Marla R. Miller

Marla R. Miller

As students head off to college this fall, some of them in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will be blazing a trail when it comes to new fields of study: growing and testing hemp and learning how to lead a cannabis business.

When doctors in Wisconsin wanted to put Bonnie Demos on a morphine pump for pain, she decided instead to move to Michigan and grow her own medicine.

MUSKEGON — The precarious state of the historic LST-393 Veterans Museum could help spur a major milestone in Muskegon’s waterfront development.

Unseasonably rainy weather coupled with near record-high Great Lakes water levels have left many West Michigan business owners hoping the region will dry out in time to salvage the season for visitors and tourists.

While flooding and erosion are wreaking havoc for waterfront businesses and property owners, the changes are creating business opportunities for local marine construction and dock companies, who say they’ve been busy with scheduled projects and inundated with calls in recent weeks.

MUSKEGON — City leaders continue to explore ways to move Muskegon’s retail sector forward by enhancing business districts outside of the downtown core.

MUSKGEON — Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. LLC plans to keep the beer flowing at its Western Avenue taproom for now, while fine-tuning brewing operations in its new facility.

MUSKEGON — Building on the success of the Western Market chalets and other developments, Muskegon officials continue to look for ways to expand retail offerings, support budding entrepreneurs and attract shoppers.

MUSKEGON — Two of the region’s leading academic water research institutes have forged a partnership to share resources and work together on water-related issues. Earlier this spring, Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) signed a memorandum of understanding with Michigan State University’s Institute of Water Research (IWR).

MUSKEGON — Higher Great Lakes water levels this spring should benefit the shipping industry and even recreational boat harbors, but also create shoreline erosion and other problems for docks and piers.

MUSKEGON — A new travel-friendly schedule at Muskegon County Airport continues to attract new business and leisure travelers, leading to higher overall passenger numbers. Recent spring break travel filled up many flights, and airport officials are even more optimistic as the region gears up for summer travel season.

Amid national declines in the number of people applying to MBA programs in recent years, business schools in West Michigan are reporting mixed results. While applications to the MBA programs dropped at Michigan State University and Western Michigan University, both Grand Valley State University and Central Michigan University reported receiving higher numbers of applications in recent years. Likewise, MBA enrollment trends were all over the map, with MSU and GVSU reporting more students while both WMU and CMU saw the opposite.

MUSKEGON — A deal to redevelop the former Ameribank building is making headway, but the project remains contingent on incentives from the city and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Muskegon developer John Essex, managing partner and president of Core Development LLC, submitted a formal purchase agreement to the city prior to the Jan. 30 deadline. If the project goes ahead, it would transform a partially demolished building into a new use in the core of the city’s downtown.

The recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act purported to simplify tax structures, rates and exemptions, but accountants say small businesses face plenty of nuances depending on their size, structure and profits. “One thing I have noticed, people thought they were going to be left with simpler tax laws and to some extent, some have,” said Sally Steffes, CPA and one of the partners at H&S Companies PC. “There are many variables to contend with.” 

Sunday, 20 January 2019 20:16

Muskegon DDA to step up downtown efforts

MUSKEGON — While development took off in Muskegon’s downtown in recent years, the city’s Downtown Development Authority mostly sat on the sidelines as it paid off bonds on the old Muskegon Mall.

MUSKEGON — A dozen years ago, after the demolition of the former Muskegon Mall, an eight-block area in the heart of downtown sat vacant, filled with sand, shells of vacant buildings and few people.

Similar to the city that borders its shores, Muskegon Lake’s progress has experienced setbacks and successes, with many different groups working behind the scenes to position the lake as an attractive place to live, work and play.

Thomas Zmolek considered a career in photojournalism, but life experiences and a summer science institute during high school led him down a different path, one that still put him on the forefront of social change over the last 40 years.

With a new executive at the helm, Center for Women in Transition experienced its own share of change in 2017.

Read Muskegon grew out of an informal group of volunteers providing one-on-one literacy tutoring, but the organization in recent years has shifted gears to boost its visibility and impact in the community.

Even as giving to educational causes slows nationally, two West Michigan universities remain hopeful that their capital campaigns will be successful.

A year after diversifying its focus beyond alternative energy technology, Muskegon Innovation Hub continues to find ways to reach and serve both entrepreneurs and the greater community.

Giving up a Harvard University education to help develop a high-tech wearable device for elite athletes might sound crazy to some.

As President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries continues to play out in the courts, university administrators and international students in West Michigan say they’re keeping vigilant.

Some might say Mike Goorhouse’s résumé reads like a dream. 

In five years, The First Tee of West Michigan has grown from a $35,000 seed grant to a successful nonprofit with a budget just under $1 million. 

As a business owner and housing advocate in the Heartside neighborhood of Grand Rapids, Tami VandenBerg was devastated to see so many people there still living on the streets.