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Michigan adds biofuels stations as part of I-75 Green Corridor Project

With two new biofuel stations near I-75, it's now almost entirely possible to make a green trip down I-75 from Michigan all the way down to Miami.

Excerpt:

"Thanks to a huge, six-state partnership, Michigan drivers now have greater access to the biofuels E85 ethanol and biodiesel in a B20 blend. One E85 station is now open at the BP station in Romulus and one B20 station located at the Oasis Trucking Center in Detroit.

The week of June 9-13, 2014 marks the celebration of this project that is five years in the making. In 2009, an ambitious, multi-state project started in Knoxville, Tennessee. Through a grant funded by the Department of Energy Clean Cities Program, the I-75 Green Corridor Project began with the goal of allowing any American driver to traverse any portion of I-75 and be able to make the entire trip running on either biofuel."

More here

Failure is in the eyes of the beholder at Failure: Lab events

In a refreshing twist on the arguably cliched "failure breeds success" stories told at conferences around the country, at Failure: Lab events, entrepreneur presenters leave it up to the audience to make what it will of their failure stories.

Excerpt:

An entrepreneur told a Detroit audience about how he had failed as a father, husband and businessman.

In the crowd sat a riveted Jordan O'Neil. At least until the speaker intoned in the inevitable "but," followed by his tale of second-chance success.

"He basically told a story that grabbed the full attention of the 800 people in the crowd because it was so different," O'Neil said. "What if he had dropped the mic and walked off the stage — just left it there?"

Thus was born the idea for Failure: Lab. He gathered three friends and developed what would become an event featuring six speakers sharing 10-minute failures — straight with no "lessons learned" chaser. The audience is left to glean the meaning and encouraged to share its thoughts on social media as well as notecards that are collected afterward.

It's working, at least in O'Neil's home state of Michigan. During the past year, Failure: Lab has come to theaters in Grand Rapids, East Lansing and Detroit, and its return Friday to Grand Rapids is sold out. Now, his team believes stumbling self-help for the 21st century can succeed beyond its comfy confines — they're planning shows in New Orleans, Mexico City, Brooklyn, New York, and possibly Baghdad."

More here.

Why people don't say they're from Detroit

Jalopnik Detroit gives the skinny on the ins and outs of Metro Detroit's suburban personalities.

Excerpt:

"So why do people get all offended about mistaking Detroit and [insert suburb here]?

Like a lot of things around here, it's tied to the race and class divisions that were drawn decades ago. If someone's from Highland Park, TX, they're going to say they're from Dallas. If someone's from Highland Park, MI, they're going to say they're from Highland Park.

It's not as easy to say "I'm from Detroit" when so many politicians and residents over the years have done all they could to disassociate themselves from the city. And as I've pointed out several times here, Detroiters themselves have an odd complex about identifying themselves that's a mix of city pride and stubborn resistance."

More here.

Construction on the comeback in Southeast Michigan

Thanks to new investment in Detroit-area businesses and public transportation, the construction industry is finally hammering away again.

Excerpt:

"The construction industry in Metro Detroit and Michigan as a whole is part of a comeback story that needs to be told, an expert in the field told a local news website.

Chris Fisher, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan, told CBS Detroit  the state is undergoing a true renaissance  after years of dormant activity.

"We’re seeing more jobs, we're seeing better jobs and we're building again," Fisher said. "We suffered more than most industries did in Michigan and to see folks getting back to work, to see backlogs improving — it's quite a comeback story and we're thrilled to be a part of that."

There are several projects in downtown Detroit that have appeared to lead the way in Southeast Michigan including  renovation of the David Whitney Building  and plans for the $140 million M-1 Rail project."

More here.

Detroit's Midtown one of 10 best up-and-coming neighborhoods, says USA Today

USA Today mentioned Detroit's Midtown in the same breath as must-visit (or must-live) neighborhoods in Portland, New Orleans, Santa Fe, and the like.

Excerpt:

"The heart of the city,  Detroit's Midtown  is rapidly developing into a surprisingly well-rounded residential area while featuring an abundance of restaurants, galleries, community gardens and markets. Dedicated local entrepreneurs have made Midtown an attractive hub for small businesses with high-end shops like  Hugh  and  Nora, eateries like  Maccabee's at Midtown  and  Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company  and  Shinola, which makes American-made bicycles, watches, leather goods and journals. Midtown is at the core of the city's M-1 Rail development and non-motorized transportation plans will soon connect the district to Eastern Market and other neighborhoods via greenways and bike paths."

More here

Royal Oak named to national Top 10 Best Cities for Kids list

Royal Oak's schools and high quality of life make it one of the country's best places to start and raise a family, according to Livability.com.

Excerpt:

"Royal Oak, Mich., offers children a significant advantage with its highly-rated schools, progressive library system and strongly supported recreational programs. Both parents and children will benefit from Royal Oak’s funky, fun downtown. The city’s more than 50 parks and fun attractions, such as the John Lindell Ice Arena and Detroit Zoo, give kids plenty of fun things to do. Parents will appreciate the city’s below-national-average crime rate."

More here.

National Main Streets conference & events land in Detroit, Ferndale this weekend

Detroit and area downtowns are serving as the backdrop for 1,200 of the nation's leading downtown revitalization experts, who are convening in downtown Detroit and Ferndale starting this weekend.

