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Woodward Talk

Published March 27, 2013

With spring here — at least according to the calendar — many homeowners look to the state of their houses after the long, dirty winter and aren’t happy with what they see.

Carpets are soiled by salty boots; driveways start cracking from the months-long freeze/thaw cycle; and muddy messes are exposed in backyards that will be used for entertaining, come summer.

Now is the time to fix those problems, according to local contractors, before warm-weather fun beckons and the summer home- improvement rush begins.

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Published March 22, 2013

STERLING HEIGHTS — The Heights’ own Laura Zdravkovski was crowned Mrs. Michigan America 2013 March 9, setting the stage for her to compete in the Mrs. America pageant in August.

“This position is very surreal to me,” Zdravkovski said recently. “I’m very honored, and I’m very humbled.”

Zdravkovski, who represented Macomb County in the pageant, said she initially didn’t realize she was named first place.

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Published October 30, 2012

A walkway meant as a convenience has become decidedly inconvenient for homeowners in a neighborhood near 18 Mile and Van Dyke.

Armed with petitions signed by fellow residents of Buckingham Estates, David Lemaux approached City Council earlier this month seeking partial closure of the walkway between 8691 and 8703 Hamilton East, which links his subdivision with a network of condominiums and apartments.

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Published August 8, 2012


Can do

Eileen Haraminac will teach several upcoming food preservation courses at the Macomb MSU Extension office at 21885 Dunham, Assembly Room A, in Clinton Township:
• Aug. 18: hot water bath jams and jellies.

Published June 26, 2012

Heart: steady. Ears: clear. Temperature: normal.

Yet, all of the plush patients present at a June 18 Teddy Bear Clinic at Lakeside Mall appeared to require a similar remedy: more reading.

So declared Cindy Macks, Erin Miller and Carla Hardies of Reach Out and Read Michigan, who performed “checkups” with great fanfare on young visitors’ teddy bears, horses, puppies and other plush friends as part of Lakeside’s recently launched Monday Fun Day program.

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Published March 28, 2012

Necessity, the adage declares, is the mother of invention.

Surveying his cluttered garage years ago, then-Sterling Heights resident Chris Mazzola certainly recognized the necessity, and the invention followed: the Bucket Bracket, a device that fastens to the wall to suspend 5-gallon pails at an angle for simple storage.

“I had junk in my garage — it drove me nuts,” said Mazzola, a carpenter of 25 years who relied on pails to hold virtually everything. “You couldn’t see in the buckets. I was stacking them on top of each other.”

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Published March 21, 2012

As pet lovers snuggle up with their furry friends, many may not think about where their animals came from before they found them listed online or at a pet store. But the Michigan Humane Society estimates that 99 percent of pet store puppies are bred by large-scale breeders, or puppy mills, some of which are known for their cruel and inhumane treatment of animals to maximize profit.

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Published March 14, 2012

An electronic sign on the wall reads “10 days, 14 hours, 15 minutes and 4.32 seconds.”

“That’s the countdown until the end of my life,” laughed Melisa Valentine, 25, of Ferndale, a bartender at the Blarney Stone Pub in Berkley.

She’s kidding of course. The countdown marks the time left before St. Patrick’s Day, the annual holiday many celebrate by bellying up to the bar. But for those tasked with handling the crowds and their beverage orders from behind the bar, it’s a far different experience.

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Published March 7, 2012

Bullying hurts.

It can make someone feel small, rejected, disrespected, stupid, ugly, unloved and unimportant.

While not a new concept — the bullies and bullied have been around for years — it seems to have entered a new realm as an alarming number of youth have responded to bullying in more dramatic ways than society has been accustomed to. Suicide. Violence. Murder.

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Published February 29, 2012

DETROIT — Prep your paws for a whole lot of petting as the annual two-day celebration of all things dog arrives March 3 and 4 with the annual Detroit Kennel Club Dog Shows at Cobo Center.

More than 2,000 dogs representing 167 breeds will be on hand to interact with the public, demonstrate their skills and compete for top prizes.

