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$10 million project to overhaul former foundry building

A $10 million project is planned to transform a former foundry building just east of downtown Kalamazoo into a campus-like office space. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Kalamazoo-based Treystar plans to convert the building for office and other uses, including on-site dining. The company says it plans to upgrade the building while preserving it and paying homage to its past. Built …

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More closures for FirstMerit Bank

FirstMerit Bank has confirmed the closure of two of its St. Joseph County branches, in Colon and White Pigeon, effective June 3. Colon’s branch operation will become consolidated with the Sturgis branch. Officials could not confirm how many employees are affected, but all have been retained and offered positions at other locations, said Rob Townsend, media relations officer for FirstMerit …

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Michigan unemployment rate at lowest point since June 2001

The state says Michigan’s monthly unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest point in nearly 15 years. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget said Wednesday the seasonally adjusted jobless rate for January was 4.9 percent. That’s down two-tenths of a percentage point from December and 1.1 percentage points below the January 2015 rate. The state’s January unemployment rate …

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Plans move forward for southwestern Michigan solar project

Plans are moving forward for an Indiana Michigan Power solar power project in southwestern Michigan. The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph reports an estimated 50,000 solar panels are planned for a 35-acre site in Berrien County’s Watervliet Township. Plans call for it to generate enough electricity to power an average of 700 homes. Local officials are reviewing a permit request for …

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Sheriff’s department warns of telephone scams

The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department has fielded a number of reports from residents complaining of telephone calls claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. Sheriff Balk said the IRS does not conduct business by telephone. He encourages people to do the following if they receive such phone calls: Record the employee’s name, return-call number and caller ID if …

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Business owner still sells appliances at 100 years old

It was during World War II when Mary Gorzenski’s husband Joe essentially put in her charge of the family’s appliance store. He took a factory job at the time and told her — perhaps half-jokingly — that if the business flopped and they lost money, it would be her fault. “At that point, I knew I needed to get my …

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DAR makes donation to provide rides for veterans

The Abiel Fellows Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently made a $200 donation to the St. Joseph County Transportation Authority. The funding will provide rides for 10 people to the agency’s weekly trip to the Battle Creek VA Hospital as well as rides to Ann Arbor for medical services. Rebecca Shank, treasurer of the Three Rivers-based chapter, …

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CTA offers free rides home

New Year’s Eve revelers in St. Joseph County will once again have the benefit of a free ride home at the end of the night. For the seventh time in eight years, the St. Joseph County Transportation Authority is providing free rides home, with pick-up and drop-off service anywhere in the county. CTA director Steve Yorks said the program costs …

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I&M Breaks Ground on Solar Facility, Announces IM Solar Program

Indiana Michigan Power broke ground today (October 26, 2015) on its second solar generation facility and also launched IM Solar, a program that enables Indiana customers to use local solar power without the expense of installing their own system. The Twin Branch Solar Facility, northeast of Mishawaka in a commercial/industrial area, will have nearly 29,000 solar panels and a generation …

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Hungry deer force Vicksburg Christmas tree farm to close

Too many hungry deer are being blamed for the end of a 30-year Christmas tradition in southwestern Michigan. Mott’s Christmas Barn in Vicksburg in Kalamazoo County is closing. The deer population can’t be controlled, and the animals have been munching on trees. Customers have traveled to the farm each year to cut down a Christmas tree. Owner Mardee Mott tells …

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