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Auto Pro Glass and Tire in Houghton expands, adds jobs

A Houghton auto repair shop is expanding in a big way. Auto Pro Glass and Tire recently unveiled the completed renovations on their garage.
The auto shop now has added three more bays, including one that can handle semi trucks and other big commercial vehicles, at its location on West Memorial Drive in Houghton.
Auto Pro has done nothing but expand since they were founded, moving from simple auto glass repair to a full range of tire services and car repairs. They offer consumer, agricultural, OTR, forestry, commercial and industrial tires, as well as auto, commercial and home glass services.
And, to keep up with the increased customers coming through, the shop also hired two new employees.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Auto Pro Glass and Tire

Celestial Press starts up in Marquette

There's a new design and print shop in town--Marquette, that is--and it's called Celestial Press. 

Just started up in November, Celestial Press, owned by Nicholas Erickson, has already been busy designing T-shirts, logos, posters and flyers for local clients. 

They offer screen printing services for commercial and personal needs, and are located on Longyear Avenue in Marquette.

The best way to get in touch with Celestial Press right now is via their Facebook page.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Celestial Press

Calumet company gets Southwestern Energy design contract

REL Inc. in Calumet is getting a contract to develop a new way to use compressed natural gas as a fuel for industrial trucks. 

The $2.1 million deal comes through Michigan Technological University, which will help with the research end, and REL will take care of the development. The contract is with Southwestern Energy Company of Houston, Texas, and lasts for three years. 

The researchers and engineers will collaborate to design, build and test a conformable, compressed natural gas tank for light-duty trucks. Instead of current designs, Southwestern wants a design that will locate the gas tank under the beds of the trucks.

"Tanks today sit in the bed and take up a lot of the space, which is a drawback to the consumer," says John Gargani, SWN vice president and general manager of strategy, performance and innovation.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Technological University

The Stitch Witch up and running in Harvey

Need some clothing repaired, or maybe some alterations done so that you get a better fit to flatter your body shape? The Stitch Witch is now open and ready to help you with any sewing and seamstress needs.

The company, owned by Kendra Symbal, is located at1001 M-28 East, Suite 3 in Harvey, right between Anytime Fitness and McDonalds. There, you can get repairs done or alterations such as hemming, shortening and more done to your favorite garments.

Additionally, the Stitch Witch also offers up services that include teaching you private sewing lessons so you can be more capable of making repairs yourself.

The shop is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. They are also open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information about the Stitch Witch, or to see what other services they provide, visit the company's website.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Stitch Witch

Up North Roast has ribbon cutting in Escanaba

If you asked Gary and Jacob Cass about opening a store to sell their coffee when they first started roasting beans in a popcorn popper, they would have probably just scoffed at the idea.

As the years went on and their coffee continued to grow in popularity, the idea became more and more of a possibility until just recently when UP North Roast cut the ribbon on their walk-in roaster storefront at 506 Ludington St. in Escanaba.

The storefront, which is open from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, until 8 p.m. on Thursday and from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, is in a newly-renovated building in downtown Escanaba.

UP North Roast coffee is also available in 15 different stores throughout the Upper Peninsula. For a complete list of where to get their coffee, please visit the Up North Roast website.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: UP North Roast


Great Turtle Toys now open in Marquette

We're all kids at heart, right? And some of us aren't afraid to admit we still like to venture into toy stores and marvel at the newest items available (i.e.: complain that we didn’t have toys like that when we were kids).

Well, there's a new place for us to go shopping at in Marquette, and with Christmas right around the corner it definitely timed its arrival just right.

Great Turtle Toys, which is headquartered on Mackinac Island, opened up a pop-up toy store at the old Marquette Food Co-op building, located at the intersection of Front Street and Baraga Ave. And if you don't get downtown very often, you can always visit them at the Westwood Mall in Marquette Township.

There are plenty of toys to choose from, ranging from the traditional yo-yo to remote-controlled cars and more.

The store, which is scheduled to be in Marquette until Christmas Eve with the possibility of staying longer depending on customer response, is owned by Ben Nye. It is open from 10 am. until 8 p.m. daily. The mall's location is open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Great Turtle Toys


Spice Merchants of Marquette open up shop downtown

Variety is the spice of life, they say, but in the world of spices, the saying is probably more along the lines of "spices bring variety to life."

