DBusiness Daily Update: BitNile Michigan Facility Achieves Production Milestone of 500 Bitcoins Mined, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
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BitNile’s facility in Dowagiac has mined 500 Bitcoin to date.// File Photo
BitNile’s facility in Dowagiac has mined 500 Bitcoin to date.// File Photo

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

BitNile Michigan Facility Achieves Production Milestone of 500 Bitcoin Mined

Las Vegas-based BitNile Holdings Inc.’s data center in Dowagiac (southeast of Benton Harbor), has achieved a Bitcoin mining production milestone of 500 Bitcoin mined to date at its Michigan data center.

“I am pleased to see the progress the team has made in building up our mining capability and achieving a milestone in Bitcoin mining production,” says Milton “Todd” Ault III, executive chairman of BitNile. “The plan to grow our Bitcoin mining operations is clear, and it is rewarding to see the team achieve key milestones along the way.”

In Related News: The BitNile subsidiary that runs the Dowagiac facility, Alliance Cloud Services, says it plans to launch enterprise data center services at the Michigan data center. Alliance Cloud Services has developed a diversified site, including commercial real estate for office, warehouse and distribution, a high-density computing data center focused on Bitcoin mining, and the announced enterprise data center with plans to offer hosting and colocation services for third parties.

Alliance owns and operates the 617,000-square-foot facility located in Michigan. It consists of a 100,000-square-foot data center and 517,000 square feet of improved space occupied by commercial real estate tenants. The site currently has access to approximately 28 megawatts of power and multiple telecommunications carriers with physically separate fiber entrances and geographically diverse routes.

The enterprise data center component is nearing completion and soon will be ready to serve prospective customers interested in hosting and colocation services.

“We believe the capabilities of our Michigan data center are in high demand and we are focused on adding enterprise data center customers in the near future, further expanding revenue provided by this facility,” Ault says.

DTE Energy Connects Customers to Multimillion-dollar Home Heating programs

In the past 12 months, nearly $200 million made available by DTE-led coalition for low-income Michiganders

As Michigan braces for another cold winter and higher energy usage, DTE Energy is helping those facing financial hardships pay their bills. In the past 12 months, the company has helped connect its customers to nearly $200 million in aid – more than ever before – and is gearing up with its partners now to continue this support in winter’s coldest months, when many will need it most.

Help is available for those having trouble paying their energy bills through many payment assistance options:

  • For customers who need help paying their energy bill, DTE offers several payment assistance programs. Contact DTE at 800-477-4747 as soon as you know you may have a challenge paying your bill.
  • Customers may also dial 211 to reach a service agency for help in identifying all the assistance available.
  • Customers may also be eligible for protection from disconnects based on income and other factors. Learn more at com/help.

DTE secures financial help for customers through its partner programs such as State Emergency Relief (SER), the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP), as well as DTE’s own Low-Income Self-Sufficiency Plan (LSP). Additionally, the company has donated $60 million in recent years to The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), United Way, Salvation Army and TrueNorth to help ensure Michigan homes remain safe and warm.

“We want every in-need customer to know that the help is here for you,” says Joi Harris, president and COO of DTE Gas. “You just have to reach out.”

DTE’s energy efficiency programs can also help customers see savings on their bills:

  • Home Energy Consultations provide free, energy efficient products as well as money-saving tips for a single-family home, duplex or condominium. Customers can call 866.796.0512 to schedule a consultation.
  • Customers who have a limited income may explore DTE’s Energy Efficiency Assistance (EEA) program, where qualifying customers can receive additional energy efficient products to help reduce their monthly bills.

Additionally, DTE encourages customers to consider these money-saving tips:

  • Install a programmable thermostat. Save up to $180 annually by programming it for the season. The recommended settings for winter are 68 degrees during the day and a degree or two lower at night.
  • Save up to $200 a year by sealing air leaks around your home to keep heat in and cold air outside and adding proper insulation.
  • Inspect and replace your furnace filter at the start of the season and at least every 3 months to ensure your furnace can work at peak efficiency.

For more tips and ways to save on winter heating bills, visit here.

House of Dank Monroe to Celebrate Official Grand Opening Nov. 5

House of Dank Monroe (14750 Laplaisance Road), a cannabis dispensary that services Ohio and Michigan, will celebrate its grand opening from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. on Nov. 5.

This is House of Dan’s eighth retail location. On the day of the grand opening, vendors will be on site all day, as well as live music, food trucks, and deals on cannabis products.

“When you walk through the doors you will not only find a clean and bright environment, but also friendly staff who are there to help understand your needs and which products are best for you,” says Angela Cataldo, marketing manager at House of Dank.

House of Dank locations are expected to open in the coming months in Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Lapeer, and Lansing.

Varnum Law Firm Achieves Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification

Detroit-based law firm Varnum has achieved Mansfield Rule Certification 5.0, following an extensive, year-long process.

