In brief

Strong investor interest as State of Michigan sells more than $149 million in enviro bonds

LANSING — State Treasurer Nick Khouri today announced that the state of Michigan successfully sold more than $149 million in General Obligation Environmental Program bonds.

The sale came with strong investor interest as 10 underwriters submitted competitive bids to purchase $149.2 million in tax-exempt bonds with maturities ranging from 2027 to 2033. Bank of America Merrill Lynch was the winning underwriter with a 3.22 percent true interest cost bid.

“Today’s bond sale shows that investors are willing to put their dollars behind Michigan,” Khouri said. “As Standard & Poor’s acknowledged when they upgraded Michigan’s credit rating, our state has worked hard to improve its financial position and economy in recent years. I am very pleased with today’s sale, which continues to reaffirm Michigan’s comeback.”

The bonds are being issued under the Great Lakes Protection and Clean Michigan Initiative Program and will primarily support environmental contamination remediation, water infrastructure, asset management plans, and water quality monitoring in communities across the state.

Prior to the bond sale, Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s Investor Services and Fitch Ratings conducted a thorough review of the state’s economy and finances to determine a credit rating.

Based on the improvements to Michigan’s economic and financial conditions since the Great Recession, S&P upgraded the state’s credit rating from AA- to AA with a “stable outlook.” Moody’s and Fitch affirmed their ratings respectively at Aa1 Stable and AA Stable. — G.G.

Influenza A identified in Michigan residents with exposure to swine

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Livingston County Health Department (LCHD) have identified two confirmed cases of influenza A in individuals with exposure to swine at the Fowlerville Family Fair.

The fair took place July 23-28, and several pigs from the fair tested positive for swine flu on July 27. Further laboratory testing is underway to determine if the flu viruses found in the swine and the ill persons are the same strain. Additional fair attendees are also reporting influenza-like illness and are being tested.

LCHD, in coordination with the Fowlerville Fair Board, reached out to swine exhibitors, their families and attendees who visited the swine barn at the fair shortly after receiving the test results to notify them of possible exposure to infected pigs. The LCHD also instructed healthcare providers in the area to watch for patients presenting with respiratory symptoms who report exposure to swine or who visited the fair.

“We are urging those who visited the swine barn at the Fowlerville Fair to monitor their health and follow up with their healthcare provider if they start feeling ill,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “It can take up to 10 days for symptoms to appear and some individuals can develop serious complications.”

Symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the seasonal flu and can include fever, cough, runny nose and sometimes body aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Sometimes swine flu causes severe disease even in healthy people, such as pneumonia which may require hospitalization, and even death.

Individuals with health questions can call the LCHD Nurse on Call line at 517-552-6882 and leave your name and phone number and someone will return your call as soon as possible. — G.G.

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