Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Michigan Humane, Abraham Family Open New Farm Animal Care Center in Clarkston
The gates of the new Michigan Humane Center for Farm Animal Care at the Abraham Ranch in Clarkston are now open, and soon it will be serving hundreds of farm animals and livestock.
The Abraham Ranch’s purpose is to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome farm animals brought to Michigan Humane as rescues, strays, or surrenders. The facility is on 80 acres and includes a new 14,000-square-foot barn with enclosed animal stalls, an indoor and outdoor riding arena, 11 different pastures, walking and riding trails, chicken coops, water habitats, and more.
“The need for these animals already exists,” says Matt Pepper, president and CEO of Michigan Humane. “We’re receiving calls about animals that might be the victims of cruelty or neglect, calls from owners who need our support services and requests from other agencies to support their communities. The Abraham Ranch, which is an amazing gift from Katie and Erik Abraham, gives us not only a space to address the physical needs of these animals, but their social and emotional needs as well.”
The Abrahams acknowledged how important the care and well-being of these animals is to them, sharing that they believe that all animals, whether cats, dogs, or horses deserve, “to be treated with compassion and have a place to safely stay while waiting for a new home.”
Michigan Humane currently houses and cares for more than 100 livestock and other domestic animals each year at less-than-ideal facilities, utilizing dog and cat cages for housing or creating accommodations to suit the needs of the animals.
The demand for farm animal care is greater than the current facilities and team can accommodate, and the need is expected to continue to grow. Animals that are anticipated to take up residence at the Abraham Ranch include chickens, ducks, pigs, goats, and cows. The facility is designed using best-in-class animal care leveraging Michigan Humane’s veterinary team and partnerships for animal rehoming and placement.
Funding is needed to grow a dedicated, full-time farm team. Abraham Ranch also will serve as a training facility for veterinary students, cruelty investigators and animal control officers, and as a gathering space for the community.
Pingree Detroit to Launch The Majors Sneaker on Veterans Day
Detroit-based leather goods firm Pingree Detroit, which has a production team comprised of U.S. military veterans and Detroiters, will be launching The Majors high-top black sneaker on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
The launch will go live here at 11:11 a.m. and 100 pairs of The Majors will go on sale. Each pair is numbered and made to order from excess materials repurposed from auto industry suppliers.
Every item includes a “maker tag” and a quote from the maker. Last year, The Majors sold out in four hours.
“It’s rare when you buy something, especially shoes, to know where the materials came from and to know the name of the person who made them,” says Jarret Schlaff, co-founder of Pingree Detroit. “We’re reimagining work and reconnecting people to each other.”
Michigan’s High Life Farms Launches Cannabis Product in California Market
High Life Farms, a cannabis company based in Chesaning, northwest of Flint, announced that it is bringing one of its best-selling products to California.
High Life’s Nuggies, chocolate-covered pretzel edibles, are now available in California. The product expansion marks a major milestone for HLF.
“We’ve highly anticipated the expansion of our Nuggies line of chocolate edibles to California since our original launch in Michigan, and we’ve worked diligently to find the best suppliers to ensure we are producing the same high-quality products that meet our standards,” says Vinnie Celani, co-founder of High Life Farms. “Nuggies have experienced huge success in Michigan and are one of our best-selling products. We’re thrilled to roll out our unique line of infused pretzel bites to consumers in the country’s biggest cannabis market and hope they enjoy them as much as our customers in Michigan.”
Nuggies are available in three flavors: chocolate peanut butter, strawberries and cream, and peanut butter and banana.
For more information, visit here.
Opus IV Releases IVSWizard 2.0 Feature for Collision Repair Diagnostic Tools
Detroit-based Opus IVS, a provider of diagnostic scanning, ADAS calibration, and programming for the vehicle repair industry, today unveiled IVSWizard 2.0, a patent pending safety and productivity feature with its DriveSafe and ScanSafe diagnostic tools for the collision repair market.
The new version of IVSWizard was developed based on industry feedback to provide relevant information to guide repairers on scanning decisions for Quickscan and True-OE OEM certified collision program scanning. IVSWizard detects ADAS technology on a vehicle and provides suggestions to repairers based on vehicle damage, technology equipped, shop OE certifications and much more.
“We are really excited about IVSWizard 2.0,” says Brian Herron, president of Opus IVS. “Based on feedback from MSOs and independent shops that wanted to drive more consistency in scanning decisions, this updated version goes beyond our original IVS Wizard released in 2018 and provides more sophisticated scan guidance. We took customer feedback to build a framework that any shop can use or customize to their own standard operating procedures and workflow.”
For more information, visit here.
Henry Ford’s Ghost Confronts His Complex Legacy in New Film by U-M Professor
“10 Questions for Henry Ford” is a film — part documentary and part biopic — by Andy Kirshner, an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s Stamps School of Art and Design and School of Music, Theatre, and Dance in Ann Arbor.
The film follows Ford’s character, played by actor John Lepard, on a journey through the modern-day, post-industrial landscape of southeast Michigan, juxtaposing it with historical footage and photographs from 1914-41, Ford’s period of greatest public influence. The film also features several dance sequences choreographed by Debbie Williams, reflecting on Ford’s passion for “traditional” music and dance.
The 67-minute feature-length film is set to premiere Nov. 6 at the Ojai Film Festival in California and will be available on-demand virtually through the festival’s website to national audiences Nov. 9-14.
To piece together the film, Kirshner poured through Ford’s personal notebooks, letters, and documents, as well as newspaper clips, interviews, photographs, video footage, and oral histories.
