Vroom - The Digital News Bureau of Engine

If you want to meet the future of manufacturing in West Michigan, just shake hands with 22-year-old John Boss, who intends to strike it rich with an underwater drone called Fathom One.

Mike Jandernoa leaned toward the audience during his speech, cupped the back of his ear and asked a simple question: “How many of you practice active listening?”

Cindy Schneider credits her Lottos Lunch Wagon as her first step to launching the venerable San Chez restaurant downtown, so she has a soft spot in her heart for any entrepreneur who uses a food truck as a way to build a business in Grand Rapids.

If you just build it -- meaning a website for eCommerce -- no one is going to come. You won’t get traffic until you put as much effort into promoting your online business as you would opening a corner pizzeria in pizza-crazy Chicago.

Now that the qualifying trials for U.S. Olympic Teams have ended and the countdown to the Games begins, consider this: Detroit-Windsor could be the next Rio in a decade or two. And if a straw poll means anything, there is strong support in West Michigan for a Detroit-Windsor alliance to make it happen.

The front lawn of Mill Steel was filled with people last Thursday afternoon: employees tossing bean bags in a leisurely game of cornhole or lavishing affection on dogs Henry and Helga that scampered about as teams played or cheered the competition.

Isaiah was lamenting the fact that he’s unemployed -- and that can be a problem when you’re 11 years old and looking to make pocket money.

Cascade Township dog park

Here's a great example of how a small local business branded itself and at the same time gave something of value to the community: a new dog park in Cascade Township with free admission that is cleverly designed to allow pets to exercise and socialize off-leash.

Will she? Won't she? Who cares?

When Janet Yellen convenes a meeting of the Federal Reserve Board this week, there will a deluge of media reports that try to predict when interest rates will rise.

But West Michigan appears to be taking a "who cares" attitude to what the Fed does, at least with regard to the commercial real estate market.

Like managers of virtually every hotel and restaurant in metro Grand Rapids, Alison Passino is trying to find common ground on the shifting sands of bathroom etiquette.

Passino, executive team lead at the Riverfront Hotel and Landing Restaurant, is fumbling around for a practical solution to new federal guidance that public schools should allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity and a federal court ruling that on the same issue.