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Published April 19, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — For the sixth year in a row — and the fourth year under the county’s management of the park — volunteers will visit the Red Oaks Nature Center at Suarez Friendship Woods in Madison Heights and work together to rake leaves, pick up litter, lay mulch and pull up mustard garlic, an invasive species that threatens the park’s ecosystem. 

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Published April 18, 2016

HAZEL PARK — For the second year in a row, a group of students from a church in Indiana came to Hazel Park to volunteer alongside like-minded do-gooders at CityEdge Church and its new partners at Youth for Christ Detroit. They worked both indoors and outdoors, at the parks and the “Blue Building” — once the administrative building for Hazel Park Public Schools, and now jointly used by CityEdge and YFC Detroit.

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Published April 14, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — When a 3-year-old girl found her mother’s cigarette lighter and played with it, she reportedly lit the couch on fire, inhaling smoke. Her mother then burned her own hand trying to pat down the fire.

The incident occurred around 11:45 a.m. April 5 at the Concord Towers Apartments, located in the 32600 block of Concord, off 14 Mile near Oakland Mall.

According to Madison Heights Fire Marshal Shawn Knight, the unit is on the eighth floor and smoke could be seen from outside the building.

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Published April 13, 2016

HAZEL PARK — Local comic artists are bringing their original character art and comic books to Hazel Park, lining the walls of the Phoenix Café with splash pages and panels depicting all kinds of heroes and villains you’ve probably never seen before. Infusing the show with extra energy will be two concerts — one metal, the other punk and funk.

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Published April 13, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — The Madison District Public Schools are gearing up for an ambitious four-day festival at Madison High School that will feature carnival rides, food and more.

The Madison Family Spring Carnival will take place in the west parking lot at Madison High, 915 E. 11 Mile Road, with parking available in the field off Farnum to the north and in the lot at nearby Madison Elementary.

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Published April 13, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — City officials from Madison Heights met with representatives from DTE Energy recently to discuss frequent power outages in the city and what is being done to address them.

Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss attended, accompanied by city staff. The meeting was held in response to the Feb. 22 City Council hearing where DTE promised to follow up on council’s concerns.

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Published April 12, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Donald Zelazny is a dentist who runs a private practice in Franklin, with a number of patients in Madison Heights. But for years he’s been visiting places much farther away, hoping to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate by providing dental care to those in substandard living conditions.

He’s been to Bolivia, and he’s worked at a children’s clinic in Jerusalem. He’s been to Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico — twice each. And recently he went to Vietnam.

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Published April 12, 2016

HAZEL PARK — When Kirk Chidester, of Hazel Park, was recovering from surgery, a friend borrowed his van and brought it to Detroit. But it never came back: The vehicle was reportedly stolen by thieves while it was parked at the Bel Air Shopping Center at Eight Mile and Van Dyke.

The recent theft has already taken its toll on Kirk and his son, James. The 8-year-old has Down syndrome and requires medical attention. The van was not only used to transport equipment for Kirk’s landscaping company, but also to transport James in his wheelchair.

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Published April 7, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Sarah DeDonatis, of St. Clair Shores, has been a member of the Michigan Orchid Society for more than 15 years. 

“My husband’s aunt invited me to come and work, actually, on the show all those years ago, and I just fell in love,” she said. “It’s just a way to really get to work as a community, (and) get to look at these amazingly beautiful flowers from all over the world, and meet some amazing growers.”

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Published April 6, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — Since the night he was elected, Mayor Brian Hartwell has spoken of his plans to introduce a volunteer time bank, where residents could list their needs and others could help meet them. Progress is being made on the concept, he says — but it will take time to build.

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Published April 5, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — Many adult volunteers work hard to ensure the girls in Girl Scouts have a positive experience learning skills and values that will serve them well throughout life. Recently, two such volunteers from Madison Heights received national awards recognizing them for their service.

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Published April 4, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Orchids appear on every continent except Antarctica, and they come in many forms. Some grow on the bark of trees, while others grow deep underground. Some smell sweet, while others smell rancid. Some are microscopically small and require a magnifying glass to see, while others are shaped like insects to attract the birds that pollinate them. And of course, they come in a dazzling variety of colors and patterns. 

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Published April 4, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — The next time you see a pothole in Madison Heights, park somewhere safe, pull out your tablet or smartphone, and tweet the pothole’s location to the city’s official handle (@citymadhts) with the hashtag #madhts
fix. You can even include a picture if you want.

Then the clock starts ticking. Within mere hours, staff from the Department of Public Services will be dispatched to fix the pothole. The city will then report back to residents on social media when the work is done.

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Published March 31, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — For the sixth time in five years, a teacher from Lamphere Public Schools has been named an Oakland County Outstanding Teacher of the Year. The awards are given in three categories — elementary school, middle school and high school.

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Published March 30, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — In an era when more people are connected via their mobile devices and “cutting the cord” at home — using cable TV less, and Internet more — YouTube has become a major force where charismatic personalities have built brands and even made a living publishing their own content online. 

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Published March 30, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — Local government has a direct effect on residents — maintaining infrastructure, providing services like police and fire, and more. Yet the average person might not know the amount of thought and deliberation that goes into each decision on City Council. With the return of the mock council program, students at local schools will have the opportunity to see how the process works firsthand.

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Published March 29, 2016

HAZEL PARK — The police can’t be everywhere at once. That’s why it’s important for residents to do their part and report anything suspicious they see or hear.

In Hazel Park, residents in Community Watch have alerted police to suspicious activity and even crimes in progress, helping them catch suspects in the act and gather the evidence needed to prosecute them.

This has made Hazel Park an unwelcoming place for would-be criminals — and may partly explain why the city is currently enjoying some of its lowest crime rates since the 1950s.

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Published March 29, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — For many students, prom is a special night, but for parents, it can be a bit pricey. Now for the second year in a row, Lamphere High’s Spring Dress Extravaganza aims to ease the burden with a variety of good deals. And students from other schools are invited as well.

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Published March 23, 2016

HAZEL PARK — The city of Hazel Park is in the early stages of assembling a Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, consisting of city employees and citizen volunteers who receive special training on what to do in the event of an emergency — say, a plane crash or freight train derailment in nearby Ferndale, or a flood like in 2014.

The hope is that the city will never need to use CERT, but if there’s ever a large-scale catastrophe where police officers and firefighters are stretched thin, CERT will be there to help.

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Published March 23, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — State law says that all shelter animals must be spayed and neutered before they can be adopted out. For the Madison Heights Animal Shelter, this can be quite expensive, and in the past the shelter has had to lean on local rescue groups to pick up the cost. But those rescues aren’t made of money either, so it’s been tough all around.

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