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Two Bay County MDOT grants to support business growth

Bay County is among eight Michigan counties getting major economic development grants from the state Department of Transportation.

The county had two projects approved for funding; the first is at Dow Corning's Auburn site on Eleven Mile Road, which is not currently an all-season route. That causes problems for trucking and costs the company a lot of fuel and shipping money, as well as causing truck traffic congestion. MDOT will improve the road to all-season condition, helping Dow Corning maintain a $117 million investment in building two new product lines in Michigan as opposed to other sites.

The cost will be about $1.54 million including $813,000 in local matching funds.

In Williams Township, Mersen Midland will consolidate its operations in a new 90,000-square-foot building that's projected to bring 32 new jobs to the area. To support the construction, MDOT will build up Flajole Road, realign the intersection with Salzburg Road, and bring it up to large trucking standards and all-season condition, which will allow Mersen to put a freight entrance on the road. The cost is about $369,000, with about $121,000 coming from local matching funds.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Michigan Department of Transportation

SAMSA opens location in Midland

Happy's Pizza opens in Mt. Pleasant

There's a new pizza place in Mount Pleasant, as Michigan-based chain Happy's Pizza opened its doors at 1218 S. Mission Road.

Happy's Pizza and Pub offers a full bar as well as the traditional Happy's menu--like pizza, salads, chicken, ribs and seafood--and a place for Mt. Pleasant residents to watch sports games.

"We're very excited to open our first pizza and pub location in Mt. Pleasant," said Jason Curis, co-CEO for Happy's Pizza. "Mt. Pleasant is a great sports city and nothing says game day like a pizza and pub. We're always looking for ways to make our customers' experience at Happy's Pizza better and continue to grow year after year."

Happy's delivers within a five-mile radius of the restaurant and pub, which is open Sunday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to midnight, and on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

The first Happy's Pizza opened in 1996 in Detroit. The company now has locations all over Michigan and in eight more states.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Happy's Pizza

Cardiac lab opens in Clare

MidMichigan Medical Center in Clare will be adding a new cardiac catheterization laboratory as of the end of April, which will improve heart health care in the community.

The new cardiac lab will open April 23 as part of the medical center's surgical suite. Five cardiologists in Clare will use the lab's services: invasive cardiologist Dr. Steven Gellmann; and interventional cardiologists Drs. Andy Boguszewski, Rodney Diehl, Michael Lauer and William Felten. Nurse practitioner Laura Jaime also serves as part of the MidMichigan Health heart and vascular team in Clare.

Cardiac catheterization services help doctors diagnose blockages in the heart and blood vessels, and identify the best treatments. The lab will include real-time digital imaging that can be stored by physicians for future care of each patients.

Among other renovations are two new waiting room areas in the main medical center and reconfiguration of the main lobby.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: MidMichigan Health

CMU OK's new biosciences building

A new biosciences building will grace the campus of Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, as its board of trustees approved what will be the largest capital project in the school's history.

The $89.4 million building is meant to meet increasing student demand, and upgrade the university's biosciences education and research facilities to state-of-the-art. The construction site, where the current Washington Court Apartments are located, will begin preparation in the summer of 2014, and the new building will open in the fall of 2017.

It will be four stories and a total of 158,000 square feet, and will house 40 faculty members along with classrooms, labs and an auditorium.

Another $5.8 million in costs is related to the project, including the demolition of the apartments.

CMU president George Ross says the number of biosciences majors has almost doubled in the last four years, and more than 7,500 students are enrolled in biology classes yearly.

$30 million comes from the state for the project, with the rest coming from CMU.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Central Michigan University

SAMSA, Inc. opens retail storefront in Midland

Saginaw tech company SAMSA, Inc. officially announced it's opened the doors on a new retail and walk-in location in Midland.

The SAMSA Tech Shop will expand the company's service offerings for both residential and commercial clients, and offer walk-in services for computer repair, virus removal and general system cleanup. Customers also can schedule service visits by SAMSA technicians at their home or business.

The retail part of the store, located at 229 W. Wackerly Road in Midland, also offers new laptops, desktops, tablets and accessories and ways to upgrade customers' current systems.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: SAMSA, Inc.

Northwood University to open new center in Troy

Northwood University has expanded with a new facility that just opened up in Troy last week.

The college opened a new state-of-the-art facility at 1500 West Big Beaver Road in Troy, and is part of the school's overall commitment to partnering with business and industry leaders to deliver the best in business education.

"This dynamic new facility will serve a diverse group of graduate and nontraditional undergraduate business students throughout the region," says Keith Pretty, president and CEO of Northwood "Collaborating with key business, civic and nonprofit leaders in Troy and the metro Detroit region continues to demonstrate our ongoing effort to develop the future leaders of a global free-enterprise society."

The 8,000-square-foot center will be home to MBA courses through Northwood's DeVos Graduate School of Management, as well as undergraduate courses for several business majors. There will be weekend, evening and online classes available beyond the normal class structure.

The facility also has an executive conference space and an extensive "pod" learning environment aimed at driving student and faculty interaction.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Northwood University

Zehnder's in Frankenmuth investing in expansion

One of the nine companies Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced will expand in Michigan is a mid-Michigan favorite: Zehnder's of Frankenmuth.

The tourism destination has been in business since 1856 and today includes a hotel, water park, restaurant, bakery and 18-hole golf course. It will be the recipient of a community development block grant as part of the Michigan Loan Participation Program.

Zehnder's will use the grant money, $500,000, as part of a $15 million expansion of the Splash Village Water Park and Hotel, adding 30,000 square feet and 32 additional hotel rooms, which will more than double the current size.

