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Woodward Talk

Published June 29, 2015

The urge to hurry can put a driver at risk of a speeding ticket or even a traffic accident. But even if a speed limit seems like an inconvenience, there is often a carefully considered reason behind the numbers, according to road and safety experts.

According to a document from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning called “Establishing Realistic Speed Limits,” speed limits are designed to keep all drivers as safe as possible while staying within realistic boundaries of “reasonable and proper” public driving habits.

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Published June 27, 2015

Freedom Hill is counting on a banner year for its annual pre-Independence Day event, the Stars & Stripes Festival June 25-28.

Joe Nieporte, co-owner of festival organizer Funfest Productions Inc., said the festival, now in its third consecutive year at Freedom Hill after a stay in Mount Clemens, features a new layout.

“It takes a few years to kind of see the flow of people,” he explained.

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Published June 27, 2015

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Although their eyes were stinging a bit and the smell wasn’t the most appealing, Rochelle Niemiec and Justin Updyke got the job done.

The pair chopped up a tray full of onions on the morning of June 23 as they prepared a delicious lunch from scratch alongside their classmates in the culinary/pastry arts summer teen academy at Macomb Community College’s Center Campus.

Every summer, the school offers a number of week-long academies in different fields to give local teenagers the opportunity to explore various careers.

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Published June 26, 2015

According to researchers, the annual bloom of harmful algae on Lake Erie is on track to be on par with the 2009-10 blooms, though still smaller than last year’s bloom that saw the shutdown of the Toledo water system.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its preliminary report June 15 on what it expects from Erie’s bloom this year, with a more accurate one coming in early July.

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Published June 26, 2015

STERLING HEIGHTS/UTICA — School officials agreed to deeply tap their stash of fund reserves and lay off some teachers to balance the budget June 22.

The Utica Community Schools Board of Education unanimously approved the district’s 2015-16 budget at a meeting last month.

School districts are legally required to approve balanced budgets by June 30. Superintendent Christine Johns said the budget will fund district services and learning opportunities for 28,100 students.

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Published June 24, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Tick bites can have long-lasting consequences.


A specific species of the bloodsucking arachnid, the blacklegged tick — also known as the deer tick — can spread Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that, if left untreated, can cause issues for months or years after the initial bite.

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Published June 24, 2015

METRO DETROIT — The housing market in metro Detroit is still flooded with buyers and sellers, but things may get a little more difficult for sellers as interest rates have started trending upward and more buyers are looking to get into new builds.


Keller Williams real estate agent John Kurczak, based in Sterling Heights, said that just as things have changed in the types of homes that buyers are looking at, so too has the way that homes are sold.

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Published June 24, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Hot, humid days spent sizzling under the summer sun are one of the few antidotes to a long Michigan winter.


Soaking up the heat is fine, of course, as long as it’s not your food that’s doing the sweating.


The Oakland County Health Division recently released a list of food safety reminders as residents get ready to head out for summer picnics. Tony Drautz, environmental health administrator for the division, said they like to give cooks a brush-up on the basics this time of year, when meals tend to migrate outdoors.

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Published June 24, 2015

METRO DETROIT — After the YMCA helped set a Guinness World Record last year for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson, you’d think they’d take a year off.

Think again.

Last week, the nonprofit teamed up again with World’s Largest Swim Lesson — a coalition of national water safety experts and trainers — to try to set the record for the world’s largest swim lesson in 24 hours. Currently, Team WLSL holds the Guinness record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson, with 36,564 participants in 22 countries around the world.

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Published June 23, 2015

STERLING HEIGHTS — Red, white and blue are likely to be among the summer fashion colors on display during the June 27 all-American edition of the Sterling Heights Public Library’s “Project Runway” series of fashion contests.

Library public relations and programs coordinator Jason Groth said the library has held similar “Project Runway” events in the past, and he said the contests are a form of career preparation for some teens.

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Published June 23, 2015

STERLING HEIGHTS — Attendees at a recent student film event saw some coming attractions — what could be the next generation of filmmaking talent in Hollywood, TV and more.

Utica Community Schools partnered with Emagine Entertainment on June 17 to display some students’ award-winning short films at the Emagine Macomb Theatre.

