Grand Rapids http://michiganradio.org en Philanthropist and former Steelcase chairman Peter Wege dies at 94 http://michiganradio.org/post/philanthropist-and-former-steelcase-chairman-peter-wege-dies-94 <div style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.800000190734863px; line-height: normal;"><p><em>"Do all the good you can for as many people as you can for as long as you can."</em></p><p><em>- Peter Melvin Wege</em></p><p>The Former&nbsp;Steelcase&nbsp;Inc. chairman and philanthropist Peter&nbsp;Wege&nbsp;died at his home in Grand Rapids yesterday.</p><p>He was the son of Peter Martin&nbsp;Wege, who founded&nbsp;Steelcase&nbsp;more than a century ago.&nbsp;Steelcase&nbsp;and rival office furniture manufacturers&nbsp;Haworth&nbsp;Inc. and Herman Miller Inc. anchored the Grand Rapids area's economy for decades.</p><p>Peter Melvin&nbsp;Wege&nbsp;created his foundation in 1967. It has given away millions, much of it in his hometown.</p><p>More about Wege from his <a href="http://obits.mlive.com/obituaries/grandrapids/obituary.aspx?n=peter-melvin-wege&amp;pid=171648560&amp;fhid=5484">obituary</a>:</p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 13:56:00 +0000 Mark Brush 18287 at http://michiganradio.org Philanthropist and former Steelcase chairman Peter Wege dies at 94 Same-sex couple from Grand Rapids sues to get state to recognize out-of-state marriage http://michiganradio.org/post/same-sex-couple-grand-rapids-sues-get-state-recognize-out-state-marriage <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmpbMvxlgpA</p><p><em>Governor Rick Snyder's statement after a federal court overturns Michigan's ban on same sex marriage in March 2014. </em></p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 21:35:10 +0000 Lindsey Smith 17982 at http://michiganradio.org Lower mortgage interest rates offered in 8 Michigan cities http://michiganradio.org/post/lower-mortgage-interest-rates-offered-8-michigan-cities <p>LANSING – Michigan is helping provide lower interest rates to first-time homebuyers in eight cities.<br /><br />About 300 individual or families in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Pontiac, Saginaw, Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, and Jackson can take advantage of a program announced Friday.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">First-time homebuyers who meet eligibility requirements can get a 3.125% mortgage interest rate without down payment assistance. If they need help with their down payment, the interest rate is 3.625%.</span></p><p>Gov. Rick Snyder says he wants to increase home sales in five cities hit hard by blight and three other cities needing a boost.<br /><br />Michigan State Housing Development Authority Executive Director Scott Woosley says most of Michigan's real estate market has bounced back, but some areas are still experiencing significant sales declines.</p><p> Fri, 23 May 2014 15:03:36 +0000 The Associated Press 17733 at http://michiganradio.org Lower mortgage interest rates offered in 8 Michigan cities In light of federal ruling, Grand Rapids looks to restrict “aggressive” panhandling http://michiganradio.org/post/light-federal-ruling-grand-rapids-looks-restrict-aggressive-panhandling <p>Grand Rapids police used to use a state law outlawing panhandling to arrest hundreds of people over the years. But a federal judge struck down that law as too broad, saying it&nbsp;impinged on free speech rights.</p><p>So now the city is trying to narrow when, where, and how people can ask for money.</p><p>Panhandling from drivers on the side of the road, for example, would be illegal.</p><p>Grand Rapids’ attorney Catherine Mish says it can cause accidents and be dangerous for the person asking for money. Mish says a person panhandling was hit by a car just this week.</p> Tue, 13 May 2014 18:15:09 +0000 Lindsey Smith 17577 at http://michiganradio.org In light of federal ruling, Grand Rapids looks to restrict “aggressive” panhandling U.S. Supreme Court ruling may help clear the air in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/us-supreme-court-ruling-may-help-clear-air-michigan <p>Clean air advocates in Michigan are cheering a U.S. Supreme Court decision that will allow stricter regulation of coal-fired power plants.</p><p></p><p>The high court decided this week to overturn a lower court ruling and allow the Environmental Protection Agency to slap new limits on pollution from power plants.