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New laws improve public safety

New laws taking effect this summer will help keep dangerous criminals off the street.

Public Acts 457-459 of 2014 (SB 105-107) allow DNA samples to be collected at the time of arrest for all felonies. The new laws provide law enforcement with an important tool to conduct more accurate investigations more quickly to help identify suspects. If a person is not charged or convicted, any record of the individual's DNA sample will be destroyed.

Previous Senate legislation that expanded DNA collection has already been successful at solving past crime cases sooner. The new laws will further aid that effort and help prevent violent repeat offenders from committing more crimes.

Currently, 28 states and the federal government require DNA samples for all or certain felony arrests.

July jobless rate lowest since August 2001

Michigan's unemployment rate dropped to 5.3 percent in July, the lowest monthly rate in 14 years!

The month's jobless rate represents a decline from the state's July 2014 rate of 7.0 percent. The rate matches the national average.

State officials also noted that Michigan's labor market has outpaced the national growth rate in payroll jobs so far in 2015. In fact, payroll jobs in Michigan rose in six of the first seven months of this year.

Search for unclaimed property

Did you know the state of Michigan holds millions of dollars in lost or forgotten assets from dormant bank accounts, uncashed payroll checks, valuables left in safe deposit boxes, inactive stocks and other property?

You can find more information and check to see if your name is on a list of unclaimed property at And remember, you do not have to pay a fee to get your money back by contacting the Department of Treasury directly.

2015 final Adopt-A-Highway cleanup date set

The fall Adopt-A-Highway pickup, scheduled from Sept. 26 through Oct. 4, wraps up 25 years of volunteers keeping Michigan's highway roadsides clean!

Three times a year, volunteer crews perform a valuable community service by picking up litter and debris from the highway roadsides in their designated area. Adopt-A-Highway volunteers collect about 70,000 bags of litter annually, an estimated $5 million value to the state.

Sections of highway are still available for adoption. Volunteers include members of civic groups, businesses and families. Participants must be at least 12 years old and each group must include at least three people. Check the MDOT website at for more information.