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Published October 14, 2015

A rebranded annual Halloween party in Sterling Heights has gotten over its first-time jitters and is ready to build on its success, according to city officials.

On Oct. 24, the Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Department will hold its second annual Sterling Frights Halloween party at Dodge Park.

Parks and Recreation Supervisor Troy Nowotny said the city has hosted a Halloween party for many years, but officials decided to rebrand the event to Sterling Frights last year and make some changes to the event.

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Published October 14, 2015

UTICA — Utica High School theater students are counting down the days until they perform a unique play based on the characters from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.”

The school will perform “Dracula,” by Utica alumnus and playwright Jake Feeman, Nov. 5-7. The production will be an additional time that an original Feeman composition has been presented at the school, with another being “Lovely Lovely Valentine” last school year.

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Published October 12, 2015

This year might not hit the target, but state and national agencies are looking forward to a time when they won’t have to count traffic fatalities on Michigan’s roads.

Since 2012, the state of Michigan has committed to the campaign known as Toward Zero Deaths. The campaign, which goes by #TowardZeroDeaths on Twitter, aspires to one day prevent traffic fatalities altogether.

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Published October 9, 2015

Sterling Heights residents who need to have someone else take care of their snowplowing needs this winter will have a new option, according to city officials.

At an Oct. 6 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool introduced a new partnership that the city has made with a company called Plowz & Mowz. Residents can use a computer or mobile app to schedule and pay service providers to handle snow clearing and lawn mowing needs.

“Yes, we have to start thinking about snow removal,” Vanderpool said.

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Published October 7, 2015

An annual push to clean up yards and properties in Sterling Heights is waiting a bit longer than usual this autumn.

This year, the fall version of Pride & SHINE Day, a community beautification event, is scheduled to take place Nov. 14. SHINE is an acronym for Sterling Heights Initiative for Neighborhood Excellence.

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Published October 7, 2015

A top national law enforcement agency recently released data that city officials say back up previous announcements that Sterling Heights is among the safest large communities in Michigan.

On Sept. 28, the FBI released its Crime in the United States report for 2014.

According to the data, Sterling Heights had 222 violent crime incidents reported last year, a decrease of 22 incidents compared to 2013. Among the state’s six-figure population cities, this put Sterling Heights in second place behind Ann Arbor, which had 194 violent crimes reported in 2014.

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Published October 7, 2015

An annual program arranged by the city of Sterling Heights and community partners will soon gather to spread Christmas and holiday cheer to local low-income families.

Starting in early October, the city’s Community Relations Department started to invite qualifying residents to sign up to be placed on a list for its Holiday Assistance Program.

According to city officials, the Holiday Assistance Program has been around for around 20 years, and it assisted 580 families last year by coordinating efforts to give them food, clothing and other goods.

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Published October 7, 2015

A taste of the Detroit Institute of Arts may be sampled alongside the Dodge Park Farmers Market in Sterling Heights Oct. 8.

Market visitors will be invited to check out the DIA Away: Think Like an Artist interactive art program in a traveling trailer, which will be parked in the Dodge Park parking lot.

DIA Director of Community Relations Kathryn Dimond said DIA Away has previously made stops at schools and community events like Arts Beats & Eats in Royal Oak and the Warren Birthday Bash.

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Published October 5, 2015

As the seasons go round and round, so do a vehicle’s tires. But in order to keep traction on the roads, drivers should monitor their tires’ condition and buy quality ones when it’s time to change them, according to local auto repair businesses.

Andrew McLaughlin, manager and service adviser at Mac’s Tire & Auto Repair in Center Line, said motorists should buy tires on an as-need basis, but he added that it’s a good idea to consider a purchase before the winter begins. 

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Published October 2, 2015

Residents can prove that they represent the upper crust of culinary talent during a pie-baking competition at the Dodge Park Farmers Market Oct. 8.

The contest, sponsored by the Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Department, is designed for amateur bakers. Only the first 10 people who register can participate, and they will be asked to send a copy of their recipe to the city.

