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Woodward Talk

Published July 26, 2017

HARPER WOODS — Michigan’s House District 1 has been without representation in Lansing since the recently elected holder of that seat, Brian Banks, resigned Feb. 6 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of filing false financial statements.

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Published July 20, 2017

DETROIT — More than 35,000 students traveled to Belle Isle July 12 for Metro Detroit Youth Day, a celebration of Detroit-area students that aims to provide information and opportunities for their futures.

The event began in 1982 and celebrated its 35th anniversary at this year’s celebration. It was started as a response to incidents between youths and Detroit business owners. The business owners were brought together to try to help the kids of the city, instead of punishing them.

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Published July 19, 2017

A riot. A rebellion. Violent civil unrest. Whatever you choose to call it, the chaos that erupted at 12th and Clairmount in July 1967 and ravaged Detroit for the next five days changed the city forever.

The experience echoes in the memories of those who were there, and 50 years later they recall in vivid detail the sights and sounds of their city as it was turned into a war zone.

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Published July 19, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Budget cuts across the board have been a constant in recent years for Michigan’s public schools.

Educators and lawmakers have been at odds over the way schools are funded, and some Michiganders are worried that public funding will be used for private or for-profit institutions.

In an effort to bring the funding issue to the forefront, local residents Erica Foondle and Sara Scott have organized the March for Public Education from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 22 at Clark Park in southwest Detroit.

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Published July 19, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Summertime brings with it outdoor cookouts and giving in to your barbecue cravings. 

Barbecue season also means it is a good time to review the hazards of firing up a grill, and how to avoid them. Flare-ups and grease fires are both outcomes that can occur from operator error and a lack of knowledge when grilling. 

West Bloomfield Township Fire Marshal Byron Turnquist said that grills must be kept at least 10 feet away from any structure or combustible item, such as a piece of backyard furniture or litter. 

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Published July 12, 2017

DETROIT — The QLINE light rail, which opened to the public May 12, is extending its free fares promotion to all riders through Labor Day thanks to a contribution from the Kresge Foundation.

The trolley line runs 3 miles up and down Woodward Avenue between midtown and downtown Detroit. The Kresge Foundation committed to cover expected ridership revenue from July 1 through Sept. 4, in addition to the foundation’s initial $50 million investment in the project.

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Published July 12, 2017

DETROIT — The Archdiocese of Detroit announced that the beatification ceremony of Father Solanus Casey will take place Saturday, Nov. 18, at Ford Field in Detroit.

The announcement that Casey would be beatified was made by Pope Francis in Rome May 4. Beatification is the penultimate step in the Roman Catholic Church’s process for sainthood. It requires verification of a life lived in accordance with Christian teaching and involvement in at least one miracle recognized by the church.

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Published July 12, 2017

HARPER WOODS — Residents of Harper Woods may say there are numerous reasons to live and work in their city, and one new addition to the City Hall staff is backing up that sentiment by saying it’s one of the best decisions he’s ever made.

Paul Corbet is studying government at Wayne State University and recently joined the Harper Woods municipal staff as an intern. Gaining his position through a fellowship, he selected Harper Woods as his desired location to work.

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Published July 12, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Fairy gardens combine fantasy, imagination and gardening to create a summertime craft that can be enjoyed by all ages. 

Rayna Burkhart, of Romulus, said via Facebook message that she had been collecting fairy sculptures for years before fairy gardening gained popularity a few years ago. 

“It opened my eyes to a thousand possibilities. Gardening is the love of my life, and mixing the two together is beautiful and fulfilling,” she said. 

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Published July 7, 2017

DETROIT — Tour de Troit, a nonprofit that organizes bike rides through Detroit and advocates for nonmotorized transportation options in the city, is welcoming cyclists to join it for its annual Bike the Bridge ride.

Bike the Bridge began in 2013 and is the only bike ride that includes both the Detroit and Windsor sides of the Detroit River. It also is the only time the Ambassador Bridge is open to bicycle traffic. This year, it will take place on Sunday, Oct. 22.

