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Published December 9, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — In the upstairs lobby of the Shelby Township municipal building, staff transformed this year’s Christmas tree into a giving tree.

Along with the usual festive ornaments, the tree is adorned with tags listing the needs of Samaritan House, an independent charity in Washington Township that has provided assistance to low-income residents in northern Macomb County for the last 20 years.

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Published December 9, 2015

UTICA/SHELBY TOWNSHIP — During the month of October, local police departments joined forces to launch a traffic enforcement program on Hall Road and M-59 in response to numerous complaints of aggressive driving.

The campaign was designed to raise awareness of safe driving, with the hectic holiday shopping season setting in, in order to reduce crashes.

Police said they wanted to launch the initiative before Black Friday, when congestion from holiday shopping at the many retailers along Hall Road might have fueled frustrations.

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Published December 9, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Because temperatures are cooling and asphalt plants have closed, crews working on the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s 24 Mile Road project in Shelby and Macomb townships will resume paving operations in the spring of 2016.

Contractor Ric-Man Construction will continue to work on the road, however. There will be intermittent lane closures through the duration of the project, which is estimated to wrap up in July 2016. The whole project stretches across 7 miles.

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Published December 8, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — At the Dec. 1 Shelby Township Board of Trustees meeting, Clerk Stan Grot swore in the township’s newest furry, four-legged police officer.

Morpheus, a 15-month-old black German shepherd from the Czech Republic, graduated from a training academy in Pennsylvania with his handler, Joseph Wojcik, a 15-year veteran of the Shelby Township Police Department, on Nov. 13.

Police Chief Robert Shelide said Wojcik and Morpheus, who will wear a special custom-made police badge with his name on it, hit the streets Nov. 16.

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Published December 7, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — With the season of giving in full swing, the sixth annual Jingle Bell Run 5K will donate 100 percent of its proceeds to a record eight charities this year.

The holiday-themed run and walk will begin at 9 a.m. sharp Sunday, Dec. 13. The cost is $25 per person, and participants can register online at or in person on race day starting at 7 a.m.

The course will begin and end behind the Shelby community center, located at 51690 Van Dyke Ave., north of 23 Mile Road.

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Published December 7, 2015

UTICA — Police charged a 24-year-old Utica man with three counts of breaking and entering after a woman reportedly found him attempting to cut out her window screen with a small knife Nov. 29.

Ronald Vanston was arraigned at the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township Nov. 30. At press time, he was being held at the Macomb County Jail on a bond of $10,000 cash or surety.

At approximately 1:20 p.m. Nov. 29, police responded to the 45200 block of Brownell Street for a report of a possible home invasion in progress.

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Published December 3, 2015

MACOMB COUNTY — Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel filled the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts with positive vibes as he presented his fifth State of the County address on Dec. 2.

Hackel, standing in front of a large video screen that flashed photos, videos and impressive stats throughout the 45-minute address, delved into the county’s achievements in recent years and its thrilling future.

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Published December 1, 2015

UTICA — The sounds of carolers, sleigh bells and Santa’s belly laugh will fill the streets of downtown Utica beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6.

The city’s annual Christmas and tree-lighting program will feature the arrival of the jolly old saint on a fire truck, and together he and Mayor Jacqueline Noonan will light the decorations at Utica City Hall.

There will be a craft table set up for children to make a holiday decoration, and everyone will be invited to enjoy hot cider and doughnuts at the Utica Fire Department, located at 7609 Auburn Road.

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Published November 30, 2015

SOUTHFIELD/SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The 40th annual Potters Market, featuring 140 artists, will return to Southfield from Friday to Sunday, Dec. 4-6.

The popular holiday shopping destination runs 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Parking and admission are free.

There also is a preview event from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, which will cost $10 per person. With an annual attendance of approximately 8,000 visitors, the preview sale is a way to get first dibs on the show’s approximately 35,000 pieces.

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Published November 30, 2015

UTICA — At approximately 11:25 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, police responded to Dick’s Sporting Goods, near Hall and Schoenherr roads, for a retail fraud in progress.

The caller said the suspect, a black female, removed several North Face jackets from the rack, ran out of the store without paying, and got into a white Chevrolet Malibu driven by a white male.