The project will create 69 new full time jobs, and also includes $5 million in loan enhancement funds through the MEDC, and $862,000 from Frankenmuth's downtown development authority.

The other companies granted strategic funding at the governor's announcement are Challenge Manufacturing Company in Walker, Detroit Thermal Systems in Romulus, Hanwha L&C Alabama in Monroe, Lyons Consulting Group in Ann Arbor, Newell Rubbermaid in Kalamazoo. A community revitalization program grant will go to 521 in Spring Lake; another will go to Rylee's Ace Hardware in Grand Rapids. Finally, Martinrea Jonesville was approved for a Michigan Economic Growth Authority tax credit to expand in North Adams.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Duperon opens doors in former GlobalWatt building

Duperon Corporation announced it would take over the Saginaw building formerly claimed by GlobalWatt, in a move that will also be an expansion for the water treatement company.

GlobalWatt, a solar company, pulled out of the building at 1200 Leon Scott in 2012. Duperon will move into the 74,000-square-foot facility after outgrowing its office and manufacturing spaces elsewhere in Saginaw.

The building will house all Duperon employees in one place, which should help it grow even further than it has in recent years under the leadership of CEO Tammy Bernier and her father, Terry Duperon.

Duperon provides water treatment, wastewater and drainage products, from design to manufacture. It has grown significantly since 2010 and has added international clients as well.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Duperon Corporation

Halo Burger to open in Burton on March 27

Halo Burger will be a lot easier for folks in Burton to enjoy once the new location opens March 27.

The restaurant, which is based in Flint, will be located at 1166 N. Belsay Road. Folks in the area know it currently as the home of the former Country Kitchen, which closed four years ago.

The building will also house a new Subway restaurant and will seat 82 people in the near 4,000-square-foot location.

If you've never had the hamburger from Halo Burger, then don't hesitate to try one (at least in our opinion). Each burger is fresh ground beef and comes standard with ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions, mayo, lettuce and tomato. Of course, they can be customized to your liking.

There are quarter-pound burgers, the Beefy Double (which is our favorite), the Olive Burger and the Supreme, as well as the Halo Junior. You can also snag fries, onion rings, chicken nuggets and strips, a chicken sandwich as well as salads and chili. There are also kid's meals available, as well as milkshakes and the tasty Boston Cooler.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Halo Burger

Mean Rooster Diner opens up shop in Bay City

When you first hear the name Mean Rooster, you probably don't automatically think of tasty food being served hot to your table.

But that's going to change as soon as you head over to the Mean Rooster Diner in Bay City, which is located at 1411 S. Wenona Street.

The Mean Rooster is owned by Jeff and Craig Owczarzak, who also own Holy Scoops, Meaty's Barbecue & Sauce and Meats and Moore.

What sets the Mean Rooster apart from the competition? Quality. How about homemade hot dogs and hamburger that is not only ground daily, but ground for each order. No kidding.

And that's not all. How about six different soups each day? Gourmet pizza? The menu is full of made-from-scratch, outstanding eats. You won't be disappointed if you stop in and try it.

The Mean Rooster is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and until 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: The Mean Rooster Diner

DaVita Dialysis building new Saginaw location

National dialysis provider DaVita Dialysis is expanding in mid-Michigan, with the construction of a new building in Saginaw.
The 6,000-square-foot construction at 315 Hoyt Street (right by St. Mary's of Michigan's main medical center) is scheduled to be complete later this spring and will welcome DaVita in a new location. The dialysis service already has one office in Saginaw.
The investment in the building, owned by Physicians' Capital Investments, is estimated at over $1.2 million, and when the center is open, it'll employ nine people, according to Saginaw Future.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: DaVita Dialysis

Gosen Tools expands

Gosen Tool and Machine of Saginaw is growing this year, according to economic development group Saginaw Future.

The precision machining and fabricating company has started building a new addition to its manufacturing space, that will add 5,000 square feet to its facilities in Saginaw.

Gosen, founded in 1993 by brothers Jeff, Steve, and Bill Gosen, has already grown quite a bit over the years. The family started out with part-time operations using two mills and a lathe, and now employs 15 people. The company's capabilities now include milling, boring, turning, drilling, sawing, fabricating, and grinding, along with tooling, fixtures and special machine building services.

The new construction will be in addition to Gosen's existing 9,500-square-foot offices and manufacturing space and is in response to the company's growth and need to add new equipment. The investment is expected to cost about $400, 000 and means two new jobs at Gosen.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Gosen Tool & Machine

Miles of Stitches opens in Merrill

Quilting is serious business and anyone who doesn't think so has never had an inside glimpse into the people who are passionate about it.

That's why Miles of Stitches in Merrill recently expanded to a new location at 123 North Midland Road. There, the company offers everything a quilter will need to work on their projects, ranging from a huge supply and selection of batiks and backing fabrics in the new 4,000-square-foot location. An impressive 2,000 square feet is dedicated to fabric, notion and pattern selections.

Additionally, there will be classes at the Miles of Stitches location, which is one of the main reasons the company made the move to the larger building.

"One of the reasons for this move was to be able to offer more room for classes," says owner Liat Honsinger-Marlow. "Our customers love that we have almost 2,000 square feet of space devoted to ironing and cutting stations."

Miles of Stitches carries fabric collections from Hoffman, Robert Kaufman, Moda, RJR, and Wilmington. In addition they also carry a large number of brights, children’s, complete fabric collections and civil war fabrics.

Store hours are Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Miles of Stitches
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