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April Lehmbeck

Published September 23, 2015

HARPER WOODS — More than 80 people attended a forum on smart meters Sept. 2, some with questions and concerns, but a representative from DTE Energy, while invited, didn’t attend.


DTE Energy told City Manager Randolph Skotarczyk that it is no longer participating in town hall meetings, Skotarczyk said.

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Published September 23, 2015

HARPER WOODS — After a search for a new leader, the Harper Woods Library Board selected Kristen Valyi-Hax to serve as the library’s new director.


The City Council voted unanimously in favor of the appointment during its Sept. 9 meeting.


Valyi-Hax has years of experience, the most recent being work as a reference librarian in Roseville’s public library as well as experience as a library director. She will replace former Harper Woods Library Director Mary Howard, who resigned from her post earlier this year.

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Published September 23, 2015

HARPER WOODS — The city continues to struggle with its finances, according to the 2014 audit report.


In recent years, the city has worked to cut expenditures and make changes that will help the city’s bottom line. Even with major cuts to staff, the city continues to struggle, especially due to the need to fully fund its pension system and other increases in costs.


The city’s auditing firm Plante Moran presented the 2014 audit and financial report during its Sept. 9 meeting.

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Published September 9, 2015

More than 80 people came to a forum on smart meters Sept. 2, some with questions and concerns, but a representative from DTE Energy, while invited, didn’t attend.

DTE Energy told City Manager Randolph Skotarczyk that it is no longer participating in town hall meetings, Skotarczyk said.

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Published September 9, 2015

HARPER WOODS — Detroit resident Clarence Steen is excited to once again bring his Detroit-themed photography to the Harper Woods Friends of the Library Artisans Market.


Steen participated in the inaugural event last year and enjoyed the experience.


“It is spectacular,” he said of the event. “It helps promote my photography.”


Besides promoting his work, Steen said it exposes others to different parts of Detroit.

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Published September 2, 2015

METRO DETROIT — The state is working to get the word out about a program that works much like the well-known Do Not Call Registry to protect children from adult-oriented messages via electronic devices.


Many young children have their own email addresses or cellphones, which means they can be exposed to various text messages or emails with advertising meant for adults.

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Published August 31, 2015

Police are looking for a man who brandished a handgun and robbed a woman who was sitting in the outdoor patio area at Little Tony’s Restaurant at 20513 Mack at about 2:05 p.m. Aug. 31.

The robber reportedly paced in front of the patio area, which is located in front of the restaurant, before pulling a handgun out of his pocket and walking up to the woman. He pointed the gun at the woman and demanded that the woman hand over her purse, according to police information.

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Published August 27, 2015

After residents voiced concerns during a recent City Council meeting about DTE’s smart meters, city officials decided to set up a public forum on the issue.

The forum will be held at 6 p.m. Sept. 2 at Harper Woods City Hall, starting with the showing of the film “Take Back Your Power.” David Sheldon, of michiganstopsmartmeters.com, is scheduled to speak, and a representative from DTE will be invited, according to planners. The city also is inviting county and state officials.

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Published August 26, 2015

HARPER WOODS — Global Realty LLC is once again buying a group of tax-foreclosed properties from the city to fix them up and put them back on the market.

The City Council approved the sale during the Aug. 10 council meeting.

The city’s decision not to allow the homes to go up for auction and instead claim them and sell them to a single buyer has been beneficial to the community, City Manager Randolph Skotarczyk said.

“When the properties went to auction, many of them would sell to out-of-country buyers,” he said.

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Published August 26, 2015

HARPER WOODS — The city is moving ahead with a more than $1 million road construction project on Beaconsfield and Eight Mile roads.

Federal dollars will fund a large portion of the project.

The City Council unanimously approved an engineering proposal through Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick Inc. during its Aug. 10 meeting.

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Published August 26, 2015

HARPER WOODS — A number of communities in Michigan have complained about fireworks problems since the state loosened commercial fireworks restrictions a few years ago.

The Harper Woods City Council is a part of the chorus across the state that has issues with how the changes have impacted communities.

Now, the City Council has passed a resolution to let the governor and state lawmakers know that it opposes the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act of 2011, which went into effect in 2012.

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Published August 26, 2015

HARPER WOODS — With the application deadline having expired earlier this month, the Library Board is on to its next task — reviewing the qualifications of its pool of applicants.

The library received several applications for a new director to replace Mary Howard, though officials weren’t able to provide an exact number. Howard resigned from her post earlier this year.

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Published August 19, 2015

GROSSE POINTES — The state has removed all five of the Grosse Pointe schools that were named to the Focus Schools list during 2012, the first year the Michigan Department of Education launched its Focus School designation.

The Focus Schools list consists of schools that have achievement gaps between the top 30 percent and bottom 30 percent of students.

When the Focus Schools designation was launched in 2012, Defer, Ferry and Trombly elementary schools and Parcells and Pierce middle schools were placed on the list.

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Published August 7, 2015

DETROIT — The East English Village Association will host an annual tradition in the neighborhood — the community’s garage sale event.

This year’s garage sale will be held from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 15-16. Residents can participate for a $5 daily registration fee. They’ll get signs and balloons to identify their homes as garage sale participants so shoppers can easily find the homes taking part in the sale.

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Published August 6, 2015

HARPER WOODS — Barring a successful write-in candidate, it appears as if the City Council election has been decided.

Just enough candidates to fill the open seats filed for the mayor and council elections.

One name not on the list, however, was Councilman Charles Flanagan, who chose not to run to retain his seat at the council table in the November election.

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