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Airline travelers should prepare to dig deeper or pack lighter, as many of the biggest U.S. airlines have now raised the price for checking luggage.

American Airlines, the largest air carrier by passenger volume, is the latest to do so, announcing Thursday that it will raise fees from $25 to $30 for the first checked bag and from $35 to $40 for the second checked bag each way on flights to and from destinations within the U.S., North America and the Caribbean. The airline will begin charging the higher fees Friday, Sept. 21.

Florence may have concluded its crawl over the Carolinas, but officials are warning residents not to let the fairer weather deceive them. For days, the storm dumped relentless rain — in some places around three feet — and as all that water continues to make its way downstream, rivers keep on rising.

Officials have explained the mysterious closure of a New Mexico observatory earlier this month, saying they were investigating one of the facility's janitors for possession and distribution of child pornography.

The Sunspot Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak was shut for 11 days for "a security issue," and its closure drew cheeky speculation that authorities were investigating the presence of UFOs.

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Republican National Committee chair Ronna Romney McDaniel was in Lansing Friday. Her visit comes on the heels of a controversial health care vote. 

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  Mecosta County officials are asking for public input on plans to improve broadband connectivity.

Some three years ago, Mecosta County got its first broadband connection. That technology, officials say, is already becoming obsolete. They’ve launched a survey to help gauge  what kind of internet speeds residents would like to see..

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Caden Crawford

A new report, from the Michigan League for Public Policy, looks at the real cost of living in each of Michigan’s 83 county and calculates the income needed to make meet basic needs.

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Law enforcement and pharmacists are working together to curb methamphetamine production in the state.

It’s called the “Anti-Smurfing Campaign.”

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Michigan residents are encouraged to take precautions as warmer months approach and tick seasons begins.

State health officials say in recent years, cases of tick-borne diseases, particularly Lyme disease, have been increasing in Michigan. 149 cases of Lyme disease were reported in 2015, and 221 in  2016.

Officials say the ticks that spread Lyme disease have been spreading from the Upper Peninsula and western Michigan to new locations in the Lower Peninsula.

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A man convicted of murder based on DNA evidence says he deserved to have his own court-appointed DNA expert as part of the defense team. The Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether he’s right.

Tanya Harris had been dead 20 years -- she was strangled and her body left in a vacant building -- when Johnny Ray Kennedy was convicted of her murder based on DNA evidence.

A state Senate committee holds a hearing Tuesday on bills to outlaw female genital mutilation in Michigan. It’s already a federal crime with a penalty of up to five years in prison. The bill’s sponsors say that’s not tough enough.

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A small crowd that held a May Day rally in front of the state Capitol has a big ambition – to organize ballot campaigns that will support each other. The groups include efforts to legalize marijuana in Michigan, shut down an oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac, and to change the redistricting process.

Democrats in Lansing have renewed their mission for a Voter Bill of Rights.

Democrats in the state House attempted to pass a resolution to amend the Michigan Constitution last year. This time, State Representative Jon Hoadley is spearheading the effort.

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Carol

A 70 year old Flint man was sentenced this week for returning more than ten thousand pop cans and bottles to illegally collect on Michigan’s ten cent bottle return.

State officials say John Custer Woodfill partnered with an Indiana scrap dealership that bought uncrushed cans from residents at 60 - 80 cents per pound.

Andrea Bitely is the press secretary for Attorney General Bill Schuette. 

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