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Published March 21, 2012

As pet lovers snuggle up with their furry friends, many may not think about where their animals came from before they found them listed online or at a pet store. But the Michigan Humane Society estimates that 99 percent of pet store puppies are bred by large-scale breeders, or puppy mills, some of which are known for their cruel and inhumane treatment of animals to maximize profit.

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Published March 14, 2012

An electronic sign on the wall reads “10 days, 14 hours, 15 minutes and 4.32 seconds.”

“That’s the countdown until the end of my life,” laughed Melisa Valentine, 25, of Ferndale, a bartender at the Blarney Stone Pub in Berkley.

She’s kidding of course. The countdown marks the time left before St. Patrick’s Day, the annual holiday many celebrate by bellying up to the bar. But for those tasked with handling the crowds and their beverage orders from behind the bar, it’s a far different experience.

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Published March 7, 2012

Bullying hurts.

It can make someone feel small, rejected, disrespected, stupid, ugly, unloved and unimportant.

While not a new concept — the bullies and bullied have been around for years — it seems to have entered a new realm as an alarming number of youth have responded to bullying in more dramatic ways than society has been accustomed to. Suicide. Violence. Murder.

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Published February 29, 2012

DETROIT — Prep your paws for a whole lot of petting as the annual two-day celebration of all things dog arrives March 3 and 4 with the annual Detroit Kennel Club Dog Shows at Cobo Center.

More than 2,000 dogs representing 167 breeds will be on hand to interact with the public, demonstrate their skills and compete for top prizes.

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Published February 21, 2012

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — It took a few weeks and a clarification before the final vote, but the seventh- through 10th-graders in Bloomfield Hills Schools have decided what their new school mascot and colors will be.

Students and district officials gathered Tuesday afternoon at the Doyle Center to announce the decision from a weeklong online student vote. The new mascot will be the Black Hawks, and the new school colors will be black, silver and purple.

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Published January 25, 2012

Public schools keep religion out of the forefront of education, but many parents want to see religious education, traditions and beliefs at the center of their child’s learning environment.

Those parents can choose schools that keep faith the focus.

Religious schools take several steps to ensure faith ideals are conveyed inside and outside the classroom, including daily religious services.

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Published December 14, 2011

After Shelby Township crafter Margie Conn waged a successful battle against breast cancer, she decided to use her skills to help others.

“I had to give back,” she said. “I got involved with Relay for Life. I am always looking for a way to contribute.”

The winner of the first C & G Newspapers Holiday Craft Contest, Conn received 245 votes for her repurposed cigar box, decorated with keys and memorabilia. Crafting the decorative storage boxes involves weeks of work layering paints and resin.

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Published December 7, 2011

Looking for a few more gifts on your holiday shopping list? Choosing a Michigan-made item or purchasing from a small, local business can be a win-win — recipients get to unwrap something unique, while shoppers help boost Michigan’s economy.

“If we’re going to make an impact with our dollars, this is the biggest impact we can have — at this time of the year,” said Lisa Diggs, founder of Buy Michigan Now.

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Published December 7, 2011

This holiday season, the population of Casey and Tara Colussi’s household tripled.

For five days over Thanksgiving, the Troy couple, who has two children, hosted Casey’s parents, sister, brother-in-law, two nephews and two family friends.

It was the second installment of what’s become a holiday tradition for the Colussis, and though their recent move to a larger home eased the congestion somewhat, “even with the extra space, it’s a pleasant chaos, is always the best way to describe it,” laughed Casey.

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Published October 26, 2011

In Stephen King’s horror novel “The Shining,” a small, dysfunctional family moves into an old and insidious hotel for the winter after the family patriarch, Jack Torrance, is hired as the caretaker during the off-season.

No spoilers here, but anyone who has read the book or seen the Stanley Kubrick movie knows the disturbing and tragic things that occur during the course of the family’s stay.

It’s a perfect story for anyone who likes a good scare.

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Published October 13, 2011

What’s your favorite apple?

“The last one I ate.”

Ed Robinette doesn’t even hesitate to give that cheeky yet appropriate reply to what is surely one of his favorite questions. He is, after all, raising 23 varieties of apples on his family farm in Grand Rapids. That’s a lot of options. But it barely breaks the surface.

“There’s so much diversity in the apple crop in Michigan — there are literally thousands of varieties,” Robinette said.

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Published September 14, 2011

Everyone needs it. Most don’t get enough of it. And for those it eludes, it may become an obsession.

With the end of summer, students back in school and shorter days, people’s routines may be a little light on a valuable commodity: sleep.

Less than half of people get it in the quantity and quality their bodies need, said Dr. Gary Trock, and disorders minor and severe can hinder what should be an act that occurs effortlessly and in abundance.

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Published September 13, 2011

PONTIAC — Franklin-Bingham Fire Chief Tony Averbuch was overcome with emotion during his speech at the Oakland County Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony Sept. 11.

Averbuch, who’s been in the fire service for two decades, was a part of a disaster response unit that deployed to ground zero in New York City in the days immediately following the terrorist attacks.

Only a few words into his keynote address during the ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks, Averbuch broke down.

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Published August 24, 2011

DETROIT — There’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing a show on Broadway in New York, but for the last five decades, the Fisher Theatre has come awfully close to replicating that experience.

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Published July 20, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — It’s cool. It’s green. And it may not be long before consumers can find Birmingham resident Virgil Heil’s machine on store shelves.

At the 26th annual four-day Invention & New Product Exposition’s Invention Show, Heil, 39, took the first-runner-up Grand Prix Award of $3,000 for his Cool Green Machine.

But more valuable than Heil’s award, perhaps, is the attention his invention has received since the show.

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Published July 13, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — July 23 should be a pretty busy day for downtown Birmingham.

For the second year in a row, The Community House’s Green Breeze eco-friendly vendor expo will jump on the coattails of the Principal Shopping District’s Day On The Town sales event, bringing both green education and bargain shopping to the streets of downtown.

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Published July 6, 2011

Some people collect baseball cards as a hobby. Some people knit. And some people visit garage sales.

Some would say that Eastpointe resident Joy Yaklin has perfected her garage sale hobby. She uses Craigslist to search for specific items and her GPS to map out routes, and she’ll spend the day perusing sales to fulfill orders from her friends, family and co-workers.

“I’ve got everything I need at home,” she said. Yaklin no longer shops for herself. She now hunts bargains for others.

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Published July 1, 2011

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Supervisor Dave Payne announced his plans to retire Aug. 1 after 41 years of working for the township.

Payne, 60, has been the supervisor since January 2001. He announced his plans during the June 27 Board of Trustees meeting.

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Published June 27, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — Building robots and Lego submarines doesn’t have to be reserved for competitions anymore.

Beginning June 1, The Robot Garage is opening for dexterous and creative builders of all ages.

The 4,000-square-foot warehouse — completely renovated into a colorful retail shop and lab of classrooms — can also serve as a venue for a kiddie birthday bash.

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Published June 1, 2011

Combine talented artisans, good food, live entertainment and a little sunshine, and you have the makings of a great summer festival.

Beginning in June, such events are plentiful in metro Detroit. Here’s a sampling of just a few popular festivals that residents won’t want to miss this summer.

June 11-12
Clay, Glass and Metal Festival — downtown Royal Oak
In Royal Oak, one of the first big events of the season is the Clay, Glass and Metal Festival June 11-12.

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