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“Into the Storm” filmed in Michigan

August 8th, 2014 at 1:52 pm by under Uncategorized
"Into the Storm" poster courtesy Warner Bros

“Into the Storm” poster courtesy Warner Bros

Fictional storm movie uses Michigan as its backdrop
Originally titled “Category Six”, then filmed under the name “Black Sky”, “Into the Storm” was Directed by Steven Quale, visual effects protege of James Cameron who also directed ”Final Destination 5″ and was the second-unit director on “Avatar”.
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It stars Richard Armitage (“The Hobbit”), Sarah Wayne Callies (“The Walking Dead”), Matt Walsh (“Veep”), and Max Deacon.  The premise of the movie is about “Storm trackers, thrill-seekers, and everyday townspeople document(ing) an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes touching down in the town of Silverton”.
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According to the Michigan Film Office, “Into the Storm” was awarded a $12.1 million incentive on  $40.7 million of projected spending in Michigan.
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Here is my original blog on the production posted June 8, 2012……
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Multi-million dollar film project coming to Michigan
Steven Quale directing "Final Destination 5"

Steven Quale directing “Final Destination 5″

The Michigan Film Office is announcing that a Warner Brothers 5-figure budget project about a devastating Tornado has been approved for the state’s film incentives and is expected to begin filmming on the eastside of the state later this summer.

The untitled tornado feature film project (originally titled “Category Six” or the script titled “Category Six”) is about a super tornado that sweeps through a small town.   The movie is expected to shoot in metro Detroit and at Michigan Motion Picture Studios in Pontiac.

The project, according to the Michigan Film Office, was awarded an incentive of $12.1 million ($12,105,139) on $40.7 million ($40,730,908) of projected in-state expenditures. The project is expected to hire 461 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of 170 jobs.

Steven Quale, who directed “Final Destination 5″ and was the second-unit director on “Avatar” will direct the movie that IMDB says  is about “A group of high school students document the events and aftermath of a devastating tornado.”

Alycia Debnam Carey

Alycia Debnam Carey

Arlen Escarpeta

Arlen Escarpeta

Two young actors have been cast as the leads: Alycia Debnam (“The Occult”, “Dance Academy”) and Arlen Escarpeta (“The Client List”, “Final Destination 5″).

The production company Broken Road Productions says the movie is a “found-footage natural disaster movie, about high schoolers documenting a massive hurricane” and that Quale is a visual effects protege of James Cameron.

Broken Road Productions has several popular movies, and several not-so-popular movies to its credit: “Jack and Jill” (2011), “Zookeeper” (2011), “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”  (2010), “Knight and Day” (2010), “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” (2009), “Next” (2007), “Are We Done Yet?” (2007), “The Forgotten” (2004), “Anger Management” (2003), and “Radio” (2003). (more…)


Weekend

August 2nd, 2014 at 2:00 am by under Bill's Blog, Uncategorized, Weather

  The radar in the upper left will update automatically.  I’m off to Grand Haven for the Coast Guard Festival.  I’ll walk in the parade and stay to say a few words before the fireworks (some of the best in the Midwest).  There may once again be a few widely scattered showers and thunderstorms popping up in the afternoon. Again, the chance of rain will be lowest at the lakeshore.  In an overall dry pattern (Grand Rapids officially has had just a tenth of an inch of rain in the last 2 weeks), be grateful if you get a little rain.  There could be a few patches of fog around sunrise.  Sunday looks dry.   Check out Storm Total Rainfall to see who’s had rain today.

Also:  Tropical Storm Bertha bringing heavy showers to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas…should miss the U.S, though a stalled front will bring some heavy rain to VA and NC.  Minimal Hurricane Iselle in the Eastern Pacific could eventually bring some heavier showers to Hawaii.  Typhoon Halong in the Western Pacific is a Category 4 storm with a very well defined eye.   Flooding north of Phoenix AZ.  1.36″ of rain in 45 mins, 2 miles NNW of Glendale, AZ.  Lightning over Phoenix.

