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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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Published December 14, 2011

After Shelby Township crafter Margie Conn waged a successful battle against breast cancer, she decided to use her skills to help others.

“I had to give back,” she said. “I got involved with Relay for Life. I am always looking for a way to contribute.”

The winner of the first C & G Newspapers Holiday Craft Contest, Conn received 245 votes for her repurposed cigar box, decorated with keys and memorabilia. Crafting the decorative storage boxes involves weeks of work layering paints and resin.

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Published December 7, 2011

Looking for a few more gifts on your holiday shopping list? Choosing a Michigan-made item or purchasing from a small, local business can be a win-win — recipients get to unwrap something unique, while shoppers help boost Michigan’s economy.

“If we’re going to make an impact with our dollars, this is the biggest impact we can have — at this time of the year,” said Lisa Diggs, founder of Buy Michigan Now.

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Published December 7, 2011

This holiday season, the population of Casey and Tara Colussi’s household tripled.

For five days over Thanksgiving, the Troy couple, who has two children, hosted Casey’s parents, sister, brother-in-law, two nephews and two family friends.

It was the second installment of what’s become a holiday tradition for the Colussis, and though their recent move to a larger home eased the congestion somewhat, “even with the extra space, it’s a pleasant chaos, is always the best way to describe it,” laughed Casey.

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Published October 26, 2011

In Stephen King’s horror novel “The Shining,” a small, dysfunctional family moves into an old and insidious hotel for the winter after the family patriarch, Jack Torrance, is hired as the caretaker during the off-season.

No spoilers here, but anyone who has read the book or seen the Stanley Kubrick movie knows the disturbing and tragic things that occur during the course of the family’s stay.

It’s a perfect story for anyone who likes a good scare.

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Published October 13, 2011

What’s your favorite apple?

“The last one I ate.”

Ed Robinette doesn’t even hesitate to give that cheeky yet appropriate reply to what is surely one of his favorite questions. He is, after all, raising 23 varieties of apples on his family farm in Grand Rapids. That’s a lot of options. But it barely breaks the surface.

“There’s so much diversity in the apple crop in Michigan — there are literally thousands of varieties,” Robinette said.

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Upcoming Events

St. Clair Shores
Ukulele jam session
1 p.m.
Lake Shore Presbyterian Church
Grosse Pointe Farms
Scholarship fundraiser luncheon
11:30 a.m.
The War Memorial
Metro Detroit
Free information on Medicare
10 a.m.
Various locations
Troy
Discussion about suicide prevention
9 a.m.-noon
Oakland Community Health Network
Clinton Township
Epilepsy support group meeting
7-8:30 p.m.
Macomb Intermediate School District

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