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Woodward Talk

Published June 15, 2016

HARPER WOODS — Harper Woods City Manager Randolph Skotarczyk knows water rate increases are a touchy subject.

“Everybody gets upset about water rate increases,” he said. “Nobody likes it.”

Skotarczyk said this year’s 9.9 percent increase for water and sewer rates in Harper Woods, effective June 1 after the City Council’s unanimous approval May 16, benefits the city in the long run by reducing the deficit in its sewer and water fund. 

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Published June 15, 2016

HARPER WOODS — Summer’s for soaking up the sun, and possibly, a good book.

The Harper Woods Public Library’s summer reading program encourages children, teens and adults to dive into a book, or a few books, from June 6 until July 15.

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Published June 9, 2016

HARPER WOODS — Cupcakes, music and good spirits filled the room as family, friends and fellow residents of the Advantage Living Center nursing home in Harper Woods gathered to celebrate the 100th birthdays of Hazel Taylor and Virginia Polega.

Taylor was born on June 8, 1916, in Fort Valley, Georgia. Her family moved to Detroit when she was a baby. Taylor grew up on Evaline Street in Hamtramck, where she met friends Juanita Russell and Joyce Davis. Both were in attendance at Taylor’s birthday celebration.

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Published June 4, 2016

METRO DETROIT — While there’s plenty of fun to be had on Michigan’s abundance of lakes and rivers this summer, there are also many potential dangers that can be easily avoided.

Local emergency personnel say that by following the rules of the water, all can enjoy a safe boating season this year.

“It comes down to common sense,” said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. “Be aware of your surroundings.”

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Published June 1, 2016

HARPER WOODS — The Harper Woods Public Library recently joined hundreds of libraries in Michigan as a participant in the nationwide 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.

The program’s goal is in its name: to have children read 1,000 books before they enter kindergarten. According to the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten website, www.1000booksbeforekindergarten.org, the program aims to promote reading in newborns, infants and toddlers, and to encourage parents and children to bond through reading.

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Published May 19, 2016

A suspect who allegedly produced a handgun and threatened a Harper Woods High School student while the student was walking to school was formally charged in 32A District Court May 13.

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Published May 18, 2016

HARPER WOODS — The Harper Woods City Council voted 6-0 at its April 18 meeting to approve the continuation of a special assessment to fund the Police and Fire departments.

The special assessment district was levied at 18.5 mills for 2016, a 3.5-mill increase from 2015. Ten of the 18.5 mills will fund police; the remaining 8.5 mills will fund fire. A total of $3,336,503 is expected to be generated from the assessment, a $200,000 increase from 2015.

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Published May 18, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Last year, three local nonprofit organizations received thousands of dollars in cash donations and advertising as part of C & G Newspapers’ inaugural Community GiveBack contest, and now C & G is teaming up with Suburban Hyundai in Troy once again to offer the program for a second year. 

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Published May 11, 2016

HARPER WOODS — A suspect who allegedly produced a handgun and threatened a Harper Woods High School student while the student was walking to school is in police custody, according to a press release issued by Harper Woods Public Safety Deputy Chief John Vorgitch. 

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Published May 11, 2016

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 4, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Tiny pieces of plastic are able to cause a huge headache in the Great Lakes, and they primarily are coming from discarded litter found on the street.

Microplastics are remnants of larger pieces of plastic — like bags, utensils and bottles — that have degraded due to environmental factors into smaller and smaller pieces, according to International Joint Commission Commissioner Dereth Glance.

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Published May 4, 2016

HARPER WOODS — At 9:45 a.m. March 31, Harper Woods public safety officers were dispatched to the 18900 block of Kingsville to investigate a burglary in progress, according to a press release issued by Public Safety Director Jim Burke. 

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Published May 3, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Climate models and existing data suggest that Michigan will be getting warmer in the coming years, with more frequent major storms and humid, stagnant air. A new report suggests that this would bring along a rash of public health concerns for residents as well.

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Published April 26, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Even though it’s spring, you can treat your mom to a winter wonderland this Mother’s Day.

The Parade Company Studio in Detroit is opening its doors Mother’s Day weekend, May 6-7, for private, behind-the-scenes tours of its 200,000-square-foot warehouse, which is home to floats, costumes and props used in the annual America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van.

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Published April 20, 2016

HARPER WOODS — The 32A District Court ranked high in user satisfaction for a third consecutive year, according to a 2015 survey conducted by the Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Office.

According to a press release from the Michigan Supreme Court, users found their experience with the 32A District Court to be accessible, timely and fair, and said they were treated with courtesy and respect.

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Published April 20, 2016

HARPER WOODS — June Teisan, a former Harper Woods Middle School science teacher, is a Hall of Famer. 

Teisan was one of five teachers nationwide selected to the 25th induction class of the National Teachers Hall of Fame. She will be formally inducted June 9 at Emporia State University, home of the National Teachers Hall of Fame Museum. 

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Published April 19, 2016

HARPER WOODS — Harper Woods Public Safety Department officers are investigating eight larcenies or attempted larcenies that occurred overnight April 18-19, according to a news release sent out by Director of Public Safety Jim Burke. 

According to the release, the incidents were split between two sites. Four were at the apartment complex located at 20232 E. Vernier Road; the other four were at the Parkcrest Inn, 20000 N. Harper Ave. Three of the eight incidents were completed larcenies; the other five were attempts, according to the release. 

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Published April 14, 2016

HARPER WOODS — On April 12, the Harper Woods Public Library celebrated its history and the history of the city as, in conjunction with National Library Week, the library commemorated the 40th anniversary of the founding of its Heritage Room.

Founded by Mary Duchon and Lorry Balchunas, the Heritage Room is a museum of sorts, with artifacts on display ranging from a library card catalog to an old-style piano to the house nameplate of Harper Woods’ first settler, Casper Salter.

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Published April 11, 2016

At 12:45 p.m. April 9, a Harper Woods police officer crashed a patrol vehicle into a home on Woodland Street, between Sanilac Street and Harper Avenue, after his vehicle suddenly swerved off the road.

According to a press release issued by Harper Woods Director of Public Safety Jim Burke, it is possible that the officer driving the vehicle, a 17-year veteran of the Police Department, had a medical emergency that caused him to lose control of the wheel.

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Published April 6, 2016

METRO DETROIT — A priest who served throughout metro Detroit from 1956 to 1975 has been accused of alleged sexual abuse of minors in Wayne and Oakland counties while in ministry.

The Archdiocese of Detroit said that allegations of sexual abuse of minors while in ministry have been brought against Richard R. Lauinger, 85. The Archdiocesan Board of Review has considered the allegations and has found them to be credible.

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