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Published March 11, 2015

FERNDALE — Within less than a week, Ferndale High School’s Impi Warriors FIRST robotics team saw more than six weeks of hard work pay off in two big ways.


With a team of 44 students, plus teachers and mentors, working on a robot for six weeks leading up to the FIRST robotics district competition Feb. 27-28 at Standish High School, the team was able to create a robot that not only completed the task required for this year’s competition, but did so better than any other robot in their district.

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Published March 11, 2015

FERNDALE — “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was first published in 1900, and a movie followed in 1939, which quickly became renowned for its music and art production.


Now, 115 years after L. Frank Baum released his novel and 76 years after the movie became an instant hit, theater students at Ferndale High School are hoping to keep Dorothy and her companions at the forefront when they present five performances of “The Wizard of Oz” between March 21 and 29.

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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 10, 2015

FERNDALE — Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Denise Langford-Morris sentenced former Ferndale Housing Commission Director Deborah Wilson to three years of probation Feb. 26 after Wilson pleaded no contest to charges that she stole prescription pills from tenants of Housing Commission apartments.


In January, Wilson pleaded no contest to two counts of second-degree felony home invasion and one count of possession of a controlled substance. Along with the three years of probation, Wilson was sentenced to serve one day in jail, which she already has served.

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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

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 5, 2015

FERNDALE — How do you conquer the fear of something if you can’t face it?

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Published March 5, 2015

FERNDALE — In 2013, the west side of Nine Mile Road in Ferndale saw numerous streetscape projects that helped extend the feel of the downtown district and contributed to the nearly $5 million in private- and public-sector investments in the district.

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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

Former Berkley Police Chief Frank Irons, left center, and former Berkley Fire Chief Frank Hannah, right center, celebrate the arrival of a new fire truck in the early part of the 1950s with two other Berkley fire personnel.

The previous two trucks that the Berkley Fire Department purchased in the 1920s were no longer functioning and required that a new engine be purchased.

Today, the Berkley police and fire departments have combined to form the Berkley Public Safety Department.

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Published March 3, 2015

METRO DETROIT — In an effort to help get the Clinton River watershed off the Great Lakes Area of Concern list, the Environmental Protection Agency has pledged $20 million to fund 11 projects throughout the watershed over the next three years.

“This is a big deal for the watershed,” said Jennifer Tewkesbury, of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes.

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Published March 2, 2015

OAKLAND COUNTY — Residents and small businesses in Michigan can once again take advantage of a free, mail-in mercury collection program through Sept. 30.

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Published March 2, 2015

OAKLAND COUNTY —  Road Commission for Oakland County officials will give educational presentations about the upcoming May 5 ballot initiative that would increase the state’s sales tax and provide additional funding to fix roads throughout the state. 

The educational presentations will be free to any group or organization in Oakland County.

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Published March 2, 2015

While millions of Michiganders shiver through the winter, other people have temporarily fled for warmer climates down south.

But auto experts say those who choose to travel to more affable temperatures by car should pay attention to the challenges that both colder and warmer weather may bring to the road and to the vehicle.

According to AAA Michigan Public Affairs Director Susan Hiltz, Michigan has quite a few “snowbirds” who dwell in the southern states during the winter months.

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Published February 27, 2015

METRO DETROIT — By now, schools should be putting the final topping on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new nutritional standards in the national school lunch and breakfast programs.

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