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Brad D. Bates

Published April 1, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Lance Paxton is like a lot of metro Detroit fathers, in that he works multiple jobs to support his wife and children — with one striking dissimilarity.

Where most husbands and fathers go home to warm and loving families after a long day, Paxton returns to an empty house devoid of children’s laughter and a wife’s love, after his wife, Bertha, was barred from returning to the United States from her native Mexico Nov. 10, 2011.

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Published March 27, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — There will be no impact on services following a traffic accident between a civilian pickup truck and a Shelby Township Fire Department ambulance March 17.

Shelby Township Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski said that the crash disabled the ambulance for a minimum of six weeks and placed two of his firefighter paramedics on the shelf with injuries, but both losses should be covered by his department’s depth of equipment and staff.

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Published March 27, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — At roughly 1 p.m. March 21, Shelby Township’s police and fire departments were alerted to an industrial accident on Teresa Drive that resulted in the death of a 42-year-old man.

The accident occurred at Mollertech — a facility located near 23 Mile and Schoenherr roads that makes plastic automobile components.

Shelby Township Police Chief Roland Woelkers said the victim was operating a crane when the accident occurred.

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Published March 26, 2013

C&G Newspapers

He didn’t guess a number or spin a wheel, but Flickinger Elementary fifth-grade teacher Angelo Harwood had to feel like he hit the jackpot March 20.

Harwood was one of three Utica Community Schools teachers recognized as the district’s top teachers for the 2012-13 school year, but in taking home the best-of-the-best honor, Harwood left the awards banquet with a brand new Ford Mustang.

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Published March 25, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — After helping his son through struggles with an addiction to synthetic narcotics, such as K2 and Spice, Bill Miskokomon isn’t going to sit back and wait for help any longer.

Miskokomon, of Shelby Township, started a community group to support those addicted to synthetic narcotics or any other illicit drug, called People Against Illicit Drugs, or PAID.

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Published March 18, 2013

SHELBY TOWSNHIP — Shelby Township Veterans Events Coordinator Phil Randazzo views the May 19 Memorial Day ceremony as a reunion.

As the township unveils its new Global War on Terror memorial at the annual remembrance of fallen military heroes, Randazzo said it will bring together township residents who fell while fighting terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Published March 18, 2013

UTICA — For anyone looking to do business at Utica City Hall, a sign of the times could be a “closed” sign.

Citing an overburdened office staff due to necessary workforce reductions, City Hall counter and phone help will be closed two afternoons a week, on Wednesday and Friday.

The new hours go into effect April 1; the counter and normal phone operations will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, reduced to 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday and Friday.

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Published March 18, 2013

While a groundhog predicts the end of winter, nothing says spring like a rabbit with a basket of eggs.

Shelby Township Parks and Recreation will host its Easter Egg Scramble at 1 p.m. for kids ages 3-5 and at 2 p.m. for ages 6-10 March 23 at River Bends Park, and Utica will have its egg hunt at 11 a.m. March 23 at Grant Park.

Utica Mayor Jacqueline Noonan saluted the children’s enthusiasm for the annual event.

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Published March 15, 2013

A politician changing his or her mind is hardly unusual, but when Utica Mayor Jacqueline Noonan says she is rethinking her retirement plans, people are going to listen.

Noonan, who said her 13th term as mayor would be her last after winning election unopposed in 2011, told the Utica City Council March 12 that she is rethinking whether or not to walk away from her post atop the city’s government because of continued fiscal obstacles facing the city.

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Published March 13, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The first hurdle has been cleared.

The Shelby Township Board of Trustees approved an interlocal agreement March 5 with Macomb Township that defines how the townships will split the legacy costs of the current 41-A District Court employees.

The vote was 6-1.

It is the first step in the construction of a new and larger district courthouse in Macomb.

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Published March 13, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Friends spoke of former Shelby Township Fire Chief Gene Shepherd’s love of family, community and his Fire Department following his passing, so it’s fitting that all three went into planning the park that bears his name.

The park, which sits on the site of the former Soccer City development on 23 Mile Road, east of Dequindre Road, will feature bocce ball courts, soccer fields and firefighter-themed play areas to provide what officials hope is a fitting tribute to Shepherd.

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Published March 13, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — More spirited “racing” and a prevalence of left turns could be on hand at the 2013 Relay For Life, thanks to the event’s NASCAR theme.

Shelby Township Relay For Life founder Margie Conn said the theme with the title, “Revin’ for a Cure” was picked to help raise excitement and participation for the event with cross-promotion capabilities.

“Our biggest thing is we’re trying to secure a prototype NASCAR, and have autographed things from NASCAR so we can auction them off,” Conn said.

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Published March 13, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Board of Trustees opened a six-month window for Macomb Township to assume control of the 41-A district court March 5.

The board voted 6-1 to accept an interlocal agreement that established how postemployment benefits would be paid for court employees, if the court were to change host communities from Shelby Township to Macomb Township.

The agreement proposes that Shelby Township assumes the health care and severance costs of the employees based on the percentage of their career worked in Shelby Township.

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Published March 13, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — One would have to forgive Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Director Joe Youngblood and library Director David Conklin for eyeballing office space at the 41-A District Court March 6.

Following the Township Board of Trustees’ March 5 decision to accept a legacy-cost-sharing agreement to facilitate the court’s move to Macomb Township, the facilities that share the same building as the court — the Shelby Township Library and the township senior center — could be getting an expansion.

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Published March 6, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Board of Trustees is looking down the road with its latest approval of road construction funds.

The board OK’d the use of  $568,670 to widen Van Dyke Avenue to five lanes between 25 Mile and 26 Mile roads Feb. 19 with a unanimous vote that cited future economic expansion as the impetus for such construction.

“As our economy continues to improve, it is likely development will ramp up on to 26 Mile Road,” township Supervisor Richard Stathakis said.

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