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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.
Sierra Staunton and Kim Bruinwood

That does compute: More girls gaining tech, business skills through competitive robotics

Dubbed a “varsity sport for the mind,” FIRST Robotics is about much more than building robots to shoot Frisbees, and it’s attracting more girls interested in everything from marketing to engineering.

Mural Mall

Three Rivers builds its downtown with Main Street initiative

Business owners say a new energy in downtown Three Rivers is just one of the benefits of being part of the Michigan Main Street Program.

TCBC Hard Cider

Hard cider business is one way this family farm keeps changing

Diversity at Schultz Fruitridge Farm means more than 20 varieties of apples, grapes, peaches, asparagus, and more. Bill Schultz talks about the latest innovation for the farm: turning its apples into hard cider. 


Second chances for the two- and four-legged

Dogs that no one wants are getting a second chance when they are trained by incarcerated inmates at Lakeland Correctional Facility. The trainers teach dogs what they need to know to find a home. 

John Tsui opening new Restaurant

Zip in and go at Ziingo (now open for business)

Chances are good that if you ask someone what Kalamazoo-area restaurants are their favorite, Chinn Chinn will be on that list. Its owner and chef John Tsui talks with Zinta Aistars about his career in the restaurant business and his latest venture, Ziingo. 

Mackinc Bourbon Party 03

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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