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Ann Arbor : In the News

232 Ann Arbor Articles | Page: | Show All

Train from Ann Arbor to Traverse City in the works?

It sounds great on the surface. But then you read all the caveats -studies, "many years off," exploratory, "no funds for this" - and realize that, like most interesting transportation ideas, Michigan will probably let it die on the vine. Let's hope our cynicism is wrongly placed.


"He said they're looking at a Traverse City to Ann Arbor line in particular because the tracks are still owned by the state and, for the most part, are in pretty good shape.

A map of the A2TC route shows the train would stop in Cadillac, Mount Pleasant, Alma, Owosso and Howell on its way from Traverse City to Ann Arbor, with the option of continuing to Detroit from Ann Arbor.

MDOT is conducting the study next year because there was an overwhelming amount of interest in the idea when MDOT created the State Rail Plan back in 2011, Bruckbauer said. The top priority that came out of the public input sessions for that plan was a passenger connection to Traverse City, he said."

Read the rest here.

Check out these techs. Google Demo investors will.

Three Detroit-area tech startups have won a chance to pitch their companies to investors lined up by Google and looking for business ideas to put their money behind.
After competing last week in the Grand Circus Detroit Google Demo Day competition, the founders of AdAdapted, GENOMENON and LevelEleven, are hoping to be picked to visit Google’s California HQ in April and spill to investors what’s promising about their companies. One or two will make the cut to make the trip to Mountainview, Calif.

“We’re very impressed by the talented entrepreneurs and innovative companies in the Detroit area. Google for Entrepreneurs partners with organizations like Grand Circus to help these local communities of entrepreneurs grow and thrive,” said John Lyman, head of partnerships and marketing for Google for Entrepreneurs.

Read more about these little companies that could here.

Contests become launchpads for Detroit startups

In the last few years, entrepreneurs are increasingly making pitch and business plan competitions part of their game plans. And more than ever, nationally televised contests are filming in Detroit. 


"A number of competitions mirroring the style of hit TV show "Shark Tank" have sprung up in Detroit,  where a downtown start-up tech scene  has taken root...

Mark Kiel's company, which developed software to interpret data about gene mutations in DNA sequencing, was founded two months ago, but he has already raised $47,000 in capital.Kiel, 37, won his money from MiQuest, the Michigan Collegiate Innovation Prize and Greenlight Best Overall Pitch.

Ann Arbor-based Genomenon has won three business-pitch competitions — allowing Kiel to bypass the traditional route of hitting up family and friends or wooing an angel from a venture capital firm."

More here.

Local school districts rank as best communities for music education

Several southeast Michigan districts – Ann Arbor, Oak Park, Bloomfield Hills, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Fraser, and Rochester – are attuned to excellence in musical education.


"This year, the NAMM Foundation designates 376  districts  as Best Communities for Music Education and 96 individual  schools  as SupportMusic Merit Award winners. These districts and schools set the bar in offering students access to comprehensive music education...

More than 2,000 schools and school districts participated in this year's survey, resulting in a 21% increase in designations."

More here.

Dickinson Wright is tops in U.S. News' "Best Law Firms" 2014 report

The legal eagles at Detroit-based Dickinson Wright PLLC have taken top national and regional awards in a litany of specialties, according to the 2014 rankings in U.S. News. The firm says it has garnered 92 first-tier rankings out of 70 practice areas overall. Within Michigan, it earned first-tier recognition in 67 practice areas.

See the rankings here.

Ford and U-M team up to open battery lab

Developing the next generation of hybrid and electric battery for autos is tricky business. Innovations don't always square with nusiness needs. Ford and U-M are hoping to close that gap by joining forces.


"The center, on the university's campus in Ann Arbor, will bring together battery makers, car companies and researchers who will test new batteries for prototype vehicles.

Ted Miller, who manages battery research at Ford, said the lab will be unique in the U.S. He said that labs currently testing new battery chemistries can't produce them in the amounts or formats needed for automotive research. And battery companies aren't always sure that what they're developing could be useful to the automotive industry."

Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor to Detroit commuter rail plans move forward

How does commuter rail service with stops in Ann Arbor, Westland, Dearborn and New Center in Detroit sound? Pretty good to us as well.  Semcog gave a presentation of what the new MiTrain line would look like for residents of Dearborn and Dearborn Heights.


"Officials are looking at providing five round trips a day when service begins in about three years. It will be run as a demonstration for the first two years. After the first two years, officials will evaluate the project and its feasibility.

They have leased 23 bi-level rail cars, rehabilitated them and have been showcasing them in various areas along the proposed line. "

Read the rest here.

Ford Motor Co. & U-M to open battery research & manufacturing lab

It seems the days of charging our cars to fuel them are drawing ever closer.


"Ford Motor Co. and the University of Michigan are opening a new battery research and manufacturing lab that they hope will speed the development of batteries for electric and hybrid cars...

