Four months of negotiations between Lansing’s Board of Water and Light and the utility’s former General Manager, Peter Lark, concluded last night.
BWL commissioners agreed unanimously to settle with Mr. Lark for $650,000 after his January dismissal “for cause” by those same commissioners. A dismissal “for cause” implies employee misconduct. Current State gets an update from LSJ reporter Steven Reed, who has covered the BWL since the 2013 ice storm that eventually led to yesterday’s agreement.
Few if any Lansing success stories compare with that of Two Men and a Truck. The moving company began in 1985 as an after school endeavor with an advertising budget in a ceramic dish. Today, founder Mary Ellen Sheets leads a company whose revenue clears $300-million annually. Two Men and a Truck has locations in 39 states and four countries. It has completed roughly five million moves. It also donates about two and a half million dollars in moving services annually.
There’s no shortage of talk in Michigan about renewable energy sources. But despite all our efforts to go green, our state is still very dependent on fossil fuels. Recently, a Traverse City-based oil and gas company has been looking at an area in and around the city of Mason as a possible drilling site.
General Motors has been around for 106 years, and they’ve built a lot of vehicles. In fact, that number has recently surpassed 500-million. Half a billion Chevys, Cadillacs, and, of course, Lansing-built Oldsmobiles, and others. It's an amazing number. That’s far more than any other car company.
Integrity. Respect. Service. Excellence. For its 313,000 members around the world, those are the stated values of International Toastmasters. Toastmasters’ focus is on developing communication and leadership skills in its members.
There are few issues of public importance in Michigan that the Michigan Chamber of Commerce does not weigh in on. The state chamber is the advocate for businesses and job providers across the state. It assists more than 6,000 member employers, trade associations and local chambers in the legislative, political and legal process.
Last week, the organization Business Leaders for Michigan gathered in Lansing for one of its periodic Leadership Summits. The group’s mission is advance strategies to make Michigan a top ten state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. According to Detroit Free Press business columnist Tom Walsh, those in attendance which included the CEOs, Chairpersons and Senior Executive of Michigan’s largest companies and Universities, spent a good deal of time lamenting the lack of a cohesive economic growth agenda for the state.
A well-established policy advocate in Lansing is beginning a new chapter in her career this week. Judy Putnam has been the communications director of the Michigan League for Public Policy for seven years. This week, she returns to her roots in journalism as a columnist for the Lansing State Journal.
Michigan State University has always been known for its strong Agriculture and Natural Resources programs. The university is in the midst of its 100th annual ANR Week, which showcases the sciences of farming and environmental stewardship. One recent conference highlighted farm sustainability into the 21st century.
You might not guess that Michigan is a haven for seafood, since we’re so far from the ocean, but Michigan has long had thriving commercial fisheries, and aquaculture of fish and shrimp has grown by leaps and bounds in the last thirty years. So, what does the future hold for the state’s seafood industry? That’s the focus of the first annual Michigan Seafood Summit taking place tomorrow at MSU’s Kellogg Conference Center.
The cubicle gets a pretty bad rap. The boxy workspace has become almost synonymous with isolation and corporate drudgery. But that’s not what its creator Robert Probst intended when he launched his innovative “Action Office” design in 1964.
Winter is still holding a firm grasp on Michigan and much of the country. In a state surrounded by fresh water, it’s imperative that the Great Lakes and the rivers which feed them are kept open for commerce. That’s the job of the United States Coast Guard, which operates several icebreaking ships on the lakes.
You’ve probably seen the picture come across your Facebook or other social media at some point this winter. A sign that reads “Hell” with icicles hanging off the bottom. Don’t worry, it’s not a sign of the end times, it’s just pointing you in the direction of Hell, Michigan, a small community northwest of Ann Arbor. While Hell might be frozen over, it’s a hot commodity on the real estate market, and for the price of $999,666, you could own a piece of it. But, you’ll have to beat Anthony DVS to do it.
Earlier this month, the Michigan Land Use Institute floated the idea of a new passenger train service from Ann Arbor to Traverse City. It’s a complicated process, but it appears that one of the biggest components is getting people excited about it.
