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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 November 23, 2011

SOUTHFIELD — A $2.1 million construction project was approved by a special vote of the Southfield City Council Nov. 14, moving forward plans that have long been in the mix for a nature center to be built on the site of the Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve.

The preserve, opened to the public in 2008 after decades of planning and $1.5 million in grant funds, is a sprawling 42 acres of woodlands, forested wetlands and meadows overlooking the five-acre lake. A mile’s worth of nature trails with interpretive signs, benches, and fishing and viewing platforms were installed.

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Published October 27, 2011

SOUTHFIELD — It was a tough day for Southfield police officer Jeff Medici, though he didn’t let on.

But as he drove around the city, the poignancy of the day was clear, given the passengers in his squad car.

“The vet and the rookie,” he said, nodding toward the back of the marked sport utility vehicle.

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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 20, 2011

SOUTHFIELD — It’s not for the faint of heart.

Those looking for a fright can head on over to Lavin’s Flower Land, 24620 W. Nine Mile, on Southfield’s southwest side. Nine greenhouses have been transformed into a terrifying trail open every weekend from 8 p.m. to midnight through Halloween.

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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 October 5, 2011

SOUTHFIELD — It’s designed to bring students together. To encourage a sense of community.

A proposed new residence hall at Lawrence Technological University is still pending approval by the school’s board of trustees, but the plans presented to the Southfield City Council over the last several weeks are fresh and forward-thinking, according to architects.

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Published October 5, 2011

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Tom Strempka, 63, of Bloomfield Township looks down at his vest, covered with military insignia, and quietly, painfully, tries to explain what it all means.

His sergeant stripes, a sniper pin, the 1st Cavalry insignia, a Presidential Unit Citation for valor, the Vietnam Gallantry Cross, and one that reads “point man.” He pauses at the Combat Infantryman Badge.

“You see that on somebody — they’ve seen it,” Strempka said, taking a deep breath. “They’ve seen it all.”

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Published September 21, 2011

SOUTHFIELD — Four months after vandals attacked the Miracle League of Michigan’s adapted baseball field for children with special needs, the Southfield Police Department has held two teenagers responsible.

The two 15-year-old boys — one from Southfield and the other from Detroit — were arrested last week after officers investigated two incidents of stolen backpacks from the tennis courts in the Southfield Municipal Complex.

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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 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 July 27, 2011

SOUTHFIELD — The American Heart Association made an exception when handing out its 2011 Gold Level Fit Friendly Company award this year.

The award is designed to recognize deserving companies, but this time around the AHA decided to go bigger. The award was presented to the city of Southfield July 18.

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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 15, 2011

SOUTHFIELD — Kevin Turner, 51, of Clawson spent his lunch hour June 9 the best way he knows how.

Sitting at a picnic table, soaking in the sun, Turner read a newspaper as he nibbled on his packed lunch, the sounds of The Sun Messengers filling the air.

Turner works at Raymond James in Southfield and headed over to the City Centre Plaza, on Central Park Boulevard, for the annual Eat to the Beat lunchtime concert series.

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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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Published May 18, 2011

LATHRUP VILLAGE — Susan Weertz, who lives just a few steps from Lathrup Village City Hall, was among the many who popped by the grand opening of the city’s farmers market the afternoon of May 11.

She had been anticipating its opening, and was thrilled to explore all the market had to offer — including a “spinglini” presented to her by an enthusiastic Vic the Bread Man.

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Published May 18, 2011

Yes, Michigan.

This week is for celebrating, for embracing all the state has to offer. It’s Michigan Week, held annually since 1954. So raise your hand, point to your favorite spots in the state, and reflect. Whether it’s taking a fall color tour, hitting the links, lounging on the beach, crossing the Mackinac Bridge or heading downtown to catch a Red Wings game, there’s much to love about Michigan.

For many, it’s the lakes that cause residents to swell with pride.

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Published May 11, 2011

Picture a typical senior residence and images of bingo, arts and crafts, and green Jell-O might come to mind.

Walk into a modern retirement community, though, and you may be more likely to see seniors playing video games, heading out with a travel group or performing a sun salutation in yoga class.

Today’s senior living communities are not the stale, dreary places stereotypes make them out to be.

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