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Royal Oak : In the News

120 Royal Oak Articles | Page: | Show All

Birmingham's Brogan and Royal Oak's ILG bring home industry awards

Two words: Mobile learning. Could be the future. And Royal Oak-based Innovative Learning Group took home a Gold Hermes Creative Award for their multi-part learning series.


"Royal Oak-based Innovative Learning Group has won a Gold Hermes Creative Award in the categroy of E-Communication Series for its email and video series, Mobile or Not…Here It Comes!, which is about applying mobile technology to learning."

Read the rest here.

BUT WAIT, there's more. Brogan beat out 11,000 other competing entries to win Telly Awards.


"he Telly Awards, the premier award honoring local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs, video and film production and online commercials, has named Brogan & Partners a multiple winner of its 33rd annual awards. Brogan & Partners is honored to have its projects selected among nearly 11,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries. The announcement was made by Brogan Managing Partner, Ellyn Davidson.

Two Brogan & Partners projects – “STEM Interview” on behalf of the National Defense Education Partnership and “Secondhand Rose, Secondhand Smoke” on behalf of the Michigan Department of Community Health – were honored, the latter in two separate categories. “STEM Interview” received a Silver Telly, the Awards highest honor, in the not-for-profit category. “Secondhand Rose, Secondhand Smoke” was awarded both a Silver Telly in the public service category and a Bronze Telly in the not-for-profit category. "

Read the rest here.

Welcome to Metro Detroit's tango and foxtrot economy

Dancing With The Stars has inspired locals to start cutting the rug. the result? Dance studios are growing and expanding.


"The downtown Royal Oak Arthur Murray studio has seen a slow increase in business since "Dancing With the Stars" started in June 2005, said Jeremiah Childers, manager of the Royal Oak studio. The studio held on "by its fingernails" during the recession, owner and manager Candace McKenzie said, but the student growth and an improving economy led her to decide to expand into a space on Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak that is double the size of the original location. The move is scheduled to be made next month."

Read the rest of the story here.

Metro Detroit joins the walking dead

'Tis the season! World Zombie Day is just around the corner -- have you stocked up on blood and rotting flesh? Royal Oak, Mt. Clemens, and even Lansing are shuffling onto the undead bandwagon with zombie-themed charity events. Be there or be eaten.


"Is a zombie apocalypse coming?

Metro Detroiters might wonder as much over the coming weeks.

Not only is today designated as World Zombie Day, but on Sunday, zombies will be lurching through Royal Oak, much as they will on Oct. 22 in Mt. Clemens. Zombies will even be battling vampires in a roller derby match at Michigan State University's Demonstration Hall on Oct. 29."

Read the rest here.

Here's video of last year's walk.

Royal Oak's Bruce Campbell comes home, hangs with Sam Raimi

Metro Detroit's most famous chin, Bruce Campbell, returned to his old stomping grounds for this past weekend's FanFare convention. He then dropped in with director Sam Raimi, who is filming Oz: The Great and Powerful in Pontiac at Raleigh Michigan Studios. He took a few minutes to answer five questions from the Freep.


"We always hold out hope to film in Michigan, but there are other places, other countries, that make it very appealing. We've done so much work in New Zealand, that's where we may end up doing it, ironically.

Michigan and the film business and the incentives -- that's been interesting. Seems like that big welcome mat has been taken away. It's been fun to see that resurgence of the industry there -- with people like Clint Eastwood and Drew Barrymore and now Sam working there. We'll see what happens when the dust settles.

The thing is, I think Detroit -- and Michigan -- is a viable place to shoot for other reasons than the money. But it's also hard to justify why one industry is getting such a big break."

Read the rest here.

Beaumont hailed as IT innovator

InformationWeek singled out Beaumont Health System as a tech innovator at its annual award ceremony, noting the hospital's advances in IT technology.


"Beaumont Health System has been named to the 2011 InformationWeek 500, an annual listing of the nation’s most innovative users of business technology. The list was announced at an awards ceremony this week at the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif.

InformationWeek has identified and honored the nation’s most innovative users of information technology with its annual 500 listing for 23 years. It also tracks the technology, strategies, investments and administrative practices of America’s best-known companies, including Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., General Motors Co., Colgate-Palmolive and Merck."

Read the rest here.

Solar panels power the silver screen in Royal Oak

It's one thing when a business decides to go green because it's good for the environment. It's another when they do it to improve their bottom line. Not only does Emagine's new theater / bowling alley have solar panels on its roof -- installing them made the business' finance packaging possible.


"After seven years, the solar array will have paid for itself. With a 25-year guarantee on the panels and rising electricity costs, Glantz said, the investment will cut the 71,000-square-foot theater's annual electricity bill by about 20 percent.

