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Published April 11, 2016

Around the same time metro Detroiters hang up their winter coats, many motorists will be searching for ways to remove the winter coating of dirt and salt off their vehicles.

Ryan Smiecinski, manager of Joe’s Auto Parts in Royal Oak, said there are numerous options when it comes to cleaning a vehicle’s exterior and interior, depending on how much time and effort the owner wants to employ.

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Published April 8, 2016

After a months-long bidding process that frequently divided Sterling Heights City Council members, the council unanimously voted to approve a waste hauling contract April 5.

The council voted to pick Sterling Heights-based Rizzo Environmental Services as the city’s next contracted hauler for an eight-year term. The city approved the new partnership before Sterling Heights’ current waste hauling contract with Waste Management expires at the end of April. Rizzo is expected to start picking up Sterling Heights’ trash in May.

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Published April 8, 2016

Wayne Oehmke, a prominent member of Macomb County’s business community, will soon retire from his position as the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s president and CEO.

Oehmke, 74, from Macomb Township, is scheduled to retire from the chamber’s leadership in early May. He said he was president and CEO for about eight years after serving the chamber in other ways in previous years, including chairing the chamber’s board four times. Prior to being part of the chamber, he also had a career in the local newspaper industry.

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Published April 6, 2016

Utica Community Schools was once again serenaded with praise by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation when the district was named among the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education.

The NAMM Foundation, which is based in California, announced the honorees in late March. The foundation most recently honored 476 U.S. school districts for providing students with a quality music education. Applicants had to prove to the foundation and the Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas that they offer student access and create successful outcomes.

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Published April 5, 2016

Utica High School students hope to match up audiences to a familiar soundtrack and a classic story when they present “Emma!: A Pop Musical” April 21-23.

Utica High School Theater Director Joel Kaczmarczyk said he found the musical through Playscripts Inc. He said the musical has a recent copyright, and it was performed for the first time ever by Troy Athens High School.

“They sent me a copy, and I also had a reference CD,” he said. “I fell in love with it. It’s great.”

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Published April 4, 2016

Sterling Heights will hear the sounds of summer a few weeks longer this year.

The city’s Music in the Park concert series will run for 12 weeks June-August, according to city officials. The concerts will start at 7 p.m. Thursdays June 2-Aug. 25, except for July 28, at Dodge Park.

Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Director Kyle Langlois attributed the decision to expectation-exceeding popularity for concerts and the launch of the Dodge Park Farmers Market. Last year, Music in the Park took place on seven Thursdays.

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Published April 4, 2016

Michigan State University analysts and professors expect the recent trend of cheap gas prices to continue to have a positive effect on Michigan tourism this spring and summer.

AAA reported that the average gas price in Michigan was $1.96 per gallon as of March 27, though gas prices in some areas of Michigan recently climbed above $2 for the first time in late March.

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Published April 1, 2016

The son of Sterling Heights’ late mayor is now pursuing his own run for public office.

Michael Notte announced his candidacy for state representative in the 30th House District March 28 at the DC3S building in Sterling Heights.

DC3S, or the Defense Corridor Center for Collaboration and Synergy, is an organization that assists local businesses in the defense industry by offering them office space and other needs.

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Published April 1, 2016

Immigration watchers, advocates and critics expect more refugees to make it to Michigan soon as part of the Obama administration’s target of expanding acceptance of refugees, including ones from Syria.

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Published March 30, 2016

Sterling Heights High School was placed on lockdown for a short time March 23 for what officials were originally led to believe was a confrontation between two students.

After officials interviewed one of the students involved, it was determined that she had changed her story about the incident and there was no altercation after all.

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Published March 29, 2016

Sterling Heights residents who want the Fire Department to have an easier time reaching them now have a key solution.

This month, the Sterling Heights Fire Department started publicizing a voluntary residential lock box initiative for residents that can help the Fire Department enter homes in emergency situations.

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Published March 29, 2016

A celebration for a Utica Community Schools teacher recently was converted into a convertible.

During a March 23 breakfast at the Community Education Center at Walsh in Sterling Heights, Utica Community Schools Superintendent Christine Johns honored Harvey Elementary School kindergarten teacher Molly Mayernik as the school district’s overall Teacher of the Year. 
In an email statement given afterward, Johns said Mayernik represents “the care, innovation and exemplary teaching and learning that students experience every day” at UCS.

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Published March 28, 2016

A local Chaldean community group is reacting to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recently announced assertion that the Islamic State group committed genocide against Christians and other minority groups in the Middle East.

Kerry declared on March 17 that the Islamic State — also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh — committed genocide when it targeted and slaughtered Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslim groups in Iraq, Syria and beyond over the past couple of years.

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Published March 28, 2016

The sunny side of the street might also be the more dangerous side if drivers fail to take precautionary steps to fight sun glare while driving.

According to an alert from AAA, sun glare is becoming more of a factor this time of year due to the recent start of daylight saving time and the timing of daily commutes.

The agency says drivers who have to drive amid sun glare should follow some tips to avoid being blinded, which could endanger other vehicles or pedestrians.

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Published March 23, 2016

As Sterling Heights’ city beautification initiatives blossom this spring, the city is also planning to sell discounted trees in order to encourage more greenery.

For a number of years, the city has held a spring Pride and SHINE — Sterling Heights Initiative for Neighborhood Excellence — Day in May.

This day has been dedicated to beautifying neighborhoods and tidying up the yards of residents in need — especially after several months of winter have taken their toll.

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Published March 23, 2016

The Sterling Heights City Council recently clicked “on” for a proposal that officials say will fund new city customer service software to make handling resident concerns more efficient.

During a March 15 meeting, the council voted unanimously to fund the SeeClickFix software and its accompanying app for three years — starting July 1 — at an annual rate of $18,696. The proposal was part of the city’s consent agenda, and City Council members did not discuss the issue during the meeting.

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Published March 23, 2016

WARREN/STERLING HEIGHTS — The Library of Michigan recently awarded 13 elementary school libraries in the Warren Consolidated Schools district with a certificate of completion for meeting the qualified or exemplary status of the measurement benchmarks for Michigan School Libraries for 21st Century Schools.  

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Published March 21, 2016

When it comes to traffic safety, experts are nodding in agreement over the importance of reminding drivers not to nod off while they’re on the road.

AAA Michigan brought attention to the dangers of drowsy driving in light of the March 13 start of daylight saving time. A University of Colorado Boulder analysis concluded that the springtime time switch correlates to a 5 to 7 percent increase in risk of a deadly car crash.

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Published March 18, 2016

The city of Sterling Heights found some room within its 36.8 square miles to accommodate a new cyber space.

Government officials, academic representatives and others held a grand opening event March 18 for the Velocity Hub of the Michigan Cyber Range, which is housed inside the Velocity Collaboration Center building in Sterling Heights. The Velocity Collaboration Center also is home to the Macomb-Oakland University INCubator, which provides resources that help small businesses.

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Published March 16, 2016

Utica Community Schools students will get a sneak peek of the adult world at the Career Expo 2016 March 29.

The event, which takes place at Eisenhower High School in Shelby Township, will invite an estimated 100 professionals from different careers.

They will teach students about their jobs and the education, qualifications and skills needed to do them. Students and their parents are welcome, as is school district staff, according to UCS.

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