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Published June 30, 2015

ROCHESTER — City officials opened the first of two parking platforms in downtown Rochester on June 25, a date that City Manager Jaymes Vettraino said will forever be an “incredibly important” day for the community.

The opening of the east parking deck — a two-level platform at University and Fourth, behind the Main Street Plaza — marks the first raised parking area in the city’s history, Vettraino said during the ribbon cutting ceremony. The east platform, along with added spaces in the adjacent alley, added approximately 260 spaces downtown.

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Published June 30, 2015

With summer heating up, local experts offered advice to save money on energy bills by maximizing efficiency in the home.

“There’s a lot of very simple measures to be more energy-efficient that don’t have to cost a lot of money,” Consumers Energy spokeswoman Deb Dodd said. “You don’t necessarily have to buy new windows or (energy-efficient appliances).”

One measure, Dodd said, is a programmable thermostat, which can reduce air conditioning costs while a home is unoccupied.

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Published June 30, 2015

The fellow in the cubicle next to you has been coming in each morning with red, tired eyes. He’s rubbing his throbbing temples throughout the day and always has a stash of Ibuprofen on hand.

There’s a good chance your cube pal isn’t an all-night partier, but rather, a daily sufferer of seasonal allergies. And he’s not alone. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children in the United States are affected by nasal allergies.

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Published June 29, 2015

The urge to hurry can put a driver at risk of a speeding ticket or even a traffic accident. But even if a speed limit seems like an inconvenience, there is often a carefully considered reason behind the numbers, according to road and safety experts.

According to a document from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning called “Establishing Realistic Speed Limits,” speed limits are designed to keep all drivers as safe as possible while staying within realistic boundaries of “reasonable and proper” public driving habits.

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Published June 27, 2015

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Although their eyes were stinging a bit and the smell wasn’t the most appealing, Rochelle Niemiec and Justin Updyke got the job done.

The pair chopped up a tray full of onions on the morning of June 23 as they prepared a delicious lunch from scratch alongside their classmates in the culinary/pastry arts summer teen academy at Macomb Community College’s Center Campus.

Every summer, the school offers a number of week-long academies in different fields to give local teenagers the opportunity to explore various careers.

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Published June 26, 2015

According to researchers, the annual bloom of harmful algae on Lake Erie is on track to be on par with the 2009-10 blooms, though still smaller than last year’s bloom that saw the shutdown of the Toledo water system.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its preliminary report June 15 on what it expects from Erie’s bloom this year, with a more accurate one coming in early July.

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Published June 24, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Tick bites can have long-lasting consequences.


A specific species of the bloodsucking arachnid, the blacklegged tick — also known as the deer tick — can spread Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that, if left untreated, can cause issues for months or years after the initial bite.

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Published June 24, 2015

METRO DETROIT — The housing market in metro Detroit is still flooded with buyers and sellers, but things may get a little more difficult for sellers as interest rates have started trending upward and more buyers are looking to get into new builds.


Keller Williams real estate agent John Kurczak, based in Sterling Heights, said that just as things have changed in the types of homes that buyers are looking at, so too has the way that homes are sold.

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Published June 24, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Hot, humid days spent sizzling under the summer sun are one of the few antidotes to a long Michigan winter.


Soaking up the heat is fine, of course, as long as it’s not your food that’s doing the sweating.


The Oakland County Health Division recently released a list of food safety reminders as residents get ready to head out for summer picnics. Tony Drautz, environmental health administrator for the division, said they like to give cooks a brush-up on the basics this time of year, when meals tend to migrate outdoors.

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Published June 24, 2015

METRO DETROIT — After the YMCA helped set a Guinness World Record last year for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson, you’d think they’d take a year off.

Think again.

Last week, the nonprofit teamed up again with World’s Largest Swim Lesson — a coalition of national water safety experts and trainers — to try to set the record for the world’s largest swim lesson in 24 hours. Currently, Team WLSL holds the Guinness record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson, with 36,564 participants in 22 countries around the world.

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Published June 22, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Sixteen people around metro Detroit have been charged in what the federal government is calling the largest Medicare fraud takedown in history.

Nationwide, 243 arrests were made as part of the investigation, including doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals for their alleged participation in schemes to defraud Medicare of $712 million through false billings. The investigation also led to the suspension of a number of health care providers.

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Published June 22, 2015

A stretch of Van Dyke Avenue in Warren is seeing signs of redevelopment as General Motors and a local dealership have committed to investing in the area.

In May, GM announced that its Warren Technical Center in Warren is poised to undergo an estimated nine-figure investment toward renovation and expansion.

GM spokesman Dan Flores said the automaker opened the Tech Center in the 1950s, and it has served as a core hub of vehicle development and design as well as research and development.

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Published June 19, 2015

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — With the Pride of Michigan floating in the background, local officials and business leaders touted the impact that the lake continues to have on the local economy during the second annual State of Lake St. Clair address on June 10.

County Executive Mark Hackel said Macomb County’s Blue Water Economy initiative is the reason for numerous accomplishments since its inception in 2013.

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Published June 18, 2015

MOUNT CLEMENS — Dozens of prisoners at the Macomb County Jail were released the evening of June 17 and the morning of June 18 due to overcrowding, sheriff’s officials reported.

According to Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, an overcrowding state of emergency was declared on June 2 after the jail population exceeded the rated design capacity (RDC).

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Published June 18, 2015

Students and staff at Holy Family Regional School were filled with emotion as they said goodbye to a beloved teacher who died unexpectedly over the weekend.

Cheryl Reynolds, 36, of Orion Township, died the evening of June 14 after suffering a medical emergency. Officials are investigating the cause of death, which was unknown at press time.

Students, families and staff planned to gather at the school for a memorial prayer service in Reynolds’ honor at 2 p.m. June 18.
School Principal Jon Myers said Reynolds did not have any known ongoing medical issues.

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Published June 17, 2015

METRO DETROIT — The flooring scene has changed drastically in the last few years, according to flooring experts in the area.


New types of flooring are available, such as luxury vinyl, which can resemble any other type of floor. And other timeless types of flooring, such as hardwood and carpet, have advanced leaps and bounds in terms of stability, finishes, style and softness.


Matt Pfeiffer, owner of Northern Flooring in Lake Orion, said that hardwood is the No. 1 type of flooring in Michigan and the best investment in terms of resale factor.

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Published June 17, 2015

METRO DETROIT — With winters that seem to last most of the year, Michiganders know how to take advantage of the warm weather once it finally rolls around.


Dinner time, exercise routines and daily play all seem to migrate outdoors in the summer months. It should come as no surprise, then, that many families in metro Detroit like to relocate movie night to the open air, too.

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Published June 17, 2015

ROCHESTER — The city of Rochester is recruiting new members for its Citizens Emergency Response Team, which helps assist first responders in the event of a major disaster or emergency.

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Published June 16, 2015

ROCHESTER HILLS — Twenty-four lucky Oakland University chorale group members will be participating in an upcoming Rolling Stones concert in Detroit. 

“The Rolling Stones have a booker, and she contacted me in April,” said Mike Mitchell, OU director of chorale activities, during a June 12 rehearsal at OU’s Varner Hall. “Obviously, I said yes.”

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Published June 16, 2015

ROCHESTER HILLS — The 26 kittens recently abandoned outside the Michigan Humane Society’s Rochester Hills facility is an occurrence that shelter officials say is unfortunately all too common during the warmer months.

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