Victoria Mitchell

Published November 18, 2014

Police continue their investigation into a Nov. 14 fatal crash involving a minivan that drove at a high rate of speed through a portion of the city before crashing into a church wall.

A woman, the minivan’s driver and only occupant, was killed.

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Published November 12, 2014

ROYAL OAK — City Engineer Matt Callahan will be busy throughout the next 10 years following a narrow victory for a road millage that will support the Royal Oak street system.

“It means a whole lot of work,” he said. “Right now, I’m starting to make notes to myself and look at preliminary deadlines.”

Callahan said the first order of business is to look at the whole project and start addressing who is going to do what.

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Published November 12, 2014

ROYAL OAK — After a strong showing of support at the polls for the Normandy Oaks Golf Course park proposal, city officials are putting a plan in place to bring a 40-acre passive-use park closer to reality.

Mayor Jim Ellison said the first order of business is to reconvene the Normandy Oaks Task Force — a committee created in March and chaired by Ellison — with the goal of creating a plan for the future of the struggling Normandy Oaks Golf Course, located at 4234 Delemere Blvd. on the city’s north side.

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Published November 12, 2014

ROYAL OAK/CLAWSON — A few new faces will bring their experiences to local school boards in the new year.

The Oakland County Elections Division’s unofficial results show that two new members will join the Clawson Public Schools Board of Education and one new member was elected to the Royal Oak Schools Board of Education.

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Published November 12, 2014

ROYAL OAK — Kristina Samborski’s love affair with classic musicals began as a child.

Samborski’s family didn’t have cable, so instead of watching the latest cartoons, the Royal Oak High School senior said she would avidly watch musicals. One of her favorites was “Oklahoma!”

“I used to watch it with my grandpa,” she said. “It’s the thing we used to do.”

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Published November 12, 2014

ROYAL OAK — Mayor Pro Tem David Poulton lost his short-lived, write-in campaign aimed at ousting incumbent 44th District Court Judge Terrance Brennan, who is on “administrative, personal leave.”

“With a week to campaign, I think that we did all that we could possibly do,” Poulton said.

According to unofficial results by the Oakland County Elections Division, Brennan was re-elected with more than 90 percent of the vote. The final tally was 11,620 votes for Brennan versus 1,287 valid write-in votes for Poulton.

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Published November 12, 2014

CLAWSON — The City of Clawson received the 2014 Silver Award from the Michigan Fitness Foundation in honor of the community’s commitment to advocating for an active lifestyle. 

The Silver Award was granted to Clawson through the 2014 Promoting Active Communities program, which recognizes communities for their commitment to increasing the health of residents through active living.

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Published November 11, 2014

Officers disarmed a 38-year-old man with a history of mental illness Nov. 11 who police said was attempting to commit suicide through a police confrontation.

Royal Oak Police Lt. David Clemens said no officers were injured, and the man did not receive any injuries.

“At this point he was committed for psychological evaluation, so he is not being charged at this time,” Clemens said. The Royal Oak resident was transported to Providence Hospital for the evaluation.

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Published November 11, 2014

ROYAL OAK — Vinsetta Boulevard residents packed City Hall Nov. 10 pleading with  commission members to stop a local Realtor from splitting lots and demolishing a home in their self-described “iconic” neighborhood.

Residents packed the commission’s chamber, a hallway and the City Hall lobby supporting Vinsetta Heights Property Owners Association president Steve Palackdharry, who spoke on behalf of the group during the regular commission meeting’s time for public comment.

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Published November 5, 2014

ROYAL OAK — Beaumont Hospital and the Peter Karmanos Jr. family revealed the $6 million natural birthing center Oct. 30.

The 4,500-square-foot Karmanos Center for Natural Birth opened Nov. 3 for expectant mothers looking for an alternative to traditional hospital birthing options.

“This is the new-millennium way to have a baby,” said Peter Karmanos Jr.

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Published November 5, 2014

ROYAL OAK — When Mayor Pro Tem David Poulton drove through neighboring communities recently and noticed protected construction sites, he quickly became disenchanted with his hometown.

“When I came back to Royal Oak, what I saw was a mess,” Poulton said.

He saw open holes, mounds of dirt with teetering construction equipment, materials all over the place and portable toilets in the neighborhoods.

“I was just amazed that we in this city would allow something like that,” Poulton said.

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Published November 5, 2014

ROYAL OAK — As a mother of four, Jodi Tillander knows the importance of a strong parenting network.

Her insight and experience raising children inspired her to bring quality resources to all parents in the greater Royal Oak area.

With help from a friend and experience visiting a heavily attended parenting fair in Walled Lake, Tillander created the inaugural ParentU event last year.

“It’s a day for parents to kind of stop and take a minute for them and really hear  something that there is no handbook for,” Tillander said.

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Published November 5, 2014

ROYAL OAK — Every day, Alex Goecke and Steve Miller maneuver through the routine of taking their kids to Northwood Elementary School, but the partnership forged at morning drop-off formed an artistic bond.

“It was so good to meet another artist,” said Miller. “We just started hanging out.”

Their common interests became apparent. Both men play guitar, have two children at Northwood and have a passion for the arts.

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Published November 5, 2014

ROYAL OAK — Gordie Schaeffler doesn’t sidestep a challenge. In fact, the more work required, the more he is all-in.

Schaeffler’s latest challenge is his new role as the head hockey director and assistant manager of the John Lindell Ice Arena. The arena on Lexington Drive in Royal Oak is a city-owned facility.

Schaeffler, 36, began working at the arena last month and balances the full-time commitment with his other job as the head coach of the Oakland University ACHA Division 1 hockey team.

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Published November 5, 2014

The City of Royal Oak won at the polls on Election Day as voters said yes to both local ballot proposals for road improvements and a new park.

The Oakland County Elections Division’s unofficial results show that, by 54 percent of the vote, Royal Oak’s residents approved amending the city charter to allow the city to levy a tax of up to 2.5 mills for a period not to exceed 10 years for capital repairs to the city’s street system, including repairing local streets.

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