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Published September 27, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Township Fall Fun Fest is returning to Macomb Corners Park this year, but missing one aspect from past events — the word fitness in the name.

When the annual free festival kicks off Sept. 30, fitness will still be an emphasis in the planned activities, but Michelle Duda, a recreation programmer with the Parks and Recreation Department, said they wanted to make sure the event was welcoming to everyone.

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Published September 26, 2017

FRASER — The restaurant business is, and has always been, a family business for Eugene Kasapis.

Throughout high school, he worked in his dad’s restaurant in Greektown alongside his brothers Steve and Gus Kasapis. And three months before graduating, he and his brothers opened up their own restaurant in downtown Detroit.

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Published September 25, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A former employee of a local Catholic high school has been convicted of sending sexually abusive communications to a student at the school.

Joseph Sturza, 50, of Macomb Township, is the former director of admissions at Austin Catholic High School. He was convicted during a four-day trial Sept. 12-15 at Macomb County Circuit Court. Sturza was also convicted of using a computer to conduct the child sexual abuse activity, but was acquitted of two other charges relating to accosting a child for immoral purposes.

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Published September 22, 2017

MACOMB COUNTY — State Sen. Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, was recently awarded the first Michigan Library Association Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his leadership promoting libraries in Michigan.

Brandenburg was recognized during a reception held at the Chesterfield Township Library on Sept. 8.

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Published September 21, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Breweries from all over Michigan are well-known, and well-regarded, across the country. But you don’t have to travel far for a pint of quality craft beer.

In metro Detroit alone, there are more than 100 craft breweries within a short drive.

Scott Graham, executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild, estimates that there are more than 300 breweries in Michigan. But it wasn’t always such a large industry.

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Published September 21, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A Dakota High School teacher has been placed on administrative leave and charged with embezzlement for allegedly stealing money brought in by the school's homecoming dance and another outing.

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith announced today that Macomb Township resident and Spanish teacher Lydia Johnson was charged with one count of embezzlement from a nonprofit organization. The felony charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

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Published September 20, 2017

MACOMB COUNTY — Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger’s civil lawsuit against the county is in the hands of a new judge who is trying to determine if the county can file a countersuit that could disqualify Spranger from holding her position.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Kelly was assigned the case after each judge at the Macomb County Circuit Court recused themselves following Judge Kathryn Viviano doing so in August.

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Published September 20, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Township Board of Trustees approved a contract to replace two dehumidification units for the pool worth $682,808, three weeks after tabling the contract due to a lack of a bidding process.

Jason Gelle, the township’s facilities and grounds manager, brought the contract up to the board at the Aug. 23 meeting and asked them to reward a $724,212 contract to Clinton Township-based Metro Controls.

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Published September 20, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A traffic study performed around the Chippewa Valley Schools campus in Macomb Township anchored by Dakota High School suggests new traffic lights, longer light cycles and a new left-turn lane.

The Transportation Improvement Association, or TIA, performed a multi-step traffic study on the roads around and part of the school campus to determine where changes could be made to help alleviate traffic congestion and make the area safer for the students.

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Published September 20, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Township Clerk Kristi Pozzi wants to bring in an independent auditor to look at the township’s purchasing policy and competitive bid process after recent concerns over township employees not following the correct procedures.

Pozzi looked to get the Board of Trustees’ approval during the Sept. 13 meeting, but the motion was tabled unanimously in order for Pozzi to get a cost and scope analysis from potential auditors, including Plante Moran. The hope is to bring the request back at the Sept. 27 meeting.

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Published September 20, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Township Board of Trustees will continue to offer full health care benefits to part-time trustees, at least for now, despite continued opposition from Trustee Tim Bussineau and several residents.

The board passed a resolution in February 2014 that gave extensive health care benefits for all board members moving forward, as well as retirement benefits for board members who were elected before January 2013 and served for 12 years.

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Published September 13, 2017

MOUNT CLEMENS — The first phase of a $20 million renovation of the Macomb County Circuit Court wrapped up at the end of August, adding new courtrooms and rearranging other aspects of the operations.

The county’s probate court will be relocating to the courthouse located at 40 N. Main St. in 2019, and a new circuit court judge will also be welcomed in 2019, so additional facilities were needed to accommodate the additions, Chief Judge James Biernat, Jr. said.

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Published September 13, 2017

CLINTON TOWNSHIP/MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Chippewa Valley Schools has introduced a new English language arts program for all students in kindergarten through eighth grade this school year.

The district purchased two new curriculums — the Journeys program for elementary students and the StudySync program for middle school students. Both curriculums are more comprehensive than the programs they are replacing, according to Director of Curriculum and Assessment Pamela Jones.

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Published September 13, 2017

MACOMB COUNTY — Chippewa Valley High School graduate Hassan Musselmani stood in New York earlier this year, having poured his heart into a makeshift dessert, when he heard the three words he hoped wouldn’t be attached to his name.

“You’ve been Chopped.”

Musselmani, who attended culinary arts courses at Dakota High School and grew up in Clinton Township, was one of four contestants on the latest episode of “Chopped” on the Food Network. While the episode was filmed in the spring, it aired Sept. 5.

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Published September 11, 2017

MACOMB COUNTY — A former Macomb County Public Works employee has been brought up on bribery conspiracy charges in the latest development in the federal government’s wide-ranging corruption investigation in the county.

James Pistilli was charged with one count of bribery conspiracy on Sept. 5 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit.

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Published September 8, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb County Sheriff's Office is investigating a crash that took place Sept. 7 in Macomb Township and has left a man in critical condition.

At 9:30 p.m., sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the area of 21 Mile Road and Sanborn Drive, where a 2017 black GMC Sierra had struck a pedestrian. The vehicle, being driven by a 56-year-old Shelby Township man, was headed westbound on 21 Mile when it struck the man crossing the road.

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Published September 7, 2017

It may be more than a thousand miles away, but help for the victims of Hurricane Harvey arrived from St. Clair Shores, Saginaw and Detroit as the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Detroit pitched in to help with the rescue efforts.

Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 40 inches of rain over eastern Texas in four days at the end of August, causing catastrophic flooding and displacing more than 30,000 people. The Category 4 hurricane made landfall near Rockport, Texas, and caused at least 65 deaths in the United States.

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Published September 5, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Fourth of July is a time of year when many people partake in fireworks, cookouts and, often, drinking.

This year, Macomb Township received a complaint shortly after the holiday that a resident put fireworks in a trashcan near his garage that eventually went off and caught the garage on fire and required firefighter support.

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Published September 5, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The federal government has filed charges against a Macomb County contractor in relation to cash kickbacks that involve an unnamed Macomb Township elected official.

Christopher Sorrentino, 51, of Macomb Township, was charged Monday with one count of structuring financial transactions to avoid currency reporting requirements. The announcement of the charges was made by Acting United States Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch.

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Published September 5, 2017

CLINTON TOWNSHIP/MACOMB TOWNSHIP — It took six Clinton Township firefighters to get the roof off a small compact car caught under an overturned school bus, and get the student who was stuck in the passenger’s seat out.

The same firefighters had spent the previous 30 minutes getting the two other passengers out of the car, as well as tending to several Chippewa Valley Schools students who were passengers of the school bus.

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