“The presentation of it is very unique because the dialogue is completely based on words and ideas expressed by Ford,” says Kirshner, who began research for the film in 2016. “In some cases, we’re ‘guessing’ what he would have said based on how he is documented to have responded to personal and historical events throughout his life, and in others, we hear his words verbatim.”
It opens with Ford’s ghost (Lepard) watching footage from his own public memorial viewing at Greenfield Village in 1947, where he comments that he could have made the process for the mile-long line of mourners waiting to see his casket “much more efficient.”
The scene, which uses actual historical footage Kirshner found in the National Archives, is a technique that he utilizes throughout the film. As Ford (Lepard) glances toward a clearing at his Fair Lane estate in Dearborn, the focus shifts to a clip — or memory — of him there with his grandchildren and wife, Clara; as he approaches the Ford River Rouge Plant, footage of the violent Battle of the Overpass, where members of the United Auto Workers clashed with Ford Motor Co. security guards, flashes onto the screen.
Scenes were shot over the course of three years at various locations in southeast Michigan, including Greenfield Village in Dearborn, the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, the Highland Park Model T plant, the remaining Willow Run Bomber Plant building in Ypsilanti, and the site of Ford’s first workshop at 58 Bagley Ave. in downtown Detroit. Viewers also will notice Detroit scenes shot inside the People Mover, outside of Michigan Central Station and at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry Murals — commissioned by Ford’s late son, Edsel — still can be found.
At the heart of his exploration into the American icon is a series of inflammatory anti-Semitic articles that he published in the 1920s through his personal newspaper, The Dearborn Independent. Blaming Jews for everything from World War I and economic depression to short skirts and the corrupting influence of Jazz, Ford’s publications quickly spread around the world — and to Germany, where they became enormously popular. Adolf Hitler praised Ford as “the leader of our fascist movement in America,” and awarded him a medal.
“On one hand, you have this person who accepted a medal from one of the worst people in human history, and on the other hand, he described himself as a pacifist,” says Kirshner, who also composed the music for the film. “In fact, there is existing correspondence between Henry Ford and Gandhi.”
Another theme explored throughout the film is Ford’s relationship with his son, Edsel, whom he was close to as a child, but increasingly estranged from as an adult. According to Kirshner, oral histories in the archives showed that the two grew further apart as time went by, especially as their differences in politics, management style, and personality came to light.
As the film progresses, each of the 10 questions is posed to Ford’s ghost as he encounters ruins of his former factories, the resilient beauty of the Rouge River, the violent legacy of his own words, and insistent memories of his son.
313 Presents Seeks Local Choirs to Perform at Fox Theatre During Holiday Season
313 Presents is looking for local choirs and glee clubs to enhance the holiday atmosphere at the Fox Theatre prior to select performances of the 2021-22 Fox Theatre Series Presented by Comerica Bank.
Choirs will have the opportunity to perform their own acapella holiday set from atop the Fox Theatre’s Grand Staircase approximately one hour before showtime at one the following holiday shows:
- Cirque Dreams Holidaze (Friday, Dec. 3 – Sunday, Dec. 5)
- Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith Christmas (Thursday, Dec. 9)
- A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage (Saturday, Dec. 11)
Members of all selected choirs will receive discounted tickets on the main floor and all choir members may invite their congregations, schools, families, and friends. Local choir and club registration is due by Friday, Nov. 19 at 12 p.m. To register or for more information, please call Alex McCarthy at 313-471-3278.
Home Builders Foundation Announces Skilled Trades Scholarship Awards
The Home Builders Association (HBA) of Southeastern Michigan’s Charitable and Educational Foundation has awarded eight scholarships through the HBA Skilled Trades Scholarship Fund for 2021.
This fund was formed to support young people who will become the next generation of construction workers in southeast Michigan.
The 2021 scholarships winners are:
- Russell Damuth of South Lyon, Paul C. & Cheryl Robertson Honorary Scholarship ($5,000).
- Cameron Budiel of Dewitt, David S. Compo Family Memorial Scholarship ($3,500).
- Caleb Tanner of Sterling Heights, General Scholarship ($2,500).
- Nathan Huizinga of Lake Orion, General Scholarship ($1,000).
- Jake Frisch of Shelby Township, General Scholarship ($1,000).
- William Kobel of Livonia, General Scholarship ($1,000).
- Steven Briesch of Clinton Township, General Scholarship ($1,000).
- Micharl Brady Jr. of Oakland County, General Scholarship ($500).
Applications for 2022 scholarships are being accepted now through June 10, 2022 here.
Lean Rocket Lab in Jackson to Host Pitch Event Dec. 8
The Michigan Economic Development Corp., Pure Michigan Business Connect, Automation Alley, and Lawrence Technological University’s Centrepolis Accelerator will be conducting the Manu-Tech Pitch Event – 2021 at Lean Rocket Lab in Jackson on Dec. 8.
The event, with a focus on enabling operational resiliency, is designed to provide insight to breakthrough technology that is enabling operational resiliency for Michigan manufacturing firms. It features best-in-class technology from companies in the Automation Alley Industry 4.0 Accelerator.
The Manu-Tech Pitch Event also includes a fireside chat with Automation Alley CEO Tom Kelly and MEDC CEO Quentin Messer Jr., as well as a round table discussion with Michigan manufacturing industry 4.0 thought leaders. Participants also will learn about the Automation Alley Industry 4.0 Accelerator powered by LTU Centrepolis and Lean Rocket Lab.
The event will be livestreamed, take place from 2-5 p.m., and be broken up into two sessions.
For a full agenda and information on how to participate, visit here.