Bill Marsh Auto receives JMG award

TRAVERSE CITY — The Bill Marsh Auto Group received the first-ever Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates Employer of the Month award. The JMG Employer of the Month initiative, launched in December, honors employers who have a history of outstanding engagement with the JMG program. The award was created to celebrate employers who invest time and resources in Michigan’s youth.

Bill Marsh became involved with JMG when Northwest Michigan Works! began offering the program to Automotive Technology students at the Traverse Bay Area ISD Career-Tech Center. Since then, Bill Marsh has provided work experience for JMG students, along with opportunities for full-time positions and summer jobs.

JMG’s mission is to equip young people with the skills to overcome barriers and succeed in education, employment, and in life. Northwest Michigan Works! coordinates JMG programs at Cadillac Public and Innovation High Schools, CASMAN Academy in Manistee, Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District, the Traverse Bay Area ISD Career-Tech Center, the Wexford-Missaukee Career-Tech Center, and Out of School programs in Cadillac, Kalkaska, Manistee and Traverse City.

Century 21 Northland expands

GAYLORD — Century 21 Northland has added an office in Gaylord. The expansion gives the real estate brokerage firm 12 offices in northern Michigan.

Formerly known as Century 21 UpNorth, Century 21 Northland — Gaylord is based at 403 W. Main St., Suite A. The business was acquired Jan. 1 and is staffed by five real estate agents and one administrator.

Part of the global Century 21 network, Century 21 Northland is locally owned by Brad Platt, Jason Kudary and Julia Lilley. According to a release from Century 21 Northland, it has 102 licensed Realtors.

More information is available at or by calling the main Traverse City office at (231) 929-7900.

Giving Thursday set for Feb. 13

BELLAIRE — The next Bellaire Business Giving Thursday will be Feb. 13 and benefits the Bellaire Eagles Student Activities Group. The student group plans to use the donation for its spring prom.

During the event, participating businesses donate either a portion of their sales or a donation or their choosing, according to a release from the Bellaire Chamber of Commerce.

Participating businesses include Applesauce Inn B&B, Corner Bistro, Flying Pig, Hello Vino, Inspire Health, Janet Piscopo-Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors, Julia Pietrowicz-Keller Williams, M88 Morning Grind, Peddles & Pedals, Ruthann’s Gourmet Bakery, Terrain Restaurant, The Flying Pig, The Spice & Tea Exchange and Toonie’s.For more information or to be a part of Giving Thursday events, contact Jamie Creason at or (231) 533-6448.

Kirtland, GVSU ink agreement

GRAYLING — Officials from Kirtland Community College and Grand Valley State University signed a concurrent enrollment agreement in nursing last week.

Officials from the institutions signed the deal at the KCC campus in Grayling. The agreement is between Kirtland’s associate in applied science in nursing program and Grand Valley’s Kirkoff College of Nursing’s RN to BSN program.

According to a release from Grand Valley, the agreement will help Kirtland students “have a seamless transition to earning a bachelor of science in nursing degree” at GVSU. It provides Kirtland nursing students with “resources and coordinated advising services.”

More information on the Kirkhof College of Nursing is available at

‘Put Your Town on the Map’ returns

JACKSON — The Consumer Energy Foundation announced it has returned as the sponsor of the $50,000 “Put Your Town on the Map” competition.

The event is a pitch competition to “support big ideas in small towns across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.”

Consumers Energy and the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) will select up to 10 finalists for the competition. The finalists will compete for funding at the Small Town and Rural Development Conference April 22 at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville.

Grants are $25,000 for first place, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third. Last year’s top three finishers were, respectively, Port Austin, Spring Lake and Sparta.

Communities with a population of 10,000 or less have until March 2 to submit proposals for funding at

WSCC signs transfer agreements

LANSING — West Shore Community College in Scottville signed a new transfer agreement with 25 Michigan college and universities.

The new agreements are to make it easier to transfer from WSCC to a four-year college or university. According to a release from the community college, students can transfer “more credits to four-year schools in the areas of biology, business, criminal justice and psychology.”

The new agreements also list “major-specific courses that students should complete while enrolled at WSCC that are common across all institutions in Michigan.”

Lucky’s founders modify purchase plans

TRAVERSE CITY — Natural foods chain Lucky’s Market founders Bo and Trish Sharon will buy back six stores, not seven as announced late last month. The Traverse City store remains one of the stores the couple plans to purchase.

Lucky’s announced additional asset purchase agreements in a recent release, detailing planned sales of stores to Southeastern Grocers, Seabra Foods and Hitchcock’s Markets. The company previously had said it intended to sell some stores to the ALDI and Publix chains. All the asset purchase agreements are subject to court approval.

The Sharons now intend to purchase six stores and continue operating them as Lucky’s Markets: Traverse City in Michigan, Cleveland and Columbus in Ohio, Columbia in Missouri, and Fort Collins and North Boulder in Colorado. The seventh store, which now has dropped off the Sharons’ list, was in Melbourne, Florida.

The Lucky’s Market chain announced last month it would close most of its 39 stores in 10 states. Lucky’s, then owned by the Sharons, had 17 stores in 2016 when it announced a major investment by Cincinnati-based supermarket chain Kroger. Lucky’s then rapidly added 22 more locations, including the Traverse City store in 2017.

Award for Mackinac Bridge painting

MACKINAW CITY — The Mackinac Bridge tower painting project received the E. Crone Knoy Award from the Society for Protective Coatings.

Representatives from project contractor Seaway Painting of Livonia accepted the award.

It’s the second national award for the Mackinac Bridge painting project. Ruby+Associates of Bingham Farms won the Best Neighboring State Project Award from the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois for the bridge painting platforms used in the project. The platforms were used by Seaway Painting and fabricated by Moran Iron Works in Onaway.