Sarah Wojcik bio image

Sarah Wojcik

C&G Staff Reporter – Shelby-Utica News


Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik covers the cities of Royal Oak and Clawson, as well as Royal Oak and Clawson schools, for the Royal Oak Review. She covered Shelby Township and Utica for the Shelby-Utica News from 2013 to 2017. Sarah is a graduate of Oakland University. She has won four Excellence in Journalism awards from the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Published August 21, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve and adopt a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2014-2019.

“What it does is it prioritizes all the needs of the township,” said Supervisor Rick Stathakis. “Now, we can have a meaningful long-term vision/budget, which will put in order the priorities that we need to be working on.”

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Published August 21, 2013

UTICA — The Utica City Council approved and adopted a 5 percent salary cut at their monthly meeting Aug. 13.

“We adopted a budget in June that was a very, very tight budget and it is not as healthy in the rainy day fund as we would prefer, but we feel we’re making every possible effort to contain expenses,” Mayor Jackie Noonan said.

The council asked Noonan to ask the Compensation Commission, which votes on elected officials’ salaries every other year, to take the pay decrease, and she consented and wrote a letter to the commission.

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Published August 20, 2013

While Jameskutty Varghese’s preliminary exam for an abduction charge was set for Aug. 19, he appeared at the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township with his lawyer and interpreter to ask for an adjournment, per his lawyer’s request, “to make additional discovery in this case.”

Judge Matthew Rumora allowed for the case to be heard in three weeks after Varghese agreed to waive his right to have the exam within 14 days.

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Published August 19, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Farmers Market gained a new staple this year — Sisro’s Cakery, a gluten-free and allergy-friendly baked goods business that is receiving increased local attention.

Sisters Christina Bleim, 29, of Sterling Heights, and Zana Jancevski, 30, of Novi, have done everything together since they were girls — even being diagnosed with food allergies about two years ago and endeavoring to make dishes that would satisfy their gluten and lactose intolerances.

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Published August 15, 2013

At 9:20 p.m. Aug. 14, police arrived at the scene of a single-car crash on southbound M-53, near the 22 Mile Road overpass, that killed Nathan James Schroeder, 28, of Sterling Heights, and Sunshine Chaffin, 33, of Fenton.

Schroeder was driving and Chaffin was the passenger. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

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Published August 12, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Stony Creek Metropark’s nature center will soon be host to an outdoor butterfly house, thanks to an Eagle Scout project aimed to attract local varieties of butterflies for patrons’ viewing pleasure.

Matt Rembisz, 15, of Shelby Township, is familiar with the Eagle Scout project routine. All three of the males in his family are Eagle Scouts or Boy Scouts, and his older sister is a Venture Scout. Once he completes his project, he will officially claim Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouts.

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Published August 12, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved an ordinance limiting the ignition of fireworks to the day of, day before and day after certain national holidays and not between the hours of midnight to 8 a.m. The ordinance is expected to go into effect Aug. 20 — just in time for Labor Day.

“Many communities, including ours, suffered because a few thoughtless residents launched their fireworks at all hours of the night,” said Supervisor Rick Stathakis.

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Published August 12, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Police Chief Roland Woelkers and consultant John Kaczor offered tentative solutions to budgetary concerns facing the Shelby Township Police Department at the Aug. 7 Board of Trustees meeting.

If the department does not take action, the Police Department is projected to be insolvent by 2017 due primarily to a declining tax base for the last five years (90 percent of the department’s revenue comes from taxes) and to personnel costs, which make up 88 percent of the department’s expenditures.

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Published August 12, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — It was a big week for Jack Nelson, of Utica: On Aug. 4, he celebrated his 93rd birthday, and on Aug. 8, he received three medals for his service as a Marine in World War II 71 years ago.

Nelson enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Nov. 2, 1942, and was transferred to the Pacific Theater on Feb. 26, 1943. He was assigned to the military police and served as a prison guard until Nov. 9, 1945. Nelson returned to the U.S. and was discharged at the rank of private first class Dec. 15, 1945.

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Published August 9, 2013

At around 4:20 a.m. Aug. 8., surveillance tapes caught three persons breaking into a jewelry store called Elegant Creations, located at 23 Mile and Schoenherr Roads.

The burglars shattered the front glass panel and door with a large rock and several display cases with a hammer. Owner Pierre Nahed estimated they stole more than $10,000 in merchandise.

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Published August 7, 2013

The onslaught of rainy weather lately presents pros and cons for flowers and plants.

Fungi are among the largest problems, greenhouse employees report, while on the other hand, the extra water promotes growth and also decreases the labor needed for keeping plants hydrated.

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Published August 7, 2013

C&G Newspapers

STERLING HEIGHTS — Gov. Rick Snyder affirmed his support of the bankruptcy of Detroit and laid out plans for turning the state around at the Lincoln Dinner — Macomb County Republicans’ largest fundraiser — at the Best Western Plus Sterling Inn July 29.

“I think (the) bankruptcy of Detroit is the right thing to do,” he said. “It isn’t about bailouts. We need to see strategic investments that could really make an investment in turning this city around.”

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Published August 7, 2013

MACOMB COUNTY — With students preparing to launch back into the school routine next month, the Macomb County Department of Human Services is seeking donations to prepare less-fortunate children for September.

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Published August 7, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Shelby Township approved an agreement by a 4-1 vote to officially enter into an intergovernmental organization called Macomb Area Communities For Regional Opportunities (MACRO) July 16.

MACRO, founded in 2011, is a regional task force led by officials from Shelby Township, Utica, Sterling Heights, Clinton Township, Warren and Macomb County, and it represents more than 50 percent of the county’s population.

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Published August 5, 2013

Judge Douglas P. Shepherd held an arraignment Aug. 5 for a man facing a charge of attempting to hold a person in involuntarily servitude, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Jameskutty Varghese, 46, a Canton Township resident until the week before the incident, appeared before the judge and the 1-year-old victim’s family and pleaded not guilty with the aid of an interpreter. He speaks Malayalam, an Indian language.

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