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Published December 11, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — Flickering candles, twinkling Christmas lights, a roaring fireplace — there are many ways people brighten up the darkest time of the year. But authorities say one should be aware of the fire risks that emerge during the holidays.

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Published December 11, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Rachel Webster, formerly of Madison Heights, loves her horse, Al. But currently she’s unable to take care of him, and he’s in need of a place to live.

The chestnut-colored thoroughbred gelding, 20, raced for eight years — a lengthy career, considering most horses only run for two or three.

Hoping to give Al a well-deserved retirement, Webster took him in when he was 11, but due to changing circumstances, she had to give him up when he was 17.

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Published December 11, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — For many police officers, firefighters and paramedics, Christmas Day is not spent at home with loved ones, but on duty at the station, ready to stop crimes, put out fires and respond to medical emergencies.

It’s thanks to their dedication that the community can rest easy on Christmas. And that’s why some thanks are in order.

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Published December 11, 2015

HAZEL PARK — The final pieces of the puzzle are coming together for a huge development at Hazel Park Raceway — one of the biggest construction projects in Oakland County in several years — that will bring hundreds of new jobs to the city of Hazel Park, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in new property revenues.

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Published December 9, 2015

HAZEL PARK — A cat and a dog were rescued from a fire in a first-floor duplex that authorities have now determined was caused by an improperly disposed cigarette.

“It was an accidental fire,” said Hazel Park Fire Chief Richard Story. “It looks to be a case of careless smoking.”

The fire occurred around 10 p.m. on Nov. 28, in the 40 block of West Elza Avenue. The woman who lives there was not home at the time, but Story said she had an ashtray that was knocked over when she left, and a cigarette butt appears to have started the fire.

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Published December 8, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — When a man left his Madison Heights home to visit family in Ohio for Thanksgiving, he reportedly did so thinking he had put out a candle.

Unfortunately, the candle had not been completely extinguished, and when it melted down onto combustible materials, the back bedroom caught on fire.

Firefighters were called to 31400 Concord Drive in the Lexington Village apartment complex at 9:47 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25. They arrived within two minutes.

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Published December 8, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — Now under new leadership in their 42nd season, the men and women of the Madison Chorale are preparing for their annual holiday concerts this Saturday and Sunday.

They’re also in a “rebuilding year,” with their membership having dipped from around 30 members earlier this year to around 20. But they say their sound will be as robust as ever.

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Published December 4, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — A Detroit man stands accused of murdering a Madison Heights man, setting fire to the victim’s home to allegedly destroy evidence, and stealing the victim’s vehicle.

Christopher Charles-Ruben King, 19, of Detroit, was arraigned by Magistrate Kimberly Wilson in Madison Heights 43rd District Court Nov. 25. He is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree arson and auto theft, and faces up to life in prison if convicted on the murder charge.

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Published December 2, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — For the third year in a row, the city of Madison Heights has been recognized for its welcoming business climate and named a “Best Practice” community in the eCities study conducted each year by iLabs at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

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Published December 2, 2015

HAZEL PARK — Back in October, teachers in Hazel Park Public Schools were asked to nominate students they felt were especially compassionate as part of the district’s Month of Caring.

For November, the theme turned to “Citizenship,” with a focus on following the rules, respecting authority, acting responsibly, improving the community and inspiring others to do good. The teachers once again looked at their students and came back with standout examples.

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Published December 1, 2015

METRO DETROIT — There are currently more than 2,000 homeless military veterans in the city of Detroit, according to a VFW head count of shelter numbers. These are men and women who risked their lives protecting the freedoms we enjoy, yet now they have nowhere to go.

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Published November 30, 2015

METRO DETROIT — About 20 members of the Osak family, their friends and supporters packed into vans and headed to the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly last December.

They went to honor Edward John Osak Sr., the family’s patriarch, a Warren resident who had served honorably as an infantryman in the U.S. Army during World War II. Osak had remained as sharp as a tack through the years. He’d kept his wit, was spry enough to bowl and continued to be an ardent supporter of veterans until his death, just days after his 90th birthday in September 2014.

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Published November 25, 2015

HAZEL PARK — Authorities have confirmed the remains of a body found in Detroit as that of a Hazel Park man who had gone missing in early October.

Jacob Gasperoni, 27, was last seen by his family leaving for a bus on Eight Mile the week of Oct. 6.  His remains were found by relatives the afternoon of Nov. 15 in the 20300 block of Charleston, near Winchester, in Detroit.

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Published November 25, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — A recent donation to the Veterans of Foreign Wars will help Post 1407 stay up and running, even when power outages threaten to shut it down.

The post received a $5,000 grant from AT&T that will pay for an auxiliary power generator. Perishable goods meant for veterans in need will no longer be at risk of spoiling when power is lost. Likewise, the post will be able to continue hosting functions, a needed revenue stream alongside state VFW-regulated charity gaming in the future and other fundraising activities.

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Published November 24, 2015

SOUTHFIELD — It won’t be long before the Potters Market opens its doors for business.

Now in its 40th year, the Potters Market will feature around 35,000 pieces by 140 potters. They’re made to the show’s exacting standards, including many in the $5-$30 price range. It’s an event where you never know what you’ll see next, since the selection changes as items are sold and new items take their place. 

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Published November 23, 2015

HAZEL PARK — This year’s thoroughbred meet at Hazel Park Raceway was cut short Aug. 8 when Sports Creek Raceway closed and shrunk the purse pool, reducing the number of live race nights from 38 to 30. Now the Michigan Gaming Control Board has announced the schedule for 2016, granting Hazel Park Raceway another 30 days of live racing.   

The difference is that the 2016 season will start later in May. The dates will be on Fridays and Saturdays from May 27 through Sept. 3. The 2015 season started May 1. 

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Published November 21, 2015

HAZEL PARK — Hazel Park is a small town with a big heart. For more than 30 years, the community has pulled together each holiday season to assemble goods for struggling families in the Hazel Park school district, which includes parts of Ferndale. And this year will be no different.

From now through Nov. 30, those in need can fill out applications for the Holiday Baskets at the Hazel Park District Library, 123 E. Nine Mile Road, near John R, or at any of the school buildings.

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Published November 18, 2015

LANSING — During the Nov. 3 election that included races for many city, village and township decision-makers’ seats in Oakland and Macomb counties, only about 20 percent of registered voters cast their ballots across both counties, according to the respective county clerks’ offices.

Hoping to get a better turnout at the polls on election days, state Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Oak Park, introduced a resolution Nov. 3 that asks the U.S. Congress to make Election Day a national holiday. Such a move would give voters the day off from work and school.

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Published November 13, 2015

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP —Hundreds of veterans came out to take a stroll through history — and to be recognized for their contributions to it — during a Veterans Day event at Stahls Automotive Museum in Chesterfield Township.

Veterans of the U.S. armed forces, accompanied by family members, friends and supporters, toured the museum on Nov. 11 during special hours set aside to honor those who served their country in times of conflict and peace.

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Published November 12, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — Police in Madison Heights continue to investigate the death of Fernando Gonzales and have released a sketch of a suspect in the possible homicide.

“The best description I can give with our limited information is we’re looking for a tall white male believed to be at least 6 feet tall and about medium build, who was wearing a baseball cap on the night of the incident and is believed to have short blond hair,” said Deputy Police Chief Corey Haines.

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