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Published July 6, 2015

OAKLAND COUNTY —  To prevent storm sewer catch basins and roadside ditches from clogging, officials are reminding residents, businesses and mowing contractors to keep grass and tree debris out of the roadways and ditches.

Catch basins and roadside ditches provide stormwater drainage, but when they become plugged, the debris can cause the roads to flood. Water can have an impact on the condition of the roads and cause premature deterioration, said Craig Bryson, Road Commission for Oakland County public information officer.

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Published July 1, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Whether people are renting inflatable bouncers for parties or are among the more than 40 million carnival and amusement park-goers, real dangers are mixed in with the fun.  

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Published June 29, 2015

HAZEL PARK — Two years ago, Hazel Park opened its first Art Garden in a green space next to Dairy Park on John R near Granet. One can find a sculpture there made of street signs, assembled by the city’s Department of Public Works. There’s also a 1,200-pound concrete table with two stools, for chess and checkers, memorializing a long-time volunteer, and a bench in memory of another.

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Published June 26, 2015

According to researchers, the annual bloom of harmful algae on Lake Erie is on track to be on par with the 2009-10 blooms, though still smaller than last year’s bloom that saw the shutdown of the Toledo water system.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its preliminary report June 15 on what it expects from Erie’s bloom this year, with a more accurate one coming in early July.

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Published June 24, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Tick bites can have long-lasting consequences.

A specific species of the bloodsucking arachnid, the blacklegged tick — also known as the deer tick — can spread Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that, if left untreated, can cause issues for months or years after the initial bite.

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Published June 24, 2015

METRO DETROIT — The housing market in metro Detroit is still flooded with buyers and sellers, but things may get a little more difficult for sellers as interest rates have started trending upward and more buyers are looking to get into new builds.

Keller Williams real estate agent John Kurczak, based in Sterling Heights, said that just as things have changed in the types of homes that buyers are looking at, so too has the way that homes are sold.

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Published June 24, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Hot, humid days spent sizzling under the summer sun are one of the few antidotes to a long Michigan winter.

Soaking up the heat is fine, of course, as long as it’s not your food that’s doing the sweating.

The Oakland County Health Division recently released a list of food safety reminders as residents get ready to head out for summer picnics. Tony Drautz, environmental health administrator for the division, said they like to give cooks a brush-up on the basics this time of year, when meals tend to migrate outdoors.

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Published June 20, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — At the Red Oaks Youth Soccer Complex on John R north of 12 Mile, there’s a hill with a covered pavilion. On top of the hill is a manhole dropping 20 feet into a vault. It’s here where certain members of the Madison Heights Fire Department train as part of the Technical Rescue Team. They specialize in the most difficult and dangerous of rescues.

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Published June 17, 2015

METRO DETROIT — The flooring scene has changed drastically in the last few years, according to flooring experts in the area.

New types of flooring are available, such as luxury vinyl, which can resemble any other type of floor. And other timeless types of flooring, such as hardwood and carpet, have advanced leaps and bounds in terms of stability, finishes, style and softness.

Matt Pfeiffer, owner of Northern Flooring in Lake Orion, said that hardwood is the No. 1 type of flooring in Michigan and the best investment in terms of resale factor.

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Published June 17, 2015

METRO DETROIT — With winters that seem to last most of the year, Michiganders know how to take advantage of the warm weather once it finally rolls around.

Dinner time, exercise routines and daily play all seem to migrate outdoors in the summer months. It should come as no surprise, then, that many families in metro Detroit like to relocate movie night to the open air, too.

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Published June 13, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — They say retirement is an opportunity to focus on the things you love. For former Lamphere Schools art teacher Craig Hinshaw, this means continuing to do what he’s done all along. While he’s been retired for four years, he’s still involved with the district as a “resident artist” who works on special projects. 

“I’m a happy retiree — very happy,” Hinshaw said. “But I still have gifts to offer the kids, and I still love to do this.”

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Published June 11, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Fireworks are a Fourth of July staple.

From cherry bombs to Roman candles, Michiganders have enjoyed launching fireworks since before the Fireworks Safety Act of 2011 was signed into law, permitting consumer pyrotechnics on the day before, day of and day after designated national holidays.

But for some veterans, fireworks and other loud noises can trigger memories from military experiences.

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Published June 11, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — It’s not every day you see a shimmering red-and-gold monster strolling through a store. But when you do, you pull out your phone and take pictures.

That was the scene at 168 Asian Mart following its ribbon-cutting June 2. A Chinese lion dance capped off the ceremony, but it wasn’t long before the strange creature made a return, dancing past the sliding doors and wandering the outskirts of the room, sniffing customers.

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Published June 10, 2015

METRO DETROIT — It’s time to let your light shine — in your home, that is.

We all have many lighting styles in our homes: table lamps, under-cabinet lights, and even the tuxedo of lights: chandeliers.

But what kinds of lighting work best for your abode?

Corie Conroy, owner of Bloomfield Hills-based First Impression Home Staging and Interior Design, said different lighting packs a unique punch in your home, like bedroom table lighting that creates a calming feel.

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Published June 10, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Father’s Day is tough.

How do you express your gratitude for the man who gave you so many happy memories over the years, gave you unyielding support to follow your dreams and the pearls of wisdom to actually get you there?

Somehow, a tie just doesn’t seem to cut it.

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Published June 5, 2015

HAZEL PARK — A gym full of cheering children greeted Sophie the mini potbellied pig as she waddled down a runway at Hoover Elementary on May 28. Looking a bit like a border collie with her coat of black and white fur, and clad in a vest that read “Emotional Support,” the piggy was there to kiss a teacher — an odd fairy-tale ending to a year of healthy learning.

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Published May 31, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — Civic groups, city officials and more thanked their best volunteers from the past year at the 30th annual Madison Heights Community Round Table Awards Luncheon, which took place at the Club Venetian on May 20.

The year’s top honor, MHCRT Volunteer of the Year, went to Bobby Robinson, president of the Madison Heights Men’s Club. The Madison Heights Men’s Club also received the Madison Heights City Council Appreciation Award, presented by Mayor Edward Swanson and the City Council.

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Published May 27, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Residents with library cards can use them to get free passes to local attractions through the Michigan Activity Pass program that kicked off in May.

Sue Todd, librarian at the Eastpointe Memorial Library, said the program can help people gain free entry to attractions like the Michigan Military Technical & Historical Museum, Arts & Scraps, the Michigan Science Center and state parks.

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Published May 27, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — The Madison school district is getting ready for this year’s Summer Food Service Program, with a new focus on fun activities to keep the kids occupied at each site, and outreach efforts to qualifying churches and daycare centers that could use the meals, as well.

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Published May 27, 2015

HAZEL PARK — Anyone can change for the better.

That’s a belief held by David Jones — a living example of turning one’s life around. Now filling in as pastor at Ferndale Bible Church, Jones is also a licensed chaplain and continues to lead an addiction recovery program at Landmark Community Church in Hazel Park. Recently, he helped implement the same program at two transitional housing projects in Detroit.

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