WestSouthwest Brief

Western Michigan University's BTR Park - file photo by WMUK

Michelle Miller-Adams says when local communities are struggling economically, leaders look to attract an employer that will bring lots of jobs. But the Senior Researcher for the Kalamazoo-based Upjohn Institute for Employment Research says “that is a very low percentage strategy.” The Upjohn Institute launched a project last year on how communities can attract and keep good jobs. Miller-Adams and Upjohn Institute Senior Economist Tim Bartik are two of the co-authors of a report called Building Shared Prosperity: How Communities Can Create Good Jobs For All.  Note: This interview was originally broadcast in April.

Courtesy photo

On Wednesday, May 22nd, preeminent astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will hit the stage at Western Michigan University's Miller Auditorium. He's become a pop culture figure for his ability to excite people about science. Today we replay WMUK's Earlene McMichael's interview with him that originally aired on April 15th on the WestSouthwest news and public affairs show.

Gordon Evans / WMUK

Asked to name what he is most proud of as Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent, Michael Rice says “I don’t know that I have a most proud, I have a lot of prouds.” Rice will soon become the state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

File photo of Kalamazoo Promise sign

Kalamazoo Superintendent Michael Rice will soon be Michigan’s state Superintendent of Public Instruction. Western Michigan University Professor of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology Brett Geier, says Rice is taking the job at a time when the position of state superintendent “has increased in terms of visibility and power over the last decade or so.”

A Miracle Field designed to accommodate people with disabilities
Courtesy of the Miracle League

When the owners of the Dome Sports Center in Schoolcraft were looking for a plan to develop nearby property, they were taken to a baseball field in Grand Rapids designed for people with disabilities. Jud Hoff says “In about five minutes we turned to each other and said ‘we have to do this.’”