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Forbes: Kalamazoo's Newmind and the cloud

Forbes magazine reports Daniel Jefferies, the founder of Newmind Group, parlayed his growing reputation as an IT expert into his own company when he started Newmind Group in 2003. Today Newmind Group has 15 employees spread across Michigan, South Carolina, Minnesota, and California.  Newmind also works with third-party IT companies to help solve problems that their 900 customers around North America have.  Since Newmind Group has scalable resources, they can send people on-site almost anywhere.
 
Excerpt: One of Newmind’s clients is called Greenleaf Hospitality, a hospitality management company that oversees two hotels, five ice arenas, seven restaurants, two retail shops, and a spa. Greenleaf Hospitality needed a way to transition from a legacy system to a cloud-based system so that they could stay on top of reports from different locations.  Newmind stepped in and managed the deployment.
 
For more, please read the rest of the story.
 
Source: Forbes

Huff Post: Lake Michigan's winter beauty

The beauty of winter on Lake Michigan is captured in these pictures by Tom Gill as seen in the Huffington Post. Waves battering lighthouses in St. Joseph and South Haven become natural ice sculptures. Or as the Australian, which also published his pictures, put it--stunning frozen waves of Lake Michigan show the brutal power of nature.

More of Gill's pictures can be seen here and here.
 
Source: Huffington Post

MLive: United Way surpasses goal

The United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region has exceeded its 2013 fundraising goals of more than $15.35 million, by raising $15.7 million, report MLive. The Kalamazoo campaign generated $9.6 million this year and the Battle Creek effort raised $6.1 million, both exceeding target goals set at a campaign kick-off in September. The goal for Battle Creek was $5.8 million and the goal for Kalamazoo was $9.5 million.
 
Excerpt: “These results are especially impressive because previous United Way mergers have seen temporary decreases in support,” said Michael Larson, president and chief executive officer of the United Way for the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region. “Once again, the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo region proves it’s the generous and compassionate exception to the rule.”
 
For more, please read the rest of the story.
 
Source: MLive
 

Sturgis Journal: Plan to clean rivers proceeds

The Sturgis Journal reports the third of a five-year plan to clean all 150 miles of rivers in St. Joseph County will begin June 1, when a stretch of the Prairie River in Lockport Township will be the first of seven river and riverbank cleanup events this summer. Members of the County Conservation District recently announced the dates and locations of the 2013 program, which will see about 26 collective miles of debris removed from five different waterways.
 
Excerpt: Jen Miller, conservation district administrator, said the Centreville-based agency plans to stage a high-profile campaign later in the year in hopes of landing a crop of new volunteers and hopefully getting assistance from past participants. "We had eight events last year and participation was across the board," Miller said. 
 
For more, please read the rest of the story.
 
Source: Sturgis Journal

MLive: Kalamazoo Promise analysis

An in-depth analysis of ACT scores by Mlive/Kalamazoo Gazette shows that the rate of improvement in Kalamazoo high schools easily outpaces the state numbers as well as the composite average of seven other urban districts: Battle Creek, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Lansing, Muskegon and Saginaw.
 
The analysis looked at the ACT results in two ways: Comparing changes  median ACT scores in each of the four subjects -- reading, English, math and science -- as well as comparing the percent of students who hit the "college-ready" benchmarks set by the ACT.
 
For more results, please read the rest of the story.
 
Source: MLive

Kalamazoo Gazette: It's the 50th anniversary of the K Plan

Fifty years ago, Kalamazoo College threw out the traditional course of study and did away with summer vacation, reports the Kalamazoo Gazette. It was the making of the institution, many said on the golden anniversary of the K Plan. “It did set it apart. It enabled it to grow in stature and grow in the number of students,” said Charlotte Hall, a Kalamazoo College trustee and a member of the Class of 1966 – the first to go through all four years on the K Plan. In fact, Kalamazoo College's enrollment increased by more than a third in size during the first decade after the K Plan was implemented – from 750 to 1,200 students.
 
For more, please read the rest of the story.
 
Source: Kalamazoo Gazette

B.C. Enquirer: Developing local talent

While the economy works toward a sustainable recovery at a sluggish pace, many companies have complained of a shortage of qualified job candidates, reports the Battle Creek Enquirer.
 
Excerpt: The challenge has been tackled head-on in Battle Creek. Kellogg Community College’s Regional Manufacturing Technology Center, a unique partnership between the business community and area educational institutions, trains an average of about 1,200 people every year, said Director Laura McGuire. About 60 percent of its students come to the center for company-sponsored training, but because much of the facility’s enrollment is based on the success of the local manufacturing sector, numbers have been as low as 700 in recent years.
"These partnerships can be very agile," Good said. 
 
For more, please read the rest of the story.
 
Source: Battle Creek Enquirer

B.C. Enquirer: Books become sculpture project

While visiting a local library, Sabine LeDieu saw a pile of soon-to-be-discarded books. "I said, 'Hey, what do you do with those things?' and 'Let’s make some sculptures!' And they were all into it," she said. "I’m leading some workshops with some kids in Marshall to help us build some benches and totems (from books), and it’s been awesome." The Battle Creek Enquirer reports the sculpture is one of the components of a campfire-themed scene that will be unveiled March 19 as part of the "Opening New Worlds: Learning About Literacy Through Art" program. Artists Kimber Thompson and LeDieu were in charge of the construction.
 