According to Parks and Recreation Supervisor Troy Nowotny, entrants were still being accepted at press time.

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Published September 30, 2015

Marching bands from Utica Community Schools’ four major high schools will get into position and play during their annual Band-A-Rama fundraiser Oct. 4 outside Stevenson High School.

According to Chris Traskal, director of bands at Eisenhower High School, the four high schools will start the evening by playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” together. Then each school band will perform its own halftime presentation.

He said the event brings in a large audience of people from across the UCS district who come to watch hundreds of band members play.

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Published September 30, 2015

Utica Community Schools officials plan to be an open book in explaining how they hope to help high school students excel on the now-required SAT college entrance exam.

UCS will hold a presentation Oct. 8 at Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights to help parents help their children succeed on the exam. The district is holding the presentation with the help of representatives from the College Board, the group that administers the exams.

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Published September 30, 2015

A new ranking of populous Michigan cities found that Sterling Heights fits in the top tier of its peers, city officials said during a Sept. 15 City Council meeting.

City Manager Mark Vanderpool announced that the Auburn Hills-based government data firm Munetrix had ranked cities’ safety by population level. Based on 2014 data, the organization found that Sterling Heights ranked sixth among the top 15 Michigan cities with populations of more than 50,000. The city also ranked first among cities with more than 100,000 people, he said.

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Published September 30, 2015

Sterling Heights and Utica’s wishes for resources to produce a cleaner, more productive Clinton River were recently granted, according to city officials.

At a Sept. 15 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, officials announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had approved a $4.5 million grant that will be used to pursue a Clinton River Corridor Habitat Restoration Project.

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Published September 28, 2015

Fall has begun, but it’s still too soon for most cyclists to put away their bikes. So safety advocates are reminding metro Detroiters to watch out for bicyclists and to keep a close eye out for them at intersections, in neighborhoods and on the roads.

AAA Michigan public affairs director Susan Hiltz said that while cyclists are most frequently on the road during the summer months, the prevalence of cycling means that motorists cannot let their guard down.

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Published September 25, 2015

If you’re driving along the M-59/Hall Road corridor this October, expect the Sterling Heights Police Department and other police agencies to be part of your commute.

Sterling Heights police are coordinating with their neighbors from Chesterfield Township, Clinton Township, Shelby Township and Utica to crack down on motorists’ illegal driving habits. The Macomb County Sheriff’s Department will also monitor the road.

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Published September 23, 2015

It may be called a crawl, but there is no sign that the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s fall restaurant event is slowing down.

The chamber will hold its Fall Grub Crawl Sept. 23 at eight participating local restaurants — that’s two more than last year’s number, according to chamber President and CEO Wayne Oehmke.

Oehmke said the restaurants are mainly on Hall Road, west of Schoenherr Road, and the restaurants that are returning this year are fan favorites.

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Published September 23, 2015

Local activists and athletes hoping to end childhood cancer will strap on their running shoes as part of a charity fundraiser in Sterling Heights.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will hold a St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer Sept. 26 at Dodge Park in Sterling Heights. The hospital focuses on treating and beating cancer and other life-threatening diseases that affect children.

Event sponsors include local businesses and media, as well as the city of Sterling Heights and C & G Newspapers.

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Published September 23, 2015

Go-karts will change courses from recreational to educational at an upcoming event in Sterling Heights that is designed to persuade teens to be attentive, safe drivers on the road.

On Sept. 24, Kart 2 Kart Indoor Karting and Conference Center in Sterling Heights will host the Get SHARP distracted driving program for local schools as part of a private event. SHARP is an acronym for the Sterling Heights Alcohol Reduction Program.

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Published September 22, 2015

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Luis Pastora was just a toddler when he and other family members fled his homeland of Nicaragua in a Red Cross caravan in 1980.

They grabbed whatever they could fit in a car, and fled to Honduras to seek safety from fighting that was going on in their home country at the time.

For 20 years, Pastora and his family lived in Honduras thanks to a job Luis’ father was able to get through a connection he had while working as a consultant in the agriculture industry.

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