Officials look to juice the local economy by growing barley varieties and a possible malting operation for Michigan beer brewing.
Barley is a vital component of many popular craft beers that are brewed in Michigan. The malting process involves steeping the barley in water so that grains sprout and release enzymes necessary for brewing.
"Michigan-made malt, particularly from Michigan barley, is of interest to brewers," said Marty Gerencer, principal of Norton Shores-based Morse Marketing Connections, LLC. "The majority of local brew that you drink has malt in it. ... If they get the malt from Michigan, instead of the (United Kingdom) that's a good thing."
The prospectors hired to help growing companies find new sites for expansion are bombarded with pitches from communities around the world.
"Greenlight" is a one-stop shopping attempt by a partnership of seven West Michigan communities to guide site selection firms through the clutter to six industrial building sites in Kent and Muskegon counties.
The six sites, which include a total of 35 individual properties, are being pitched mainly at companies looking for "logistically intensive" sites, said Tim Mroz, a spokesman for The Right Place, Inc.
Each one of the six sites is close to more than one transportation system, such as Muskegon's deep water port, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport or a major railroad line, Mroz said.
Eagle Alloy Inc. has been named "Metalcaster of the Year" by the American Foundry Society.
The Muskegon-based company located at 5142 Evanston Ave. was chosen out of more than 2,000 foundries throughout North America. Eagle Alloy is one of four companies in Eagle Group, which is run by co-owners John Workman and Mark Fazakerley.
"Actually, it took us quite by surprise," Fazakerley said. "It's a very, very nice surprise. It humbled us very much. There's 2,000 foundries they had to choose from and for them to choose us is really great."
The Port of Muskegon will host representatives from its peers around the Great Lakes this week.
The American Great Lakes Ports Association will hold its annual summer meeting on Wednesday and Thursday, July 22-23 in Muskegon. Officials from major ports in several Great Lakes states, Canada and the Saint Lawrence Seaway system will gather for the association's annual summer meeting.
"It's a great opportunity to show what we have and the capabilities we have," said Muskegon County Board of Commissioners Chairman Terry Sabo. "Since we are showcasing it to other ports round the Great Lakes, maybe there's a chance to do some sort of collaborative effort."
Mercy Health Muskegon has announced a new timeline for the nine-story medical tower project it unveiled last year.
Hospital officials on Monday, July 20 said the submission and review of the proposed consolidation effort at the hospital system's Mercy Campus will occur in late September.
All approval decisions by the local and regional boards of trustees, its Livonia-based parent company, Trinity Health, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' Certificate of Need program are expected in early October.
If hospital leaders earn all necessary approvals in the fall, site preparation work for the project could begin later this year, while construction could begin in spring 2016.
Muskegon will be site of distribution center serving lakeshore, GR, Detroit and Chicago.
Muskegon soon could be a regional hub of food activity.
An $85,000 study of how to grow the West Michigan food system recommended a food hub be created in Muskegon.
Food hubs support local food systems by acting as aggregates for small to mid-size local growers, processing, packaging and distributing the food.
The study was conducted by Marty Gerencer of Morse Marketing Connections, and Evan Smith of Cherry Capital Foods, who were advised by several community, state and national organizations.
The Community Foundation for Muskegon County backed the study, with funding from Consumers Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
CFMC requested the study to determine how to increase the city’s supply of regional food and the access low-income communities have to the food.
“We are very involved and interested in helping food access in the Muskegon community,” said Chris McGuigan, CFMC president.
A new business in downtown Muskegon is encouraging guests to "Rise Up, Feel Good."
Rootdown, located in the former Muskegon Bank and Trust building at 333 W. Western Ave., features yoga classes seven days a week, a full-service juice bar and greens all in the heart of downtown Muskegon.
The unique operation has been open for yoga since May 25, but it celebrated its official opening over the Fourth of July holiday and opened its juice bar on July 10. The opening is the realization of a dream more than three years in the making for owner Kelly Seyferth.
"It is very surreal at times that it's actually come to life," she said. "It's been such a long road. There were many times that we had picnics in here just sitting on the floor dreaming about one day when it would actually be done."
The Muskegon County commissioners on Tuesday were pitched a comprehensive plan for getting the county better looking starting this summer.
At the July 14 meeting Muskegon County Grant Coordinator Connie Maxim-Sparrow spun a web connecting a variety of non-profit groups and existing campaigns into "Bringing the Community Together: Up 2 Us Beautification Effort."
"We're really trying to focus our efforts," Maxim-Sparrow said.
The effort would be focus on improving two of the most-traveled roads in the metro area: Seaway Drive and Muskegon Heights' Sherman Boulevard. It would be branded as part of the "Watch Muskegon" community image campaign.
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The highly anticipated Kitchen 242 is officially open and ready for business. Recently, Dana Gannon was on Fox17 to discuss the exciting addition to the Muskegon Farmer's Market and Muskegon Lakeshore.
The kitchen provides a rent-able facility for food business entrepreneurs to prepare their products in an approved kitchen. This Community kitchen space is also available for cooking classes and culinary events can be held to enhance community awareness of good nutrition. Kitchen 242 officially opened on July 3 and is a welcomed, unique addition that has been two years in the making through the work of numerous groups and organizations.
A new two-day event challenges teams of professionals to redesign architectural structures in downtown Muskegon Heights to bring health and economic vitality back to the city.
Arisei LLC, a sustainability project management and consulting startup based in New York City, is hosting the upcoming Muskegon Might build-a-thon July 18-19 in collaboration with the city of Muskegon Heights and The Way to Wellville, and invites interdisciplinary teams of professionals to re-imagine and redevelop the downtown Muskegon Heights area.
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