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Published May 16, 2016

Dogs and cats cannot drive vehicles, so it is up to their owners to look out for pet passengers’ safety.

Although animal welfare groups have long warned pet owners against leaving animals inside hot cars during the warmer months, the problem persists, Michigan Humane Society spokesman Ryan McTigue said.

“We do still occasionally get calls of people leaving their animals in their cars,” he said. “Hopefully, people are getting more aware that there are some major issues with doing that.”

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Published May 11, 2016

C&G Newspapers

Michigan traffic fatalities were up in 2015, keeping in line with what is a national trend. The first months of 2016 also appear to show an increase in traffic deaths, but the provisional numbers change daily.

The harder question to answer is what caused the increase in traffic deaths.

“Things have changed so quickly that we’re just now kind of catching up on the data side,” said Anne Readett, communications manager for the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. “We still have a lot of ground to cover and a lot of progress to make.”

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Published May 9, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — When the work is done, Hamilton Avenue will have a fresh set of sidewalks and streetlights, not to mention a newly paved road with updated water and sewer systems underneath.

But it can be hard for some to look that far ahead, past the dirt, barricades and excavators blocking the street right now. The city is hoping to change that.

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Published May 9, 2016

With winter well in the past, the bikers are back on Michigan’s roads, and more people are looking to shop for a motorcycle, according to motorcycle dealers.

Frank Blowers, customer and community manager from Wolverine Harley-Davidson in Clinton Township, said his store had good business during the winter months, but he called April’s customer traffic “incredible.” He said customers on average tend to be buying two new motorcycles for every used one.

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Published May 4, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Since the nonprofit Packard Motor Car Foundation acquired the approximately 14-acre historic Packard Proving Grounds in 2002, it has sought to erect a sign in front so visitors can find the grounds more easily.

“We could never get together on what it should look like or consist of, or the size and everything,” foundation Treasurer Bruce Blevins said.

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Published May 2, 2016

When funeral participants take to the road to pay their final respects to the dead, special driving rules and etiquette are in place to minimize risk to other people’s lives. 

David Temrowski, a director of D.S. Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home in Warren, said some drivers get confused around funeral processions — some cars will pull over, and others will try to cut in or cut through. 

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Published April 25, 2016

Family members seeking to congratulate their graduates with a vehicle purchase or lease can score some top-grade deals this time of year, according to some local dealerships. 

Fernando Mendez, sales manager for Serra Kia in Washington Township, said his dealership sees some of the graduation crowd walk through its doors around this time of year. 

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Published April 25, 2016

CENTER LINE — With prom and graduation season approaching, Center Line High School staff members welcomed the Save A Life Tour to the school April 21 in an effort to remind students in grades 10th through 12 to be safe while driving.

Save A Life Tour managers Clay Martin and Andrew Tipton set up driving simulators in the CLHS auditorium for students to test. One machine demonstrated how people actually drive when under the influence of alcohol; the other gave students a better idea of what really happens when people text and drive.

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Published April 19, 2016

C&G Newspapers

MACOMB COUNTY — The recent distracted driving enforcement campaign is being hailed a success by the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said the campaign, which took place in various parts of the county April 8-13, resulted in 181 drivers being pulled over and 93 citations being issued.

“This (campaign) was about enforcement and education,” Wickersham said. “Not every traffic stop resulted in a ticket being issued; everyone received a warning.”

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Published April 18, 2016

Many days, weeks and months of the year have an awareness campaign tied to them, but an April campaign to celebrate National Car Care Month hopes to remind drivers that auto parts can wear out or malfunction if not maintained.

According to car maintenance professionals, many drivers take advantage of this time of the year to get a fresh vehicle inspection or maintenance. 

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Published April 11, 2016

Around the same time metro Detroiters hang up their winter coats, many motorists will be searching for ways to remove the winter coating of dirt and salt off their vehicles.

Ryan Smiecinski, manager of Joe’s Auto Parts in Royal Oak, said there are numerous options when it comes to cleaning a vehicle’s exterior and interior, depending on how much time and effort the owner wants to employ.

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Published April 4, 2016

Michigan State University analysts and professors expect the recent trend of cheap gas prices to continue to have a positive effect on Michigan tourism this spring and summer.

AAA reported that the average gas price in Michigan was $1.96 per gallon as of March 27, though gas prices in some areas of Michigan recently climbed above $2 for the first time in late March.

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Published March 28, 2016

The sunny side of the street might also be the more dangerous side if drivers fail to take precautionary steps to fight sun glare while driving.

According to an alert from AAA, sun glare is becoming more of a factor this time of year due to the recent start of daylight saving time and the timing of daily commutes.

The agency says drivers who have to drive amid sun glare should follow some tips to avoid being blinded, which could endanger other vehicles or pedestrians.

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Published March 23, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Ford was just beginning to ramp up production of personal vehicles in 1946, after a break to make tanks and military vehicles during World War II, when Roy O’Brien Ford opened its doors on the corner of Nine Mile and Mack.

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Published March 21, 2016

When it comes to traffic safety, experts are nodding in agreement over the importance of reminding drivers not to nod off while they’re on the road.

AAA Michigan brought attention to the dangers of drowsy driving in light of the March 13 start of daylight saving time. A University of Colorado Boulder analysis concluded that the springtime time switch correlates to a 5 to 7 percent increase in risk of a deadly car crash.

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Published March 14, 2016

It can be a pain to look through a windshield pane that gets cracked or chipped, and auto repair professionals say it’s best to fix small flaws before they become a bigger problem later on.

Mark Sykes, who owns Showcase Collision and Auto Care Center in Warren, said, this time of year, along with the start of spring, is when people start taking a closer look at their car for repairs. He also said this season is a common one for getting windshield damage from stone chips and other hazards.

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Published March 8, 2016

Just as spring is the time for many homeowners to do some cleaning, the changing of the seasons is a good time to examine a vehicle’s condition and be mindful of driving practices. 

According to Gary Bubar, traffic safety and public affairs specialist at AAA Michigan, the early spring can still sometimes bring an unexpected reprise of winter driving and its challenges. This is especially true at night when the temperature cools, which can cause roads to freeze and produce patches of black ice, he said.

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Published February 29, 2016

After a winter of salting and plowing, the local county road commissions will soon transition to fixing the damage that the elements and vehicles cause to roads, bridges and more.

Road Commission for Oakland County spokesman Craig Bryson said Oakland County has about $27 million in road repairs scheduled in its 2016 construction program. In addition, many projects are buttressed by federal funding and local matches, he said.

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Published February 24, 2016

A pair of residents from Eastpointe, a Roseville-based auto shop and the Roseville High School-based Drive One program all have one thing in common: They are all bringing vehicles to show at Detroit Autorama Feb. 26-28.

Howard Brisendein, of Eastpointe, is bringing his one-of-a-kind 1973 Buick Riviera GS, which was built as a special order for a General Motors Co. executive at the company’s old Flint plant. Instead of a standard Riviera interior, Brisendein said, this car has the interior of a Buick Electra 225.

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Published February 24, 2016

DETROIT — The upcoming Detroit Autorama will feature more than 800 different kinds of cars from all over the United States, including one car from a Harper Woods resident.

Ron Andras will be showing off his 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix during Autorama, which will take place Feb. 26-28 at  Cobo Center, 1 Washington Blvd. in Detroit.

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