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Published October 29, 2014

ROYAL OAK — Plans for a Hyatt Place hotel in downtown Royal Oak are moving forward following the City Commission’s approval of an estimated $50 million project on North Main Street.

Commissioners unanimously approved a special development agreement Oct. 20 that authorized the redevelopment of the former Jim Fresard auto dealership at 400 N. Main Street. The dealership closed in 2008, and the property has been vacant ever since.

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Published September 8, 2014

ROYAL OAK — During the past 20 years, the Michigan Humane Society has placed more than 20,000 animals during its Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo event, which takes place twice a year at the Detroit Zoo.

With the spring edition already wrapped up and the fall event taking place Sept. 19-20, the Humane Society is looking to place another 1,000 this year.

Partnering with the Detroit Zoological Society, the Michigan Humane Society will have nearly 600 dogs and cats available for adoption under tents in the zoo’s parking lot at 8450 W. 10 Mile Road.

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Published June 11, 2014

To better involve businesses that otherwise have not benefited from the downtown hosting Arts, Beats & Eats, organizers of the Labor Day weekend festival announced June 11 that a new event would feature several of the city’s hair salons.

“The City of Royal Oak doesn’t have cars, and we certainly don’t have money,” said Mayor Jim Ellison, referring to the Ford vehicles on display each year and the donations made to charities by some of the sponsors. “But we do have hair salons.”

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Published June 4, 2014

Albert Seychel landed in the “Easy Red” sector of Omaha Beach at 7:30 a.m. on D-Day while serving with the 6th Naval Beach Battalion.

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Published March 5, 2014

Starting plants like marigolds and tomatoes indoors from seeds helps beat the winter blues.

“It is nice to see things grow,” said Joni Makowski, store manager of Allemon’s Landscape Center in Detroit. “It is a good activity for the family. The longer the winter, everybody thinks about it. I have four kids. We always plant different seeds in eggshells.”

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Published February 19, 2014

The old saying goes that a little sugar and spice make everything nice. Well, there’s no doubt we’ve got the sugar thing down pat; but are we really taking advantage of the amazing flavors that spices can add to our cooking?

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Published February 13, 2014

OAKLAND COUNTY — The Michigan State University Extension is sponsoring a workshop for Oakland County lakefront property owners to create, restore and manage natural shorelines at the Cranbrook Institute of Science 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. March 8.

“This is an educational program to help homeowners that live along lakes … to understand the importance of a natural shoreline,” said Bindu Bhakta, extension educator with the MSU Extension.

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Published November 26, 2013

The lights, the songs, the anticipation! No, it’s not everyone tearing into their presents on Christmas morning as the holiday music plays in the background — it’s one of the many festive shows you’ll find around town.

And after all of the preparation, stress, spending, wrapping and running around, what better gift to give to yourself than an evening to sit back, relax and be entertained?

Here are just a few of this year’s highlights:

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Published October 9, 2013

ROYAL OAK — Michelle Henry was looking for something to bring her neighborhood together, and she found the answer while using Facebook.

Henry saw a picture of what was called a Little Free Library — simply a wooden box filled with free books for anyone to use.

She went to the organization’s website and found that there were similar little libraries all over the world, but none were within walking distance from her.

She decided to change that.

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Published September 16, 2013

ROYAL OAK — Since last month, people walking downtown likely have noticed that a pair of new public art displays have popped up.

Located on the north side of the library is a piece called “Petal Parts,” created by Royal Oak artist Richard Gage, and at Fourth and Main streets is an 8 foot tall guitar called, aptly, “A Really Big Guitar,” by Brian Brook from Three Rivers, Mich.

The two sculptures are the first installments of Art Explored, a city program aiming to bring six art pieces to downtown Royal Oak.

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Published August 28, 2013

DETROIT — With its exotic blooms and tranquil atmosphere, stepping inside the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle is like stepping into a world of natural wonder.

There, visitors will find an acre of cacti, blooming plants, tropical trees, ferns and unusual orchids in the World of Horticulture alone, along with the elegant formal perennial garden and lily pond gardens.

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Published August 28, 2013

OAKLAND COUNTY — The Oakland County Art Authority has sent a strong statement to those handling the city of Detroit’s bankruptcy: hands off the DIA.

During the most recent meeting of the Oakland County Art Authority Aug. 20, the five-member board voted unanimously to pass a resolution that would cancel their existing contract to financially support the Detroit Institute of Arts if the museum’s collection is affected by the city’s bankruptcy process.

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Published July 3, 2013

For many homeowners, remodeling their kitchen is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“People are really thinking it through,” said Barb Baker, of Elder Living Construction in Farmington Hills. “They are investing in a little higher quality. They are taking the time to understand the different wood qualities, and they are spending the money to make upgrades.”

Baker said her customers want new cabinets that will look good and last for a long time. They are also looking at new ways of hiding electrical outlets for a smooth, uninterrupted backsplash.

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Published July 3, 2013

METRO DETROIT — Next weekend, metro Detroiters will follow their noses to Romeo for the 11th annual Michigan Lavender Festival July 12-14 at Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill.

There’s just something about the sight and scent of lavender that can evoke the excitement of summer and instill a feeling of serenity. And like so many seasons before, many Michiganders are once again on the hunt for the herb to use for cooking, cleaning or just plain sniffing.

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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 May 20, 2013

HUNTINGTON WOODS — Nathan Fridson may not have stepped on stage for the first time until he was a 21-year-old student at Michigan State University, but it hasn’t slowed the budding comic.

After making his rounds in the metro Detroit area following graduation, Fridson, a Huntington Woods native, moved to New York City to further pursue his dream of being a comedian. Still, he finds time to make it back to where he got started, and on Memorial Day weekend, he will return for a three-day headlining stint at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak.

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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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