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Woodward Talk

Published May 22, 2013

BERKLEY — The assignment was to select four people to represent a personal Mount Rushmore and explain why the four figureheads were chosen.

For most of the 753 high school juniors nationwide who submitted an essay for the 2013 National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Award for Superior Writing, that is probably exactly what they did.

Not Caelin Amin.

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Published May 22, 2013

HUNTINGTON WOODS — It’s not always easy for teachers to engage their students with the lesson of the day or any of the numerous assignments. Despite having been students at one time, Eric Zacks feels some teachers forget what it is like to be sitting at the desk and not standing up front.

Bonsitu Kitaba didn’t get that feeling from sitting in any of the three law classes she had with Zacks at Wayne State University. On the contrary, she feels Zacks, a Huntington Woods resident, tries to make a connection with each of his students.

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Published May 21, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Summer is less than a month away, and plenty of popular and new summer activities are slated for this year in the greater West Bloomfield area, Parks and Recreation coordinator Nancy Keener said.

“We offer something for pretty much every age group for every week,” Keener said.

Summer camp programs begin mid-June, and children who have a hankering for soccer can get their fill at Drake Sports Park Soccer Fields to experience soccer from a British and a Brazilian perspective.

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Published May 16, 2013

West Bloomfield resident Rose Lesson was a ball of emotions during her 100th birthday party.

“It is wonderful because everybody is congratulating me and wishing me good things,” she said. “That is a blessing.”

The silver-haired centenarian blew out her candles May 10, among dozens of loved ones and friends who celebrated with her at Regent Street of West Bloomfield, 4460 Orchard Lake Road.

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Published May 15, 2013

WALLED LAKE — In a small media room, a crowd of Geisler Middle School students one by one read anti-bullying statements like mantras into a microphone connected to a computer and video camera May 3.

“We don’t all have to be the same,” one student read.

“We don’t all have to dress the same,” another read.

“We know that our differences make us interesting and unique,” another student said into the camera.

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Published May 15, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Nearly blind fifth-grade Doherty Elementary student Griffin Miller is not certain if, given the chance, he would want to see.

Griffin describes this uncertainty in an essay that ranked him — among four others — second place in the national 2013 Breaking Barriers Essay Contest, in which 18,700 fourth- through eighth-grade students submitted essays, according to

“I both did and didn’t want to be cured at the same time,” the essay reads.

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Published April 30, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — The West Bloomfield High School winter drumline competed in the Winter Guard International World Championships April 18 in Dayton, Ohio, and although they were not selected in the final round, the 28-member band played their hearts out, their percussion director said.

“When you look at where we were when we started, compared to where we are now, it’s night and day,” West Bloomfield High School percussion director Pat McLaughlin said.

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Published April 30, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Hillel Day School sixth-grade student Eden Joyrich thinks differently about seniors after participating in Dor L’Dor, an intergenerational program that connects Jewish Senior Life residents and sixth-grade students at Hillel.

“We have a lot in common,” Joyrich told the Beacon recently, “more than we would realize. A lot of us like to read and do art or make jewelry. Things you wouldn’t think they can do, they can do.”

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Published April 23, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Julie Touchette wants people to take a whiff of Michigan the way she smells it.

The 33-year-old Keego Harbor entrepreneur recently created a line of four candles, with scents inspired by the state, from her Lost Bluebird Collection, which will launch May 1 at Lolly Ella Jewelry, 6706 Orchard Lake Road.

Touchette said she wanted to create products that inspire the soul, while still being practical for the pocketbook.

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Published April 18, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — A grandmother’s teary-eyed pleas for understanding were not enough to sway a judge from sentencing Sandra Layne, who shot her grandson six times last May, to a minimum of 20 years in prison.

“I don’t want to die in jail,” Lane, 75, said during her final statement before sentencing April 18. She stood during her statement and spoke about how she loved her grandson, in tones varying from hushed to shouting. The retired teacher will serve 20-40 years in prison, plus two years for possession of a firearm.

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Published April 12, 2013

WALLED LAKE — Walled Lake Northern High School student Morgan Barnett, like the famous character she plays, learned recently that there really is no place like home.

But instead of finding that out after traveling a metaphorical yellow brick road, the White Lake senior had an epiphany during her senior year.

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Published March 25, 2013

Bloomfield Hills Schools’ radio station, WBFH 88.1 FM, The Biff, is not only on the air, its award-winning reputation has soared into the stratosphere.

On March 13, the student radio station took first place in the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation’s 2013 High School Radio Station of the Year contest.

In addition, Bloomfield Hills Schools students competed in themed categories and took first place seven times, second place four times and third place six times.

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Published March 12, 2013

WALLED LAKE — Acting students at Walled Lake Central High School will put on their dancing shoes when the school presents the musical “Hairspray” this month, starting March 14.

Director Mary Rashid called “Hairspray” a big show with plenty of dancing, strong music and memorable characters. She also pointed out the perfect timing of the presentation with some of the musical’s anti-racist themes.

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Published February 27, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — An ActiveRx Active Aging Center opened to the public Jan. 29 at the corner of Maple and Farmington Roads. The 2,160-square-foot center is the first ActiveRx location in Michigan, though other locations have already opened in Arizona, Colorado, Texas and California.

ActiveRx Michigan regional developer Mark Lines said business has been “so far, so good” with a couple of referrals and a warm reception by community leaders. He hopes ActiveRx will be convenient and beneficial to a growing population of seniors ages 60 and older.

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Published February 27, 2013

KEEGO HARBOR — Keego Harbor police say they are pursuing clues and talking to an Orchard Lake family as part of an investigation surrounding a recent hit-and-run incident that damaged a police SUV.

According to Keego Harbor Police Chief Kenneth Hurst, the incident occurred Feb. 8, the night of a snowstorm. A Keego Harbor patrol officer was driving a police Chevy Tahoe and following a suspected drunken driver traveling southbound on Orchard Lake Road, near Commerce Road.

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Published February 27, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — A new photography exhibit at the Janice Charach Gallery will capture the personal journeys that dozens of local Jewish women have made in celebrating their bat mitzvahs.

The gallery, held in West Bloomfield’s Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit, will host “Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age” Feb. 21-March 31.

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Published March 2, 2012

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Keep an eye on your dogs and cats — a number of West Bloomfield residents are reporting that the coyotes are in town.

According to one of the residents, Donna Salkowski, the coyotes came across Harris Lake at around 9:30 a.m. Feb. 20. They then left, taking a path down Simpson Lake toward Middlebelt Road.

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Published July 27, 2011

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Warm weather should make summer fun at the West Bloomfield Family Aquatic Center’s outdoor pool go swimmingly, according to the Parks and Recreation Department.

Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Sue Reeves said the aquatic center’s outdoor pool typically gets busier as the temperatures get higher, which is what happened during a recent heat wave that had the mercury in the 90s for days.

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Published June 13, 2011

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Marshbank Park might have delayed its grand opening celebration, but West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation promises lots of summer fun for residents this year.

Although the park, located by Hiller Road in West Bloomfield, held a winter party last February, parks spokeswoman Sue Reeves said the grand opening party June 12 was canceled and delayed due to several unresolved issues.

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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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Upcoming Events

St. Clair Shores
Free community dinner
1 p.m.
Faith Community Church
Farmington Hills
Maple sugaring program
10:30 a.m.-noon, 1-2:30 p.m., 3-4:30 p.m.
Costick Activities Center
Rochester Hills
Bloomfield Hills
Five-week Lenten study series
10:30 a.m.
Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church
Grosse Pointe Park
'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying'
2 p.m.
Pierce Middle School auditorium




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