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      Billboard battle

      A newly minted Michigan law seeks to somewhat limit the growth of digital billboards across the state, in some cases requiring companies to trade in three unused permits to put up one electronic outdoor sign along a highway.

      The measure signed Thursday by Governor Rick Snyder also may reduce the number of existing billboards by making sure new digital incarnations are farther apart than regular billboards now have to be.

      The governor's signature caps a two-year process to bring Michigan into compliance with federal rules, but one that got tied up amid wrangling over other issues.

      Michigan has around 14,500 billboards and, under a 2007 moratorium, is capped at issuing more permits overall. Fewer than 200 of the billboards are digital and mostly are in larger metropolitan areas.