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With such a recognizable moniker you'd think Kalamazoo wouldn't need nicknames, but through the years changing names have reflected the city's refusal to stand still. The Zoo, Celery City and Mall City are a few. The innovative thinking that brought downtown Kazoo the nation's first pedestrian mall in 1959 thrives today. Innovations in life sciences, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals combined with the expertise of Kalamazoo's universities - Western Michigan, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Davenport College - make the city a center of research, development and technology. It's all part of an eclectic, vibrant city with a cultural scene that Kalamazooans love to boast about. The Kalamazoo Symphony, Kalamazoo Institute of Art and scrappy local theater companies are a few of the offerings. Locals love their festivals, many at the Arcadia Festival grounds, and their outdoors, whether it's taking to the Kalamazoo River or biking the Kal-Haven trail or golfing at the nationally-acclaimed Milham Park course. The city's sports fans have competitive college teams, minor league baseball and hockey to follow. And it all comes with a Promise. All high school graduates who live in Kalamazoo qualify for scholarships at any public university or community college.
Fido Motors

Fido creator strives for lots of fun on two wheels

An old buggy chassis factory in Kalamazoo's Edison neighborhood is the new home for a practical means of gas-free transportation: an electric scooter. 

Chris Hancox, Public safety

Guess which neighborhood is the safest in Kalamazoo?

A bustling downtown attracts more visitors and residents. That means more eyes on the street, but also more opportunities for law-breaking. Yet Kalamazoo has seen a 30 percent drop in downtown crime, and safety advocates say “Come on down!”


Higher ed wakes up and smells the beer, but new brewing program is no joke

Ever since WMU and KVCC announced the nation's first sustainable brewing program people have been joking that they wish they could have gotten college credit for their beer studies. Jeremy Martin finds there's much more to the new program than the jokesters imagine.

One Well

Craft brewers find collaborations keep competition friendly

When craft brewers put collaboration above competition everyone wins -- especially craft brew drinkers. 

Daniel Floyd with his invention

WMU sophomore patents device that turns cork into a way to improve diction

A passion at a young age for learning how businesses work and difficulty speaking clearly come together to create a startup opportunity for one WMU sophomore. 

Belinda Tate

Belinda Tate finds new ways to get people to visit the KIA

Belinda Tate is listening to find out what the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts can do for the community. She already has a few ideas. 

Tinashe Chaponda at Habitat for Humanity

Putting the focus on Kalamazoo volunteers

Helping others should be fun, says Tinashe Chaponda. He started FOCUS Kalamazoo to prove it could be done.  

Jessica French, Bert Ebrite, co-owners

Guitars and pianos take over north end of Kalamazoo Mall

Entrepreneurs with a musical flair are doing business downtown and finding guitars and pianos fit in just fine in their urban setting. 

La Vie en Orange owner Kori Jock

What you liked about what we wrote in 2014

Arts collective

Creating an arts hub with the help of their friends

When Kalamazoo's DIT concert supporters and the DIY crafters get together the result is a plan for the Kalamazoo Collective Arts Center. 
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Bakery Thumbnail

Local food offerings rise with opening of new bakery

Traditional Irish scones and cakes are just two of the goods that are attracting customers downtown to the new location of the Victorian Bakery, its first retail setting.

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The Solar Project

The largest solar array in Michigan sits in a field in Charleston Township, the result of a DIY project by a father and son and business partner team, whose company, Kalamazoo Solar LLC, sells the power back to Consumers Energy. But their ultimate goal is to manufacture complete solar arrays in Michigan--at a price individual consumers can afford.
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