Victoria Mitchell

Published January 24, 2017

ROYAL OAK — Big changes are being proposed and are in the works for a large portion of Center Street in the downtown district.

The north-south roadway stretching from Fourth to Second streets — consisting solely of parking options on the west side — could take on a completely different aesthetic if developers come up with a plan that city commissioners would support.

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Published January 24, 2017

ROYAL OAK — Shawn Lewis-Lakin received a calling this summer that is moving him toward a new life path.

Lewis-Lakin, 57, announced last week that he will retire from his position of superintendent of Royal Oak Schools effective June 30 to begin a new role serving as the senior associate pastor at Birmingham First United Methodist Church effective July 1.

Lewis-Lakin said that since August, he has been engaged in a process focused on returning to full-time service in the church.

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Published January 24, 2017

CLAWSON — Proactive policing and dedication to doing more are two of the reasons Dale Mills entered law enforcement.

The detective said he was inspired by his uncle, who served as a Detroit police officer and the director of public safety for Rutgers University.

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Published January 24, 2017

ROYAL OAK — A group of residents are hoping that their appeal to the City Commission will scale back a proposed apartment building in their neighborhood.

Earlier this month, the Harrison II received the green light from the city’s Planning Commission and is expected to go before the City Commission in February.

The group remains hopeful that the City Commission will deny or change the density of the project, despite a similar appeal failing to generate enough Planning Commission votes during its Jan. 10 meeting.

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Published January 23, 2017

ROYAL OAK — The Royal Oak Police Department is giving high praise to one of its own after a woman was pulled from a burning car following a vehicle crash.

Sgt. Karly Wingart pulled a 36-year-old Royal Oak resident from the Ford Fusion the resident was a passenger in shortly after midnight on Sunday, Jan. 15. The car hit a stopped Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation bus, and the engine compartment burst into flames, police said.

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Published January 18, 2017

ROYAL OAK — The City Commission is seeking input on design aspects of a $100 million Royal Oak city center development by the end of the month so that planning can continue on the proposed project.

Input is needed before the commission’s next regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 inside Royal Oak City Hall, 211 S. Williams St.

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Published January 18, 2017

ROYAL OAK — Residents have less than a month to provide final input on the city’s parks and recreation master plan.

City officials said that over the last several months, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Recreation Department, the Public Services Department and the City Manager’s Office have worked to complete a five-year parks and recreation master plan with an increased focus on public input.

City officials said that resident interest and input in the plan has been strong, surpassing that of previous plans.

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Published January 18, 2017

ROYAL OAK — A 26-year-old Fraser man was arrested and charged last week with several crimes, including stealing from cars in Royal Oak.

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Published January 16, 2017

ROYAL OAK — When Spencer Barrer makes the jaunt to the 2017 North American International Auto Show this month, the experience will have much more meaning than thousands of others gathering in Detroit.

“I know it will be an event to remember,” he said.

The Royal Oak High School sophomore will have his poster on display at the annual auto show after taking first place in the 10th-grade category in the 29th annual NAIAS poster contest.

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Published January 10, 2017

ROYAL OAK — After attending a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in Walled Lake last year, Royal Oak Schools Superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin made a vow to himself that he would not let another year pass without the community having an appropriate event to recognize the holiday.

With the help of other like-minded people, and planning that began in June, the superintendent’s vision was put into reality.

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Published January 10, 2017

CLAWSON — Steven and Starr Champine chose one of the coldest days of the year to put up their Christmas lights.

“It’s become a tradition,” Steven said, adding that each year, they wait for the cold and light a bonfire before climbing up the ladder.

The couple’s cold and hard work paid off as their home was one of five chosen for the 2016 Holiday Decoration Beautification Awards.

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Published January 10, 2017

ROYAL OAK — Police said that a 17-year-old Madison Heights man had his day in court Friday after leading officers on a multi-city chase while driving a stolen car.

Destin La-Roy Hollis was arraigned in 44th District Court the morning of Jan. 6 and charged with one count of unlawful driving away of an automobile and one count of third-degree fleeing and eluding police. Both felony charges carry a sentence of up to five years in prison.

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Published January 10, 2017

OAKLAND COUNTY — Gov. Rick Snyder approved legislation Jan. 4 changing requirements that cities and villages reimburse the Michigan Department of Transportation for road repairs in their jurisdictions.

At issue was the widening of northbound and southbound Interstate 75 by one lane from Eight Mile Road to just south of M-59, which includes bridge replacement and sewer and interchange improvements. It would have cost the city of Troy $1.2 million each year for eight years — a total of $9.6 million — and Royal Oak a total of $4 million.

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Published January 9, 2017

ROYAL OAK — Vietnam Veteran Curtis Burton rushed to Memorial Park the morning of Jan. 5 to have his photograph taken with the “Embracing Peace” statue before it departed for warmer quarters.

“I just had to come see it,” he said. “It was on my to-do list for the last six months, but every time I came by here, I was on the other side of the street.”

Burton said he even attended the Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise and saw it from the road, but he wanted a photo up close before it left.

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Published January 4, 2017

2016 will be defined as a year of change, whether it was proposed projects or through the loss of familiar faces. As we all begin the new year, here is a look back at the top 10 stories of the previous year.

City civic center development

Plans continued to evolve throughout the year for a proposed $100 million Royal Oak civic center development in place of the current City Hall.

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