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Portage


As home to Southwest Michigan's largest enclosed mall and an extensive commercial strip Portage draws those born to shop. But it is the city's commitment to what's outside those shops - - its green spaces and blue waters - that make Portage a place people love to call home. More than 60 linear trail miles give cyclists and walkers plenty of places to go. Some 800 acres of protected land is open to the public. Seven lakes offer water sports and fishing. The network of parks and trails, used for walking, cycling and canoeing, are proof of the city's commitment to balancing green spaces and workplaces, workplaces that include some of the world's biggest names. The city is home to the manufacturing headquarters of Pfizer, a world leader in biopharmaceuticals; Stryker, a medical technology leader; and the U.S. Headquarters of Mann+Hummel Group, a major corporation in automotive components. Portage enjoys the benefits of being close to Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College and Kalamazoo Community College -- all of which contribute to the city's highly educated workforce. Restaurants and bars are a mixture of nationally recognized establishments and local favorites. During the summer months cultural events are offered in venues in each of the city's parks.
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Fear and loathing at Mackinac, or How I learned to stop worrying and love the Policy Conference

Aspiring young leaders learn the art of the deal on Mackinac Island. 

Troy Thrash, President & CEO of Air Zoo

Air Zoo gives science education a seat in first class

From nine airplanes in one hangar to more than 60 air- and spacecraft and more than 200 voluteers assisting the staff, the Air Zoo has grown in the past 30-plus years. Now its horizon is expanding to deepen its commitment to education. CEO and President Troy Thrash talks about what is in the works. Tigers are involved.

Cathy Halinski, left, and Dulcee Boehm

Cheese brings smiles for Evergreen Lane Farm & Creamery

In the past decade goat cheese has been one of the fastest growing cheeses in the specialty food product market. Michigan has more 1,000 reported milk goat operations. Zinta Aistars talks with the cheese makers at Evergreen Lane Farm & Creamery, where milk from goats (and cows) comes about through a cooperative effort.

Jacy King, Brandon Stacy, Brian Gross

Portage writer helps keep Star Trek universe alive

Star Trek: Phase II comes to the big screen at Alamo Draft House. Chris Killian talks with Rick Chambers about the path to seeing his script in the movie house.

Kalamazoo City Commissioner Jack Urban

The route to a better bus service

A more efficient, more streamlined transit system with more routes and more frequent stops is the goal. Zinta Aistars has the report on how it's coming about.

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Remembering the best-read stories of 2013

One thing about the new journalism--as an editor you know right away whether a story hits or not simply by seeing how many people clicked on it, how long they spent reading it and whether they shared it. Here is Second Wave's top hits of 2013.

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Southwest Michigan's craft beer news from A through W

As Southwest Michigan becomes a hub for craft beer it's tough keeping up with everything that's going on. Jeremy Martin has all the news that's fit to sip from Arcadia Ales through Walldorff Brewpub.

Danny Ellis

How will drones change the way business is done?

Two Southwest Michigan men are integral to a team in Ann Arbor building one of the next big deals in the world of technology. With code they created themselves and years of work, SkySpecs is engineering the future. Kathy Jennings talks with Danny Ellis about the company's work with  unmanned aerial vehicles.

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A horse trainer with a healing touch

Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field Therapy sends a healing pulse through an area of the body experiencing pain. The results are something that keeps bringing people back to Erin McElmurry. Zinta Aistars has the story on the owner of Every Stride Dressage. 

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Harnessing the Future

When it comes to farming sometimes old is new again. At least it is for Gina Wertz. She tells Donna McClurkan about her reasons for learning one of the oldest ways for tilling the earth. 
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