The center, on the university's campus in Ann Arbor, will bring together battery makers, car companies and researchers who will test new batteries for prototype vehicles.

Ted Miller, who manages battery research at Ford, said the lab will be unique in the U.S. He said that labs currently testing new battery chemistries can't produce them in the amounts or formats needed for automotive research. And battery companies aren't always sure that what they're developing could be useful to the automotive industry."

More here.

Amtrak, state on board with higher speeds, Wi-Fi on Michigan trains

High-speed, wifi, and bike storage to boot are coming to Michigan 's trains.


"Amtrak and the state of Michigan plan to invest millions of dollars over the coming years to improve service on the state's three passenger train lines, resulting in quicker trips and more amenities for  travelers.

Upgraded tracks between Kalamazoo and Dearborn will allow trains to travel up to 110 mph in that area...

Most passenger trains through Michigan travel at a top speed of 80 mph, so the track improvements between Kalamazoo and Dearborn will be  noticeable.

To draw passengers, Amtrak opened up space for bicycle storage on its Blue Water line. Packing a bike costs a passenger an extra $10. The  Michigan Department of Transportation  also will spend about $1 million to bring Wi-Fi to the three lines by  January."

More here

Ann Arbor's Domino's Pizza debuts DomiCopter, the future of pizza delivery

Are we looking at the end of pizza delivery dudes? Domino's unveils the DomiCopter, a proof of concept that pizza delivery can be by air.
Watch the video below.

Silicon Valley company finds Metro Detroit just right

Silicon Valley's Stik moves to Detroit because of the region's resources - particularly talent.
"“We had a great network the last two years in the Valley. But the employee side was more advantages here in Detroit being a much bigger fish in a smaller pond of startups. We didn’t start here 2 years ago because we didn’t see the network of investors and advisers that we knew existed in Silicon Valley. But that was 2010. 
Now, in 2012, there’s a lot of resources here between Quicken Loan’s major investment in the tech scene and an investor group in Ann Arbor that has been very helpful.”"
Read the rest here.

State awards $5.25M to SE Michigan to fuel tech innovation

Tech entrepreneurship doesn't just happen. Sometimes it needs a push or helping hand. The state has awarded strategic funds to organizations like the Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy at the University of Michigan, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center in Plymouth, and the Macomb-Oakland University Incubator in Sterling Heights.
"The awards, which are designed to help organizations fill gaps in entrepreneurial service areas, were among several items approved Thursday by the Michigan Strategic Fund.
A total of $3.25 million in assistance will help Next Energy in Detroit, the Macomb-Oakland University Incubator in Sterling Heights and the Michigan Small Business Technology & Development Center, housed at Grand Valley State University, to provide commercialization matching funds to companies receiving federal technology research grants. Next Energy will receive $700,000 over three years; Macomb-OU will receive $766,036 over two years, and the Small Business Technology & Development Center will receive $1.75 million for one year, according to state information."
Read the rest here.

Pure Michigan Singalong shows off Metro Detroit, becomes a web sensation

Come on, you gotta have a heart of stone not to be touched by this clever Pure Michigan promotional. And at nearly 2 million views in less than 2 weeks that's a helluva successful campaign.
Let's see if I caught all of our region's reps. There's the Erebus' ghouls (Pontiac), a high falutin' toast in Rochester, Royal Oak's polar bears, a Southfield weatherman, The Henry Ford (Dearborn), Ann Arbor's Big House, Detroit's Comerica Park, Lions, DIA, and Fox Theater, an ice rink in Novi, and the Ypsilanti Water Tower. Did I miss any?
Check out the video below.

Five Metro Detroit communities make 100 best places to live list

Metro Detroit represents! Accounting for 5% of the 100 best mid-sized places in the country to live (pop 50K-300K) ain't too shappy. Who in the Mitten ranked highest? Ann Arbor squeaked in at 100. Shelby Township was 78th, Macomb Township was 84th, West Bloomfield Township was 37th, and Troy kicked butt coming in at 26th. 
Carmel, Indiana took the very top spot.
Like many places near Detroit, Troy suffered during the recession, but good times seem to be back. Auto companies' profits are rising and formerly vacant office space in Troy is filling up. Detroit's woes mean housing in the area is a bargain: The median home price is just $166,000, and property taxes are ultralow. That's a pretty good deal for a city that's been rated the safest in Michigan for 10 of the past 14 years, has great schools and the best community sports program in the state."
Read the rest here.

Coldwell Banker picks 5 metro Detroit cities as hippest in Michigan

Coldwell Banker Real Estate has started to enter the "Best Of" game, ranking communities by what they think their customers are seeking. For their first (of five) lists they evaluated the social scene in cities around the country and picked the places they thought were hippest. Nothing in Michigan made the Top 10, but within the Mitten Ann Arbor, Birmingham, Huntington Woods, and Rochester came out as tops.

Check out their list here.

232 Ann Arbor Articles | Page: | Show All
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