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Published April 6, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Construction to add about 90 more spaces to the Farmers Market parking lot is expected to begin this week with a target completion date in September.

The $621,904 parking addition is scheduled to be open for vehicles before Labor Day weekend, in time for Arts, Beats & Eats.

City of Royal Oak Community Engagement Specialist Judy Davids said WCI Contractors Inc. will begin work to extend the existing parking lot at the market, located at 316 E. 11 Mile Road, further south.

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Published April 6, 2015

ROYAL OAK — There are some givens when Evan Gulock steps behind the lens.

He will approach his latest film with the maturity of an old soul, the final project likely will receive an award, and his Royal Oak High School film teacher and mentor, Mike Conrad, will cheer Gulock on while giving sage advice.

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Published April 6, 2015

OAKLAND COUNTY — Oakland County residents are leading healthier lives, ranking No. 2 in the state for a second year in a row for health behaviors among 82 counties, according to a County Health Rankings Report.

​“We measure up well for many key factors that affect health,” Kathy Forzley, Oakland County Health Division manager/health officer, said in a press release. “These results reflect our commitment to improving the overall health and quality of life for our residents.”

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Published March 30, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Local leaders are supporting Michigan’s Proposal 1, which they say has a direct impact on government and education, while others raise questions about the plan.

Members of the Royal Oak Schools Board of Education unanimously adopted a resolution March 12 showing that the district supports a Proposal 1 “yes” vote during the special statewide election May 5.

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Published March 30, 2015

CLAWSON — The City Clerk’s office is putting the finishing touches on necessary paperwork and signage for residents interested in keeping solicitors off of their front porches.

Deputy City Clerk Michael D. Smith said the final revisions are being made to stickers for display on residential homes and on registry documents banning solicitors from approaching houses. He expects the non-solicitor list, or no-knock registry program, will roll out in the next couple of weeks.

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Published March 30, 2015

ROYAL OAK — The city recently achieved a status only two municipalities in Michigan have earned — maintaining the Tree City USA designation for the past 37 years.

The Arbor Day Foundation recently granted recognition to Royal Oak as a 2014 Tree City USA, extending its run as a community that makes the planting and care of trees a priority.

Royal Oak and Adrian are the only two communities in Michigan that have been recognized with the Tree City USA award every year since the beginning of the Michigan program in 1976.

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Published March 27, 2015

OAKLAND COUNTY — As the temperature fluctuates between freezing and above freezing, officials are reminding residents to stay off the ice this time of year.

Freeze-thaw cycles can weaken the ice and cause accidents, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a press release. The cycle produces “frazzle ice,” or ice that contains air pockets and has an appearance of frozen slush. Frazzle ice can appear milky white or black in color. And because the ice is dangerous, officials are offering ice safety tips in the event of a dangerous ice situation.

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Published March 25, 2015

CLAWSON — Resident Gregg Phelps will have his design work displayed throughout the city as an integral part of Clawson’s 75th anniversary celebration.

“It is surreal,” Phelps said. “It is exciting.”

Phelps was honored last week during the City Council meeting for his winning entry.

“This is one of the fun things we, as council, are able to do: to present the winner of the city of Clawson 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee logo (contest),” Mayor Penny Luebs said.

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Published March 25, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Members of the Police Department have not entered a time warp, nor have they channeled their inner Magnum P.I.

Mustache March is wrapping up this week, and the mustaches — with accompanying mutton chops on some participants — are catching eyes for a good cause.

“We have had interesting feedback from the community,” said Detective Matthew Murray. “People are starting to notice.”

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Published March 24, 2015

OAKLAND COUNTY — It’s been 10 years since Jennifer Shields first began training law enforcement officers to spot signs of mental illness. Though it’s been a decade, Shields said she still encounters police who are “blown away” by what they learn from her.

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Published March 23, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Resident Barbara J. Rebbeck’s first young adult novel involved more than placing pen to paper.

