Banks feel pinch from downstate economic woes

REGION - Federal statistics show troubled loans rising slightly in northern Michigan, sending a warning signal to local banks while setting them apart from poorer-performing institutions in the rest of Michigan. In the Grand Traverse region, the problems are showing up in figures for delinquent...

Level of tourism difficult to gauge amid state troubles

REGION - Michigan's major economic engines have sputtered over the last year, cutting disposable incomes and increasing financial uncertainty.But no one has yet been able to figure out their effect on northern Michigan's economy. Will people lack the money to spend on vacations and weekends...

Two months and counting…

Michigan's new fiscal year begins October 1, and there is still no budget in place. The Governor claims we'll be shy about $1.8 billion, but the leading Republican in the House, Craig DeRoche, puts the deficit at $825 million. The difference is significant, as are...

Web site creator launches betsiebay.net

BENZIE COUNTY - Andy McFarlane believes that online is where he is best on target. His results prove it.McFarlane spends "about 10 hours a day" online, producing information for his web sites Absolute Michigan and Leelanau.com.His next venture-betsiebay.net-was launched in late July."I have been working...

Groups can now purchase wind credits at Crystal

THOMPSONVILLE - It's not easy being green, but Crystal Mountain, already recognized as a state leader in renewable choice energy, has taken another step forward.The Benzie County resort is now offering conference, meeting and social groups the option to offset the "carbon footprint" created during...

A sweet deal: Company gives sugar a fair shake

HONOR - Food For Thought is putting fair trade sugars in all of its preserves, making it the first purveyor of Fair Trade-Certified preserves in the United States.This is a natural evolution for the northern Michigan-based organic foods company, which is committed to the use...

Local teachers launch online education business

TRAVERSE CITY - While they believe nothing can replace face-to-face class time and learning in a traditional classroom, a trio of East Junior High teachers is transforming themselves into a virtual teaching team. Lauren Chapple and Dave Hendrix, who will be returning to East...

CIT, entrepreneurship headline new NMC offerings

TRAVERSE CITY - Several programs at Northwestern Michigan College have fresh looks, offering new degrees and certificates to better meet industry needs and give students more options that can help provide better career outlooks.Here's a look at what's new and improved at NMC this fall:Computer...

New business tax gets mixed reviews

TRAVERSE CITY - For 32 years, Michigan's economy has been under the regulation of the Single Business Tax (SBT), an unusual and controversial tax code modeled more after European tax systems than those commonly found in the United States.For almost as long, the system has...