Business

Business
10:10 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Lansing BWL officials face critics of last month's major power outage response

Lansing Board of Water and Light officials, including General Manager J. Peter Lark (far left), heard from critics and supporters alike during the meeting
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Lansing Board of Water and Light officials are defending their heavily criticized response to last month’s major power outage.

BWL customers like Alice Dreger are livid over having to wait more than a week for their power to be turned back on.

"Let me tell you, when you have live wires down for nine to 12 days, safety is not job one,” Dreger told a packed meeting last night at BWL’s headquarters.

But a majority of those taking the podium praised the work of BWL employees. Most were BWL employees and officials, though a few were BWL customers.

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Business
9:00 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Lansing BWL officials to discuss what went wrong after December's ice storm

40% of BWL customers lost power in the Dec. 22nd ice storm. Many had to wait up to 11 days to have their power turned back on.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

In the midst of the current weather crisis, Lansing utility officials plan to spend time tonight trying to figure out what went wrong during the last weather crisis in the capitol city.

Two weeks ago, an ice storm knocked out power to 40% of Lansing Board of Water and Light customers.

Many customers grew very angry as they waited for more than a week to get their electricity turned back on. That anger only grew worse when it was learned that the man in charge of the city’s utility left town during the outage to spend time with his family in New York.

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Business
1:32 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Michigan utilities closely monitoring today's big snow storm

Oh Snow, Not Again
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Heavy snow is blanketing parts of Michigan that just recovered from an ice storm two weeks ago.

Hundreds of thousands of utility customers spent days, in some cases nearly two weeks, without electricity.

“At this point we’re monitoring, and ready to respond, depending on what weather may come,” says Dan Bishop, a Consumers Energy spokesman.

Statewide, utility officials are closely watching to see if weather conditions may threaten to undo the repair work done over the past few weeks.

Business
8:37 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Most power restored in Michigan, LBWL still has work to do

Linemen for Consumers Energy work to restore power.
Credit Consumers Energy

Power has been restored for most homes and businesses in Michigan after a massive ice storm hit the state last weekend. But there are still thousands who have been without power for a week now.

Last weekend’s ice storm left half a million Michiganders in the dark. Around the clock work by line crews, including help from other states, has much of the power restored for DTE and Consumers Energy customers.  

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Business
1:21 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Lansing's BWL adding storm repair crews

The Lansing Board of Water and Light says it's getting some help from other utilities and contractors as it continues to repair damage from an ice storm that hit the region a week ago.

The utility says about 3,000 customers are still without power.

BWL spokesman Stephen Serkaian says the crews are working on circuits in the following areas:

Grand River/Edgebrook

W. Saginaw/Carey

Pattengill/Barnes

Chieho/W. Saginaw

St. Joe/Canal

Cavanagh/Pennsylvania

Mt. Hope/Sunnyside

Northeast/Community

Old Lansing Rd/E. Libby

Business
2:55 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

'Tis the time for the 'selfish shopper'

Day after Christmas sales
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Now that Christmas is over, Michigan retailers may be hoping that shoppers show more of their selfish side.

The holiday season is a season of giving. But one analyst says now that the presents have all been opened it's time for the "selfish shopper" to take over.

Trae Bodge is a senior editor for RetailMeNot.com. Bodge says being a "selfish shopper" is not necessarily a bad thing.

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Business
2:10 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Last minute holiday shoppers swarm Michigan stores on Christmas Eve

Christmas shoppers line up at cash registers on Christmas Eve
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Today hordes of last-minute Christmas shoppers hit Michigan stores frantically shopping for the perfect present, or at least the best still available.

The checkout lines, all two dozen of them, at a Meijer in Jackson were at least three shoppers deep around noon.

Jeff Bycraft was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping with his fiancé.

“Running a little bit behind this year, but we’re going to get it all done today. You have to,” says Bycraft.

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Business
8:41 pm
Sun December 22, 2013

Michigan-based Whirlpool moves manufacturing jobs from Mexico to Ohio

Spotrebice Whirlpool Creative Commons

Whirlpool is a giant in the appliance world with annual sales around $18 billion.

The Benton Harbor based company says it’s moving production of its commercial front-load washing machines from Mexico to a plant in northwest Ohio this spring. All of Whirlpool’s residential washing machines are already built there. At nearly two and a half million square feet, Whirlpool claims the plant is the biggest washing machine plant in the world.

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Business
1:00 pm
Sun December 22, 2013

Ice affecting Michigan Radio transmitters

The freezing rain is causing havoc for Michigan residents and businesses throughout the state.

Utilities report about 200,000 customers were without power at noon today (Sunday) after a heavy icing brought down tree limbs and power lines.

The weather has also affected Michigan Radio transmitters. We are aware that WVGR, 104.1 in Grand Rapids, is off the air and our engineer is working on the problem. We are also operating at reduced power at our two other transmitters. We're still online, though, at michiganradio.org.

