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Published February 1, 2012

ROYAL OAK — On a hot summer day, the Heritage Park Splash Pad in Farmington Hills is a popular place for families.

Royal Oak residents could have their own place to cool down in warm weather as early as 2013, if a proposal to build a splash park and two picnic shelters in Grant Park is approved.

The Rehabilitation Board of Appeals will host a public hearing in late February to get input on a proposal to use Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to build a splash pad water park and pavilions at the north side of the park, located on Fourth Street.

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Published January 25, 2012

Public schools keep religion out of the forefront of education, but many parents want to see religious education, traditions and beliefs at the center of their child’s learning environment.

Those parents can choose schools that keep faith the focus.

Religious schools take several steps to ensure faith ideals are conveyed inside and outside the classroom, including daily religious services.

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Published December 14, 2011

After Shelby Township crafter Margie Conn waged a successful battle against breast cancer, she decided to use her skills to help others.

“I had to give back,” she said. “I got involved with Relay for Life. I am always looking for a way to contribute.”

The winner of the first C & G Newspapers Holiday Craft Contest, Conn received 245 votes for her repurposed cigar box, decorated with keys and memorabilia. Crafting the decorative storage boxes involves weeks of work layering paints and resin.

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Published December 7, 2011

Looking for a few more gifts on your holiday shopping list? Choosing a Michigan-made item or purchasing from a small, local business can be a win-win — recipients get to unwrap something unique, while shoppers help boost Michigan’s economy.

“If we’re going to make an impact with our dollars, this is the biggest impact we can have — at this time of the year,” said Lisa Diggs, founder of Buy Michigan Now.

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Published December 7, 2011

This holiday season, the population of Casey and Tara Colussi’s household tripled.

For five days over Thanksgiving, the Troy couple, who has two children, hosted Casey’s parents, sister, brother-in-law, two nephews and two family friends.

It was the second installment of what’s become a holiday tradition for the Colussis, and though their recent move to a larger home eased the congestion somewhat, “even with the extra space, it’s a pleasant chaos, is always the best way to describe it,” laughed Casey.

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Published October 26, 2011

In Stephen King’s horror novel “The Shining,” a small, dysfunctional family moves into an old and insidious hotel for the winter after the family patriarch, Jack Torrance, is hired as the caretaker during the off-season.

No spoilers here, but anyone who has read the book or seen the Stanley Kubrick movie knows the disturbing and tragic things that occur during the course of the family’s stay.

It’s a perfect story for anyone who likes a good scare.

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Published October 13, 2011

What’s your favorite apple?

“The last one I ate.”

Ed Robinette doesn’t even hesitate to give that cheeky yet appropriate reply to what is surely one of his favorite questions. He is, after all, raising 23 varieties of apples on his family farm in Grand Rapids. That’s a lot of options. But it barely breaks the surface.

“There’s so much diversity in the apple crop in Michigan — there are literally thousands of varieties,” Robinette said.

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Published September 14, 2011

Everyone needs it. Most don’t get enough of it. And for those it eludes, it may become an obsession.

With the end of summer, students back in school and shorter days, people’s routines may be a little light on a valuable commodity: sleep.

Less than half of people get it in the quantity and quality their bodies need, said Dr. Gary Trock, and disorders minor and severe can hinder what should be an act that occurs effortlessly and in abundance.

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Published September 13, 2011

PONTIAC — Franklin-Bingham Fire Chief Tony Averbuch was overcome with emotion during his speech at the Oakland County Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony Sept. 11.

Averbuch, who’s been in the fire service for two decades, was a part of a disaster response unit that deployed to ground zero in New York City in the days immediately following the terrorist attacks.

Only a few words into his keynote address during the ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks, Averbuch broke down.

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Published August 24, 2011

DETROIT — There’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing a show on Broadway in New York, but for the last five decades, the Fisher Theatre has come awfully close to replicating that experience.

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Published July 6, 2011

Some people collect baseball cards as a hobby. Some people knit. And some people visit garage sales.

Some would say that Eastpointe resident Joy Yaklin has perfected her garage sale hobby. She uses Craigslist to search for specific items and her GPS to map out routes, and she’ll spend the day perusing sales to fulfill orders from her friends, family and co-workers.

“I’ve got everything I need at home,” she said. Yaklin no longer shops for herself. She now hunts bargains for others.

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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 24, 2011

STERLING HEIGHTS — Benjamin Orjada wants the world to know he’s just like anyone else.

He might see it through different eyes, having to work harder to pick up social cues that come naturally to most other people, but that doesn’t make him inferior to others, just different.

And when the 17-year-old junior at Stevenson High School shared that message at the Michigan district championship of the Optimist International Oratorical Contest recently, it won him the top prize, a $2,500 scholarship.

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Published May 18, 2011

Yes, Michigan.

This week is for celebrating, for embracing all the state has to offer. It’s Michigan Week, held annually since 1954. So raise your hand, point to your favorite spots in the state, and reflect. Whether it’s taking a fall color tour, hitting the links, lounging on the beach, crossing the Mackinac Bridge or heading downtown to catch a Red Wings game, there’s much to love about Michigan.

For many, it’s the lakes that cause residents to swell with pride.

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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 March 9, 2011

Sticking your nose in a book doesn’t have to be a solitary activity, as more and more avid readers are banding together to share in their common interest.

Book clubs are ever present in today’s society, with readers young and old joining groups offered in their communities and forming their own tight-knit circles.

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Published March 9, 2011

DETROIT — A 209-pound Newfoundland rolled onto his back in the middle of an aisle at the Detroit Kennel Club Dog Shows, held at Cobo Center March 5-6. He milked every pat he got from passers-by charmed by his gentle demeanor and fluffy brown coat.

He was among thousands of dogs of countless breeds that were also doing their very best to woo the public — in between competitions, that is.

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Published March 2, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — Celebrities, local actors and movie buffs will come together during the first annual Uptown Film Festival to celebrate an event organizers say will showcase the best films made in Michigan over the past year.

Established this year by leaders in the Michigan film industry, the Uptown Film Festival is a two-night celebration of productions created entirely or in part in the state to recognize the Michigan film industry.

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Published February 28, 2011

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A red-letter day in American history will be remembered for posterity locally now that a piece of the World Trade Center towers has a new home in Fire Station No. 1.

The Shelby Township Fire Department received part of an I-beam recovered from the Twin Towers Feb. 15, about 15 months after Chief Gene Shepherd applied for a grant to house one of the historical objects in the township.

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Published February 28, 2011

STERLING HEIGHTS — With the world fast becoming one big village, schools are trying to keep up, doing their best to see that students are connected to one another and can learn about different ways of life.

And for one day in February, sixth-grade students at Oakbrook Elementary were able to learn all about schools and community in Wales without ever leaving their school when five students and two administrators from Barry Island Primary School came to visit.

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