Cortney Casey

Published July 31, 2012

STERLING HEIGHTS — When rats began gnawing through garbage bags in his neighborhood, Bruce Witt thought religiously closing his trashcan tops would help solve the problem.

“That’ll definitely keep them out of the garbage … unless they eat the lid,” said Witt, recalling how, last summer, the persistent rodents chewed a 4-inch-square hole — “big enough to put my fist in it” — in his hard plastic refuse container.

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Published July 24, 2012

You’ve got questions? He’s got answers.

Starting Aug. 6, Sterling Heights Police Chief Michael Reese will hold public office hours 6-8 p.m. the first Monday of each month.

The city is billing the chief’s evening availability as a means to “further strengthen community partnerships between Sterling Heights’ law enforcement agency and its residents and business leaders.”

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Published July 24, 2012

In the Wal-Mart dairy aisle, chef Jake Williams was explaining to students why butter trumps margarine when an eavesdropping shopper replaced the margarine she was holding and reached for the real stuff instead.

The July 10 scene in the store on Van Dyke in Sterling Heights wasn’t the first time Williams’ presentations have roped in the general public.

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Published July 24, 2012

Excessive heat and unfortunate timing led to the Sterling Heights Fire Department declaring a second alarm fire July 17 — the first in 15 years, according to interim Fire Chief Chris Martin.

Martin said SHFD crews were fighting a house fire on Sunset, near 15 Mile and Schoenherr, when reports came in of a fire at Sodecia America, an auto parts producer on Merrill, near Mound.

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Published July 24, 2012

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Published July 24, 2012

Defense attorneys are vowing to appeal the July 12 convictions of two local men in an alleged case of vigilante justice against a quartet of teenagers.

After a 10-day trial that began in late June, a Macomb County Circuit Court jury declared Vincent Bosca, of Sterling Heights, and Allen Brontkowski, of Shelby Township, guilty of a slew of charges, including four counts of unlawful imprisonment and one count each of extortion and felony firearms.

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Published July 24, 2012

Above the objections of an adjacent property owner, City Council recently granted a dentist’s request to rezone three vacant lots on 15 Mile Road to accommodate an office building.

Randolph Gryebet sought conventional rezoning from R-60, one-family residential, to O-1, business and professional office, on the property between Dequindre and Shell Drive to construct a new home for his dental practice.

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Published July 20, 2012

C&G Newspapers

Authorities are investigating whether a July 19 fire at the Knights Inn on 17 Mile, west of Van Dyke, was an act of arson.

According to Sterling Heights Interim Fire Chief Chris Martin, the engine company from Fire Station No. 1, directly across the street from the motel, was already on a run when the call came in at 6:31 a.m.

Three off-duty firefighters were using the workout facility prior to their shift, he said, and “when the run came in, they looked out and … they could see the flames from the station.”

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Published July 18, 2012

July 4 has come and gone, but the debate over fireworks rages on.

Always abundant around Independence Day, fireworks have become a nightly occurrence with the advent of new state laws, prompting delight and dismay, depending on who’s speaking.

Sterling Heights resident Jeanette Slimmen said her neighbors have been lighting off fireworks from the roofs of their mobile homes and on each other’s property.

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Published July 18, 2012

Bill Van Vianen headed to Dodge Park early June 10 to squeeze in a morning run before his grandson’s soccer tournament.

But the Sterling Heights resident has no recollection of that sunny Sunday. Nor does he remember the day prior, when he worked and took another 3-mile run with his wife, Roxanne, nor the few days following, when he was unconscious at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Clinton Township.

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Published July 18, 2012

Anthony Theut sauntered away from the zip line at Dodge Park with the nonchalant swagger of someone who’d been there, done that, enjoyed it while it lasted and was on to the next adventure.

With a casual shrug, the 15-year-old Sterling Heights resident summed up his desire to tackle the ride in a single word: “Speed.”

Many of his counterparts appeared to desire similar thrills as they lined up for the new addition to the 12th annual Teen Fest July 10, the city’s summertime bash geared exclusively toward 12- to 15-year-olds.

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Published July 18, 2012

“Jaws” may have frightened an entire generation into staying out of the water — or at least remaining close to shore — but it had the opposite effect on Jessica Montgomery.

The Utica resident, Sterling Heights’ Artist of the Month, credits the chilling shark film for sparking her enthrallment with all things aquatic — and as a result, inspiring her sea-centered art.

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Published July 18, 2012

Maybe it’s seeing his children gleefully climb aboard rides. Maybe it’s watching partygoers reveling in the Suds ‘n’ Sounds Tent. But for David Beran, the Sterlingfest Art & Music Fair is like a much welcomed break from reality.

“Just the whole atmosphere — you kind of forget about all the worries of the world and everything that’s weighing down your particular shoulders, all the cares and frustrations of everyday life, and you’re there having fun,” he said. “Everybody’s smiling and having a great time.”

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Published July 18, 2012

Amid the throngs of Sterlingfest fans, Christina Chriss often gazed upon bands appearing on the Dodge Park band shell and envisioned herself performing in their place.

“I’ve lived in Sterling Heights most of my life, and I’ve gone to Sterlingfest almost every year, and I always wanted to play there,” she said.

Come July 28, the Stevenson High School graduate will get her chance, as her band, Kaleido, takes to the stage for the 2012 Sterlingfest Art & Music Fair.

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Published July 18, 2012

As they take Sterlingfest’s Jazz & Blues Stage July 27, members of Chill FX will likely be surrounded by a sea of spectators, but have only one man in mind.

Last July, keyboardist Craig Erquhart arrived at the Detroit home of Moses Boquiren to pick him up for Chill FX’s Sterlingfest gig that afternoon — and found the drummer dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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