Victoria Mitchell

Published March 25, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Members of the Police Department have not entered a time warp, nor have they channeled their inner Magnum P.I.

Mustache March is wrapping up this week, and the mustaches — with accompanying mutton chops on some participants — are catching eyes for a good cause.

“We have had interesting feedback from the community,” said Detective Matthew Murray. “People are starting to notice.”

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Published March 23, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Resident Barbara J. Rebbeck’s first young adult novel involved more than placing pen to paper.

Rebbeck’s 30 years as an educator laid the foundation for her first young adult novel, “NOLA Gals,” which weaves together research, classic literary references, grammar lessons and characters she designed as relatable for today’s tweens and young adults.

The novel focuses on Essence LaFontaine and Grace Woodson, two strangers occupying the same space following Hurricane Katrina.

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Published March 18, 2015

City Commission members added the topic of coyotes to the commission’s March 16 meeting agenda following public concern over a trapped animal in a residential backyard.

A video from WXYZ-TV showing a trapped coyote in a yard near Tenhave Woods, at Lexington Boulevard and Marais Avenue, caused an influx of phone calls and emails to City Hall on March 16 questioning the humane treatment of the animal.

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Published March 18, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Paula Messner is calling all hipsters and their families to the Royal Oak Farmers Market this Saturday for the fourth annual Bestest Concert Ever.


The family friendly, live music event will take place from 5-8 p.m. March 21. Messner said that 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Royal Oak Optimist Club.


“It’s an annual thing that I do and it’s really a lot of fun,” Messner said.


The idea for the Bestest Concert Ever came from a couple of shows Messner played with her band, Candy Band.

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Published March 18, 2015

CLAWSON — The “little city with a big heart” has a lot going on, according to Mayor Penny Luebs, who gave the annual State of the City address last week.

“We are the place to be,” Luebs said. “If you think nothing happens in Clawson, think again.”

The breakfast gathering held March 11 at City Hall brought together local dignitaries, residents and members of the business community for the annual look back at the previous year.

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Published March 18, 2015

CLAWSON — Student success and an unsure financial future were the topics of the annual State of the Schools address March 11 at City Hall.

Clawson Public Schools Board of Education President Jessica Back highlighted many successes in the district, including an increase in the district’s Michigan Educational Assessment Program scores.

The board president said the district’s academic success in the 2014-15 school year may be measured by the scholarships Clawson High School seniors are receiving.

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Published March 18, 2015

ROYAL OAK — When physical education teacher Keith Doody had the opportunity to bring a favorite childhood program to Northwood Elementary School, he was all in.

That the Jump Rope for Heart program surpassed expectations — it raised $8,261 for the American Heart Association — made the happening even more fulfilling.

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Published March 18, 2015

CLAWSON — Volunteers and leaders in the business community were honored last week at the annual State of the City address March 11 at City Hall.

Renee Niewolak, branch manager of Diversified Members Credit Union, was awarded Business Person of the Year.

A Rotary member, Chamber participant and volunteer, Niewolak is known for continually giving her time, talents and funding. She was hailed for her enthusiastic work ethic.

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Published March 11, 2015

CLAWSON — Members of the City Council last week unanimously approved moving forward with a no-knock ordinance in the community.

During the March 3 regular council meeting, the council adopted the first reading of the Clawson Code of Ordinances governing peddlers, solicitors and canvassers, popularly referred to as the “no-knock” policy.

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Published March 11, 2015

ROYAL OAK — DTE Energy decided to trim back its vegetation-clearing initiative before city leaders officially asked the electric provider to hold off and re-evaluate it.

The DTE Energy Ground to Sky tree-trimming program is on hold as executives retool the initiative. DTE acknowledged that the perceived aggressive tree-trimming program needed to improve its communications before coming to any more communities.

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Published March 11, 2015

ROYAL OAK — What started out as a lesson in recycling, repurposing and reusing turned into a collaborative art project to beautify the hallway of Addams Elementary School.

About 450 kindergarten through fifth-grade students participated in an art project that used decorated pieces of recyclable water bottles. The students decorated the pieces and attached them to a frame in the shape of a tree.

“I think it’s really creative and cool,” said third-grader Anna Waterstredt, pointing to a green, glitter-covered tree branch she created.

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Published March 11, 2015

ROYAL OAK — City commissioners on March 2 unanimously approved awarding an Oakland County firm the real estate and brokerage services contract to market a portion of the Normandy Oaks park land.

Economic Development Manager Todd Fenton and City Manager Don Johnson interviewed two applicants and, Fenton said, concluded that Signature Associates would be the best firm.

“We feel very comfortable with the recommendation to move forward with Signature and Associates,” he said.

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Published March 10, 2015

ROYAL OAK — When the Hennessey clan started marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, there were about seven of them.

Matriarch Carol Hennessey has seen her group expand and grow for many years, constructing a float to pull along with them during the big event.

“It’s something special, especially to the Irish,” Hennessey said.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians Norman O’Brien Division will present the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade at 11:30 a.m. March 14 in downtown Royal Oak.

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Published March 4, 2015

ROYAL OAK — The cost to park in the garage near Fourth Street and Lafayette Avenue is going up following the City Commission’s late February decision to raise the fee primarily on weekends.

The $2 parking increase only impacts the Fourth Street parking garage when it operates on a flat-fee basis, which is during weekend nights or other times when larger events take place.

The garage, on Lafayette Avenue just north of Fourth Street, used to charge $3 for a night of parking. The increase, which went into effect March 1, brings the fee to $5.

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Published March 4, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Rob Young’s passion for cars took on a new meaning when it turned into a father and son bonding experience.

Young’s latest acquisition — a brown and cream 1963 Lincoln Continental — was purchased at the urging of his 16-year-old son, Robert, after the teen fell in love with the car during a spring break trip to southern Illinois last year.

Young said he has owned various sports cars in the past, but never something as big as a Continental.

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