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People

Published October 21, 2015

METRO DETROIT — It’s no secret that black cats and broken mirrors are universally known as bad omens.


And while people the world over may fear those spooky symbols, here in metro Detroit, we have our own superstitions to run from.


The unfortunate thing is that not many people know the local legends and scary stories that were conjured up right in our own backyard, according to Izzy Donnelly, director of education at the Grosse Pointe Historical Society.

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Published October 21, 2015

An expert at playing the keys recently gave eighth-graders from Utica Community Schools some keys to understanding the World War II era and the Holocaust from a personal perspective.

On Oct. 12, more than 2,000 eighth-graders from Utica Community Schools witnessed a presentation by Grammy-nominated pianist and author Mona Golabek at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in Clinton Township.

During the presentation, Golabek shared the story behind “The Children of Willesden Lane,” a book that she wrote with co-author Lee Cohen.

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Published October 21, 2015

HARPER WOODS — Now that fall is here, Harper Woods Public Library Adult Service Librarian Suzanne Kent is reminding residents of the many library programs offered during the autumn season.


One such program is the new coloring club for adults that is designed to help people de-stress and get in touch with their thoughts and feelings. Library staff will supply colored pencils and coloring pages, or patrons can bring their own supplies.

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Published October 21, 2015

WARREN — The hard work and dedication of Fitzgerald High School teacher Ken Krause has been noticed by the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.

The organization named Krause its 2015 MICPA Outstanding High School Teacher.

Krause, who teaches several classes — including accounting I and II, business law, marketing I and II, financial literacy, and U.S. history — was recognized at the Oct. 8 Fitzgerald Public Schools Board of Education meeting.

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Published October 20, 2015

Troy resident Wade Tennant wanted his daughter Grace, 8, to learn the same kinds of skills she would learn in Boy Scouts, with him.

So he and some other local dads who wanted to spend time with their sons and daughters started Three Fires Longhouse, a spinoff of a similar group offered through the YMCA.

Tennant, secretary for the organization, said the group aims to strengthen the father-child bond.

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Published October 20, 2015

HAZEL PARK — Her military service took her across the country and around the world, but now Monica Munir is finally settling down in a place to call her own, working with Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County to achieve her dream of home ownership.

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Published October 14, 2015

GROSSE POINTE PARK — Whether she’s creating a portrait of a prominent local figure or making a documentary about some aspect of Detroit, artist and filmmaker Nicole Macdonald incorporates the complex history of her creative subjects in a way that gives depth and breadth to her work.


Macdonald — who was born and raised in Detroit, and whose family moved to Grosse Pointe Park when she was a teen — again lives in the city that inspires her art.

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Published October 14, 2015

As a victim of domestic violence, Kelly Mays, 40, said she felt she had no voice and that she wasn’t beautiful.

She said poetry helped her to find her voice and reassure other domestic violence survivors that there was help for them to leave dangerous situations. 

Mays, a therapist with Starfish Family Services, is currently pursuing her doctorate in counseling from Walden University. She was the keynote speaker at a ceremony held at Beaumont Hospital, Troy, to honor victims of domestic violence.

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Published October 14, 2015

ROYAL OAK — For Thomas Oppat, the life events leading to his appointment as Shrine Catholic High School and Academy principal were filled with sequential divinity.

“It just all fell into place for me,” he said. “When I sit back now, I think, ‘God, you knew what was happening.’”

Walking the hallways of the seventh- and eighth-grade academy and ninth- to 12th-grade high school on 13 Mile Road, Oppat feels at home while he continues to learn about and appreciate the institution’s history and people.

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Published October 14, 2015

ST. CLAIR SHORES — In October 1911, Ty Cobb was named one of the first baseball MVPs, the first public elevator was installed in London and Orville Wright stayed aloft for nine minutes and 45 seconds in an air glider.


That same month, on October 23, 1911, Josephine DiMaggio was born.


Raised by her grandmother and aunts in Detroit after her mother died when she was just 11 months old, she learned meticulous cleaning skills and helped keep the house when relatives from Italy would come to Michigan in search of a new home.

