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Michigan House Republicans have advanced a pair of bills blocking local units of government from adopting “sanctuary” policies for undocumented immigrants, although critics say the bills could interfere with local law enforcement.

Dr. Hyung Tai Kim becomes the new president next week at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids, a position he viewed as offering an “extraordinary opportunity to join an organization that believes in the things that I believe in.”

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers introduced a bill this month calling for the expanded use of microgrids, which help utilities and private customers rely on localized power generation during outages. House Bill 4477— sponsored by state Rep. Steve Johnson, R-Wayland — aims to build grid resilience by allowing customers who generate their own power to disconnect from the grid during outages.

A recent report found that Michigan leads the Midwest in clean energy jobs, but top state energy officials say the state and industry could foster a more diverse workforce.

KALAMAZOO — Sorghum is not a common ingredient in beer produced in the United States, but it is used widely in Africa, where the grain is favored for its drought-resistant properties. But a collaboration between Tillers International, a nonprofit headquartered in Scotts, about 12 miles southeast of Kalamazoo, and Kalamazoo-based Arcadia Brewing Co. aims to give patrons a chance to sample a beer made with sorghum at a tasting event on April 30.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary. CEO Jeff Mason, who has led the organization since July 2017, is optimistic about the state of Michigan’s economy in 2019, and emphasized the importance of improving the state’s infrastructure.

Here is the growth report for April 14, 2019.

Merger-related expenses flattened quarterly earnings for ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc.

GRAND RAPIDS — At 15 years old, Elevator Up LLC had come to what founder Aaron Schaap called a “big milestone.” The Grand Rapids digital design consultancy for products and services had grown nicely from the early days. Schaap began considering what the next 15 years would look like, putting together goals, and weighing what leadership and talent Elevator Up would need.

Japanese conglomerate Hitachi Ltd. plans to acquire Holland-based JR Automation Technologies LLC in a $1.42 billion deal.

KALAMAZOO — Stryker Corp. grew sales 8.5 percent during the first quarter, although net income declined.

GRAND RAPIDS — Studio Park developers announced Tuesday that five retailers and a restaurant will be included in the development.

Directors today named James McGrath as the new president and dean at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.

Independent Bank Corp. got off to what President and CEO Brad Kessel called a “solid start” in 2019 with slightly higher earnings.

Leslie Bellavance plans to return to teaching and step down this summer as president of Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University.

A $4.5 million mixed-use project is in the works for downtown South Haven.

What began as a way for a software developer to keep families and friends updated on his daughter’s condition became a business opportunity for Open System Technologies Inc. in the health care industry. After a year-long pilot with Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids-based OST has begun to pitch the CareCircle service to health systems across the U.S., starting with the more than 100 hospitals that are already clients.

Michigan is “a natural fit” for industrial hemp production, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday as the state launched an industrial hemp pilot program for the 2019 planting season. The new program allows for the growth, cultivation and marketing of Michigan grown industrial hemp.

A venture capital fund led by women investors to back women-owned startups has raised $4.5 million so far toward a $20 million goal. Belle Michigan Impact Fund LP has attracted 57 investors to date, including its first institutional investor in Toronto-based Canadian Imperial Bank Corp.

BELMONT — Trilogy Health Services LLC is planning to construct a new senior living and rehabilitation center in Plainfield Charter Township. The Belmont facility would be at 6081 West River Drive NE, on the northwest corner of West River and Jupiter Avenue, which is currently a vacant lot, said Matt Cole, senior civil engineer for Paradigm Design Inc.

A Decatur couple has pleaded guilty in federal court to multi-million dollar fraud charges involving their operation of one of Southwest Michigan’s largest corporate farms.

ATLAS Space Operations Inc., a satellite communications service based in Traverse City, has been awarded a prototyping project with the U.S. Air Force’s Missile Systems Center and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Innovation Unit (DIU).

Miniature Custom Manufacturing LLC, a high-volume injection molding manufacturer, is expanding its plant in the township of Vicksburg, 15 miles south of Kalamazoo.

New York-based real estate development and management firm RD Management LLC plans to convert a former Muskegon-area shopping center into a mixed-use development.

Two Ottawa County manufacturers announced major growth projects this week that are expected to generate $25 million in private investment and create more than new 140 jobs.

United Federal Credit Union plans to buy a former Whirlpool Corp. office building in St. Joseph for its new corporate headquarters.

Mercantile Bank Corp. began 2019 with higher earnings and strong loan growth that it expects to continue through the year.

Venture capital funds based in Michigan more than doubled the amount they invested in startups in 2018, although the money went to fewer companies.

Professional services firm BDO USA LLP has relocated its service center to a Franklin Partners LLC building at 5300 Patterson Avenue in Grand Rapids, the development firm announced today.

As PFAS emerged unexpectedly as the latest contamination scare, West Michigan-based companies are stepping up with new services aimed at addressing the problem and helping residents, businesses and regulators find answers.

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