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Detroit public transit: What fantasy looks like

Check out what visionaries over at Wired magazine think Detroit's transit system oughtta be.

See the map here.

Metro Detroit brewery and meaderies make Ratebeer.com's Best Beers list

Metro Detroiters don't need to thirst for some of the nation's best beer and mead. It's made locally by Warren's Kuhnhenn Brewing and B. Nektar Meadery and Schramm's Mead in Ferndale.

See the full list here.



Creative arts sector is worth billions to Michigan economy, study finds

When ArtServe Michigan added the for-profit arts sector into its annual report on the creative economy,  it found the arts' economic impact picture got that much larger: among other findings, for-profit businesses contribute nearly three percent of both total state employment and total wage.

Excerpt:

"The big four counties — Wayne, Macomb, Oakland and Washtenaw — together account for 70 percent of all wages paid by creative industries.

And while many parts of the state economy took a hit in 2008, notably manufacturing, according to the report arts-related employment increased 15 percent from 2006 to 2011. The number of arts-related businesses grew by 65 percent over the same period."

More here.

New Economy Initiative receives $33M in funding for new entrepreneurial, workforce programs

A new round of funding is set to go towards entrepreneurial and workforce re-training efforts in the Detroit area.

Excerpt:

"The New Economy Initiative's goal is to return greater Detroit to global prominence in innovation and entrepreneurship, and the effort's organizers said Monday it is moving closer to accomplishing what it set out to do, with the help of $33.25 million in new funding from 10 foundations.

The NEI, a project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, announced Monday that the funding will help support its efforts over the next three years, after awarding $76 million in grants in its first round of funding. That money helped fuel the work of some 35,000 entrepreneurs, who created more than 675 new companies and 8,000 new jobs in southeast Michigan, according to NEI organizers."

More here

Warren-based Warrior Sports to outfit Olympic men's hockey players

Warrior Sports is fast becoming athletic outfitter to the world's sports stars. Players from a dozen national teams at the Olympics will be facing off in the hockey rink with Warrior sticks, gloves, helmets and masks.

Excerpt:

"When the men's ice hockey competition begins at the Winter Olympics next week in Russia, nearly a hundred players — including  Detroit Red Wings  Henrik Zetterberg, playing for Sweden, and Jimmy Howard, playing for the United States — will be using equipment from Warren-based  Warrior Sports Inc....

The company — launched in founder David Morrow's  Princeton University  dorm room in 1992 as a manufacturer of handmade titanium lacrosse sticks — has grown into a retailer of equipment, footwear and apparel for lacrosse, soccer, ice hockey and general lifestyle wear...

...Warrior made its first major move into global branding in 2011 when it signed a six-year contract to provide uniforms — known as kits — for the  English Premier League  soccer club  Liverpool FCbeginning in 2012. Warrior replaced German sporting goods giant  Adidas AG."

More here

Wall St. Journal spotlights facelift of Mt. Brighton ski resort

Check out this photo essay on Vail Resorts' refurbishing of Mt. Brighton ski resort, which is debuting its new facelift. Mt. Brighton isn't the Rocky Mountains, but many local skiers and snowboarders have come of age on its slopes.

More here.



Brighton High School robotics team builds game-playing robot

Brighton High's best and brightest are building robot playmates at the GM Proving Grounds. Play ball!

Excerpt:

"The Brighton High School robotics team doesn't step into the spotlight often, but that's starting to change.

The team's Frisbee-throwing robot squared off with Zeke the Wonder Dog during a recent halftime performance at the Brighton girls varsity basketball game, according to the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus ( http://bit.ly/1jXduFN ). The student-designed robot threw Frisbees that were caught by Zeke, who performs during Michigan State University games.

The robot is controlled by a joystick and computer, and it can roll as fast as someone walking quickly.

The 30-member team has also plunged into its next project, which is designing a robot that can throw exercise balls through targets."

More here

U.S. automakers post healthy sales gains in 2013

With unit sales up between 7 and 11% in 2013, GM, Ford, and Chrysler are looking fashionable again.

Excerpt:

"Five years after the biggest decline in U.S. auto sales since the Great Depression and mere weeks after the U.S. Treasury sold the last of its  GM  GM  -3.47%  stock and  FiatF.MI  -3.41%  finagled the last of Chrysler from the United Auto Workers, the American giants were once again striding the aisles of Cobo Center (formerly Cobo Hall), the riverside address of the North American International Auto Show in downtown Detroit. The Corvette ZO6 is so sharp you could open an artery on it. The 2015 Ford Mustang—with an independent rear suspension, if that means anything to you—is even more wonderfully voracious and bratty, a horse that bites. Love it."

More here.

