Sarah Wojcik bio image

Sarah Wojcik

C&G Staff Reporter – Royal Oak Review


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 September 25, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Now in its eighth year, Michigan’s largest walk for animals will expand to Stony Creek Metropark Oct. 6. Registration and check-in starts at 9 a.m., and the two-mile walk will launch at 10 a.m.

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Published September 25, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved the same rates the township has seen for the last seven years for the 2014 property tax millage rates. The bottom line: There will be no tax millage increases.

Matt Schmidt, the township’s assessor, presented the millage rates on behalf of the Finance Department. He said the total millage rate for all of Shelby Township operations would stay at 9.2999 mills, which brings in $26.2 million.

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Published September 25, 2013

UTICA — Officials from the Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC) and Land Information Access Association (LIAA) conduced an open house for paddlers on the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair to share ideas about how to make proposed water trails better.

Water trails are defined as designated routes along rivers, lakes, canals or bays specifically designed for people using small boats like kayaks, canoes, single sailboats or rowboats. They are the aquatic equivalent to hiking trails and feature well-developed access points and signage.

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Published September 25, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Until the Shelby Township Board of Trustees meeting Sept. 17, the environmentally contaminated industrial site located near Mound and 23 Mile roads had been a closed-door discussion.

Shelby Township Attorney Rob Huth shared at the meeting that the township came to an agreement with Ford Motor Co. Sept. 6.

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Published September 24, 2013

Audrionna Rhoades, 21, of Shelby Township, faced Magistrate Michael R. Osaer via video conference at the 41-A District Court at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 24, charged with two felonies: second-degree murder and leaving a child in a vehicle resulting in death. The first count carries a sentence of life in prison; the second, 15 years in prison or a fine up to $10,000.

Rhoades pleaded not guilty.

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Published September 23, 2013

The mother of 2-year-old James Nelson will be arraigned at the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 24 to face a charge of second-degree murder in the death of her son. He died Sept. 3 after being strapped into his car seat in a minivan for several hours at her residence in Shelby Township.

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Published September 18, 2013

UTICA — The Michigan Municipal League is a nonprofit organization representing Michigan cities, villages and a handful of urban townships with nearly 520 members.

The organization focuses on training and educating elected officials about everything from the Freedom of Information Act to the latest on the personal property tax issue and revenue sharing, said Director of Media Relations Matt Bach.

The organization, created in 1899, is one of the longest-surviving state leagues in the nation, Bach said.

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Published September 18, 2013

UTICA — The Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA) chose state Rep. Jeff Farrington, R-Utica, as its legislator of the year for his support and his efforts to eliminate the personal property tax (PPT) on state industrial equipment.

The MMA bestowed the honor upon Farrington in May.

Andy Such, the director of environmental and regulatory policy for the MMA, said the organization had a list of about eight nominees in the House and Senate.

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Published September 18, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Stony Creek park interpreter Charlie Shelton was present when 13-year-old Caylee Kapa entered the nature center suffering from a Massasauga Rattlesnake bite Sept. 3.

Shelton said that Kapa’s brother attempted to stomp on the small snake, but she tried to save it by picking it up. That was when the reptile bit her right index finger.

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Published September 18, 2013

UTICA — The Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC) wants to hear residents’ input to help with the new master plan for water trails along the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair.

The CRWC is hosting an open house at the Utica Public Library from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 18 to gather ideas from residents about two water trails that will be constructed, thanks to a grant.

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Published September 18, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Darlene Mazur, 47, of Shelby Township, did not expect to get breast cancer, especially after genetic testing turned out negative following her mother’s death from breast cancer at age 50.

“My chances were just like everyone else,” she said.

However, 14 years later, in January 2011, Mazur discovered two lumps when performing a self breast exam. She said she felt ill and a little more rundown than usual, and that something was telling her something was not quite right.

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Published September 16, 2013

UTICA — The City Council Sept. 10 unanimously approved the installation of two ‘No Stopping, Standing, Parking’ signs near Flickinger Elementary to decongest traffic problems on McClellan Street and Remer Court.

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Published September 11, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Thanks to a federal grant awarded to the Shelby Township Police Department, Shelby parks are now under pole camera surveillance. The security measure stemmed from incidents in and around Shelby Township parks involving mostly vandalism, but also inappropriate activity.

“It’s definitely going to be a set of eyes in the sky for us to protect all of our residents, especially since the biggest thing in Shelby is vandalism,” said Joe Youngblood, director of the Shelby Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department.

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Published September 11, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The position of library director has been vacant since David Conklin’s departure May 10 to head up the Genesee Library District, but, come October, a new face will lead the Shelby Township Library.

“I’m excited to get a library director here as soon as possible,” said Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis. “(Conklin) had a great skill set, and we’re looking for someone like him who can take up a library the size of Shelby and make things happen with a very limited budget.”

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Published September 11, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Aug. 25, around 30 miniature snapping turtles began emerging from their shells at the Stony Creek Nature Center.

Park interpreter Aaron Yilmaz was excited when, in early August, he caught sight of a large female snapping turtle he estimated to be at least 11 years old digging in the ground just outside of the nature center’s windows near the soon-to-be butterfly house.

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