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Published November 4, 2015

A staff photo from a Feb. 5, 1958, newspaper article — the name of the paper was unavailable — shows a house originally constructed in Utica before it was moved to its current location on 21 Mile Road, south of Van Dyke Avenue, in Shelby Township. Gardner Hunt Runyan, a farmer and carpenter, originally built the house in the 1860s. Clarence Gildner, a well-known builder in the area, also lived in the house with his family from 1951 to 1958. Myrna Mazure now owns the home. For a story, “Restored house built in 1870s to receive historic marker,” visit
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Published November 3, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Combining live music and a passion for helping the less fortunate in the immediate area has driven the nonprofit group Rockin’ 4 Hunger since 2009.

From 6 to 11 p.m. Nov. 28, Rockin’ 4 Hunger will host its sixth and, organizers hope, biggest bash to date at the historic Packard Proving Grounds. Participants can experience a bygone era with vintage Packard automobiles, a traditional roast dinner and 1940s big band music.

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Published November 2, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — As opposed to the township’s somber Memorial Day ceremony, Veterans Coordinator Phil Randazzo said Veterans Day is an occasion to have fun and celebrate veterans’ service.

On Nov. 8, the township will host its third annual Veterans Day event.

The day will kick off at noon with the Veterans Memorial Run, a 5K featuring a scenic loop around the township grounds and Mae Stecker Park. Participants can register before the race for $20 or at the event beginning at 9 a.m. for $25.

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Published October 30, 2015

DETROIT — Huge crowds routinely turn out in the chilly November air to cheer colorful floats, marching bands and enormous balloons that line Woodward Avenue for America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit.

The spectator turnout is nowhere near as robust when thousands of veterans, their family members, friends and supporters parade down Jefferson Avenue on the Saturday before Veterans Day.

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Published October 30, 2015

At an evidentiary hearing Oct. 29, 42-1 District Court Judge Denis LeDuc denied a motion that the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office “forum shopped” to find a jurisdiction to charge Joseph Narra with a minor in possession charge and put another motion to suppress Narra’s medical records under advisement.

Narra was one of five young men involved in a May 8 single-vehicle accident at Stony Creek Metropark. Three young men died in the crash, and passengers Narra and Gregory Bobchick survived with critical injuries. All victims had alcohol in their systems.

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Published October 28, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Oct. 20, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the removal of some dead and dying trees, as well as underbrush, at the future site of the Shelby Township Fire Department’s fifth station.

The 4-acre parcel is located on the east side of Schoenherr Road, north of 21 Mile Road. Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski said the Fire Department has been looking to build a new station in the southeastern portion of the township since approximately 2004.

He said the department purchased the land in 2012.

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Published October 28, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Oct. 20, the Shelby Township Beautification Committee hosted its annual Beautification Awards ceremony before the Board of Trustees meeting, showcasing the botanical beauty of seven residences.

“When residents beautify their homes, I think we all benefit in the township, and we all feel prouder to be residents of Shelby Township,” said Erika Zoller, co-chair of the Beautification Committee.

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Published October 27, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — At the last-minute request of Township Attorney Rob Huth Oct. 20, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved extending the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries for 180 days.

In February, the township established an indefinite moratorium against medical marijuana dispensary activity until the township had a chance to draft language regulating the growth and sale of medical marijuana within its borders.

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Published October 26, 2015

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP — The Loren Andrus Octagon House is a historic home completed in 1860 that has served many purposes during its 155 years. It also supposedly is a haven for paranormal activity, according to the Motor City Ghost Hunters.

The volunteer paranormal investigations group completed two investigations at the Octagon House, one in April and one in August, and lead investigator Tim Renaud said both resulted in evidence of hauntings.

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Published October 23, 2015

A study released in late September by the Traffic Improvement Association of Michigan, an Auburn Hills-based nonprofit organization, listed the intersection of 23 Mile and Schoenherr roads as having the highest frequency of accidents in Macomb County.

In response, Shelby Township Police Chief Robert Shelide tasked traffic commander Lt. Jeff Daniel with cleaning up the intersection.

On Oct. 23, the Shelby Township Police Department and the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office partnered for a selective enforcement detail at the intersection.

