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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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Published June 6, 2016

Utica Community Schools students who are interested in teaching the next generation recently gained experience in the skill of writing children’s books.

Karen Chaffee, instructor for Henry Ford II High School’s Future Educators class, said her juniors and seniors recently penned their own children’s books in her class.

Future Educators classes in the other three main UCS high schools did the same, and the best books were recently honored in a contest, she said.

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Published June 6, 2016

A Sterling Heights state representative is hoping that a set of recently proposed bills in the state House of Representatives that would prevent minors from buying e-cigarettes will eventually become law and not vanish like a vapor.

State Rep. Henry Yanez, D-Sterling Heights, is the primary sponsor of a three-bill package of proposals, House Bills 5686-5688, introduced May 24. The bills, which have attracted co-sponsors, aim to regulate e-cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices.

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Published June 6, 2016

Whether it’s a traffic jam, summer construction or mere happenstance, the driving experience offers numerous chances to encounter frustration. And according to experts, drivers need to take steps to prevent danger from happening to themselves or others. 

According to Sgt. Jill Bennett from the Michigan State Police, aggressive driving incidents and road rage sometimes occurs during rush hour on major metro Detroit expressways. But she said it is seen elsewhere, too.

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Published June 4, 2016

METRO DETROIT — While there’s plenty of fun to be had on Michigan’s abundance of lakes and rivers this summer, there are also many potential dangers that can be easily avoided.

Local emergency personnel say that by following the rules of the water, all can enjoy a safe boating season this year.

“It comes down to common sense,” said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. “Be aware of your surroundings.”

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Published June 3, 2016

A firefighting training session has come and gone in a flash, but the Sterling Heights Fire Department says firefighters learned valuable knowledge from the experience.

According to Sterling Heights Fire Chief Chris Martin, the live fire training exercise took place May 25-27 in the parking lot of the former Sunnybrook Lanes building in Sterling Heights. The SHFD said fire departments from Utica and Shelby Township were also invited to participate.

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Published June 1, 2016

STERLING HEIGHTS — A Sterling Heights resident is facing charges after the vehicle he was driving collided with a Warren Consolidated Schools bus as it transported students home May 27.

Konrad Sliwinski, 40, has been charged with a minor injury accident, felonious assault with a motor vehicle, and reckless driving for crashing into the bus after he was allegedly involved in a road rage incident that reportedly began in Troy.      

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