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WMU: More people working out at work

WMU: More people working out at work

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (Western Michigan University & WZZM)-- More Americans are standing, walking and even cycling through their workdays thanks to new office equipment that lets them stay active.

The new workstations include standing desks with treadmills, physio balls instead of chairs and cycling equipment that fits under the desk, says Dr. Timothy Michael, a WMU professor of human performance and health education.

"There are lots of suggestions of ways we can increase our physical activity," Michael says. "A lot of jobs, where you're sitting at a desk all day in front of your computer, we know that that encourages bad behaviors in general. We also know that sitting all day long is starting to become a risk factor for heart disease. It's really getting close to where cigarette smoking is.

New hotel slated to open in October

New hotel slated to open in October

PORTAGE, Mich.—A new hotel will soon open in Portage.

Courtyard by Marriott Kalamazoo Portage will begin welcoming guests in October.  The four-story, 90-room hotel is part of the Trade Centre development along Interstate 94, near south Westnedge Avenue.  The facility features meeting rooms, a fitness room, pool, restaurant and bar.  Each room is equipped with a mini-refrigerator, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron and ironing board.

According to Discover! Kalamazoo, the Trade Centre development is expected to include a second hotel, a four-story office building and three restaurants, at a total investment of more than $12 million.

Local businesses among the '101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies'

Local businesses among the '101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies'

More than two dozen West Michigan companies are among the “101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies” in Michigan.

The annual list was released September 11, one week before the award celebration at Davenport University.  The 101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies list celebrates organizations that inspire and produce green technology, positively impacting the industry and environment.  An independent research firm selected the winning companies based on the following categories: education, communication, strategic planning and operational implementation, innovation and problem solving, building and grounds, community leadership, workforce and financial performance.

The list of 2013 winners includes:

Rediscovery of rare mineral deposit set to boost Michigan economy

Rediscovery of rare mineral deposit set to boost Michigan economy

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (Western Michigan University)--Rediscovery of a long forgotten mineral deposit located under two West Michigan counties is set to spark a new multi-billion industry in Michigan that will quickly position the state as the nation's leading source for a critical agricultural tool that is in demand internationally.

Potash--potassium chloride--is an essential plant nutrient and critical ingredient in fertilizer. Currently mined in only three locations in the nation, supplies are dwindling and prices skyrocketing. Now, one of the highest-quality potash ore deposits in the world has been identified below the surface of West Michigan.

Suspects sought after gunfire damages farm equipment

Suspects sought after gunfire damages farm equipment

KALAMAZOO COUNTY,  Mich.--   Kalamazoo County deputies are looking for the people who fired shots early Monday morning, damaging a farm irrigation system.

The gunfire was reported around 3:30 a.m. in the 7200 block of W. TU Avenue in Prairie-Rond Township.  No one was injured. When deputies arrived, the suspects were already gone.

Anyone with information in this case is asked to call the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department at (269) 383-8748 or Silent Observer at (269) 343-2100.

Feeding those in need during Community Hunger Awareness Month

Feeding those in need during Community Hunger Awareness Month

PORTAGE, Mich.—A Kalamazoo County company is enlisting the community’s help in feeding those in need.

In honor of Community Hunger Awareness Month, Abraxas is offering up its Portage facility for community food donations.  All non-perishable items collected throughout the month of August will go to Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes.

Abraxas is located at 701 E. Milham Rd.    Suggested donations include canned beef stew, canned vegetables, whole grain pasta and baby formula.  The full food wish list can be found on the Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes website.

 Abraxas is also encouraging other area businesses to join the food drive.  For every donation made by a participating business,   a fish/bread cutout featuring its logo will be posted on Abraxas’ front fence. 

New book rental program promises to save WMU students money

New book rental program promises to save WMU students money

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—College students in Michigan graduate with an average $28,021 in debt.

But a new partnership between bookstore operator Follett and WMU Bookstore should save Western Michigan University students money this school year.

The new program will allow students to rent any textbook available at WMU Bookstore.   WMU is one of only 13 campuses in the country with this program, which is expected to save students more than 50% on textbooks. 

At the end of the semester, students simply return their book to the WMU bookstore.  They can also decide then if they would like to buy the book. The rental service does not apply to one-time use materials like workbooks. For more information on the program, visit WMU Bookstore Shops’ website here.