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West Michigan In The News

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90 new jobs in three years thanks to $2.5 M expansion of Altronics Energy

A $2.5 million expansion of a manufacturing company in Byron Township will create a projected 90 jobs in three years.

According to excerpts from MLive:

Altronics Energy was launched three years ago by the family-owned Altron Automation, a Hudsonville-based custom machine tool manufacturer for more than 23 years. The longtime auto supplier responded to the downturn in the industry by making several strategic changes in 2008, expanding into new ventures, including the medical, food and green energy sectors.

Read the complete story here.

Sparkeology receives positive attention at NeoCon

Young furniture startup Sparkeology makes a positive impact at NeoCon in Chicago.

According to excerpts from MLive:

"We're getting everyone aware of who we are," said Robin Hendrick Lane, vice president of marketing and sales. She debuted the company at NeoCon in 2010 before it formally opened.

Last year, Sparkeology took the Best of NeoCon Booth award.

Read the complete story here.

Forbes highlights Michigan's secrets to success

Forbes writer and native Michigander John Linkner writes about the six secrets Michigan has employed to make its recovery.

According to excerpts from the article:

Granted, Michigan’s infamous economic tornado is one for the record books, but historians and journalists alike need to re-sharpen their pencils and take some notes. The Great Lakes State is making a Rocky Balboa-esque recovery, and the world should pay very close attention to the secrets of a state in the midst of a miraculous turnaround.

Read the complete story here.

American Seating will launch new products at NeoCon

American Seating is one of many West Michigan commerical furniture companies preparing to head to NeoCon in Chicago June 11-13.

According to excerpts from the article:

American Seating is introducing a major launch in office furniture with the introduction of Us Chairs at NeoCon 2012 next week at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.

“Customers expressed a need for a family of chairs that gives continuity across the campus,” said Deb McDermott, American Seating’s vice president of marketing.


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Rogers Plaza has new owners

Rogers Plaza has new owners who intend to improve, rather than remove, the mall.

According to excerpts from the article:

The 51-year-old shopping center at 28th Street and Clyde Park Avenue SW, has been purchased by Sun Valley Ltd., a San Antonio, Texas real estate firm.

The sale was announced Tuesday by CBRE|Grand Rapids, the firm that has managed the 400,00-square-foot mall since it went into receivership in early 2009.

Read the complete story here.

Parents of over 5000 Grand Rapids students will receive EBT for healthy food

Parents over 5000 Grand Rapids students will receive $60 per child in EBT to purchase nutritious food this summer. There will be rules to ensure that food purchased with benefits is healthy.

According to an excerpt from the article:

The $60 stipend will be given in June, July and August. Parents were not disqualified if they already receive food stamps or other state assistance.The families of the 2,500 students involved in the program last year were allowed to remain in the program as long as they completed the consent forms.

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GRPS' Bobbi Jo Kenyon wins Michigan Teacher of the Year

Ottawa Hills' Bobbi Jo Kenyon was named Michigan Teacher of the Year. She is the first teacher in her district to win this award. 

According to excerpts from MLive:

Kenyon, a ninth grade biology teacher who also oversees the school’s instructional leadership team, has taught at Ottawa Hills for 14 years, is “passionate” about her work and “thrives” when she’s in front of students, said Rodney Lewis, the principal at Ottawa Hills who nominated Kenyon for the award.

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Basilica of St. Adalbert one of several Historic Preservation Award winners

The Basilica of St. Adalbert, The Pyramid Scheme, others among this year's Historic Preservation Awards winners. 

According to excerpts from MLive:

A century after being built, the copper domes atop the Basilica of St. Adalbert were restored in 2010 to last another 100 years. The $900,000-plus construction project at 701 Fourth St. NW in Grand Rapids was not only “a true testament to the skill and talent of” the builders and to “the perseverance, commitment and love of” the parishioners, but has “assured this wonderful landmark shall adorn our skyline for many generations to come.”

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Mark Sellers of BarFly Ventures attracts attention across the state

Grand Rapids' entrepreneur Mark Sellers was profiled by the Detroit Free Press. 

According to excerpts from the article:

What do Ayn Rand, Warren Buffett, the Titanic, rock bands, a hedge fund and Michigan craft beer have in common?
All are intertwined with the splendidly erratic career of Mark Sellers.

At age 43, with Sellers presumably only midway through life's journey, more plot twists undoubtedly lie ahead -- but let us begin with the present day, then flash back through the zigs and zags from Michigan to Boston, L.A. and Chicago before returning to his hometown.

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Grand Rapids shares Beer City USA title with Asheville, NC

After a heated online poll, Grand Rapids and Asheville, NC tie for the honor of "Beer City USA."

According to excerpts from MLive:

Nearly 56,000 votes for 31 cities around the country were cast in the 13-day non-scientific poll, which ended up being a neck-and-neck horse race to the malty end between Grand Rapids, a first-time challenger, and craft brew behemoth Asheville.
 

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Van Andel Institute makes headway in cancer research

Grand Rapids' Van Andel Institute makes a breakthrough after two years of intensive research. 

According to excerpts from MLive:

An international research effort led by a Van Andel Institute scientist has identified several new genes frequently mutated in bile duct cancer, a deadly form of liver cancer.

Read the complete story here



FastCompany reports on why you should start a business here

FastCompany sat down with StartGarden's Rick Devos and One Second Epic/Universal Mind's Joe Johnston to talk about why you should start a company in Grand Rapids. 

According to excerpts from FastCompany:

Western Michigan still vibrates with the hum of the Motor City and its auto manufacturing cluster, but it is also home to companies such as Perrigo, Herman Miller, Steelcase, and Amway, which flog everything from software to health care products. Demand for “Dragon’s Milk,” among other craft beers from New Holland Brewing Company, was the juice needed to power a $3 million expansion of its existing production plant, while Lacks Enterprises(makers of shiny chrome fittings for cars and appliances) is spending $31.9 million to build a new facility here.

Read the complete story here

Festival of the Arts 2012 poster unveiled

Artists Erwin Erkfitz, Mitchell Hess and Khristiey Menardie-Yokom create this year's unique, layered and wearable poster for Festival of the Arts. 

According to excerpts from MLive:

"From jubilant crowds, to the growing metropolis, from airships, to the parachuting ‘Le Grande Vitesse,’ Erkfitz said, "We used everyone's unique talent to create what I term as one, big hyper-doodle."

Read the complete story here. 

MLive, ExperienceGR host InstaGRam contest

You've only got two more days to submit a photo of Grand Rapids to MLive/ExperienceGR's InstaGRam photo contest.

According to excerpts from MLive:

The contest begins this Saturday, May 5. To enter the contest, take a photo of Grand Rapids with your smartphone and filter it through Instagram. Then upload it with the hashtag #experiencegr.

Read the complete story here

ArtPrize2012 poster revealed

ArtPrize revealed its poster for the 2012 event this week at LaFontsee Gallery in East Hills.

According to excerpts from MLive:

The design of the commemorative poster, created by Square One, will be translated into event signage, apparel, merchandise and more for the $560,000 competition and exhibition opening Sept. 19-Oct. 7 in downtown Grand Rapids.

Read the complete story here
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