The Mansfield Rule is a program for law firms designed to boost the representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in firm leadership. The program measures whether women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities have been considered for leadership opportunities, promotions, lateral positions, and career-enhancing work opportunities.

“We’re very pleased to be among the 160 law firms across the country who achieved certification this year,” says Ron DeWaard, chair of Varnum. “We understand the value of the program and we will continue to participate in the coming year.

“This isn’t a check-the-box exercise; it’s an ongoing process throughout the year with the intended result of broadening awareness of everything from how we staff matters to who we promote for leadership and recognition.”

To achieve Mansfield Rule Certification, law firms are required to demonstrate year-long progress in increasing diversity in senior recruitment and leadership decisions and consider a minimum of 30 percent diverse candidates for these roles. Based on the premise that “you get what you measure,” the process includes establishing and tracking certain data points in more than a dozen areas which are evaluated and discussed at regular intervals throughout the year.

The Mansfield Rule is named after Arabella Mansfield, the first female lawyer in the U.S., and was inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires every NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies. Mansfield Rule raised the bar on expectations, having learned from the Rooney Rule outcomes, by requiring law firms to consider diverse lawyers for all leadership roles, lateral hiring, promotions to partner, participation in client pitch meetings and other tracked data points.

First One-mile Stretch of 27.5-mile Joe Louis Greenway Completed

The first one-mile stretch of the 27.5-mile Joe Louis Greenway, that will connect Detroiters in 23 neighborhoods to existing trails like the Dequindre Cut, the Detroit Riverfront, four other cities, and each other, has been completed.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, members of Joe Louis’ family, and other officials gathered on Saturday to cut the ribbon.

Funding for this section of the greenway and the Warren Gateway came from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation in the amount of $3 million. MDNR Trust Fund Grant and Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) also were used to purchase the eight-mile rail corridor from Conrail.

“Today we celebrate the completion of the first leg of the Joe Louis Greenway, as we continue our mission to turn blight to beauty here in the City of Detroit,” Duggan says. “Thanks to the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation and our partners at the state and federal levels, we are seeing this vision become reality. Today marks the first of many celebrations to come as we continue this transformational work in our neighborhoods.”

The Joe Louis Greenway is a 27.5-mile path designed to be a transformational project that intends to unify and provide equitable access to recreational opportunities for residents. Upon completion, more than 40,000 residents will be able to walk to the greenway within 10 minutes. It will also serve as a regional connector to five other cities including Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park, and Dearborn.

For more information, visit joelouisgreenway.com.

Arboretum Detroit and DFC Plant 200 Trees to Transform Greenspace on Detroit’s Eastside

Arboretum Detroit and Detroit Future City (DFC) collaborated for a day of service to support the Elmwood Circle Forest, a reforestation and ecological restoration project on Detroit’s east side.

Elmwood Circle Forest is a planned community gathering space taking shape at the northeast corner of East Grand Boulevard and McDougall Street. The formerly vacant 1.3 acres of residential land is transforming into a lush, green, and welcoming neighborhood trail and forest ecosystem. The gathering space also will include ADA compliant boardwalk and seating in the forested area.

The initiative started in July of 2021 and is funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Fund’s Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund, General Motors Foundation, and AARP. It is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2023.

“With the Circle Forest project, we have the opportunity to heal and restore a landscape the size of a football field,” says Andrew “Birch” Kemp, president and executive director of Arboretum Detroit. “After more than 300 years of unkept and unceded existence, this land is receiving life and love from hundreds of volunteers who in turn feel the healing of their own ecological grief. Healing our relationship with the land is the only way forward for us on this planet and we feel blessed to be able to engage in this work.”

Elmwood Circle Forest is located at 3301 Palmer St in Detroit’s East Poletown neighborhood. For more information about the tree planting program or volunteer opportunities, visit here.

Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County Planning Annual Fall Gala

Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County will host its 10th Annual Fall Gala starting at 7 p.m. on Nov. 5 at the M1 Concourse Event Center.

The gala, hosted by Local 4’s Priya Mann, will highlight Habitat homeowners, volunteers, and supporters. It will consist of cocktails, dinner, live music by FiftyAmpFuse, and a silent and live auction with charity auctioneer Jim Miller.

“We’re very excited to bring this year’s Gala to our home base of Pontiac,” says Ann Duke, chief development officer at Habitat Oakland. “The M1 Concourse will set the stage for what promises to be our most exciting Gala ever.”

Tickets are on sale now here and the event is open to the public.

Salvation Army Ready to Launch 2022 Red Kettle Christmas Campaign

The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit is launching its annual Red Kettle Christmas Campaign to raise funds to support its critical social programming that helps metro Detroiters in dire need. The nonprofit has set an $8.2 million fundraising goal for the 2022 Red Kettle Christmas Campaign.

