In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

Sep 24, 2012

Faith-based groups look to health insurance alternative

"Members of faith-based groups in Michigan could soon be allowed to share the costs of their medical bills as an alternative to buying health insurance. The state House is expected to vote this week on the measure. Several states already allow faith-based groups that share the costs of medical bills. Republican state Representative Lisa Lyons sponsored the measure. She says some families and businesses have found it’s a way to manage their healthcare costs. And that’s because there’s no guarantee anyone’s medical bills will be covered. The commitment to share the costs of medical bills is a faith-based promise, but not a legal contract. Members of health care ministries are exempt from the requirement in the new federal health care law that most people carry insurance starting in 2014. That’s led some critics to complain that faith-based medical bill-sharing could undermine the benefits of the federal health care law," Rick Pluta reports.

World's largest property auction in Wayne County

"Wayne County has finished the first round of what’s been called the 'world’s largest property auction.' The county is trying to get rid of more than 22-thousand tax-foreclosed properties by auction. More than 20,000 of them are in Detroit. But despite the glut of vacant properties, housing prices are headed up in certain areas of the city. Leaders in Detroit’s downtown and midtown areas say housing demand now outpaces supply there," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Hunters track deer virus

"State wildlife officials are looking to hunters to help track a virus that's been killing thousands of Michigan deer. Many hunters spent this weekend in the woods, a few of them deer-hunting legally, but most stalking deer ahead of next month's opening of bow season. Some 4,000 deer have died of the virus in Michigan since July. And there are outbreaks in eleven other states as well, including Ohio and Indiana. Dan O’Brien is a veterinarian with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He says the Michigan outbreak has affected deer in 24 counties. O’Brien says the outbreak will continue until a hard freeze kills off the insects that spread the virus to the deer.  The virus is not harmful to humans," Steve Carmody reports.