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Terry Oparka bio image

Terry Oparka

C&G Staff Reporter – Troy Times


Staff Writer Terry Oparka covers Troy and the Troy School District for the Troy Times. Oparka has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2000 and attended Oakland University and Macomb Community College. Oparka has won an award from the Michigan Press Association and four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Detroit Chapter.

Published February 15, 2012

An effort to recall Troy Mayor Janice Daniels is officially under way after a group registered with the county to raise funds for the effort.

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Published February 15, 2012

Public comment during Troy City Council meetings will mostly remain as is, although speakers will no longer be limited to three minutes as they have been at times in the past.

The Troy City Council reviewed the rules of procedure during a study session held after the Feb. 6 council meeting.

The public may speak on agenda and non-agenda items during time allotted near the beginning of council meetings for up to five minutes. Sometimes in the past, council has voted to limit that time frame to three minutes if the list of residents wanting to speak was too long.

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Published February 8, 2012

Although he knew the children had sat all day in their classes, Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Steve Toth cautioned them to stay still for the special guest who stopped by the afternoon of Feb. 2.

“This is a very exciting opportunity,” he said.

The young members of the crowd stayed on their best behavior as retired U.S. Air Force Col. Greg Johnson showed slides and talked about flying the Space Shuttle Endeavor to dock with the International Space Station.

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Published February 8, 2012

Vacancy rates for commercial and industrial properties in Troy continue to hover at 30 percent, and that’s not likely change anytime soon.

Troy City Assessor Nino Licari said the vacancy rate for industrial buildings is between 30 and 35 percent, and commercial buildings are 20 to 30 percent empty.

“It’s not getting any better,” Licari said.

He noted that Troy has more than 17 million square feet of available office space, which puts it behind only Detroit and Southfield.

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Published February 8, 2012

When Assistant Superintendent Janet Keeling, then the principal of Morse Elementary School, interviewed Susan Pickering for the media specialist position in 1995, she knew Pickering had something special.

Keeling was one of the administrators in the Troy School District on hand to see Pickering receive the Troy School District Teacher of the Year award, prize patrol style, from Superintendent Barbara Fowler as Pickering worked with English Language Learners in the library of Smith Middle School Feb. 6. She also works as media specialist at Boulan Park Middle School.

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Published February 8, 2012

Troy resident Michelle Haight had her first open-heart surgery when she was 2 months old. She was born with pulmonary stenosis and lived a relatively normal life after surgery, although she was always careful not to overexert herself.

Pulmonary stenosis is a heart valve disorder in which the heart valve cannot open wide enough, which results in a diminished blood flow to the lungs.

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Published February 1, 2012

A Woodhaven woman is charged with child endangerment after she allegedly drove drunk with her 5-year-old son and three other adults in the vehicle.

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Published February 1, 2012

Investment dollars continue to trickle into Troy.

The Troy City Council supported a printing company’s investment in new equipment and approved a tax break at the Jan. 23 council meeting.

Council voted 5-2 to grant a seven-year, $42,149 tax abatement to Tepel Brothers Printing in support of the company’s investment of $2.4 million. Mayor Janice Daniels and Councilman Doug Tietz opposed the abatement.

“I’m generally opposed to tax abatements, and I’m voting no,” Daniels said.

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Published February 1, 2012

Troy City Manager John Szerlag released a measured response to Mayor Janice Daniels’ position paper on the transit center that she read at the Jan. 9 council meeting, but wouldn’t comment further on the matter.

When Councilman Dane Slater asked Szerlag if he wanted to read his response out loud to the council, as Daniels did, he said no.

“I’d as soon have the letter speak for itself,” Szerlag said.

“I appreciate your response,” Slater said. “It was necessary to have a response.”

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Published February 1, 2012

Although the move was largely symbolic, as the business’s license had expired, the council revoked the massage facility license of Recovery Spa, on Maple, after police said prostitution occurred there.

Before the council at its Jan. 23 meeting was the revocation of the business license in a due process hearing and a decision on whether police acted in an arbitrary and/or capricious manner in closing down the business in December.

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Published February 1, 2012

In an effort to keep children safe from alcohol and drug abuse, the Troy Community Coalition will ask parents for feedback.

The Troy Community Coalition, working with the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities, which serves communities in Oakland County, want parents to complete a survey online in order for the coalition to determine where to focus alcohol and drug information programs.

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Published January 27, 2012

A Woodhaven woman is charged with child endangerment after she allegedly drove drunk with her 5-year-old son and three other adults in the vehicle.

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Published January 25, 2012

If you thought your favorite department store was busier this past Christmas than in recent years, you might be right.

“It was a terrific season,” Ed Nakfoor, spokesman for Somerset Collection, said. “It started with Black Friday and continued through Christmas Eve.”

He noted that the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day was busy also.

While specific numbers for Troy retailers were not available at press time, retailers typically post national Christmas sales numbers on their websites the first week of January.

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Published January 25, 2012

Walsh College got a bit greener last month after three electric car charging stations were installed at the east end of the college.

The charging stations look like a cross between a parking meter and gas pump, Chris Stout, facilities director for Walsh College, said.

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Published January 25, 2012

Do you know someone homebound in Oakland County who would appreciate a friendly phone call on a regular basis?

Volunteers from the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Oakland County stand ready to call people who need a chat through the Service With Love program.

Carol Heckman, RSVP program service manager, explained that the RSVP volunteers are older than 55 years old and call their “clients” at designated times.

“Some callers have phoned the same clients for 15 years,” she said. “They develop nice relationships.”

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