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Published July 3, 2016

The Sterling Heights Public Library is encouraging patrons young and old to put forth an Olympic effort in reading as part of its latest spin on the summer reading program.

Every year, the library runs a campaign that invites adults, children and others to take part in reading activities while offering chances to receive prizes.

At a June 21 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool called the summer reading program “long-established and successful,” and he encouraged people to check out the library’s website for more details.

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Published July 1, 2016

Michigan’s dry. It’s no surprise.

Although no statewide fireworks ban has been instituted, many local communities are restricting burning and fireworks until further notice.

In just one week, Michigan has more than doubled the area considered dry. During the week of June 21, 13.02 percent of the state was abnormally dry, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. When the state was monitored on June 28, that increased to 31.47 percent.

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Published July 1, 2016

While thousands of metro Detroiters celebrated the red, white and blue, local police wrapped up their summer Operation Blue Light campaign to thwart ignorers of red lights and more.

The Sterling Heights Police Department participated in Operation Blue Light through a joint effort with police departments from Shelby Township and Utica. The cops’ campaign began June 20 and ended July 4.

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Published July 1, 2016

Road crews are making progress on the path to smoother major and local roads in Sterling Heights, according to city officials.

At the June 21 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool said repairs on Ryan Road, between 15 Mile Road and Metropolitan Parkway, are getting started, and the work will get rid of old concrete and replace it with fresh material.

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Published June 30, 2016

The Sterling Heights Fire Department rescued a pet from a burning home June 30.

At around 10 a.m., the Fire Department learned of a house fire in the 8700 block of Shannon Drive, a bit north of the intersection of Clinton River Road and Riverland Drive, according to Sterling Heights Fire Chief Chris Martin.

“The report was there was heavy smoke coming from the house and … there might be an occupant in the house,” he said.

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Published June 27, 2016

As immigration and national security continue to be top issues in the news and in political campaigns, federal statistics show that Michigan is receiving the most Syrian refugees so far this fiscal year.

In March, the U.S. Department of State said the federal government planned to take in and resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in fiscal year 2016, which started last October. In fiscal year 2017, the government also plans to accept into the U.S. a total of 100,000 refugees from around the world.

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Published June 27, 2016

WARREN/STERLING HEIGHTS — Residents of the Oakmont Assisted Living Facility in Sterling Heights made several new friends from Angus Elementary School this past year.

Teacher Melissa Young started up an intergenerational kindness and pen pal program between her students and the senior citizens at Oakmont.

To help make the program possible, Young received a $625 Extra Credit Union Teacher Extracurricular Activity Money classroom grant that paid for craft supplies and transportation costs so the students could visit the facility in person.

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Published June 27, 2016

Swimming season or not, a car doesn’t belong in deep water. Regardless, if your vehicle happens to take an accidental plunge, quick action can be a lifesaver for its occupants, according to the Michigan State Police and AAA.

Sgt. David Winter, from the Michigan State Police, said a person is typically not far from a body of water in Michigan. If a vehicle rolls off the road and into water, drivers who can control their panic often have a narrow window of time to free themselves, he said. 

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Published June 24, 2016

Organizers of one of the largest summer events in Macomb County are hoping to celebrate its double-digit longevity in style when the Stars and Stripes Festival makes its return to Freedom Hill County Park in Sterling Heights June 30-July 3.

Kevin Cassidy, the event’s co-producer at Funfest Events, said this is the Stars and Stripes Festival’s 10th anniversary. He said this year’s event is closer to the Fourth of July holiday, and he expects the turnout to be spectacular.

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Published June 24, 2016

Utica Community Schools students are finished taking their final exams, and the school board recently finished its own major project before the end of its fiscal year.

The UCS Board of Education unanimously approved its 2016-17 general fund budget, which amounts to $277.6 million. The action was made at a June 13 school board meeting; the school district is required by law to have a budget in place by July 1.

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Published June 23, 2016

WARREN/STERLING HEIGHTS — Two suspects were apprehended and were among five people injured — including two police officers — after a bank robbery in Sterling Heights led to a pursuit and two crashes in Warren shortly after 1 p.m. on June 23. 

