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 December 14, 2011

For the 15 to 20 women on Twain Court, their annual Christmas celebration is a family thing.

“It’s a very close neighborhood,” Nanci Sanford said.

Starting in 1977, the women, most of them young stay-at home mothers, would get together for a cookie exchange each Christmas. They even fashioned a cookbook back then featuring the recipes, which one of the neighbor ladies carefully typed on onionskin paper and bound into a hardcover book with fabric.

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Published December 7, 2011

A popular program for children is back, thanks to a Troy couple’s generosity and the Troy Nature Society’s determination.

A somewhat shortened version of the Junior Naturalist Club program previously offered at the Lloyd A. Stage Nature Center will return in January as a result of the generosity of Jim and Shelly Green, whose four children all have attended the program.

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Published December 7, 2011

A local retailer who police say sold alcohol to minors could lose his liquor license and spend time in jail, but he says the charges are false.

Police say they received a tip that Super City Smokers Express, 2981 E. Big Beaver, was selling alcohol to minors, so officers conducted surveillance and reportedly saw a 17-year-old from Troy purchase alcohol at the store just before 5:30 p.m. Nov. 11, then leave the area with other teens and proceed to Jaycee Park in Troy, police said.

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Published December 7, 2011

Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln regaled the group in the parsonage with tales of how their children, Willie and Todd, loved to play soldier during an event called Christmas 1863 — an Old Fashioned Holiday at the Troy Historic Village Dec. 3.

“So many of the Christmas and holiday traditions came into fashion during the Civil War,” said Loraine Campbell, manager of the Troy Historic Village.

More than 100 people attended the event, including many Scout troops.

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Published December 7, 2011

Later this month, information on city employees’ wages and benefits, checks the city has issued, and city purchasing and labor contracts will be posted on the city’s website.

The Troy City Council approved, by consensus, what that will look like.

Troy City Manager John Szerlag presented a template showing what Open Troy, Transparency in Government, will encompass for council discussion at the Nov. 28 meeting.

Councilman Wade Fleming said users will be able to click on a check register to see what the check was for and who issued it.

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Published December 7, 2011

The Troy Public Library will open its doors on Saturdays next month after the Troy City Council voted to close the library on Fridays instead.

In a 6-1 vote at the Nov. 28 meeting, the council directed Library Director Cathy Russ to operate the library six days a week for 55 hours, and be closed on Fridays.

The change will cost an additional $35,000 a year, or $175,000 over five years, and can be accomplished without any subsidy from the general fund, officials said.

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Published December 7, 2011

Despite numerous calls for Troy Mayor Janice Daniels to resign due to a June Facebook post slurring gay people, Daniels asked for forgiveness and said she plans to move forward as mayor.

“I made a comment in a moment I will regret for a lifetime,” Daniels said.

The issue came to light Dec. 2, and the post reportedly stated, “I think I am going to throw away my ‘I love New York’ bag now that queers can get married there.”

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Published December 7, 2011

The city snowplows and salt trucks are ready for action and to clear snow under stricter guidelines than last year.

Crews will clear roads within 24 hours after a snowfall of more than 4 inches when Old Man Winter arrives, rather than within 72 hours as was the practice last year.

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Published December 5, 2011

Troy Mayor Janice Daniels has come under strong fire for a posting she made on her Facebook page in June slurring gay people.

The issue came to light Dec. 2, and the post reportedly stated “I think I am going to throw away my ‘I Love New York’ carrying bag now that queers can get married there.”

“I regret using an in appropriate word,” Daniels said. “When I wrote it, it was meant to be a joke.”

She said she has since deactivated her Facebook account.

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Published December 1, 2011

The Troy City Council cut a company a break on the terms of its tax break recently, even though the company didn’t stick to the exact terms of the deal.

The Troy City Council, in a 6-1 vote at the Nov. 21 meeting, decided not to revoke a $53,547, 12-year tax abatement granted to ProMetal on Alger in September of 2008. The original abatement was in support of a $3.8 million investment for machinery to manufacture molds and cores for sand casting from three-dimensional drawings, which the company said would add three new jobs.

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Published December 1, 2011

Troy resident Jerry Bush likes playing with colors.

He will be one of the featured artists at the 36th annual Potters Market taking place in Madison Heights Dec. 2-4.

The Potters Market is one of two venues where he sells his work each year, the other being Creative Endeavors, inside the Troy Community Center.

He doesn’t take orders, but creates whatever strikes his fancy. He’ll do a series of similar items, often with patterns, then move on.

“I don’t want it to be a job,” he said. “It’s a creative thing.”

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Published December 1, 2011

Former Clinton Township resident Marine Lance Cpl. Michael Politowicz, 29, is determined.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps 10 years ago, but was medically discharged after he suffered anaphylactic shock when fire ants bit him during basic training. The Marine Corps said they would let him back in if a civilian doctor cleared him for service.

That took 10 years. He worked as a welder and machinist, and his medical insurance covered the treatments and testing he had to undergo.

“He always wanted to be a Marine,” his father, Michael, said.

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Published December 1, 2011

TROY — Recent City Council discussions have some wondering if plans for a transit center will be scrapped.

City Manager John Szerlag said at a Nov. 21 meeting that there is as a “drop-dead” Dec. 19 deadline to approve the architectural engineering contract due to federal guidelines stipulating the project must be completed within two years of Oct. 1, 2011.

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Published November 23, 2011

Despite a recommendation from a city-commissioned report, police won’t stop responding to noninjury car crashes, attempted home invasions or medical calls anytime soon.

In a March report to the Troy City Council, Jim McCabe, International City/County Management Association senior public safety consultant, said Troy officers should stop responding to some types of calls in order to sustain core services with fewer officers, as was then outlined in the city’s restructuring plan.

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Published November 23, 2011

Santa will arrive in grand style to light the tree at Troy City Hall and enjoy the joy of Christmas past at the Troy Historic Village.

Cindy Stewart, community affairs director for the city of Troy, explained that a number of years ago, Tom’s Landscape donated a Colorado spruce that was planted on the grounds of City Hall.

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