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Published February 13, 2014

OAKLAND COUNTY — The Michigan State University Extension is sponsoring a workshop for Oakland County lakefront property owners to create, restore and manage natural shorelines at the Cranbrook Institute of Science 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. March 8.

“This is an educational program to help homeowners that live along lakes … to understand the importance of a natural shoreline,” said Bindu Bhakta, extension educator with the MSU Extension.

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Published July 24, 2013

TROY/HAZEL PARK — Hamilton Elementary physical education teacher Chad Gurzick doesn’t describe himself as a hero, although others would.

Gurzich, of Troy, and other Michigan educators attended the National Education Association Representative Assembly in Atlanta June 30 through July 7.

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Published June 8, 2012

Look up as you walk the halls at Simonds Elementary, and you’ll wonder how you wandered into a butterfly enclosure.

More than 300 handcrafted butterflies are suspended from the ceiling. Their bodies are wood clothespins spray-painted black, with pipe-cleaner antennae and paper wings dotted with sequins. Each butterfly is one-of-a-kind, reflecting the student who made it, and every kid at the school contributed to the collection.

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Published May 31, 2012

As a boy, he didn’t know his father was a convicted child killer, on the run with his mother who helped his father escape from Indiana State Prison in the ‘70s. But all through his childhood, Chip St. Clair says he experienced the cruelty of the man he knew as David St. Clair, whose real name was Michael Dean Grant.

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Published May 11, 2012

DETROIT — On Eight Mile near Klinger, east of Dequindre, is a gas station and party store, or what remains of it, anyway. The pumps are gone, and no signage remains to give the place a name.

The terrain is cratered, and rainwater pools in the middle, dark and murky. Grocery bags and fast-food wrappers are entangled in the cyclone fencing, while bricks, shards of glass and huge chunks of Styrofoam litter the ground. Weed-choked fields grow unchecked out back, all but obscuring a discarded luggage trunk.

Meanwhile, Eight Mile traffic barrels by, ignoring the eyesore.

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Published April 27, 2012

MADISON HEIGHTS — When spring break rolled around in early April, many of Brooke Heisler’s friends were looking forward to getting away from the rigors of life.

Some were eager to hit the beach in warmer climes like Florida and Cancun, Mexico.

Others were planning to stay at home, sleep in late and enjoy their leisure time.

But for Heisler, a sophomore at Lamphere High School, spring break meant leaving one routine to pick up another, waking up at the break of dawn each day to serve unfamiliar people in a faraway place.

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Published April 27, 2012

MADISON HEIGHTS — Whether it’s an animal shelter or a thrift store for the poor, many nonprofits practically run on air. With finances tight, it’s hard to hire staff that can take care of the day-to-day tasks that come with running an organization. And when they get bogged down in menial work, they become distracted from their mission.

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Published March 16, 2012

MADISON HEIGHTS — To the human eye, a QR code is indecipherable, a checkered mass of black-and-white squares. Scan it with a smartphone, though, and what looks like senseless TV static becomes a link to a website — no typing necessary.

Originally used in the auto industry to track vehicles during the manufacturing process, “quick reference” codes are growing in popularity thanks to the rise of smartphones, which effectively double as barcode readers.

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Published June 1, 2011

Combine talented artisans, good food, live entertainment and a little sunshine, and you have the makings of a great summer festival.

Beginning in June, such events are plentiful in metro Detroit. Here’s a sampling of just a few popular festivals that residents won’t want to miss this summer.

June 11-12
Clay, Glass and Metal Festival — downtown Royal Oak
In Royal Oak, one of the first big events of the season is the Clay, Glass and Metal Festival June 11-12.

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Published May 16, 2011

HAZEL PARK — Before they can start initiatives like turning vacant buildings into art studios, empty lots into sculpture gardens and bare walls into murals, Hazel Park’s ambitious Arts Council needs to raise enough funds to secure 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, the key to securing grants and other connections crucial to its success.

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Published May 11, 2011

Picture a typical senior residence and images of bingo, arts and crafts, and green Jell-O might come to mind.

Walk into a modern retirement community, though, and you may be more likely to see seniors playing video games, heading out with a travel group or performing a sun salutation in yoga class.

Today’s senior living communities are not the stale, dreary places stereotypes make them out to be.

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Published April 4, 2011

HAZEL PARK — When her husband lost his job a year ago, Rose Elaine Clay had to find a way to help her family make ends meet.

But the 46-year-old Hazel Park resident, known to locals by her childhood nickname “LaLa,” didn’t want to simply scrape by doing work she didn’t enjoy.

So when the opportunity presented itself, LaLa leveraged the support of her family and turned hard work, natural talent and a metric ton of passion for baking into a brand-new business: LaLa Cookies & Cakes.

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Published March 4, 2011

MADISON HEIGHTS — Life was just beginning for Jenny when it was taken away.

The Oak Park resident was 22, married two months to the man who’d been her friend since she was 13. So young and so in love — but cancer, ever horrible, didn’t care.

Such is the tragedy that befell Jenny — full name Jennifer Amber Robacker-Bazinet — when her stage 4 colon cancer ended in death. Born Nov. 15, 1987, she passed Oct. 30, 2010, a life all too short, but one that touched the hearts of those around her.

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Published March 4, 2011

MADISON HEIGHTS — When the crowds came out for the Memorial Day Parade last year, they did so with more than the usual patriotic fervor.

The city had cut parade funding due to a tough budget, so businesses and residents privately raised money to rescue the event. As such, spirits were high — it was truly the people’s parade.

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Published February 28, 2011

HAZEL PARK — There’s a new force for good in the neighborhood.

Over the past few months, volunteers from all sectors of the city — church, civic, government, school and nonprofit — have been building a database-driven coalition of services to meet the needs of Hazel Park and its residents.

It’s still growing, but the hope is it will become a reliable safety net for residents.

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Published February 28, 2011

MADISON HEIGHTS/HAZEL PARK — The Madison Heights/Hazel Park Chamber of Commerce has a new person in charge — and with it an injection of young blood.

At 21 years old, Shelby Township resident Alan Horn has been hired for the full-time position of executive director, responsible for bringing together local businesses under the chamber banner, and in doing so, helping them all with professional networking, educational opportunities, member-to-member discounts and more.

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Published February 16, 2011

MADISON HEIGHTS — Far away in East Africa, on the shores of the Indian Ocean, is the nation of Tanzania, wherein lies the district of Mbulu.

Here the landscape is harsh, the hardships many. Located just south of the equator, Tanzania alternates between a dry season with periodic droughts and food shortages, and a rainy season in which deforestation causes flooding.

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Upcoming Events

Grosse Pointe City
Grosse Pointe Audubon Society meeting
7:30 p.m.
Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church
Royal Oak
Gardening program
7:30 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak
Concert of Hope and Unity
7 p.m.
Detroit Institute of Arts
Grosse Pointe Farms
League of Women Voters meeting
7 p.m.
Grosse Pointe Memorial Church




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