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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 January 13, 2014

At approximately 6 a.m. Jan. 13, officers responded to calls that a pedestrian had been hit by a vehicle on southbound M-53, near the 22 Mile Road overpass. The pedestrian was deceased at the scene.

Shelby Township Police Chief Roland Woelkers said the pedestrian was a 39-year-old Macomb Township man. Witnesses told police that the man walked out into the highway, lay down on the road and was struck.

The man, a Chrysler employee, is survived by his wife and two children.

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Published January 8, 2014

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Two months short of 33 years as a naturalist and park interpreter, Mark Szabo — commonly known as “Mark from the Park” — will enter retirement.

His last day at the Stony Creek Metropark Nature Center is Jan. 27.

Szabo said the biggest highlight of his career has been his hand in the new nature center — playing a major role in designing exhibit concepts and writing exhibit text, as well as helping coin the theme, “Waters of Change.”

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Published January 8, 2014

SHELBY TOWNSHIP/UTICA — The Shelby-Utica News interviewed the leaders of Shelby Township and Utica to get their takes on their municipalities’ 2013 accomplishments and 2014 plans.


Shelby Township
Rick Stathakis, the supervisor of Shelby Township, said the township’s taxes and millages did not increase for the fifth straight year. He said the general fund has a surplus of $300,000 this year and a total surplus of $4.6 million since 2009.

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Published January 8, 2014

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Norm Killop, 75, of Shelby Township, completed his first marathon in 1986 at the state fair grounds — six months after kicking alcoholism — and resolved to live an active, healthy lifestyle.

Since then, Killop ran 31 more marathons, two 100-mile races, four 50-mile races and six 50k races. Last year alone, he competed in eight triathlons. He also has taken gold in the Senior Olympics and has run in almost every race that organizer Michael Ward coordinated in the last 15 years, Ward said.

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Published January 1, 2014

This first issue of the Shelby-Utica News in 2014 will take a look back at 2013, featuring photos and blurbs on the most notable occurrences in three categories: government, community and crime.

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Published December 30, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Board of Trustees voted 6-1 Dec. 17 to lower the water rates 0.29 percent to $3.477 per hundred cubic feet and increase sewer rates 9.14 percent to $4.302, effective Jan. 1.

The township has a 30-year contract with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), approved by the previous Township Board in 2011, that is due to expire in 2041 and can be opened for renegotiation every five years. The next renegotiation year is 2016.

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Published December 25, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Dec. 19, about a dozen Shelby Township police officers in uniform accompanied 28 kids from 15 local families as they did some holiday shopping at the Wal-Mart on 23 Mile Road and M-53.

The children each received a $100 gift card to pick out gifts for themselves and loved ones, courtesy of a donation from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 142, and officers’ family members and other Police Department employees volunteered to wrap the gifts for Christmas.

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Published December 24, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Despite the number of families on the Shelby Lions Club’s Christmas basket list being a little smaller than some years, the community response in donations reached an overwhelming record this year.

Lions Club President Larry Trigger said the event, which has taken place for more than 30 years, is one of the best things they do because the Lions reach out and directly impact the lives of township residents.

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Published December 23, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Township Clerk Stanley Grot reported that his office, which also serves as a full-service Passport Acceptance Facility for both passport cards and passport books, experienced a 400 percent increase in passport processing in a 12-month period.

In 2012 and 2013, Grot said the office processed 1,770 applications for a net profit of $49,284, compared to 390 applications bringing in $12,114 in 2011 and 2012. He added that the month of January 2013 was the busiest: His office received 303 applications.

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Published December 22, 2013

UTICA — Mayor Jacqueline Noonan proudly swore in four new members to join the ranks of the Utica Fire Department at the City Council meeting Dec. 10.

Medics Michael Ryan and Justin Hill, Jason Seitz, who is in school to be a medic, and Michael Littlefield, an EMT who intends to become a medic, placed their hands on a Bible and swore to serve the city of Utica.

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Published December 21, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Below-freezing temperatures, icy windshield wipers, poor visibility and birds seeking shelter in nooks and crannies did not deter participants in the 38th annual Western Macomb Christmas Bird Count Dec. 14.

At the tally, held at the Stony Creek Nature Center Saturday evening, around 40 birders warmed up with a potluck dinner and compiled a rough draft of 53 species of birds.

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Published December 20, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Officials said at press time that the repairs on Stony Creek Lake’s south dam, which required a drastic 6-foot lowering of the 500-acre lake, would wrap up at the end of last week.

Stony Creek Metropark Operations Manager Gary Hopp said the repairs on the 50-year-old dam were crucial. Several massive valves wore out, and the park had to commission a new large sluice gate. The structure backs up all of the water on the manmade lake. Without it, it would just be Stony Creek.

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Published December 18, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Clerk Stanley Grot called a meeting with residents to discuss water rates, which have an uncertain future matching that of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), the sole supplier of water and sewer service to the township.

Grot said the purpose of the meeting was to expose the truth about what is going on with water and sewerage rates and to come up with a solution on how to free the township from an unjust monopoly.

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Published December 18, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Utica City Council voted unanimously to roll its local elections, which are currently held on odd years, into the elections on even years, which include the gubernatorial and presidential races,  for a cost savings of $3,000-$5,000.

At the last meeting Nov. 12, council members voted to table the matter to think about the idea and allow the public to submit input. Changes to state election law allowed for individual municipalities to choose by the end of the year whether or not they wished to keep elections separate.

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Published December 18, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Coordinators of the Shelby Township Jingle Bell 5k Run/Walk launched the event to promote holiday fitness, highlight the municipal grounds and raise money for charity.

The event is set to take place at 9 a.m. sharp Dec. 22 behind the Shelby Community Center, which includes public restrooms  and space to warm up. Registration is $20 before race day at www.jinglebell5krun.com or $25 on race day at 7:30 a.m.

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