Matt deHeus


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They say there is power in positive thinking. It is the engine that drives dreamers in the direction of who they want to be. Musically, if you are looking for proof of this theory, you might consider sitting down with ADABOY! - one of the Great Lakes Bay region’s breakout bands of 2015 that are charting a course for the high-ground as we embark upon these early days of 2016.

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The feature race on Bay City ballots this November is for the Office of Mayor. Chris Shannon, the current Mayor, is subject to term limits and will be leaving office after the election.

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Now in its 10th year, it is fair to say that the Hell’s Mile Film and Music Festival (HHM) has grown into one of the marquee cultural events on this region’s Fall entertainment calendar. Every September the Festival brings some of the best in independent film and original live music to Downtown Bay City.

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Mark Shelley's Rock School Held Its Annual Concert at Big D's in Midland

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They say we don’t make anything in America anymore, but in actuality there is one industry that has displayed consistent growth over the last 40 years, even finding a way to increase their business through imports. If your guess were prisons, you would be right on the money; that’s right, our own State & Federal Penitentiary System.

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As individuals, as a duo, or with their full band, Mandi Layne and Greg Kevorkian are not new to winning honors at the Review Music Awards. A sextet of wins this year, including major Country honors including Best Female Vocalist, Best Songwriters, Best Duo and Best Country Band, Best Original Band, along with Best CD of the Year for their release Country to the Bone, added to their already impressive career haul of honors from previous years.

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It’s fair to say that Kevin Novellino is one of the more recognizable citizens of the Bay City area. A former Bay City Commissioner, Kevin and his wife Jen have also been fixtures in the Midland Street Business District for over a decade. Over the last few years their Brooklyn Boyz enterprise has evolved from a NYC style pizza kitchen to a full service Italian restaurant and bar.

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While this bit of nostalgia might be familiar to many, it may come as a surprise that roller derby has made quite a comeback. In fact, it is becoming all the rage in our own back yard. The Chemical City Derby Girls are an independent roller derby team based in Midland. Drawing team members from the Tri-City area, the squad scrimmages and competes with other teams in the region.

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The biggest event in Bay City this year is the completion of the first phase of the Uptown Project on the East Bank of the Saginaw River.  The planned 43 acre development, which has been several years in the making, began moving in its first tenants the 4th quarter of 2014.

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Congratulations to all for surviving the most difficult of all seasons.  No, I am not talking about a Michigan winter or a buck-less hunting season, but Campaign Season.  It’s not like we don’t value our right to vote.

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 It’s not something I am particularly proud of, but I am a veteran of a few rocky relationships. The story is usually somewhat similar.  The atmosphere, on the best days, shifts to one of barely tolerating each other.

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Mandi Layne and Greg Kevorkian have been making an impact at the Review Music Awards for the better part of the last decade.  This year, along with their band the Lost Highway, the pair picked up another five awards, including Best Original Band, Best Female Country Vocalist, Best Duo, Best Songwriters and the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Country Band.

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“Our little group has always been and always will until the end …” -Kurt Cobain, Smells Like Teen Spirit There is nothing like being in a band.  The stories.

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When describing the beginning of a movement, someone once coined the phrase “first you feel the buzz, then you hear the roar.”  It was descriptive of a stampede of sympathy building in the distance; a din that will eventually engulf you.

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Some of the most interesting combinations aren't immediately obvious.  For instance, last year I was sitting in a planning meeting for the Bustle By The Bay Christmas festival when Brewtopia Coffee owner Aaron Bolt slid a mug in front of me containing bacon hot chocolate, his entry in a winter drink contest going on between downtown Bay City food and beverage businesses.

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