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Published July 7, 2017

HARPER WOODS — The Harper Woods Board of Education has named Steven McGhee as the school district’s new superintendent.

The board approved McGhee with a 6-1 vote at a meeting June 26. Board President Regina Williams was the dissenting vote, but said that she fully supports McGhee’s selection as superintendent and thinks he will do well in the job.

“One of the things that stood out from him was his passion to help the kids. His 90-day plan had some interesting concepts and programs.

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Published July 7, 2017

MACOMB COUNTY/DETROIT — A group of Macomb Community College students who feel their freedom of speech was violated earlier this year are seeking justice through the legal system.

On July 5, attorneys from the nonprofit legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the students to challenge a college policy that they say bans all public expression from anyone, minus labor unions, without a permit from administrators.

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Published July 5, 2017

How can you wish upon a star if the stars are hard to see?

Light pollution in large metropolitan areas such as Detroit can limit what’s visible in the night sky, but luckily for stargazers, better viewing options aren’t far away.

Several Michigan parks now have state-designated dark sky preserves that aim to restrict artificial light, preserve natural darkness and provide spectacular views for visitors.

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Published June 28, 2017

HARPER WOODS — The Friends of the Harper Woods Public Library are inviting anyone in the community with a talent for creating to join them for their 2017 Artisans Market.

The Artisans Market allows people to sell their crafted goods — including jewelry, ceramics, candles, clothing and woodwork — with profits going to the artists and the costs of the artists’ booths going to the library. 

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Published June 27, 2017

HARPER WOODS — The Harper Woods City Council approved a rate increase for residents’ water and sewer bills at its meeting June 19.

The council cited rising costs and the need to repair, maintain or replace elements of the aging system.

“The rate increase is necessary for maintenance of Harper Woods’ water and sewer system,” said City Manager Randolph Skotarczyk. “For a household using three units of water, which is about 3,244 gallons per month, it will amount to an average monthly increase of $5.25 per household.”

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Published June 25, 2017

DETROIT — Intermittent rain couldn’t dampen the spirits at the kickoff for Detroit’s 2017 Occupy the Corner program.

Occupy the Corner’s aim is to reduce and discourage crime by providing people with the means to “take back” their city from criminals. It does this by having volunteers go out and share information and resources with members of the community to improve their lives or their neighborhood.

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Published June 23, 2017

HARPER WOODS — The Harper Woods Parks and Recreation Department is encouraging kids to come out and show off their moves.

The department’s summer dance programs are returning for their 33rd consecutive year June 26. The eight-week classes are open for any child who wants to join. The classes take place in the Harper Woods High School auditorium.

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Published June 22, 2017

HARPER WOODS — Following a final round of public interviews June 21 in the Harper Woods High School auditorium, the Harper Woods Board of Education began discussing its three candidates to fill the position of school district superintendent.

The board scheduled a special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, June 26, to continue the discussions and reach a final decision. The board has until Friday, June 30, to either name a new superintendent and negotiate a contract, or name an interim candidate while continuing the process into the next school year.

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Published June 22, 2017

DETROIT — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Belle Isle Conservancy and the Michigan Press Association have embarked on a new campaign to save one of Belle Isle’s most well-known landmarks: the Newsboy Shelter.

Built in 1911 and officially known as shelter No. 1, it became colloquially known as the Newsboy Shelter due to its proximity to the nearby newsboy statue that was dedicated to the city of Detroit in the early 1900s by Detroit media icon James Scripps.

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Published June 22, 2017

METRO DETROIT — The Huron-Clinton Metroparks are 75 years and growing.

From giant inflatable slides and treetop fun to state-of-the-art playground improvements and wildlife and nature conservation efforts, the parks system is continually growing and evolving.

Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority Director George Phifer said that ever since the park system opened to the public in 1942, visiting is like taking a mini vacation right at home.

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