The stories of 2014 Part 2 of 4 – April through June
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Jan. 1, 2015)
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.
President Barack Obama came to Michigan in April to promote the initiative to increase the minimum wage and the oc115 got to be in the press pool for it, which was pretty exciting. Almost as exciting was sitting in on the City of Ferndale budget process. Also pretty exciting was the pothole repair tracking map introduced by the City of Royal Oak.
A large industrial property was fixed up and turned into a factory for forging gun parts.
After 28 years the Director of the Blair Memorial Library in Clawson retired, sharing memories before she left.
Arson destroyed six cars in Royal Oak Township and Ferndale Police captured a suspected armed robber.
The Ferndale Good Neighbor Awards honored several beloved Ferndalians, while knitting brought Pleasant Ridgers together.
Andrew Cissell, who introduced several petition initiatives for the decriminalization of marijuana, was found guilty of using a false address on a petition in Ferndale. The Ferndale ordinance has passed in 2013 and was unaffected. Cissell also started petitions in Hazel Park, Oak Park, Berkley, Huntington Woods and Pleasant Ridge in 2014.
A disagreement between former Ferndale Mayor Robert McGee and the Ferndale Historical Society led to a lawsuit in April, which was later tossed out of court.
Another highlight of April was being able to sit down with actress and activist Daryl Hannah at Veg Fest in Novi.
The Reality Store is a project that helped FHS students understand the costs of real life.
Pleasant Ridge got a new City Manager, and Pontiac’s Mayor gave a powerful State of the City address. Also in Pontiac, the former Clutch Cargo nightclub was reclaimed as a church, being remodeled into the new home of Grace Gospel.
A powerful presentation took place at Wayne State Law School as the attorney for Trayvon Martin’s family spoke to future lawyers about “answering the bell.”
On April 15 three suspects walked into a classroom at the Digital Learning Center in Ferndale and knocked a 16 year old unconscious to steal a cell phone. In Royal Oak two young men were honored for separate acts of heroism.
On April 14 a man who had grown up in Oakland County and found modest fame in LA was found murdered. MMA fighter Justin Schalk, 40, was found dead in a burning vehicle in the desert in California, with a possible small-role actor to blame.
House Hunters featured a local couple. Donald Levin released a new book. And the Ferndale Rotary gave scholarships to students.
Bill Clinton came to Cobo hall, check out the video of his speech. The month ended with a propane tank explosion in Royal Oak.
May began with a celebration of WONder women, as the Women Officials Network gave awards to ladies who have made a difference. Youth in Government Day also helped inspire future leaders.
A man was shot multiple times at his Bloomfield Hills home.
Jeff Milo penned a piece about local author Josh Malerman’s latest book Bird Box. And Macaroni Kid launched for Ferndale and Royal Oak. Royal Oak also got snazzy new bike racks. Sherry A. Wells wrote about community gardens in Oak Park and Huntington Woods.
A machete was used in a robbery in Pontiac.
Love poured in for Ferndale Schools teachers as Nan Kerr-Mueller gathered stories to share to show why teachers are important, and how much they are valued by the community. Beloved principal of Clawson Middle School John Dickinson announced retirement after 46 years of serving the community.
Ferndale students also joined the police in a flag week ceremony, and several young people were recognized with awards from Ferndale Youth Assistance.
Being able to interview Gloria Steinem was an honor.
Rochester Hills faced the issue of drilling.
Hair extensions were the cause of a laundromat fire in Ferndale.
Naka, a popular gift shop in Downtown Ferndale, closed its doors. On the plus side Downtown Ferndale hosted the Great American Main Street Conference Kick Off.
Volunteers helped “Clean the Ferndale Up.” Canvas Pontiac filled the city with beautiful art. And Royal Oak Seniors shared handbell music. Birmingham showed its pride with the Hometown Parade. Troy Police held an open house for the community. And Ferndale Schools showed Eagle Pride during their commencement ceremony.
On May 23 a woman was found dead in the basement of a Royal Oak home that had been set on fire, and her son was taken into custody.
Royal Oak students celebrated Red, White and Blue Day, donating money to preserve an historic American Flag. And kids in Clawson earned an “evergreen” designation.
Tears flowed in Ferndale as the Fallen Soldiers foot float passed as part of the Memorial Day Parade. Waterford also had a nice parade. In Birmingham a young lady was honored for her work in suicide prevention.
In Oak Park the battle over the pot proposal ended up in court and a security breach at the airport halted travel for hours.
June was full of celebration stories. Check out stories on: Rainbow Run, Ferndale Pride, Claws and Paws, Ferndale Bike Rodeo, Relay for Life, Berkley Art Bash, Southfield Fun Run, Royal Oak Glass and Metal Show, Rochester Hills Fireworks,
Kids from Roosevelt in Ferndale helped plant trees in Oppenheimer Park.
A string of robberies happened at several Radio Shack stores in the area. Gun violence prompted a bipartisan effort in the Oakland County Commission, with gun locks being given out in 38 communities. An arson in Ferndale remained unsolved, and a fire at Dearborn Axle slowed work down. One person was killed and three others were wounded in a shooting in Oak Park. Another person was killed in Pontiac in a crash with an electrical pole. A woman was rescued from a kidnapper at the Citgo in Ferndale and a man suffered a broken jaw being attacked on Woodward Avenue.
Longtime Mayor of Hazel Park Jack Lloyd resigned due to health issues, and Jan Parisi was sworn in as Mayor.
and the Ferndale Area Chamber said goodbye to director Jennifer Roosenberg who took a job closer to her home.
Ferndale Schools hired Blake Prewitt as the new Superintendent. HAVEN broke ground on a new facility in Pontiac.
Youngsters got a hands on look at firearms and a tazer demonstration at the Rochester Police open house. Ferndale opened their newly remodeled court house and police station.
Birmingham raised their parking rates and Oak Park City Manager Eric Tungate gave a forecast of optimism for his city.
One of the sweetest stories of the year is the one of a lucky robin who found a home in Ferndale.
To keep up with all the latest headlines in 2015, sign up at https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=Oakland_County_115_News.
If you’re a reader who wants to support this work, plant a flower in our online community garden at https://oaklandcounty115.com/reader-support/.
The stories of 2014 Part 2 of 4 – April through June