FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — Senate OKs bill to protect Sleeping Bear
EMPIRE — U.S. Sen. Carl Levin says that Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore would enjoy greater protection under Senate-passed legislation designating 32,000 acres as wilderness.
The Senate voted this week to approve the measure, which Levin and fellow Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow sponsored.
The Democratic-led Senate approved a similar bill in December, but the Republican-led House failed to act on it.
Levin said the legislation preserves the Lake Michigan shoreline reserve “while providing important access to the lakeshore’s recreational opportunities and cultural resources.”
Levin has said the action follows 13 years of work to update the 71,000-acre lakeshore’s management plan. The park is headquartered in Empire.
U-M raises in-state tuition 1.1 percent
ANN ARBOR — University of Michigan regents have approved a 1.1 percent tuition increase for instate undergraduates for the coming academic year.
The board approved tuition levels at its meeting Thursday.
The Ann Arbor school said the tuition increase for instate undergraduates in 2-13-14 amounts to $148 for the year and is the smallest percentage increase since 1985.
The university said out-of-state undergraduates will see a 3.2 percent tuition increase, or $1,270. It said most graduate programs will increase tuition by 1.8 percent.
Smoking suspected in Ludington fire death
LUDINGTON — Police say careless smoking may have caused a fire that killed a 45-year-old man in Ludington.
Police said the fire broke out about 11 p.m. Wednesday in his second-floor apartment. Capt. Michael Harrie identifies the victim as Timothy C. Mohr.
State police Sgt. Trevor Slater said the fire’s cause isn’t certain but it may be a result of careless smoking.
He said the fire started in a living room couch where Mohr also slept and says there were cigarette butts underneath the couch.
Mason County Medical Examiner Dr. Marc Keen said Mohr died of smoke inhalation.
Livestock die in Charlevoix-area fire
CHARLEVOIX — The Kleiber family awoke early Thursday, by the sound of an explosion outside their home just south of Charlevoix on Beck Road in Norwood Township.
The Petoskey News-Review reported Thursday Marlo Kleiber ran outside and saw that her family’s livestock barn was on fire. She called 911 and within 15 minutes the Charlevoix Fire Department and Charlevoix Township Fire Department had arrived and began fighting the blaze
The barn was completely destroyed and while some of the animals that had been in the barn escaped, four piglets and some young turkeys and chickens were killed.
All members of the family are safe, as is their home.