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Published January 8, 2016

LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder on Jan. 5 signed legislation eliminating straight ticket voting in Michigan.

Senate Bill 13, which was sponsored by state Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, updates state election law and disallows constituents from voting for single parties with the check of one box in polling places.

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Published January 6, 2016

MACOMB COUNTY — Macomb Community College is one of three educational institutions nationwide that will receive grant money from the Kresge Foundation’s new education program.

The Kresge Foundation, based in Troy, is an organization that works to expand opportunities to low-income individuals in America’s cities. The foundation promotes post-secondary access and success for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students.

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Published January 6, 2016

What Troy will be as it continues to change will be the focus of a two-day forum next month when elected and appointed city officials and staff meet.

The Kresge Foundation Headquarters and Walsh College will host the two-day retreat, where the theme will be “What is Troy’s Identity?”

Cindy Stewart, community affairs director for the city of Troy, said officials at both venues were happy to host the event.

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Published January 6, 2016

The Planning Commission has approved a final draft of an ordinance that aims to protect trees from being clear cut and not replaced. The council, which has final approval of the ordinance, will hold a public hearing on the ordinance and consider it in coming weeks.

At the May 26 meeting, the Planning Commission, by consensus rather than formal vote, approved a first draft of changes to ordinances that would encourage and give incentives to developers to preserve or replace trees.

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Published January 5, 2016

To itemize or not to itemize?

Find out the latest changes to the tax laws as well as other answers to tax questions when Troy resident and certified public accountant Tom Hill discusses how to prepare for your tax preparer and how to minimize your tax liability at the library 7-8:30 p.m. Jan. 19. 

“We haven’t had Tom here as a speaker before, but he has extensive experience and great credentials,” Connie Doherty, adult services librarian, said via email.

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Published December 31, 2015

Despite what his father, Michael, said, Troy resident Dane Howlett, then 13, knew that the ground fire they came upon in Michigan’s Au Sable State Forest in April was not something they could put out themselves.

Dane is a Boy Scout with Troop 1034, and his father, Michael, is scoutmaster. Dane attends Seaholm High School.

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Published December 31, 2015

Development continued to trend upward in Troy throughout 2015, with major projects coming to the city — and some stalling out.  Along with new council members and some new millages, the last 12 months were full of change in Troy. Here’s a look at some of the major issues in the city in 2015:

New housing, dog park plans go forward

Work is nearly complete on the $42 million, 62,000-square-foot, three-story Detroit Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Michigan-Troy at the northeast corner of Civic Center Drive and Big Beaver.

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Published December 24, 2015

The Troy City Council has authorized an agreement with the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation to secure $1.3 million in grant reimbursement, which will allow bus service at the Troy Multi-Modal Transit Center.

At its Dec. 14 meeting, the Troy City Council voted unanimously to approve a “pass-through agreement” with SMART to receive the Federal Transit Authority grant.

The council initially approved $6.62 million in costs for the center, which a grant from the  Federal Rail Administration Grant covered.

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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

A former employee of the Boys & Girls Club of Troy, speaking against his attorney’s wishes, maintained his innocence before Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Martha Anderson sentenced him to seven to 15 years in prison Dec. 17.

Aaron Massey was convicted Nov. 19 in a jury trial on three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a 9-year-old boy.

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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 16, 2015

An FBI agent was shot the morning of Dec. 10 while executing a federal search warrant on a suspected heroin and crack cocaine ring near Fenkell and Dacosta in Detroit.

The raid was led by the Oakland County Gang and Violent Crime Task Force — which includes FBI agents, Oakland County sheriff’s deputies, Michigan State Police officers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Enforcement and  Removal Operations officers, and police from the Royal Oak, Bloomfield Township and Troy police departments.

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Published December 16, 2015

Schroeder Elementary School students Anna Swencki, 8, and her sister Emma Swencki, 7, waited with their mother, Theresa, for their turn to Shop with a Cop at the Walmart store on Maple Road Dec. 8.

The sisters said they planned to purchase gifts for their mom, dad and cousins.

Theresa Swencki, a single parent, said she recently moved into the Troy School District and was pleased with the support the family has received from the district.

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Published December 16, 2015

The Troy City Council voted unanimously to use Community Development Block Grant funds to plant trees, to assist low-income seniors and those with disabilities, and to improve sidewalk ramps so they are compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.

The Troy City Council unanimously approved the applications to the county for the estimated $140,123 in Community Development Block Grant funds at the council’s Dec. 7 meeting.

The city of Troy has participated in Oakland County’s Urban County Community Development Block Grant Program since 1982.

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Published December 15, 2015

Christina Grace, 22 of Macomb Township, was first in line at the H&M store grand opening at Oakland Mall Dec. 11.

She and her sister Aubrianna Grace, 19, arrived at the mall just before 7 a.m. to wait in line. She said her first stop would be the children’s department to buy an outfit for her 6-month-old son, Christopher Sedgeman.

The first 200 shoppers received an H&M T-shirt and scratch-off coupons valued at between $10 and $300.

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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 10, 2015

The Rev. David West, a Catholic priest who served in a number of parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit, including St. Anastasia in Troy, before he passed away in 2004, has been accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

According to the Archdiocese of Detroit, an allegation of abuse was made against West to the Archdiocesan Board of Review, which found the allegation to be credible.

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Published December 9, 2015

The chief of staff for state Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, said that what Knollenberg remarked during an education  hearing earlier this month in Lansing did not reflect what the senator was trying to say, and Knollenberg has apologized.

Knollenberg was speaking with Natasha Baker, of the state School Reform Office, and Karen McPhee, senior education advisor for Gov. Rick Snyder, during a Senate Education Committee hearing Dec. 3 on low-performing schools.

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Published December 9, 2015

The Boys & Girls Club of Troy is asking the community to “gimme five.”

Jeff Evans, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Troy, said the idea is that $5 is the equivalent of a couple of cups of coffee or other inexpensive items.

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Published December 9, 2015

One client who received diapers from Baby Basics — which operates at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Troy, distributing diapers twice a month to those in need — used a towel as a makeshift diaper for her infant during one visit because she had run out diapers.

Rev. Charlotte Sommers, pastor of Northminster, said it costs about $700 each year per baby for diapers.

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