A new shop in Marquette, the Spice Merchants of Marquette, would love to add some of that variety -- via spices -- to your meals.

"Expanding your knowledge in cooking with unusual spices, herbs and flavors," the company's Facebook says. "Exploring new and creative ways to spice up your life."

Located at 106 West Washington St. in downtown Marquette, the company offers up a slew of different options for you to add to your cuisine -- and it's not just limited to individual spices, herbs and the like. They have a nice variety of blended options, too, like a coffee barbeque rub, a nice raspberry chipotle blend and various rubs and mixtures for all tastes (try the devil's dust -- it sounds spicy and wonderful). Individual spices range from typical Indian curry to more difficult-to-find-locally spices like garam masala or seven seas blends. And the list goes on and on.

Additionally, the Spice Merchants of Marquette offer up other items for sale, like pots, grinders, cook books and mortar and pestle.

For more information, visit the company's Facebook page.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Spice Merchants of Marquette

River Valley Bank opens renovated location

Customers of River Valley Bank who have been going a little out of their way to do their banking because of renovations and remodeling of the institution's Third Street location in Marquette can now start going back to their local branch.

The bank's location, which had been closed for months, is officially re-open now and includes a slew of new, to-end features for customers. River Valley's remodeling included the addition of a small "café" area, while the upgrades for customer service include a lounge area complete with iPads. Overall, the design is intended to create a more personal feel for customers. 

River Valley Bank will have a grand opening event for the Marquette location in January, during which time they have announced they will give away $5,000 to a local non-profit group.

For more information about River Valley Bank and what the financial institution offers customers, visit the company website.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: River Valley Bank

Irish Oaks Bar and Restaurant celebrates opening

It's not really a great time of year to go out and hit the links, but it's definitely not a bad time to head over to Irish Oaks Golf Course. There, you'll have the opportunity to sit down and dine at the Irish Oaks Bar and Restaurant, which recently re-opened under new management and with a new head chef.

The menu is full of tasty dishes, and diners can enjoy a wide-variety of selections, including tasty specials (their homemade mac and cheese rocks, as does their chicken white chili!).

And, like any good bar and grill, they aren’t going to leave you hanging when the big game is on. They always have drink specials and, of course, chicken wings when your team is being televised.

The new manager of the bar and restaurant is Kelly Palaspas, while Chad Brooks is the head chef behind the outstanding menu selections.

For more information, you can follow the Irish Oaks Golf Course on Facebook.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Irish Oaks Golf Course

Johnny Dogs coming to Marquette

More than once we have been part of a conversation about food regarding Marquette when someone inevitably says "Where can you get a good hot dog?"

Well, that all depends on your idea of a good hot dog, most likely, but the newest answer is probably going to be short and sweet -- Johnny Dogs.

The Munising-based restaurant will be opening up a second location, this time on N. Third Street in Marquette. They'll be occupying the former home of Ron's Tacos, right near the Casa Calabria. The goal is to have the location up and running by January 15.

And Johnny Dogs doesn't just slap an ol' frankfurter on a bun and call it a day, owner John Flanders prides himself in offering up to-notch eats that range from wraps to hamburgers to soups to pastas and more -- oh, yeah, and a crazy-good selection of hot dogs (like the awesome sounding hot wings dog that has Buffalo sauce injected inside the dog, topped with bacon, bleu cheese and celery slaw -- yes, please!). How about a Philly dog? A cordon bleu dog? A Boston terrier? Yeah -- the list just keeps going and going.

And you pretty much have to try the piggy fries. Just do it. You'll be happy you did.

So just how good is Johnny Dogs? Well, out of 131 picky eaters on UrbanSpoon, the restaurant has nailed down 94-percent of the positive vote. Check it out yourself at the UrbanSpoon website

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: WLUC-TV6

New, larger location for Gwinn Furniture Outlet

Bigger isn't always better, but in the case of the Gwinn Furniture Outlet and their new, much-larger home, it definitely is.