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Published January 25, 2012

Public schools keep religion out of the forefront of education, but many parents want to see religious education, traditions and beliefs at the center of their child’s learning environment.

Those parents can choose schools that keep faith the focus.

Religious schools take several steps to ensure faith ideals are conveyed inside and outside the classroom, including daily religious services.

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Published December 22, 2011

“Thank you for calling your friendly Riverland Kroger store,” the automated voice answering the phone chirps now.

But come Jan. 7, 2012, that friendly store will be no more.

After several decades, Kroger plans to close its location in the Riverland Plaza shopping center, at Riverland and Van Dyke, south of Hall Road.

Dale Hollandsworth with Kroger corporate communications called it a “last resort” decision that’s been mulled for several years, and with the current lease expiring, it’s finally being executed.

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Published December 20, 2011

Flip on WNZK 690 AM in the early afternoon and you may hear the voice of Sterling Heights resident Nick Najjar, speaking in Arabic about everyday issues.

“We talk about laws. We talk about real estate — talk about everything that’s important in the community,” said Najjar, who emigrated from Iraq 30 years ago. “That’s our job, to educate the community, because we have a lot of newcomers. They don’t know the rules and regulations of this country.”

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Published December 14, 2011

After Shelby Township crafter Margie Conn waged a successful battle against breast cancer, she decided to use her skills to help others.

“I had to give back,” she said. “I got involved with Relay for Life. I am always looking for a way to contribute.”

The winner of the first C & G Newspapers Holiday Craft Contest, Conn received 245 votes for her repurposed cigar box, decorated with keys and memorabilia. Crafting the decorative storage boxes involves weeks of work layering paints and resin.

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Published December 7, 2011

Looking for a few more gifts on your holiday shopping list? Choosing a Michigan-made item or purchasing from a small, local business can be a win-win — recipients get to unwrap something unique, while shoppers help boost Michigan’s economy.

“If we’re going to make an impact with our dollars, this is the biggest impact we can have — at this time of the year,” said Lisa Diggs, founder of Buy Michigan Now.

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Published December 7, 2011

This holiday season, the population of Casey and Tara Colussi’s household tripled.

For five days over Thanksgiving, the Troy couple, who has two children, hosted Casey’s parents, sister, brother-in-law, two nephews and two family friends.

It was the second installment of what’s become a holiday tradition for the Colussis, and though their recent move to a larger home eased the congestion somewhat, “even with the extra space, it’s a pleasant chaos, is always the best way to describe it,” laughed Casey.

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Published October 26, 2011

In Stephen King’s horror novel “The Shining,” a small, dysfunctional family moves into an old and insidious hotel for the winter after the family patriarch, Jack Torrance, is hired as the caretaker during the off-season.

No spoilers here, but anyone who has read the book or seen the Stanley Kubrick movie knows the disturbing and tragic things that occur during the course of the family’s stay.

It’s a perfect story for anyone who likes a good scare.

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Published October 13, 2011

What’s your favorite apple?

“The last one I ate.”

Ed Robinette doesn’t even hesitate to give that cheeky yet appropriate reply to what is surely one of his favorite questions. He is, after all, raising 23 varieties of apples on his family farm in Grand Rapids. That’s a lot of options. But it barely breaks the surface.

“There’s so much diversity in the apple crop in Michigan — there are literally thousands of varieties,” Robinette said.

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Published September 14, 2011

Everyone needs it. Most don’t get enough of it. And for those it eludes, it may become an obsession.

With the end of summer, students back in school and shorter days, people’s routines may be a little light on a valuable commodity: sleep.

Less than half of people get it in the quantity and quality their bodies need, said Dr. Gary Trock, and disorders minor and severe can hinder what should be an act that occurs effortlessly and in abundance.

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Published September 13, 2011

PONTIAC — Franklin-Bingham Fire Chief Tony Averbuch was overcome with emotion during his speech at the Oakland County Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony Sept. 11.

Averbuch, who’s been in the fire service for two decades, was a part of a disaster response unit that deployed to ground zero in New York City in the days immediately following the terrorist attacks.

Only a few words into his keynote address during the ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks, Averbuch broke down.

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