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Published March 23, 2015

The spring starts a new season of construction, but awareness could keep drivers from being barraged by sights of barrels during their commutes — or at least let them plan for a longer drive.

Oakland and Macomb counties’ road commissions have announced several upcoming projects for the spring and beyond.

According to Bob Hoepfner, director of the Macomb County Department of Roads, his agency plans to do about $42 million in roadwork this construction season.

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Published March 20, 2015

A Sterling Heights church is hoping to pay its respects to Jesus in a different way on a major Christian holy day.

Hope Crossing church will hold a funeral service for Jesus on April 3, which is Good Friday, the day when Christians remember the crucifixion and death of Jesus.

The Rev. T.J. Witherell, emerging generations pastor at Hope Crossing, said the church has never done this type of event before, though something similar was held at a church in West Branch. Witherell said he hopes that the unconventional setting will interest newcomers.

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Published March 18, 2015

Hundreds of Utica Community Schools students in kindergarten through 12th grade are continuing to check out their schools’ chess clubs and learn the strategies behind the classic game.

Chess coach Scott Burnham runs chess clubs at three elementary schools: the Roberts Rooks, the Flickinger Knights and the Dresden Dragons. An evening chess club for students in grades seven  through 12 also meets at Utica High School, he said.

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Published March 17, 2015

Lego lovers rejoice.

Michigan’s first and only attraction based on the world-famous Lego brick is coming to Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills next year.

The schedule calls for construction to begin this summer on Legoland Discovery Center Michigan and for the project to be completed in spring 2016, according to an announcement by Merlin Entertainment, which operates Legoland attractions worldwide.

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Published March 16, 2015

ROCHESTER — After years of fading into the background, the sounds of bells, whistles, digitized music and flippers hitting pinballs are coming back.


That old arcade mainstay has seen breaths of new life during the past few years, and enthusiasts around metro Detroit are helping put pinball machines back into the spotlight with local leagues running throughout the year, and a four-day annual event — the Michigan Pinball Expo — scheduled for April.

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Published March 16, 2015

A car with chipping, scratches, fading or worse cannot hide under winter grime forever, but repainting options exist just in time for a spring makeover. 

Allan Edwards, owner of Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting in Shelby Township, said drivers get their cars repainted for a number of reasons, such as collision work, corrosion restoration or a simple refreshing.

“A lot of times, they’ve just got older cars looking pretty bland,” he said. “Sometimes they want to do a totally different color.”

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Published March 13, 2015

Classic rock bands and legendary groups from the 1960s are scheduled to visit Freedom Hill Amphitheatre in Sterling Heights this year.

Amphitheater officials recently revealed some of the first details of the schedule, which lasts from May until October.

In March, officials announced that their 2015 season will include appearances by Clutch and Mastodon May 23, Whitesnake July 3, Boston July 16, and The Beach Boys and The Temptations Aug. 9.

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Published March 11, 2015

The Clinton River Watershed Council is looking for local volunteers who can take a miniature census of the river’s wildlife.

The group is holding an Adopt-A-Stream Basic Training session March 31 at the Sterling Heights Fire Department on Ryan Road.

According to program coordinator Amanda Oparka, the CRWC is looking for adult volunteers who are concerned with water quality and protecting water resources.

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Published March 11, 2015

The Sterling Heights Public Library holds the keys to a March 26 concert celebrating the swing era and the piano.

Boogie-woogie piano player Matthew Ball plans to bring back his retro style of performing during a free public event for the community.

Jason Groth, the library’s public relations and programs coordinator, said the library is  eager to have Ball back. Groth explained that the library is moving toward adding more musical performances as part of its community activities.

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Published March 11, 2015

METRO DETROIT — A few years ago, when Jason Davidson’s hair was completely shaved off during the St. Baldrick’s Foundation cancer fundraiser, a young girl battling the illness came up to him and said “thank you.”


Touched by her words, “It was hard to come up with a response,” Davidson said.

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Published March 11, 2015

METRO DETROIT — They have a certain austere beauty and create remarkable sculptures when they begin to thaw and refreeze around trees, bushes or just the ground, but those large icicles growing from your roof could be an indication of a larger problem — ice damming on the roof.


An ice dam is a buildup of ice on roofs caused by melting snow that refreezes around the eaves of a house; it is usually quite easy to spot, experts say, because of the large icicles and pieces of ice that form on the edge of the roof of the house.

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Published March 11, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Bored with barbells and sick of stair climbers? You’re not the only one. More and more people are making dance a part of their regular workout routine — and they’re having a great time doing it.


Ivy Mitchell, of Clawson, knows how effective it can be to take exercising out of the gym and onto the dance floor. She teaches Zumba fitness classes in Clawson and Eastpointe, guiding students through interval-style full-body workouts masked as upbeat dance routines.

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Published March 11, 2015

METRO DETROIT — The legal team of the lesbian couple from Hazel Park challenging Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage have filed their briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court. So have plaintiffs in similar cases out of Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

“Regardless of what happens in the next few months, we’re confident these are the briefs that represent the right side of history,” said Dan Canon, one of the counsel for the Kentucky case, during a conference call with legal teams for all four states Feb. 27.

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Published March 9, 2015

Even if you haven’t felt that sinking feeling on the road yet, two county road agencies say you can expect to drive over some potholes soon.

According to Road Commission for Oakland County spokesman Craig Bryson, potholes form when rain or melting snow gets inside road cracks. As temperatures dip, that moisture freezes and expands, creating a cavity under the road. When the frozen water thaws, the road’s structural integrity is compromised, causing the affected portion to collapse into a pothole when a vehicle rolls over it, he said.

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Published March 6, 2015

After finishing a musical based on a “tale as old as time,” it’s time for Sterling Civic Theatre to embark on a spring drama camp involving drones with cameras attached.

The theater group will host its Stage Geeks Theater Camp on select days from March 16-April 29, following the troupe’s early March run of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast Jr.”

According to SCT founder Larry O’Grady, the camp will introduce participants in kindergarten through grade six to a sampling of the components of a theatrical show.

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Published March 6, 2015

METRO DETROIT — A few years ago, when Jason Davidson’s hair was completely shaved off during the St. Baldrick’s Foundation cancer fundraiser, a young girl battling the illness came up to him and said “thank you.”

Touched by her words, “It was hard to come up with a response,” Davidson said.

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Published March 6, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Do you have what it takes to be a World War II paratrooper?

Wait, back up. Let’s not even get into the fighting they encountered. That’s a separate issue, one you’re certainly not prepared for.

The same goes for their basic training. Suffice it to say it was grueling, agonizing and spread over weeks. It wasn’t for the faint of heart, mind, body or spirit.

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Published March 4, 2015

One of the best parts of parenthood, for many, is that for a few precious years the refrigerator will never be lacking in color.

Artwork created by little ones is not only a point of pride for caregivers and educators — it’s also an important part of a child’s early learning and development.

Pam Rush, owner of The Learning Experience daycare and preschool center in Shelby Township, has been integrating art into the curriculum for 25 years.

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Published March 4, 2015

Right now, there are likely several inches of snow piled up on at least a portion of your deck or patio.

But what will you find when it melts?

Flaking paint chips and nail pops on your wooden deck, moss and weeds starting to grow between brick pavers, or worse.

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Published March 4, 2015

 

STERLING HEIGHTS — A new shield-shaped logo representing the city of Sterling Heights continued to endure blows from some residents, while some city officials defended it at a Feb. 17 City Council meeting.

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