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Bitcoin ATM installed in Grand Rapids


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's being called the ATM of the future.

A machine recently installed at the Skywalk Deli in downtown Grand Rapids accepts money and turns it into the digital currency called Bitcoin.

Bitcoin uses a central network for its transactions, instead of a bank, since it's a peer-to-peer technology.

Once a person sets up a Bitcoin account, he or she can exchange money with other users anywhere around the world.


Developers break ground on downtown G.R. redevelopment


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)—A major reconstruction project in Grand Rapids' Arena District is officially underway.

The $3.5 million effort started Wednesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the site, located at 25 Ottawa. The current 105,000 square foot building will be transformed into high-end office and retail space.

This is the second project in the heart of downtown for local developer Franklin Partners.

"There are a lot of challenges, but one of the benefits we have renovating it is that we don't have a lot of tenants in it right now so it is not much of a disruption to them," says Don Shoemaker with Franklin Partners. "It really has more attributes, like the great wood columns, it's got the great exposed wood ceilings, a lot of natural brick and a lot of the natural structure is really attractive."

The renovations should be complete by June 2015.


My Town: Grand Valley State University among top in the nation

My Town: Grand Valley State University among top in the nation

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)—Grand Rapids is home to one of the Best Master’s Universities, according to Washington Monthly.

The publication recently ranked Grand Valley State University No. 30 in the nation in that category, based on its contribution to the public good.  GVSU ranked No. 32 in the same category last year.  The school took the top spot in the nation in the community service subcategory and 11th in the financial aid support, courses and service staff subcategory.

The rankings are based on civic engagement, research and social mobility.  For the full report, visit the Washington Monthly’s website here.

My Town: Grand Rapids to host Michigan Celebrate Recovery Walk and Rally Sept. 20

My Town: Grand Rapids to host Michigan Celebrate Recovery Walk and Rally Sept. 20

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. –Grand Rapids will host the Michigan Celebrate Recovery Walk and Rally XIV in collaboration with Recovery Palooza, to increase statewide public awareness about alcoholism and other drug addictions.

The walk will take place in Ah-Nab-Awen Park in September, which is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. More than 2,500 people are expected to attend this year’s walk and rally, since it combines two events. Individuals in recovery, their family members and friends, addiction treatment and prevention professionals and many more who support recovery and healthy communities are invited to participate in the day’s activities.

Where: Ah-Nab-Awen Park, 303 Pearl St., Grand Rapids, MI 49503

When: Saturday, Sept. 20; walk begins at 11:30 a.m. and program begins at 12 p.m.

Developers unveil plans for downtown G.R. entertainment complex


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)— Plans for a new entertainment complex in downtown Grand Rapids are moving forward.

The Venue would be a 20,000 square foot entertainment complex at Fulton Street and Ottawa Avenue, adjacent to The BOB. The Gilmore Collection is teaming up with Orion Real Estate Solutions for the development, which they say would accommodate 2,400 visitors and create 120 jobs.

The complex would also feature a beer garden and food kiosks. A second, 20-story building called The Venue Towers would be integrated into The Venue and would feature 104 market-rate apartments that would include a skywalk to the Ottawa Avenue parking ramp. John Wheeler of Orion said "It's believable it's finance-able and people like living in a neighborhood - not huge and not too small - and the location is perfect."

My Town EGR: Aquinas College announces lineup for Contemporary Writers Series

My Town EGR: Aquinas College announces lineup for Contemporary Writers Series

 

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Best-selling author and spoken word poet Sarah Kay is one of four speakers who will be presenting during the 17th season of Aquinas College’s Contemporary Writers Series program.

This year the lineup also features poet Gregory Orr, essayist John D’Agata, and Michigan resident and novelist Peter Ho Davis.

“We are delighted to welcome these dynamic and renowned writers to Aquinas College for the Contemporary Writers Series,” said Dr. Shelli Rottschafer, director of the Contemporary Writers Series. “Each year we strive to find respected writers who will appeal to multiple audiences and create thought-provoking conversations. This year we truly have diverse and engaging writers, and we are excited to share the lineup with the community.”

Jumping ship: Why some local leaders are leaving the corporate world for the social sector

Jumping ship: Why some local leaders are leaving the corporate world for the social sector

By Melinda Clynes
This story originally appeared in Rapid Growth

Thriving cities benefit from a mix of for-profit and nonprofit leadership, and Rapid Growth is taking a look at some West Michigan leaders who have left the corporate world for work in the social sector.