</p><p></p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 21:41:49 +0000 Steve Carmody 17411 at http://michiganradio.org U.S. Supreme Court ruling may help clear the air in Michigan Unemployment down, but workers making less money in Grand Rapids http://michiganradio.org/post/unemployment-down-workers-making-less-money-grand-rapids <p>The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is back where it was before the Great Recession.</p><p>But <a href="http://www.economicmodeling.com/2014/03/11/visualizing-earnings-and-employment-over-time-by-metro-and-industry/">workers in Michigan’s second-largest labor market are making less money.</a> Grand Rapids had the second-worst earnings decline of the top-100 labor markets in the country since 2001, down 6.6%. Only Detroit was worse at 7.2%.</p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:59:44 +0000 Lindsey Smith 17310 at http://michiganradio.org Unemployment down, but workers making less money in Grand Rapids Power shift at Kendall College causing a stir http://michiganradio.org/post/power-shift-kendall-college-causing-stir <p></p><p>The president of Kendall College of Art and Design, David Rosen, announced his resignation Thursday afternoon. It’s not clear why he resigned.</p><p><a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/04/student_uproar_at_kendall_coll.html">Students and staff rallied in support</a> of Rosen in person and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/515275321914931/">on social media. </a></p><p>Kendall is a college within Ferris State University. FSU spokesman Marc Sheehan says the reactions are “completely understandable.”</p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:00:52 +0000 Lindsey Smith 17198 at http://michiganradio.org Power shift at Kendall College causing a stir 'The Nutcracker' will get a makeover in Grand Rapids http://michiganradio.org/post/nutcracker-will-get-makeover-grand-rapids <p>Chris Van Allsburg, known for his book "The Polar Express" will design the new production for the Grand Rapids Ballet, and the set will be built by designer Eugene Lee, known for his work on SNL.</p><p>More from the <a href="http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/03/grand_rapids_ballet_plans_new.html">Grand Rapids Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>A $2.5 million fundraising campaign, in part, is providing for the 42-year-old company's first entirely new production of "The Nutcracker" in three decades…</p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:26:00 +0000 Mark Brush 16959 at http://michiganradio.org 'The Nutcracker' will get a makeover in Grand Rapids Irritated but not shocked, same-sex couples hope their marriages will be recognized http://michiganradio.org/post/irritated-not-shocked-same-sex-couples-hope-their-marriages-will-be-recognized <p>For many newly married couples, it’s not unusual to apply to the state and federal government to get their new last names.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But for Art Bristol and Corey </span>Ledin<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, whose newly minted marriage license declares their last names as </span>Ledin-Brisol<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the process was far from usual.</span></p><p>TV cameras were watching and photographers snapped pictures. The secretary of state's office wouldn't even accept the same-sex couple's paperwork for a new driver’s license.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 20:08:24 +0000 Lindsey Smith 16951 at http://michiganradio.org Irritated but not shocked, same-sex couples hope their marriages will be recognized Judge rules Grand Rapids can put income tax hike extension on May ballot http://michiganradio.org/post/judge-rules-grand-rapids-can-put-income-tax-hike-extension-may-ballot <p>A Kent County judge says Grand Rapids can ask voters in May to approve an income tax extension.</p><p>At issue is a temporary income tax hike that's set to expire in July 2015. The city <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-rapids-considers-extending-income-tax-hike-pay-road-improvements">wants to extend the tax an additional 15 years </a>to pay for road improvements.</p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 23:43:34 +0000 Lindsey Smith 16923 at http://michiganradio.org Judge rules Grand Rapids can put income tax hike extension on May ballot Veteran treasure hunter solves the last 'Wyoming Riddle' http://michiganradio.org/post/veteran-treasure-hunter-solves-last-wyoming-riddle <p>I got some bittersweet news this morning.