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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 December 1, 2011

MADISON HEIGHTS — When Tove Bruning moved to the United States from Norway 50 years ago, there wasn’t much of a demand for her skill.

As a milliner, Bruning supplied hats for a few bridal boutiques and specialty shops in the area, but eventually found herself looking for other means of expressing her creativity.

“I worked here four or five years, but my mission sort of died,” said Bruning, a longtime Royal Oak resident. “I took a lot of art classes, and in clay I hit the jackpot. It’s just my cup of tea.”

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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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Published September 28, 2011

CLAWSON — For a senior citizen teetering between maintaining their independence at home or moving to a facility that provides assistance, the little things can make a big difference.

Many seniors have trouble climbing a ladder to change a light bulb or hoisting a heavy window air conditioner, but have no problem taking care of themselves and their home in general.

Clawson’s Senior Home Assistance Repair Program (SHARP) steps in to fill in those gaps in ability. The program matches volunteers with local seniors for small repairs and housework at no cost.

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Published September 14, 2011

Everyone needs it. Most don’t get enough of it. And for those it eludes, it may become an obsession.

With the end of summer, students back in school and shorter days, people’s routines may be a little light on a valuable commodity: sleep.

Less than half of people get it in the quantity and quality their bodies need, said Dr. Gary Trock, and disorders minor and severe can hinder what should be an act that occurs effortlessly and in abundance.

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Published September 13, 2011

PONTIAC — Franklin-Bingham Fire Chief Tony Averbuch was overcome with emotion during his speech at the Oakland County Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony Sept. 11.

Averbuch, who’s been in the fire service for two decades, was a part of a disaster response unit that deployed to ground zero in New York City in the days immediately following the terrorist attacks.

Only a few words into his keynote address during the ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks, Averbuch broke down.

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Published September 7, 2011

ROYAL OAK — The long row of oak trees next to Royal Oak High School makes for pretty landscaping, but the trees’ roots go way back, long before the first student ever stepped foot in the school.

That row of trees used to act as a fence of sort between two farms, owned by the sons of one of Royal Oak’s first settlers. The tree line is one of many “ghosts” of early-day Royal Oak that still stands today to remind people of the city’s history — if only they knew what the signs meant.

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Published August 24, 2011

DETROIT — There’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing a show on Broadway in New York, but for the last five decades, the Fisher Theatre has come awfully close to replicating that experience.

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Published August 10, 2011

ROYAL OAK/CLAWSON — Nothing says Michigan like biting into a crisp apple on the first day of fall. It’s not quite time for that, but farmers markets across the state are creating art out of apples in the MI Apple Trail program.

The Clawson and Royal Oak farmers markets are among 20 in the state designing 4-foot, 75-pound, 3-D fiberglass apples, hoping visitors to their markets will like their artwork best and cast a vote in their favor.

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Published August 10, 2011

CLAWSON — It could be a serious case of déjà vu.

Teachers at Clawson High School will see four nearly identical teenagers strolling through their hallways this fall.

For those who’ve been around awhile, maybe it will remind them of the four identical girls who attended the school in the 1970s.

The Ullman quadruplets grew up on Hendrickson in Clawson.

The new quadruplets in town also live on Hendrickson.

On Aug. 3, the young girls met the women for the first time at Jimi’s Restaurant in Royal Oak.

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Published August 4, 2011

ROYAL OAK — Instead of a high chair, Richard Hermann’s parents used to sit him in a shallow mixing bowl while they busied themselves kneading bread dough and making pie crust.

When he got bigger, they found a bigger mixing bowl.

“They’d give me some pie dough to play with,” Hermann said. “My mom used to bring me in and weigh me on the big scale in the back.”

So went the life of a baker’s son.

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Published July 27, 2011

ROYAL OAK — Therese Christman’s dad was considered one of the founding fathers of Royal Oak. She’s got a lot to be proud of.

She also happened to grow up next to Father Charles Coughlin, a controversial priest of the 1930s who gained national attention for his radio broadcasts and outspoken views.

Naturally, she’s got some stories to tell. Stories that should not be forgotten.

“I knew information that no one else knew or had written down,” Christman said. “It bothered me.”

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Published July 6, 2011

Some people collect baseball cards as a hobby. Some people knit. And some people visit garage sales.

Some would say that Eastpointe resident Joy Yaklin has perfected her garage sale hobby. She uses Craigslist to search for specific items and her GPS to map out routes, and she’ll spend the day perusing sales to fulfill orders from her friends, family and co-workers.

“I’ve got everything I need at home,” she said. Yaklin no longer shops for herself. She now hunts bargains for others.

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Published June 8, 2011

CLAWSON/ROYAL OAK — It’s easy being green, if you ask students at schools in Royal Oak and Clawson who were recently honored for their environmental consciousness.

Two Royal Oak Neighborhood Schools buildings were named first and second best in the county in the OakGreen challenge. In Clawson, Schalm Elementary School achieved Michigan Green School status for the first time in the district’s history.

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Published June 8, 2011

ROYAL OAK — If it was manipulated with fire and came from the Earth, it will be at the 17th annual Clay, Glass and Metal Show on Washington Avenue in Royal Oak June 11-12.

Presented by the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce, the two-day art fair features jewelry, gifts, decorative art, pottery and architectural pieces from 140 artists.

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Published June 1, 2011

ROYAL OAK — Emagine Entertainment CEO Paul Glantz said more than 600 people attended each of the Royal Oak theater and bowling complex’s three days of grand opening celebrations May 13-15, helping provide thousands of dollars to local charities.

Different organizations were designated as beneficiaries for each night of the Main Street venue’s opening weekend. Over the course of the weekend, more than $200,000 was raised for the five charities selected.

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Published June 1, 2011

Combine talented artisans, good food, live entertainment and a little sunshine, and you have the makings of a great summer festival.

Beginning in June, such events are plentiful in metro Detroit. Here’s a sampling of just a few popular festivals that residents won’t want to miss this summer.

June 11-12
Clay, Glass and Metal Festival — downtown Royal Oak
In Royal Oak, one of the first big events of the season is the Clay, Glass and Metal Festival June 11-12.

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