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Mid-Michigan cities to participate in redevelopment program

Midland, Saginaw, and Flint are among the Michigan cities to be assessed for redevelopment through the MEDC in the coming year. What that could mean is increased local investment, among other things.
 
Excerpt: The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced the 2014 round of communities to be selected for participation in the statewide Redevelopment Ready Communities® (RRC) program. RRC is a voluntary, no cost program that assists local municipalities in establishing a sound foundation for redevelopment and investment to occur in their communities.

More on what's next is online here.
 
Source: Michigan Economic Development Corporation
 

Bay City makes list of buildings to fight blight

Bay City officials have identified a list of about 80 buildings that can be considered blighted within the city. Now, the question is what will be done about them.
 
Excerpt: Today, various groups and individuals have big ideas on how to deal with blight and dangerous buildings in the city.
 
Some, like Sibley, say demolish as many homes as possible by obtaining grants. Others say repairs and restoration is the smarter route. At least one commissioner has called for a dedicated blight task force. 
 
For the rest of the story, click here.
 
Source: Mlive.com

CMU student's first film will premiere in Mt. Pleasant

A local filmmaker will be premiering his first full-length movie this week in Mt. Pleasant, showing what's possible through pursuing his dreams.
 
Excerpt: Grant Pichla has finished his directorial debut before he’s even finished his second college degree.
 
Pichla, a Central Michigan University graduate student, will premiere his directorial debut Niner this weekend in Mt. Pleasant.
 
For the rest of the story, read more here.
 
Source: The Morning Sun
 

Bay City Times shows 60 years of St. Patrick's Day in photos

St. Patrick's Day is marked by parades all over the country, and celebrations too. In Bay City, the newspaper has put together a historic look back at what some of those have looked like.
 
Excerpt: This year marks the 60th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Bay City. Started in 1955, the parade has become a much-anticipated annual tradition celebrated each year by tens of thousands of people. Over the years, the parade has featured a handful of special appearances and happenings. 
 
The whole photo essay is online here.
 
Source: Mlive.com

Autism advocate Temple Grandin to speak at CMU

Temple Grandin has inspired people with disabilities all over the world to be themselves and find things that they can succeed at, and she'll speak at CMU this week.
 
Excerpt: Autistic author and professor Temple Grandin is coming to speak at Central Michigan University.
 
Grandin, who wrote the best-selling book "The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's," will give a talk at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, in Finch Fieldhouse on Franklin Street.
 
For the whole story, click here.
 
Source: Mlive.com

Chemical Bank and Northwestern Bank strike deal

Two of the main community banks in mid-Michigan are becoming one, as Chemical Bank and Northwestern Bank partner under the umbrella of Chemical Bank.
 
Excerpt: Midland-based Chemical Financial Corp., the holding company for Chemical Bank, is partnering with Northwestern Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Northwestern Bank, in an all-cash transaction valued at $120 million.
 
The whole story is online here.
 
Source: Mlive.com

Book tells story of jazz music in Saginaw

A Saginaw jazz fan and musician is putting together a book on the history of jazz in Saginaw--a star-studded one at that--with the help of some crowdfunding.
 
Excerpt: Fred Reif started documenting Saginaw's long, yet mostly unknown, history with jazz music in 1972.
 
"Back then, at the record store a lot of these musicians would come in," Reif said. "We started talking and they were saying, 'Hey, I used to play around Saginaw a lot.'"
 
For more on this story, go here.
 
Source: Mlive.com

Vacant buildings in downtown Midland to be redeveloped

A group of vacant buildings on Main Street will be home to a major new development in Midland. The project from Three Rivers Corp. is slated to begin this construction season.
 
Excerpt: Big changes are ahead for downtown Midland.
 
Several storefronts, taking up a half-block at the southeast corner of Main and Ashman streets will be demolished to make way for a five-story, nearly 84,000-square-foot mixed-use development, including an underground parking garage.
 
For the whole story, go here.
 
Source: Mlive.com

Midland one of top places for the middle class

CNN Money recently noticed a couple of mid-Michigan communities on its various annual rankings, including listing Midland as a desirable location for the middle class.
 
Excerpt: It's no surprise to people who live in Midland that the county is on top, the only community in the state to be ranked in CNN Money's top places for the middle class…
 
Midland county earned the spot for its low crime rate, cleanliness, and its strong local business base.
 
The whole article is online here.
 
Source: MINBCNews.com

Bay City makes "most affordable cities" list

Bay City is one of the most affordable places to live in the country, according to CNN Money, based on home prices.
 
Excerpt: CNNMoney has named Bay City among the top 10 most affordable small cities in the country, but with the recent uptick in development, including Mill End Lofts and Uptown Bay City, Mayor Chris Shannon said that title may not stick for long.
 
The rest of the story can be found here.
 
Source: Mlive.com

Madonna birthplace marker gains steam

Bay City will be putting up a marker to recognize the birthplace of Madonna, sooner than later, with a more permanent effort to follow.
 
Excerpt: An effort to install a sign recognizing Bay City as the birthplace of Madonna moved forward this week, with city and civic leaders brainstorming ideas on how to use the Queen of Pop’s name to attract visitors to town.
 
Led by Bay City Commissioner Christopher Girard, 6th Ward, eight people met at Bay City Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 26, to discuss what such a sign should look like, where it should be installed and how soon it could go up.
 
For the whole story, click here.
 
Source: Bay City Times

Midland company making snow for Olympics

SMI Snow Makers in Midland has a new base of operations for the time being--Sochi, Russia, as the company helps keep the needed snow on the ground for skiing events. 
 
Excerpt: A Michigan company is helping to create the snow for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
 
Midland-based SMI Snow Makers is involved in snowmaking and design of the Rosa Khutor Resort, the site of the alpine, snowboard, freestyle and cross country competitions. 
 
For the whole story, click here.
 
Source: Mlive.com

Saginaw contestant eliminated on American Idol

While some Michigan contestants on this season of American Idol are still in the game, Saginaw's competitor Sikenya Thompson sadly isn't one of them.
 
Excerpt: Saginaw's Sikenya Thompson made it through the dreaded "American Idol" group round despite falling sick before the performance.
 
But Thompson's luck did not last as judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. decided on 30 finalists during shows airing Wednesday, Feb. 12, and Thursday, Feb. 13, on FOX.
 
For the whole article, go here.
 
Source: Mlive.com

Folk songwriter from Bay City releases first full-length album

Jeff Yantz may be a well-known name among Michigan folk fans, but strangely, he's never yet released a full-length album. That oversight is now fixed with his latest release.
 
Excerpt: Bay City troubadour Jeff Yantz has been purveying folk pop for years, but 2014 is the one marking the release of his first LP.
 
"That’s the All of It" is the followup to 2011’s five-song EP "Dance in the Rain," the debut record under Yantz’s own name.
 
More on the story can be found here.
 
Source: Mlive.com
 
 

CMU class studies zombies, apocalypse

If you're obsessed with The Walking Dead (which we totally understand), a new class at CMU might make you think; at least that's what one professor hopes. 
 
Excerpt: A Central Michigan University faculty member is bringing philosophy and religion to life by incorporating the undead into her lesson plans.
 
Kelly Murphy’s class, “From Revelation to The Walking Dead,” explores apocalyptic themes in ancient texts as well as in contemporary media. 
 
For the rest of the story, read more here.
 
Source: Mlive.com
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