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 Eastpointe and Roseville community schools for the Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider newspaper. Allard has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Wayne State University, and she is in love with the Rolling Stones.

Published June 29, 2012

WARREN — In an effort to boost enrollment — which will bring in more per-pupil state aid funding — Van Dyke Public Schools will now accept out-of-county students into its classrooms.

At a Board of Education meeting June 25, the school board voted 7-0 to become a 105c Schools of Choice district in which students who reside in counties other than Macomb — including Wayne, Oakland and St. Clair — can attend VDPS.

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Published June 29, 2012

WARREN — Closing the Thompson Community Center’s alternative education program, eliminating several staff positions and reducing the athletic budget were among the many cuts the Van Dyke Public Schools Board of Education approved at a school board meeting June 25.

The cuts — which passed 6-1 with Board Vice President Jim Brinkey as the dissenting vote —were approved to help balance the budget for the 2012-13 school year.

By law, school districts have to vote on their school budgets by June 30. The fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30.

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Published June 19, 2012

A fire that occurred the evening of June 17 in the Park Lane Mobile Home Court remained under investigation Monday morning as fire crews continued to determine the cause of the blaze.

At 9 p.m. Sunday, the Warren Fire Department dispatch received a call that a mobile home was ablaze in the 25000 block of Doncea in the mobile home park, located between 10 Mile and Frazho roads west of Ryan Road.

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Published June 18, 2012

ROSEVILLE — Though many kids begin to discover their favorite rock ‘n’ roll bands around age 11, at that age Fraser resident Jason Hartless had already began touring with some of his.

In recent years, the 17-year-old session drummer with the red tennis shoes has been the backbeat for the opening bands of Motley Crue, Godsmack, Theory of a Deadman, Drowning Pool, Rev Theory, 3 Days Grace, Seether, Mountain, Warrior Soul and Cavo.

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Published June 15, 2012

In the past 12 years, Kay Walsh battled — and beat — cancer twice.

In 2000, the Warren Woods Public Schools Board of Education member had two lobes removed from her right lung after cancer was detected. Three years later, she underwent radiation, chemotherapy and a procedure to remove a lump after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis.

“I have a lot to be thankful for,” the 1971 Warren Woods High School graduate said.

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Published June 15, 2012

WARREN — As the financial picture grows bleaker in Van Dyke Public Schools, administrators and school board members continue to look for ways to cut expenses.

At a Board of Education meeting June 11, the school board voted 7-0 to eliminate approximately 35 staff positions for the 2012-13 school year. The cuts become effective June 30, and the approved reductions will save the district $1.37 million.

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Published June 15, 2012

Fraser Public Schools officials offered emotional support and grief counseling after news of an elementary school teacher’s death left many community members mourning.

The body of Robert Wingert, 26, was found the afternoon of June 13 in the backyard of his Rivergate subdivision home in Clinton Township, according to a police detective. Investigators and the Macomb County Medical Examiners Office determined the death to be an apparent suicide.

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Published June 8, 2012

WARREN — Eighteen-year-old Maria Rossi was out of breath.

She had just finished attempting a Velcro obstacle course before heading over to race through an inflatable track inside the Warren Woods Tower High School gym.

It was one of many highlights Rossi and her classmates enjoyed during the Class of 2012’s all-night party, held after graduation commencements June 4.

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Published June 6, 2012

EASTPOINTE — Pizza dough will rise and beverages will chill as the classic automobiles, hot rods and muscle cars zoom along Gratiot Avenue during the 14th annual Cruisin’ Gratiot.

The event kicks off June 11 with the youth/teen semifinals for the Cruisin’ Gratiot Idol singing contest at Eastpointe Manor, 24611 Gratiot. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 and include food and soft drinks.

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Published June 6, 2012

EASTPOINTE — Back in the 1950s, Jerry Stover was often found zipping up and down Woodward Avenue with other classics built for speed.

“We’d race at about every stop light,” Stover remembered. “We were just having fun, going to all the drive-ins and whatnot.”

While cruising remains a part of Stover’s past, it’s also a large part of the present. For several years, the 68-year-old Fraser resident has volunteered his time for the annual Cruisin’ Gratiot.

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Published June 1, 2012

WARREN — The Briarwood Elementary School community gathered on the soccer field the warm afternoon of May 18 to hold its second annual Parade for the Playground event.

With sneaker laces tied, colorful signs in hand and chants of “Let’s go, Briarwood, let’s go,” the students — grouped by class — walked the school’s outdoor track to raise money to purchase new playground equipment. The footsteps of teachers, parent volunteers and retired Briarwood Principal Mary Tewksbury followed.

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Published May 24, 2012

WARREN — In the coming weeks, the Van Dyke Public Schools Board of Education will consider whether to expand the district’s Schools of Choice program to include students from outside Macomb County.

With an estimated $3.2 million to $3.6 million shortfall predicted for next year, Superintendent Joe Pius said school officials will have to look at ways to increase revenue.

One way to achieve that is to add more students. With more students, the district would receive more per-pupil funding dollars from the state’s school aid fund.

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Published May 24, 2012

WARREN — The spirit of Tara Brady lives on at Mound Park Elementary School.

Brady was a third-grade student at the school when she lost her battle with an aggressive form of cancer a few years ago.

On May 18, students and staff laced up their sneakers and walked laps for the school’s second annual Relay For Recess to raise money for the American Cancer Society and also honor Brady.

Mound Park is part of Fitzgerald Public Schools. Fourth-grade teacher Lori Stone organized the event. At press time, about $724 had been raised.

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Published May 18, 2012

MACOMB COUNTY — Macomb Community College officials will ask voters to approve a $56 million bond initiative this November that, if passed, will fund capital expenditures to renovate and update college facilities and the schools’ technology infrastructure.

At a MCC Board of Trustees meeting May 15, the board voted 6-0 to approve a $56 million facilities and technology bond proposal and place it on the Nov. 6 general election. Joseph DeSantis was absent.

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Published May 17, 2012

The single mother of an autistic Westview Elementary student must make sure her son attends school every day on time or she will go to jail.

On May 16, a six-member jury found Andria Black guilty of truancy after her son, J’Rez Tarrant, amassed what the prosecution called an abnormal amount of absences and tardies since the fall of 2008.

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