</p><p>Bitter because after more than 30 years running, the last “Wyoming Riddler” treasure hunt is over. Sweet because one of the veteran hunters <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/last-treasure-hunt-wyoming-riddler-retires-after-34-years-silver-bounty">I followed to tell the story last month </a>turned out to be the winner.</p><p>I watched Robert Lyons do the heavy lifting one day, shoveling about five feet of snow packed around a utility pole in single-digit temps.</p><p>We found nothing.</p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 15:55:30 +0000 Lindsey Smith 16822 at http://michiganradio.org Veteran treasure hunter solves the last 'Wyoming Riddle' Flood risk has West Michigan Red Cross focusing on disaster aid http://michiganradio.org/post/flood-risk-has-west-michigan-red-cross-focusing-disaster-aid <p>Almost a year after Grand Rapids was slammed by major flooding, the Red Cross is rallying West Michigan aid groups in case this spring’s snowmelt leads to another big flood.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Chip Kragt, of the Red Cross in Michigan, says the organization is getting updates from the National Weather Service. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 21:14:57 +0000 Kate Wells 16818 at http://michiganradio.org Flood risk has West Michigan Red Cross focusing on disaster aid Records may fall with the snow this week in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/records-may-fall-snow-week-michigan <p>All-time snowfall records could be broken this week in Michigan.</p><p></p><p>A storm blowing through the state tonight is expected to dump two to eight inches of snow.</p><p></p><p>What’s on the line this week may very well be bragging rights for generations of people in Flint and Detroit.</p><p></p><p>Flint is just about five inches short of its all-time snowiest winter. 82.9 inches fell during the winter of 1974-75. So far this winter, Flint has been buried under 77.3 inches of snow.&nbsp;</p><p></p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 19:43:28 +0000 Steve Carmody 16816 at http://michiganradio.org Records may fall with the snow this week in Michigan Big changes coming to ArtPrize this year http://michiganradio.org/post/big-changes-coming-artprize-year <p>ArtPrize, the annual art competition in Grand Rapids, will still award $560,000 this year, but professional jurors will now have a bigger say in who gets the money.</p><p>The people who visit ArtPrize and register to vote have always decided the winner. But this year there will be two top prizes, each worth $200,000. One will go to the top vote-getter. The other winner will be decided by three art jurors.</p><p>Dana Friis-Hansen heads the Grand Rapids Arts Museum. He thinks the change&nbsp;will attract more professional artists to ArtPrize.</p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 16:58:27 +0000 Lindsey Smith 16742 at http://michiganradio.org Big changes coming to ArtPrize this year Gun rights advocates to march in Grand Rapids this afternoon http://michiganradio.org/post/gun-rights-advocates-march-grand-rapids-afternoon <p>Supporters of Michigan’s laws allowing people to openly carry guns plan to march through Grand Rapids this afternoon.</p><p>They’re supporting Johann Deffert, a Grand Rapids resident who’s suing the city in federal court. Deffert claims his constitutional rights were violated a year ago when Grand Rapids police briefly detained him for openly carrying a gun as he walked through a residential neighborhood.</p><p>For more than a year, open-carry advocates have been demanding Grand Rapids repeal a local ordinance they believe is unconstitutional.</p> Sun, 02 Mar 2014 13:25:08 +0000 Lindsey Smith 16676 at http://michiganradio.org Gun rights advocates to march in Grand Rapids this afternoon The last treasure hunt: ‘Wyoming Riddler’ retires after 34 years of silver bounty http://michiganradio.org/post/last-treasure-hunt-wyoming-riddler-retires-after-34-years-silver-bounty <p>Every winter, hundreds of people living around Grand Rapids go on a treasure hunt of sorts. They’ve been doing it for decades.</p><p>Robert Lyons has been hooked on the treasure hunt for 25 years. Over the years, he’s taken his kids and even his grandkids.</p><p>Lyons found the treasure once. He’s still got the newspaper clipping.</p><p>“I think it says right on here, I got a 1997 champion cup, which of course is about as proud as you can get of anything,” Lyons said. His treasure also included 34 silver dollars and a complete set of silver tableware.