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Published December 23, 2015

ROCHESTER — Those dreaming of a white Christmas can rest assured that the Rochester Department of Public Works is prepared to keep the streets clear, regardless of whether their wish actually comes true.

Based on the El Niño air moving through Michigan and the Great Lakes, Michigan residents have experienced a mild December thus far — with temperatures from “average” to “much above average,” according to the National Weather Service’s Grand Rapids Forecast Office.

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Published December 23, 2015

ROCHESTER HILLS/AUBURN HILLS — Avondale School Distrct art students have a chance at a few new scholarships aimed at supporting a career in the arts, thanks to the generosity of a Rochester Hills man.

Jack Schodowski plans to donate $1,000 each year — on behalf of his wife, Helen, who passed away earlier this year — to a scholarship fund to be shared by three Avondale seniors.

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Published December 23, 2015

ROCHESTER — Every month, the Rochester Community House helps put food on the table for over 250 low-income families and seniors in the area through its Community Kitchen program. 

And with the help of local churches and nonprofits, the organization is also able to  invite those in need to enjoy a free dinner at 3 p.m. on the third Sunday of each month.

The final community dinner for 2015 was held on Sunday, Dec. 20. 

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Published December 22, 2015

METRO DETROIT — More granite suppliers worldwide and increased local competition have lowered the price of the popular kitchen countertop material. 

“A lot of suppliers from India came up in the market,” said Charmain Fazzalari, general manager of Preferred Marble and Granite in Fraser. “I’ve been doing this for 23 years. Over the years, the prices have come down.” 

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Published December 22, 2015

We asked local kids to send us their letters to pass along to Santa at the North Pole. All kids who submitted a letter have also been entered into a drawing to win an ice-skating party. We'll announce the winner in early January, so stay tuned.

Macomb County

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Published December 21, 2015

OAKLAND COUNTY — To the homeless cats and dogs at the Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center, don’t worry — Santa got your wish list.

All year round, the center accepts donations of items on its Amazon.com Wish List. Generous animal lovers can head to the Amazon website and purchase a variety of items, from dog treats to kitty litter, to be shipped directly to the nonprofit shelter.

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Published December 17, 2015

A Flint man could be charged this week in connection with threats to harm employees at two Auburn Hills businesses, which resulted in an all-day lockdown at four nearby schools in the Avondale district.

“We received a couple of 911 calls from an unknown man making threats at businesses,” said Auburn Hills police Lt. Jill McDonnell.

An unknown caller contacted 911 at 6:45 a.m. Dec. 14 and threatened to do harm at Inalfa Roof Systems, on Pacific Drive, and AirBoss Flexible Products, which has two buildings on Auburn Court.

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Published December 16, 2015

ROCHESTER — Last spring, Michigan high school juniors took the ACT one last time before the state switches to the SAT as its primary form of student assessment in 2016.

According to an analysis of data recently posted on the state’s website, www.mischooldata.org, the average ACT scores of Rochester Community Schools students remained almost flat districtwide from the year before — with the average composite ACT score falling one-tenth of a point, from 23.3 last year to 23.2 this year.

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Published December 16, 2015

ROCHESTER HILLS —  Local artists Meredith Lea Bailey and Jen Whaley embrace realism in their highly detailed portraits — through the mediums of watercolor and graphite pencil.

Both were chosen as finalists in the recent 2015 MI Great Artist online competition. Five artists, including Whaley and Bailey, were chosen from a field of 109 in Oakland, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, St. Clair and Wayne counties. More than 22,000 votes were cast during a two-week online voting period for more than $16,000 in cash and prizes.

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Published December 16, 2015

ROCHESTER — The Rochester Hills Public Library’s Friends group recently donated $125,000 to support library programs, projects and improvements.

Friends President Ron Meegan said the group — the library’s primary volunteer support group — raised the money over the past year through online and in-library used book sales, book cart sales in the lobby and sales in the Friends Store, as well as the Holiday Home Tour and the Wine, Wit and Wisdom fundraisers.