According to Sterling Heights Police Capt. Dale Dwojakowski, a bank robbery was reported at about 12:50 p.m. at the Vibe Credit Union, located at 33950 Van Dyke Ave. in Sterling Heights, just north of 14 Mile Road. Police said no one was hurt during the incident, and no weapon was reportedly seen.

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Published June 22, 2016

It was hardly par for the course for the Sterling Heights Fire Department when firefighters put out a building fire caused by a flaming golf cart at Plum Brook Golf Club June 12.

According to Sterling Heights Fire Chief Chris Martin, Fire Engine No. 1 arrived at the golf course just after 7 p.m. after the department heard that a golf cart was on fire.

Martin said the golf cart reportedly malfunctioned while it was out on the golf course.

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Published June 21, 2016

Thousands of metro Detroiters are expected to party the Polish way when the 2016 American Polish Festival and Craft Show comes to the American Polish Century Club in Sterling Heights July 8-10.

According to festival co-chairman Walter Ziemniak, the three-day event is full of activities that will appeal to all ages.

“We have craft shows, different vendors from around the area. We have a Polish pub, which makes all different types of unique drinks,” he said.

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Published June 20, 2016

Amid data that says that more Michigan motorcyclists are dying on the road, safety organizations are recommending proper road etiquette and headgear as ways to lessen the odds of becoming a fatality statistic.

According to AAA, preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Association shows that Michigan motorcycle fatalities rose 23 percent — from 112 to 138 — from 2014 to 2015. 

Gary Bubar, public affairs specialist for AAA Michigan, said an increase in road traffic might have played a partial role in the rise of reported motorcycle fatalities.

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Published June 17, 2016

Students may be on summer break, but road crews plan to continue construction work on major roads inside or bordering Sterling Heights.

At a June 7 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool gave an update on roadwork at two thoroughfares in the city.

The Van Dyke Avenue project, which lasted for much of 2015 and spanned between 18 Mile to south of 15 Mile, is proceeding and is in its final phase. He said two Van Dyke intersections, at Metropolitan Parkway and at 18 Mile Road, are being wrapped up.

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Published June 15, 2016

The city of Sterling Heights has appointed a new city attorney to keep an eagle eye on its legal matters.

During a June 7 meeting, the Sterling Heights City Council unanimously voted to appoint Marc Kaszubski to the city attorney position for a term that started June 8, 2016, and lasts until June 30, 2018.

Kaszubski is succeeding Jeff Bahorski in the role; Bahorski was Sterling Heights’ city attorney from 2004 until 2016 and was recently appointed by the city to be its assistant city manager and eventual human resources director.

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Published June 14, 2016

Thousands of graduating seniors from the Utica Community Schools district have been deemed ready to face a future of higher education or careers upon earning their diplomas.

UCS high schoolers were scheduled to celebrate their graduations during June commencement ceremonies, including those for the four main high schools June 11.

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Published June 13, 2016

Whether it’s the odometer or some signal that serves as a reminder, it’s no surprise that a periodic oil change is a regular part of owning a vehicle. But vehicle models may differ in their oil change schedules or the types of oil recommended, according to local auto service professionals. 

Dave Pannecouk, owner of Dave’s Complete Auto Service in Harrison Township, said regular oil changes maintain a vehicle’s longevity and help it run better. 

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Published June 10, 2016

STERLING HEIGHTS — The future plans of Sterling Heights’ parks and recreational facilities will be in play when residents vote on a millage proposal Nov. 8.

At a June 7 meeting, the Sterling Heights City Council voted 6-1 to approve the proposal’s ballot language. Mayor Pro Tem Joseph Romano was the lone dissenter.

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Published June 8, 2016

Eleven Oakbrook Elementary School students earned the chance to have lunch with Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor, according to the school’s parent-teacher organization.

Lola Hess, vice president of the Oakbrook Family Tree PTO, said 11 students were chosen to have lunch  June 2 with the mayor. The students were the top earners for the school’s biggest fundraiser, the Hometown Heroes Fun Run. Hess said those students raised $4,720.09 this year for the May 6 fun run, which is designed to promote physical activity and healthy habits.

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