But Glantz said the key to completing the theater project was the solar panel investment. As part of the financing package, Emagine was preapproved for a $3.5 million subordinated second mortgage with a 20-year Small Business Administration 504 loan."

Read the rest of the story here.

Beaumont Royal Oak is top Metro Detroit hospital

Top hospital in Metro Detroit? Survey says... Beaumont. Yup, U.S. News & World Report is at it again, ranking institutions and picking winners and losers. This time it's hospitals. Sometimes we wonder how far the magazine is willing to go with this stuff. Top Doggy Daycare Center? Best Chapter for The Knights Of Columbus? And just how much influence does the Russian judge have on the rankings?


U.S. News & World Report, in its first metro area Best Hospitals rankings, today named Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak as its top Metro Detroit hospital.

Coming in second was the Detroit Medical Center's Harper University Hospital; third, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit; fourth, Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center in Dearborn; and fifth Beaumont Hospital in Troy.

Read the rest of the story here. And, of course, here.

Oakland County surfs for new ideas via crowdsourcing site

Lots of politicians pay lip service to listening to their constituents' ideas and even implementing a few here and there. Oakland County is looking to take that a step further with its new online crowdsourcing initiative.


Every city, county and state these days is faced with hard decisions about budget cuts and reorganization — and even harsher feedback from residents after the cuts are made. Oakland County, Mich., has found a way to use technology to spark that citizen-to-government communication during the decision-making process. County officials launched an online public forum so residents can be an integral part of making tough budget decisions.  

The website, http://oakgov.ideascale.com, gives citizens the opportunity to respond to questions, make suggestions and post comments. Citizens can also rank the county's proposals by voting for the ideas they like best on every issue, from technology to parks and recreation.

"Since we are using social media in so many different ways here, we thought … what is the next wave of how we engage our citizens in the process?" said Phil Bertolini, Oakland County's deputy county executive and CIO. "In a focus group, you put 20 people in a room, you ask the idea and you get 20 opinions. If you use crowdsourcing, you put out an idea and you get thousands of opinions. More minds and more ideas make for a better product."

Read the rest of the story here.

CNN/Money takes lessons from Detroit

CNN/Money magazine takes a look at entrepreneurship in Metro Detroit and how the down economy has prodded people toward that career path. It also alludes to the idea that the region should make entrepreneurship a real option at all times, not just when the economy is performing poorly.


When Paula Batchelor took a buyout last year -- figuring she was likely to be laid off if she didn't -- she wasn't worried about landing another gig. Having worked 11 years as a graphic-design project manager for a health insurance company downtown, "I knew I had skills," she says.

But Batchelor, a single mother of a 6-year-old, quickly realized just what it meant to live in one of the worst job markets in the country. By year's end, the resident of Royal Oak -- a suburb north of the city -- still had no work and couldn't make her mortgage payment. "I was feeling the pressure," says Batchelor, who's now 55.

Months of financial struggle followed. Then, in June, her older sister, Karen, an attorney who'd gone into life coaching, had a proposal. She'd used social media, including Facebook, to market her own biz; Paula had skills in project management and graphic design. Why not combine their talents and help small businesses with social-media marketing?

The firm they founded, Color Me Social, had $1,500 in sales in August, a promising, if modest, start. While the money isn't coming in fast enough for Paula to save her home from foreclosure -- she and her daughter are moving in with Karen -- Paula is hopeful that this is the beginning of her turnaround. "You have to stick your neck out and take a chance," she says.

Read the rest of the story here and more here.

Chicago Sun-Times is on board with Michigan's high-speed rail

Metro Detroit recently received $161 million in federal funds to improve high-speed rail service on Amtrak's Wolverine line between Pontiac and Kalamazoo. The Chicago Sun-Times takes a good look at the potential of this investment and how it breaks down.


About $150 million of the money awarded to Michigan will be for the section of track between Kalamazoo and Detroit. This is owned by Norfolk Southern, which wants to sell it, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said.

Michigan may buy it with a portion of the high-speed rail money. Discussions are ongoing about how much of the funds would be for the track and how much for track improvement, Magliari said.

Track improvements would increase speeds from 79 mph to 110 mph, which would bring it in line with the track Amtrak owns from Kalamazoo to the state line.

At greater speeds, Amtrak could double the number of round trips from Chicago to Detroit from three to six, Magliari said. Ridership on this route already has increased 8 percent in the past year.

The rest of the high-speed funding would be used to improve the connection from Pontiac to the state line.

Read the rest of the story here.

Woodward corridor suburbs = inner ring renewal

The inner-ring suburbs along the Woodward corridor got some good national ink last week when The Wall Street Journal explored why older suburbs could be the launchpads for new growth in the U.S.


