business

Algae is usually a nuisance. The green slime is unsightly and can cause water quality problems. But one Michigan company is harnessing algae’s potential benefits, including treating wastewater. Current State talks to CEO of Algal Scientific Geoff Horst.


Shield and three swords
Valyrian Steel

We hear about a company that’s bringing a little bit of Westeros to East Lansing. Current State’s April Van Buren talks to the owner of Valyrian Steel, the officially licensed merchandiser for the HBO series Game of Thrones. 

WKAR/Kevin Lavery

There’s a lot of buzz these days about drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles have a range of uses, from military and police surveillance to search and rescue. In private hands, drones are purely recreational toys for some people, but others are capitalizing on their economic potential.

http://www.csus.msu.edu/

It’s the first week of June, soon school will be out of session, and the beaches are beckoning. Michigan is expecting a strong summer tourism season in 2015, as families plan trips to all manner of destinations across the Great Lakes State.

MI oil exec counters concerns about fracking

Jun 2, 2015
Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last week on Current State, we heard from the leader of a Michigan petition effort that's aimed at banning hydraulic fracturing in the state. Fracking, as it’s called, pumps a combination of water and chemicals into underground rock where natural gas and oil are trapped. The process crushes the rock surrounding the deposits and frees them. The growth of hydraulic fracturing is credited for making the United States the world’s leading producer of oil and gas.

Startup brings broadband to rural Kent County

May 29, 2015

Here on Current State we have devoted a lot of air time to people and groups looking to encourage small business startups in Michigan. Current State’s Melissa Benmark has the story of the founder of a small West Michigan startup, and his thoughts on how it became successful.

LSJ reporter on BWL’s settlement with former GM

May 20, 2015
Wikimedia Commons/Paul R. Kucher

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.  

Courtesy Startup Grind Lansing

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.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

Courtesy © General Motors

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.

Does Michigan need an economic “grand bargain?”

Apr 1, 2015

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.

New LSJ columnist returns to journalistic roots

Mar 17, 2015
Judy Putnam with Sue Carter
Scott Pohl/WKAR

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.

http://www.humanesociety.org/

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.

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