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Published October 14, 2015

ST. CLAIR SHORES — She had been a volunteer for decades, but 15 years ago, Peggy DeHaven decided she wanted to do more.


DeHaven, who has lived in St. Clair Shores for three years had been a volunteer working with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life since she lost her mother to the disease 31 years ago. When she heard about the ACS Cancer Action Network, she realized that was the work she wanted to do.

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Published October 14, 2015

EASTPOINTE — An Eastpointe teenager is planning to replace five worn-out signs along Kelly Road for his Eagle Scout project this fall.


According to Alex Fisette, 15, the signs — which run from 10 Mile Road down to Eight Mile Road — were built to let community organizations, churches and the schools advertise their events and programs. The wooden signposts have degraded over the years to the point where some have started falling apart.

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Published October 14, 2015

HUNTINGTON WOODS — For much of his 35-year tenure as Huntington Woods mayor, Ron Gillham rarely faced competition during his re-election bids. Instead of thinking people just weren’t interested, Gillham said he took it as a vote of faith from the residents.

During the Nov. 3 election, however, Huntington Woods voters will not see Gillham’s name on the ballot. After a lengthy career at General Motors Co. and as mayor, Gillham has decided it is time to retire at the age of 80.

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Published October 14, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — There are no other homes in Shelby Township like the one owned by Myrna Mazure on 21 Mile Road, east of Van Dyke Avenue.

Gardner Hunt Runyan, a carpenter and farmer, built the structure in the 1870s near Van Dyke and Canal Road, a site behind the current BP gas station in Utica. He died in 1919 inside the home and is buried in the Utica Cemetery, along with his wife, parents and brothers.

In 1955, the house was moved to a farm near Hahn Road so that a local business could expand its parking lot.

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Published October 14, 2015

C&G Newspapers

DETROIT — A group of Glen Peters School students got front row seats of a Detroit Symphony Orchestra performance when they attended a practice Sept. 24 at Orchestra Hall.

The event not only gave the special-needs students the opportunity to see the DSO front and center, but it honored classmate Nathan Suida, who died in June. The Macomb Township resident was 18.

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Published October 13, 2015

ROCHESTER HILLS — Transgender actress Laverne Cox is best known for her role on the television program “Orange Is the New Black.”

But as an advocate to the transgender community, Cox is dedicated to a message that asks society to move beyond gender expectations to an authentic life.

“I am not just one thing,” Cox said to a packed audience Oct. 8 in the Oakland University O’Rena. “And neither are you.”

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Published October 13, 2015

FERNDALE — There isn’t one street in Ferndale that Jim Pool hasn’t seen.

What about Shasta Place, a road that isn’t even a block long and is only accessible from Fox Street before it dead-ends before Marshfield Street? Pool has been there.

Or how about the portions of roads like Brickley and Coy streets that are on the Hazel Park and Ferndale border, near the freeway, and are as far as possible from Pool’s home and work? Yes, he has been there too.

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Published October 13, 2015

WARREN — Justin Stokes didn’t expect to find someone in extreme distress when he went to investigate what sounded like children crying on the afternoon of June 9.

For his calm actions to aid a 68-year-old woman who later died after she was crushed by her own vehicle in a parking accident on Streefkerk, Stokes, 20, now a resident of Shelby Township, was officially named in a civilian citation from the Warren Police Department in June. On Oct. 6, he received a proclamation from Mayor Jim Fouts.

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Published October 12, 2015

WARREN — The jobs that St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital employees perform on a daily basis have stretched beyond the medical center and into the community.

Since Sept. 9, hospital staff have been opening their hearts and wallets to help students at Westwood Elementary School in the Warren Woods Public Schools district. The hospital is located at 12 Mile and Hoover roads.

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Published October 9, 2015

C&G Newspapers

HARRISON TOWNSHIP/ST. CLAIR SHORES — Members of the Harrison Township Firefighters Union Local 1737 have “adopted” an 8-year-old girl who’s battling leukemia for the third time, and they hope the community will support her and her family through an upcoming childhood leukemia fundraiser.

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