AT&T Upgrades Wireless Network in Northern Michigan

DETROIT — AT&T Inc. has announced upgrades to six cell towers onk its 4G LTE network in Antrim, Kalkaska, Charlevoix and Grand Traverse counties to give customers faster, more reliable wireless service.

The communities of Alden, Rapid City, Kalkaska, Evangeline Township and Traverse City received the improvements.

The additional capacity upgrades are like adding more lanes to a highway carrying traffic from a customer’s device to the cell tower, resulting in faster speeds and more reliable service.

Locations include:
* Traverse City, at School Road, east of Silver Lake Road
* Rapid City, at Rapid City Road, Northwest
* Evangeline Township, (two sites) east of Boyne City-Charlevoix Road and west of Old Horton Bay Road
* Kalkaska (two sites), north of County Road 612, Darragh Road Northeast, near County Road 612

AT&T says it has invested nearly $1.65 billion in its wireless and wired networks in Michigan between 2013 through 2015, driving a wide range of upgrades to reliability, coverage, speed and performance for residents and business customers.

Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at

State Support OK’d For Business Expansions, Flint Incubator

LANSING — The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved three grants to create a new business incubator in Flint and build new manufacturing plants in the Grand Rapids area and Port Huron.

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ESD Sponsoring Tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Affleck House in Bloomfield Hills

SOUTHFIELD — Join your fellow members of The Engineering Society of Detroit Friday, March 31 for a special tour of the first Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house built in the Detroit metropolitan area.

The Gregor S. & Elizabeth B. Affleck House, built in 1941 in Bloomfield Hills, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places before it was 50 years old.  The house represents one of the finest examples of the architect’s Usonian style — the last great period of Wright’s career — when his goal was to fill a need for low-cost housing for the average American.  Inspired by Wright’s Fallingwater house in Pennsylvania, the Afflecks requested him to design their new home.  Wright responded by directing Gregor and Elizabeth to find a beautiful site which others may have considered “unbuildable” — and then he proceeded to design a unique house in harmony with nature and the home’s steep hillside site.

The Affleck family donated the house to Lawrence Technological University in 1978 for educational use in the university’s architecture and design programs.

One of our tour’s acting docents, LTU assistant professor Janice K. Means — past Chair of the ESD Affiliate Council and a member of the LTU Affleck House Restoration Committee — said:  “Lawrence Tech has an ongoing project to restore this amazing house with its treed site.  Now we wish to share this gem with the community.”

She added: “I know of no other Frank Lloyd Wright house where attendees are invited to sit in original Wright-designed chairs and take personal photos within the house.”

Attendees will experience a few of Wright’s innovations in this house — his use of the then-exotic material we know today as plywood for much of the home’s furniture; the use of combined floor mounted operable  windows and high clerestory windows to enhance natural cooling; indirect lighting from cove-mounted luminaires; a cleverly concealed half bath tucked into minimal space; a surprising amount of built-in storage space; and radiant heating from hot water running through cast iron pipes in the floor, a system that is still in use today.

Due to the historical status and intimate nature of the Affleck House, many rooms and passageways are very narrow and therefore the house is not wheelchair accessible.  Limited photography, for personal use only, is permitted.  In consideration of our other guests, handheld cameras only, no tripods or flash photography.

To register call (248) 353-0735 x 222. or visit

Ford To Invest $1.2B At Three Michigan Plants

DEARBORN — Ford Motor Co. says it will invest $1.2 billion at three Michigan plants, among other things, financing the return of the Ford Ranger midsized pickup and the Bronco midsized SUV.

The largest part of the investment, $850 million, will take place at the home of assembly of those two models, the Michgian Assembly Plant in Wayne.

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Michigan Tech Researcher Seeking Answers on Viruses from ‘Stickiness’

HOUGHTON — A person doesn’t have to get sick to catch a virus. Researchers hope to catch viruses for detection and vaccinations by understanding their sticky outer layers.

The complex structures making the surface of a virus are small weaves of proteins that make a big impact on how a virus interacts with cells and its environment. A slight change in protein sequence makes this surface slightly water-repelling, or hydrophobic, causing it to stick to other hydrophobic surfaces.

A new paper, published recently in the scientific journal Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces (DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2017.02.011), details surface hydrophobicity in porcine parovirus (PPV).

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ManagedWay Partners with Canada151, Expanding North American Services

TROY — ManagedWay, the Troy-based provider of telecommunications, cloud and colocation services, announced today that it has established a Point-of-Presence at the Canada151 Data Centers in Toronto, enabling fast, reliable service between the U.S. and Canada.

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2017 Government Website Visitor Satisfaction Rises

ANN ARBOR — The Ann Arbor-based website analysis firm CFI Group reported an increase in overall government website visitor satisfaction from 2016 to 2017 in its 2017 Government Websites report, a study based on a survey of government website visitors across the country.

Satisfaction is up 8 points, from a score of 65 in the government’s fiscal year 2016 to 73 in fiscal 2017, based on a 0-100 scale.

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Millendo Starts Phase 2 Trial Of New Drug For Cushing’s Syndrome

ANN ARBOR — The Ann Arbor pharmaceutical developer Millendo Therapeutics Inc. has announced the initiation of a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of its drug candidate ATR-101 in patients with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome.

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New Construction Management Software From Ann Arbor Firm

ANN ARBOR — Invicara, the Ann Arbor-based provider of software for building information modeling, announced the release of BIM Assure 1.2, with new features focused on making BIM data validation and reporting easier and faster.

Building information modeling uses digital representations of buildings and sites to plan, design, construct, operate and maintain physical infrastructure.

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