Business

Business
11:37 am
Mon April 8, 2013

There is growing optimism in Michigan's home building industry

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s home builders are optimistic about the year ahead.

The recession walloped Michigan’s home building industry. Many builders went out of business. Others merged and focused on home remodeling.

But a new survey shows Michigan’s home builders are optimistic about getting back into the business of building new homes. They say pent up consumer demand, especially for more expensive homes ($200,000 to $800,000), is pushing up the Michigan Housing Index.

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Business
4:22 pm
Sun April 7, 2013

Marathon buys 2/3 of homes near $2.2B oil project in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) - Marathon Petroleum Corp. has bought two-thirds of the homes in an area of southwest Detroit where the oil company is carrying out a $2.2 billion expansion.

The company announced in November 2011 that it wanted to create a buffer area between its growing refinery operation and residential areas.

The Detroit News reported Sunday that Marathon has bought 205 homes so far. The company began with a list of 296 homeowners, and 265 of them agreed to discuss terms for a possible sale.

The company made offers to 258 of them.

Business
5:21 pm
Sat April 6, 2013

USDA says Michigan drops to 9th in honey production

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

HOPKINS, Mich. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Michigan has dropped from 7th to 9th in honey production.

According to the agency, 2012 honey production in the state fell 8.5 percent from the year before. Yields from Michigan's 76,000 colonies producing honey averaged 57 pounds in 2012, compared with 64 pounds the previous year.

State apiary inspector Mike Hansen says beekeepers are participating in a survey this month to get a clearer picture of what's going on with Michigan's bee population.

Business
11:42 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Some Michigan residents saw lower heating bills this winter

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some Michigan residents saw lower heating bills this winter because of reduced natural gas prices and milder temperatures.

The Michigan Public Service Commission announced Friday that households that use natural gas for heating received lower heating bills. Nearly 80 percent of all Michigan households use natural gas to heat their homes.

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Business
9:59 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Native American casinos in Michigan testing the water for online gambling

Letsgambling.blogspot.com

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) - The Soaring Eagle Casino is planning a new website that won't take bets for money unless Congress changes restrictions on online gambling.

The casino's marketing director Raul Venegas tells the Morning Sun of Mount Pleasant that the website will be for marketing and fun.

Venegas says the casino has "no intentions to offer real money gaming online, but people can play for free."

Business
11:38 am
Sun March 31, 2013

Michigan processes shorter corporate tax returns

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan says the new corporate income tax returns it's processing are much shorter in length than other business tax returns.

The state Department of Treasury says the returns submitted to date average 17 pages. That's 41 fewer pages than the average Michigan Business Tax return.

The Corporate Income Tax approved in 2011 took effect for the 2012 tax year. Some businesses still file an MBT return because they qualify for certain tax credits.

The state says some MBT returns are longer than 1,000 pages.

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Business
2:28 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Detroit may see major downtown improvements

Gilbert says major improvements coming for Detroit.
Quicken Loans

A story by Detroit Free Press Business writer, John Gallagher outlines a host of improvements and attractions coming to Detroit. Quicken Loans founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert described the high points of his vision:

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Business
9:06 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

UAW says membership crept up in 2012

United Auto Workers

DETROIT (AP) - The United Auto Workers union says its membership has edged up in the past year after decades of contraction with the shrinking of U.S. auto industry employment.

The Detroit-based union says it reported its 2012 membership figure to the U.S. government Thursday.

The UAW says it had 382,513 members last year, up from 380,716 in 2011. That's an increase of 1,797, or 0.5 percent.

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Business
5:14 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

Postal workers protest end to Saturday service

Credit usps.com

Hundreds of postal workers who oppose plans to cut home delivery from six days to five have picketed outside U.S. Postal Service offices in Michigan.

The Detroit News says about 600 people marched in protest Sunday at a post office in suburban Southfield.

MLive.com says about 100 postal workers from around the state demonstrated Sunday in Grand Rapids. They carried signs and waved at passing cars.

The signs included the messages "Save America's Postal Service" and "5-Day Is the Wrong Way to Save the Postal Service."

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Business
11:04 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Founder of Michigan-based Hungry Howie's pizza chain dies at 72

Credit Facebook

The founder of a pizza company launched in Taylor 40 years ago has died. 

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Business
1:35 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Before and after photos of Traverse City's converted mental hospital

A photo of the old hallway in the Traverse City State Hospital.
The Village at Grand Traverse Commons

Update: Tours now available of untouched building

Saw an article by Matt Troutman  of the Traverse City Record-Eagle where he reports that tours through the last remaining undeveloped portion of the former state mental hospital and its labyrinth of tunnels are now available.

People lucky enough to land a spot on a tour will start in the Mercato and walk outside toward the north wing of Building 50. Many of the patient rooms are open for exploration, though people are warned to be aware of the peeling lead paint and must put protective covers over their shoes.

Once outside Building 50, the tour will go underground into the brick-lined tunnels that stretch beneath the hospital. The tour ends where it started: inside the new, redeveloped portion of Building 50.

Future tour dates will be announced on The Village at Grand Traverse Commons Facebook page. They cost $25, with the proceeds going toward maintaining and replanting the former arboretum.

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The transformed Northern Michigan Asylum has been up and running as the Village at Grand Traverse Commons for several years.