The business, owned by Dale Vincent, offers up a lot more than just furniture. Inside the new location, which is at 154 E. M-35 in Gwinn, across from the Honor Credit Union and near Snyder Drugs and Family Dollar, you will find a variety of products from a variety of vendors. Sure, you can get just about any kind of furniture you can think of, including custom-made items to fit your needs perfectly, but you can also snag accessories for your home (there's a cool U.P.-made clock there), and even grab yourself a wall-mounted electric fireplace for helping keep a room warm in these cold Yooper winters. Heck, you can even snag some maple syrup that was tapped, boiled and bottled right over in Cornell.

And the furniture? It is outstanding. Lots of wood and rustic pieces and even some items that include gorgeous California redwood.

You can keep tabs on some of the items available at the Gwinn Furniture Outlet by following them on Facebook, but if you're truly looking for that new piece to add to your home, there's nothing quite like taking in the selection in person.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Gwinn Furniture Outlet

Wendrick Truss in Hermansville will expand with grant

The Michigan Department of Transportation announced improvements to roads in Hermansville in order to aid the expansion of Wendricks Truss, Inc.

Wendricks manufactures wooden trusses for residential and commercial use, and plans to build a new manufacturing facility at its headquarters in Hermansville. To do that, roadway improvements are needed.

The site is at the intersection of Vega Road, Road No. 43 and Old U.S.-2 in Hermansville. Vega Road is not an all-season road currently, which hampers shipping and hauling for the company several months out of the year. So, MDOT will resurface a section of that road, plus reconstruct a new intersection between Vega Road and Old U.S.-2, which will improve all-season access and sight distance for trucks and local motorists.

The total cost of the project is $134, 409, $101338 of that coming from state transportation grant funds and $33,071 from the Menominee County Road Commission. 

The improvements are expected to help Wendricks Truss create eight new jobs and invest $750,000 in its new manufacturing facility.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Department of Transportation

Virtual Consultants opens up shop

When it comes to getting your computer repaired, there are a lot of different options you can choose. Now, there's one more thanks to the recent opening of Virtual Consultant, DTS.

The company, which is owned and operated by Craig Hanninen, is based out of Sawyer, but where the business is headquartered doesn't limit where Hanninen will go.

"I don't really have (a service area)," says Hanninen, who has been doing some business in Marquette most recently. He's even willing to help find the best prices and parts online for customers who are virtually anywhere.

Virtual Consultants is focused mostly on working on PCs, both laptops and desktops. Hanninen specializes in fixing them for home or general office use, as well as helping customers with networking, data storage solutions, creating file-sharing servers, setting up printers and even graphic work.

For more information about Virtual Consultants, please visit the company's Facebook page.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Virtual Consultants, DTS

Menominee company L. E. Jones gets grant to expand

L.E. Jones Co. in Menominee is expanding with the help of a state transportation economic development grant.

The company manufactures heavy-duty valve seat inserts for outfits like Volvo and Caterpillar, from a machine shop and foundry in Menominee. It recently began planning a big expansion in Menominee, including a remodeled manufacturing facility, new loading and shipping areas, and new offices. 

To do so, L.E. Jones needed upgrades made to 11th Street, which wasn't up to the task of the increased heavy truck traffic the expansion would create. So the city of Menominee along with the Michigan Department of Transportation applied for grant funding, which has now been approved.

The transportation project will mean 11th Street will be resurfaced from 34th Avenue to the company's entrance. The street also will be extended 220 feet south to bring it up to standards and provide all-season access to the new shipping and loading dock area.

$206,400 will come from the state of Michigan, and $51,600 from the city of Menominee, for a total of $258,000 spent on the road improvements. 

In turn, L.E. Jones will spend $12 million on the new construction, creating 20 jobs and updating equipment in the manufacturing plant.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Department of Transportation

Eisenhower Center opens satellite office in Chassell

A newly-opened center in Chassell is offering up specialized programs that focus on traumatic brain injury.

Eisenhower Center, which is headquartered in Ann Arbor and has several locations, opened the satellite residential rehabilitation facility recently. At the center, the company offers rehabilitation services that include occupational therapy, speech and language pathology, physical therapy and counseling. Additionally, Eisenhower Center provides program coordination, behavior analysis, health education supported employment, community-based recreational activities and transportation.

Eisenhower Center, which is known for encouraging residents to take an active role in local community life, is located at 45224 Paradise Road.

For more information about Eisenhower Center, the multiple programs and services it offers or for current employment opportunities, visit the company's website.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Eisenhower Center
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