April Lehmbeck

Published January 25, 2012

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — People who think teaching is just standing in front of a classroom with a prepared lecture haven’t seen the hands-on, interactive learning environment in North High School physics teacher Gary Abud’s classes.

They haven’t seen how the students explore the material, question the outcomes and make science unfold in front of their eyes.

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Published January 25, 2012

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — People who think teaching is just standing in front of a classroom with a prepared lecture haven’t seen the hands-on, interactive learning environment in North High School physics teacher Gary Abud’s classes.

They haven’t seen how the students explore the material, question the outcomes and make science unfold in front of their eyes.

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Published January 17, 2012

HARPER WOODS — Harper Woods prides itself on being a family town, and Tom and Melissa Jenkins’ dedication to the community is a testament to that image.

They’ve made Harper Woods their home after both growing up in a neighborhood not too far from the city’s borders. The couple also runs a highly successful business on Kelly — Second Glance Resale Shop.

“We both grew up on the east side of Detroit,” Tom Jenkins said. “We lived within a mile and a half of our store all of our lives.”

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Published January 17, 2012

HARPER WOODS — Eastland Center is losing one of its big box retailers, but the mall is viewing the change with a dose of optimism, looking to future possibilities for the site.

The Harper Woods store was on a list released late last month of 80 Sears and Kmart stores slated to close. Sears Holdings stated that it plans to close up to 120 stores nationally, but had yet to release the complete list by press time. The company is trying to tackle a problem with declining sales and increasing costs, according to information from Sears Holdings.

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Published January 11, 2012

GROSSE POINTES — From funds to create a program to prevent cyber bullying to money for the high school robotic team, the Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education came to the school board with some more good news.

During the December board meeting, just in time to show off their giving spirit once again, the foundation presented the school board with a half-dozen programs it has chosen to give grant funding to in the latest round of funded projects.

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Published January 11, 2012

GROSSE POINTES — Setting solid goals that everyone can agree on is posing a bit of a challenge for the school district, which voted 3-2 against a set of district goals during last month’s board meeting.

While not everyone was opposed to the goals set forth for approval, some board members said they were disappointed at what was presented.

“They’re kind of generic in my opinion,” Board Secretary Judy Gafa, who voted against the goals as proposed, said. “I like to think that we’re very unique and very specific.”

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Published January 4, 2012

GROSSE POINTES — It was out with the old and in with the new in more ways than one in 2011, as the old Neighborhood Club and Mack-Moross Kroger met with the wrecking ball; a major senior housing project was approved for the Children’s Home of Detroit property; and Shores residents named an almost entirely new City Council in November.

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Published January 3, 2012

Online Only

Someone fired a trio of gunshots at a scout car driven by a police sergeant patrolling the area of Kelly and Washtenaw just before 2 a.m. Jan. 1.

Harper Woods police are still investigating and looking for whoever fired the shots. At the time of the incident, the sergeant was able to take cover and call for backup.

During the initial part of the investigation, police found the spent rounds in the area.

They are asking anyone with information to call the department at (313) 343-2530 or Crime Stoppers at (800) SPEAK-UP.

 

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Published December 29, 2011

HARPER WOODS — City Council and the administration said they desperately needed concessions from employee groups to keep the city out of a severe financial crisis, and unions have stepped up to the plate to help.

The police made major sacrifices, but they are not alone. During the Dec. 19 council meeting, the City Council was able to approve agreements with both the clerical and the public works unions. Both agreements contain provisions that will save the city much-needed money.

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Published December 29, 2011

HARPER WOODS — City Manager James Leidlein may not be coming back from his leave of absence, but the City Council raised some concerns as to how much a change in leadership might cost the city.

The city’s contract with acting City Manager Randolph Skotarczyk was set to expire at the end of last year, so on Dec. 19 the council made a decision to give him a one-year extension with a couple of changes in his contract.

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Published December 29, 2011

HARPER WOODS — Dressed in bunker gear while serving up drinks wasn’t just a fun holiday night out, but a way to bring in some money for a good cause.

Harper Woods firefighters tended bar in bunker gear during a Wigs 4 Kids fundraiser at the Shores Inn in St. Clair Shores late last month.

They raised more than $830 during their latest fundraising effort for the Wigs 4 Kids Wellness Center of Michigan, located in St. Clair Shores. They were hoping for at least $300.

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Published December 29, 2011

It was another tough year for many communities, including Harper Woods, which celebrated some highs and lows in 2011. The city tackled tough budget issues and saw some changes in leadership. The schools launched some positive changes in the last year. Here is a glimpse of some of the highlights of 2011:

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Published December 27, 2011

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Teacher Paul Ignagni stands in front of his class in full battle regalia, ready to go into the fight with his comrades … in the 1700s.

Ignagni, a seventh-grade teacher at Our Lady Star of the Sea School, spends a weekend in the woods doing everything as someone would have who lived centuries ago. He makes costumes the way the people of the time period would dress, even if it takes him a couple of years to make something like a coat, which it has at times.

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Published December 21, 2011

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — It seems like it’s one step forward and two steps back when it comes to Clintondale Community Schools’ latest efforts to dig itself out of a financial sinkhole.

The district has cut costs and found ways to budget that kept them moving toward a goal that would pull the district out of a running deficit. For several years, the district has filed deficit elimination plans with the state, making progress toward getting into the black year after year.

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Published December 16, 2011

HARPER WOODS — District officials are getting “geared up” over a new program that will bring opportunities for Harper Woods Middle School students, helping encourage them to pursue higher education.

The middle school has been selected as one of more than 70 schools in the Michigan GEAR UP Program that will take advantage of $46 million in total grant funding.

“We will ‘gear up’ our kids for college and career readiness,” Superintendent Thomas Biederwolf said in an email to the school board.

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