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Woodward Talk

Published January 26, 2016

OAK PARK — It’s been 40 years since Jonathan Wolff arrived in Hollywood as a 17-year-old musician fresh from Louisville, Kentucky.

Wolff became one of the most active musicians and composers in Hollywood, composing theme songs for 44 television shows, including “Seinfeld” and “Will & Grace.” He has worked on still more shows to bring his total number of shows to 75.

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Published January 25, 2016

FERNDALE — With an ever-growing downtown district, the Ferndale City Council approved a liquor license for the Rust Belt Market, 22801 Woodward Ave., in hopes of contributing to the growth of a business that cultivates other business owners in the area.

The Rust Belt Market, which has been open for nearly five years at the corner of Woodward and West Nine Mile Road, is home to about 50 businesses who use the space to set up shop and sell their products, from pictures to jewelry and food.

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Published January 25, 2016

BERKLEY — For the past few years, teachers in the Berkley School District have had the opportunity to apply for mini-grants to cover the costs of materials or trips that otherwise wouldn’t be covered by the district.

This year, all eighth-grade students in the district will have the opportunity to visit college campuses around the state in order to get an early introduction to the college atmosphere and what it may be like after they graduate.

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Published January 22, 2016

WARREN — In the summer of 1950, less than five years after the guns of World War II fell silent in the Far East, armed conflict erupted on the Korean peninsula.

The Korean War, also known in the United States and Canada as “The Forgotten War,” would eventually result in more than 36,000 American combat deaths. More than 100,000 Americans were wounded. Theater-wide, the numbers were staggering, with more than 5 million people killed, nearly half of them civilians.

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Published January 20, 2016

LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation Jan. 5 that eliminated straight-ticket voting in Michigan.

Senate Bill 13, which was sponsored by state Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, updates state election law and disallows constituents from voting for single parties with the check of one box in polling places.

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Published January 20, 2016

FERNDALE — The Ferndale City Council will not be considering any liquor licenses in the near future at the request of the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority as it works to put an ordinance in place to help alleviate the downtown parking issues.

DDA Executive Director Barry Hicks brought the request to council Jan. 11 after the DDA board decided during its December meeting to ask the council to hold off on approving any more liquor licenses until a new parking in lieu ordinance is considered.

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Published January 20, 2016

FERNDALE — The children’s section in the Ferndale Area District Library has continued to grow over the past few years as it tries to encourage children to dive into a good book or enjoy one of numerous children’s programs.

Now, the library staff is looking to push the children’s learning further with the introduction of international storytimes.

Youth Services Librarian Ashley Lehman started researching the program after several requests from local parents for a storytime in Spanish.

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Published January 19, 2016

FERNDALE — The city of Ferndale has a new parental leave program that will allow both men and women to take up to 12 weeks of time off with full pay.

The new benefit came before the City Council during the Jan. 11 meeting. Councilwoman Melanie Piana, who pushed for the new benefit, said it would not only help the city recruit the best employees, but retain them when the time comes for them to become parents.

Council unanimously voted to approve the policy.

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Published January 13, 2016

FERNDALE — Ferndale Middle School has added yet another opportunity for students to get more engaged with science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, with a new class offering.

This school year marked the beginning of the Project Lead the Way class, taught by Ferndale High School science teacher Ryan Dunlap. Project Lead the Way reportedly provides STEM programs in more than 8,000 schools.

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Published January 13, 2016

FERNDALE — Pleasant Ridge resident and Ferndale School District parent Jackie Hart was named the newest Ferndale Board of Education trustee Jan. 4 after a selection process following the departure of former Trustee Raylon Leaks-May.

Leaks-May was elected in November to the Ferndale City Council, and despite state law allowing her to serve on both the council and school board, she stepped down at the end of 2015. 

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Published January 13, 2016

FERNDALE — On a normal evening, Martha Potts turns off her television after “Jeopardy!”, the one show she enjoys watching because of the education aspect, and picks up some fabric.

Potts has been sewing since the age of 5, when her small build made it hard for her parents to find clothes that fit her correctly. And just as she grew up wearing hand-sewn garments, so did Potts’ children, at least until the age at which they were able to protest, she joked.

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Published January 13, 2016

BERKLEY — After a year of uncertainty in the Berkley Parks and Recreation Department, the city has selected Theresa McArleton as the permanent Parks and Recreation director following the restructuring of the department and a resignation.

In February 2015, former City Manager Jane Bais-DiSessa shuffled the department by placing then-Director Tom Colwell in the deputy director position and moving McArleton, who had previously been the deputy director, into the interim director position.

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Published January 13, 2016

FERNDALE — Two cities known for their work to make their communities more inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people recently had their measures scored by the Human Rights Campaign.

Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge were two of nine Michigan cities and 408 cities nationwide to be scored on their LGBT inclusion in municipal law and policies as part of the 2015 Municipal Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization. The study was the fourth annual report.

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Published January 11, 2016

It was a media metropolis at the beginning of the 2016 North American International Auto Show.

A daylong event open to media members kicked off around 7 a.m. and concluded at 5:15 p.m. Jan. 11 at Cobo Center. Those associated with various car brands made keynote presentations: Chrysler, Chevrolet, Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, Porsche, Ford, Infiniti, Lexus, Honda, Hyundai and Kia.

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Published January 8, 2016

LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder on Jan. 5 signed legislation eliminating straight ticket voting in Michigan.

Senate Bill 13, which was sponsored by state Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, updates state election law and disallows constituents from voting for single parties with the check of one box in polling places.

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Published January 6, 2016

FERNDALE — For the city of Ferndale, 2016 will see the work of the past few years pay off as several items come to fruition in the new year.

During the May election, Ferndale voters approved the renewal of a Headlee override that will help keep the city financially secure and a street and park improvement bond that replaced the infrastructure bond and will raise $45 million over its 15-year life.

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Published January 6, 2016

FERNDALE — Following the recommendation of school district administration, Coolidge Intermediate School Principal Eric Bruner was selected for the Saginaw Valley State University Gerstacker Fellowship for 2016.

Bruner, who has served as principal at Coolidge for four years, is one of nine Michigan K-12 educators to be selected for the fellowship. As part of the program, Bruner will have the chance to meet with other professionals once a month, as well as travel to Japan in April.

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Published January 6, 2016

BERKLEY/FERNDALE — The Ferndale School District saw a drastic change in locations and operations in 2015, but the changes won’t stop in the new year as the restructuring process will continue in 2016.

In March, the Ferndale Board of Education approved restructuring the elementary schools in the district from three buildings to two, with upper and lower elementary buildings, as well as moving several programs and ultimately closing and selling three buildings.

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Published January 6, 2016

HUNTINGTON WOODS — It appears that 40-plus years is a long enough life span for cabinets and countertops at the Huntington Woods Gillham Recreation Center, as the City Commission Dec. 15 approved an item to replace the cabinets and countertops in two rooms.

Finance Director Tony Lehmann brought the item to the commission as part of the city’s capital improvement fund. The improvements will come in the pre-kindergarten and art rooms at the recreation center, as those rooms get heavy use with youth programs.

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Published December 30, 2015

From the Ferndale School District to several city administration and elected official positions, numerous areas look a little differently at the end of 2015 than they did in the beginning as restructuring, elections and local people doing extraordinary things highlighted an eventful year in Berkley, Ferndale, Huntington Woods and Pleasant Ridge.

Here is a look back at some of the biggest stories of 2015 in the Woodward Talk’s coverage area.

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