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Woodward Talk

Published October 22, 2014

Almost one year after Sterling Heights voters approved a public safety and road repairs millage, city officials listed a series of completed projects that they said were funded with the help of the additional revenue.

At an Oct. 7 City Council meeting, Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool talked about the Safe Streets Proposal, the 2.5-mill millage that included 0.8 mills of funding for neighborhood road repairs. Voters approved the millage for six years.

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Published October 22, 2014

Sterling Heights’ Featured Artist for October and November says he is no stranger to being recognized locally for his work.

Ken Pilarski’s paintings are currently on display at the Sterling Heights City Hall and at the Sterling Heights Public Library. He said he has on display a mixture of landscapes, portraits, floral paintings and more that were done in acrylic.

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Published February 17, 2014

WARREN — Taking time to showcase how business in Macomb County is excelling, a half-dozen companies were honored at the 2014 Home in Macomb Business Awards at the Andiamo Celebrity Showroom Feb. 11.

Stephen Cassin, director of the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, said this is the second year of the awards, which they give out as part of their Home in Macomb Program to retain and attract businesses to the county.

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Published February 5, 2014

ROYAL OAK — The caretakers of a critically acclaimed polar bear exhibit and penguinarium now have another frigid star behind the scenes: a big, new commercial freezer that keeps animals’ cuisine chilly.

A few months ago, the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak welcomed the freezer’s installation, and zoo officials say it makes it easy to store animal grub, called “browse” — another way of referring to vegetation, twigs and leaves. Zoo officials say the freezer has expanded their storage of vegetation and animal food by 200 percent.

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Published November 6, 2013

The season for feasting is picking up steam, and the trifecta of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas is keeping metro Detroit bakeries busy.

Ashley Bainbridge, manager of the Sterling Heights location of the Achatz Handmade Pie Co., said her store bakes mostly pies, both sweet and savory, though they also sell cookies and pound cakes.

For Thanksgiving, the big star is predictably the pumpkin pie. However, Bainbridge said Achatz sells a variant called a pumpkin praline pie.

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Published May 1, 2013

Freedom Hill County Park earned its freedom to put up an upgraded sign with a bigger electronic screen at an April 18 Sterling Heights Zoning Board of Appeals special meeting.

Freedom Hill is preparing to open its first full-fledged summer season since 2009. Park officials plan to hire 200-300 part-time workers this year to help out with the season.

The Zoning Board approved a set of variances to replace the sign at Freedom Hill in a 4-0 vote. Board members Bruce Kremhelmer, Laura Szpont and Raymond Washburn were absent from the meeting.

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Published April 24, 2013

Sterling Heights is on the path to fixing a few of its crummiest streets this year, after the Sterling Heights City Council agreed to amend the city budget.

At an April 15 meeting, the City Council voted 6-0 to conduct an estimated $1.15 million in asphalt resurfacing work on sections of four streets as part of the 2013-14 proposed budget. Councilman Paul Smith was absent at the time of the vote.

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Published April 16, 2013

As part of a free test run, Sterling Heights officials are trusting a defense contractor to combat vehicle rust.

City officials met with employees of VSE Corp. in Sterling Heights April 11 to draw attention to a plan to potentially help city vehicles resist corrosion.

Greg Bock, a program manager at VSE’s systems engineering division, said he wants to apply his company’s anti-corrosion spray for use in civilian circumstances.

He said he hopes to become the city’s partner in extending the lives of city vehicles while saving taxpayer money.

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Published March 22, 2013

STERLING HEIGHTS — The Heights’ own Laura Zdravkovski was crowned Mrs. Michigan America 2013 March 9, setting the stage for her to compete in the Mrs. America pageant in August.

“This position is very surreal to me,” Zdravkovski said recently. “I’m very honored, and I’m very humbled.”

Zdravkovski, who represented Macomb County in the pageant, said she initially didn’t realize she was named first place.

