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Published December 15, 2016

MACOMB COUNTY — A 78-year old Macomb Township man was sentenced Dec. 14 to 50-180 months in prison.

Donald Miller received his sentence from Macomb County Circuit Court Judge James Biernat. A jury found Miller guilty of manslaughter Nov. 4 following the Feb. 16, 2015 fatal shooting death of a 31-year old Pontiac man.

He also received a two-year sentence for a felony firearms charge.

Miller is the great-grandfather to three of the victim’s children, who the victim had with Miller’s granddaughter.

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Published December 14, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The number of full-time firefighters in Macomb Township is about to triple.

During a Dec. 7 Macomb Township Board of Trustees meeting, Fire Chief Robert Phillips got the go-ahead to extend employment offers for 11 full-time firefighting positions.

It is the first wave of full-time hires after a committee recommended in June to recruit more personnel to the department.

At that time, the department had seven full-time staff, including a deputy 2nd chief, and 48 paid on-call and auxiliary positions.

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Published December 14, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The mother of a Dakota High School student who was recently killed while walking to school has spoken out about the need for safety improvements along Heydenreich Road, near the campuses of several schools at 21 Mile Road. 

Amber Markel, a Macomb Township resident, spoke during a Dec. 5 Chippewa Valley Schools Board of Education meeting and a Dec. 7 Macomb Township Board of Trustees meeting.

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Published December 14, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A Macomb County Circuit Court judge recently sentenced a former Chippewa Valley High School teacher found guilty of four counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

On Nov. 17, Judge Jennifer Faunce sentenced Christopher David Cowles, 25, of Clinton Township, to at least five years and up to 15 years in prison.

Cowles was arrested and charged Feb. 19, 2015, by Clinton Township police after having sexual contact with a female student who was 17 years old at the time of Cowles’ arrest, but 16 years old at the time of the incident.

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Published December 10, 2016

With holiday baking underway in households across metro Detroit, we asked our readers to share some of their favorite Christmas cookie recipes.
Here's what we've gotten so far. Do you have one that we should include?
Click here to submit your own recipe, and we'll add it to the list.

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Published December 8, 2016

MACOMB COUNTY — During his Dec. 7 State of the County address, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel touted the ongoing momentum that’s continually bringing new life into the area.

He noted how the Make Macomb Your Home initiative has birthed a vitality in the county that was once considered lagging.

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Published December 7, 2016

MACOMB COUNTY — After three months of discussions and fine-tuning, the Macomb County Board of Commissioners approved the 2017 fiscal year budget for the county Dec. 1.

The total budget amounts to $233,394,750 in the general fund and $725,026,067 total.

The budget review process began in early September, and the board participated in nearly 30 hours of public meetings to identify just seven changes from the originally proposed budget. Those changes reduced the budget by nearly $8.7 million.

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Published December 7, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A new bench that sits on the playground of Cheyenne Elementary School is the product of a Dakota High School sophomore who recently earned Eagle Scout status.

Alec DeMaria recently earned the prestigious honor upon completion of his community service project, which wound up being a “buddy bench” for Cheyenne in Macomb Township.

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Published December 7, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A three-person committee has been formed to review the circumstances which led up to the approval of Rizzo Environmental being selected as the Macomb Township waste hauler.

During the supervisor comments section of the Nov. 21 Board of Trustees meeting, Supervisor Janet Dunn requested to form a committee made up of members who had no involvement in the 2015 waste hauling contract negotiations.

Township Treasurer Karen Goodhue, Trustee Nancy Nevers and newly-elected Trustee Tim Bussineau will make up the committee.

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Published December 7, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A local girl is planning a party for a cause close to her heart.

Liza Lucaj, a Macomb Township resident and a senior at Austin Catholic High School in Chesterfield Township, plans to host a Christmas party for students with special needs Dec. 17.

Lucaj’s little sister Gina, 13, sustained a brain injury prior to being born when her mother was in a car crash during pregnancy.

Gina has battled cerebral palsy and a host of other health challenges early in her life, but has been an inspiration for her older sister.