The event, titled “A Filmmaker’s Evening,” presented 39 works that were part of the 47th Michigan Student Film Festival held by the Digital Arts, Film & Television group April 25 in Detroit.

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Published June 22, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Sixteen people around metro Detroit have been charged in what the federal government is calling the largest Medicare fraud takedown in history.

Nationwide, 243 arrests were made as part of the investigation, including doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals for their alleged participation in schemes to defraud Medicare of $712 million through false billings. The investigation also led to the suspension of a number of health care providers.

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Published June 22, 2015

A stretch of Van Dyke Avenue in Warren is seeing signs of redevelopment as General Motors and a local dealership have committed to investing in the area.

In May, GM announced that its Warren Technical Center in Warren is poised to undergo an estimated nine-figure investment toward renovation and expansion.

GM spokesman Dan Flores said the automaker opened the Tech Center in the 1950s, and it has served as a core hub of vehicle development and design as well as research and development.

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Published June 21, 2015

STERLING HEIGHTS — As it gets closer to the Fourth of July, a local state representative has drafted proposed legislation to curtail the use of consumer fireworks in Michigan.

State Rep. Henry Yanez, D-Sterling Heights, said in June that he wants to repeal Michigan’s relaxed fireworks laws. His proposal consists of two bills: One repeals changes made by the Michigan Legislature in 2011, and the other bill cleans up technical language.

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Published June 20, 2015

STERLING HEIGHTS — A pack of large dogs reportedly went on the loose in a Sterling Heights neighborhood June 12, allegedly trapping a man on top of his vehicle and killing a cat.

According to Sterling Heights Police Chief Michael Reese, five Cane Corsos were reportedly discovered roaming on their own. Multiple dogs were spotted at 4:45 p.m. in the 2700 block of Bainbridge Drive. Reese said the dogs are not in the pit bull family but are very large.

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Published June 19, 2015

STERLING HEIGHTS — Not only was it the end of the school year for Fillmore Elementary on June 17, it was the end of an era.

The building closed as an elementary school as Warren Consolidated Schools officials find ways to reduce the district’s budget. At the May 6 Board of Education meeting, the school board voted to merge Fillmore and Black elementary schools. Fillmore students will relocate to Black for the 2015-16 school year. Both schools are located in Sterling Heights. School officials plan to “repurpose” Fillmore.

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Published June 19, 2015

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — With the Pride of Michigan floating in the background, local officials and business leaders touted the impact that the lake continues to have on the local economy during the second annual State of Lake St. Clair address on June 10.

County Executive Mark Hackel said Macomb County’s Blue Water Economy initiative is the reason for numerous accomplishments since its inception in 2013.

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Published June 18, 2015

MOUNT CLEMENS — Dozens of prisoners at the Macomb County Jail were released the evening of June 17 and the morning of June 18 due to overcrowding, sheriff’s officials reported.

According to Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, an overcrowding state of emergency was declared on June 2 after the jail population exceeded the rated design capacity (RDC).

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Published June 17, 2015

The legacy of former Mayor Richard Notte will continue to live on in the city that he served for about three decades, thanks in part to a new road sign.

The Sterling Heights City Council attended a June 2 dedication ceremony on 19 Mile Road, near Rhineland Drive, to officially unveil a Richard J. Notte Boulevard sign to commemorate Notte’s legacy. According to city officials, the boundaries for the newly marked boulevard are Ryan Road and Mound Road.

At a June 2 City Council meeting, Councilman Joseph Romano described Notte as “my friend and mentor.”

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Published June 17, 2015

Scouts are known for navigating trails, and a local aspiring Eagle Scout recently organized a campaign to put together an aluminum path for people in wheelchairs to more easily access a local church.

Boy Scout Bradley Heydel, 17, of Sterling Heights, and his fellow Scouts recently installed a modern wheelchair ramp at Christ Lutheran Church in Warren. The new ramp replaces an old wooden one that had been deemed too small and shabby.

An Eagle Scout service project is a prerequisite step toward being honored as an Eagle Scout, which is Boy Scouting’s highest rank.

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