Proceeds will support communities in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and providing Christmas gifts for families struggling to make ends meet.

This year’s theme, “Love Beyond Christmas,” captures The Salvation Army’s core value of spreading hope and love to struggling families not just during the season of giving, but 365 days a year. The campaign emphasizes the importance of meeting the unwavering community need for basic necessities like food and shelter during the Christmas season and beyond.

“Families in our communities are struggling to make ends meet, making a decision between paying the bills, putting food on the table, and buying Christmas gifts for their kids,” says Maj. Bob Mueller, Metro Detroit Area Commander. “It’s all of our responsibility to lend a helping hand to our neighbors in crisis. When you donate to The Salvation Army, your donation not only supports our community’s most vulnerable through the Christmas season, but all 365 days a year.”

To help raise awareness and encourage the community to donate, the nonprofit welcomes Scott Wolffis, president and CEO of Commercial Alliance, as the 2022 Red Kettle Christmas Chairman. Wolffis, who has served on The Salvation Army’s Metro Detroit Advisory Board for more than 15 years, will serve as the public face for the fundraising campaign to help the nonprofit meet its $8.2 million fundraising goal.

Commercial Alliance will serve as The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit’s official corporate bell ringing partner. Commercial Alliance employees will be encouraged to “adopt” metro Detroit red kettle locations by manning those sites and ringing the iconic bell, or choose to volunteer virtually, to help raise money for the Christmas Campaign. Commercial Alliance will also match all donations up to $25,000 on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29.

New this year, Buddy’s Pizza will serve as The Salvation Army’s first ever Red Kettle Pizza Partner. By hosting red kettles at restaurant locations across metro Detroit, volunteering to bell ring, and offering customers an opportunity to donate $1 to their online pizza order at all locations throughout the state, Buddy’s Pizza will help The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit meet its $8.2 million fundraising goal to continue providing its vital community programs.

The Salvation Army’s 2022 Red Kettle Christmas Campaign also is supported by Bank of America, Royal Park Hotel, and more.

Individuals and families can sign up as volunteer bell ringers by visiting registertoring.com where they have an option to choose a traditional, two-hour session at a physical red kettle site or participate in a virtual bell ringing shift where they can raise funds in the comfort of their own home. Virtual bell ringers can sign up and begin raising funds at any time, whereas traditional bell ringing begins on Nov. 11 and runs through Dec. 24, excluding Thanksgiving and Sundays.

Metro Detroiters can also make a donation by:

  • Texting GIFT to 24365
  • Donating money via an online kettle, PayPal, Venmo, or physical red kettle
  • Donating cryptocurrency
  • Volunteering as a virtual or in-person bell ringer at registertoring.com
  • Visiting SAmetrodetroit.org
  • Calling 877-SAL-MICH

For more information about The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit’s 2022 Red Kettle Christmas Campaign, visit SAmetrodetroit.org.

Heritage Works Teams Up with Philadelphia Dance Co. to Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Heritage Works and Philadelphia dance company, PHILADANCO! are partnering to present Endangered Species – Detroit (ESD), a mini-tour of its latest work. The performances and accompanying community activities will take place Nov. 9-11.

Choreographed by Anthony Burrell and set on PHILADANCO!, Endangered Species, is a movement work that explores police brutality, community loss, and opportunities for transformation.

“We couldn’t think of a better organization to share and produce this experience with than PHILIDANCO!,” says Rhonda Greene, executive director of Heritage Works. “During the pandemic, both organizations recognized that their communities were witnessing two pandemics: COVOD-19 and the social injustices happening around the country. “Endangered Species Mini Tour” is a way to raise awareness of and explore the conditions that led to these adversities while paying tribute and amplifying the lives and voices of those who we lost during those times.”

The series originally was planned for 2020 to celebrate anniversaries for both organizations — Heritage Works’ 20th anniversary and PHILADANCO!’s 50th anniversary.

The events schedule includes:

  • 9, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Youth Day – Detroit School of Arts
  • 10, 5:30-8:30 p.m., English Village Artist Reception and Annual Dinner
  • 11, Cass Technical High School and Martin Luther King Junior High School, and Club Zora
  • 12, 10 a.m., Detroit Windsor Dance Academy, Anthony Burrell Workshop

For more information and to register, visit here.

Suttons Bay’s Black Star Farms Winery Announces New Corporate Gifting

Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay has announced a new gifting program aimed at simplifying gifting for both businesses and individuals starting Nov. 15.

Gift options include a selection of two bottles of Black Star Farms wines and Cuvee — seven sets in total, each carrying a celestial name. The winery has all palates covered with the offerings, from Capella, which includes limited production reds to Vega, a sweet and sparkly set.

The bottles come packaged in a custom box, bearing surprise phrases inside and out and featuring a photo of the estate vineyard. A personalized gift card and shipping is included. Shipping is available to 20 states.

For more information, visit here.

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