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Published October 12, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Charles B. “Chuck” Rizzo, and his father, Charles P. Rizzo — the two former waste hauler kingpins in Macomb County — have reached plea deals in their corruption cases.

According to U.S District Court records, the pair is scheduled to appear before District Judge Robert H. Cleland Nov. 9 in Port Huron.

Ariel Glasner, attorney for the elder Rizzo, and Chuck Rizzo’s attorney, Thomas Green, could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Published October 11, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A local contractor has accepted a plea agreement and admitted to paying more than $90,000 in kickbacks to a Macomb Township elected official.

Christopher Sorrentino, 51, of Macomb Township, filed the plea agreement Oct. 3 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit. The plea comes about a month after charges were filed against Sorrentino for structuring financial transactions to avoid currency reporting requirements in cashing checks to pay the kickbacks.

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Published October 11, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The annual Run the Plank 5K run raised $36,500 for five local charities, thanks to a great runner turnout and a big focus on family during the event.

The sixth iteration of the event, also known as “3 Miles of Faith,” was once again put on by Immanuel, St. Isidore and St. Peter churches on June 24 in Macomb Township. The churches first came together in 2012 to put on the community event.

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Published October 11, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Getting out of the classroom and participating in hands-on experiments has been a focus of elementary science courses for years, Sequoyah Elementary School Principal Ted Zotos said.

And for a week, Sequoyah students were able to do just that right in the school’s parking lot thanks to the 40-foot FARM Science Lab courtesy of the Michigan Farm Bureau.

The mobile science classroom set up shop the week of Oct. 2, and all 700 kids in kindergarten through fifth grade got a chance to explore the agriculture-based lessons.

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Published October 10, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Halloween is a scary time of year, with ghosts and goblins lurking around every corner, but for the millions of families managing food allergies, the most frightening thing about it is often the treats.

“What people might not know is that 1 in 13 kids in the U.S. have a food allergy,” said Nancy Gregory, senior director of communications at Food Allergy Research and Education.

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Published October 6, 2017

From sprawling apple orchards to pick-your-own pumpkin patches, Michigan offers plenty of ways to spend a crisp autumn day. But if you’re looking for something a little more active — and you’re up for a challenge — it’s time to get in on the corn maze craze.

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Published October 4, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP/CLINTON TOWNSHIP — New math programs instituted at Chippewa Valley Schools a few years ago helped improve standardized test scores, and now administration is hoping a new English language arts curriculum can have the same effect.

The latest Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress scores from the 2016-17 school year showed Chippewa Valley students in grades three and five through eight had an increase in the percentage of advanced or proficient scores in mathematics.

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Published October 4, 2017

CLINTON TOWNSHIP/MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Alex Allard is an eighth-grade football and basketball player at Algonquin Middle School. He also said he stays up until 12:30 a.m. on most nights.

So when John Underwood, who has trained Olympic medalists and Navy SEALS, spoke to a group of about 150 student-athletes at Algonquin High School in September and stressed the importance of getting the right amount of sleep, Allard took it to heart.

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Published October 4, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Township Board of Trustees approved hiring an independent auditor to review the township’s competitive bid process, but it wasn’t without speed bumps on the way to approval.

Township Clerk Kristi Pozzi brought up the request to bring in the auditor during the Sept. 13 meeting to review the process after recent concerns over township employees not following the correct procedures. The motion was tabled in order for Pozzi to get a cost and scope analysis from potential auditors.

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Published October 4, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Two Macomb Township residents have been arrested for human trafficking after setting up dates online between men and a disabled woman living near their home.

The Macomb County Sheriff's Office received an anonymous complaint Sept. 12 regarding human trafficking occurring in the Westbridge Manor mobile home park near 21 Mile and Heydenreich roads.

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Published October 2, 2017

MACOMB COUNTY — Macomb County has been granted permission to file a counter-complaint against County Clerk Karen Spranger that will try to remove her from her position.

The ruling came Sept. 18 from St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Kelly, who was assigned the case after each judge at the Macomb County Circuit Court recused themselves.

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Published September 29, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Chris Tait offers a sober assessment of his outlook in 2011, after all the years he spent touring with bands and living a rock and roll lifestyle fed by booze and drugs.

“I’ve torched so many relationships. The shame and guilt. I didn’t want to die, but I didn’t want to live anymore, either,” said Tait, of Hamtramck, who plays keyboards in the Detroit-based Electric Six.

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Published September 27, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Township Board of Trustees approved settling two pending lawsuits against the township in a closed session during the Sept. 13 board meeting.

The first case was a lawsuit filed by Mount Clemens-based contractor Gianna Investments in October 2016 against Macomb Township and Trustee Dino Bucci. The lawsuit alleged Bucci requested a kickback for his help in securing a refund from the township for construction and sewer fees for work that was eventually done by another developer.

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Published September 27, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Township Fall Fun Fest is returning to Macomb Corners Park this year, but missing one aspect from past events — the word fitness in the name.

When the annual free festival kicks off Sept. 30, fitness will still be an emphasis in the planned activities, but Michelle Duda, a recreation programmer with the Parks and Recreation Department, said they wanted to make sure the event was welcoming to everyone.

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Published September 26, 2017

FRASER — The restaurant business is, and has always been, a family business for Eugene Kasapis.

Throughout high school, he worked in his dad’s restaurant in Greektown alongside his brothers Steve and Gus Kasapis. And three months before graduating, he and his brothers opened up their own restaurant in downtown Detroit.

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Published September 25, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A former employee of a local Catholic high school has been convicted of sending sexually abusive communications to a student at the school.

Joseph Sturza, 50, of Macomb Township, is the former director of admissions at Austin Catholic High School. He was convicted during a four-day trial Sept. 12-15 at Macomb County Circuit Court. Sturza was also convicted of using a computer to conduct the child sexual abuse activity, but was acquitted of two other charges relating to accosting a child for immoral purposes.

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Published September 22, 2017

MACOMB COUNTY — State Sen. Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, was recently awarded the first Michigan Library Association Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his leadership promoting libraries in Michigan.

Brandenburg was recognized during a reception held at the Chesterfield Township Library on Sept. 8.

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