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Woodward Talk

Published June 28, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — The annual summer Stars in the Park concert series is ready for you to pull up a seat.

The concerts begin at 7 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 18 at Heritage Park.

The Cultural Arts Division has organized the concert series since 2000.

Performances include a June 30 concert by Atlas Jazz, with Anna Givens, who has toured with the Spinners, the Temptations and the Four Tops.

On July 7, the 90-piece Farmington Community Concert Band will perform well-known band classics and marches.

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Published June 27, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Eight Mile Road has been the backdrop to Shirley Burch’s life ever since she was a girl growing up on the east side of Detroit in the 1940s.

Burch has lived in the area of Eight Mile and Dequindre for the past 50 years and spreads the message that Detroit and its suburbs can accomplish more together than alone.

“The more we do things together, we are enhancing (the community),” Burch said recently.

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Published June 22, 2016

FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS — The Farmington Community Band’s sound is just right for its upcoming concert — it’s had 50 years to practice, in a way. 

The band is celebrating its semicentennial with A Lifetime of Music — A Golden Anniversary Concert at 3 p.m. June 26 at Orchestra Hall, at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit. 

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Published June 22, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — Judge James Brady, of the 47th District Court, does not like to boast. 

Even after the Oakland County Bar Association recently honored Brady as the 2016 Distinguished Public Servant Award winner, he downplayed the prestigious win in his office at the courthouse June 14.

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Published June 20, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — Dunckel Middle School eighth-grader Olivia Deming saw a brief glimpse of her future. 

The DMS student council president saw what was to come during a June 14 eighth-grade academic honors program, where she gave an address.

“Part of the reason speaking to the eighth-grade (class) was so amazing to me was because I could see myself 20 years from now doing the exact same thing, so it was like a glimpse into what I would want to do,” Olivia said during an interview at the school June 17.

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Published June 20, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — Whoever said that pictures are worth a thousand words must have seen the recent Holocaust Memorial Center exhibit.

During a June 14 exhibit unveiling “Holocaust by Bullets, Yahad-In Unum – 10 Years of Investigations” at the HMC, dozens of attendees discovered the lesser-known side of Holocaust atrocities.

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Published June 15, 2016

FARMINGTON — It’s been 36 years.

That’s more than 13,140 days and three decades since 18-year-old Debra Rentschler’s body was found in Farmington on Christmas Eve morning, 1980. 

She was discovered nude near Grand River and Drake — on the property of an auto supply company — by an employee.

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Published June 15, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — Loreen Niewenhuis, 52, had a midlife crisis seven years ago that she turned into three books after traversing around the Great Lakes for 3,000 miles. 

 “That turned into a midlife adventure,” she said of when she turned 45. “The biggest thing I learned on these adventures is even though … the waters are vast, they’re fragile, and we need to be caretakers. … We have the most to gain, or lose, by the health of these waters.” 

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Published June 15, 2016

FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS/NOVI — Technological advances wait for no one. 

The times have caught up with the South West Oakland Cable Commission, which recently closed after turning 34 this year.

SWOCC Studios — a local cable commission broadcasting in Farmington, Farmington Hills and Novi on channels 8, 12, 13 and 15 — was located at 33300 W. Nine Mile Road in Farmington.

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Published June 13, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — Priya Castel, 2, of Farmington Hills, kissed her hand and blew the goodbye toward a small crowd gathered outside her front lawn near her lemonade stand June 10.

The little girl, diagnosed with neuroblastoma — a cancer of the nerve tissues — had to go inside for her afternoon nap.

Before getting shut-eye, she helped her mother, Sarah Castel, sell lemonade on Bunker Hill Drive. 

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Published June 8, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — A 17-year-old Farmington resident was recently arrested after allegedly stealing from multiple vehicles in the area over the past couple of weeks, according to a Farmington public safety and Nixle report. 

According to the report, the suspect was seen walking in the area of Shiawassee and Farmington in the early-morning hours on May 26, when an officer met the suspect, who claimed that he was walking home from a friend’s house. 

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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

FARMINGTON HILLS — It wouldn’t be summer without the hot weather, barbecues, swimming pools and, of course, summer camps. 

In Farmington Hills, summer camps abound, where children — and their parents — can find much-needed time apart.

From science and technology to the appreciation of fine arts, a variety of camps are on offer.

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Published May 31, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — A Farmington Hills police officer is being investigated for his alleged use of child pornography.

The Michigan Attorney General’s Office issued criminal charges against police officer Matthew Parsons, according to a press release.

On May 25, investigators from the Attorney General Criminal Division, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, served search warrants at the Farmington Hills Police Department, according to the report, and interviewed Parsons regarding the criminal case.  

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Published May 27, 2016

FARMINGTON — Over 100 artists throughout the country will head to Farmington to present their work during the city’s seventh annual juried fine arts fair, Art on the Grand.

The June 4-5 event on Grand River is presented by the Farmington Hills Special Services Department’s Cultural Arts Division in partnership with the Farmington Downtown Development Authority. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m.-7 p.m. June 4 and 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. June 5.

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Published May 25, 2016

Mother’s Day was winding down for Farmington Hills resident Irene Forbes and her husband and children when they discovered that one family member was missing: Livvy, their 15-year-old schnauzer.

“If your dog gets picked up you pray to God that they bring him to the authorities,” Forbes said last week.

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Published May 25, 2016

FARMINGTON — Detroit resident Jessica Billings, 39, wants to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

At Another Day Resource Center, 22512 Orchard Lake Road, Billings talked May 10 about how she came to the realization of her purpose.

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Published May 23, 2016

OAKLAND COUNTY — With a turn of their tassels, roughly 900 Oakland Community College graduates entered into the next phase of their lives May 21. 

During OCC’s recent graduation ceremony at the Palace of Auburn Hills, the 50th graduating class went out with a boisterous bang as palpable energy charged through the arena.

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Published May 18, 2016

FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS — Retired Farmington Hills resident Mary Buchan once hung up on her “grandson.”

The senior was fed up with the man on the other end pretending to be a relative in distress and needing bail money.

“He didn’t sound threatening. He sounded desperate,” Buchan said, adding that she knew about the type of scam he was pulling. “I said, ‘It sounds like you belong in jail.’” 

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Published May 18, 2016

FARMINGTON — Relay for Life of Farmington/Farmington Hills is ready to honor cancer survivors — and their caregivers — during its upcoming annual event from 10 a.m. May 21 to 10 a.m. May 22 at Shiawassee Park, 32340 Shiawassee Road.

“We all come together for the same cause,” Shannon Trent, a Relay for Life of Farmington/Farmington Hills committee member, said recently.

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