April Lehmbeck

Published January 14, 2015

HARPER WOODS — Judge Roger La Rose is a people person, a judge who can be tough when he needs to be, but one who also wants to help people help themselves and find solutions so they don’t end up standing in front of a judge in the future.

It’s something that played out in his last week on the bench, on a day with a civil docket that had a number of landlord-tenant issues for nonpayment of rent.

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Published January 14, 2015

HARPER WOODS — For nine consecutive years, the city has seen a decline in the numbers of the most serious types of crimes.

While the Public Safety Department will release its comprehensive report in the upcoming weeks, the preliminary numbers look good to city officials.

“We are truly happy with our public safety,” Mayor Ken Poynter said. “No doubt about that.”

Group A crime, or the most dangerous types of criminal activity, fell 8.8 percent from 2013 to 2014, on top of a 4.7 percent decline from 2012 to 2013.

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Published January 14, 2015

After a couple of years of cushioning residents from water and sewer rate increases, the city is passing on a 9.9 percent rate increase this year with plans to pursue similar increases for a couple more years.

The City Council unanimously approved the increase during its Jan. 5 meeting.

“The city of Harper Woods did not increase rates in 2013 or 2014, but unfortunately our costs payable to Detroit Water and Sewerage continue to increase,” City Manager Randolph Skotarczyk said.

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Published December 31, 2014

C&G Newspapers

Paige Stalker loved helping people and had plans to become a doctor so she could touch people’s lives.

That dream died the day an armed man opened fire on a vehicle she and other teens were sitting in a few days before Christmas. Her family knows she would have helped people and saved people because she already was a giving, loving person.

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Published December 31, 2014

It was a year of many changes and challenges for Harper Woods, Harper Woods Schools and Grosse Pointe Schools.

From new leaders to financial struggles, the city and schools made major decisions in 2014.

Here’s a look back at some of the year’s big events:

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Published December 30, 2014

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Published December 29, 2014

DETROIT — There is a large sum of money on the table for anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for killing University Liggett student Paige Stalker days before Christmas.

Local media reports stated that the reward was $10,000 over the weekend, but a news release from Detroit police on Monday increased the figure to 10 times that amount.

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Published December 23, 2014

Dindoffer

Published December 23, 2014

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — A program at Grosse Pointe North to boost student achievement and help students gain valuable skills has earned the district an accolade from an educational trade magazine.

District Administration magazine named the Grosse Pointe Public School System a District of Distinction, one of only 49 districts in the United States and Canada to receive the honor this year.

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Published December 23, 2014

C&G Newspapers

University Liggett and Grosse Pointe Schools are prepared to provide support to their student bodies after the fatal shooting of a University Liggett student.

“We can confirm that one of our students was fatally shot this morning,” Liggett Director of Marketing and Communications Michelle Martin said in an email. “Out of respect for her family, we are not releasing any further information and we respectfully decline an interview.

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Published December 23, 2014

Harper Woods emergency crews took quick action at the scene of an apartment fire when a tenant told them that a disabled woman was trapped in the burning apartment.

Crews responded to the Littlestone Apartments at about 4:30 a.m. Dec. 23 because smoke was coming from an apartment.

A sergeant with the Public Safety Department saw flames from a unit on the second floor. When the tenant told him about the woman trapped inside, whom he heard yelling for help, the sergeant forced entry and tried to rescue the woman.

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Published December 18, 2014

HARPER WOODS — Harper Woods is finding itself in court concerning the permitting process involving a project at a vacant, fire-damaged building.

The attorneys for the owner of a building at 20860 Harper claim the city issued a permit that would allow their client, GP Units VI Inc., to renovate and add second-story walls to the building, but they later shut him down. They filed a lawsuit in United States District Court for a demand of $75,000 and claim the city didn’t follow proper procedures.

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Published December 18, 2014

DETROIT — Keeping children warm during the cold winter weather is just one of the many services that Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s programs provide to those in need every year.

The Capuchin Services Center, which is a program of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, is collecting hats, gloves and coats to help keep the children of 1,200 local families warm this season.

The Coats N’ Kids program, or CAPS, is an annual holiday tradition. The winter gear is given to children 11 and younger.

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Published December 18, 2014

HARPER WOODS — With winter looming, the changes the city made last summer to its ordinance concerning snow removal will have a chance to go into effect — changes that benefit both the city and its residents, officials say.

City Manager Randolph Skotarczyk said one of the biggest complaints the city had received about the previous snow removal ordinance was that the city didn’t give people enough time, with 12 hours, to clear their sidewalks.

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Published December 18, 2014

HARPER WOODS — A year has passed since Royal Grill owner Altin Avdyli was slain outside of his restaurant on Kelly in Harper Woods, but no one has given up on finding the person who fatally shot him.

Crime Stoppers of Michigan recently announced that there is now a $25,000 reward on the table for information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects involved in the murder.
The Harper Woods Public Safety Department detective bureau continues working on the case, which shook the community in December 2013.

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