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Woodward Talk

Published June 5, 2013

As kids anxiously await the arrival of summer, parents are weighing their summer child care options. From day camps to sitters, there’s a lot to consider when choosing who your youngster will spend their summer break with.

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Published May 29, 2013

Impatiens, a top choice for homeowners planting colorful annual flower displays, will not be available at most nurseries this year.

“There is a downy mildew problem with impatiens,” said Carl Eckert, owner of Eckert’s Greenhouse on Ryan in Sterling Heights. “We didn’t grow them this year, and most other nurseries also didn’t.”

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Published May 22, 2013

Michigan Week is in full swing, giving residents just one more excuse to revel in all the wonderful things there are to do and see in the Mitten State.

Whether you’re a beer buff or a beach babe, there’s a place for you in Michigan. But with so many regional specialties, it’s hard to choose which area of the state is best for the stay- or play-cation of your choice.

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Published April 30, 2013

DETROIT — The Labor Day weekend is still a few months away, but already it’s promising to be another great one for jazz lovers and the city of Detroit.

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Published April 10, 2013

After almost 21 years together, the Luddites still haven’t suffered the ubiquitous “creative differences” that have shattered bands less than half their age.

The 11-piece acoustic group will celebrate the release of their fourth CD, “Twisted In,” with a concert starting at 9 p.m. April 13 at PJ’s Lager House. Bass player David Giovannucci, one of the original Luddites from those early days in August 1992 when they started as a five-piece acoustic act, said friendship and mutual respect have kept them going all these years.

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Published April 10, 2013

In the bin

Come garbage day, most curbside recycling bins are stuffed with paper, plastic and glass bottles, cans, and cardboard, but there’s a whole lot more that can be added to the heap.

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Published March 27, 2013

Though spring seems to have lost its way en route to Michigan, it won’t be long before temperatures finally rise and the ground thaws to welcome new plants and flowers into eagerly awaited gardens around metro Detroit.

Just like in fashion boutiques, there will be lots of trends that customers will be clamoring for at their local nursery this year as they plan their landscape design. According to Erma Rhadigan, co-owner of Ray Wiegand’s Nursery in Macomb Township, this year’s most popular bloom choices are going to be bright, warm colors.

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Published March 27, 2013

With spring here — at least according to the calendar — many homeowners look to the state of their houses after the long, dirty winter and aren’t happy with what they see.

Carpets are soiled by salty boots; driveways start cracking from the months-long freeze/thaw cycle; and muddy messes are exposed in backyards that will be used for entertaining, come summer.

Now is the time to fix those problems, according to local contractors, before warm-weather fun beckons and the summer home- improvement rush begins.

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Published August 8, 2012


Can do

Eileen Haraminac will teach several upcoming food preservation courses at the Macomb MSU Extension office at 21885 Dunham, Assembly Room A, in Clinton Township:
• Aug. 18: hot water bath jams and jellies.

Published June 8, 2012

Look up as you walk the halls at Simonds Elementary, and you’ll wonder how you wandered into a butterfly enclosure.

More than 300 handcrafted butterflies are suspended from the ceiling. Their bodies are wood clothespins spray-painted black, with pipe-cleaner antennae and paper wings dotted with sequins. Each butterfly is one-of-a-kind, reflecting the student who made it, and every kid at the school contributed to the collection.

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Published May 31, 2012

As a boy, he didn’t know his father was a convicted child killer, on the run with his mother who helped his father escape from Indiana State Prison in the ‘70s. But all through his childhood, Chip St. Clair says he experienced the cruelty of the man he knew as David St. Clair, whose real name was Michael Dean Grant.

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Published May 11, 2012

DETROIT — On Eight Mile near Klinger, east of Dequindre, is a gas station and party store, or what remains of it, anyway. The pumps are gone, and no signage remains to give the place a name.

The terrain is cratered, and rainwater pools in the middle, dark and murky. Grocery bags and fast-food wrappers are entangled in the cyclone fencing, while bricks, shards of glass and huge chunks of Styrofoam litter the ground. Weed-choked fields grow unchecked out back, all but obscuring a discarded luggage trunk.

Meanwhile, Eight Mile traffic barrels by, ignoring the eyesore.

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Published April 27, 2012

MADISON HEIGHTS — When spring break rolled around in early April, many of Brooke Heisler’s friends were looking forward to getting away from the rigors of life.

Some were eager to hit the beach in warmer climes like Florida and Cancun, Mexico.

Others were planning to stay at home, sleep in late and enjoy their leisure time.

But for Heisler, a sophomore at Lamphere High School, spring break meant leaving one routine to pick up another, waking up at the break of dawn each day to serve unfamiliar people in a faraway place.

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Published April 27, 2012

MADISON HEIGHTS — Whether it’s an animal shelter or a thrift store for the poor, many nonprofits practically run on air. With finances tight, it’s hard to hire staff that can take care of the day-to-day tasks that come with running an organization. And when they get bogged down in menial work, they become distracted from their mission.

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Published March 21, 2012

As pet lovers snuggle up with their furry friends, many may not think about where their animals came from before they found them listed online or at a pet store. But the Michigan Humane Society estimates that 99 percent of pet store puppies are bred by large-scale breeders, or puppy mills, some of which are known for their cruel and inhumane treatment of animals to maximize profit.

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Published March 16, 2012

MADISON HEIGHTS — To the human eye, a QR code is indecipherable, a checkered mass of black-and-white squares. Scan it with a smartphone, though, and what looks like senseless TV static becomes a link to a website — no typing necessary.

Originally used in the auto industry to track vehicles during the manufacturing process, “quick reference” codes are growing in popularity thanks to the rise of smartphones, which effectively double as barcode readers.

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Published March 14, 2012

An electronic sign on the wall reads “10 days, 14 hours, 15 minutes and 4.32 seconds.”

“That’s the countdown until the end of my life,” laughed Melisa Valentine, 25, of Ferndale, a bartender at the Blarney Stone Pub in Berkley.

She’s kidding of course. The countdown marks the time left before St. Patrick’s Day, the annual holiday many celebrate by bellying up to the bar. But for those tasked with handling the crowds and their beverage orders from behind the bar, it’s a far different experience.

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Published March 7, 2012

Bullying hurts.

It can make someone feel small, rejected, disrespected, stupid, ugly, unloved and unimportant.

While not a new concept — the bullies and bullied have been around for years — it seems to have entered a new realm as an alarming number of youth have responded to bullying in more dramatic ways than society has been accustomed to. Suicide. Violence. Murder.

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Published February 29, 2012

DETROIT — Prep your paws for a whole lot of petting as the annual two-day celebration of all things dog arrives March 3 and 4 with the annual Detroit Kennel Club Dog Shows at Cobo Center.

More than 2,000 dogs representing 167 breeds will be on hand to interact with the public, demonstrate their skills and compete for top prizes.

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Published January 25, 2012

Public schools keep religion out of the forefront of education, but many parents want to see religious education, traditions and beliefs at the center of their child’s learning environment.

Those parents can choose schools that keep faith the focus.

Religious schools take several steps to ensure faith ideals are conveyed inside and outside the classroom, including daily religious services.

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