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'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.  

HGTV's 'House Hunters' show comes to Detroit

Check out this episode of House Hunters, where the search for a Midtown Detroit home is on.

Excerpt:

"Young first-time buyers, Dan and Rachel, are hoping to find the ultimate deal in the hip Detroit neighborhood of Ferndale. But the seemingly inexpensive, five-figure deals are a wake-up call for these 20-somethings when they encounter the realities of the turbulent Motown real estate market."

More here

The Atlantic Cities calls for bus rapid transit all the way downtown

With mass transit finally going places in Detroit, The Atlantic Cities makes its case for dedicated bus lane network through city downtowns. 

Excerpt:

"One of the reasons so-called  Bus-Rapid Transit projects have been  so  contentious  in U.S. cities is that urban street space is a precious commodity. Unwilling to give BRT  exclusive lanes  along the median, many cities route the buses into curbside lanes with mixed traffic. There, BRT must share the curb with turning cars, double-parked trucks, and other traffic conflicts — forcing the buses initially sold to the public as "speedy" to a crawl.

In other words, what feels like a compromise is really a critical error. American cities that fail to extend true BRT through the downtown area ensure that the systems receive their greatest visibility in places where they experience their lowest effectiveness. The result can be to sour public opinion on BRT at large, making subsequent expansions —  there or elsewhere around the country  — all the more difficult."

More here.

Michigan's venture capital growth outstrips national trends

As Michigan becomes a knowledge economy, venture capital firms and deals are coming its way. 

Excerpt:

"Despite a diminished national fundraising climate during the last five years in which total capital under management nationally decreased by 3.5 percent, total capital under management among Michigan-based firms increased by 45 percent, from $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion, essentially the reverse of the national trend.

Other key survey findings in Michigan's venture capital growth from 2009-2013 include:
  • 44 percent increase in number of venture capital firms in Michigan, compared to a 6 percent increase nationally.
  • Nearly a doubling in the number of venture capital professionals in Michigan, compared to a net 13 percent decrease nationally."
More here.

Forbes profiles Michigan's advanced manufacturing sector

Check out this video in Forbes on Michigan's attempt to close the skills gap and match employers with talent.

International Academy is nation's 9th-best public high school

Against overwhelming odds, the International Academy in Bloomfield Hills is the no. 9 ranked public high school in the nation in 2014, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Excerpt:

"We started out by  analyzing 31,242 public high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. That number was reduced to 19,411 schools, which  is the total number of public high schools across the country  that had high enough 12th-grade enrollment and sufficient data from the 2011-2012 school  year to be  eligible for the rankings."

Several other Metro Detroit schools also ranked well nationally.


Find the national rankings here.

And the state rankings here.

Detroit-based Door Stops designers get national attention for "public furniture"

While "public art" has made it into the everyday lexicon, how about "public furniture?" 

Excerpt:

"Made from old doors salvaged from destroyed properties, the shelters are colorfully painted to put a smile on the faces of folks in the vicinity. (Not that you could tell it from the above photo – maybe the bus is running late?) The first of the stops went out into the city  late last year; today, the A' Design Award & Competition announced that it is gifting the effort with a silver medal in "Social Design."

More here.

Providence Hospital makes list of nation's 100 top hospitals

Southfield-based Providence Hospital and Medical Center is the recipient of a national award honoring hospitals that have achieved both the highest current performance and the fastest long-term improvement over a five-year period.

Excerpt:

"Each year,  Truven names the top 100 hospital and top 15 systems  by measuring key indicators in quality, safety and patient satisfaction.

Competition among hospitals is fierce for higher performance because most hospitals are striving to cut costs and meet Medicare quality goals to keep annual reimbursement increases.

Eight key indicators are assessed. They are mortality, medical complications, patient safety, average length of stay, 30-day mortality rate, 30-day readmission rate and adherence to clinical standards of care published by the  Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services."


More here.

And see the rankings here
 

Business-friendly Ferndale experiences boom in new enterprise

New businesses are flocking to Ferndale, and existing ones are expanding. This boomlet is in no small part because of the city's treatment of businesses as customers, according to Ferndale Mayor David Coulter.

Excerpt:

"Three years after Michelle Lewis opened her first  Painting with a Twist  franchise in downtown Ferndale, business was so good that she needed to double the studio's size to 5,000 square feet on West Nine Mile Road. 

Lewis' story isn't an aberration downtown, where 14 businesses have expanded into larger space during the last two years or are opening this year, according to Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director of theFerndale Downtown Development Authority.

In 2000, vacancy in downtown Ferndale was well over 30 percent, she said. Today, the core downtown is just 2 percent vacant, and the outskirts of the downtown are just 4 percent vacant."

More here.

X-Games champion snowboarder praises Metro Detroit's outdoors

From good snowboarding drops to fishing lakes, the region's got a mix of everything, and that's the way Danny Davis likes it.

Excerpt:

"Michigan is a beautiful place, it raised me well," says snowboarder  Danny Davis, who won the snowboard superpipe at this year's Winter X Games. Davis hails from Highland Township (population 19,202), less than an hour from Detroit. "It's a funny place," he says. "Classic  Midwest: lots of Detroit Red Wings fans, dirt bikes, pond hockey, and a lot of horses and lakes."

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.

Excerpt:

"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.
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