Category Archives: Uncategorized

Capital projects rescheduled

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New paint and other improvements on the International bridge in Sualt Ste. Marie have been rescheduled in an effort to save money.

Officials said two large projects will be pushed into next year. One job would install new mechanical hardware, the other is a new coat of paint. The delay will give the bridge governing board time to investigate cost saving measures.

Dan Weingarten is the spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation in the Upper Peninsula. He said the projects are not expected to affect toll prices.

“The toll rates are set by their boards, and there wouldn’t be any increase in the toll rates due to the projects. These are things that have been scheduled and budgeted well in advance.”

Weingarten said, if everything goes a planned both projects should be completed next year.

Saginaw credit union under conservatorship

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Valley State Credit Union in Saginaw has been placed into conservatorship by state regulators to address the credit union’s financial stability.

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services will act as a conservator for Valley State Credit Union.

Andrea Miller is the spokeswoman for the Department of Insurance and Financial Services. She said conservatorship will take place effective immediately.

“Upon review of a current review Director McPharlin determined that a conservatorship of that credit union was necessary to protect the public interest.”

Miller said members of the credit union will have uninterrupted access to their funds.

“On the Map” visits Alma to explore Padnos, a manufacturer in the recycling industry

Padnos signThe family owned business has been recycling materials for four generations.

Padnos settled/ opening in Holland, Michigan in 1905. The family originally went to farms and sawmills trading goods for iron. Then they shipped the iron to large cities for manufacturers to use.

The company has grown. In the last century expanded to 20 locations throughout Michigan. It employs 500 people statewide.
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Michigan Manufacturing Koegel’s

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Koegel’s has been around since Woodrow Wilson was president of the United States. A time where you could enjoy a hotdog at a baseball game, but not a cold beer, liquor was illegal. 100 years later Koegel’s is still making hotdogs, and thriving. Desiree Jordan visits the company for our On the Map tour this week, on Michigan manufacturing.


“machines going”

Koegel’s is a meat manufacturing company that produces 45,000 pounds of product everyday.

“We do ring bologna, we do polish sausage, brockwurst, we have a summer sausage,
John Koegel is company President and grandson to the founder Albert Koegel.
we do some braunschweiger, we do slice lunch and meat, sliced bologna, olive loaf, a pickled loaf, macaroni and cheese loaf, so we have about 64 different items that can be in a store. And it’s all processed right here in this facility. ”

If you believe the old adage, you don’t want to see how the sausage is made, but for John Koegel it was a way of life. He said he’s worked at the family business since he was 12-years old.

“I have been head of our company since probably 1993. Idk I would have to look it’s been so long. We are celebrating our 100th anniversary this year, I’m third generation. Our official day is September 14th, that’s the official day my grandfather incorporated here in Flint.”

Even though Koegel’s is a small company over the years it has expanded, in part, by partnering with Meijer.

“We have about approximately 100 workers that’s including management and sales, sanitation, and crew. If they make it a year, and once all the benefits kick in they usually stay with us for quite some time. We are mainly just in Michigan. We service Michigan off of our own trucks, so we have 12 trucks on the road on a daily basis. We are in Ohio but on with Meijer, Indiana, Kentucky and that’s about it. ”

Serving four states doesn’t leave room for slack. The production line is fully up and running when most of us are just wiping the sleep from our eyes.

“We are up and running 100 percent by 6:30. Back in our kitchen we kind of stagger start because we have to start grinding and chopping so those people start at 5:15.”

Koegel’s has a logical layout to it’s production line.

“So the plant is a true east to west flow. So Bishop airport is right there and it’s just a straight line. So all the raw materials come in here at the east end of our building. Just make their way through the kitchen, cooking, cooling, packaging, shipping, right out the other end. So right on the west end, straight through.”

It all starts with purchasing…

“Our meat we buy everything fresh. We buy of course beef and pork, we check it here for weight, temperature, smell, look, and then we bring it in.”

While on the subject of buying cows, bulls, and pork jaws, Koegel told me the secret to making one of America’s most famous recipes, next to apple pie.

“Now the trick to making a good hot dog is to take the lean meat, so here we’ve taken the bull and the cow and blended it together. We’ve added salt, cure, and water. And we’re extracting the protein from this. So we take the fat and capsulate the fat in a nice protein bond, the people bite the nice texture through the protein, but then we all know the flavor is in the fat, so you get the nice release of flavor in the fat. And that the secret to making a hot dog.”

After the various products are made they are sent to the smokehouses to be cooked and cooled.

“Once we get the product smoked, the coloration like we like it, and the temperature where we want it, we then come down and put it into steam boxes. We steam the product, what it does because we just went through the cooking process we took a lot of moisture of the outside, so we’re pumping the moisture back in. And the steam tenderizes the natural casing, so it tenderizes it. This is the critical control point. So have to check every temperature, and next we start the cooling process.”

The hotdogs are then sent to packaging and shipped out. After the tour of the facility, I talked to Koegel about how it felt to take over the reins at the company. He said not a lot of companies have lasted as long as this one.