The caller stated that the duo fled the lot south toward Hall Road.

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Published November 30, 2015

METRO DETROIT — About 20 members of the Osak family, their friends and supporters packed into vans and headed to the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly last December.

They went to honor Edward John Osak Sr., the family’s patriarch, a Warren resident who had served honorably as an infantryman in the U.S. Army during World War II. Osak had remained as sharp as a tack through the years. He’d kept his wit, was spry enough to bowl and continued to be an ardent supporter of veterans until his death, just days after his 90th birthday in September 2014.

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Published November 25, 2015

MACOMB COUNTY — Come the end of the year, Stephen Cassin, who has served as the executive director of the Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Department since he was appointed in 2002, will retire from the position.

But he will not hang up his planner hat yet.

Cassin said he will work at an urban planning consulting firm and teach urban planning graduate courses at Oakland University through the winter.

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Published November 25, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — For the third time since 2012, Shelby Township is involved in a towing lawsuit.

On Oct. 28, Ruehle’s Towing and Jimmy’s Towing Recovery and Transport sued Shelby Township, its Board of Trustees and individually Supervisor Richard Stathakis, Clerk Stan Grot, Treasurer Michael Flynn, trustee Paul Viar, trustee Paula Filar, trustee Doug Wozniak and Police Chief Robert Shelide.

Ruehle’s Towing had provided the township’s towing services since securing the contract on Feb.21, 2012.

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Published November 24, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Experts say it’s “back to basics” when it comes to decorating for the holidays, both inside and out of the home.

Minimalistic décor featuring natural elements like pine cones and live greenery, and rustic fabrics like burlap and plaid, are popular. Many people also are opting to purchase pre-decorated, grab-and-go items to add instant flair without the hassle.

“Less is more,” said Corie Conroy, president of First Impression Home Staging and Interior Design.

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Published November 24, 2015

SOUTHFIELD — It won’t be long before the Potters Market opens its doors for business.

Now in its 40th year, the Potters Market will feature around 35,000 pieces by 140 potters. They’re made to the show’s exacting standards, including many in the $5-$30 price range. It’s an event where you never know what you’ll see next, since the selection changes as items are sold and new items take their place. 

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Published November 20, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Shelby Township’s hometown Christmas event, Christmas Aglow, which has been a community staple for more than three decades, will return at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3.

The free event will feature a multitude of elements designed to provide family fun, spread cheer and promote Shelby Township recreation.

New this year is the addition of a costumed Minion character from the movie “Despicable Me.”

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Published November 18, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Shopping for loved ones and book lovers gets a little easier around this time of year with the Shelby Township Library’s Christmas book-bundle sale.

The sale features approximately 300 bundles of books — grouped by topic and age group — for $6 each. It runs through Dec. 22 at the library, located at 51680 Van Dyke Ave., north of 23 Mile Road.

Maryann Ross, library bookstore director and vice president of the nonprofit group Friends of the Shelby Township Library, said preparations for the book sale begin as early as April.

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Published November 18, 2015

UTICA — The much-anticipated U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant for $4.5 million to clean up 9 miles of the Clinton River — 2 miles in Utica and 7 miles in Sterling Heights — will be implemented over the next several years.

The grant, which requires no match from either municipality, is part of a larger $20 million grant to fund 11 projects throughout the watershed. It was made possible through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a bipartisan commitment to clean up the largest freshwater basin in the world.

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Published November 18, 2015

UTICA — The Clinton River Watershed Council’s community initiative, WaterTowns, aims to help cities develop projects to improve the health of the watershed and enhance spaces.

The city of Utica is one of three WaterTowns this year, along with Sterling Heights and Rochester Hills. Utica is unique in that it has the only downtown located directly on the riverfront, Utica Mayor Jacqueline Noonan said.

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Published November 18, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — While nothing has been formally approved except for the removal of some vegetation at the future site of the Shelby Township Fire Department’s fifth station, Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski said he is hopeful that it will be operational in 2016.

The 4-acre parcel, acquired by the Fire Department in 2012, is located on the east side of Schoenherr Road, north of 21 Mile Road. Swinkowski said the department first began talking about a fifth station in 2005 in order to address a developing community.

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