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Midtown : West Michigan In The News

270 Midtown Articles | Page: | Show All

Michigan lawmakers reject President's veto of bill to enhance Great Lakes

In an unusual display of solidarity, Michigan democrats and republicans voted to support a bill providing billions of dollars for water pollution cleanup, sewage control to prevent the contamination of Great Lakes beaches, shoreline protection for the Detroit River, and more.

According to excerpts from the story:

Michigan lawmakers on Tuesday swiftly rejected President Bush's veto of a bill authorizing millions of dollars for water projects in the Great Lakes region.

The House voted 361-54 in support of the first override of a Bush veto, backing a $23.2 billion water resources bill that contains dozens of water and sewer projects. All nine of the

Republicans in Michigan's delegation joined with the six Democrats in a rare break with the president.

Read the complete story here.

 


Calvin lands grant to teach engineering students entrepreneurship

Competent entrepreneurship will propel West Michigan's economic future by generating jobs and investment opportunities, and one local college is retooling its engineering curriculum to teach students how to turn an engineering idea into a business opportunity.

According to excerpts from the story:

Calvin College is planning to teach engineering students entrepreneurship skills, using a $50,000, two-year grant from the Kern Family Foundation.

“What we’re trying to do in coursework is provide more opportunities for students to think not just about the theory of engineering, but how to take an idea that has engineering aspects to it and run with that idea, whether in big companies or independent.”

Read the complete story here.


Oklahoma travel writer touts Grand Rapids' sights and sound

In a recent visit to Grand Rapids, one journalist found that the city's cultural attractions, tasty eateries, and horse-drawn carriages made a trip well worth taking. A day at the lakeshore also introduced this traveler to Michigan's natural beauty and Dutch hospitality.

According to excerpts from the story:

Just a few steps from the Ford Museum is the Van Andel Museum Center of the Public Museum of Grand Rapids — a cumbersome name for a really interesting museum. You can find a little of everything here but, unlike too many museums with varied collections, the holdings here are attractively organized and artifacts carefully chosen for quality — avoiding that grandma’s attic ambiance.

There are wonderful restaurants to be found downtown. I can personally attest to the deliciousness of the salmon and corn chowder at Leo’s while the tapas at San Chez left all of us full as ticks.

Read the complete story here.


Medical Device Consortium opens doors for new members

With a charter and membership criteria in place, a new West Michigan medical device consortium aims to leverage the members' collective expertise, attract other businesses, and market the region as a destination for medical device design, development and production.

According to excerpts from the story:

Three months after its initial formation, a consortium of medical device companies in Grand Rapids is opening the door to new members and planning to cast a wider net.

Founding members of the West Michigan Medical Device Consortium have worked since summer to draft a charter and membership criteria and are now positioned to bring other manufacturers aboard to drive momentum.

Since the consortium began coming together last summer, the WMSTI has received about 30 inquiries for other companies involved in medical devices that are interested in joining.

Read the complete story here.


Streetcar investment could accelerate Grand Rapids' revival

For about the same money it cost to build the Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids could develop a streetcar system that would return billions of dollars to the local economy, just like the streetcar system in places like Portland, OR has brought some $3 billion to that city in less than a decade. A feasibility study is underway and the results should be ready by summer 2008.

According to excerpts from the story:

The city of San Francisco has them, so does Portland, Oregon, but how about Grand Rapids?
We're talking about streetcars and thanks to the Rapid, it's becoming a real possibility to have them here in West Michigan.

Right now, It's just an idea, but one that is becoming more and more realistic. The Rapid has hired a company to look at how it would benefit the city.

Read the complete story here.


Seattle streetcar ready to roll in December

It cost $51 million to build and will be tested over the next eight weeks, but all indications are that Seattle's new commuter train is on track for it's first run in mid-December.

According to excerpts from the story:

A new South Lake Union Streetcar train rolls down Seattle's Westlake Avenue North in its first low-speed test, at 5 to 10 mph.

In the background is the image of former Sonics forward Detlef Shrempf, painted on the vacant Athletic Supply building. "Everything's working," said Steve Friend, a city engineer.

Read the complete story here.


Grand Rapids launches study of rebuilding urban streetcar system

With an eye toward spurring economic development in downtown Grand Rapids, The Rapid transit board approved an eight-month feasibility study for establishing a streetcar line downtown. The streetcar would not only connect key destination in the city's core, but would also connect areas south of the city with downtown.

According to excerpts from the story:

GRAND RAPIDS -- The streetcars some desire for downtown are inching toward the tracks after The Rapid transit board unanimously approved spending nearly $360,000 in federal and state funds for a consultant's study.

The board is asking DMJM Harris, a transportation consultant, to determine whether streetcars would work in Grand Rapids and help spur development.

The streetcar idea has caught the imagination of some local leaders.

Read the complete story here.

 


80 US cities studying, building, or expanding streetcar systems

Cities across the country are looking to cash in on the same kind of dramatic commercial and housing development experienced by Portland, OR after its streetcar system was introduced a few years ago. Billions of dollars of development and thousands of jobs are waiting to be had, so cities hungry to accelerate their revitalizations are hopping aboard the national streetcar movement.

According to excerpts from the story:

In Portland, Ore., and nearly a dozen other American cities, the whine of electric streetcar motors is fast becoming a symbol of a thriving city center.

