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Published May 24, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — A Seaholm High School student could face two years behind bars for allegedly writing a racially charged message on a bathroom wall at his school last month, suggesting a handful of fellow black students be lynched.

Courtney Thomas, a Birmingham resident, was arraigned in 48th District Court in Bloomfield Township May 18 on charges of ethnic intimidation, a two-year felony.

Thomas, 18, supposedly admitted to the racist graffiti May 11, after an investigation pointed to him as being responsible

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Published May 18, 2011

Yes, Michigan.

This week is for celebrating, for embracing all the state has to offer. It’s Michigan Week, held annually since 1954. So raise your hand, point to your favorite spots in the state, and reflect. Whether it’s taking a fall color tour, hitting the links, lounging on the beach, crossing the Mackinac Bridge or heading downtown to catch a Red Wings game, there’s much to love about Michigan.

For many, it’s the lakes that cause residents to swell with pride.

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Published May 11, 2011

Picture a typical senior residence and images of bingo, arts and crafts, and green Jell-O might come to mind.

Walk into a modern retirement community, though, and you may be more likely to see seniors playing video games, heading out with a travel group or performing a sun salutation in yoga class.

Today’s senior living communities are not the stale, dreary places stereotypes make them out to be.

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Published April 6, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — Roughly 30 new businesses opening within a year’s time in a lively downtown such as Birmingham isn’t too much of a surprise.

But in this economy, officials are heralding that figure.

Not to mention, said John Heiney, director of the Principal Shopping District, that while the city normally sees almost as many businesses moving or closing as it sees opening or expanding in a year, over the course of the past year, fewer than 10 have closed or moved out.

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Published March 9, 2011

Sticking your nose in a book doesn’t have to be a solitary activity, as more and more avid readers are banding together to share in their common interest.

Book clubs are ever present in today’s society, with readers young and old joining groups offered in their communities and forming their own tight-knit circles.

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Published March 9, 2011

DETROIT — A 209-pound Newfoundland rolled onto his back in the middle of an aisle at the Detroit Kennel Club Dog Shows, held at Cobo Center March 5-6. He milked every pat he got from passers-by charmed by his gentle demeanor and fluffy brown coat.

He was among thousands of dogs of countless breeds that were also doing their very best to woo the public — in between competitions, that is.

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Published March 8, 2011

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — This month the Friends of the Bloomfield Township Public Library will celebrate their $1 million milestone of giving.

For the entire month of March, the Friends are also holding a membership drive in hopes of growing their support base.

“Our Friends are worth a million bucks,” said Library Director Karen Kotulis-Carter. She said that in the 23 years she’s worked for the library, she’s noticed that each new “Friend” has given his or her weight in gold toward enhancing the library’s services.

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Published March 2, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — Celebrities, local actors and movie buffs will come together during the first annual Uptown Film Festival to celebrate an event organizers say will showcase the best films made in Michigan over the past year.

Established this year by leaders in the Michigan film industry, the Uptown Film Festival is a two-night celebration of productions created entirely or in part in the state to recognize the Michigan film industry.

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Published February 23, 2011

Although spring is nearly a month away, “kitten season” is gearing up this month, meaning that local shelters may soon be filled to the brim with fuzzy faces needing good homes?.

But until they can find their forever family, help is needed to nurture the babies in their first few weeks, making sure they get the care they need to become good pets.

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Published February 21, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — The work of award-winning abstract expressionist painter James Adley and a juried show of art created by adult students are on display at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center as part of two new exhibits.

“The great thing between the gallery missions is that most every time you come in to see an exhibition, you get to see the full range of what art can mean in someone’s life — whether it’s a pastime or whether it’s a full-time profession,” said BBAC President and CEO Addie Langford.

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Published February 16, 2011

It’s a special group, the Heart of the Hills Players. There is one major qualification for taking part: You’ve got to love making people smile.

You also have to be over the age of 50. The organization is the largest community theater group in the region comprised solely of seniors.

Melanie Lee of Warren, who said she’s a “very vigorous 78-year-old,” feels that joining the group over a decade ago was one of the best decisions she’s ever made.

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Published February 16, 2011

FRANKLIN — People have been turning out in droves this winter to glide across the ice on Franklin’s new outdoor community ice rink.

Farmhouse Coffee and Ice Cream owners and Franklin residents Mark and Angela Hanke donated the rink, which has been open for more than a month now on the Village Green, behind the Franklin Library, at Franklin Road and Wellington.

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Published February 16, 2011

Whether it’s an Oldsmobile or a Batmobile, every car junkie has an automotive preference.

But regardless of what they fancy, local enthusiasts will once again come together at this year’s Meguiar’s Autorama, presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts, at Cobo Center Feb. 25-27. 2011 marks the event’s 59th year.

This year’s show will feature a Hollywood Legends area showcasing the famous rides of old TV characters from classic shows like “The Green Hornet” and “The Monkees.”

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Published February 2, 2011

BIRMINGHAM — With the dramatic downturn of the economy, the Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra had to cut its concert season from six shows to four, a move that BBSO board Chairman Richard Tropea said had to be made.

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Published February 1, 2011

Asked to reveal words of wisdom after 50 years of marriage, Ed Lewandowski was quick to reply in exactly the way his wife, Sharon, predicted.

“I don’t have any wisdom,” he quipped. “I’m married.”

But contrary to his claims, the St. Clair Shores resident and his wife, along with other local couples, recently shared some of what they’ve learned along the way as they’ve faced life’s challenges —together.
 

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Published February 1, 2011

The right neighborhood. The right price. The right layout, lot and size. It’s the perfect home — or not.

There are a number of major issues that could be lurking under the cosmetically pleasing surface of a home, many of which can be very costly.

That — and liability issues on the seller’s end — is why getting a home inspection has become an essential part of the home-buying process since the late 1970s nationally and the early ‘80s in Michigan, according to Jon Ormiston, president of All Points Inspection in Rochester.

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Published January 19, 2011

Hibernating is for the bears.

Winter weather doesn’t have to force us to stay indoors and under the covers, counting the minutes until spring. As the flakes fall, Michigan offers healthy opportunities statewide to get out and enjoy the season, with activities from cross-country skiing and snowmobiling to ice fishing.

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Published January 5, 2011

“Tough” is an understatement when describing the local housing market since 2005.

The ripple effect that unemployment and the ensuing foreclosure crisis has left — and is expected to continue leaving — an unprecedented number of homes on the market, crippling home values and sales across the state.

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