Last week we learned that e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday 2014 topped $2-billion. That’s up more than 15-percent over last year. Big box giant Walmart and online powerhouse Amazon saw sizeable surges in their bottom lines. But the reports are not welcome news for everyone, including traditional brick and mortar retailers in Michigan.
Mid-Michigan is already getting a taste of winter, no matter what the calendar says. As the weather turns colder, the Lansing Board of Water and Light is preparing for the possibility of power outages.
The Lansing area, like much of Michigan, has been shaped by manufacturing. But the industry has taken a beating in the past 13 years. The state has lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs since 2001. After years of cuts, though, the industry is starting to make a comeback here in mid-Michigan.
An historic corner in downtown Lansing has been revitalized. Tomorrow is the grand re-opening of the Knapp's Centre. The event caps a $36-million redevelopment of the five-story art deco structure, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Technological change is continually reshaping the media landscape. It’s been forcing those of us in the media to adopt new ways of communicating news and information. That evolution has been especially challenging in the newspaper world. While publishers are hopeful that modest rises in online advertising and revenue will continue, a multi-year trend of overall declining ad revenue continues. According to the Pew Research Journalism Project, it dropped another 2.6-percent in 2013 compared to the previous year.
Zach Rappleye farms 1,800 acres of corn and soybeans near Jackson. Many farmers in southern Michigan experienced a cooler and wetter summer than normal, which pushed back the harvest. Rappleye says he hopes to finish by mid-December.
Orange and yellow are the colors of the season across mid-Michigan, as the fall harvest continues. After a bone-chilling winter, many areas of the Lower Peninsula saw a cooler and wetter summer than usual. Some farmers are racing the clock to harvest corn and soybeans and plant winter wheat.
In more and more career tracks, from sales to journalism to finance, an internship is required for young and new employees looking to break in. And following this trend, more colleges are now mandating internships as part of their degree requirements. But many of these internships are unpaid, which leaves these workers at the bottom of the pecking order with few workplace protections, including from a boss’s inappropriate advances and unwanted attention.
It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the Next Step Program at Peckham, the vocational rehabilitation non-profit. The program offers individualized services and support for 18-21 year olds who have a prior juvenile record.
Say you’re a woman, and you’re interviewing for a job in a traditionally male-dominated field like engineering. What qualities about yourself should you highlight in your interview? A new MSU study offers some ideas.
Just off the MSU campus, demolition crews are preparing to raze the first in a series of buildings to make way for a new multi-modal transportation center. The 40-year-old Amtrak depot will eventually come down and be replaced with a larger facility that can handle train, bus and even taxi traffic.
The ride-sharing service called Uber has been in the Lansing-East Lansing market for a couple of weeks now. Current State’s Scott Pohl took a ride with Uber driver Jeremy Kittle to learn about the new service from both the rider and the driver's point of view.
On last April’s Earth Day, the Lansing company Go Green Trikes launched its all-electric vehicle local delivery service. Go Green Trikes is the brainchild of Yvonne LeFave. She joined us on Current State’s Neighbors in Action segment this past spring to talk about her Earth-friendly service.
Last Friday, General Motors announced plans for a $37-million expansion of its Delta Township auto production plant. GM will ask the city of Lansing for a tax incentive package to help finance the project. The company will make its initial request to the Lansing City Council this evening.
As Michigan-made brews are flowing from taps all over the state this summer, a game-changer in the micro-brewing business is underway right here in Lansing. American Fifth Spirits aims to offer a variety of micro-distilled liquor to the Lansing community, as well as a historical milestone: it’s Lansing’s first distillery ever.
We’re celebrating Independence Day as a nation tomorrow, and that means fireworks. Michigan relaxed its fireworks sales law in 2012, so there are now more roadside stands and large retailers hawking their wares.
The discussion over reforms to the Lansing Board of Water and Light has continued in recent days. One topic up for debate is whether or not to extend the contract of embattled General Manager J. Peter Lark. A BWL committee has recommended another year for Lark. However, some critics have repeated their view that Lark should leave after the utility’s botched response to last December’s widespread, storm-related power outages.
We’ve all heard of 6 degrees of separation, the idea that everyone in the world is connected through links of acquaintances. Bugsy Sailor believes that with social media, the degrees separating people are even smaller.
The Pontiac Silverdome hosted the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Who, the Pope, Wrestlemania, a Super Bowl, and of course, the Detroit Pistons and the Detroit Lions. Largely unused since the Lions moved back to downtown Detroit, the Silverdome was sold in 2009 to the Triple Investment Group for about a half-million dollars. Now its assets are going up for auction.
It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the Hometown Housing Partnership, an East Lansing based organization that promotes homeownership and offers financial assistance to homebuyers.
Anyone who ever uses a computer gets hit now and then with e-mail spam or the occasional computer virus. Many are just minor hassles that try to derail our plans, but some do cause significant damage. Now imagine how often large companies and government agencies get hacked by those seeking to inflict harm. To address this, the state of Michigan is creating an all volunteer defense team, the Cyber Civilian Corps.
Horse racing fans around the country are gearing up for the Kentucky Derby next Saturday. The storied run that kicks off the quest for the Triple Crown will bring thousands of people to Michigan’s three horse tracks. Many will place their bets as they watch the Derby via simulcast. They’ll also come to cheer on local horses and riders who come to the tracks to test their mettle.
As you drive west from Ionia, Michigan, you’ll come to the little town of Saranac. Its streets are lined with a bountiful number of large old maple trees. And this time of year, it’s not uncommon to see many of them with pails and spouts attached to collect sap for maple syrup.
The Food Processing and Innovation Center is raising the funding for the estimated $5.5 million project. It’s expected to consist of a mix of federal and state dollars, along with a commitment from MSU and five industry partners. It will be located on Hewlett Road.
There are plans to build a new center here at MSU that, if realized, proponents say could have a substantial economic impact on the state of Michigan, including the creation of potentially thousands of new jobs. Current State's Joe Linstroth talked with Chris Peterson, an agricultural economist and the head of MSU’s Product Center, who says there are more than 600 mid-sized food processors in the state of Michigan. Many of these companies’ facilities are maxed out, meaning that if they want to create a new product, they don’t have the capacity to test the product or its manufacturing and packaging techniques to see if it’s economically viable.