People

Published November 4, 2015

Ever wonder why you can only buy Better Made chips and snacks in Michigan?

Local author Karen Dybis’ book, titled “Better Made in Michigan: The Salty Story of Detroit’s Best Chip,” delves into the history of potato chips in Detroit, which includes the 85-year-old Detroit-based, family-owned Better Made Snack Foods. She tells how Cross Moceri and Pete Cipriano worked during the day and made the chips in their kitchens at night in the ’20s, selling them door to door, on streetcars and in parks, including Belle Isle.

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Published November 4, 2015

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Growing up with a cousin who has autism, Chippewa Valley High School choir director James Pecar has always had a place in his heart for students with the condition.


As he grew into his musical career as a student and now an educator, Pecar has seen the positive impact that a good tune can have on a child with autism.


He has integrated his teachings and performances to help those with the condition, and for his efforts, he received the 2015 Stephen Tsai award from the Autism Society of Michigan in October.

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Published November 4, 2015

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Wayne Bibbs is a creative tour de force.

The Clinton Township resident owns his own photography company, has written a screenplay that he hopes turns into a film, and has written random inspirational snippets for coworkers at his full-time customer service position at DTE Energy. He has also acted on local stages for 30 years with the Warren Civic Theatre and the Algonac Community Theatre.

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Published November 4, 2015

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Author Kyle Prue has a way with words.

As part of his everyday routine, the 19-year-old Naples, Florida, resident makes sure he writes 1,000 words per day. 

Prue is the author of  the young-adult fantasy novel, “The Sparks: Book One of the Feud Trilogy.” He talked about his writing process and much more when he visited Parcells Middle School in the Grosse Pointe Public School System Oct. 30. 

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Published November 4, 2015

DETROIT — Vito Lafata has been playing music professionally since 1976, so one would think he wouldn’t become nervous before an audience anymore.

But an upcoming show is giving him butterflies.

On Nov. 8, the 1976 Denby High School graduate will perform at the Fox Theatre as part of the entertainment for the launch of Mitch Albom’s new book, “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto.”

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Published November 4, 2015

HUNTINGTON WOODS — Dessert is something everyone enjoys, Huntington Woods resident Joan Schwartz said, whether it be cake, chocolate or any other sweet treat.

So for a three-woman show, “Just Desserts,” that Schwartz is a part of at the Janice Charach Gallery in West Bloomfield, she and her fellow artists decided to sweeten up the gallery with mosaic and mixed-media pieces that depict the vast colors and variety of desserts. The show opened Oct. 25 and runs through Dec. 10.

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Published November 4, 2015

CENTER LINE — In recognition of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, the Kramer Homes Co-Operative collectively wants to give a disabled U.S. military veteran the gift of community.

The management of the historic, privately owned housing cooperative is looking for a disabled vet — one who is interested in moving into a Kramer Homes unit — to thank with an offer of a paid membership in the corporation, closing costs and upgrade fees, worth up to $8,500 total.

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Published November 4, 2015

WARREN — Throughout the month of October, St. Anne Catholic School preschool teacher Rhana Dabish finds different ways to teach students about fire safety.

“We implement our fire safety issues in various ways to make sure we reach out to each child,” Dabish said.

On Oct. 27, staff and students welcomed Stan the Fireman, who presented a home fire safety presentation that included magic tricks, humor, a ride in his mini fire truck and several important lessons. Stan the Fireman has been presenting his program at St. Anne for five years.

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Published November 4, 2015

BERKLEY — Prior to last year, Kendra Montante had never heard of “booing,” at least not the concept of paying it forward around Halloween.

Booing has happened all over the country for more than 30 years, Montante, a West Bloomfield resident, said, and the concept asks families to put together treat bags for their friends and neighbors and then place the bags, along with a description and window-cling ghost, on the porch and ring the doorbell before running away.

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Published November 4, 2015

EASTPOINTE — Starting around the fall of 1982, a group of local video game enthusiasts — calling their club the Activision Addicts, and later, the Video Addicts — decided to help local hospitalized kids for the holidays.

