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Published March 23, 2015

The spring starts a new season of construction, but awareness could keep drivers from being barraged by sights of barrels during their commutes — or at least let them plan for a longer drive.

Oakland and Macomb counties’ road commissions have announced several upcoming projects for the spring and beyond.

According to Bob Hoepfner, director of the Macomb County Department of Roads, his agency plans to do about $42 million in roadwork this construction season.

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Published March 18, 2015

City Commission members added the topic of coyotes to the commission’s March 16 meeting agenda following public concern over a trapped animal in a residential backyard.

A video from WXYZ-TV showing a trapped coyote in a yard near Tenhave Woods, at Lexington Boulevard and Marais Avenue, caused an influx of phone calls and emails to City Hall on March 16 questioning the humane treatment of the animal.

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Published March 18, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Paula Messner is calling all hipsters and their families to the Royal Oak Farmers Market this Saturday for the fourth annual Bestest Concert Ever.


The family friendly, live music event will take place from 5-8 p.m. March 21. Messner said that 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Royal Oak Optimist Club.


“It’s an annual thing that I do and it’s really a lot of fun,” Messner said.


The idea for the Bestest Concert Ever came from a couple of shows Messner played with her band, Candy Band.

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Published March 18, 2015

CLAWSON — The “little city with a big heart” has a lot going on, according to Mayor Penny Luebs, who gave the annual State of the City address last week.

“We are the place to be,” Luebs said. “If you think nothing happens in Clawson, think again.”

The breakfast gathering held March 11 at City Hall brought together local dignitaries, residents and members of the business community for the annual look back at the previous year.

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Published March 18, 2015

ROYAL OAK — When physical education teacher Keith Doody had the opportunity to bring a favorite childhood program to Northwood Elementary School, he was all in.

That the Jump Rope for Heart program surpassed expectations — it raised $8,261 for the American Heart Association — made the happening even more fulfilling.

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Published March 18, 2015

CLAWSON — Volunteers and leaders in the business community were honored last week at the annual State of the City address March 11 at City Hall.

Renee Niewolak, branch manager of Diversified Members Credit Union, was awarded Business Person of the Year.

A Rotary member, Chamber participant and volunteer, Niewolak is known for continually giving her time, talents and funding. She was hailed for her enthusiastic work ethic.

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Published March 17, 2015

Lego lovers rejoice.

Michigan’s first and only attraction based on the world-famous Lego brick is coming to Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills next year.

The schedule calls for construction to begin this summer on Legoland Discovery Center Michigan and for the project to be completed in spring 2016, according to an announcement by Merlin Entertainment, which operates Legoland attractions worldwide.

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Published March 16, 2015

ROCHESTER — After years of fading into the background, the sounds of bells, whistles, digitized music and flippers hitting pinballs are coming back.


That old arcade mainstay has seen breaths of new life during the past few years, and enthusiasts around metro Detroit are helping put pinball machines back into the spotlight with local leagues running throughout the year, and a four-day annual event — the Michigan Pinball Expo — scheduled for April.

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Published March 16, 2015

A car with chipping, scratches, fading or worse cannot hide under winter grime forever, but repainting options exist just in time for a spring makeover. 

Allan Edwards, owner of Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting in Shelby Township, said drivers get their cars repainted for a number of reasons, such as collision work, corrosion restoration or a simple refreshing.

“A lot of times, they’ve just got older cars looking pretty bland,” he said. “Sometimes they want to do a totally different color.”

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Published March 11, 2015

ROYAL OAK — What started out as a lesson in recycling, repurposing and reusing turned into a collaborative art project to beautify the hallway of Addams Elementary School.

About 450 kindergarten through fifth-grade students participated in an art project that used decorated pieces of recyclable water bottles. The students decorated the pieces and attached them to a frame in the shape of a tree.

“I think it’s really creative and cool,” said third-grader Anna Waterstredt, pointing to a green, glitter-covered tree branch she created.

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Published March 11, 2015

METRO DETROIT — A few years ago, when Jason Davidson’s hair was completely shaved off during the St. Baldrick’s Foundation cancer fundraiser, a young girl battling the illness came up to him and said “thank you.”


Touched by her words, “It was hard to come up with a response,” Davidson said.

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Published March 11, 2015

METRO DETROIT — They have a certain austere beauty and create remarkable sculptures when they begin to thaw and refreeze around trees, bushes or just the ground, but those large icicles growing from your roof could be an indication of a larger problem — ice damming on the roof.


An ice dam is a buildup of ice on roofs caused by melting snow that refreezes around the eaves of a house; it is usually quite easy to spot, experts say, because of the large icicles and pieces of ice that form on the edge of the roof of the house.

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Published March 11, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Bored with barbells and sick of stair climbers? You’re not the only one. More and more people are making dance a part of their regular workout routine — and they’re having a great time doing it.


Ivy Mitchell, of Clawson, knows how effective it can be to take exercising out of the gym and onto the dance floor. She teaches Zumba fitness classes in Clawson and Eastpointe, guiding students through interval-style full-body workouts masked as upbeat dance routines.

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Published March 11, 2015

METRO DETROIT — The legal team of the lesbian couple from Hazel Park challenging Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage have filed their briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court. So have plaintiffs in similar cases out of Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

“Regardless of what happens in the next few months, we’re confident these are the briefs that represent the right side of history,” said Dan Canon, one of the counsel for the Kentucky case, during a conference call with legal teams for all four states Feb. 27.

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Published March 10, 2015

ROYAL OAK — When the Hennessey clan started marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, there were about seven of them.

Matriarch Carol Hennessey has seen her group expand and grow for many years, constructing a float to pull along with them during the big event.

“It’s something special, especially to the Irish,” Hennessey said.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians Norman O’Brien Division will present the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade at 11:30 a.m. March 14 in downtown Royal Oak.

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Published March 9, 2015

Even if you haven’t felt that sinking feeling on the road yet, two county road agencies say you can expect to drive over some potholes soon.

According to Road Commission for Oakland County spokesman Craig Bryson, potholes form when rain or melting snow gets inside road cracks. As temperatures dip, that moisture freezes and expands, creating a cavity under the road. When the frozen water thaws, the road’s structural integrity is compromised, causing the affected portion to collapse into a pothole when a vehicle rolls over it, he said.

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Published March 6, 2015

METRO DETROIT — A few years ago, when Jason Davidson’s hair was completely shaved off during the St. Baldrick’s Foundation cancer fundraiser, a young girl battling the illness came up to him and said “thank you.”

Touched by her words, “It was hard to come up with a response,” Davidson said.

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Published March 6, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Do you have what it takes to be a World War II paratrooper?

Wait, back up. Let’s not even get into the fighting they encountered. That’s a separate issue, one you’re certainly not prepared for.

The same goes for their basic training. Suffice it to say it was grueling, agonizing and spread over weeks. It wasn’t for the faint of heart, mind, body or spirit.

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Published March 4, 2015

One of the best parts of parenthood, for many, is that for a few precious years the refrigerator will never be lacking in color.

Artwork created by little ones is not only a point of pride for caregivers and educators — it’s also an important part of a child’s early learning and development.

Pam Rush, owner of The Learning Experience daycare and preschool center in Shelby Township, has been integrating art into the curriculum for 25 years.

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Published March 4, 2015

Right now, there are likely several inches of snow piled up on at least a portion of your deck or patio.

But what will you find when it melts?

Flaking paint chips and nail pops on your wooden deck, moss and weeds starting to grow between brick pavers, or worse.

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