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 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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Published December 18, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — At its Dec. 3 meeting, the Township Board of Trustees approved a rent increase of $25 in the maintenance portion of Shelby Manor residents’ monthly rent, effective Jan. 1, 2014. Trustee Paula Filar and Supervisor Rick Stathakis said it was a hard decision, but they saw no alternative.

Sherri Stevenson, the regional property manager with Unified Management Services, said the building is at maximum capacity and faces an $11,000 deficit this year and a projected $62,000 deficit in 2014, even with the rent hike.

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Published December 18, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Tensions flared again between Trustee Nick Nightingale and the rest of Shelby’s Board of Trustees Dec. 3 when Nightingale requested to alter a previous meeting’s minutes.

At the previous meeting Nov. 19, the board voted 6-1 to settle a $745,000 lawsuit Nightingale filed against board members Paul Viar, Michael Flynn, Doug Wozniak and Rick Stathakis for a violation of his first amendment rights. Flynn, at that time, read a scathing statement in which he accused Nightingale of enriching himself at the expense of Shelby taxpayers.

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Published December 16, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — In a 6-1 vote Dec. 3, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees approved a lease with a Traverse City-based oil and gas company that included a special clause in the agreement: no fracking.

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Published December 11, 2013

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