Features

Longform leelanautower

Leelanau County looks to improve internet access

Internet access and availability has long been an issue in mostly rural but tourist-friendly Leelanau County. After several years of study, the county is on the verge of beginning construction on a two-year project that would provide most households with internet access by the end of 2023.  

Feature Story Entrepreneur Chris Boyle poses outside his first Port Austin venture: Port Austin Kayak.

Port Austin entrepreneur breathing new life into old buildings

Boyle family works to transform abandoned buildings into new businesses, helping revive tourism in Port Austin and the Thumb. 

Feature Story The 123-acre as seen from above in Olive Township. (Ottawa County)

Michigan’s fastest-growing county remains committed to preserving farmland

Ottawa County is both the fastest growing county in the state and an agricultural powerhouse. The challenge is preserving farmland that also is in demand for housing developments. That’s where the county’s PDR program plays a pivotal role.

Longform davidollilaprofile

Marquette entrepreneur sees growth potential for outdoor recreation economy in the Upper Peninsula

David Ollila, who holds at least 16 patents, is the force behind a new development in Marquette that he hopes will bolster the outdoor recreation sector in the Upper Peninsula and connect it to Michigan’s mobility engine.  

Feature Story Students participating in the free dental clinic could choose from goodies.

Elks and local family team up to support free dental clinic for Beaver Island students

A $3,000 grant from the local Elks Lodge and a matching donation provided free dental services to students on remote Beaver Island.  

Partner Content broadbandcollageimage

The time is now to prepare for broadband equity, access and deployment (BEAD) funding

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act gives is the best opportunity to close the Digital Divide, but it will present many challenges. What state leaders do today and in the months ahead could impact the lives of their constituents for years to come.

Feature Story Symbiote makes customized furniture products and solutions for the biotechnology, education, healthcare, and security industries.

Furniture-maker expands operations in Zeeland

The customized furniture manufacturer’s expansion will create seven new jobs in the city of Zeeland. 

Feature Story The antique tractor pavilion at the West Michigan Research Station.

Community foundations partner on small-town development

Community foundations have traditionally focused on grant making and other nonprofit support. These days, however, community foundations across Michigan are lending a hand with development projects of all kinds in small towns. 

Feature Story Nannette Miller, library director at Elk Rapids District Library, plans to retire in April.

Elk Rapids library tackles the digital divide

This small rural library in northern Michigan has managed to stay on top of the digital needs of its residents, offering WiFi HotSpots, internet access and more. 

Feature Story Demiree Fultz, owner of Ruboo Boutique and organizer of the empowHER Conference.

Local entrepreneur to launch women’s empowerment conference in downtown Port Huron this April

“The goal of the event is to bring women together and make them feel empowered and encouraged, because I feel it’s really lacking in today's community,” says Demiree Fultz, owner of Ruboo Boutique and organizer of the empowHER Conference. “Hopefully this can become an annual event and change the lives of those who attend.”

Longform On the Ground Battle Creek Barn Believers

Barn Believers find ways to restore old barns so they can be used for public purposes

Need money to restore an old barn? If it will be used for the public the Barn Believers in Calhoun County may be able to help.

Feature Story Frank's is Zeeland's oldest restaurant. A partnership with Frank's owner Shane Hammer has created the city's newest eatery.

Partnership with Zeeland's oldest restaurant brings new eatery

The COVID-19 pandemic has done a great many things. But one of the good ones is to show how much people are willing to help each other. From a partnership with Zeeland's oldest restaurant and one of its most popular ones, a new venture was formed.

Feature Story A craft beer enthusiast, Jeremy Grossenbacher grew up in Coopersville.

Coopersville brewery creates sense of community

A Coopersville native returned to his hometown and opened a craft brewery. Coopersville Brewing Co. is helping put the farming community on the map and creating a sense of community for newcomers and old-timers alike. 

Feature Story The Inn on Water Street in downtown Marine City.

How these two local businesses have formed a mutually beneficial partnership in downtown Marine City

“We grew out of our Broadway location so quickly and have been looking to expand for some time,” Steve Neiman says. “We really love the community and when the offer from the Inn came up — it was a beautiful view, great people, room for parking, and indoor and outdoor seating — it was a no-brainer for us.”

Partner Content Signage promoting physical activity in Baldwin.

District Health Department #10 builds healthier communities in 10 Michigan counties

DHD#10 uses a variety of evidence-based programs and approaches to create a broader culture of health through their policies, systems, and environmental change work. 

Feature Story Frank Kraai, of Holland, poses along the Window on The Waterfront park in Holland, Michigan where a new ice rink will be built after he donated $1 million toward the effort.

Retired teacher donates $1M to bring “pure joy” to Michigan community

Retired teacher Frank Kraai is giving his life savings of $1 million to bring an ice skating rink to downtown Holland that he hopes will bring “pure joy” to the residents.

Feature Story Telemedicine

Rural Michigan embraces telemedicineVirtual visits eliminate long drives and improve efficiency

Virtual consultants with doctors became a way of life for many rural residents during the pandemic. Healthcare providers are advocating for continued use of telemedicine as a way to cut costs and increase access to medical care, especially in rural areas. 

Feature Story A selection of parkas at the Calumet store.

Iditarod mushers make adventure gear in the Upper Peninsula

Mushers Justin and Jaimee High left Alaska for the Upper Peninsula, where they produce durable outdoors gear and run a retail shop in downtown Calumet.

Feature Story A Creative Dining Services employee in a community garden.

A Zeeland company is passionate about the triple bottom line

Creative Dining Services received the Triple Bottom Line Leadership Award from the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum for its sustainability and social justice efforts in the foodservice industry.

Feature Story Thomas Howell (left), Vanessa Howell, and William Howell stand with Apcom's mascot Brady posing with shovels indicating the start of the new Apcom.

Family-owned Apcom Electric & Power Systems expands business

As a result of an increase in demand for reliable power, one family-owned business is expanding its Mt. Pleasant location helping to meet the need and create jobs in the local community.