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Michigan community sues to keep Upper Peninsula prison open

MARENISCO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A township in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is suing to stop the closing of a local prison.

Marenisco Township in Gogebic County says the state didn’t do an economic-impact study, as required by law, before deciding to close the prison. A judge, though, on Monday rejected a request for a restraining order that would have prevented the prison from being shut down. The Corrections Department in August announced plans to close the Ojibway prison in the months ahead.

The prison has 203 employees, including some who live in Wisconsin. Local officials say closing the prison would greatly harm the economy.

Chris Gautz, a spokesman for the Corrections Department, declined to comment on the lawsuit, although he says department officials know the economic effects will not be negligible. Ari Adler, a spokesman for Gov. Rick Snyder, says the state is following up on recent meetings about economic-development work in the area.

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