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News -> This Week's News Wednesday, October 15, 2014
 
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Local artist's
creation headed
for Amsterdam

Kim Froese’s first major artistic
endeavor generated plenty of interest
at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, resulted
in her first major sale, and will now
bring some international fame.

The Croton artist’s piece, “Face It:
You Need Us,” is headed for the
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum
in Amsterdam after a Ripley’s
executive bought it last week while
it was on display at ArtPrize.
Ripley’s has more than 30
“Odditoriums” around the world.

The unusual creation stands more than seven feet tall and boasts 55 faces. Everything is covered in the material from approximately 90 hornet and wasp nests. It was featured in a Sept. 24 article in the TimesIndicator.

Froese said that Ripley’s offered a big enough check that she did not have to think about it very long.

“I was pleased,” she said, “and not just because of the money. I won’t have to rearrange my house, figure out where to put it, and try to keep the dust off it.”

 

 

 


 

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 A team of students from Newaygo High School, accompanied by teacher Luke Francis, participated in the Code Michigan event at The Stream in downtown Newaygo.

 

 Newaygo
Local Code Michigan event
produces State's top winning app

By Ken DeLaat

Civic coding is the act of creating works of software for the purpose of promoting government transparency, citizen engagement, government efficiency, public policy, and monitoring emerging issues and economic development.

The Stream is this region’s technological epicenter, a facility created to meet the needs of an increasingly fluid economy.

The two combined to host Code Michigan, the three-day marathon of technological innovation, held at The Stream in Newaygo from Oct. 3 through 5.

The team of Eric Buehler, Josh Hulst and Ryan Graffy, all of the Grand Rapids area, won the first-place prize in Newaygo and the grand prize in the entire state for their “SnowFi” application, which shows where snow plows are and what roads have been cleared for safer commutes. Similar events were held in Detroit and Marquette.

“It was great to be a part of Code Michigan and we’re ecstatic that we won,” Buehler said.

They received a prize of $15,000 and a chance to see their project become a reality.

More than 40 participants arrived at The Stream on Friday to work either alone or in teams.

“This weekend some code developers across the state showed what can happen when they use their skills for the public good,” said David Behen, director of the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. “Congratulations to all our participants. I look forward to seeing their submissions hit the app store.”

The participants ranged from full-time software developers to college students. They also included a quartet of Newaygo High School students accompanied by their teacher Luke Francis.

“What I’ve learned here this weekend is immeasurable,” said Austyn Page. “Experiencing all the collaboration that went on was pretty amazing.”

“This weekend was like a month’s worth of work in the classroom,” said Francis.

The students each spoke of the help they received from Alex Mason and Mitch Dodge, a pair of competitors who provided quite a bit of mentoring throughout the weekend.

“They were great,” said Makayla Walma. “They just showed up and asked if we needed any help.”

“They worked with us all weekend,” added Leah Gerencer.

A group from Kalamazoo spent the weekend holed up in one of The Stream’s glass enclosed offices. Their entry, “Michigan Outdoors,” provided an app to locate all recreational options for an area. The team won the prize in the local Tourism and Recreation category and won second place in this region.

“We at The Stream are very honored to have been selected as one of the sites for Code Michigan,” said Stream Director Rhonda Wert-Carr. “Everyone involved with The Stream is celebrating that the grand prize winner came from our location, and we are elated to have 25 out of our 40 participants walk away from The Stream as winners.”

“Our next step is to help our winners activate their newly created concepts.”

The participants each seemed mostly enthusiastic about the event but were unanimous in their praise of one aspect of this innovative “Codeathon.”

“The food was amazing,” said Zach Smith of Central Michigan University, part of a trio who came to Newaygo from Mt.Pleasant, Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor to participate in the competition.

Newaygo’s Gala Gourmet Catering and the Riverstop Café kept the development teams well fed, and ample snacks were provided throughout the weekend.

Code Michigan Newaygo was made possible through the support of The Fremont Area Community Foundation, Haworth, Nestlé, ChoiceOne Bank and Google.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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