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Published March 21, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — Ella Mae Lyons is something of a regular over at Next.

Better known just as Mae, she can be found every week over at the Birmingham senior center with her cohort of knitters and quilters.

She considers the group’s members good friends, but sometimes Lyon admits she wonders what her pals think as they pull out skeins of yarn and she pulls out plastic shopping bags.

“They probably think I’m a little crazy. But they’re all so nice, they would never let on. They just let me do what I do,” said Lyons.

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Published March 21, 2016

BEVERLY HILLS — Fraud and identity theft can be considered something of an equalizer: They’re so prevalent that anyone could be vulnerable.

Ask a law enforcement official and they’re likely to tell you their department has seen a massive spike in crimes that involve identity theft, fraud, phone scams or other technology-driven financial crimes.

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Published March 16, 2016

The first schoolhouse in Birmingham was constructed in 1822, but it wasn’t until the Hill School opened in 1869 that the city had a public secondary school as well as a primary school.

Until that point, students who wished to further their studies past the eighth grade had to pay tuition at an academy run by local minister Samuel N. Hill.

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Published March 15, 2016

OAKLAND COUNTY — The green thumbs of Oakland County can hardly wait to get down and dirty out in their yards.

With that in mind, the Oakland Conservation District has some exciting plans for nature lovers who want to make the most of their own green space.

It all starts with the OCD’s annual tree sale, where customers can order bare-root trees and shrubs at a lower cost than most big-box nurseries.

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Published March 15, 2016

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — The Bloomfield Hills High School marching band has been selected as one of 10 finalists to perform the national anthem at a Detroit Tigers game.

In addition to playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a Tigers game on Saturday, April 9, the winning band also will be given a $5,000 grant for its program.

Band Director Alan Posner said the band was very excited about making the top 10. They shot their video a couple of times before feeling they had a good submission to send in.

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Published March 14, 2016

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — To help raise money for the Bloomfield Hills Schools Foundation, the school district will hold its second annual Foundation CeleBHration on Friday, April 15.

The event will take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Forest Lake Country Club, 1401 Club Drive, with a VIP reception, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction at 6:30 p.m., and dinner, entertainment and a live auction at 7:30 p.m.

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Published March 14, 2016

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — There’s a new movie coming out next month called “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

Much of the highly anticipated superhero flick was filmed right here in metro Detroit. To commemorate that and draw attention to the real nighttime crusaders, Cranbrook Institute of Science is turning March into Bat Superhero Month with new opportunities to learn about bats and their contributions to the environment.

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Published March 14, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — Surprisingly, there wasn’t much talk of the ongoing campaign for U.S. president March 7 during the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce’s annual Government Forecast.

Instead, the rhetoric from the keynote speakers, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, was more hopeful, and certainly more focused on what they think lies ahead for Michigan specifically.

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Published March 9, 2016

METRO DETROIT — There’s nothing like a wreath on the front door to meet your guests with a cheerful greeting.

But for some, Christmastime is the only season the door is treated to any kind of embellishment. And that’s a shame, because there are so many options to choose from when it comes to buying — or even creating — a springtime wreath.

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Published March 8, 2016

The majority of residents who voted today — and there were lots of them — cast ballots against a proposed charter amendment dictating the lane configuration of West Maple Road.

Failing by 61 percent  -- with 4,447 votes against --   the citizen-initiated proposal would’ve amended the Birmingham City Charter to prevent a reconfiguration of West Maple Road from anything besides four lanes.

Just short of 39 percent of the ballots, or 2,820, were cast in favor of the amendment.

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Published March 8, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — Seaholm High School’s bands will host their 17th annual auction fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 18, at the Marriott at Centerpoint in Pontiac, 3600 Centerpoint Parkway.

The fundraiser will support the ninth-grade band, marching band, concert band, jazz band and symphony band. Money raised from the auction will go toward purchasing supplies such as sheet music, bringing clinicians to the school and replacing old instruments.

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Published March 7, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — It doesn’t get much sweeter than watching a child practice their reading skills by reading one of their favorite stories aloud.

That is, unless you add a cuddly dog to the mix.

Twice a month, parents can bring their new readers over to the Baldwin Public Library for the Ruff Readers program. Children ages 6 and older take turns reading to certified therapy dogs, who have been trained to be patient and attentive to young storytellers.

And that’s important, according to Stephanie Klimmek, head of youth services at the BPL.

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Published March 7, 2016

BEVERLY HILLS — DTE Energy continues its public relations efforts after the tree-trimming debacle that happened just over a year ago in the Bloomfield area.

Last week, DTE spokesperson Michael Palchesko appeared before the Beverly Hills Village Council to make leaders aware of the utility’s plans to trim trees in the area during 2016.

The work is part of the company’s obligation to improve service in neighborhoods with higher numbers of tree-related power outages, as ordered by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

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Published March 6, 2016

WARREN — Nearly 3,000 people came to “Feel the Bern” March 5 at Macomb Community College’s Warren campus.

A mixed-age crowd poured into MCC’s Sports and Expo Center to see presidential Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, discuss his campaign initiatives.

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Published March 2, 2016

FRANKLIN — The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, or LARA, has issued a special report on Franklin Home, 24459 Bloomington Court, recommending its license be designated as a six-month provisional license.

The report comes after the home was found to have multiple fire code violations, uncovered during a Feb. 5 incident in which the home caught fire. The violations included a window screwed shut, an evacuation sign that labeled three exits to the home when there were only two, and an exit jammed shut by a chair that was screwed to the deck.

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Published March 2, 2016

A new program introduced by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan looks to help qualified homebuyers receive loans to purchase renovated homes in the city.

Duggan introduced the Detroit Home Mortgage program at a press conference on Thursday, Feb. 18, and detailed how banks will give a second mortgage needed to purchase renovated homes or make repairs to homes in Detroit.

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Published March 2, 2016

Mother Nature hasn’t been her usual crabby self this season. But despite a remarkably mild winter, metro Detroiters are still ready to see some sunshine and beautiful buds in the flower beds.

If that sounds like you, you’re probably ready to get a jump on spring by starting a few seeds indoors. If all goes well, your seedlings will be mature enough to be transported into the ground by the time warmer temperatures make their way to town.

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Published March 2, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — The Birmingham Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra will trade shamrocks for champagne this St. Patrick’s Day during its annual spring benefit.

The second-ever event will be held at downtown Birmingham’s BoConcept, where guests can enjoy drinks, hors d’oeuvres and live music from the Irish band Jean Marie & the Lads.

“It should be ... a wonderful evening,” said Bill Close, president of the BBSO board of directors.

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Published February 29, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — This week, the Birmingham Village Players will continue their 93rd season with the opening of their latest show, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The cast and crew have been working for months to perfect their version of the timeless drama, and the excitement to present their work to audiences is palpable since the story is more poignant than ever.

“It’s reflective of many current issues and has a lot of parallels in today’s world,” said cast member Cathie Badalamenti.

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Published February 29, 2016

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Bloomfield Hills High School will host basketball charity games to help raise money for the Class of 2016 and Bloomfield Youth Assistance.

The tournament, Battle of Bloomfield, will have two games, the first featuring students taking on the staff and the second between the Bloomfield Township Police and Fire departments. The event will take place beginning at 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 11.

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