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Published December 16, 2015

ROCHESTER HILLS — While holding his 1-year-old daughter, Rochester Hills City Councilman Adam Kochenderfer thanked city officials, staff and fellow council members for their support moments before he was sworn in to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.

“Tonight is not goodbye,” Kochenderfer said at the Dec. 7 City Council meeting. “It is thank you. And it is a reminder to myself to show gratitude with action. That is exactly what I intend to do, and I look forward to serving you on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.”

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Published December 16, 2015

ROCHESTER — As the holidays swiftly approach and everyone scrambles to check off their cooking and shopping to-do lists, it’s easy to be forgetful.

“Christmas is probably one of the most widely celebrated holidays, so everyone is thinking about the holiday parties and friends and families coming over, but this is also the time of the year when we see an increase of fire risk,” said Rochester Fire Chief John Cieslik. “Really, statistically, it has a huge jump, and a lot of it is caused by some of the things that we do on a regular basis.”

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Published December 15, 2015

ROCHESTER HILLS — Police deployed Tasers on a local man and woman who resisted arrest recently, a police report states.

According to the report, police encountered the couple during a traffic stop at 1:16 a.m. Dec. 12 in the 1600 block of Clemens Circle, near Dequindre Road  and South Boulevard. The driver exited his pickup truck and walked around it to the passenger door toward a woman passenger.

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Published December 15, 2015

ROCHESTER — Some new neighbors have moved into downtown Rochester over the past six months, giving shoppers — frantic to check off everyone on their holiday gifts lists in the next week — a chance to pop in and see the latest trends downtown.

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Published December 14, 2015

OAKLAND COUNTY — When the flakes fall in Oakland County, you can count on a few things: Some schools will close, roads will get a bit slippery, and the roar of snowblowers will fill the air.

But you can also count on throngs of nature lovers heading to the county’s parks for a little cold-weather fun, according to Independence Oaks Park Supervisor DJ Coffey. Despite the warmer-than-normal temperatures we’ve enjoyed so far, Coffey and his staff are gearing up for one of Oakland County Parks’ most popular seasons.

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Published December 9, 2015

ROCHESTER — Rochester Community Schools is one step closer to upgrading its facilities, now that the district’s Board of Education has chosen the firms to provide architectural, construction management and technology design services.

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Published December 9, 2015

ROCHESTER — When people are looking for ways to spread some holiday cheer, The Rainbow Connection is hoping they will help make dreams come true for local children battling life-threatening illnesses.

The Rainbow Connection is collecting donations of new, unwrapped toys and games for kids of all ages 8 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays through Dec. 23 at its headquarters, 621 W. University St. People can also make donations online at www.rainbowconnection.org.

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Published December 9, 2015

ROCHESTER HILLS — For the past 16 years, Megan Tack has visited the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm with her family during the museum’s annual Santa and Mrs. Claus event.

“We started coming when I was 3 years old,” Tack, 19, said while baking cookies as a volunteer in the museum’s farmhouse kitchen Dec. 6. Nearby, Megan’s sister Laura, 21, handed out apple juice to museum guests.  

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Published December 9, 2015

ROCHESTER — There are many people in the Rochester area who are struggling to make ends meet, according to Rochester Area Neighborhood House Executive Director Kathy Losinski.

Losinski said the RANH food pantry, which has distributed over 400 tons of food to families in need over the last five years, has seen an increase in use by about 15 percent this year.

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Published December 9, 2015

ROCHESTER HILLS —Two men and two women were arrested in connection with the fradulent use of credit cards at 7:13 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Speedway gas station at Rochester and Avon roads, a police report states.

A gas station employee called police about credit cards fraduently used to purchase cartons of cigarettes, and the employee provided suspect information.

Police checked the area without success, but the suspects were located during a traffic stop a short time later.

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