Here’s GRR looping radar. Links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s regional radar, the College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, and a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion, the Northern Indiana NWS discussion (includes the Michigan Counties that border Indiana), the discussion for Northern Lower Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan. Check out Storm Total Precipitation (until they reset it). Here’s the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State Park. Check out the Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures (summer). Here’s recent storm reports from SW Michigan, Northern Michigan, NE Illinois, SE. Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and E. Michigan. Check out the wind and wave height at the South Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the North Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the buoy at Big Sable Point near Ludington and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph. Here’s Michigan wind gusts from MesoWest, data from the MAWN agricultural weather stations and Weather Underground (data at the bottom from private weather stations). Check out the webcam at Krupp’s Resort in the U.P. Here’s the U.S. Low Temperature map. Here’s a live look at the Houghton Bridge. Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map. Here’s Closings.


Happy Father’s Day

June 15th, 2014 at 2:14 am by under Bill's Blog, Uncategorized

   This is my father, John Steffen on his 70th birthday, July 22, 1983. He lived to five days shy of his 91st birthday, and always looked much younger than his age. Both of his parents were immigrants from the tiny country of Luxembourg.  Dad was a percussionist and played harmonica.  He actually started playing violin as a youngster. He played drums for the Grosse Point Band well into his 80s and marched carrying the bass drum in the Memorial Day Parade in Wilmette, IL until he was 86. He was in the Army Air Corps for over five years in WWII (flew in B-24s and B-25s) and then started working the line at Bell & Howell in Chicago for 75 cents an hour, working his way up to be Chief Liaison Engineer. He was the youngest of eight children and the 7th boy, growing up in Chicago on Granville Avenue (north side – Rogers Park, just a few blocks from where Betty Ford was born). He was the drummer of the band that Northwestern University put together to tour Europe in the late 1930s to show Europe American big band, swing and jazz music (for a taste of what that trip was like…rent the movie “Swing Kids”). He loved to play jazz because it was so creative, and you didn’t have to play it the same way every time.   Happy Father’s Day to all.  It’ll be a nice day weatherwise this Sunday, dry and pleasant for most of the day, with clouds increasing a bit and a chance of a shower or t-storm by evening (and especially overnight).  This next few days will be warmer than average and more humid.  We’ll be back to a wetter pattern with several rounds of (possibly strong to even severe) storms this week.


Connecting with Community Awards

May 30th, 2014 at 10:40 am by under Uncategorized

0000074We wrapped up our Connecting with Community Awards with a special broadcast showcasing all eight finalists and this year’s winner. I am always left with a feeling of awe and inspiration of the great work that happens that I never knew about.

The great thing about the Connecting with Community Awards is that we can show how sometimes one idea or one person can really make a difference. This year’s winner was Camp Shout Out. They are a unique summer camp for kids who stutter. It was great to talk to these kids and learn how even though they have difficulty speaking, they too have a voice.

Check out the whole program here.

 


Sunday Snow

January 26th, 2014 at 2:55 am by under Uncategorized

Local   With a couple inches of light snow on the way, I’ll leave radar at the top of the blog.   Do read the two threads below on the famous blizzards on this day back in ’67 and ’78.

Model update on Sunday/Sunday night snow:  NAM (Caribou) – Sunday and Sunday night combined:  Grand Rapids 3″, Lansing 2.4″, Muskegon 3″, Kalamazoo 3.4″, Big Rapids 1.5″, S. Haven 3.4″, Ludington 3.4″ (thru Mon.).

Links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, GFS snowfall for the next 120 hours and NAM model snowfall for the next 84 hours. the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, and a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion, the Northern Indiana NWS discussion (includes the Michigan Counties that border Indiana), the discussion for Northern Lower Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan. Check out Storm Total Precipitation (until they reset it). Here’s the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State Park. Check out the Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures (summer). Here’s storm reports from SW Michigan, Northern Michigan, NE Illinois, SE. Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and E. Michigan. Check out the wind and wave height at the South Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the North Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the buoy at Big Sable Point near Ludington, the weather station at Manistee Harbor and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph. Here’s Michigan wind gusts from MesoWest, data from the MAWN agricultural weather stations and Weather Underground (data at the bottom from private weather stations). Check out the webcam at Krupp’s Resort, where they are pushing toward 3 feet of snow on the ground. Check out the cold temps. on the U.S. Low Temperature map. Here’s the morning run of the NAM forecast snow amounts. Here’s a live look at the Houghton Bridge. Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map. We continue to watch for ice jams on Michigan rivers


