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A Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-400 sits on the tarmac at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.
user redlegsfan21 / flickr

On paper, it's a pretty good idea: a business district stretching ten miles between Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports.

It would attract investment money, backers said. It would create 64,000 new jobs for Southeast Michigan.

Michigan Radio

There's a big, untapped market in emerging countries for services and products made by Michigan companies.

That's the message of OPIC, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.  OPIC steps in where private banks are loathe to tread, offering market-rate loans to small and medium-sized businesses that want to expand into emerging markets overseas.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan house flippers were busy in first three months of 2015.

In house flipping, homes are bought to be immediately turned around and sold again.  

About 5% of the single-family homes sold in Michigan from January through March were flipped.  Nationally, only 4% of single family homes sold in the first quarter were flipped.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Midland-based Dow Chemical will cut about 3 percent of its global workforce as it prepares to break off a significant part of its chlorine operations in a deal it announced earlier this year with Olin Corp.

The company says the cuts will reduce its workforce by 1,500 to 1,750 positions. Dow Chemical employed about 53,000 people worldwide at the end of last year.

MARIORDO / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Google Inc. is moving its Ann Arbor operation to bigger digs on the north side of the city.

The Ann Arbor News reports Friday the Mountain View, California-based Internet giant is leaving the downtown space it's occupied for nearly a decade. Officials say the operation is moving into an existing building, then constructing a new campus.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lt. Governor Brian Calley is leading a trade delegation to South America this weekend.   

The intent of the trip is to meet with local leaders and avoid an erupting volcano.

The trade delegation is traveling to Chile and Colombia.

FLICKR USER SYLS / FLICKR

It’s almost Shakespearean: A powerful leader, pushed out because he pushed for the ouster of another powerful leader.

Alas, this is not the Bard’s story. This is about Volkswagen.

“Oh man, this is potentially the end of a very long era at Volkswagen, which is now I think the largest automaker in the world, and certainly the largest in Europe,” Detroit News Columnist Daniel Howes said.

Listen above to the story of Ferdinand Piëch, Volkswagen AG’s legendary boss.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says work-place deaths in Michigan are on the decline.

But work related homicides are rising.

Michigan State University’s annual report finds 125 people died on the job in the state last year. That’s down from 134 the year before.  

The University of Michigan

Billionaire A. Alfred Taubman died Friday at home from a heart attack, according to the Associated Press. He was 91.

He led “an epic American life,” growing up a poor Jewish kid in Detroit, and going on to make a massive fortune by creating the modern shopping mall.

He also survived a major scandal in his later years, when he went to prison for price-fixing.

What’s more, Alfred Taubman was the second-largest donor ever to the University of Michigan.

Shipping container housing project underway in Detroit

Apr 17, 2015
Astrid Westvang / Creative Commons

A project that turns empty shipping containers into sustainable housing kicked off in Detroit this week.

Development firm Three Squared is using nine containers to construct a three story unit in the city's Corktown neighborhood. 

City of Detroit

Just eight months after it was set to be torn down, developers are preserving the historic Detroit recreation center where Joe Louis trained.

Flickr user Scott Beale / Flickr

Crowdfunding. The word itself wasn't even known less than a decade ago. But crowdfunding has become a powerful way to raise money.

EquityNet tells us that more than $20 billion in funding transactions will happen around the world this year. That is a 100% increase from $10 billion last year.

the two abandoned hotels
Flickr user Ian Freimuth / Flickr

There's a hotel boom happening in downtown Detroit. Once-abandoned buildings are now gleaming new hotels, or will be soon. But will these plans give Detroit too many hotel rooms or not enough? And there have been lengthy discussions over the two hotels near the new Red Wings arena site just north of downtown.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A trio of bills in the Michigan legislature would create a statewide database of second hand shop sales. 

State Representative Mike Callton says a single data base will help police officers track stolen goods that thieves may try to sell to pawn shops, gold dealers and other second hand stores.

“If it turned up in any pawn shop, buy-n-sell or precious metal buyer, it would show up in that registry,” says Callton, “(Police) wouldn’t have to be looking all over the state.”

Flickr user Firas / Flickr

On yesterday's Stateside, we met the co-founders of Rocket Fiber, the ultra-high-speed Internet service coming to downtown Detroit later this year and to Midtown Detroit next year.

The prospect of fiber optic cable delivering an Internet that's at least 100 times faster than what most of us are used to is mighty appealing.

