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Woodward Talk

Published June 13, 2013

It’s all about character.

During the annual Sylvan Lake Home and Garden Tour 2013, eight homes and a variety of gardens will be on display 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 22. This year’s theme is “The charm of yesteryear, the vibe of today.”

“Every house is different,” said homeowner Robin Ginnard, who lives in the 1800 block of Woodland and will be featured in the tour. “(That is) the thing I like about this area, after you’ve always just lived in subdivisions.”

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Published June 11, 2013

ORCHARD LAKE — After three weeks excavating and searching for treasures untold, a Western Michigan University archaeological class left Apple Island with heavier suitcases — filled with items including animal bones, milk bottles, cutlery, and saucer and cup sets.

LouAnn Wurst, archaeological dig principal investigator at WMU, and 10 undergraduate students from an Anthropology in the Community class collected archaeological data from the 35-acre island as part of the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society’s annual Apple Island Tours May 18-19.

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Published June 6, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Two West Bloomfield fathers, Ed Viksne, 53, and Jack Faett, 57, have another reason to cherish June 16 this year.

After they both survived prostate cancer, they decided to participate in the Michigan Institute of Urology Men’s Health Foundation’s fifth annual Run for the Ribbon on Father’s Day. The event supports prostate cancer awareness, education, treatment and research in southeast Michigan.

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Published June 5, 2013

As kids anxiously await the arrival of summer, parents are weighing their summer child care options. From day camps to sitters, there’s a lot to consider when choosing who your youngster will spend their summer break with.

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Published June 4, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — In kindergarten, West Bloomfield resident Julianna Boye showed her teacher at Ealy Elementary School a special talent during show-and-tell.

“I was showing my kindergarten teacher how fast I can blink my eyes,” the Ealy fifth-grader said.

That memory, among many others, is one that the 10-year-old said she wishes she could bottle and take with her on her new educational path.

“If I could bring (my teacher) to Orchard Lake Middle School, that would be awesome,” she told the Beacon during a recent interview.

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Published May 30, 2013

ORCHARD LAKE — Fights, arrests, threats and a domestic terrorism social media scare involving a gun seemingly overshadowed what was intended to be an idyllic 42nd-annual Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Polish Country Fair in Orchard Lake on Memorial Day weekend.

A 16-year-old Detroit boy was charged with domestic terrorism in connection with the events, according to an Oakland County Sherriff’s Office press release.

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Published May 30, 2013

KEEGO HARBOR — Boating season is in full swing, and those who enjoy lake-based activities should be mindful of new and proposed regulations in place, and the watchful eyes of the law.

“We are out there every weekend,” Keego Harbor Marine Patrol Officer Jim Cote told C & G. “We are the only guys on the lake. This year, we are just preparing for a normal boating season.”

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Published May 29, 2013

Impatiens, a top choice for homeowners planting colorful annual flower displays, will not be available at most nurseries this year.

“There is a downy mildew problem with impatiens,” said Carl Eckert, owner of Eckert’s Greenhouse on Ryan in Sterling Heights. “We didn’t grow them this year, and most other nurseries also didn’t.”

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Published May 22, 2013

Walled Lake Central High School senior Malik Banks is certain that you will hear his name soon.

But it won’t be scrawled across the big screen, stitched across a numbered jersey or listed on the top 100 song charts.

His quest for fame will come from a career path that may lead him to the Big Three automakers.

The 17-year-old soon-to-be-graduate’s goal is as straightforward as his unassuming, confident personality: He wants to become a mechanical engineer.

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Published May 22, 2013

BERKLEY — The assignment was to select four people to represent a personal Mount Rushmore and explain why the four figureheads were chosen.

For most of the 753 high school juniors nationwide who submitted an essay for the 2013 National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Award for Superior Writing, that is probably exactly what they did.

Not Caelin Amin.

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Published May 22, 2013

HUNTINGTON WOODS — It’s not always easy for teachers to engage their students with the lesson of the day or any of the numerous assignments. Despite having been students at one time, Eric Zacks feels some teachers forget what it is like to be sitting at the desk and not standing up front.

Bonsitu Kitaba didn’t get that feeling from sitting in any of the three law classes she had with Zacks at Wayne State University. On the contrary, she feels Zacks, a Huntington Woods resident, tries to make a connection with each of his students.

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Published May 22, 2013

Michigan Week is in full swing, giving residents just one more excuse to revel in all the wonderful things there are to do and see in the Mitten State.

Whether you’re a beer buff or a beach babe, there’s a place for you in Michigan. But with so many regional specialties, it’s hard to choose which area of the state is best for the stay- or play-cation of your choice.

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Published May 21, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Summer is less than a month away, and plenty of popular and new summer activities are slated for this year in the greater West Bloomfield area, Parks and Recreation coordinator Nancy Keener said.

“We offer something for pretty much every age group for every week,” Keener said.

Summer camp programs begin mid-June, and children who have a hankering for soccer can get their fill at Drake Sports Park Soccer Fields to experience soccer from a British and a Brazilian perspective.

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Published May 16, 2013

West Bloomfield resident Rose Lesson was a ball of emotions during her 100th birthday party.

“It is wonderful because everybody is congratulating me and wishing me good things,” she said. “That is a blessing.”

The silver-haired centenarian blew out her candles May 10, among dozens of loved ones and friends who celebrated with her at Regent Street of West Bloomfield, 4460 Orchard Lake Road.

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Published May 15, 2013

WALLED LAKE — In a small media room, a crowd of Geisler Middle School students one by one read anti-bullying statements like mantras into a microphone connected to a computer and video camera May 3.

“We don’t all have to be the same,” one student read.

“We don’t all have to dress the same,” another read.

“We know that our differences make us interesting and unique,” another student said into the camera.

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Published May 15, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Nearly blind fifth-grade Doherty Elementary student Griffin Miller is not certain if, given the chance, he would want to see.

Griffin describes this uncertainty in an essay that ranked him — among four others — second place in the national 2013 Breaking Barriers Essay Contest, in which 18,700 fourth- through eighth-grade students submitted essays, according to

“I both did and didn’t want to be cured at the same time,” the essay reads.

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Published April 30, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — The West Bloomfield High School winter drumline competed in the Winter Guard International World Championships April 18 in Dayton, Ohio, and although they were not selected in the final round, the 28-member band played their hearts out, their percussion director said.

“When you look at where we were when we started, compared to where we are now, it’s night and day,” West Bloomfield High School percussion director Pat McLaughlin said.

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Published April 30, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Hillel Day School sixth-grade student Eden Joyrich thinks differently about seniors after participating in Dor L’Dor, an intergenerational program that connects Jewish Senior Life residents and sixth-grade students at Hillel.

“We have a lot in common,” Joyrich told the Beacon recently, “more than we would realize. A lot of us like to read and do art or make jewelry. Things you wouldn’t think they can do, they can do.”

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Published April 30, 2013

DETROIT — The Labor Day weekend is still a few months away, but already it’s promising to be another great one for jazz lovers and the city of Detroit.

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Published April 23, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Julie Touchette wants people to take a whiff of Michigan the way she smells it.

The 33-year-old Keego Harbor entrepreneur recently created a line of four candles, with scents inspired by the state, from her Lost Bluebird Collection, which will launch May 1 at Lolly Ella Jewelry, 6706 Orchard Lake Road.

Touchette said she wanted to create products that inspire the soul, while still being practical for the pocketbook.

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