VanAire Names Steven Soderman as CEO and Quality Manager

April 3, 2017

Gladstone, MIApril 3, 2017 – VanAire, Incorporated of Gladstone is pleased to announce that Steven Soderman has joined the company’s leadership team as CEO and Quality Manager.

Prior to coming to VanAire, Soderman spent 13 years with EMP, Incorporated of Escanaba most recently holding the position of Corporate Director of Quality.  A 1998 graduate of Michigan Technological University, Soderman has held key quality related positions throughout his career.

“Since becoming ISO 9001 registered in 2012, VanAire has chosen to integrate the roles of CEO and Quality Manager to ensure that our quality system delivers the best possible results,” said VanAire President Bill VanDeVusse.  “Steve’s experience in quality and proven leadership skills are perfectly suited to this position and the company’s long term needs.”

VanAire also plans to utilize Soderman’s role to enhance its community involvement.  The company has committed a significant portion of Steve’s time to serving on committees, boards and other volunteer activities.… Read the rest

NMU Diversity Common Reader April Events

April 3, 2017

Marquette, MIApril 3, 2017 – Northern Michigan University’s 2017 Diversity Common Reader selection is Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine. The following related events are scheduled for April. All are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 4: Carlyn McManis is hosting a reading group for Citizen: An American Lyric at 7 p.m. in the Shiras Room of the Peter White Public Library.

Thursday, April 5:  Abigail Wyche is hosting a reading group titled “The Role of Micro and Macro Aggressions in Oppressions” at 4:30 p.m. in Art and Design room 90.

Tuesday, April 18: A screening of the film Fences is being shown at 12:30 and 6 p.m. at the Peter White Public Library. In this film, an African American father struggles with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and coming to terms with the events of his life.… Read the rest

Avoid Distracted Driving

April 3, 2017

Marquette, MIApril 3, 2017 – When most of us think about distracted driving, texting and cell phone use are the first things that come to mind.

Michigan law prohibits all drivers from reading, manually typing or sending a text message while driving. And under Kelsey’s Law, if you have a Level 1 or Level 2 license, you are prohibited from initiating a call, answering a call, or listening to or engaging in verbal communication through a mobile phone.

A cell phone, however, is not the only thing that can distract a driver. Distracted driving also includes eating, shuffling/streaming music, talking to or interacting with passengers and other activities. Distractions such as these are especially dangerous for inexperienced drivers.

Anything that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel or your mind off your driving is a problem.… Read the rest

Consider Donating Some of Your Refund to Charity

April 3, 2017

Lansing, MIApril 3, 2017 – Michigan taxpayers have the opportunity to donate some of their state income tax refund to several charities when filing a state income tax return, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury (Treasury).

When a taxpayer files their 2016 state income tax return, they can choose to donate $5, $10 or a customized amount among 10 nonprofit organizations. The amount donated will be deducted from the taxpayer’s refund.

“State law provides taxpayers the opportunity to donate dollars directly from their refund to any of these 10 organizations,” said Deputy Treasurer Glenn White, head of Treasury’s Tax Administration Group. “Whether the donation is a set amount or a customized amount, all of the money donated helps our fellow Michiganders.”

For the 2016 tax year, contributions can be made to the following:

  • ALS of Michigan (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) Fund
  • Alzheimer’s Association of Michigan
  • American Red Cross of Michigan Fund
  • Animal Welfare Fund
  • Children of Veterans Tuition Grant Program
  • Children’s Trust Fund – Supporting and Strengthening Families in Michigan
  • Michigan Junior Achievement Fund
  • Military Family Relief Fund
  • Special Olympics Michigan
  • United Way Fund

Through e-filing or paper filing, taxpayers must complete a Voluntary Contribution Schedule Form 4642 to participate.… Read the rest

NMU Receives $6.5 Million for Broadband Expansion

April 3, 2017

Marquette, MIApril 3, 2017 – Northern Michigan University will receive a $6.5 million Investment Fund Award from the Michigan Strategic Fund to accelerate its effort to extend high-speed educational broadband throughout the Upper Peninsula. The funds will be used to build out and equip 64 cities and townships over a two-year period.

NMU will contribute $3.2 million in matching funds to the project. As it recovers its expansion costs through subscriptions to its Educational Access Network (EAN), the university will return a percentage of net proceeds back to the Michigan Strategic Fund to gradually repay the investment.

“This award enables Northern to build the network much more quickly because the funds are available up front to purchase the equipment needed for the large number of sites,” said Gavin Leach, NMU vice president for finance and administration. “Our partnerships with cities and townships across the U.P.… Read the rest

Economic Club Welcomes Tom Rogan – 4/5/17

April 3, 2017

Escanaba, MIApril 3, 2017 – The Bay Area Economic Club will welcome Tom Rogan as a speaker for the Spring program.  Mr. Rogan is a columnist for the National Review, former panelist for the McLaughlin Group, and commentator for numerous TV and media contributions including CNN, Fox News and The Washington Post to name a few.  He holds the Tony Blankley Chair at the Steamboat Institute.  Based in Washington, D.C.  Tom grew up and was educated in London, England but holds American citizenship.  It will be the first 100 days in office for the new administration.  Tom will lead a political and economic dialog about what is happening in Washington.  The topics to be discussed include:


  • The challenges facing millennials
  • Filtering “fake news”
  • The first 100 days and what it tells us we can expect (if anything)


There will be a question and answer session following Tom’s presentation.… Read the rest

Calendar – Art – Reception for “UP Focus” – Apr. 6

April 3, 2017

Marquette – A reception for UP Focus will be held on Thursday, April 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the DeVos Art Museum on the campus of Northern Michigan University.

UP Focus is an ongoing exhibition series that highlights artists who are from, living in, or heavily influenced by the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Featured artists are Mike Friend, a painter based in Marquette, and Scott Leipski, a sculptor working with ceramics based in Gladstone.

The event is free and open to the public. … Read the rest

Calendar – Education – WWI Symposium at NMU – Apr. 6

April 3, 2017

Marquette – To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States entering WWI, the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center will host a symposium with lectures on various historical aspects of the conflict on Thursday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Marquette Room of the University Center at Northern Michigan University.

These presentations will look at the war both on a local and national level, and will include research by professors and instructors from NMU and other parts of the Upper Peninsula. This program is part of the Marquette county-wide WWI Remembered commemoration. The event is free and open to the public.

For a complete list of topics and lecture times, go to… Read the rest

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