FLICKR USER WILLIAM HOOK / FLICKR

Dial-up. That’s how we used to get online. Today, however, that’s part of pre-history. Is it fathomable that our existing Internet access could soon be as outdated as those old dial-up modems?

Flickr user william stuben / Flickr

Dan Gilbert has added One Detroit Center to his impressive portfolio of downtown Detroit properties, making it more than 70 downtown properties that Gilbert and his partners now own.

The purchase has caused Ally Financial with its 1,300 employees to move to One Detroit Center instead of Southfield. This announcement was accompanied by Ally's CEO conceding that the downtown location will be more expensive than the suburbs.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Two mid-Michigan mayors are trying to lure convention planners looking to move their events out of Indiana. 

The controversy over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration law has many groups rethinking their convention plans in the Hoosier state.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett have posted an open letter encouraging convention planners to look to mid-Michigan.

Vox Efx / Wikimedia Commons

When Dow Chemical Company started in Midland, Michigan in 1897, it produced two chemicals. One of them was bleach. Now, Dow is getting out of the bleach business.

A hedge fund has been pressuring Dow officials to spin off what are called 'commodity chemicals' in order to focus the companies efforts. 

Dan Moyle / Flickr Creative Commons

States like Michigan that allow employers to enforce non-compete clauses may be inadvertently hurting their economies, according to a recent study.

Employers sometimes require new employees to sign a non-compete agreement promising they won't go work for another company in the same industry for one or two years after leaving their job.

Midland could see 300 new jobs this year

Mar 25, 2015
XALT Energy

A multi-year export contract will bring more than 300 new high-tech and manufacturing jobs to Midland, according to XALT Energy, a Midland-based developer and manufacturer of lithium batteries.

XALT announced this week that it has agreed to supply its lithium titanate batteries to HK Group, a Chinese manufacturer of all-electric buses. 

Arielle Solomon / Flickr

Developers want to turn Detroit's old state fairgrounds into 160 acres of senior living, apartments, shopping, small parks, and space for Wayne County Community College.

Those plans were unveiled to the public in detail this week.

Is powdered alcohol in Michigan's future?

Mar 16, 2015
Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau recently approved a powdered alcohol product called Palcohol.  Add water, and you get a rum or vodka drink.

But it can't be sold in Michigan without the approval of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. 

Flickr user Julie Weatherbee / Flickr

There's a lot of attention and talk directed at start-ups about attracting new business to Michigan.

But writer Ilene Wolff pays tribute to some venerable long-time Michigan businesses. Her story, The Century Club: Michigan firms and businesses that have truly withstood the test of time, is in the current March/April print edition of DBusiness.

Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr

When Governor Rick Snyder was answering your questions earlier this week here on Michigan Radio, he waded into the issue of more than $9 billion in outstanding tax credits owed to businesses that stayed in Michigan and re-invested in their operations here. And that has tipped Michigan's budget into a deficit.

The program began in the Engler Administration but was widely used in the latter part of the Granholm Administration. Critics call it "corporate welfare," but Snyder disagreed with this terminology, saying the companies benefiting from this program helped create jobs.

Source booksellers

With competition from Amazon and e-readers, big box bookstores have been hit hard. Borders closed in 2011 and Barnes & Noble has been forced to close hundreds of stores.

But independent bookstores are proving to have staying power.

claus+ flcker.com

A controversial Upper Peninsula land deal appears closer to approval.

A Canadian mining company wants to buy land and mineral rights on ten thousand acres of state land in the Upper Peninsula. 

Graymont wants to mine limestone in the area northwest of St. Ignace. The company plans surface and underground mines.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Supporters of sustainable farming will meet Monday in East Lansing.

The Sierra Club’s Gail Philbin says the “Farming Our Future” conference is intended to help move Michigan away from industrial agriculture.

“We want to help farmers get the information they need to make those kind of changes,” says Philbin.

Philbin says moving toward more local, sustainable foods will be good for people’s health and the environment. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Financially struggling Michigan homeowners may face a new problem.

98,000 Michigan homeowners have Home Equity Lines of Credit that are scheduled to reset at a higher interest rate during the next four years.

Nationally, more than half the three million homeowners with these lines of credit are seriously underwater on their mortgage.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan could face an electricity shortage in the next few years.

New federal regulations are forcing many coal-fired power plants to shut down in 2016.  That will leave utilities with less capacity to generate electricity. The loss will be most noticeable on hot summer days, when demand for electricity soars in Michigan. 

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