Business
6:43 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Cash is king in Michigan home sales at the moment

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan has seen a sharp spike in the number of people paying cash for homes.

Last month, cash sales represented 49% of the home sales in Michigan.  

Nationwide, 42% of home sales in November were all cash.

Daren Bloomquist is with Realty Trac. He says investors are trying to gobble up a lot of newer, starter homes

“These investors are seeing a window of opportunity when home prices in many markets have been undervalued, especially compared to rent,” says Bloomquist.

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Business
3:19 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Blast at US Steel plant near Detroit kills worker

Steelmaking in the basic oxygen shop at the company's Edgar Thomson Plant in Braddock, Pennsylvania.
Credit United States Steel Corp. website

ECORSE, Mich. (AP) -United States Steel Corp. says an explosion at a plant near Detroit has killed one worker, and operations have halted while an investigation begins. 

Company spokeswoman Courtney Boone said Sunday that the accident happened overnight at U.S. Steel Great Lakes Works in Ecorse. The plant is about 10 miles south-southwest of downtown Detroit.

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Business
5:26 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Former Lansing city golf course closer to becoming a multi-million dollar development

The former entrance to the former Red Cedar park (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A $100 million mixed-use economic development project in Lansing is getting a boost from an Ohio developer.

Voters in Lansing approved putting the old Red Cedar park on the market. The plan has been to create a mix of residential, retail and other commercial space on the land which sits on the border of Lansing and East Lansing.

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Business
8:15 am
Tue December 10, 2013

There may be fewer Help Wanted signs in Michigan at the start of next year

bgottsab flicker.com user bgottsab

Manpower says slightly fewer Michigan companies plan to hire new employees in the beginning of next year. 

The human resources company surveyed Michigan business owners for its first quarter Employment Outlook Survey.

Manpower says 18% of Michigan companies plan to hire new workers between January and March. That’s down from about 22% in the fourth quarter of this year.

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Business
4:28 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Your first job can teach some harsh life lessons, especially for recent grads

For people at their first job out of college, it might be a slap in the face to learn that your appearance is often just as important as your abilities.
Haley Foydel LinkedIn

We spend a huge chunk of our lives in school. But the educational system and the real world are two different places.

In school, there are rules. Everyone has a chance to get an A, no matter what you look like. But that idea of fairness changes in the real world.

For people at their first job out of college, it might be a slap in the face to learn that your appearance is often just as important as your abilities.

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Business
4:13 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

American-US Airways merger could affect Michigan air travelers

American Airlines (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan air travelers could see some changes with the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

The merger creating the world's largest airline became official today.  But the new American Airlines has relatively few flights flying into and out of six Michigan airports.   

Michael Conway is a spokesman for Detroit Metro Airport.  He says the newly merged airline carries only about 6.6% of passengers flying out of Detroit.

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Business
11:42 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Audit: One-stop state licensing system little used

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan's auditor general says state departments mostly aren't using a one-stop online permitting system designed to help people who want to start, operate or expand a business.

An audit released last week found that Michigan spent $20 million developing and maintaining the Michigan Business One Stop System, but it gets little use. The system was created from 2007-09 to give entities doing business with the state a single entry point and to streamline licensing.

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Business
6:42 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Michigan Lottery reports record sales, lower profits

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Lottery had record sales in the most recent fiscal year, but profits for schools declined from a year ago.

The lottery on Friday reported nearly $2.5 billion in sales and $734 million in revenue for public schools. It says the contribution to schools was down 5.7 percent from a record-high payment in 2012 because of larger payouts to players.

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Business
12:56 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Michigan fast-food workers demand $15 dollars an hour

A small group pickets in front of a Pizza Hut on Lansing's south side
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Fast-food workers in Flint, Detroit, Pontiac, Lansing and other Michigan cities hit the picket lines today.

They are demanding a big increase in the minimum wage.

In Lansing, a small group of protesters chanted and waved signs outside a Pizza Hut.  

Tina Ervin has worked at the pizza joint for the past year. She says she’s having a hard time supporting herself and her three children on $7.40 an hour. Ervin is hopeful the national campaign to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour will succeed.

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Business
5:13 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Jackson's Allegiance Health, U-M affiliation will benefit patients, community and staff, CEO says

Credit Allegiance Health

The head of Jackson's Allegiance Health says a planned affiliation with the University of Michigan Health System will be good for patients, the community and employees.  

The 400-bed facility is the closest hospital for people in several counties.

Allegiance Health CEO Georgia Fojtasek says the UMHS affiliation will allow the hospital to expand patient services, including cardiovascular, neuromuscular and trauma care.

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Business
8:43 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Detroit's bankruptcy & the municipal bond market

Downtown Detroit (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The judge’s decision to let the city of Detroit pursue Chapter Nine bankruptcy protection could have an effect on the municipal bond market.

Municipal bonds have long been viewed as one of the safest investments out there. But bond holders may be among the biggest losers in Detroit’s bankruptcy.

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