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Woodward Talk

Published March 11, 2013

ROSEVILLE — It’s an icon of the community, known not just by residents, but also by anyone who has commuted northbound on Gratiot through the heart of downtown Roseville.

May marks the 25th anniversary of Gonzo Studio.

It hasn’t always been easy for owner and artist Edward Stross. He’s faced more than his fair share of struggles in the last two and a half decades, but for a reason he can’t exactly explain, he’s always felt compelled to the area, and to the little storefront studio that sits on the corner of Utica and Gratiot.

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Published August 15, 2012

BERKLEY — For 91 years, the Vinsetta Garage was well-known for its mechanical work. Now, it’s gaining a reputation for its menu.

The former repair shop opened in 1919 at 27799 Woodward Ave. and closed its doors Nov. 30, 2010. In May 2012, it reopened as a restaurant bearing the same name and a similar atmosphere.

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Published August 15, 2012

FERNDALE — Shirley Muldowney is a living legend in the automotive world who has resided in Southeast Michigan for decades, but this year will mark the first time that she has attended the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Muldowney, who broke the gender barrier as the first female drag racer nearly 50 years ago, is undoubtedly one of the greatest champions of her sport. However, she only appears at a handful of automotive events each year, and she feels that the organizers of the Dream Cruise have not been especially accommodating to her in the past.

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Published August 8, 2012


Can do

Eileen Haraminac will teach several upcoming food preservation courses at the Macomb MSU Extension office at 21885 Dunham, Assembly Room A, in Clinton Township:
• Aug. 18: hot water bath jams and jellies.

Published May 21, 2012

ROYAL OAK — The youths at the Children’s Village in Pontiac have had troubled lives, but the generosity of a local dentist is giving them something to smile about.

Dr. Demi Kazanis has spent the past three years providing pro bono dentistry work to a handful of children who are living at Children’s Village either because they have broken the law and were ordered there by the court, or they are victims of abuse and neglect. The two categories are housed and schooled separately at the village.

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Published March 21, 2012

As pet lovers snuggle up with their furry friends, many may not think about where their animals came from before they found them listed online or at a pet store. But the Michigan Humane Society estimates that 99 percent of pet store puppies are bred by large-scale breeders, or puppy mills, some of which are known for their cruel and inhumane treatment of animals to maximize profit.

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Published March 14, 2012

ROYAL OAK — Students at Upton Elementary School “crushed” bullying earlier this month with a little help from a famous monster truck.

The Grave Digger monster truck pulled into Upton’s parking lot March 2 and driver Charlie Pauken spoke with third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students about anti-bullying during the Monster Jam Crush Bullying assembly.

“It’s not every day you have a monster truck at your school,” Upton Principal John Grzywack said.

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Published March 14, 2012

An electronic sign on the wall reads “10 days, 14 hours, 15 minutes and 4.32 seconds.”

“That’s the countdown until the end of my life,” laughed Melisa Valentine, 25, of Ferndale, a bartender at the Blarney Stone Pub in Berkley.

She’s kidding of course. The countdown marks the time left before St. Patrick’s Day, the annual holiday many celebrate by bellying up to the bar. But for those tasked with handling the crowds and their beverage orders from behind the bar, it’s a far different experience.

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Published March 7, 2012

Bullying hurts.

It can make someone feel small, rejected, disrespected, stupid, ugly, unloved and unimportant.

While not a new concept — the bullies and bullied have been around for years — it seems to have entered a new realm as an alarming number of youth have responded to bullying in more dramatic ways than society has been accustomed to. Suicide. Violence. Murder.

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Published February 29, 2012

DETROIT — Prep your paws for a whole lot of petting as the annual two-day celebration of all things dog arrives March 3 and 4 with the annual Detroit Kennel Club Dog Shows at Cobo Center.

More than 2,000 dogs representing 167 breeds will be on hand to interact with the public, demonstrate their skills and compete for top prizes.

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Published February 6, 2012

ROYAL OAK — Support for a 5-year-old Doberman pinscher whose owner claims Royal Oak wanted the dog destroyed exploded on social media sites, though the city said it just wanted assurance that steps are being taken to avoid future attacks.

Heidi, an adopted Doberman, bit a stranger outside a market in the city last October, according to reports.

Her owner, Janet Spalding, created a website, www.saveheidi.com, and an online petition seeking support from the public.

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Published February 1, 2012

ROYAL OAK — Where contractors, owners and renovators gave up, a bulldozer will take over.

A blighted, abandoned home at 303 Woodlawn, near 13 Mile and Rochester roads in Royal Oak, is expected to be torn down after sitting in a dilapidated state for years.

The windows are boarded up and the siding is torn off portions of the home. Attempts by previous owners to spruce up the place were ditched.

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Published January 25, 2012

Public schools keep religion out of the forefront of education, but many parents want to see religious education, traditions and beliefs at the center of their child’s learning environment.

Those parents can choose schools that keep faith the focus.

Religious schools take several steps to ensure faith ideals are conveyed inside and outside the classroom, including daily religious services.

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Published January 11, 2012

When eighth-grader Eric Gelb calls to book a performance at a local venue, the reaction is usually the same. The venue manager asks to talk to the adult who is helping out with the production.

Only there are no adults involved with the production.

Gelb and his eighth- and ninth-grade peers wrote the script, composed the music and cast the characters for “Project X,” a musical about what the life of a middle school student is really like.

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Published December 30, 2011

TROY — It’s one of those sports a lot of people say they’d love to try someday, but most people never do.

Ann Marsh-Senic is one of the ones who actually did try it. And loved it.

Marsh-Senic has been fencing for 27 years, and in December won first place in Veteran Women’s Foil at the Kansas City North American Circuit event.

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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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