1-3″ of snow this PM/Night – Slick Roads

December 8th, 2013 at 3:14 pm by under Uncategorized

Local     Snow will total 1-3″ this afternoon and night, with a little more snow north and west of G.R. than to the southeast.  More snow showers, accumulating snow and drifting on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Roads will be snow covered and slippery.  There is a Winter Weather Advisory for the Eastern U.P. and much of Wisconsin.   Check out the webcam at Krupp’s Resort, where they are pushing toward 2 feet of snow on the ground. . Check out the cold temps. on the U.S. Low Temperature map.  We are now up to 59% of the Lower 48 states with a snow cover, more than 3 times average.  Saturday was the coldest day in the U.S. ever in the first half of December (since satellite data began in 1979). Here’s record temperatures in N. American over the past 24 hours.  It’s pretty easy to tell where the cold front is on the temperature anomaly map. Here’s the morning run of the NAM forecast snow amounts.   The long range looks cool…right now I’d say Dec./Jan. are going to end up about 2 deg. colder than average.

Low temperatures Sunday am:  14 G.R., 13 Holland, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, 9 at Lansing, Hopkins and Hastings, 8 at Mt. Pleasant and Big Rapids, 7 at Fremont and Entrican, 6 at Belding and Cadillac, 5 at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, -1 Baldwin, -9 Marquette, -17 Wakefield.   Keep checking back to this thread for these links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, and a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion, the Northern Indiana NWS discussion (includes the Michigan Counties that border Indiana), the discussion for Northern Lower Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan. Check out Storm Total Rainfall (until they reset it). Here’s the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State Park. Check out the Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures (summer). Here’s storm reports from SW Michigan, Northern Michigan, NE Illinois, SE. Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and E. Michigan. Check out the wind and wave height at the South Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy, the North Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy, the buoy at Big Sable Point near Ludington, the weather station at Manistee Harbor and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph. Here’s Michigan wind gusts from MesoWest, data from the MAWN agriculutural weather stations and Weather Underground (data at the bottom from private weather stations.

We’ll have to watch for ice jams on Michigan rivers as the cold air settles in next week. Here’s some river water temps. Also, many inland lakes will be icing up in the next 10 days. Beware of early thin ice.


Here’s to the red, green and blue

July 2nd, 2013 at 10:47 pm by under Food Joy, Uncategorized

Salute to the crispy, crunchy goodness of unexpected summer salads!  After a few weekend trips to farmers’ markets, here are a few to try for your Fourth of July feast or family dinner.  Toss, eat and enjoy!

The early season yield offered up lots of root vegetables – beets, kohlrabi, potato, carrots, turnips, and the aptly named celery root.  While it’s easy to think ‘roast’ when you see that selection, my mind went to ‘salad’, and the old world inspiration of a cookbook my husband recently acquired, “From a Polish Country House Kitchen” by Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden.  While traveling in Poland, we ate many delicious salads created from simple, abundant produce similar to what my Irish ancestors also may have had on hand, things that grew underground, even during unruly weather, at least during most seasons.  Our kin got by with what they had, but became culinary creative in the process of putting food on the table.  Here are two selections from the pages of Anne’s and Danielle’s beautiful book, symbolizing the red and the green of summer.

Go Red:Food Joy 131
Beet, Apple and Horseradish Salad
5 large red beets
1 large tart apple
1 Tbsp. white horseradish
1/4 c sour cream
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400-degrees.  Wash and trim beets and wrap in foil.   Place them in a shallow roasting pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until they are soft, but firm enough to be grated.  Remove from oven and foil and cool.  slip off the skins and grate the beets coarsely.
Put beets in a large bowl.  Peel and coarsely grate apple and add to beets.  Mix together horseradish, sour cream and lemon juice in a small bowl and season with salt and ground pepper.  Toss beets and apples with the dressing.  Keep chilled and covered until serving.

Food Joy 133Go Green:
Celery Root and Green Apple Salad
1 celery root
2 Granny Smith apples
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Peel celery root and cut into thin matchsticks.  Peel apples and cut into slightly thicker matchsticks. Toss together with lemon juice and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Keep chilled and covered until serving.

The next one is inspired by one of my favorite power packed fruits of summer, a Michigan staple and treat no matter how you serve it up, the blueberry. This is a take on the raisin loaded coleslaw standby recipe in my head. ‘ Hope you enjoy the season and nutritional liberties taken to create a revised version sure to please every patriot.