</p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:46:50 +0000 Lindsey Smith 16589 at http://michiganradio.org The last treasure hunt: ‘Wyoming Riddler’ retires after 34 years of silver bounty What mixed-use zoning means for your city http://michiganradio.org/post/what-mixed-use-zoning-means-your-city <p>Zoning laws.</p><p>Those two words alone might not grab your interest.</p><p>But watch residents pour into city commission and council chambers when there is some proposed change to the zoning laws in their neighborhood.</p><p>Maybe it's deciding whether to allow big-footprint houses and extra-large garages. Maybe it's deciding whether to permit residential and commercial buildings to coexist or how many stories a building may be.</p><p>But what one person thinks is a great idea, such as allowing more shops or restaurants into an area, might be a horrible idea to that homeowner who wants to come home to a peaceful street.</p><p>Grand Rapids recently implemented a new zoning policy that allows more mixed uses. Director of the Grand Rapids Planning Department, Suzanne Schultz, and University of Michigan Urban Planning Professor Dr. Jonathan Levine joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 22:24:27 +0000 Stateside Staff 16527 at http://michiganradio.org What mixed-use zoning means for your city Today is the deadline for business owners to apply for a major state tax exemption http://michiganradio.org/post/today-deadline-business-owners-apply-major-state-tax-exemption <p>Michigan business owners have until the end of the day to file a form that could potentially save them lots of money on their 2014 tax bill.</p><p>Michigan’s personal property tax applies to all kinds of things. Carmakers pay the tax on heavy machinery; restaurants pay it on new ovens and dishwashers.</p><p>But in order to qualify, business owners have to file a form with their local government.</p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 11:45:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 16358 at http://michiganradio.org Today is the deadline for business owners to apply for a major state tax exemption Mobile and Web app helps feed hungry children in Grand Rapids http://michiganradio.org/post/mobile-and-web-app-helps-feed-hungry-children-grand-rapids <p>Using the power of social media to do good – in this case, ordering a dessert or an appetizer and, in doing so, helping to feed a hungry child.</p><p>Our next guest has accomplished that with a mobile and Web app called <a href="http://www.joinfoodcircles.org/">FoodCircles</a> currently up and running in Grand Rapids.</p><p>Jonathan Kumar is the&nbsp;managing director of FoodCircles and he joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 22:09:41 +0000 Stateside Staff 16334 at http://michiganradio.org Mobile and Web app helps feed hungry children in Grand Rapids Stateside for Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-thursday-feb-6-2014 <p>After years of debate, Congress has sent the almost $1 trillion farm bill to President Obama, and, as usual, opposition to the legislation was a left-right affair. On today's show: Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint joins us to talk about why he voted in favor.</p><p>Then, Michigan Radio’s political commentator Jack Lessenberry explained why fixing Michigan’s voting system may be harder than you think.</p><p>And, medical students are reaching out to provide health care to uninsured people. We spoke with one of these students about free student-run medical clinics.</p><p>And, a new mobile and Web app is providing food for hungry children in Grand Rapids.</p><p>Also, we spoke to an economist from the University of Michigan about the success of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.</p><p>And, the owner of Stonehedge Fiber Mill in East Jordan, Michigan, joined us today to tell us about how she was approached to provide yarn for the Ralph Lauren Olympic closing ceremonies sweaters.&nbsp;</p><p>First on the show, i<span style="line-height: 1.5;">t's Thursday, which means it's time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.</span></p><p>He's been going through Gov. Snyder's proposed budget for the new fiscal year and has decided the governor's got something going for him: what President George Herbert Walker Bush called "The Big Mo."</p><p>Daniel Howes joined us today to discuss the issue.</p><p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 21:56:30 +0000 Stateside Staff 16339 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014