Rebbeck’s 30 years as an educator laid the foundation for her first young adult novel, “NOLA Gals,” which weaves together research, classic literary references, grammar lessons and characters she designed as relatable for today’s tweens and young adults.

The novel focuses on Essence LaFontaine and Grace Woodson, two strangers occupying the same space following Hurricane Katrina.

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Published March 18, 2015

City Commission members added the topic of coyotes to the commission’s March 16 meeting agenda following public concern over a trapped animal in a residential backyard.

A video from WXYZ-TV showing a trapped coyote in a yard near Tenhave Woods, at Lexington Boulevard and Marais Avenue, caused an influx of phone calls and emails to City Hall on March 16 questioning the humane treatment of the animal.

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Published March 18, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Paula Messner is calling all hipsters and their families to the Royal Oak Farmers Market this Saturday for the fourth annual Bestest Concert Ever.

The family friendly, live music event will take place from 5-8 p.m. March 21. Messner said that 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Royal Oak Optimist Club.

“It’s an annual thing that I do and it’s really a lot of fun,” Messner said.

The idea for the Bestest Concert Ever came from a couple of shows Messner played with her band, Candy Band.

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Published March 18, 2015

CLAWSON — The “little city with a big heart” has a lot going on, according to Mayor Penny Luebs, who gave the annual State of the City address last week.

“We are the place to be,” Luebs said. “If you think nothing happens in Clawson, think again.”

The breakfast gathering held March 11 at City Hall brought together local dignitaries, residents and members of the business community for the annual look back at the previous year.

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Published March 18, 2015

ROYAL OAK — When physical education teacher Keith Doody had the opportunity to bring a favorite childhood program to Northwood Elementary School, he was all in.

That the Jump Rope for Heart program surpassed expectations — it raised $8,261 for the American Heart Association — made the happening even more fulfilling.

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Published March 18, 2015

CLAWSON — Volunteers and leaders in the business community were honored last week at the annual State of the City address March 11 at City Hall.

Renee Niewolak, branch manager of Diversified Members Credit Union, was awarded Business Person of the Year.

A Rotary member, Chamber participant and volunteer, Niewolak is known for continually giving her time, talents and funding. She was hailed for her enthusiastic work ethic.

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Published March 11, 2015

ROYAL OAK — What started out as a lesson in recycling, repurposing and reusing turned into a collaborative art project to beautify the hallway of Addams Elementary School.

About 450 kindergarten through fifth-grade students participated in an art project that used decorated pieces of recyclable water bottles. The students decorated the pieces and attached them to a frame in the shape of a tree.

“I think it’s really creative and cool,” said third-grader Anna Waterstredt, pointing to a green, glitter-covered tree branch she created.

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Published March 10, 2015

ROYAL OAK — When the Hennessey clan started marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, there were about seven of them.

Matriarch Carol Hennessey has seen her group expand and grow for many years, constructing a float to pull along with them during the big event.

“It’s something special, especially to the Irish,” Hennessey said.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians Norman O’Brien Division will present the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade at 11:30 a.m. March 14 in downtown Royal Oak.

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Published March 4, 2015

ROYAL OAK — The cost to park in the garage near Fourth Street and Lafayette Avenue is going up following the City Commission’s late February decision to raise the fee primarily on weekends.

The $2 parking increase only impacts the Fourth Street parking garage when it operates on a flat-fee basis, which is during weekend nights or other times when larger events take place.

The garage, on Lafayette Avenue just north of Fourth Street, used to charge $3 for a night of parking. The increase, which went into effect March 1, brings the fee to $5.

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Published March 4, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Rob Young’s passion for cars took on a new meaning when it turned into a father and son bonding experience.

Young’s latest acquisition — a brown and cream 1963 Lincoln Continental — was purchased at the urging of his 16-year-old son, Robert, after the teen fell in love with the car during a spring break trip to southern Illinois last year.

Young said he has owned various sports cars in the past, but never something as big as a Continental.

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