For more, please read the rest of the story.
 
Source: Battle Creek Enquirer
 

MLive: Charter school for elite athletes proposed

A charter school that would cater to the specific needs of teenage elite athletes --  specifically in hockey, soccer and figure skating -- is being proposed for the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek area, reports MLive. Legacy Academy would serve grades 7-12 and be located at The Revolution Arena in Battle Creek, home to the Battle Creek Ice Hockey Association, and also at the Kingdom Indoor Soccer Center in Portage, according to a grant application filed with the Michigan Department of Education.
 
Excerpt: The target student population will be hockey players, figure skaters and soccer players who can train and take classes at the same location. It would be the first such school in Michigan, and the idea is modeled on a school for tennis players in Las Vegas, said Heather Montei, who is serving as spokeswoman for the project organizers. Realistically, the earliest the school would open is fall 2014, Montei said.
 
For more, please read the rest of the story.
 
Source: MLive

Niles Daily Star: Sixth Generation to invade Britain

Sixth Generation, the quintet, formed in 1966 as a Niles garage band, will be the only American group performing on the bill in the birthplace of the Beatles, Liverpool’s Cavern Club to celebrate Ringo Starr’s 73rd birthday July 7.
 
Excerpt: When Sixth Generation reunited in 2010 after a 40-year break, no one expected tours, CDs with original songs, hall of fame status or the boomer anthem “That Was the Time,” with more than 100,000 YouTube views. As Dave Walenga likes to say, “Nothing surprises me. And now this opportunity. We’re not reliving our youth. We’ve never been. This is our first time. We take this in stride.”
 
For more, please read the rest of the story.
 
Source: Niles Daily Star

Niles Daily Star: Sixth Generation to invade Britain

Sixth Generation, the quintet, formed in 1966 as a Niles garage band, will be the only American group performing on the bill in the birthplace of the Beatles, Liverpool’s Cavern Club to celebrate Ringo Starr’s 73rd birthday July 7.
 
Excerpt: When Sixth Generation reunited in 2010 after a 40-year break, no one expected tours, CDs with original songs, hall of fame status or the boomer anthem “That Was the Time,” with more than 100,000 YouTube views. As Dave Walenga likes to say, “Nothing surprises me. And now this opportunity. We’re not reliving our youth. We’ve never been. This is our first time. We take this in stride.”
 
For more, please read the rest of the story.
 
Source: Niles Daily Star

B.C. Enquirer: Changes to brew regs ahead?

State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, told the Battle Creek Enquirer that proposed changes to Michigan's liquor laws introduced in the Michigan Senate includes provisions to streamline liquor license transfers, which he supports, but also allows easier sales of alcohol, which he views cautiously. As part of the bill, local breweries, like Arcadia in Battle Creek and Dark Horse in Marshall, could sell their products and ship directly to customers.
 
Excerpt: "There are some good things in the bill that helps the process of getting a liquor license," Nofs said. "That would make it easier for people to go out and do business."
 
For more, please read the rest of the story.
 
Source: Battle Creek Enquirer
 

Kalamazoo Gazette: ABC's 'Extreme Makeover' crew to visit

The production crew of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition" will be in Kalamazoo on May 22 to film the "reveal" of Alyssa Stommen and everyone is invited, reports the Kalamazoo Gazette.
 
Stommen will be featured on the third season of the reality TV show that follows a group of people for 12 months as they try to lose weight. The 5-foot-6 Stommen, 22, said recently that she weighed more than 400 pounds when her "journey" started nine-and-a-half months ago. Stommen signed a contract with ABC and is not able to talk specifically about her appearance.
 
Excerpt: "Anyone who personally knows me says I've lost an amazing, incredible amount of weight," she said.
 
For more, please read the rest of the story.
 
Source: Kalamazoo Gazette

MLive: Women Who Care give $14,200 for children

Warm Kids Project will receive $14,200 from the new charitable organization Women Who Care of Kalamazoo County, reports MLive. At its inaugural meeting Feb. 20, the 117 members of Women Who Care of Kalamazoo in attendance chose Warms Kids Project from among 20 charities nominated to receive its first donation. At four meetings to be held each year, members will each pledge $100 to a charity to be chosen that night. Members who are present have the opportunity nominate a charity, hear presentations on three of them and then vote. Members then write $100 checks to the charity that receives the most votes. 
 
Excerpt: "It gives the organizations the opportunity to do what they do best and not have to worry about raising money," Kalamazoo City Commissioner Barbara Miller said.

For more, please read the rest of the story.
 
Source: MLive

B.C. Enquirer: Beach may be moving

The city of Battle Creek is getting ready to ask the state to fund most of a $400,000 project that would move Willard Beach by 2015. City officials say the beach and boating areas on Goguac Lake are too close and while there have been no accidents there is constant enforcement to keep the two areas separate, Ted Dearing of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department told the Battle Creek Enquirer.
 
Excerpt: “They are constantly on their megaphones telling people to come into the buoyed area,” he said. "We just don’t want it to be one of those things where it’s just a matter of time (before) something bad happens."

For more, please read the rest of the story.
 
Source: Battle Creek Enquirer
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