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Woodward Talk

Published March 28, 2017

ROYAL OAK — Mayor Michael Fournier is lacing up his walking shoes and inviting the entire community to reach their step goals while enjoying the city and maybe winning a few prizes along the way.

“Royal Oak is an amazing, walkable community,” he said. “We have so many treasures and assets, as we all are aware. Within walking distance, we compact a lot into 11 square miles.”

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Published March 28, 2017

CLAWSON — With generous support from the community, Clawson Police Sgt. Kellie Bauss is hoping for another successful year providing students with scholarships from money raised during the annual bowl-a-thon fundraiser.

“We established this event in 2010 to give recognition to seniors graduating from Clawson High School in our community or who live in the city and attend another high school  and wish to pursue a career within the criminal justice system,” Bauss said.

The scholarship program is funded solely by the annual bowling fundraiser.

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Published March 28, 2017

CLAWSON — Spring has sprung, and for many, that portends one thing — garage sales.

The weather may not be quite warm enough for the neighborhood sales to begin, but the Hunter Community Center will be welcoming eager shoppers this Saturday.

“We see it as a kind of kick-off to garage sale season, which so many people enjoy,” said Clawson Director of Recreation and Senior Services Kathy Leenhouts.

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Published March 28, 2017

ROYAL OAK — Seeing Don Watchowski in an athletic setting is pretty common.

What isn’t as common for the Royal Oak High School athletic director and vice principal is harnessing power from an indoor bicycle to run a smoothie maker.

“We had a good time with it,” he said. “It was fun.”

Watchowski partnered with Food Service Director Mike Jacobs to promote exercise and healthy eating during National School Breakfast Week March 6-10 by serving free strawberry-banana smoothie samples made on the bicycle.

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Published March 28, 2017

PONTIAC — When drug addicts or alcoholics finally get to the point where they’re willing to ask for help fighting their disease, it’s a huge step.

But that major milestone can sometimes fall apart if help for that patient isn’t available for days, weeks or longer.

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Published March 27, 2017

ROYAL OAK — Members of the Royal Oak Schools Board of Education decided last week that they would ask three candidates back for second superintendent interviews as opposed to two candidates as originally planned.

“It’s not common, but it certainly has happened,” said Thomas White, Michigan Association of School Boards executive search consultant. “It’s normally two, but if you are going to err, you always err on the side of bringing people back.”

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Published March 27, 2017

A seven-hour standoff with police ended in surrender after a man living on the city’s east side was taken into custody.

Police were not releasing the man’s name pending possible charges and arraignment. He lives in the 900 block of North Connecticut Avenue, where the standoff happened late Sunday into Monday morning. The home is located south of Gardenia Avenue and west of Campbell Road.

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Published March 22, 2017

ROYAL OAK — Police said a weapon was recovered following a high-speed chase that began on the city’s east side.

Royal Oak Police Department Criminal Investigations Division Lt. Keith Spencer said officers retrieved a gun after the pursuit, which began at 2:06 a.m. March 15 in the area of Campbell and 11 Mile roads.

No one was injured in the incident.

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Published March 22, 2017

CLAWSON — The city with a can-do attitude is how Mayor Penny Luebs summed up the prior year in the community.

“Last year’s State of the City address was on celebration and collaboration in Clawson,” Luebs said. “This year, I am going to add the words ‘can do it.’ Clawson can do it. So we celebrate and we collaborate, and we can do it.”

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Published March 22, 2017

CLAWSON — Focusing on students’ needs is one of the strengths that school board President Andrea Hodges listed while discussing the district last week during Clawson’s State of the Schools address.

“Our schools are made up of a tight-knit community of our administrators, teachers and staff, where our students aren’t just a number in a sea of many, but  a member of a community where they are known and cared for,” she said. “This is what sets Clawson schools apart from other districts.”

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Published March 20, 2017

HUNTINGTON WOODS — Dominic Geskey embodied love.

He loved Matchbox cars, his family, the community, hugs, Huntington Woods police officers, his friends, calling out “Flex” when the Ford vehicle drove by, and living each day with unfiltered joy.

People love him deeply too. The love that his family, friends, organizations, clubs, teachers and residents have for the Huntington Woods teen is pure and inspiring.

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Published March 20, 2017

ROYAL OAK — The applicant pool for the Royal Oak Schools superintendent position recently was narrowed to a short list that included two professionals familiar to those living in the area.

Royal Oak High School Principal Mike Geromini and Berkley Schools Assistant Superintendent Mary Beth Fitzpatrick were two of the four candidates vying to replace current Superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin, who will retire at the end of June.

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Published March 17, 2017

ROYAL OAK — Police released the identity of the woman found dead following a house fire earlier this month on the city’s east side.

Marsha Baliff, 72, was a longtime Royal Oak resident and attorney described by neighbors as a friendly, quiet woman who served as an inspiration to the neighborhood with her regular walks despite her obvious frail physical condition.

According to the State Bar of Michigan, Baliff first became an attorney in 1981. Her license was in good standing at the time of her death.

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Published March 15, 2017

ROYAL OAK — A resident and former Michigan State Police trooper who pleaded guilty to embezzling vehicle salvage fees is now in jail for the crime.

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Published March 15, 2017

CLAWSON — Today, March 15, is a good day for doctor Michael Kabot.

Not only is it the Clawson orthodontist’s 58th birthday, but he is also being honored during the annual State of the City and Schools Address as Chamber Member of the Year.

“It is great,” Kabot said. “We’ve been in Clawson for all of these years. It is a great community, and everybody gets to know everybody, and it’s been fun and the kids are a riot.”

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Published March 14, 2017

CLAWSON — City officials are eyeing a grant they hope would provide needed money to enhance Grant Park, located on Grant Avenue, east of Rochester Road.

City Council members unanimously gave their approval during the March 7 regular meeting to apply for a $75,000 Recreation Passport Grant through the Department of Natural Resources.

“We are quite excited about the grant and the possible improvements to Grant Park,” said Mayor Penny Luebs.

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Published March 11, 2017

Fire officials said the cause of an early morning Saturday house fire that took the life of a 72-year-old woman is still under investigation.

According to a statement issued by Royal Oak Police Department Criminal Investigations Division Lt. Keith Spencer, the fire occurred in the 300 block of South Minerva Avenue March 11.

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Published March 9, 2017

Due to the severity of the power outages in metro Detroit, many communities are opening shelters where residents without power can go to warm up.

WARREN

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts announced that the city would operate an emergency shelter, set to open at 6 p.m. March 9 inside of the Warren Community Center at 5460 Arden, south of 14 Mile Road and west of Mound.

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Published March 9, 2017

City officials said the Royal Oak Police and Fire departments handled an extremely large number of calls March 8 after high winds ripped through the community.

“Our men and women were very busy yesterday responding to the downed wires, responding to the downed trees and ensuring safety,” said Lt. Keith Spencer, of the Royal Oak Police Department Criminal Investigations Division.

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Published March 8, 2017

ROYAL OAK — A group of vendors and farmers gathered last week to show their concern with proposed plans for a new City Hall.

Nearly a dozen people came from throughout the area to speak before City Commission members during the regular Feb. 27 meeting regarding plans showing a newly constructed City Hall just south of the Royal Oak Farmers Market at Troy and Third streets, and the ramifications the building could have on parking.

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