By JASON KRAFT
Capital News Service
LANSING – A new technique would allow Michigan apples to be stored longer without draining their freshness. JMT US, a French company with Okemos offices, recently finished a six-month study of expanding the freshness of stored apples at Michigan State University. The purpose of the study was to compare the apple quality in controlled atmosphere modules with regular cold room storage, according to a recent Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) report. “It’s making a large box that can hold up to 800 pounds of apples into a modified atmosphere container, which limits the gas movement inside through membranes on the lid of the box,” said Randy Beaudry, a MSU horticulture professor. The low oxygen and elevated carbon dioxide levels in these containers keep the apples from spoiling.
Washington Street lies one block east of the Michigan State Capitol building in downtown Lansing. Crammed between the small eateries, boutique shops, and retail office spaces are many empty storefronts plastered with “For Sale” or “For Lease” signs. Mindy Biladeau, executive director of Downtown Lansing Inc. says those vacant properties paints the wrong picture of downtown. “Just because we have vacant properties doesn’t mean we have this huge vacancy issue,” Biladeau said. “Our vacancy is under 10 percent for our first floor commercial retail in a very large district, and alone 26 businesses opened last year.”
Lansing- Cameron Tool Corporation’s application for a tax break was referred to the City of Lansing’s Development and Planning Committee, after public comments about the project were heard during the Lansing City Council meeting on Monday. Cameron Tool builds and repairs dies that cold form steel for the automotive industry and has been part of the Lansing community since 1966. The company is seeking a tax abatement to expand its facilities. Cameron Tool, President Tracy Selden said the company has chosen to expand now because of its backlog of sales. “We need to stay ahead of the capacity curve,” Selden said.