April Lehmbeck

Published June 1, 2015

HARPER WOODS — Former City Councilman John Szymanski will be working for the city in a different manner now that he has been chosen as the city’s interim finance director/treasurer.

The City Council voted 6-1 for Szymanski to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of Laura Stowell, who accepted a post in St. Clair Shores.

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Published May 31, 2015

HARPER WOODS — The Public Safety Department’s annual report includes a wealth of information about the operations of the department, as well as a section that highlights the work of officers and civilians.

Officers were honored with accolades including Officer of the Year, the Medal of Valor and a Life Saving Award.

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Published May 28, 2015

WOODS — After struggling with some financial uncertainty since the start of the recession several years ago, Grosse Pointe Woods’ budget has city officials excited about the city’s current financial position.

Like many cities, Woods made cuts in recent years to its staffing levels. The city reduced full-time staff from more than 100 employees to 80 during the previous five years. 

The city continued to provide essential services to the community, but now officials say that they will be able to add some improvements.

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Published May 28, 2015

WOODS — Dragging red wagons, riding bikes, pushing strollers and walking dogs donned with red, white and blue handkerchiefs, Woods residents headed to Vernier and Mack for a longtime tradition in the city.

Little girls wearing stars and stripes dresses and red bows were scattered through the crowd, and many children and adults held American flags during the ceremony.

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Published May 20, 2015

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — The annual Memorial Day commemoration in Grosse Pointe Woods is a big affair, one that draws large crowds that include veterans and their families.


“We have been honoring veterans for 33 years,” Historical Commission member Suzanne Kent said in an email.


More than 500 people attend the event each year, which is hosted by the Grosse Pointe Woods Historical Commission. This year’s event will be held at 10 a.m. May 25 at the Circle of Honor on Vernier at Mack.

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Published May 20, 2015

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then Grosse Pointe South High School art student Melissa Brieden’s charcoal drawing “Spark of My Eye” serves as a window with a view.


Brieden’s piece depicts an eye with intricate, lifelike details. It earned her the first-place spot in the Artistic Discovery Contest, a contest sponsored by members of the U.S. House of Representatives. A winner from each district will have artwork displayed in the Cannon Tunnel, a walkway leading to the U.S. Capitol.

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Published May 20, 2015

HARPER WOODS — Children in the community once again will be able to partake in the free summer nutrition program at the Harper Woods Secondary Campus and the library.

The program will start on June 15 and run through June 31 at the library and through Aug. 20 at the school.

At the Secondary School Campus, breakfast will be served from 7 a.m.-8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The library will serve lunch from 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The library does not serve breakfast.

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Published May 18, 2015

HARPER WOODS — Harper Woods detectives are working to track down three suspects, one of whom fired a handgun inside Eastland Center on Mother’s Day.

A few days after the incident, on May 13, Public Safety Director James Burke said investigators have leads that they are following in the case.

“Our detectives have been able to identify … good information about suspects, and we are actively tracking them down,” Burke said.

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Published May 17, 2015

HARPER WOODS — Getting a full scholarship to college takes hard work, which is why two students from Harper Woods Schools have been fielding a lot of congratulatory greetings while walking the halls of the high school recently.

Naylan Johnson will attend Alabama A & M University in the fall, and Micah White will head to the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Harper Woods Schools Parent and Community Engagement Specialist Deborah Whitelow said she is proud of the students.

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Published May 15, 2015

HARPER WOODS — City Councilwoman Veronica Paiz resigned from her post on the Harper Woods Library Board, which ended the need to hold a hearing on incompatible offices during the May 4 City Council meeting.

The hearing had been scheduled to discuss Paiz’s desire to remain on both the City Council and the Library Board despite being informed that those are incompatible offices. Sitting as a member of both bodies would be a violation of the city charter, according to city officials. 

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Published May 14, 2015

HARPER WOODS — The City Council voted to continue a special assessment district so that it can move forward with a proposal to levy 15 mills to cover costs for police and fire services.

It’s not a new scenario, since the city has been levying a special assessment for the last few years. This year’s proposed special assessment is more than the 12.5 mills levied last year between police and fire.

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Published May 13, 2015

Andrew Bernard Keith, 45, pleaded guilty May 12 in Wayne County Circuit Court in the 2013 murder of Johnny Lee Buckner, 60, inside Buckner’s home on Old Homestead.

Buckner was fatally shot on Feb. 13, 2013. Harper Woods police arrested Keith, Buckner’s stepson, two days later. The charges that the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office authorized against Keith included open murder.

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Published May 12, 2015

GROSSE POINTES —  Grosse Pointe students earned their spot at the Destination Imagination global competition, but they still need to raise the money to make the trip.

Two teams from Pierce Middle School and one team from Trombly Elementary School ranked in the top three of their categories in the state competition last month. Destination Imagination, a problem-solving and creative-thinking program, will host the global competition from May 20-23 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

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Published May 7, 2015

HARPER WOODS — Public Safety Director James Burke wants residents to know that officers from the Public Safety Department, the Department of Public Works and the Building Department will be out starting the first week of May to look for violations to the city code.

The city is once again stepping up its patrol for code violations during the spring. 

“We’re going to be going block by block,” Burke said.

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Published May 7, 2015

HARPER WOODS — After months of cold winter, spring has sprung, and the Beautification Commission is kicking off the season with its annual perennial plant exchange.

The exchange will be held from 10 a.m.-noon May 16 at Salter Memorial Park on Harper between Allard and Moross.

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Upcoming Events

West Bloomfield
Donate books to seniors
12 a.m.-11:59 p.m.
Hadassah House
Online auction for ALS
12 a.m.-11:59 p.m.
ALS of Michigan
Shelby Township
'TechKnowKids: Science of Color'
10:30 a.m.
Senior Citizen Park
Naturalization program
7 p.m.
Royal Oak Public Library

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