West Michigan News

February 25, 2010
If Jason and Kris Spaulding have their way, local growers will drink the fruits of their labor at a new European microbrewery in the middle of the East Hills business district in Grand Rapids.

Brewery Vivant, a microbrewery specializing in French and Belgian beers, is the lead tenant in Locus Development's renovation of the former Spectrum Health Childcare property at 925 Cherry Street.

Category: Community, Culture, Food, GrandRapids, Innovation, WestMichigan

February 18, 2010
It may look peaceful when the frontloaders aren't running, but there's always a churning caldron of activity under the South Kent Landfill in Byron Center, where microbes feast on the more than 4 million tons of trash covered by a layer of soil. As they munch on organic matter, the anaerobic bacteria release methane, a colorless and odorless gas that can be cleaned and burned. Kent County and Granger Electric have joined forces to turn the waste methane into electricity -- enough to power more than 1,800 homes. Rapid Growth takes you behind the scenes of how this creative public-private partnership turns a greenhouse gas into a valuable commodity.
Category: AlternativeEnergy, Community, GrandRapids, Innovation, Sustainability, Technology, WestMichigan

December 10, 2009
When pitching your company, always sell like you’re talking to your grandma.

Category: Community, Education, Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, Innovation, Technology, WestMichigan

September 10, 2009

Who would have thought that being a do-gooder could be cool?

But that's just what is happening in the Grand Rapids metro area, thanks to an fortunate combination of old line philanthropic families and the youthful energy of young professionals who are drawn here to work for nonprofit agencies.

Category: Community, GrandRapids, Innovation, WestMichigan

July 23, 2009
A longtime vision of husband and wife optometrists Scott Hieneman and Stacy Davis came true this year when they opened an optometry office in Ada, enabling them to work together in the same practice.

Category: Community, Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, Healthcare, Innovation, WestMichigan

July 23, 2009
Leaders of Lansing's PM Environmental, Inc., (PME) say that Grand Rapids' recognized leadership in green building makes it the perfect location for the firm's new Sustainability and Energy Division.

PME hired Nate Gillette, an architect formerly with Bazzani Associates Inc. in Grand Rapids, to head up the division, and Bryant LePres, a graduate of Aquinas College's sustainable business degree program. The division will operate from PME's satellite office at 77 Monroe Center.
Category: AlternativeEnergy, Community, GrandRapids, Innovation, Sustainability, Technology, WestMichigan

January 08, 2009

Karisa (pronounced Ka-ree-sa) Wilson’s improvisational, soulful sound has established her as a key player in Grand Rapids’ thriving music scene. In addition to releasing her well-received 2007 debut album, Little Girl, the singer-songwriter has contributed to nearly 20 local albums in the past two years. She also writes a monthly hip-hop culture column for Recoil magazine, shining light on local artists in need of promotion. Preferring camaraderie to competition, she says she’s often inspired by her peers.

“I’ve been heavily influenced by local musicians," Wilson says. "I don’t sit around listening to CDs all the time, but I’ve been to all kinds of shows. I think in my songwriting and playing have been more influenced by people locally than on the radio. There’s a reason to keep our scene [alive], if not to influence the next generation, then other artists.”

Category: Arts&Culture, Community, Entertainment, GrandRapids, Innovation, WestMichigan

August 28, 2008

In Grand Rapids it’s not hard to find residents putting ho-hum exercise like jogging to shame. They’re behind trees. Atop parking ramps. Even in public libraries. This fall, have some alternative fitness fun with one of these unique activities:

Category: Community, Entertainment, GrandRapids, Health, Sports&Recreation, WestMichigan

August 07, 2008
I don’t own a farm, but I own a share in a local farm’s produce.  I don’t own a goat, but most of the cheese I eat comes from goat milk — care of the Dancing Goat creamery in Byron Center.  Today I washed my hands with soap made from local goat’s milk, and then I removed my swiss chard lasagna (baked in a casserole dish made by a local potter) from the oven with my potholder made from recycled t-shirts, made locally by Pearl Beerhorst. And I ordered a chicken. Yes, a local chicken.

Notice a trend in my day?

Category: Community, Food, GrandRapids, Innovation, WestMichigan

July 31, 2008

Grand Rapids’ Heartside neighborhood west of South Division is fast shaping up as the city’s hippest entertainment district, boasting a variety of pubs, eateries, specialty beer havens, a wine bar, the Van Andel Arena, and live music venues. But it has its challenges—like a lack of parking, no apartments for downtown dwellers, and no destination shopping. “38” could change all that.

Category: Community, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, Innovation, WestMichigan
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