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Published October 30, 2012

A walkway meant as a convenience has become decidedly inconvenient for homeowners in a neighborhood near 18 Mile and Van Dyke.

Armed with petitions signed by fellow residents of Buckingham Estates, David Lemaux approached City Council earlier this month seeking partial closure of the walkway between 8691 and 8703 Hamilton East, which links his subdivision with a network of condominiums and apartments.

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Published June 26, 2012

Heart: steady. Ears: clear. Temperature: normal.

Yet, all of the plush patients present at a June 18 Teddy Bear Clinic at Lakeside Mall appeared to require a similar remedy: more reading.

So declared Cindy Macks, Erin Miller and Carla Hardies of Reach Out and Read Michigan, who performed “checkups” with great fanfare on young visitors’ teddy bears, horses, puppies and other plush friends as part of Lakeside’s recently launched Monday Fun Day program.

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Published March 28, 2012

Necessity, the adage declares, is the mother of invention.

Surveying his cluttered garage years ago, then-Sterling Heights resident Chris Mazzola certainly recognized the necessity, and the invention followed: the Bucket Bracket, a device that fastens to the wall to suspend 5-gallon pails at an angle for simple storage.

“I had junk in my garage — it drove me nuts,” said Mazzola, a carpenter of 25 years who relied on pails to hold virtually everything. “You couldn’t see in the buckets. I was stacking them on top of each other.”

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Published December 22, 2011

“Thank you for calling your friendly Riverland Kroger store,” the automated voice answering the phone chirps now.

But come Jan. 7, 2012, that friendly store will be no more.

After several decades, Kroger plans to close its location in the Riverland Plaza shopping center, at Riverland and Van Dyke, south of Hall Road.

Dale Hollandsworth with Kroger corporate communications called it a “last resort” decision that’s been mulled for several years, and with the current lease expiring, it’s finally being executed.

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Published December 20, 2011

Flip on WNZK 690 AM in the early afternoon and you may hear the voice of Sterling Heights resident Nick Najjar, speaking in Arabic about everyday issues.

“We talk about laws. We talk about real estate — talk about everything that’s important in the community,” said Najjar, who emigrated from Iraq 30 years ago. “That’s our job, to educate the community, because we have a lot of newcomers. They don’t know the rules and regulations of this country.”

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Published August 17, 2011

The residents of Clark Retirement Community in Grand Rapids are “feeling good” — and it’s due, in large part, to the efforts of a Sterling Heights native.

Alan Ledford is garnering attention as director of Clark’s “lip dub,” which has become a YouTube phenomenon, tallying more than 1 million views by early August.

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Published August 16, 2011

STERLING HEIGHTS — If all goes as planned, Sterling Heights will soon offer a program aimed at quelling the clamor for curbside recycling.

City Manager Mark Vanderpool said plans are moving forward on contracting an outside vendor for a subscription-based curbside recycling program that will supplement, not replace, the city’s existing drop-off recycling centers.

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Published June 14, 2011

STERLING HEIGHTS — Carol Zenow’s property was swarming with people, all of them hard at work: cutting tall grass, hauling wheelbarrows, spreading mulch, grooming a spruce-studded berm facing 15 Mile.

Before that morning, Zenow didn’t know these strangers now filling her driveway with their mowers, rakes and trimmers. But she couldn’t have been more grateful for their presence on June 4 for Community Pride and SHINE Day, a citywide initiative to spruce up properties.

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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 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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Upcoming Events

Macomb Township
St. Isidore fish fries
4-7 p.m.
St. Isidore Catholic Church
Ferndale
'Merrily We Roll Along'
ongoing
The Ringwald Theatre
St. Clair Shores
VFW fish fries
4-8 p.m.
VFW Bruce Post 1146
Warren
Church fish fries
4-8 p.m.
St. Stevan Decanski Church
Royal Oak
Presentation on the Interurban
7:30 p.m.
Royal Oak Historical Society Museum

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