Dr. Paul Isely, 2020 Economic Forecast, DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, MI
Valerie Wojciechowski /

West Michigan’s economy is in the midst of a manufacturing recession. The details were revealed during Thursday’s 2020 Colliers Annual Economic and Commercial Real Estate Forecast was held at DeVos Place.

Both the U.S. and Michigan’s manufacturing sector are in recession.

“Right now, as we stand here in the United States and in West Michigan, have a sectoral recession happening in a part of the economy that is 20% to 25% of Michigan.”

Peterson Farms sign photo
Clark Communications

Peterson Farm Incorporated annually processes 150 million pounds of fruit products including apples, sliced apples, sweet and tart cherries, peaches, blueberries and more. It also seven million gallons of apple juices and ciders.

It's now expanding into juice bottling, applesauce lines from out-of-state facilities along with plans for apple peeling and additional blueberry processing.

A $22 million dollar investment will expand production space by more than 35,000 square feet allowing Peterson Farms to process an additional 115 million pounds of Michigan grown fruits.

Wikimedia | Paul Joseph

Detroit's largest brewery is being acquired by an international beer giant. Atwater Brewery says it's struck a deal with Tenth and Blake Beer, the craft beer arm of Molson Coors Beverage. Atwater produced more than 23,000 barrels in 2019 and is known for a wheat ale named Dirty Blonde as well as Vanilla Java Porter. Atwater owner Mark Rieth and his team will continue to run daily operations. It's the second major Michigan beer deal in recent months. In August, the state's largest brewer, Founders Brewing of Grand Rapids, said Mahou San Miguel Group was taking a 90% stake.

Recall image
Joint Base San Antonio / U.S. Department of Agriculture

Two different air bag glitches have forced Toyota and Honda to recall over 6 million vehicles worldwide, and both problems present different dangers to motorists. The Toyota recall affects about 3.4 million vehicles globally and is being done because the air bags may not inflate in a crash. The cars have air bag control computers made by ZF-TRW that are vulnerable to electrical interference and may not signal the bags to inflate. Honda's recall covers about 2.7 million vehicles in the U.S. and Canada with Takata air bag inflators.

Tesla logo

Michigan has cleared the way for Tesla to sell more electric vehicles in the state and get them serviced under a deal that settles a lawsuit by the automaker. It won't be as simple as Tesla opening a dealership on a corner lot. But consumers at least won't have to leave Michigan to buy a car or SUV. Tesla had sued Michigan, challenging a 2014 law that ensured automakers could only sell through independent, franchised dealers and not directly to customers. Teslas will have to be titled in another state and then transferred to Michigan.

picture of GR Ford Airport Logo
Gerald R. Ford International Airport

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport set a new record  for passengers. In 2019, more than 3.5 million passengers flew in and out of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. It’s the seventh consecutive year of record setting travel that saw a 9.88-percent increase over 2018.

Jose Teixeira, PhD portrait

Uterine fibroid tumors are the most common tumor found in women. Researchers have been trying to figure out how they start and grow. Funding from the National Institutes of Health has led to a Grand Rapids-based collaboration leading to what’s been described as a breakthrough that may lead to better treatments.

Each year in the United States, 600,000 women will have a hysterectomy. Half of those are the result of uterine fibroid tumors. The only cure is the removal of the uterus.

Jon M. Huntsman Jr. portrait
Wikimedia Commons

The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan celebrating its 70th Anniversary honoring regional and national influential figures with inaugural prizes. WGVU’s was at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids for the ceremonies.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia and China, Jon Huntsman Jr. received the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan’s first annual Vandenberg Prize named in honor of Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg who was a proponent of forming NATO and endorsing the creation of the United Nations.

Chevrolet logo

The new mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette is being named the North American Car of the Year. The Kia Telluride took Sport Utility of the Year honors and the Jeep Gladiator won the Truck of the Year Award. About 50 automotive journalists serve as judges for the awards, which are announced every January. They're chosen from dozens of candidates and must be new or substantially changed. Automakers often use the awards in advertising. The judges evaluate finalists on value, innovation, design, performance, safety, technology and driver satisfaction.

Grand Valley State University

Keeping tabs on health trends impacting residents in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon and Allegan Counties, Grand Valley State University has released its 2020 Health Check report. WGVU breaks down some of its findings.

In its 11th year, Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business has been tracking health trend data critical when businesses, health care, and higher education organizations map out health-related policies and decision-making.