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Published May 5, 2015

DETROIT — The Detroit Jazz Festival has been attracting some of the top jazz players in the world for years, but the 36th annual festival scored a particular coup this year with artist-in-residence Pat Metheny.

The jazz guitarist and composer, who has won 20 Grammy Awards and has sold more than 20 million records, will be performing with a number of other jazz greats — including Kenny Garrett, Ron Carter and the Gary Burton Quartet — during the festival, which takes place over Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4-7, in downtown Detroit.

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Published May 4, 2015

Last year’s magic number was 300,000.

That was approximately how many pounds of food Macomb County residents donated during the National Association of Letter Carriers and U.S. Postal Service “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive held in 2014.

Macomb Food Program coordinator Linda Azar said the donations fed more than 140,000 Macomb County residents and that without the Postal Service’s food drive, “I don’t know what we would do.”

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Published May 4, 2015

Warmer weather means it’s more likely for bikers to take their prized possessions for a ride on Michigan’s roads. And that means everyone on the road needs to be cautious, whether on two wheels or four.

AAA Michigan Public Affairs Director Susan Hiltz said drivers should never tailgate a motorcycle or abruptly change lanes in front of one.

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Published April 30, 2015

Michigan’s no-fault insurance law, which has existed for around four decades, could face significant changes if the state Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder pass through pending legislation, according to activists on both side of the debate.

Senate Bill 248 passed the Senate April 16, and a state House version passed in a House committee April 23. A full House vote is expected to take place soon.

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Published April 30, 2015

The eyes of the nation were on the U.S. Supreme Court on April 28 as it heard arguments for and against same-sex marriage. The cases were brought forth by Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.  

The first issue, directly involving Michigan, is whether it’s constitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. The other issue is whether all states must recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states.

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Published April 29, 2015

Walking into a home without wall art would be almost as jarring as stepping inside an observatory and seeing no telescopes, or eating at a Mexican restaurant and not being served chips and salsa.

People sense the ambiance when standing inside a building. And no matter what the setting is or what is taking place in that particular environment, people often expect to see aesthetically pleasing and visually stimulating art.

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Published April 29, 2015

It’s so easy to honor a new graduate’s accomplishment with a gift card, a fancy tech device or even just some cash tucked into an envelope.

But there are other gifts you can give that student starting a new chapter in his or her life that involve a bit more thought and creativity. Those gifts, of course, mean so much more than their monetary value.

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Published April 29, 2015

METRO DETROIT — As artillery and troops traveled overseas to fight in World War II, metro Detroiters who remained at home stayed productive by making the equipment needed to defeat the Axis powers.

Ron Lamparter, who owns the Defense Corridor Center for Collaboration and Synergy in Sterling Heights, said dozens of books and tens of thousands of pages have been written about Detroit’s role as the “Arsenal of Democracy” in World War II.

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Published April 29, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Not every American who fought for victory during World War II wore a uniform on foreign shores.

You won’t find their tales often in history books, but rather in journals and family photo albums.

The work done and sacrifices made by women during the war are heroic in their own right, though those ladies aren’t always given the full credit they’re due.

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Published April 28, 2015

METRO DETROIT — The most destructive war ever fought in Europe ended on May 8, 1945. That point in time will forever be known to history as V-E Day.

For those who lived through the war, it was both the end and the beginning.

Gone forever were millions of lives. Millions more were left grieving, homeless and hungry, struggling to pick up the pieces of their shattered world. Towns that had stood for centuries were obliterated. It was a cataclysm never before seen, the end result of maniacal nationalism and industrialized war.

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Published April 27, 2015

ROYAL OAK — The Detroit Zoological Society is seeking $55,000 through online donations to construct a “biodigester,” a device that would collect the methane from animal waste and turn it into electricity.

The money is part of the final effort needed to construct the digester, Detroit Zoo Chief Operating Officer Gerry Van Acker said. The zoo already has raised $900,000.

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Published April 27, 2015

Several of Michigan’s traffic intersections with the most total accidents or related injuries or deaths in 2014 were found in Oakland and Macomb counties, according to top 10 lists recently compiled by a law firm.

Using data from the Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit, the Michigan Auto Law firm’s website posted in March that the Michigan intersection with the most accidents last year was South State Road at West Ellsworth Road in Ann Arbor, with 170 accidents.

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Published April 25, 2015

HAZEL PARK — When thoroughbreds returned to Hazel Park Raceway last year after a 30-year hiatus, an estimated 14,000-15,000 people turned out to see the majestic steeds in action. 

The track is hoping to replicate that success this year, kicking off the meet just in time for the Kentucky Derby, with the first race at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 1.

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Published April 24, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — The Madison Heights Memorial Day Parade — held the Saturday before Memorial Day — will feature a picnic in Civic Center Park after the memorial service this year. But first, efforts continue to raise money for the privately funded event, with the Pub Crawl on May 2.

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Published April 23, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS/ROCHESTER — Police are investigating a case that ended with a 56-year-old Ferndale man jumping to his death from the third-story window of a local motel April 22.

Rochester police responded to a home in the 1600 block of Chase Drive at 1:30 p.m. after a woman reported that a man she was acquainted with was cutting cable and phone wires with a knife on the exterior of her home.

The man, according to police, was the subject of prior stalking complaints and was not allowed to be in the area due to a personal protection order.

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Published April 22, 2015

NOVI — Men, you might as well look away now.

There will be a lot to see and do during the 20th annual Michigan International Women’s Show from April 30-May 3 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

“It has definitely grown,” Beth Anderson, executive show manager of Southern Shows, said. “It has changed, and we hope that everyone enjoys it as much today as they did 20 years ago when it first started at the Novi Expo Center.”

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Published April 22, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — More than 70 kids from four elementary schools will be turned into Oompa Loompas at the end of the month as part of the Lamphere High Drama Club’s springtime musical, “Willy Wonka.”

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Published April 21, 2015

DETROIT — Local leading jazz musicians will be sharing a famous stage with some aspiring jazz greats of tomorrow when the University Liggett School Jazz Band opens for the Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra on April 30 at the Music Hall Jazz Café.

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Published April 20, 2015

OAKLAND COUNTY — On May 9, residents can catch a free ride to and from the Detroit Institute of Arts as part of the museum’s County Days program.

The program, which is provided four times a year for tri-county residents, is a good opportunity for people to get downtown and see a return on their investment, explained Thomas Guastello, chair of the Oakland County Art Institute Authority.

The investment was the 2012 voter-approved, 10-year, 0.2-mill levy to provide free DIA admission for Wayne, Macomb and Oakland County residents.

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Published April 20, 2015

With the right frame of mind, drivers navigating a roundabout in metro Detroit can turn going in circles into a positive experience, according to road and driving safety representatives.

Construction recently began on an upcoming roundabout at 14 Mile Road at Orchard Lake Road at the border of West Bloomfield and Farmington Hills, according to Craig Bryson, spokesman for the Road Commission for Oakland County. The RCOC expects the project to be finished this autumn.

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