Ray Minervini has been working on restoring the old state mental hospital for more than a decade.

You could call it a mega-fixer-upper.

Minervini told us back in 2006 that the work being done on the site "equates to the largest rehab project for sure in the Midwest."

The former state mental hospital in Traverse City is a castle-like compound of about 27 buildings.

They were closed in 1989 and vacant for a decade after.

In 2002, Minervini bought all 63-acres of the property for just $1.

After putting in over $60 million, it's now a showpiece for the area. Once it's complete, the owners expect that approximately 1,800 people will live or work there.

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Business
11:31 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Hey, look what I made! No, really, look!

Credit University of Michigan Medical School

Let's say a researcher designs a product that could save someone's life. Without money and backing from the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation, that invention probably won't go anywhere.

Medical innovators at the University of Michigan now have a better chance of getting their products to market with a $7.5 million joint venture with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

It's called the Michigan Translational Research & Commercialization for Life Sciences, and it's meant to help bridge what's known as "The Valley of Death."

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Stateside
5:17 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

CEOs want to see more post-secondary education in Michigan

Deciding where and how to spend money. It is a major part of the decisions made by top business executives.

There are 70 CEO's who have come together in West Michigan to set up a system of investment in human capital in their future employees.

They've named their effort "TALENT 2025," and they want to see 60 percent of the region's workforce achieve a post-secondary degree by 2025.

The President of TALENT 2025, Kevin Stotts, talked with Cyndy from Grand Rapids.

Business
4:00 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Two metro Detroit newspapers could face strikes in the coming weeks

Union workers could strike at the Macomb Daily and Royal Oak Tribune.

Union workers at the Macomb Daily and Royal Oak Tribune newspapers are contemplating a possible strike and other job actions at the end of the month.

The Journal Register company owns the papers. It has announced plans to end its union contracts and probably make deep cuts in its union and non-union workforces, more than 800 people statewide.

Lou Mleczko is the president of the Newspaper Guild of Detroit. He says the unions, representing the union 175 members involved, met Sunday to agree on a strategy.

“We are not just going to sit idly by and let them terminate these contracts….and strip pay and benefits away from our members,” says Mleczko. 

Mleczko says the unions plan to start telling advertisers about their plans.

He says the unions may hold strike authorization votes before March 19th.

That’s the date of the next bankruptcy hearing for the Journal Register company.

Business
11:47 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Compuware cutting costs, announces 160 layoffs

Compuware's downtown Detroit headquarters.
Urban Adventures flickr

Compuware's headquarters is the One Campus Martius building in downtown Detroit.

JC Reindl of the Detroit Free Press reports this morning that the company plans to lay off 160 employees "and close or shrink" 16 offices around the world. Those layoffs will affect workers in Detroit:

Sources told the Free Press this week that several executive-level workers at the firm’s downtown Detroit headquarters lost their jobs, including a top official with a total compensation package last year that exceeded $1 million.

Compuware has yet to confirm or deny reports that it is actively seeking a buyer. In January the company’s board rejected an unsolicited $2.3-billion, $11-per-share offer from a New York hedge fund as too low.

Reindl reports the company employed close to 2,000 people in 2012 at its downtown headquarters.

3:20 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Detroit Library's official focus of FBI Investigation fired

Lead in text: 
Library officials won't say why, but Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cromer was fired yesterday. Cromer had been on paid leave since the FBI's mid-November raid. Check out the story in the Detroit News... - Chris Zollars, Michigan Radio Newsroom
Detroit - The Detroit Public Library has fired one of its top administrators at the center of an FBI investigation over kickbacks. Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cromer had been on paid leave from his $145,323-a-year post since mid-November when the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his office at the library's main branch and his West Bloomfield Township home.
Business
11:20 am
Sun February 17, 2013

Michigan's film industry reels at Snyder's budget proposal

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan film producers and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville say they will lobby to maintain the state's $50 million film credits cap.

Gov. Snyder is calling for a $25 million dollar cap in film incentives in the budget he has proposed. The amount is the same he proposed last year, but lawmakers raised the cap to $50 million during budget negotiations.

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Business
3:16 pm
Sat February 16, 2013

Michigan organic farmers want better access to federal farm subsidy money

Environmental and organic farming groups want a change in the way federal agriculture subsidies are handed out.

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Business
12:14 pm
Sat February 16, 2013

Palisades nuclear plant shut down for repairs

COVERT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The Palisades nuclear power plant in southwestern Michigan has been shut down for repairs after workers spent several days trouble-shooting its cooling water heat exchanger system.

Plant spokesman Mark Savage said in an email that the plant was disconnected from the state's electrical grid just before 5 p.m. Friday. He gave no timetable for the repairs but says the plant along Lake Michigan's shoreline in Van Buren County's Covert Township would be returned to service when they are completed.

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Business
4:11 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Report: Midwest firms could benefit from high-speed rail

An Acela Express after its arrival in Washington, D.C. Union Station.
Travail personnel-Nicolas STAMBACH

CHICAGO (AP) - An environmental policy group has identified hundreds of Midwest manufacturers that stand to benefit from the web of high-speed rail routes emerging from Chicago.

A report released Friday by the Environmental Law & Policy Center says 460 supply-chain manufacturers in seven Midwest states are poised to reap new business, along with a dozen highly visible companies that make rail cars and locomotives.

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