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Published May 27, 2015

CLAWSON — Members of the City Council unanimously agreed during the May 19 meeting to an estimated net 3.47 percent quarterly increase in water and sewer rates.

The actual amount is based on water consumption and will be effective for the fiscal year starting July 1.

“As far as the overall rate goes, that’s the lowest percentage increase in the 15 years I’ve been here,” said City Manager Mark Pollock.

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Published May 27, 2015

METRO DETROIT — With gorgeous summer weather finally here, many of us are itching to get out and enjoy the warm breeze and sunny skies while the season lasts.

According to the League of American Bicyclists, biking is something of a favorite pastime for Michiganders. The state placed 18th out of 50 for bicycle-friendly states, based on legislation and enforcement, policies and programs, infrastructure and funding, education and encouragement, and evaluation and planning.

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Published May 27, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Looking to create plush, peaceful outdoor spaces that also pop?

For The Great Outdoors program held at the Michigan Design Center May 14, interior designer Paul Feiten transformed the MDC’s lobby in Troy into virtual outdoor space that he said was inspired by a European veranda.

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Published May 26, 2015

The thrill of riding off road in a Jeep or truck might not have as many obstacles as some think.

Hollie Marlett, marketing assistant at Genesee County Parks, said The Mounds Off Road Vehicle Area in Mt. Morris Township is frequently used for off-road treks by Jeeps, trucks, ATVs and dirt bikes that fit under the umbrella of off-road vehicles, or ORVs.

She said the course is quite popular in the area and is one of the few larger areas with variety.

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Published May 24, 2015

METRO DETROIT  — While pizza is a favorite dish for many people, one local pizzeria has found a way to feed man’s best friend while at the same time helping other animals in need.

About a year ago, Buddy’s Pizza and the Michigan Humane Society teamed up to create a dog treat called Buddy Bones. The dog biscuits are made from leftover multigrain Buddy’s Pizza dough that otherwise would be tossed away.

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Published May 23, 2015

This weekend, it’s all about the music, with two local concerts that promise to entertain.

For those who prefer their music loud, raw and aggressive, get your eardrums prepped for the second annual “Get Into the Pit” Michigan metal festival at the Diesel Concert Lounge and Theatre in Chesterfield Township from May 29-30.

But if piano pop with some jazz and trumpet sounds is more your speed, Warren resident Marcello Rossi brings his original style of music May 31 to the American Polish Cultural Center in Troy.

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Published May 22, 2015

ROYAL OAK — The city is making changes to its sidewalk repair program despite initial claims that it would stand by its procedures.

Mayor Jim Ellison, speaking on behalf of the City Commission, stated during the May 11 meeting that the sidewalk repair program would remain unchanged.

But after further investigation and meetings between city officials and the key organizer of a group of residents critical of the sidewalk repair program, City Manager Don Johnson announced on May 18 that there would be changes.

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Published May 21, 2015

Furry friends who are going for a ride need to stay cool and buckled up just like other passengers, according to pet safety advocates.

Michigan Humane Society spokesman Ryan McTigue said the No. 1 thing that pet owners need to remember as the weather starts getting hot is to not take their animals with them on unnecessary trips.

“The best thing to do is leave them at home where they’re safe,” he said. “Temperatures can climb really high (in a car) even on a relatively cool day, even if you crack the window.”

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Published May 20, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Sure, you had planned on stopping at the driving range before teeing off, perhaps turn that slice into a gentle fade.

But then you missed a turn on the way to the golf course, or the babysitter was late, and suddenly the tee time that you’ve looked forward to is now a race to the first tee box instead of a relaxing start to the weekend.

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Published May 19, 2015

ROYAL OAK/CLAWSON — Attendees are invited to gather and show their respect for fallen military men and women at the Royal Oak Memorial Day Community Parade.

The parade begins 9 a.m. May 25 at Lincoln and Main streets in downtown Royal Oak. The route travels from South Main Street and Harrison, heading north to Second Street, then east to the Veterans Memorial Plaza, where the annual memorial service will be held. A shuttle service will be available in front of City Hall for those in the parade. The shuttle will take participants to the start of the parade.

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Published May 19, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Three lifelong Royal Oak residents are packing up their classrooms and saying farewell in June to the district hallways they called a second home for decades.

As friends, colleagues and mentors to one another, Northwood Elementary School teachers Kristin Ryan, Betty Ann Garlak and Michelle Villerot are retiring with a combined total of nearly 80 years of teaching in Royal Oak Schools.

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Published May 19, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Betty Ann Garlak is concluding her 30-year Royal Oak Schools career with honors after being named the district’s 2014-15 Outstanding Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Garlak wouldn’t accept the honor without crediting others.

“It was surprising, and I was very, very honored, but you can’t help feel that there are so many deserving colleagues within my hall, within my building, within the district. It was just a very special honor and just kind of the icing on the cake of a great 30-year career,” she said.

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Published May 19, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Pride was the overwhelming sentiment during the 2015 Royal Oak Schools Junior Olympics held May 13  at Royal Oak High School.

“I feel strong and proud to be picked because I’m with the tug-of-war,” said Keller Elementary School fourth-grader Elyse Finch.

And the excitement wasn’t limited to the students.

This was the first time Addams Elementary School Principal Joe Youanes took part in the event, and he was excited for the students.

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Published May 18, 2015

ROYAL OAK — The Royal Oak City Commission was expected to approve a $60,000 crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a downtown urban smart park.

The topic was scheduled for discussion and a vote during the May 18 meeting at City Hall.

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Published May 15, 2015

METRO DETROIT — The Canadian joint review panel looking over a proposed nuclear waste site that would be less than a mile from Lake Huron recommended the project to Canada’s minister of the environment May 7 despite an outcry from communities on both sides of the border.

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Published May 14, 2015

OAKLAND COUNTY —  With the defeat of Proposal 1, voters sent a clear message to the Legislature that a better solution is needed to fix Michigan roads.

But until that solution is found, drivers will continue to battle growing potholes.

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Published May 13, 2015

CLAWSON — The tradition of giving is continuous in the hallways of Guardian Angels Catholic School, where helping out is more than a mantra — it’s a mission.

Principal Melissa Santos said the school is steeped in tradition and a mission of treating others with Christ-like kindness.

“We really try to do a lot with social justice here,” Santos said. “And getting the kids to understand what we need to do for people who are less fortunate.”

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Published May 13, 2015

ROYAL OAK — The Royal Oak school district recently received a distinction that no other in Oakland County may claim — all of its schools are green.

Officials said that for the sixth year, Royal Oak Schools has been officially proclaimed a 100 percent green district through the state of Michigan Green Schools program.

“I am incredibly proud that Royal Oak Schools once again has distinguished ourselves as the only district in Oakland County to have 100 percent of our schools designated as green schools,” Superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin said.

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Published May 13, 2015

BERKLEY/ROYAL OAK — The doors to the 45-A District Court in Berkley will close permanently May 15, which will bring a mandated merger closer to completion.

Gary Dodge, 44th District Court administrator, said that all Berkley and Royal Oak residents will be serviced through the Royal Oak courthouse on 11 Mile Road, east of Main Street, starting Monday.

“The Berkley residents need to come here on the 18th, and anybody that will be doing jury service in the future will also be coming here, because it now encompasses both communities,” Dodge said.

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Published May 13, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Native fish like walleye, steelhead, lake trout and, to an extent, yellow perch populations are doing well, leading to a positive fishing outlook on the Great Lakes this year.

Todd Grischke, Lake Huron Basin coordinator with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, said that while specific fishing is different across the north-south areas of the lake, walleye populations are booming to near record levels.

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