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My Town: Massive dryer to travel from Kalamazoo to North Dakota

My Town: Massive dryer to travel from Kalamazoo to North Dakota

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—What is 70 feet long, 11 feet across and weighs nearly 300,000 pounds?  One of the largest items to come out of a former GM plant in Kalamazoo.

W. Soule’s Soule Fabrication Group facility at Midlink is getting ready to ship its newest creation- a large steam-powered dryer.  The dryer, which is comprised of carbon steel, will go to an ethanol plant in North Dakota to dry corn. 

 “It is physically one of the largest pieces we’ve ever built,” says W. Soule’s Chief Operating Officer Gary Cline, who has worked at the company for 28 years.

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU teams' plans could save bankrupt Detroit millions of dollars

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU teams' plans could save bankrupt Detroit millions of dollars

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Two teams from Western Michigan University have come up with plans that could save bankrupt Detroit nearly $2 million a year.

Since early May, students, alumni and a faculty advisor with WMU’s integrated supply management program have been working on cost-cutting measures for two city transportation facilities that house city buses and emergency vehicles. The teams worked with city personnel at the Russell-Ferry and Shoemaker Terminal garages to create lean systems to improve the city’s budget outlook. 

"When the call for expertise in the area of lean consulting came from the city of Detroit, we knew that our students and alumni could provide the necessary talent and teamwork to help the city," says Ken Jones, director of executive education and instructor of integrated supply management at WMU.

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU solar race team takes 25 years of experience on the road

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU solar race team takes 25 years of experience on the road

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A green machine created by Western Michigan University students is about to embark on a cross-country road trip in the 2014 American Solar Challenge.

On Monday, July 21, the Sunseeker solar car racing team will begin its 1,751 mile journey from Austin, Texas to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The team has one week to complete the trip.

"The team is looking forward to competing against and learning from those national and international teams in attendance, this year," Harris says, "especially as we look forward to building a new vehicle this fall semester."

Before they make the trip, WMU’s 14 person team must qualify during the Formula Sun Grand Prix this weekend.  The closed-course track race runs through July 19 at Austin's Circuit of the Americas Grand Prix facility.

Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.” 

My Town Kalamazoo: Downtown detours Thursday for Girls on the Run

My Town Kalamazoo: Downtown detours Thursday for Girls on the Run

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Drivers can expect detours through downtown Kalamazoo Thursday night, as thousands of girls take over the streets.

Nearly 2,000 third, fourth and fifth grade girls will be participating in this year’s Girls on the Run 5k, presented by Eaton Corporation.  The starting horn will sound at 6:30 p.m. at Waldo Stadium.  All athletes will then race down Lovell Street, through downtown, then back onto West Lovell before crossing the finish line at Oakland Drive.

During the run, traffic will be detoured around downtown to the east.  The following streets will be closed up until 8 p.m.:

My Town Kalamazoo: Junior League hosts Touch-A-Truck May 10

My Town Kalamazoo: Junior League hosts Touch-A-Truck May 10

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. The Junior League of Kalamazoo with generous sponsorship from their friends at Eaton Corporation will hold its 3rd annual Touch-A-Truck community fundraising event on May 10 at the Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds.

Touch-A-Truck is a family-friendly event where kids of all ages can touch and learn about unique vehicles such as National Guard trucks, race cars, large construction equipment, and other vehicles from those who build, protect and serve our community.

“With over 50 unique vehicles at Touch-A-Truck, there will be something here for everyone,” said Karla Kaczmarski, JLK special events chair. “We encourage families to come spend the day with us and see all of the different vehicles, enjoy Bounceland, Kids in the Kitchen Activities, movement and music activities with Small Sounds, arts and crafts station, and more!”

My Town Kalamazoo: Motorcyclist collides with pickup truck

My Town Kalamazoo: Motorcyclist collides with pickup truck

BRADY TOWNSHIP, Mich.-- A motorcyclist who crashed into the back of a pickup truck is in the hospital.

Kalamazoo County Sheriff's deputies say a 67-year-old Vicksburg man signaled and slowed to turn into a driveway along Sprinkle Road when the motorcycle hit the back of his pickup truck.  The motorcyclist, a 59-year-old man from Vicksburg was wearing a helmet.  Deputies say his condition is stable.

Investigators say alcohol was not a factor in the crash.