WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY

TUESDAY 7AM - 8PM

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Eaton, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa, Van Buren starting Tuesday at 7am and ending at 8pm.  

Snow will start to move into the area by daybreak Tuesday.  This will lead to a few slick spots during your morning commute.  Snow will start to mix with sleet by mid morning with accumulations totaling around 2-4 inches along and north of I-96 and 1-2" along and south of I-94.  Sleet will transitions into freezing rain by early to mid afternoon.  One to two tenths of an inch of ice accumulations are possible south of I-96.  Light rain showers are possible during the late afternoon/early evening and then will wind down quickly into the later evening hours.  Light freezing drizzle is possible after sunset. 

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Berrien, Branch, Cass, Hillsdale, St. Joseph starting at 6am Tuesday and ending at 1pm. 

 

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400-plus year old tree to get big makeover

Updated: Friday, June 20, 2014 |
400-plus year old tree to get big makeover story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A 400-year-old tree in Kalamazoo County is getting a big makeover.

The huge tree in Portage died last year, but one local developer just couldn't let it go.

So now, he's working to turn its stump into something really special.

Matt Milks says he worked tirelessly to keep the old tree alive for the past 17 years.

Now, he hopes the tree's spirit will live on, thanks to a dream and a chainsaw.

Professional wood carver Jerry Ward isn't destroying the tree, but rather transforming it.

"I want something that's very ferocious looking," he said.

Although you can't see it quite yet, Ward says he's got plans for the tree.

"This is going to be a bear, as powerful looking a bear as I can present with that stump to do justice to the tree," he said.

The 400-year-old tree would have been chopped down years ago, and gone forever if it weren't for the determination of local developer Matt Milks.

"We came across this tree and I said, 'this tree is not gonna come down,'" Milks said.

Milks is the Vice President of construction for Meijer C. Weiner, and says when they started developing the complex for Gander Mountain, he took on the tree as a passion project.

"We tried to nurture the tree through hot summers, cold winters, things like that, and it just wasn't making it," Milks said. "I thought, 'well, we would like to keep it alive or keep some part of it alive versus just cutting it down, slabbing it out and maybe making a table out of it,' I thought, let's try to get a hold of a carver."

Ward still has several days of work to do on the old tree, but once he's done, the old bear will stand guard over Portage for generations to come.

"The spirit of the tree itself is there," Milks said.

Everyone is welcome to come check out the carving in action over the next few days.

Ward expects to be done carving the bear by next Wednesday.
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Business News

Last Update on March 02, 2015 18:30 GMT

CONSUMER SPENDING

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Consumer spending fell for a second consecutive month in January, weakness that was expected to be temporary. Income grew, reflecting strong job gains during the month.

The Commerce Department says consumer spending fell 0.2 percent in January following a 0.3 percent drop in December. Economists had expected a dip, reflecting a big drop in gas prices during the month. That decline should prove to be a positive for the economy going forward, giving consumers more money to spend on other goods.

Income grew 0.3 percent in January as wages and salaries increased a strong $42.4 billion. Analysts expect that solid job gains and low unemployment will bolster consumer spending and lift economic growth this year to what they predict will be the fastest pace in a decade.

ECONOMY-MANUFACTURING

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. factories expanded last month at the weakest pace in a year, with orders, hiring and production all growing more slowly.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, says its manufacturing index slipped to 52.9 in February from 53.5 in January. It was the fourth straight drop and the lowest reading since January 2014. Still, any reading above 50 signals expansion.

Measures of production and employment fell sharply, though they remained in expansionary territory. That suggests that factories are still adding jobs but at a slower pace than in January.

U.S. manufacturers have been held back in recent months by weak growth in China, Europe and Japan. That's been partly offset by strong consumer demand in the United States.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. construction spending fell in January, reflecting weakness in spending on office buildings and other nonresidential projects and in government activity.

The Commerce Department says construction spending fell 1.1 percent in January following a revised 0.8 percent increase in December.

Spending on home construction rose 0.6 percent but spending on nonresidential projects dropped 1.6 percent, reflecting declines in hotels, office buildings and the category that covers shopping centers. Spending on government projects also declined in January, falling 2.8 percent.

Private economists had predicted a small overall gain in January.

HP'S BIG ACQUISITION

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Hewlett-Packard is buying wireless networking company Aruba Networks for about $2.7 billion, the biggest acquisition by HP in recent years.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP said the deal will boost its commercial technology business as it prepares to split into two companies, one focused on selling commercial computer systems and the other selling personal computers and printers.

Aruba, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., makes wi-fi networking systems for shopping malls, corporate campuses, hotels and universities.

HP is paying $24.67 in cash for each Aruba share. That is slightly below its close of $24.81 on Friday.

The deal announced Monday is HP's biggest since CEO Meg Whitman launched a turnaround effort aimed at reorganizing in the face of declining revenue.

GREECE-BAILOUT

MADRID (AP) -- Spain's economy minister says eurozone nations are negotiating a third bailout for financially strapped Greece that would give the country as much as 50 billion euros ($56 billion).

Luis de Guindos also says that "Greece will not leave the eurozone" because that would not be good for the country or the other 18 countries that also use the common euro currency.

De Guindos says that the bailout would provide between 30 billion euros and 50 billion euros.

He spoke Monday at an economic conference in the city of Pamplona and his comments were sent via email to media outlets.

De Guindos says "the central scenario for Greece is a deal on the basis of the current bailout, and new conditions to be set with flexibility."

MORGAN STANLEY-NY LAWSUIT

NEW YORK (AP) -- Morgan Stanley, which agreed to a $2.6 billion settlement with the federal government last week, says it expects to be sued by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over subprime mortgage bonds.

The bank says it was told about the lawsuit in January and that it will involve about 30 subprime securities. Morgan Stanley say the lawsuit will say that it misrepresented or omitted important information related to loans and the properties securing them.

On Wednesday Morgan Stanley said it would pay $2.6 billion to settle with the federal government over its role in the mortgage bubble and subsequent financial crisis. Wall Street banks have paid tens of billions in similar settlements over the last two years, and Morgan Stanley has reached smaller settlements with federal and state agencies.

EUROPE-GM CROPS

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union is giving member states the power to ban the cultivation of genetically-modified crops even if they have been approved by the bloc's food safety authority.

The 28 EU member states on Monday approved the rule that national governments can have the final say in the matter -- a move that goes counter to many EU initiatives, which traditionally seek a common stance on EU policies.

Mute Schimpf of Friends of the Earth Europe says the new law "is a massive opportunity for national governments to shut the door on biotech crops in Europe."

Only one GM crop -- corn -- is planted in the EU so far, predominantly in Spain. Under the rules, governments would still have to consult biotech companies when banning a crop.

FRANCE-OBSOLETE APPLIANCES

PARIS (AP) -- France is ordering manufacturers to inform consumers how long they can expect their TV, cell phone or other appliance to last -- before they buy it.

A new French government decree that came into effect this week aims at fighting so-called planned obsolescence. That is when companies design strategies to limit the life span of appliances, so that consumers will have to replace them.

The measure requires manufacturers to inform vendors how long spare parts for an appliance will continue to be produced. The vendor is then required to inform the buyer, in writing. Violators face up to 15,000 euros ($16,800) in fines.

A similar French measure coming into effect next year will require manufacturers to replace or repair faulty appliances for free for the first two years after purchase.

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