The stories of 2014 Part 1 of 4 – January through March

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The stories of 2014 Part 1 of 4 – January through Marchmodern natural baby inprogress

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Dec. 31, 2014)

This has been an amazing year as the oc115 has ventured on the path of county-wide news coverage. From feel-good stories of neighbors helping each other to mass expressions of love, to the challenges of local governments, crimes, fires, floods and murders, the oc115 has been there to share the stories of our lives as they happen.


The year started off on a sad note as January 8 we reported on the deaths of Todd Lloyd and Christopher Neumann of Birmingham. Their small plane crashed in the poor winter weather in chazzano game adthe woods just north of Traverse City. On January 10 another small plane crashed, this time near Pontiac Lake, killing the pilot.

In Ferndale a fire started in someone’s kitchen that was using a torch to thaw a frozen pipe. Nick’s Pizza opened in Ferndale.

Barbara Mahan passed away at the age of 84.

Ferndale teachers picketed in opposition to proposed pay cuts at the same meeting where Jennifer LaTosch was appointed to fill the vacancy left by longtime past School Board President Chuck Moeser. Birmingham said goodbye to City Manager Bob Bruner.

On January 14, a homeless man befriended and murdered an elderly man in Devon Square Apartments in Ferndale, and on January 18 the Mayor of Royal Oak had a fire in his home caused by lint trapped in the dryer line. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson was ctechadsurprised by an unflattering article in the New Yorker.

Madison Heights mourned the loss of teacher and community volunteer Cristy Berger on January 18. And on January 26 the oc115 covered the Rochester Fire and Ice Festival for the first time.

The end of January brought coverage of snow sculptures on the lawn of an Oak Park resident, and the Annual Ferndale Blues Festival. It also brought the death of 24-year-old Mackenzie Cochrane who was pepper-sprayed and held down by Northland Mall Security Guards until he died of asphyxiation.


February began with a fire on E. Saratoga in Ferndale, and another in Royal Oak that left an Ferndale 115_FFLelderly man dead. Hazel Park police were given honors. Among the many suicides of 2014, was that of a 28-year-old Waterford woman who died at Accurate Gun Range on Feb.4.

Patricia E. Kefalas Dudek of Farmington Hills and Howard H. Collens of Huntington Woods gave an educational presentation on what happens to digital assets after death. The City of Ferndale lowered water rates.

Equality Michigan founder Henry Messer passed away on Feb. 18, the same month an $800,000 anonymous bequest was given to Affirmations LGBT Community Center.

Ferndale Schools parents, teachers, students, administration and board members made a trip to Lansing to advocate for school funding.seed013_larry_and_monica_mills

On Feb. 8 a gas station attendant was murdered in Troy and an Independence Township man shot himself to death while showing his girlfriend gun safety

Through the year the case of DeBoer v Snyder was an historically significant one as a Hazel Park couple sued the state for adoption rights and marriage rights. In February their case went to court. Protestors showed up. And supporters in Ferndale held an event to channel love to the couple and their family.

Victor Walker stood up for the rights of transgender people when he was given an award and he essentialused the acceptance as a chance to bring attention to the way transgender people are treated.

On Feb. 28 three “Madam Mayors” shared their wisdom with the Women Officials Network. Oak Park Mayor Marian McLellan, Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence and Pontiac Mayor Deirdre Waterman spoke on the challenges of running for office and why they think it’s important for women to be involved in politics.


March started out with an armed robbery in Royal Oak, a mummified body found in a garage in Pontiac and a barricaded gunman dying in Clawson. A car stuck on the railroad tracks stopped traffic on March 7.

The Ferndale Public Library had a lovely exhibit of art based on literature. And the City of waterworkFerndale looked at options for developing mixed use structures in downtown parking lots. The 3-60 Project was selected and given time to develop potential plans for two of the lots.

For those who have never seen how quickly a room can be engulfed in flames, the March 10 sprinkler demonstration is an interesting and informative video.

In March the EAA first came on our radar with a guest viewpoint by Steve Norton, who has been a regular voice for education issues along with Karen Twomey through 2014.

Senior Jeannie Davis outsmarted a phone scammer who claimed she had won $1.4 million. The Ferndale Education Foundation dinner paid homage to the Roaring 20s and exchange student 934_8600_Gen-Online_Banners2Giuseppe Ciccone shared his American experience.

In Rochester Hills the Mayor gave his State of the City Address, and a new phone app was introduced. State of the City Addresses were also shared from Clawson, Ferndale, and Oak Park.

Those who want to hear a pleasant story told by local celebrities might enjoy our Reading Day at Roosevelt videos, and Ferndale Judge Joe Longo returned to the bench after a life-threatening illness.

Perhaps the biggest change in 2014 in Ferndale Schools was the announcement of Superintendent Gary Meier retiring early in the wake of scandal involving his side work as a consultant for charter schools.

A six year old boy playing with a lighter started a fire in a Royal Oak Township Home, and Ferndale Councilperson Mike Lennon had a fire in his kitchen.sidebar012stairs

And the biggest excitement of the year came when the Judge in the DeBoer case ruled in favor of same sex marriage and a one-day window made it possible for over 300 couples to wed. Hundred flocked to the Oakland County complex where marriages were performed in every nook and cranny of the building and on the lawn, including mass ceremonies in the County Commission hall. The State intervened and placed a hold on recognizing the marriages while the DeBoer case pends appeal.

And one of the most fun experiences was being able to interview Gangstagrass when they came to the Magic Bag in Ferndale.

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