BlueSlaw Go Blue:
Blueberry Broccoli Slaw
1 c. shredded cabbage, green, purple or both
1/4 c. shredded carrots
1/2 c. broccoli florets
1 tsp. honey
1/4 c. raspberry or strawberry vinaigrette
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 c. plain Greet yogurt
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted, if you like
1 c. Michigan blueberries

Mix together cabbage, carrots, broccoli, honey, vinaigrette, lemon zest and Greek yogurt and stir until combined. Gently fold in toasted almonds and blueberries.  Let stand an hour or as long as you can take it.  Add to your picnic and enjoy.

 

 

 

 


A Few Scattered Showers

June 5th, 2013 at 3:52 am by under Bill's Blog, Uncategorized, Weather

Local   A few scattered showers are still possible today (Thurs.).    For current Michigan weather observations and wind speeds, click here. Here’s WOOD-TV Interactive Radar, looping radar. Check out regional radar, GRR radar, northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, and a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion, the Northern Indiana NWS discussion (includes the Michigan Counties that border Indiana), the discussion for Northern Lower Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan. Here’s the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State Park. Check out the WOOD lightning tracker and U.S. lightning, the Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures. Links for watches and warnings in the thread below this one regarding severe weather and the latest from the Storm Prediction Center.


A new take on meatless lasagna

April 23rd, 2013 at 12:18 pm by under Food Joy, Uncategorized
cornbasillasgna When it comes to weeknight meals, let’s face it – easy and quick often wins over complex and ultra nutritious.  So, when you find a recipe that comes together easily, tastes great and is good for you, you share it!   I set out to make this Sweet Corn and Basil Lasagna recipe from my Weeknights with Giada cookbook by Giada DeLaurentiis of the Food Network, but, as always, I improvised a little. Here’s the recipe my gal-pal-in-my-mind Giada and I came up with together:

Sweet corn, basil and ‘color-boost’ lasagna

Vegetable oil cooking spray
3 cups frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup (8 oz) Mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese
grated zest of 1 large lemon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded sharp Provolone cheese
6 no-boil lasagna sheets
Olive oil for drizzling
No-boil lasagna sheets (**key to quick dinner)
Olive oil for drizzling
1 cup packed spinach and or arugula
2 medium hot house tomatoes, sliced thinly

***I increased all of the ingredients by about 1/3 and made this a little larger in a 9 X 13 pan – just as fast, more lasagna to share!***

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray an 8-inch square glass baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.  In a food processor (**a second key to quick dinner), blend corn, heavy cream, and garlic until chunky.  Add the Mascarpone cheese, 1 cup of the Romano cheese, the lemon zest, sea salt to taste and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add the basil and pulse until just combined.  Spread one-third of the corn mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with one-third of the Provolone cheese. cornbasillasgna2Place 2 lasagna sheets  for square pan on top. Here’s where I couldn’t resist adding some color, flavor and nutrition by layering spinach, arugula and thinly sliced hot house tomatoes to the layers.  cornbasillasgna3Repeat twice with the remaining 1/2 cup Romano cheese on top and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Cool for 10 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces and serve.

Dive in and enjoy!  cornbasillasgna4


Pretty salad perfect for spring

March 27th, 2013 at 10:07 am by under Uncategorized

eightWest fish fry 002 The sun is out and spring is here! Out with the heavy casseroles and all-day stews and in with the light, crisp taste of a new season for fresh eating.  I recently met up with registered dietitian and author David Grotto who wrote the “The 10 Best Foods You Can Eat” and one of them on his list is salmon, which inspired me to share a favorite recipe, perfect for healthy eating and colorful, flavorful Easter fare.

David Grotto

 

 

 

 

Give this one a try for your next gathering or quick meal with your family.  It’s from the “Weeknights with Giada” cookbook by Giada DeLaurentiis.  Enjoy!

Roasted salmon, snap pea and cucumber salad

1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
2 small Persian cucumbers, unpeeled, thinly sliced
1 cup (about 1/2 pint) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 14.75 ounce can of boneless, skinless pink salmon, drained

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the snap peas and cook until vibrant green, 1 to 2 minutes.  You can also steam them for about 2 minutes instead.  Drain and transfer to a bowl of iced water to cool, about 2 minutes.  Drain and put in a salad bowl. Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, and chill, dill. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until smooth.  Using a fork, flake the salmon into 3/4-inch pieces and add to the salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until coated.