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Published February 16, 2017

MACOMB COUNTY — Business leaders from across the region attended the fifth annual Macomb Business Awards Feb. 14 at the Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel joined Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development Director John Paul Rea to recognize the award winners.

R&E Automated Systems in Macomb Township won the Champion of Workforce Development award.

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Published February 14, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Mal Forys never thought he would one day participate in a muscle car show like Autorama.

To have a car worthy of being recognized at nearly the top of a class seemed even further out of reach.

However, that all changed a few years ago.

Forys, a retired Chrysler worker of 41 years and Air National Guard veteran of 30 years, bought himself a Dodge Challenger in 2009 as a retirement gift to himself.

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Published February 14, 2017

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Chippewa Valley Schools has unveiled a new website designed to educate student-athletes on how to improve performance while avoiding harmful activities. 

The district’s “Life of an Athlete” website started up Feb. 7 before a crowd of administrators, coaches and student-athletes in the district’s administration building.

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Published February 14, 2017

MOUNT CLEMENS — Macomb County officials have approved a $20 million loan that will help fund repairs related to the 15 Mile Road sinkhole.

The funds are specifically earmarked for the Macomb Interceptor Drainage District, or MIDD, and will come from a combination of the county’s general fund and delinquent tax revolving fund.

The MIDD will pull funds from the loan when needed and will pay back the loan within four months through a bond issue. The district will pay a 0.55 percent annual interest rate.

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Published February 8, 2017

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — With February designated as the month to celebrate career and technical education, or CTE, Chippewa Valley Schools officials are touting their work in developing programs that provide students with hands-on work experience while in high school.

Claire Brisson, the district’s CTE director, said Chippewa Valley Schools offers 15 programs for more than 2,000 students each year. 

The programs include construction trades, a medical academy, a teacher cadet program, graphic design and several more.

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Published February 7, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A mail carrier with a route in Macomb Township has been indicted by a grand jury on a charge of theft of mail by a postal employee.

Shawn Hoover was indicted Jan. 31 as the first step in a federal case against him after a complaint was filed Jan. 12 alleging that he stole nearly $70,000 worth of cash, debit cards, gift cards and checks from pieces of mail he was entrusted to deliver to homes in Macomb Township.

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Published February 7, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Future construction on 23 Mile Road in Macomb Township was again a focus of conversation during a Jan. 25 township board meeting.

The board discussed several impacts of widening the road to five lanes, most notably the need for moving water and sewer lines.

As a result, the board approved a preliminary study for the township’s Engineering and Water and Sewer departments to analyze what work will be needed.

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Published February 7, 2017

MOUNT CLEMENS — The defense attorney of a Macomb Township man charged with killing his father has made a request to exhume the father’s body for further examination.

Gregory Nieman, 56, of Macomb Township, faces a charge of first-degree murder after the Dec. 27, 2015, death of his father. Nieman and his father, Donald, 89, were living in the same residence at the time of the killing.

The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office reported that Nieman called 911 at approximately 10:30 a.m. Dec. 27 to report that his father was not breathing and cold to the touch.

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Published February 1, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A Macomb Township man has pleaded no contest to a pair of charges related to the fatal stabbing of his boyfriend Feb. 14, 2016.

Jerald Boozer-Brown Jr., 28, entered the plea Jan. 31 at Macomb County Circuit Court before Judge Jennifer Faunce. He pleaded no contest to a count of second-degree murder and a separate count of interfering with a crime report.

The plea deal could allow Boozer-Brown to be eligible for parole in as few as 10 years, as opposed to the typical 12-20 year guideline. Official sentencing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. March 14.

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Published February 1, 2017

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Nichole Wouters considers herself to be a planner.

What she has gone through to start 2017, and what she is about to experience, was never in her plans.

Wouters, 27, spent much of her summer exercising and getting back into shape. As the summer progressed, however, she noticed that she began getting short of breath.

As summer turned to fall, that shortness of breath progressed into a consistent cough, and she was diagnosed with pneumonia around Thanksgiving.

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Published January 31, 2017

MACOMB COUNTY — After prescription drugs and opiates have ravaged families and society in recent years, one community has come together to offer proactive solutions.

On Jan. 31, “Hope Not Handcuffs” was officially launched in Macomb County, led by Families Against Narcotics, in partnership with the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery initiative.

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Published January 31, 2017

METRO DETROIT — County commissioners are requesting a response from a local senior services agency after commissioners weren’t allowed to attend a special meeting in early January.

The Area Agency on Aging 1-B informed commissioners Dec. 30 that due to a technicality in its bylaws, they would not be allowed to attend a special meeting called for Jan. 3.

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Published January 31, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Due to recent developments within the Fraser sinkhole situation, Macomb Township residents continue to be urged to restrict water usage until otherwise told.

Officials announced Jan. 26 that shifting sediment had greatly reduced the amount of sewage able to flow through the damaged line along 15 Mile Road in Fraser and that existing bypass lines installed along the sinkhole route are only able to handle dry weather sewage flows.

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Published January 31, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A combination of several factors may soon lead to the construction of a joint fire and police station building, just east of the 23 Mile Road and Romeo Plank intersection.

The location of the building would be on the same lot that currently houses Macomb Township’s Fire Station No. 1, a Macomb County Sheriff’s office substation, a communications tower and a senior center.

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Published January 27, 2017

METRO DETROIT — In 1959, Art Van Elslander opened his first store on Gratiot in Detroit. In February, he expects to close on a deal to sell Art Van Furniture to a private equity firm, Thomas H. Lee Partners.

In a media release dated Jan. 25, Van Elslander said the time was right. 

Headquartered in Warren, Art Van operates more than 100 stores across five states and has been named among the top independent and overall furniture retailers in the United States. The business model includes a franchising program and boasts 3,500 employees.

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Published January 26, 2017

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Oakland County Health Division have issued a health advisory following a number of identified pertussis cases, commonly referred to as whooping cough.

The alert includes Oakland County, which has seen cases in Birmingham. Two students at Pierce Elementary School in Birmingham were diagnosed with the disease earlier this month. Both students were kept home from school for several days and have since returned to class. No other cases have been reported in the Birmingham Public Schools district since.

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Published January 25, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Township has a new human resources director, and it is a familiar face to the Board of Trustees.

The position, which has been vacant since May 2015, has been filled by Tom Esordi, who will also take over the position of in-house legal counsel.

Esordi, previously a township attorney from O’Reilly Rancilio Law Firm in Sterling Heights, has unofficially been acting as the township’s HR director since it became vacant.

Esordi will be paid $150,000 annually, which makes him the highest paid township employee.

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Published January 25, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Hip hop on Broadway is one way Dakota High School students are describing their upcoming winter performances of “In the Heights.”

Cast members said they weren’t initially familiar with the show when they were introduced to it, but after learning about the modern touches of the show, they are more eager than ever to put their own spin on the production.

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Published January 25, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — More than 600 people attended the 30th annual Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Holiday Celebration of Macomb County, hosted by the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice.

Government, school, cultural and religious leaders from throughout the county visited Dakota High School for the Jan. 16 event that shared a common message of continuing the hard work necessary to create justice for all.

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Published January 25, 2017

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — It’s that time of year again.

Although a weekend warmup has melted much of the snowpack throughout the metro Detroit area, snow-day season — and all of its uncertainties — is well underway.

Chippewa Valley Schools has had to call off school twice this winter, while other districts in northern parts of Macomb and Oakland counties have seen as many as five snow days.

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