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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 16, 2012

EASTPOINTE — Students at Forest Park Elementary got a lesson on teasing when a local author paid them a visit last week.

Dana Lehman, an East Detroit High School grad, writes children’s books that offer life lessons in easy-to-learn, fun-filled stories featuring Sammy the Squirrel, his friends and family.

At the assembly on March 13, Lehman read her first book, “Adventures at Walnut Grove,” to students in kindergarten, first and second grades.

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Published March 16, 2012

EASTPOINTE — Local seniors celebrated their city with an Eastpointe-themed party on March 9 at the Community Center.

Mary Grant, the program supervisor for senior activities in Eastpointe, came up with the idea for the party, going out of her way to make sure every last detail was perfect.

“Everything for this party came from this community, from the plates and the napkins to the food to the desserts to the prizes,” Grant said. “Everything was purchased or donated by businesses in Eastpointe.”

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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 12, 2012

EASTPOINTE — While many people were home watching the Academy Awards on Feb. 26, some residents and city officials in Eastpointe were at a red carpet event of their own: The private grand opening of Big Top, a new gourmet popcorn and snack shop in East Brooke Commons at Nine Mile Road and Gratiot.

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Published March 12, 2012

EASTPOINTE — Council unanimously approved the purchase of two ambulances at the March 6 regular meeting.

The ambulances, purchased through Life Star, will replace two older ones that have long been a drain on the city’s pocket book.

In a memo to council, Assistant City Manager Randy Altimus said that he met with officials from the Fire Department regarding the two current ambulances.

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Published March 12, 2012

EASTPOINTE — After a successful fundraiser and lots of support from the community, the Eastpointe Enhancement Commission’s Eastpointe Farmers Market is almost ready to open.

“Our goal was to raise $1,000, and we did,” said Councilman and EEC member Ron Laforest.

The group raised a total of $1,100 at its Cloverleaf fundraiser on Feb. 28, but Laforest said the thing the group is most happy about was the turnout.

“The nicest part, though, was to see the unity in the community and all the support,” Laforest added.

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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 March 6, 2012

ROSEVILLE — In a pair of separate incidents last month, two different Recreation Department employees were recognized by police and fire officials for their quick responses to potentially dangerous or fatal situations.

On Feb. 11, during kids open gym at the center, a man dressed in camouflage clothing began approaching children and offering them candy. When he was asked to leave and refused, Adam Just, a building supervisor, called the police and kept watch on the man until help arrived.

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Published March 6, 2012

EASTPOINTE — With a mix of businesses, organizations, city officials and residents all mingling in one place, the annual chili cook-off in Eastpointe on Feb. 25 was a great event for networking.

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Published March 6, 2012

ROSEVILLE — It’s 5:30 a.m. Feb. 28 and Rich Steenland has already been at the office for an hour when his phone begins to ring.

He answers — his tone, polite but stern.

Before he hangs up, his cell begins to chirp. He ends one call and goes to the next. Before he even says hello, the desk phone rings again. This time his deputy clerk and right-hand woman, Jennifer Gamarra, answers.

It’s going to be a busy day. Election days always are.

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Published March 6, 2012

ROSEVILLE — It was a standing-room-only event when friends, family and co-workers gathered in Erin Auditorium Feb. 28 for Steve Truman’s retirement party.

Truman had been with the city for 32 years when he announced his pending retirement as city manager last November, and the crowd that filed in to wish him well offered a good representative mix of that more than 30-year span.

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Published February 29, 2012

EASTPOINTE — At a steak and shrimp dinner hosted by the Eastpointe Lions Club last week, state officials offered a special thanks to some very important groups in the city.

State Sen. Steve Bieda and state Rep. Harold Haugh, both Democrats, attended the Eastpointe Lions Club annual fundraiser Feb. 17 to pay tribute to the Lions Club and Eastpointe’s Police and Fire departments.

The tribute was initiated by Bieda’s office in Lansing.

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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 20, 2012

ROSEVILLE — A group of students at Reach Academy meets weekly after school to help make the lives of shelter animals a little better.

They don’t donate their time in the shelters, though. Instead, they make lasting gifts for the animals housed in them. Last semester, it was fleece blankets for dogs. This semester, it’s kitty forts and cat boxes.

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Published February 14, 2012

ROSEVILLE — The brightly woven canvases on display at the Roseville Public Library this month are much more than just colorful pieces of art — they’re stories.

They’re forgotten stories of how slaves rose up against adversity to create an identity when society was determined to keep them from having one.

They’re the stories Roseville resident Virginia Bryant-Hernandez grew up listening to her father tell and the stories of her people that were passed down from generation to generation.

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Published February 3, 2012

EASTPOINTE — Immobile seniors living in the upper levels at Chester Berry Manor in Eastpointe were still stranded in their homes as elevator repairs continued last week.

The elevator has been out since Jan. 24, when during an annual load inspection, it was discovered that one of the pistons was leaking and rusted. The piston was removed Jan. 30 and work continued as scheduled through press time.

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Published February 3, 2012

ROSEVILLE — At a Jan. 31 assembly, students at Eastland Middle School in Roseville got a small lesson in recent history and learned a lot about compassion and kindness.

“Rachel’s Challenge is all about the life of Rachel Scott, who was the first student killed during the Columbine shooting in 1999, on April 20,” said speaker Bill Sanders. “After she died, her family found six diaries that she had left, and they were just amazed and overwhelmed with the wisdom they found in those diaries.”

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Published January 31, 2012

EASTPOINTE — They meet once a month to show off their latest projects.

They trade tips, share techniques and offer feedback.

They’re a club — the Warren chapter of the International Plastic Modelers Society — and at monthly meetings, their work is appreciated, not just for the outcome, but the time and detail that went into it.

For many members, though, they’re more than just a club — over the years, they’ve become more like a brotherhood, a group of old pals, always there to welcome each other with a friendly smile.

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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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