Dixon of Howell, Michigan. Two other drivers suffered less serious injuries, and one passenger was flown to a hospital.


Sister Pie wins Detroit startup business contest

DETROIT (AP) - A pie company has been named the winner of this year's Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest for startup businesses.

Sister Pie uses locally sourced ingredients to create pies, cookies, breads and breakfast pastries. The announcement of the company's win came Wednesday night.

It wins a $50,000 grand prize courtesy of Comerica Bank and will receive legal, accounting and information technology services from Hatch Detroit sponsors.

Hatch Detroit was conceived in 2011. It seeks savvy entrepreneurs and business-minded individuals to submit ideas.

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