Excerpt:

"The Detroit suburb of Ferndale is among Michigan communities where downtown revitalization efforts are considered successful. Work has turned West Nine Mile from a bleak, dusty four-lane road into a walkable commercial strip with most storefronts filled...

"There's so much enthusiasm," said Patrice Frey, the Main Street Center's president and CEO. "After I visited Detroit last May, I told my husband, 'There's a really cool energy in Detroit. It feels like the next big thing.'"

More here.

Register by June 6 for Michigan Shifting Gears job re-training program

Register by June 6 for Michigan Shifting Gears, which kicks into session on June 17.

Excerpt:

"The program is designed to help experienced professionals, returning veterans, stay-at-home parents and others facing a career crossroads fine-tune their skills to fit the needs of small businesses, entrepreneurial start-ups, and non-profits.  Launched in 2009 by Ann Arbor SPARK and Sensei Change Associates, Michigan Shifting Gears is a unique opportunity for seasoned professionals and other transitioning job seekers to learn how to put their talent and experience to work in "new economy" career opportunities."

More here.

In time for grill season, stuffed chicken burgers become a Michigan & East Coast delicacy

Stuffed chicken burgers have lit a fire under their maker, Great Fresh Food, which is rushing to meet the demand.

Excerpt:

"Most burgers can be made on a grill in just a few minutes, but Jack Aronson and Dave Zilko's burger business strategy took about 2 ½  years to reach serving temperature for the masses.

Now their time and $6 million investment appear to be paying off as their  Jack's Special Grilled stuffed chicken burgers have hit the shelves in Michigan and on the East Coast, and the 26-employee parent company, Clinton Township-based  Great Fresh Food, fights to keep up with the unexpected level of demand."

More here.

LTU selected as USA national organizer for World Robot Olympiad

LTU is taking a principal role in the World Robot Olympiad Association, which runs a global LEGO robotics competition that draws participants from around the world. LTU will also be hosting the USA competition finals next September.

Excerpt:

"The Olympiad started in Singapore in 2004. This year over 17,000 teams are participating. Each country has its own competition, and the winning teams from each country are invited to attend the World Robot Olympiad to compete for gold, silver and bronze medals.

This year's finals competition is scheduled to be held in the Olympic city at Sochi in Russia  Nov. 21-23. The event will be organized by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Industry, and the Ministry of Communication of the Russian Federation. Participants from over 36 countries – including the United States for the first time – will be offered accommodations in the Olympic Village hotels and apartments."

More here.

'Eloise' thriller feature film begins shooting in Wayne County

A dark, creepy piece of local history will be daylighted again with the filming of Eloise, a psychological thriller based on the lore surrounding the defunct insane asylum in western Wayne County.

Excerpt:

"The psychological thriller will utilize locations throughout Wayne County, with production offices based in Detroit's Masonic Temple...The project is expected to hire 117 Michigan workers – including more than 20 credited Michigan actors – with a full time equivalent of 51 jobs.

Eloise  takes place inside a defunct insane asylum of the same name.   At one point in time, it was the largest institution of its kind, a city unto itself.   Set in modern day, Jacob Martin and his three friends break into the abandoned institution in hopes of finding a death certificate, which will provide Jacob with the rights to a sizable inheritance.   While inside the asylum, the group finds that the institution houses a horrifying history as well as the truth about their own tragic pasts."

More here

And more on the legends of Eloise here.

Automation Alley awards FIRST robotics scholarship

With the aid of scholarships, high school and college students are gearing up for careers in robotics, an A+ industry in Michigan.

Excerpt:

"Automation Alley, Michigan's largest technology business association, has selected Brett Opel, a senior from Clarkston High School, as its FIRST robotics scholarship recipient for 2014. The scholarship, supported by the Automation Alley Fund, was created to recognize high school seniors involved in FIRST robotics that are interested in pursuing a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) course of study at a Michigan college or university."

More here.
 

Tonight is Bike Nite in downtown Ferndale

Go on a group spin on your bike tonight in downtown Ferndale from 6-8 p.m. The Downtown Ferndale Bike Shop will also be giving bike helmet adjustments and the Ferndale police will be on hand to license your bike.

Get the details here.

National Main St. Conference's Get in Gear reception to be held in downtown Ferndale on May 17

You're invited to Get in Gear, the welcome reception for the National Main  Street Conference taking place in Detroit. The kickoff is at the Rust Belt Market from 6 - 9 pm, Saturday, May 17. 

Get the details here.

Royal Oak is one of nation's 10 most exciting small cities

Chances are you won't lack for entertainment in Royal Oak. When it comes to nightlife, the active life, food options, and a younger population, it's right up there among the nation's very best small metros.

Excerpt:

"We can't say we're too surprised to see Royal Oak in our top 10. After all, the city was ranked No. 7 on our list of  the best places in Michigan. In terms of this ranking, however, it had to rank according to a very different set of criteria. In those, it did best when it came to young residents,where it placed 17th overall with 28 percent of its people being ages 20 to 34.

Like the other nine most exciting small cities, Royal Oak essentially did quite well across the board, with places like LUNA to bolster the nightlife score (27th), the Red Coat tavern on non-fast food eating (29th), and active life (29th) represented by the Detroit Zoo, which is located within the city's borders."

More here.  
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