In Lakewood, Colo., a long-shuttered mall is being rebuilt into a 22-block area with parks, bus lines, stores and 1,300 new households. Tysons Corner, Va., is undergoing a full transformation from an office park to a walkable, livable community. And officials in Ferndale, Mich., are promoting the arts scene and building affordable housing in an attempt to revitalize the small city outside Detroit. Remaking America's sprawling suburbs, with their enormous footprints, shoddy construction, hastily built infrastructure and dying malls, is shaping up to be the biggest urban revitalization challenge of modern times—far larger in scale, scope and cost than the revitalization of our inner cities.

Read the rest of the story here.

Xconomy discovers downtown Royal Oak's PixoFactor Entertainment

PixoFactor Entertainment sees video games and animation, rather than film production, as having a more positive permanent impact on the economy. Xconomy's Detroit bureau is the latest to recognize the entertainment firm's strategy for success.


Michigan's highest-in-the-nation 42 percent tax credit for filmmakers is often called the "film incentive," but if you ask the folks at PixoFactor Entertainment in Royal Oak, MI, the bigger beneficiaries are those who work on videogame and animation productions. Plus, they argue, those jobs are longer-lasting and more local than movie production.

That's why Sean Hurwitz, PixoFactor's president, is in the business. "We feel like the digital side of this incentive has greater potential to create jobs and economy—or, Xconomy [Hurwitz motions over to me, and smiles]—here in Michigan." A Hollywood film crew comes in for a short time with their own directors and actors, "underpays a lot of interns and a lot of local crews," he says, shoots the film and then leaves. But it takes nine months to a year to produce a videogame, with local animators and programmers working the entire time.

Read the rest of the story here.

Start up the tractor; plowing in Royal Oak

When you hear about urban agriculture these days, Detroit usually follows, or precedes it - depending on the story. But not in this one. This time, it's Royal Oak. And they'll be plowing this week.


The non-profit group Royal Oak Forward, which will manage farm operations and organic practices, is borrowing a tractor to start plowing later this week. Then, Johnson will plant about 25 kinds of herbs and vegetables that will be ready to eat from late May through October.

"We know the land is good to grow," Johnson said of environmental tests. "Now I'm checking for nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous so I'll know how much compost to add."

Volunteers will help tend the field and in about eight weeks they will have baskets of fresh produce ready for shareholders to pick up and to sell to the public at the market, which is less than a mile away.

Community-sponsored agriculture (CSA) is a growing trend in the United States as more people go green to cut waste, such as transportation fuel, and improve taste.

"You hear about the 100-mile diet challenge some food co-ops put out," Johnson said. "We're talking about the few-feet diet."

Read the entire article here.

It's not a dollhouse, it's an homage to Detroit

There hasn't been a shortage of interesting, weird, off-the-wall art coming out of Detroit lately. And this is no different. Local artist Clinton Snider has created "House 365." It's a small wooden cottage, modeled after some of the old housing stock still in Detroit. It's an homage to when vacancies weren't the norm. It's small like a dollhouse, but don't call it that.


"House 365" is Snider's homage to old Detroit. As the city pulls down derelict homes, the result is a gap-toothed landscape he finds haunting and mournful.

So he decided to make his own weathered wreck, a talisman from a vanishing Detroit. (For the record, he applauds clearing out blight. He just regrets the loss of that turn-of-the-century clapboard landscape.)

So what do you do with a tiny house that looks like a prop from the opening credits of "The Beverly Hillbillies?"

First Snider thought he'd move the house every day and photograph it (hence the "365"), an idea he now calls "far-fetched." Instead, he presented the house at an opening last year at Hazel Park's Tank gallery and invited visitors to sign up for a month's "deed" to the property.

And that's how the wee house landed in artist Mary Fortuna's front yard in Royal Oak.
"I was totally engaged with the sweetness of it," she says. "It's like Clint's paintings in 3-D."

Read the entire article here.

Royal Oak studio putting comic book on the tube

The Royal Oak-based production firm PixoFactor is taking Dare Comics' acclaimed comic The Hunter from the pages and putting it on the tube, DVDs, and making an interactive downloadable game. All in a days work, eh?


England's Dare Comics has announced that its critically acclaimed comic, The Hunter, is to be produced as a nine episode motion comic series by the Royal Oak production company PixoFactor.

PixoFactor is also developing a downloadable interactive game based on The Hunter, which will be released alongside the motion comic. 

Details of the game aren't being publicly released, but PixoFactor president Sean Hurwitz said that "The Hunter has a unique set of powers that have enabled us to incorporate some stunning gameplay. Linking the game to the motion comic series is going to allow us to do things the world has never seen before."

Read the entire article here.
120 Royal Oak Articles | Page: | Show All
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