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 December 14, 2011

WARREN — Santa Claus doesn’t always wear a red suit and travel by sleigh.

Sometimes, he shows up for the job dressed in his daily work uniform and rushes in on a red fire truck.

Ten Carlson Elementary students received early Christmas presents when they enjoyed a shopping spree with members of the Warren Fire Department Dec. 5 at the Meijer store at 12 Mile and Mound roads. Carlson is part of Van Dyke Public Schools.

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Published December 14, 2011

WARREN — Two years ago, Jennifer Petre’s heart shattered when her nephew, U.S. Marine Benjamin “Doc Stiggy” Castiglione, was killed Sept. 3, 2009, while serving in the Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan.

The late corpsman was known for his determination, professionalism, sharp wit, caring nature, and love for family and dogs.

As the family dealt with their loss, Petre found a way to keep her nephew’s memory alive while at the same time help war veterans returning home from duty.

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Published December 7, 2011

TROY — Wolfe Middle School staff has found a way to help fund school activities at a time when budgets are being reduced.

Wolfe educators and Barnes & Noble representatives have teamed up to hold a book fair from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Troy store, located at 396 John R across the street from Oakland Mall. A portion of the profits from books, DVDs, CDs, toys, refreshments and other merchandise sold during the four-hour time slot will benefit WMS.

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Published November 30, 2011

WARREN — The characters that comprise the student cast in the musical “Fame” hail from different backgrounds, and all give their blood, sweat and tears in search of one thing: fame.

There’s shy and timid Serena Katz, who opens up when her talent takes over. Also center stage is Carmen Diaz, who is determined to become a star. And don’t forget Joe Vega, who’s kind of a goofball, but still focuses on being in the spotlight.

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Published November 30, 2011

CENTER LINE — “Clint, see if your mic works,” band mate Debbie Poling suggested as the Redemption Road guitarist/vocalist checked the volume.

“Testing, one, two, three,” Warren resident Clint Burke repeated into the mic. “Is the guitar loud enough?”

As Burke got situated, rhythm guitarist J Pisane of Troy cued up his amp while drummer and Roseville resident Rick Westerinen tapped a few drum rolls. Next to Burke, Detroiter Earl Miller tuned his bass guitar as new vocalist Wendy Jones of Fraser arrived.

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Published November 15, 2011

CENTER LINE/WARREN — Center Line Public Schools officials are not giving up.

Earlier this year, they went out for a $45 million bond proposal, that, if passed, would have raised taxes to fund the renovation of all buildings within the school district, as well as a new districtwide technological infrastructure.

The initiative was defeated at the polls Aug. 2, with 52.9 of the voters turning it down and 47.1 percent of voters in favor of the enhancements.

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Published November 9, 2011

WARREN — In May 2008, the majority of residents in the Van Dyke Public Schools district approved a $62.6 million bond issue to renovate buildings throughout the district.

Three years into the project, many updates have been completed, and on Nov. 1, the community gathered for the unveiling and ribbon cutting at the new Lincoln Career and Technology Mark A. Kedzior Center, located on MacArthur, right on the Lincoln High School grounds.

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Published November 9, 2011

WARREN — While attending third-grade at Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Schools in Hamtramck, Hlib Lonchyna felt a calling to become a priest.

“We don’t become a priest because we think we’re going to be the best person in the world,” he said. “A person becomes a priest because he hears a calling. It’s called a vocation. It doesn’t come in a report card. It’s doesn’t come in books. It’s in your heart. You can feel it. God is calling you.”

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Published October 19, 2011

C&G Newspapers

MACOMB COUNTY — The headlines are frequent.

A woman who repeatedly had been physical abused by her husband or boyfriend is found dead at the hands of the man she loved.

The circumstances, which sadly sometimes include children, destroy many lives, and those left behind wonder what they could have done to prevent the tragedy.

Several individuals have joined together in an effort to combat domestic violence in Macomb County, and interested parties are encouraged to become involved.

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Published October 19, 2011

CENTER LINE — This Saturday, forget about raking those leaves, turn off the vacuum cleaner and head on over to Center Line High School, 26300 Arsenal.

The Center Line Public Schools Blessings in a Backpack Committee has set aside the hours between noon and 4 p.m. Oct. 22 to welcome community members for an afternoon of pumpkin and face painting, a magician, caramel apple dipping, a moonwalk, Zumba and more.

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Published September 21, 2011

C&G Newspapers

Although summer is coming to a close and fall will soon arrive, homeowners need to maintain their lawns for at least another month or so.

It’s not too late to fertilize and eliminate weeds — and even in the final days of summer, watering grass is still a good idea.

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Published August 23, 2011

WARREN/CENTER LINE — With Michigan struggling upstream through an economic downturn with no end in sight, officials from both Van Dyke Public Schools and Center Line Public Schools dipped into their fund balance accounts to make up financial shortfalls for the 2011-2012 school year.

Fund balance, which acts like a savings account, is often used in emergencies, and that’s where money will come from to help VDPS and CLPS get through next year.

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Published August 3, 2011

WARREN — Just about everyone knows the story of “The Wizard Of Oz.”

Dorothy, displaced by a tornado, must find her way back home following The Yellow Brick Road.

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Published June 24, 2011

CLINTON TOWNSHIP —Becoming a firefighter is something incoming Lakeview High School junior Jacob Horne has always aspired to do.

The 15-year-old got a taste of what it is really like to douse fires, rescue people and more when he participated in Macomb Community College’s summer fire academy the week of June 20.

About a dozen high school students with an interest in firefighting learned more about the field through a number of training exercises they completed at the school’s East Campus.

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Published June 24, 2011

WARREN — Residents who frequently dine at the McDonald’s near 13 Mile on Schoenherr or shop at the CVS store located up the road might already know Leslie Chapman.

He’s the soft-spoken gentleman whose mode of transportation has been his two-wheel bicycle ever since he was told he couldn’t drive anymore.

The 68-year-old Detroit Tigers fan now has a new set of wheels. He recently acquired a three-wheel bicycle, known as a trike, through the generosity of others.

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