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Published December 7, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP/MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The work of three retiring teachers with more than 70 combined years of elementary school teaching experience in the Chippewa Valley Schools district was recognized during a Board of Education meeting Nov. 21.

Jeanne Forbes, Wesley Fishwick and Patricia O’Reilly were recognized by the board, as all of them plan to retire at the end of this school year.

Forbes, who started teaching in 1986, spent all of her 31 years in the district as a fourth-grade teacher at Huron Elementary.

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Published November 30, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP/MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Due to a changing economic climate locally, the Chippewa Valley school district is facing a shortage of food service and custodial personnel.

During a Nov. 14 Board of Education meeting, Mary Ann Reed-Panchenko, a food service employee at Miami Elementary, expressed her frustration with the lack of help in her building and elsewhere throughout the district.

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Published November 30, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Growing up isn’t always easy, for both children and parents.

The Clinton-Macomb Public Library has joined 400 libraries in 27 states by offering “Grow, Play, Learn” — a program that is part of the Family Place initiative, which emphasizes that literacy begins at birth.

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Published November 29, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — After a meeting between Macomb County, Macomb Township and Chippewa Valley Schools officials during the early morning of Nov. 16, a speed study that has already begun is the first of several potential steps to address safety concerns for students who walk to school near the intersection of Heydenreich Road and 21 Mile Road.

Plans for the study began shortly after the death of a Dakota High School student Nov. 4.

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Published November 29, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — New Macomb Township Clerk Kristi Pozzi officially began her role Nov. 21.

Without a challenge from a Democratic candidate, Pozzi’s victory in a three-person primary election Aug. 2 allowed her to cruise through the general election Nov. 8.

Pozzi, 44, previously worked as a medical program specialist for the Macomb County Circuit Court, and she has been a member of the Macomb Township Zoning Board of Appeals.

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Published November 23, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — As Macomb Township continues to grow, so does the workload for employees in the township’s planning and engineering departments.

To accommodate those increases, Supervisor Janet Dunn requested to add three positions to the staff during a Board of Trustees meeting Nov. 9.

One of the positions, a planning director, will be filled by Patrick Meagher, who has already been serving as the township planning consultant on a part-time basis for the past three years.

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Published November 22, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Kim Mathers will not receive jail time after pleading no contest to a charge of operating a vehicle while visibly impaired.

Mathers, the ex-wife of rapper Eminem, received a sentence of 12 months of reporting probation, as well as a fine of $900, after she crashed her 2009 Cadillac Escalade in an admitted suicide attempt Oct. 7, 2015 on Card Road near 23 Mile Road in Macomb Township.

She was in 41-A District Court of Shelby Township to receive her sentence Nov. 22.

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Published November 22, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Following the death of a Dakota High School student Nov. 4, a group of concerned parents sparked discussion for how to make Heydenreich Road safer.

The student was struck by a vehicle around 7 a.m. Nov. 4 while she was crossing Heydenreich near Vine Drive, which is in between 21 Mile and 22 Mile roads.

Citing poor lighting, a lack of connecting sidewalks and a high speed limit, Rebecca Jones, a parent to five children in Chippewa Valley Schools, started an online petition for a safer road near the high school.

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Published November 21, 2016

HARRISON TOWNSHIP/MACOMB TOWNSHIP — In the wake of the tumultuous 2016 presidential election, both local and state education officials are reaching out to parents in regard to concerns of discontent among students.

State Superintendent Brian Whiston confirmed in a letter that since the Nov. 8 election, “there have been a number of reported incidents in Michigan schools of students harassing, bullying, intimidating and using hateful speech toward other students.”

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Published November 19, 2016

METRO DETROIT — You managed to stay cool on social media during the entire political season. You didn’t once snap at Uncle Bruce’s relentless posts bashing your candidate, and now that the election is over you can take a deep breath and relax.

But wait.

Thanksgiving is this week, and even more holidays are just around the corner.

You’ll have to see family members on either side of the aisle, and face it, there just isn’t enough pie to bring them all together.

You’re not alone.

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