Michigan Business, Economy & Tourism


Right to Work
12:45 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Michigan unions lose membership in first full year of 'Right to Work'

Michigan saw the third highest drop in union membership in the nation last year, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It says membership dropped from 16.3 percent to 14.5 percent in 2014 – the first full year Michigan’s right-to-work law was in effect. The law made it illegal to require workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

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Michigan Energy & Environment
1:25 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Companies allowed to secretly drill test wells in Michigan

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 4:09 pm

Residents of northern Michigan got a surprise last summer. They found out some drilling for oil and gas can be done confidentially. That unnerved some people in Emmet County, who now want their local government to do something about it.

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Climate Change
4:55 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Researchers have an idea to avoid frost damage in orchards

The cherry blossoms on the right were delayed using a sprayer to keep the buds cool.
Credit Michigan State University

Spring of 2012 came quite early in Michigan and fruit crops were wiped out by frost. That event spurred some researchers in Lansing to ask if there’s a way to delay the spring bloom in a warm year. There is a way and with new technology it might even be affordable for fruit growers.

It’s no secret what causes a cherry or apple blossom to come out in the spring: heat. So if you want to delay that event, you spray cold water on the tree.

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Michigan Energy & Environment
10:03 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Deal would lower electricity rates in the Upper Peninsula

Credit user: adamshoop / Flicker

Governor Rick Snyder has announced a preliminary agreement that would lower electricity rates in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Rates have jumped in the Upper Peninsula to subsidize an aging coal-fired power plant in Presque Isle, which lost its largest paying customer – a mining company.

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Local Food
1:29 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Cheese industry poised for expansion in Michigan

Sue Kurta making Swiss.
Credit Tom Carr

Artisan cheesemaking is on the rise in Michigan, though it’s not an easy business to get into. The number of small, independent cheese producers in Michigan is expected to nearly double in the near future.

Sue Kurta is among those leading the way. As she stirs the curdling milk that will become Swiss cheese, you can see the colorful tattoos that cover her arms. They’re pictures of pineapples, a cruise ship and other upbeat things.

“It stirs for quite a long time like this and if you don’t give it a toss, it can mat together,” Kurta says.

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