“It’s an honor to be guiding a company that has been around that long. To have a product that is still the same as it was a hundred years ago, we’re still making the exact same way my grandfather you know developed it, when he built the business and started the business. So to me not a lot of companies can do that. So I feel really fortunate they allowed to come in and take over.”

Koegel said he hopes the company continues to thrive for the next hundred years and remains in the family.

“I think we are just proud of the whole bundle that we’ve made 100 years, and still going strong, and maybe the chance to go another 25 to 30 or 100 years. Ultimately if I can pass it on to the fourth generation that would be success for me.”

Koegel said it will be interesting to see where his company will go in the coming years. Koegel’s opened its doors in 1916 and doesn’t plan on shutting them any time soon. With 100 employees making hotdogs for four states, Koegel’s has put Flint Michigan on the map.

Valley State Credit Union now under conservatorship

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Valley State Credit Union in Saginaw has been placed into conservatorship by state regulators to address the credit union’s financial stability.


The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services will act as a conservator for Valley State Credit Union.

Andrea Miller is the spokeswoman for the Department of Insurance and Financial Services. She said conservatorship will take place effective immediately.

“Upon review of a current review Director McPharlin determined that a conservatorship of that credit union was necessary to protect the public interest.”

Miller said members of the credit union will have uninterrupted access to their funds.

‘On The Map’ visits Oakland County to learn about transitions taken by Leader Dogs

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Our latest “On The Map” series brings us around the state to learn about transitions involving people, animals, and technology.

Dogs that help the visually impaired are some of the most highly trained service animals.

What does it take to guide people who are deaf-blind or visually impaired?

If these dogs could talk they would say good trainers, lots of patience, and treats. Continue reading

‘On The Map’ visits VFW National Home helping veterans transition into civilian life

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Our latest “On The Map” series brings us around the state to visit transitions involving people, service animals, and technology.

We take a closer look now at a non-profit working to help veterans and their families transition into civilian life.

The VFW National Home for Children sits on 629 acres in Eaton Rapids.

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Kildee: Trump’s values “wrong for Michigan”

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Congressman Dan Kildee is among the Michiganders gathered in Philadelphia this week for the Democratic National Convention. He spoke by phone this week with CMU Public Radio, and reflected on the campaign season so far, on the water crisis that is still affecting thousands of people in Flint, and on his own future political ambitions. Continue reading

Voter registration event comes to downtown Saginaw

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Several organizations are coming together to host an event called Pop The Polls. The price of admission is simply signing up to vote in November.

Pop The Polls is a one day voter registration drive and concert… and everyone in the Great Lakes Bay region is being invited to attend.

Benjamin Champagne is head of production for Pop The Polls. He said he loves seeing people get involved in their community. He hopes a little music, art and creativity will help more people get involved.

“I think that is is one of the most direct actions someone can take towards changing their community and it takes very little effort. You just go vote. You know? It’s not like you gotta go maintain a garden all summer or help build things in the community. It’s one simple act that has so much power to it.”

Champagne said several bands are scheduled to perform… and all people have to do to attend is register to vote. The event will take place Sunday, August 21 in downtown Saginaw.

Disclosures reveal private wealth is being funneled into congressional races

THREE 100 DOLLAR ROLLSDisclosures released last week reveal congressional candidates in two primary races have spent a combined one million dollars of personal wealth on their campaigns just last quarter.

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‘Purple mats’ may be the key to increase in oxygen 2.4 billion years ago

Sinkhole_Hoyt_May 30 -31_2012__126 (2)Sinkholes in Lake Huron could hold clues to the oxygenation of Earth 35 hundred million years ago.

That’s because the sinkholes are home to purple mats – microbial organisms that are distant cousins of some of the first life on Earth.

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Genesee county foster care agency surrenders license

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A Genesee county foster care agency has surrendered its license following a state investigation.


State officials said the investigation of the Alternatives for Children and Families agency followed the death of a child in July 2015. The department found training violations and inconsistent regulations.

Bob Wheaton is the spokesmen for the Department of Health and Human Services. He said Alternatives was a case management agency, who was supposed to ensure foster families were adequately trained to care for foster children.

“So we really need to take action to try to prevent situations like this from happening, and make sure that children who are in foster care have an agency looking after their best interest, and keeping them safe.”

Wheaton said it’s rare an agency loses its license.

The Regional Planning and Development Commission in the eastern U-P want to expand internet availability

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A regional planning group is looking for feedback from eastern Upper Peninsula residents about their internet service.


The Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning and Development Commission has sent out over 28,000 internet access surveys to residents and businesses. The information from the surveys will be given to service providers interested in expanding internet availability in the region.

Officials said the goal is to bring faster internet speeds to U-P residents.

Eric Wedesky is an Economic Development Specialist for the Commission. He said U-P residents deserve the same access that more populated areas receive.

“What we want is for people to come here and be able to have this rural, low population density spread out type of lifestyle, but still have the 21st century amenities that most people are more used to. And we see that as if were able to have things like broadband and access to common services in a place like this, it’ll be more attractive to people who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan areas. So we see this as a way to effect economic development.”

Wedesky said the survey’s response rate has been high so far. Residents are being encouraged to complete the survey by Labor Day.