It’s still too cold for spring planting, but the legislative issues Michigan farmers care most about are heating up again. Yesterday, dozens of crop producers from across the state met in Lansing for the annual Lansing Legislative Seminar, sponsored by the Michigan Farm Bureau. Farmers met in conference sessions to talk about a number of current issues, and many had a chance to speak one on one with their local lawmakers.
Economic developers often refer to Michigan State University’s FRIB as a “game changer.” The $730-million nuclear science facility, set to launch in around six years with around 400 employees, will be the most powerful rare isotope research site in the world. It will explore the physics of atomic nuclei, with potential applications in medicine, defense and other areas. But what other economic impacts might stem from FRIB and from Niowave, another established particle acceleration firm based in Lansing?
Gradually, Ann Arbor is becoming known for a remarkably futuristic technology: the self-driving car.
This spring, work is expected to wrap up on a 32-acre “driverless town” on the outskirts of the city. There, Google and others will be testing vehicles featuring an array of cutting edge technology.
One goal is a driverless vehicle not only programmed to follow a particular route, but also to avoid all kinds of less predictable developments: mistakes by other drivers, changes in the road surface, weather and so on.
For generations, National Geographic magazine has brought images of the world, both stunning and subtle, to millions of people. It’s parent organization, the National Geographic Society, was founded in 1888 by 33 men whose ranks included John Wesley Powell, the explorer who led a famous expedition to the Grand Canyon in 1869. Today, National Geographic continues its scientific and educational mission in the digital age. Susan Goldberg is the magazine’s editor in chief.
Business watchers in Michigan are heralding some good news in the start-up world. A new report released by the National Venture Capital Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP finds venture capital investment in Michigan was up nearly 100-percent in 2014 from the previous year.
Barriers have developed that are standing in the way of advanced energy use in Michigan. That’s according to a report released recently by Michigan’s Institute for Energy Innovation. The institute says its report is the first serious effort to identify those barriers.
This post-Super Bowl Monday gives the New England Patriots NFL bragging rights for the coming year. But who’s number one in the combined professional and college football world? According to the personal finance-social media network WalletHub, it’s East Lansing.
All this week, we’ve been taking you to the Detroit Auto Show to see what’s new, what’s groundbreaking, and what’s just plain fun. On the main floor of the auto show, you can see a massive 3D printer, and it’s printing a car. And if you venture to Hall E in the Cobo Center, you can see the finished product.
Current State's Scott Pohl talks with Lee Herge, Chief Operating Officer of the Chandler, Arizona based Local Motors.
If you’ve been going to the Detroit Auto Show over the years, you know that Cobo Center has undergone an enormous transformation. A $279-million dollar multi-year renovation is nearing its end. Inside, the changes have included new uses for the former Cobo Hall, the former home of the Detroit Pistons and numerous rock concerts. Fixing Cobo up was crucial to keeping the Auto Show in Detroit, but lots of other convention business is heading to the Motor City as a result.
The Detroit Auto show is in full swing in downtown Detroit. Two very different automakers are grabbing a lot of the electric vehicle attention at the Cobo Center this week. Current State's Peter Whorf has the latest on the electric cars on display at the North American International Auto Show through Sunday.
Companies sometimes try to look more environmentally friendly than they are, but a new study indicates they might also downplay their “green” achievements, depending on who’s listening to their message.
A national organization designed to inspire and educate entrepreneurs is coming to Lansing. It’s called Startup Grind. The Lansing Startup Grind will hold its first meeting on Thursday night. Startup Grind was formed in 2010 and has grown to 150 cities in 65 countries.
What’s made in Poland and is named after the Spanish word for waterfall? It’s the newest convertible from Buick, the Cascada, unveiled this week at the Detroit Auto Show. The North American International Auto Show is in full swing at Detroit’s Cobo Center this week. Current State will bring you all the latest these next few days in our NAIAS series.
More than one auto writer has taken to calling the Big 3 automakers “truck companies that also make cars”. Trucks and SUVs have become the most successful categories for automakers in recent years, particularly for General Motors and Ford.
There’s nothing quite like the scent of a freshly cut Douglas fir to put you in the Christmas spirit. Strapping one to the top of your car and taking it home to string with lights and homemade ornaments is a holiday tradition for a lot of families. But Christmas trees aren’t just a place to put the presents under. They’re also a multi-million dollar industry.
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.