After 20 Years in Prison, Ex Con Sees Filming as a New Start

When Dez Mansell was released from prison on parole in 2008, the bright optimism of freedom was overshadowed by the fear and insecurity of figuring out how to make an honest living.

“I’ve been a liar, cheater and a thief since I was 12,” Mansell said. “I have made a very stark transformation. But still, it’s hard for people, especially employers, to trust me.”

The Oklahoma Experience

Starting out with nothing, some 65 students from FHS, FMS, Coolidge and Kennedy Schools came together to produce Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! They performed from March 12 -20, 2011.

Junior Natalie Berger played Ellen in the production, and she organized the Sound Effect Design. She and her friends had such a fun time with the show that she put together a video to remember the experience.

City Accepts Animal Control, Waggs has 30 days to find home…

After city leaders in Ferndale discovered that Oakland County had been providing animal control for free to some municipalities, while charging others for the service, the Oakland County has reshaped its Animal Control program and is now offering free service to any city.

City Council voted on March 28, 2011 to accept the service, and also to end an agreement with nonprofit group Waggs and Wishes

Purple Glove Video Shows Ferndale Getting Ready for Relay

As the weekend of June 11-12, 2011 approaches, Ferndale gears up for the 24 hour walk to raise money to fight cancer known as Relay for Life. Teams from all over the City will walk the track at Ferndale High School, with pledges going for The American Cancer Society. The event is known for it’s fun themes, performances and antics, which have started early this year thanks to the community-focused “Purple Glove” video.

50 Years of Comos

When Sicilia Grego was just 22 years old she started the business that would allow her to raise her son George, who was just a baby back then. As Como’s (22812 Woodward) turns 50 years old on April 1st, Grego was honored with a visit from United States Congressman Sander Levin, who presented the still-vibrant entrepreneur with a flag that was flown over the US Capitol in her restaurant’s honor.

Affirmations Big Bash

“It’s amazing,” said Gary Roberts, one of the founding members of Affirmations Board back in 1989. “Back then there were people who were afraid to sign the articles of incorporation because it was a public document. Look at how far we’ve come,” he said as he looked around at the sea of people openly celebrating their lives. He recalled how the organization moved around from small places and people’s houses, before moving to the old office in Ferndale, just a block away from their current 16,000 square foot community center where they serve more than 30,000 individuals each year.

Groups Organize Around Headlee Override Issue

“Shall the City of Ferndale, County of Oakland, Michigan, be permitted to increase its authorized millage rate in 2011 for a term of five (5) years ending December 31, 2015, by an additional 5.4552 mills ($5.4552 per $1,000) on each dollar of the taxable value of all real and personal property in the City of Ferndale, which will restore to the City the Charter-authorized millage amount for general purposes which has been reduced by Section 31 of Article IX of the State Constitution of 1963, all of which tax revenues would be disbursed to the City of Ferndale; provided that the City shall not be authorized to levy more than three (3) additional mills in 2011. The Charter-authorized millage amount has been reduced by required millage rollbacks in recent years to 14.5448. If approved, the initial three (3) mills authorized for levy would raise approximately $1,681,806 in 2011.”

Less Talk and More Action for Michigan Film Industry

‘…These projects aren’t going to fall into our laps. Someone has to start them. And pour their heart and soul and their own money into making them happen. Those are the companies that are going to be successful, the ones who make movies because they love it. People think the film industry is fun and glamorous, but it’s a lot of work. There are 16 hour days of shooting, the hard time of going out to find work, the hours of networking to find the right people or to find investors. We can’t just build part of an industry and wait for Hollywood to come.”

Masters Students Learn Counseling w/ Affirmations Clientele

…“This is one of our essential services,” said Affirmations Interim Executive Director Kevin Howley. “We are working on grant writing right now to keep this program funded because it serves the community in so many ways. Knowing that 43 more counselors are out there with a better understanding of LGBT client needs makes it a worthwhile way to not only help people here who need it, but the community as a whole. It’s great to think of LGBT acceptance spreading this way.”…