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Published October 21, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — After weekly protests outside the Humane Society of Macomb, Shelby Township Police Chief Robert Shelide facilitated ongoing meetings between shelter officials and protesters in order to make progress.

Ken Kempkens, president of the Humane Society of Macomb’s board of directors, recently announced two important improvements that resulted from those meetings — collaborations with rescue groups and a more streamlined process to increase adoptions.

Kempkens also promised that more improvements would come.

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Published October 21, 2015

UTICA — At its Oct. 13 meeting, the Utica City Council voted to extend the city’s moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries for another year.

The city first adopted the moratorium on Aug. 10, 2010, and has renewed it every year since.

City Attorney James McGrail and Police Chief David Faber both recommended passing the moratorium.

McGrail explained that, once Michigan voters approved medical marijuana dispensaries in 2008, the language of the legislation was hazy at best.

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Published October 15, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Oct. 15, Judge Denis LeDuc, of the 42-1 District Court in Romeo, granted Gregory Bobchick’s new defense attorney’s request to adjourn a motions and pretrial conference for his client until Dec. 17.

LeDuc said David Griem — the new defense attorney — and Washington Township Prosecutor Colleen O’Connor Worden had a chambers conference preceding the decision and that everyone agreed to adjourn the Oct. 15 court date.

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Published October 14, 2015

METRO DETROIT — There are few better ways to gear up for Halloween than attending a haunted house. 

The spooky music, the dark and the fear of the unknown — was that your friend or a creature of the night breathing on your neck? 

A haunted house is sure to get you in the mood, and quickly.

Local venues offer the Halloween gamut, from over-the-top mayhem and panic to family-friendly entertainment and fun.

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Published October 14, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — From 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, rain or shine, the Packard Proving Grounds will host its annual cruise-in car show and fall open house.

For the first time, the open house will feature a live restoration of a ’54 Packard Clipper Sportster by Packard Proving Grounds volunteer restorer Larry Telles, as well as an inflatable obstacle course and a two-lane slide for children.

Tom Mitchell, chairman of the event, said the objective is to open the historic 14-acre landmark to the public and familiarize people with it.

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Published October 14, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — After a Sept. 26 fire at a house located near 26 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue, homeowner Sheri Neufang said smoke, water and fire destroyed the interior of the house — what an insurance company would call a “complete loss.”

While she said the family was able to salvage a little bit of china and other things that they could wash, as well as some meaningful jewelry and family photos, they lost everything else, including their dog and two of their vehicles.

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Published October 14, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Oct. 6, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees voted 6-1 to amend the township ordinance to ban the use of sky lanterns. The board will have to vote on the issue again at its next meeting Oct. 20 for the change to take effect.

Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski requested that the township authorize the ban after approximately a dozen other Michigan municipalities have done so.

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Published October 14, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Oct. 6, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved the hire of six replacement, probationary, entry-level patrol officers to bring the number of sworn Shelby Township police officers to 66.

Police Chief Robert Shelide said he hopes to start at least five of the new hires by Nov. 2. The board approved the hire of Jordan Haughee, Daniel Rutkowski Jr. and Autumn Fettig, and Shelide said two more candidates were in the vetting process.

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Published October 14, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — There are no other homes in Shelby Township like the one owned by Myrna Mazure on 21 Mile Road, east of Van Dyke Avenue.

Gardner Hunt Runyan, a carpenter and farmer, built the structure in the 1870s near Van Dyke and Canal Road, a site behind the current BP gas station in Utica. He died in 1919 inside the home and is buried in the Utica Cemetery, along with his wife, parents and brothers.

In 1955, the house was moved to a farm near Hahn Road so that a local business could expand its parking lot.

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Published October 7, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP/UTICA — Township Engineer Carol Thurber said construction on the 1.28-mile trail connecting River Bends Park to the city of Utica is on schedule to finish by Nov. 15.

“This has been in the works for at least five years,” Thurber said. “It’s finally near the end of construction, and I’m pleased to say that the portion from the south end of the River Bends trail all the way to the wetland area where the boardwalk (is), is already constructed.”

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