People

Published February 1, 2016

LANSING — U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Michigan Township Association during a ceremony held in Lansing on Jan. 21.

Miller is a former Harrison Township supervisor, Macomb County treasurer and Michigan secretary of state. This was only the fourth Lifetime Achievement Award given in the association’s 63-year history.

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Published February 1, 2016

MOUNT CLEMENS — As Macomb County undersheriff, Elizabeth Darga has become the highest-ranking woman in the department’s history.

Darga was chosen by Sheriff Anthony Wickersham to succeed Kent Lagerquist, who recently retired after 41 years in the department.

“Obviously we have a lot of qualified people here, and I truly believe in hiring from within,” Wickersham said. “Elizabeth Darga has the qualifications, the ability and the mindset to keep the Sheriff’s Office operating when I’m not around.”

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Published January 30, 2016

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Five years ago, Adam Wit began experiencing symptoms that he chalked up to stress.

He was to be married soon, so there were many big life changes in store.

“I was having night sweats, shortness of breath, and I had started losing a lot of weight,” said Wit, 33. “Like a guy, I just blew it off and didn’t do anything about it.”

The wedding went off without a hitch, and four months later, during a regular eye exam, the ophthalmologist found something peculiar with the blood vessels in Wit’s eyes.

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Published January 29, 2016

MACOMB COUNTY — Longtime Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Mary Chrzanowski on Jan. 19 accepted an appointment as a federal administrative law judge.

“This is a dream come true for me,” said Chrzanowski. “It has been a privilege serving on the Macomb bench for over 23 years, and I cannot think of a better way to continue my career in public service. I am honored to have been chosen for this post.”

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Published January 28, 2016

GROSSE POINTE PARK — More than 5,800 miles separates Detroit from Aleppo, Syria, but the refugee crisis in the Middle Eastern nation will soon be brought to the fore locally.

A devastating civil war in Syria has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 children — more than the entire population of Grosse Pointe Farms — and displaced 3 million children, with another 1.1 million now living elsewhere as refugees, according to a United Nations report.

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Published January 27, 2016

BEVERLY HILLS — Grammy-winning pianist Richard Goode will perform some of the last music ever composed by Ludwig von Beethoven at a special concert in Beverly Hills.

The concert will take place at 8 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Seligman Performing Arts Center, 22305 W. 13 Mile Road.

Sonata in E major, Op. 109; Sonata in A-flat major, Op. 110; Bagatelles, Op. 119, Nos. 6-11; and Sonata in C minor, Op. 111, were composed from 1820 to 1822, a time after Beethoven already had been rendered completely deaf.

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Published January 27, 2016

BERKLEY — From the time Army Staff Sgt. Ben Eberle entered the Anderson Middle School hallways filled with sixth-graders waving American flags Jan. 20 through a ceremony in his honor and on to a meeting with six Berkley students who helped him, the Mio native never lost his smile.

In 2011, while on patrol in Afghanistan, Eberle lost both of his legs and his right hand due to an improvised explosive device. The past four years have been challenging, Eberle said, but he, his wife and two children never lost hope.

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Published January 26, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — With a wheelchair ramp, widened doorways and a handful of other improvements, longtime Southfield resident Dennis Bee proudly describes his house as “whip-around-able.”

After losing both of his legs to a seven-year series of infections, Bee found his home on Plum Hollow not only in serious disrepair, but in need of a wheelchair ramp and wider doorways.

Not knowing where to turn, Bee’s sister, Diane Johns, of Bloomfield Hills, spent countless nights on the computer searching for options.

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Published January 26, 2016

HARPER WOODS — For anyone who has a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, Debra Dawson would like to offer some encouragement.

“It’s not all hopeless. A lot of people lose hope as soon as it happens,” Dawson, of Harper Woods, said. “Keep them active. I think that is so important. Be aware of the legalities you have to know and do.”

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Published January 26, 2016

OAK PARK — It’s been 40 years since Jonathan Wolff arrived in Hollywood as a 17-year-old musician fresh from Louisville, Kentucky.

Wolff became one of the most active musicians and composers in Hollywood, composing theme songs for 44 television shows, including “Seinfeld” and “Will & Grace.” He has worked on still more shows to bring his total number of shows to 75.

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Published January 22, 2016

MACOMB COUNTY — When Fnu Shifatunnoor moved with her family from Bangladesh to the United States three years ago, she noticed one thing about the American people.

“Most of the people are helping each other,” the 22-year-old Warren resident said.

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Published January 22, 2016

WARREN — “What are you doing to make a better now?”

That’s a poignant question, even for an adult. It was asked by 16-year-old Jeremiah Howard, of Detroit, a youth member at Warren’s Life Application Ministries, during a spoken-word introduction before a crowd of about 400 people Jan. 18 gathered for the third annual observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday at City Hall in Warren.

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Published January 20, 2016

GROSSE POINTE CITY — One of Grosse Pointe City’s veteran officers has finished his last shift in the community.

Lt. Michael Seidel retired after his final shift on Jan. 17, just months shy of what would have been his 30th anniversary with the department on Aug. 11.

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Published January 20, 2016

The groom gamely drinks Turkish coffee laced with a liberal amount of salt without complaint to show his future wife that he will “tolerate anything that comes from her.”

Sumeyra Yildiz explained this and the Henna Night ritual that takes place the night before a wedding when the Turkish American Society of Michigan presented a live demonstration of a traditional Henna Night ceremony, henna tattoos and Turkish cuisine at Turkish Henna Night at the Balkan American Community Center in Troy Jan. 16.

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Published January 20, 2016

MOUNT CLEMENS — Emergency medicine physician James Larkin has been named chief of staff at McLaren Macomb Hospital through 2017.

Larkin replaced former Chief of Staff Andrew Staricco, M.D., whose term ended at the end of 2015 and to whom Larkin served as vice chief of staff.

Additionally, Larkin has previously served as emergency medicine residency director and is currently chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine.

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Published January 19, 2016

The community is mourning the death of former resident and music icon Glenn Frey by reflecting on his life.

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Published January 13, 2016

DETROIT — One of the most enduring stereotypes about artists is that they’re depressed, and their work comes out of the darkness in their lives. That couldn’t be less true of Linda Allen.

“Most of what I make is colorful and happy,” said the Grosse Pointe City artist, whose first Detroit solo show — titled “CHEERS!” — is on display through Jan. 28 at the Boll Family YMCA in downtown Detroit. “I seek out the beauty.”

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Published January 13, 2016

FERNDALE — Pleasant Ridge resident and Ferndale School District parent Jackie Hart was named the newest Ferndale Board of Education trustee Jan. 4 after a selection process following the departure of former Trustee Raylon Leaks-May.

Leaks-May was elected in November to the Ferndale City Council, and despite state law allowing her to serve on both the council and school board, she stepped down at the end of 2015. 

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Published January 13, 2016

FERNDALE — On a normal evening, Martha Potts turns off her television after “Jeopardy!”, the one show she enjoys watching because of the education aspect, and picks up some fabric.

Potts has been sewing since the age of 5, when her small build made it hard for her parents to find clothes that fit her correctly. And just as she grew up wearing hand-sewn garments, so did Potts’ children, at least until the age at which they were able to protest, she joked.

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Published January 13, 2016

BERKLEY — After a year of uncertainty in the Berkley Parks and Recreation Department, the city has selected Theresa McArleton as the permanent Parks and Recreation director following the restructuring of the department and a resignation.

In February 2015, former City Manager Jane Bais-DiSessa shuffled the department by placing then-Director Tom Colwell in the deputy director position and moving McArleton, who had previously been the deputy director, into the interim director position.

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