Detroit home purchase strikes national chord

A must-read story (it's gotten over 1 million views) from a 20-something who buys and fixes up a shell of a home in Detroit, and in the process builds something much bigger.

Excerpt:

"I wanted something nobody wanted, something that was impossible. The city is filled with these structures, houses whose yellowy eyes seem to follow you. It would be only one house out of thousands, but I wanted to prove it could be done, prove that this American vision of torment could be built back into a home...

“Just looking at it, it’s a lot of work,” the neighbor across the street said, figuring I would give up after a month or two. There were no doors or windows, plumbing or electricity, nothing. There was a pornographic hole in the roof..."

More here.

M-1 Rail to start construction this year, seeks bids from local contractors

Work on the M-1 Rail starts rolling this year, but first off: the bid process.

Excerpt:

"Detroit's $137 million, 3.3-mile M-1 Rail streetcar project along Woodward is seeking proposals from local contractors and suppliers as it aims to start construction this year...

"The release of the bid packages is another important step forward for this project," said Paul Childs, M-1 Rail chief operating officer.

"Our construction manager has indicated the streetcar project has generated significant interest from the local contractor and supplier community, so they’re expecting to receive a very strong response to their requests for proposal."

Childs said M-1 expects to get 5,000 riders a day, about 1.8 million annually, when it starts service in 2016."

More here.

Immigrants seen as way to shore up Detroit economy

Detroit may once again become the go-to city for highly-skilled immigrants.

Excerpt:

"For Detroit, a city that has watched a population in free fall, officials have a new antidote: immigrants.

Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan on Thursday announced plans to seek federal help in bringing 50,000 immigrants to the bankrupt city over five years as part of a visa program aimed at those with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in science, business or the arts...

Mr. Snyder said demand already exists for experts in fields like engineering, technology and health care. And he noted that Michigan colleges and universities are home to tens of thousands of international students — many of whom, he said, ought not depart after graduation."

More here.

16 must-dos for visitors to Metro Detroit

An out-of-towner does the grand tour of metro Detroit's dining and rec spots, from Ferndale's Pinwheel Bakery to "Rogue Urban Putt-Putt" in Southwest Detroit.

Excerpt:

"Little known fact about Detroit? It has the second largest Middle Eastern population in the world – outside of the Middle East. You know what this means? Outstanding food – with Pita Café being my most favorite of all. I want to live in a world where I can swim in pools of their garlic sauce, have an endless supply of their fattoush salad and kegs of their freshly squeezed juices.

VERY CRITICAL NOTE: You must go to the  Pita Café in Oak Park. I have tried other locations, and they just don’t have the magic touch of the Oak Park location....

My husband, David, is from Catalonia, Spain. He finds U.S. cities without a “center” for shopping, eating and gathering – confounding. I took him to  Plymouth, a suburb outside of the Detroit to please him.

Plymouth transcends the typical small town with its real shops, great selection of restaurants and multiple streets and blocks of retail space. It even, to David’s delight, has what he would consider a town square. Every visit to Plymouth always lands me at Sean O’Callaghans  (it is obvious that is an Irish Pub, right?) for food and drink."

More here.

Henry Ford Health System receives $3M grant for digital health incubator

The healthcare field is getting a technology upgrade with Henry Ford Health System's receipt of a $3 million grant to establish the  William Davidson Center  for Entrepreneurs in Digital Health.

Excerpt:

"The Davidson Center hopes to bring together innovators, educators, and corporate partners from around the world to create new technologies and companies focused on the intersection of health care and information technology.

Another goal of the grant will be to establish an educational curriculum that integrates entrepreneurship, healthcare, and digital technologies, with programs to be created for Henry Ford physicians and staff, medical residents, and middle and high school students in the community."

More here.


Detroit Metro Airport has $10.2 billion economic impact on state

The state has reaped $10.2 billion in economic impact from operations at Detroit Metro Airport, which has also generated 86,000 jobs, according to a study conducted by U-M Dearborn and the Wayne County Airport Authority.

Excerpt:

"The report found that about 32 million passengers travel through DTW annually, including about 3.1 million “business and pleasure travelers” who stay in Michigan after arriving. About 660,000 people travel through DTW for the sole purpose of buying Michigan products or services."

More here.

Batman V. Superman film to spend $131M shooting in Michigan

Hollywood's latest caper? Spending some powerful bucks on filming superheros in our neck of the woods.

Excerpt:

"The Michigan Film Office reports the highly anticipated BATMAN V. SUPERMAN blockbuster will begin shooting in Michigan next month. The MAN OF STEEL sequel will have a Michigan budget of $131 million – out of a total estimated budget of $250 million - making it the largest production shot in Michigan to date, a title previously held by OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL."

More here.
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