Maria Allard bio image

Maria Allard

C&G Staff Reporter – Warren Weekly, Grosse Pointe Times, Sterling Heights Sentry


Staff Writer Maria Allard covers the school districts of Center Line, Fitzgerald, Van Dyke, Warren Consolidated and Warren Woods, and Macomb Community College for the Warren Weekly and Sterling Heights Sentry newspapers. She also covers the City of Grosse Pointe Woods and the Grosse Pointe Public Schools System for the Grosse Pointe Times newspaper. Allard has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Wayne State University, and she is in love with the Rolling Stones.

Published June 26, 2013

Detroit VA Healthcare System, Macomb Community College and the State of Michigan will host a “Welcome Home” for veterans from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 26 at the Lorenzo Cultural Center.

The Lorenzo Cultural Center is located at 44575 Garfield Rd., on the Center Campus of Macomb Community College. Veterans of all eras are invited, along with their families.

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Published June 21, 2013

WARREN — “I think in our lifetime, we’re going to see humans walk on the surface of Mars,” NASA astronaut Andrew Feustel told the crowd who came out for Summer Skies at Macomb June 14 at Macomb Community College.

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Published June 21, 2013

CLINTON TOWNSHIP  — One question chef Scott O’Farrell often hears when teaching the high school summer career academy culinary arts program is, “How do I get a good job?”

O’Farrell knows the answer.

“Not only do you have to be a good cook, but a very good people-person and a very good businessman,” O’Farrell said. “It takes years to get all the knowledge and experience needed.”

He also advises the budding chefs to “be on time and work hard all day.”

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Published June 20, 2013

WARREN — The June 19 Warren Consolidated Schools Board of Education meeting turned into a debate when Board Trustee Ben Lazarus asked Superintendent Robert Livernois to take a 30 percent pay cut.

“It starts at the top,” said Lazarus, who began his first term on the board in January. “We need to (spend) less money on administrator fat cats and more on educating our kids. I think it would show that everyone from the top down is committed to this district for the long run. ”

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Published June 20, 2013

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WARREN — Warren Consolidated Schools parents and students won’t have to pay to participate in athletics next year.

“This budget tonight eliminates the activity fee all together,” Superintendent Robert Livernois said at the June 19 school board meeting. “Our decision to eliminate this is a demonstration we have sincerely listened to our parents.”

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Published June 19, 2013

FRASER — Just before the end of the school year, students at Emerson Elementary in Fraser Public Schools completed a total of 1 million math problems using the web-based math program known as IXL math during the 2012-13 school year.

The school made it to the 1 million mark, averaging about 2,700 math problems per student for the year. With each FPS student receiving an iPad this year, the students were able use their iPads anytime at home or school.

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Published June 19, 2013

FRASER — By the time Lance Vechinski was in the eighth grade, he knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life: become a band director.

“I had a band director I would have done anything for,” Vechinski said. “The band room, for me, was my second home. It was easy to be creative. What I did today didn’t have to be the same tomorrow. I could play the notes one way today and one way tomorrow.”

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Published June 19, 2013

WARREN — Kennedy Elementary alumni John Chmiel and Rob Craig spent a few weeks looking for a time capsule they and others thought to be buried underneath the surface of the school grounds.

Craig, who works for State Farm, visited with the school’s fourth-graders this past spring to help plant trees for Arbor Day when he mentioned the buried treasure.

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Published June 19, 2013

WARREN — During his freshman year at Madison Heights High School, Michael Smith decided academics weren’t for him.

“I didn’t want to go to school,” he said. “I hated school. I always skipped school.”

So he dropped out and went to work.

“Back then, there were plenty of jobs,” Smith, 49, said. “You didn’t need a diploma at that time. I was a jack-of-all-trades.”

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Published June 19, 2013

WARREN — Twelve years ago, a group of St. Blase Catholic Church parishoners in Sterling Heights got together in an effort to mentor local school children who could use an extra hand.

They called their group TEAM Youth, and found a cluster of students to guide: the first-graders at Lincoln Elementary School in Van Dyke Public Schools.

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Published June 12, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A township park and the veterans memorial will receive new amenities, thanks to a $50,000 donation from Sunoco.

A formal check presentation from the transportation fuel provider is scheduled for a township meeting within the coming weeks.

Township officials will split the money to use $25,000 at Chief Gene Shepherd Park and the other half at the Shelby Township Veterans Memorial site.

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Published June 12, 2013

WARREN — Cousino High School junior Nicole Burkel didn’t waste any time.

When face-to-face with Democractic U.S. Congressman Sander Levin, she asked a direct question.

“At what point is our economy going to crash?”

“We’ve taken steps to address the budget,” Levin told Burkel when visiting Roxanne Garrish’s classroom in Warren Consolidated Schools May 31. “We passed a bill some months ago that raised revenue on the very wealthy. We decided we needed to ask people to pay their fair share.”

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Published June 12, 2013

WARREN — The news left a lump in the throat of the nation.

At least 50 people were killed last month in Moore, Okla., when a tornado ripped through the town.

Among the buildings leveled was a school that shared the same name as one in Warren Woods Public Schools: Briarwood Elementary. According to news reports, all staff and students at Briarwood in Oklahoma survived the twister, but continue to heal after the damage.

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Published June 12, 2013

WARREN — Being a teenager isn’t always easy.

Dealing with relationships, family problems, academics, an after-school job and bullying can cause anxiety, stress or low self-esteem. Worrying about such issues can often make it difficult to concentrate on academics and can even trigger depression.

One local teenager has dedicated herself to help teach others how to cope with such issues.

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Published June 12, 2013

CENTER LINE — Center Line High School 2013 graduate Lucas Richardson is known to be “driven.”

“He sees it and he wants to jump at it and go,” his dad Robert Richardson said. “Some kids are like a sponge for education. That’s him. He just wants to learn, learn, learn.”

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