People

Published February 17, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — The Farmington Hills Fire Department recently welcomed back former firefighter Jon Unruh, this time as fire chief.

During a Feb. 8 swearing-in ceremony at Fire Station 5, a little pomp and circumstance went a long way to make Unruh, 48, feel welcome as the city’s sixth fire chief.

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Published February 17, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Brys Park has gone to the dogs, and some local students are making sure those canines have a good time there.

Although Daniel Feldman, of Grosse Pointe Woods, is a sophomore at Grosse Pointe North High School, his father, Jim Feldman, teaches at Lake Shore High School. The Feldmans have a 3-year-old golden retriever, Finn, who they regularly bring to play in the Statler Maloof Bark Park at Brys Park.

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Published February 17, 2016

ROYAL OAK — A special ceremony is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at Royal Oak Middle School to acknowledge the naming of Glenn Frey Drive as a tribute to the late musician and resident.

A portion of Willis Avenue running along the south side of Royal Oak Middle School — the former Dondero High School — will be changed to Glenn Frey Drive following unanimous approval by the Royal Oak Schools Board of Education Feb. 11. The district owns the portion of roadway to be rededicated, and that portion of roadway does not include any addresses that would need changing.

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Published February 17, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD —  The West Bloomfield community is invited to a fundraiser to give kids with special needs a memory they’ll never forget — high school prom. 

The fundraiser, which is designed to provide inclusive social opportunities for students with special needs, will be held at Leo’s Coney Island 4-8 p.m. Feb. 18. Leo’s Coney Island is located at 7160 Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield, near 14 Mile Road. 

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Published February 16, 2016

ROCHESTER HILLS — A close friend of the family convinced Oakland University associate professor of dance Ali Woerner to teach dance to men and women with Parkinson’s disease. 

“My parents’ best friend was diagnosed with Parkinson’s,” Woerner said. “He told me, ‘You could do this.’” With the support of OU, Warner began training, and a time and date were set for the first class. “Forty people showed up,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

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Published February 16, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Thousands of American military members stationed overseas have gotten a taste of home over the past five years thanks to a Girl Scout from Macomb Township.

Elizabeth Popovich, a seventh-grader at Iroquois Middle School, is in the middle of her sixth cookie season in which she will send thousands of boxes of Girl Scout cookies to military members.

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Published February 16, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — Since joining NBC in January, North Farmington High School graduate Steve Patterson, 31, flew into a methane gas leak and was kidnapped.

It’s all part of the job for Patterson, a Farmington Hills native and longtime broadcast journalist, who made his way up the ranks and was recently hired as an NBC News correspondent.

“Right now, I’m telling the stories that the nation is listening to,” Patterson said. “It is a huge responsibility.”

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Published February 10, 2016

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — One of the city’s most distinguished late residents is being remembered in a very public way.

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Published February 10, 2016

ROYAL OAK — When Kelli Dobner first interviewed with the Judson Center, it was more of a formality.

Dobner said she was contacted by a recruiter and she wasn’t really interested because she felt satisfied with where she was employed. After some additional thought, she decided to just go to the interview.

“And then it was done after that because I got to learn more about the organization and what they do and some of the people that make it possible,” she said. “And then I was all in, and I’m always going to be all in.”

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Published February 10, 2016

BERKLEY — In 2003, Berkley resident Mark Ish purchased a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe, black in color with a T-top for style. After driving it for a few years, however, Ish recognized that the vehicle needed some work to really get it in top running condition.

But life happened. In the years that followed, Ish said, he just didn’t have time to get the work done to his standard. The car continued to sit in storage.

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Published February 10, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP/UTICA — The 64th annual Autorama, a custom car and hot rod show, will return Friday, Feb. 26, through Sunday, Feb. 28, with a fresh lineup of more than 800 vehicles and celebrity entertainers at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Five residents of Shelby Township and Utica will display their vehicles, including a 1965 front-engine dragster restored by the original owner’s son, and an all-original 1970 Dodge Challenger owned by a member of the Utica City Council.

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Published February 9, 2016

EASTPOINTE — Longtime resident Welda Felber celebrated her 100th birthday Jan. 31 with a massive party that saw about 174 guests.

Felber was born Welda Gorlitz on Jan. 31, 1916, at her grandmother’s house on Holcomb Avenue in Detroit. At the time, she said, children were typically born at home and not in hospitals. Felber said her family continued to live with her grandmother until the woman’s death when

Felber was 4 or 5 years old, at which time they moved in with her paternal grandmother at Canton and Mack.

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Published February 9, 2016

C&G Newspapers

BEVERLY HILLS — Viral video star Trevor Sullivan raised his selfie stick high as hundreds of students shaped their hands into hearts Feb. 2 at Berkshire Middle School to kick off their annual Hoops for Heart fundraising campaign for the American Heart Association.

Sullivan, 15, of Southfield, was the subject of a video showcasing him waking up from heart transplant surgery in November. The video has gained national attention and has garnered over 1 million views on YouTube.

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Published February 4, 2016

NOVI — For Clint Parker, of Clint Parker Fine Furniture in Royal Oak, crafting furniture is better than a 9-to-5 job.

“There’s a passion. When you get out of bed, you can’t wait to get to it. I haven’t had that with any other job,” Parker said. 

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Published February 4, 2016

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — She may not have been performing opera yet, but Angela Theis began singing for audiences as a young girl.

As a member of the Blue Jean Babies, the Grosse Pointe Woods native said she and her cousins used to perform songs from “The Sound of Music” and holiday favorites in the living room of her late great-uncle, Dr. Vito Ciaravino, each Christmas Eve.

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Published February 3, 2016

Have you thought about brewing your own beer but have no idea how to get started?

The Troy Public Library will offer a program presented by Nicole van Schagen and Matthew Kris, owners of Michigan Brew Supply in Midland, at 6 p.m. Feb. 16.

Connie Doherty, head of adult information services at the Troy Public Library, said another library recommended the program.

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Published February 3, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — Henry Tanaka, academic dean of art, design and humanities at Oakland Community College, recently took the trip of a lifetime to Japan.

“This first visit to Japan for me was an amazing personal experience. I was brought up in post-World War II, and growing up, my Japanese heritage was an important factor,” Tanaka said in a press release.

As a fourth-generation Japanese-American, Tanaka said connecting with his cultural roots, among other things, was a highlight of the trip.

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Published February 3, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — The military is its own world, and even those who don’t see combat still sacrifice much being away from home. Yet despite national slogans such as “Support Our Troops,” many servicemen and women feel abandoned once they leave the military. Some suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and slip through cracks in the system, unable to get the help they need.

That’s why Madison Heights United Methodist Church, 246 E. 11 Mile Road, is trying to do its part to help those who served the country.

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Published February 3, 2016

ROCHESTER — This spring, thousands of daffodils will pop up around Rochester City Hall, thanks to the help of some “Good Neighbors.”

The Stoney Creek Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was recently honored with a Good Neighbor Award for volunteering to plant over 1,000 daffodil bulbs around City Hall last October. The Rochester City Beautiful Commission presented the group with the award at the Jan. 25 City Council meeting.

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Published February 3, 2016

C&G Newspapers

Known around the Utica Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology for her leadership, innovation and compassion, teachers said they were not surprised when the White House recognized Christina Li, 17, of Macomb Township, as a computer science education “champion of change” Jan. 26.

Li single-handedly planned and executed a weeklong computer science camp, called “Hello World,” for 30 middle school girls in the district during spring break last year. She plans to hold the camp again this midwinter break and has received about 36 applications.

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