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Published March 10, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD/CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A Columbus Township family is leaping for joy after welcoming their second child to be born on a Leap Day. 

Evelyn Croff, daughter of Chad and Melissa Croff, was born at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Clinton Township at 3:06 a.m. Feb 29. She was 6 pounds 9 ounces. Evelyn shares a birthday with her big sister, Eliana, who was born at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital at 3:33 a.m. Feb. 29, 2012. The family lived in Commerce Township at the time of Eliana’s birth.

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Published March 9, 2016

MACOMB COUNTY — A 25-year-old man who shot a toddler in a Clinton Township park last year has pleaded guilty to four charges relating to the matter.

On Feb. 16 in Macomb County Circuit Court, Christian Eric-Deandre Howard pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree child abuse, receiving and concealing a firearm, possessing a firearm during the act of a felony, and careless discharge of a firearm that leads to injury or death.

The only non-felony charge involved the discharge of the firearm.

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Published March 9, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — After nearly two weeks of investigating, Clinton Township police declared that an abduction attempt from the morning of March 9 involving a Clintondale Middle School student never actually happened.

On March 21, the department released a press release stating, “Clinton Township police thoroughly investigated this incident, and the student has confessed that she made the story up. The reason for the false report was that the student was having issues with being tardy to school.”

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Published March 9, 2016

FRASER — All Kelly Jenks wanted was for her sixth-grade Salk Elementary class to appreciate and respect military veterans.

But in doing so, the teacher received quite a bit of gratitude in return.

On Feb. 23, Jenks was inundated with praise by members of Fraser VFW Post 6691, and also received admiration from the very students she teaches.

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Published March 9, 2016

FRASER — A Clinton Township man is being held in jail after he allegedly caused the death of two individuals.

Valon Gjykaj, 21, faces felony counts of driving without a license and reckless driving causing death after a Feb. 6 car accident led to the deaths of two men, one of whom was his father.

He was arraigned Feb. 23 in 39th District Court in Roseville. At press time, he was held on a $50,000 cash/surety bond, with no 10 percent. He faces 15 years in jail.

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Published March 9, 2016

FRASER — A father and daughter were arrested by police Feb. 10 after allegedly distributing marijuana to a Fraser High School student.

Fraser Lt. Mike Pettyes said the incident occurred Feb. 9, after an unidentified student asked the daughter, Caitlin Smith, 18, if she knew how to acquire marijuana.

On what was a half day at school, Caitlin allegedly caller her father, Martin Smith, 47, to see if he could help. He reportedly drove to the school to pick up his daughter and her friend and then went to a nearby location.

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Published March 9, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clintondale Community Schools officials are ecstatic that two millages — a non-homestead millage replacement proposal and a non-homestead operating millage proposal — passed overwhelmingly March 8.

The millage replacement proposal was approved by 2,101 voters in eight Macomb County precincts, or 63.6 percent. The operating millage proposal was approved by 2,064 voters, or 62.9 percent.

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Published March 8, 2016

FRASER — As a wild and wacky ride plays out nationally in presidential politics, local voters had their chance impact the 2016 race Tuesday.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. for the Michigan presidential primary, which has 130 delegates up for grabs on the Democratic side, and 59 delegates on the Republican side.

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Published March 7, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — Impassioned Farmington Public Schools parents, students and community members spoke about the potential closing of Harrison High School and repurposing of Dunckel Middle School as a K-8 STEAM Academy during a March 1 Board of Education meeting.

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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

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

Mike Sand said his military deference was always in his blood.

A Fraser resident since 1974, Sand recalls his father bringing him to parades and other functions that paid respect to military personnel. He always wondered why his father’s reverence was so strong.

His father, who was in a motor pool during World War II, died at the age of 48. Following his passing, Sand finally asked his mother about his father’s duties in the line of battle. According to her, he had shell shock and would wake up in cold sweats in the middle of the night.

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Published March 2, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A recent apartment fire in Clinton Township took plenty of manpower to be extinguished.

The incident occurred around 8:40 p.m. on Feb. 20 at the Clairridge Estates, located on Harper Avenue near Metropolitan Parkway.

Deputy Fire Chief Geof Fecteau said flames were blowing out of a third-story window. Fire officials deemed it a “working fire” when the first engine arrived.

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Published March 2, 2016

FRASER — Heavy discussions have taken place in Fraser regarding city budgets, accounting firms and the future of the city’s financial state.

A January presentation by accounting firm Plante Moran was followed by a February audit presentation by Abraham and Gaffney. Many numbers in different funds were relayed to the public and the City Council.

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Published March 2, 2016

FRASER — In the Information Age, sales tend to be done through email and specific vendor websites.

Part of that process includes meeting with relative strangers in public places for a first encounter to make a transaction. Now, the process in Fraser does not have to be so dubious.

The city, in a decision supported by the Fraser Department of Public Safety, has planned to install two parking spaces specific to e-commerce sales as a deterrent to potential thefts and other crimes.

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Published March 2, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A popular Maine-based retailer will open its first Michigan store in Clinton Township in 2016.

L.L. Bean, a company founded in 1912 that focuses on outdoor apparel, will sell its products at The Mall at Partridge Creek.

The 14,000-square-foot store, which will be the 30th located outside of Maine, will employ around 100 people. It will be located in the mall’s Center Court, between Pandora and Lush.

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Published February 26, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Chippewa Valley High School officials reported that a threat made to the school over social media Friday morning was determined not credible enough to cancel classes.

Diane Blain, the school district's director of community relations, said the threats were posted on Twitter, and Clinton Township police are investigating.

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Published February 24, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Car enthusiasts are itching to put the pedal to the metal at the annual Detroit Autorama event.

The 64th annual edition will take place Friday, Feb. 26 to Sunday, Feb. 28 at Cobo Center in Detroit. More than 800 vehicles — including hot rods, customs, trucks and motorcycles from around the world — are expected to be on display.

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Published February 23, 2016

MACOMB COUNTY — The end of the 2016-17 Macomb Community College school year will mark a special time in the lives of many students.

It will also be a life-changing moment for current President Jim Jacobs.

Jacobs, who has been president since July 1, 2008, will step down from his position in June 2017. After a half-century’s worth of service, he informed the college’s Board of Trustees of his intent to not renew what has been a rolling contract.

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Published February 23, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — An Oak Park man is expected to spend the rest of his life behind bars after pleading no contest to murder charges.

On Feb. 17 in Macomb County Circuit Court, 32-year-old Ujuan Burton pleaded no contest on four felony charges stemming from the death of Bernie’s Market owner Emil Salem, 50.

Salem was shot and killed in an altercation with Burton in the party store, located on Garfield Road, near 17 Mile Road, the night of March 26, 2015.

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