Dallas opened a 2.8-mile line in 1989, and since then eight cities have built new streetcar lines, including Memphis, Little Rock, San Francisco and Tampa, all serving growing numbers of riders using restored cars or replicas.

Miami, Columbus, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Missoula, Grand Rapids and some 70 other American cities are studying the feasibility of opening lines, according to Reconnecting America, a national nonprofit transit research group in Oakland, Calif.

Read the complete story here.


Scottsdale studies streetcar to expand transportation choices

Light rail in Scottsdale could be one method of providing residents with broader transit options for transportation to work, shopping, and cultural destinations, and could spur development and interurban connections. A similar light rail line in nearby Phoenix is already under construction and will open in 2008.

According to excerpts from the story:

A light rail or streetcar system along Scottsdale Road is not needed to relieve congestion through the southern part of the city, but should be further studied and would fulfill the general plan by giving residents a choice on how to travel.

Hales said while Scottsdale’s transit-dependent population is small, people will ride high-capacity transit if it’s high quality. He said it’s been shown elsewhere that workers will ride bus-rapid transit to work and rail transit to places other than work. It could also lead to more development and connections to other cities.

Read the complete story here.


Young professionals will gravitate to Cincinnati streetcar

Artistic vision and design are key economic drivers for the future of West Michigan, and creative young professionals, like those in Cincinnati, are looking for more than a community of kindred spirits—they want the transit options offered in forward thinking that attract young professionals who stay, create, and build the economy.

According to excerpts from the story:

I am by definition a young professional, part of the creative class, and I am enrolled at the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.

As a creative person, it can be difficult to make it work here over a place like Chicago, New York or Atlanta, but it seems as though people are afraid to even try at times. We need to continue to prioritize the arts and place new emphasis on things like mass transit.

Read the complete story here.


Streetcar back on track in New Orleans

A vital piece of New Orleans' transportation history is back on track for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.

According to excerpts from the story:

The St. Charles Avenue streetcar will begin operating again for the first time since Katrina.

The line will officially reopen on November 10 - it will run from Canal Street to Napolean Avenue until the rest of the line can be repaired.

Read the complete story here.


Grand Rapids company returns from bankruptcy, possibly with dozens of jobs

In an era when many economists say West Michigan's industrial age is over, one Grand Rapids entrepreneur has proven them wrong by resurrecting a bankrupt company, landing a Chrysler contract, and employing 30 people—and he says that's just the beginning.

According to excerpts from the story:

Art Bott Sr. is putting his money where his mouth is — and where his heart was before he retired.

“We have a wonderful workforce in western Michigan. It’s very talented, it’s under-utilized … These people need jobs,” said Bott, the owner — again — of Grand Rapids Plastics.

Bott, 73, thought he had retired in 2001 when he sold Grand Rapids Plastics. A year and a half later, the injection molding company on Roger B. Chaffee Boulevard in Wyoming was bankrupt and ceased production.

Read the complete story here.


Grand Rapids Public Schools propose innovative effort to drive a future-oriented economy

In response to recent budget woes and other challenges the Grand Rapids Public School system has faced in recent years, school leaders have proposed public/private partnerships that will create innovative schools and prepare students to lead the city's economic growth. One group of community and business leaders has already submitted their idea for a new middle school that could begin as early as fall 2008.

According to excerpts from the story:

Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Bernard Taylor knows the importance his district plays in driving the local economy.

He's hoping others in the community do as well and will come forward to help create specialized schools, known as "centers of innovation."

The new schools could include an arts academy, a college preparatory high school or single-gender schools.

The centers of innovation could differ from traditional schools in their focus, requirements for teachers, hours of operation and length of school year. The new schools will also feature smaller class sizes and be more independent than the district's other schools.

Read the complete story here.


Grand Rapids poised to put Michigan on transit map

Detroit's civic leaders are watching Grand Rapids closely as the West Michigan city seeks federal funding for a new Bus Rapid Transit system that could revolutionize the state's transit system. If that funding is approved, civic leaders across the state say it could create the leverage needed to overhaul the state's archaic public transportation policy and spending.

According to excerpts from the story:

ROYAL OAK—Sandra Nelson is shaping big plans to literally get metro Detroit back on track with a modern, regional public transportation system.

But, as crucial as that is to helping southeastern Michigan attract young workers, lure new economy companies, and compete in the 21st century, Ms. Nelson, the energetic director of special projects for Wayne County’s Department of Public Services, is also paying close attention to what is happening 160 miles to the west, in the Grand Rapids region.

Read the complete story here.

 


Saipan welcomes WWII photos from West Michigan family

Rare photos of Saipan may corroborate the theory that Amelia Earhart spent her last days on the island in the hands of the Japanese, and the West Michigan family who owns the photos is donating them for further research. The images, taken by a WWII soldier, may help filmmakers who are attempting to document Earhart's last flight.

According to excerpts from the story:

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, USA--Recently discovered rare Kodachrome slides taken on a remote Pacific Island during World War II will lead Gregg Hagley of Grand Rapids and his two sons on a historic journey.

Staff Sergeant Raymond H. Hagley of the 73rd Bombardment Wing of the 20th Air Force took the slide photos while stationed at Isley Field on Saipan in 1944/1945. Before Hagley passed away in January 1991, he gave the slides to his son, Gregg Hagley. “I knew they were special, just how special I wasn't sure until recently,” Hagley said.

Read the complete story here.

270 Midtown Articles | Page: | Show All
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