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Downtown Kalamazoo cafe hires ex-offenders

A new coffee shop and cafe in downtown Kalamazoo is almost completely staffed by ex-offenders as part of a culinary arts program at Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program. The Walnut & Park Cafe officially opened last week. The shop serves coffees ground by the Water Street Coffee Roaster along with homemade baked goods, breakfast and lunch dishes. Program graduates earn certifications …

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Michigan jobless rate edges up to 5.2 percent in January

Michigan’s unemployment rate edged upward to 5.2 percent in January as the number of people entering the job market continued to grow. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget said Thursday the rate rose from 5.1 percent in December and compared with a national January jobless rate of 4.8 percent but still marked an improvement over Michigan’s year-ago rate …

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Unemployment decreases in St. Joseph County

The December unemployment rate in St. Joseph County decreased by half a percent compared to a month earlier. The monthly labor-market analysis by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget showed St. Joseph County’s 3.4 percent December unemployment rate was less than November’s 3.9 percent. However, December’s unemployment rate was three-tenths of a percent higher than the same month …

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Michigan boosts minimum wage to $8.90 an hour

Michigan workers who make the minimum wage are getting a 40-cents-an-hour raise. The state hourly minimum rose from $8.50 to $8.90 on Sunday, the second straight yearly increase under a 2014 law that gradually raised the wage by 25 percent. Here’s a look at how Michigan’s minimum stacks up nationally and at other components of the wage boost: — THE …

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RV industry makes comeback in Elkhart County

The recreational vehicle industry, which drives the economy of Elkhart County in northern Indiana, came back strong in 2016 and industry leaders are optimistic about next year. The Elkhart Truth reports unemployment peaked in Elkhart County at 19.6 percent in 2009 as the RV industry was shedding jobs and struggling to stay afloat during the Great Recession. The industry has …

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Local November unemployment rate is released

The November unemployment rate in St. Joseph County remained unchanged compared to a month earlier. The monthly labor-market analysis by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget showed St. Joseph County’s 3.9 percent November unemployment rate was equal to October’s figure. November’s unemployment rate was seven-tenths of a percent higher than the same month one year earlier, when the …

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Energy company plans to close Michigan nuclear plant in 2018

An energy company announced plans Thursday to permanently close the Palisades nuclear power plant in southwestern Michigan in 2018, which could mean hundreds of job cuts for a major employer in the region if regulators approve the closure. New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. and Michigan-based utility, Consumers Energy, said they’ve agreed to end a power purchase agreement for the plant that …

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STUDY NAMES I&M 2016 UTILITY CUSTOMER CHAMPION

Market Strategies International named Indiana Michigan Power a 2016 Utility Customer Champion for its strong relationship with residential customers. I&M, an operating unit of American Electric Power, was one of just three Midwest electric only utilities to receive the honor. “We are happy to designate Indiana Michigan Power as a 2016 Customer Champion.  Their customers have said they have strong …

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Mackinac Island’s oldest ferry to stop service, sell boats

Mackinac Island’s oldest and longest-running ferry boat company is leaving the passenger business and selling its boats to a competitor. The Detroit Free Press reports that the financially-struggling Arnold Transit Co. is preparing to halt all passenger service to the island for the first time since the 1800s, leaving just two ferry boat services to the island next summer. Star …

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Dunham’s Sports is opening a Sturgis store

Dunham’s Sports, one of the nation’s largest sporting goods chains, is pleased to invite Sturgis, and the surrounding communities, to its grand opening weekend. The ribbon cutting will be hosted on Friday, September 30th at 9:00 a.m. at the new location at 69060 M-66. Store hours are Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. …

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