West Michigan News

November 28, 2011


Viewed on a map or at face value, Windsor and Grand Rapids, Mich., are in some ways similar.

Both are midwestern cities in their respective countries. Each has about 200,000 residents. Both have a waterfront, a university and nightlife.

Like Windsor, Grand Rapids is a city that has managed to keep some of the charm of its older buildings.

But unlike the Rose City, Grand Rapids has won over its younger population. Millennials love Grand Rapids.

"We're a cool city," said Bridget Clark.

"There's lots of variety, lots of events that you can go to," added Amanda Passage.

The downtown core in Grand Rapids is a hub for young professionals. The city is bursting with initiatives to keep millennials here.

Category: Community, GrandRapids, Home

November 10, 2011

A nun, a wedding planner and a subliminal newscaster walk into a bar …

Don't laugh. It could happen at The B.O.B. in Grand Rapids when Whoopi Goldberg, Martin Short and Kevin Nealon are in town for LaughFest 2012.

If not them, it might be Mike Epps and Rodney Carrington and Jim Gaffigan or any of a dozen comics coming to town for the 10-day festival.

On the other hand, do laugh and get ready to laugh some more.

Today, LaughFest unveiled just a few of the headliners coming to Grand Rapids for festival of seriously funny stuff.

A few hundred fans and friends – most in yellow LaughFest shirts -- gathered at Crush at The B.O.B. to hear the news.

Category: Arts, Arts&Culture, Culture, Home, WestMichigan

November 06, 2011

At Amway’s sprawling Ada complex, pallet after pallet of Nutrilite supplements are shuttled onto outbound trucks. Their destination: South America, Europe, maybe even Japan.

Across West Michigan, manufacturers are pumping out an increasing number of products headed out of the U.S.

It’s true: Globalization has cost thousands of jobs as some companies sought to lower labor costs and sell into closed markets such as China.

But it also is creating a much larger customer base for nimble U.S. manufacturers able to capitalize on a much larger playing field — particularly in niche fields.



November 03, 2011

Michigan’s economic health is second-best in the nation, according to a prominent national ranking released today. 

Bloomberg, a respected global leader in business and financial information, released its first-ever economic health evaluation during a conference in New York City. The Bloomberg analysis considered important indicators such as personal income, tax revenue, employment and housing prices. 

This pure analysis of data has placed Michigan at the top echelon on the ranking, second only to North Dakota, which is experiencing an economic boom fueled by oil exploration.

Gov. Rick Snyder said the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States shows that Michigan’s strategy for regaining its economic vigor is on track. 

Category: Home, WestMichigan

October 26, 2011


WEST MICHIGAN — A trip into the more rural parts of West Michigan might be in order tonight if you're longing to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

A giant burst of solar wind slammed into Earth's magnetic field earlier today, along with it an increased possibility of catching a glimpse of the lights, according to SpaceWeather.com.

The website reported the lights also have been spotted in states including Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas.

Category: Home, WestMichigan

October 19, 2011


GRAND RAPIDS — They wrote. They entered. They conquered.

The six winners of the MyGR6 contest sponsored by Amway, The Press, MLive.com and Cumulus Media were plucked from almost 8,000 entries submitted online since July.

Participants were challenged to describe “My Grand Rapids in Six Words.” The final 36 words, all penned by Grand Rapids residents, encompass themes from water to Michigan’s handprint to Motown.

A team of judges made up of community leaders, teachers and students whittled down the entries using creativity, originality, relevance and emotional appeal as guideposts.

Category: GrandRapids, Home

October 10, 2011

ArtPrize 2011
ended Sunday, but the streets of downtown were just as busy on the 19th day as they were on many of the days that came before.

Thousands of people were checking out art on a day the weather reached 80 degrees mid-afternoon.

“Look at this day,” said Dan Gerke of Grand Rapids. “We are blessed. How often is it like this, this time of year?”

ArtPrize organizers believe ArtPrize venues may have been visited as many as 500,000 times. The Grand Rapids Art Museum alone received 162,000 visitors since the opening on Sept. 21.

Category: Arts&Culture, GrandRapids, Home

September 29, 2011


ArtPrize 2011's top 10 finalists include four former top 10 finalists among eight past participants from the first two ArtPrize contests.

Mia Tavonatti, Paul Baliker and Bill Secunda, who finished in second, fourth and seventh place in ArtPrize 2010, respectively, were returned to the ranks of finalists in this evening's announcement at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Tracy Van Duinen, the second-place winner in the inaugural ArtPrize 2009, is the fourth who will share in nearly $450,000 in prize money.

Category: Arts&Culture, GrandRapids, Home

September 21, 2011


ArtPrize 2011 opens today with 1,582 entries in 164 stores, restaurants, museums and public parks.

That’s ArtPrize by the numbers, but numbers don’t tell the whole story of this phenomenon — both exhibition and competition — founded by Rick DeVos.

Let’s look at one entry, “ArtPrize Jukebox” at the Steepletown Center.

Its collaborators are Royce Deans from Traverse City — a Michigan resident, like about 1,100 artists in ArtPrize — and Tali Farchi, from Zwolle in the Netherlands, one of 36 artists from outside the United States.

Deans arrived weeks ago to prepare his panels, staying with old friends Carol and Tom Drenth, in Lowell, one of many families housing out-of-town artists.

Kickstarter, an online fundraising resource new to ArtPrize this year, helped the collaborators raise $1,200 from 36 backers.

Category: Arts&Culture, GrandRapids, Home, WestMichigan

September 09, 2011

A former Michigander brings her daughters to her home state for a vacation, but instead of a trip to the top of the state they decide to take in the beaches along Lake Michigan's eastern shore. where half-dozen beach towns could easily be visited in a four-day period, thanks to 170 miles of gentle lakeside highway.

The New York Times reports mom knew her mission was achieved when my oldest daughter sailed past me on her stomach, shouting, "It’s like an ocean without saltwater!" Her sister was close behind, riding another wave.


Eventually succumbing to the heat, we waded into the lake's sparkling waters, diving into the water like mermaids, the waves rolling our bodies back and forth under a clear blue sky, our laughter echoing in the air -- my Michigan mission achieved.
Category: Holland, Home, Lakeshore, WestMichigan
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