Former Video Addicts club president and Eastpointe resident Ernest Sevener said the club formed around 1981-82. The club would meet at Abbot Video in Roseville once or twice a month to try out the new games and see how they liked them.

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Published October 28, 2015

As a child, Troy Fire Chief Dave Roberts would listen to ham radio, known as amateur radio, in which operators use two-way radios to communicate with each other.

“The police and fire calls piqued my interest,” Roberts said.

Roberts was named to the top post after former Troy Fire Chief Bill Nelson retired last month after serving as fire chief since 1994.

Roberts grew up in Bloomfield Township and joined the Explorers Program for the Fire Department that was offered through the Boy Scouts of America.

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Published October 28, 2015

ROSEVILLE — Eight years ago, Lee Meyer created the ideal fundraiser that would benefit women and girls of all ages.


Meyer, a longtime member of the Soroptimist International of Grosse Pointe, came up with the organization’s Dine Around Town raffle to raise money for scholarship awards.

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Published October 28, 2015

It’ll soon be time to dress up again in Sterling Heights, as one of the city’s most prestigious outings of the year gets ready to begin.

The Sterling Heights Community Foundation’s third annual Puttin’ on the Ritz gala will invite ticket holders to dine, mingle and more Nov. 20 at Villa Penna in Sterling Heights.

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Published October 22, 2015

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — It was the week of Thanksgiving 2013 and young Robert Perkins was just like any other boy.


After a doctor’s visit prior to the holiday for a run-of-the-mill sore throat, Perkins’ parents thought nothing of it.


That was until Robert’s family commented on how slim he looked as opposed to the last time they saw him a month before, and when it came time to delight in desserts, Robert simply opted for multiple glasses of water instead.

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Published October 21, 2015

METRO DETROIT — It’s no secret that black cats and broken mirrors are universally known as bad omens.


And while people the world over may fear those spooky symbols, here in metro Detroit, we have our own superstitions to run from.


The unfortunate thing is that not many people know the local legends and scary stories that were conjured up right in our own backyard, according to Izzy Donnelly, director of education at the Grosse Pointe Historical Society.

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Published October 21, 2015

An expert at playing the keys recently gave eighth-graders from Utica Community Schools some keys to understanding the World War II era and the Holocaust from a personal perspective.

On Oct. 12, more than 2,000 eighth-graders from Utica Community Schools witnessed a presentation by Grammy-nominated pianist and author Mona Golabek at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in Clinton Township.

During the presentation, Golabek shared the story behind “The Children of Willesden Lane,” a book that she wrote with co-author Lee Cohen.

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Published October 21, 2015

HARPER WOODS — Now that fall is here, Harper Woods Public Library Adult Service Librarian Suzanne Kent is reminding residents of the many library programs offered during the autumn season.


One such program is the new coloring club for adults that is designed to help people de-stress and get in touch with their thoughts and feelings. Library staff will supply colored pencils and coloring pages, or patrons can bring their own supplies.

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Published October 21, 2015

WARREN — The hard work and dedication of Fitzgerald High School teacher Ken Krause has been noticed by the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.

The organization named Krause its 2015 MICPA Outstanding High School Teacher.

Krause, who teaches several classes — including accounting I and II, business law, marketing I and II, financial literacy, and U.S. history — was recognized at the Oct. 8 Fitzgerald Public Schools Board of Education meeting.

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Published October 20, 2015

Troy resident Wade Tennant wanted his daughter Grace, 8, to learn the same kinds of skills she would learn in Boy Scouts, with him.

So he and some other local dads who wanted to spend time with their sons and daughters started Three Fires Longhouse, a spinoff of a similar group offered through the YMCA.

Tennant, secretary for the organization, said the group aims to strengthen the father-child bond.

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Published October 20, 2015

HAZEL PARK — Her military service took her across the country and around the world, but now Monica Munir is finally settling down in a place to call her own, working with Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County to achieve her dream of home ownership.

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