| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Pinterest RSS Feed

In the News

2052 Articles | Page: | Show All

Milford's Currents Music Festival returns June 10 with 11 featured acts


The Currents Music Festival is returning to Milford’s LaFontaine Family Amphitheater Saturday, June 10.

This year, 11 bands will be featured along with food stands provided by Blue Grill, Smoke Street BBQ and The Proving Grounds Coffee and Ice Cream, which will be located in Central Park.

Read more

Oakland County expands Nurse-Family Partnership program

Low-income women in Southfield, Oak Park, Hazel Park, and Madison Heights who are pregnant with their first child will have access to the one-on-one support they need to have a healthy pregnancy and improve their child’s health and development. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced today the expansion of the Oakland County Health Division’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program which provides a public health nurse early in pregnancy and continues ongoing home visits until the child is two years old.

“Pregnant women and infants who have access to nursing care are less likely to develop health and other complications later on,” Patterson said. “That’s why it was a no-brainer to expand this program into other communities with vulnerable populations.”

A public health nurse helps first-time moms:
• Have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby
• Build a strong network of support
• Make the home a safe place for baby to live and play
• Get referrals for healthcare, childcare, job training, and other support services
• Find ways to continue education and develop job skills
• Set goals for the future and find ways to help reach them

“The Nurse-Family Partnership program helps develop strong family foundations that contribute to healthier and stronger communities in Oakland County,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. “Partnering first-time moms with our public health nurses empowers them to create a better life for their children and themselves.”

NFP received grant funding from the Michigan Department of Education to begin serving single first-time moms in Southfield, Oak Park, Hazel Park, and Madison Heights.

The program has been a model of success in Pontiac. Since inception in 2004, NFP has served nearly 730 Pontiac families. Some notable achievements of the program include an improvement in the number of babies born at a healthier birth weight, a decreased number of mothers smoking during pregnancy, and increased rate of breastfeeding, and all Pontiac NFP children being fully immunized by 24 months of age.

Referrals are now being accepted. To enroll, one must qualify as a low-income woman who lives in the cities of Pontiac, Southfield, Oak Park, Hazel Park, or Madison Heights, and are less than 28 weeks pregnant with her first baby.

For more information or to enroll in this free program, call the Oakland County Health Division’s Nurse-Family Partnership Program at 248-858-1406. Nurse on Call is also available to answer questions at 800-848-5533. To learn more, go to OakGov.com/Health, select the services tab and click on Nurse-Family Partnership.

Oakland County Parks and Recreation earns national autism inclusion award

Oakland County Parks and Recreation (OCPR) has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for its OUCARES Day Camp and Staff Training program aimed at a better understanding of how to interact with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
In 2016, OCPR supervisors received a unique training opportunity provided through the Oakland University Center for Autism, also known as OUCARES. During the training session, OCPR supervisors learned to recognize common characteristics of autism spectrum and how to communicate effectively with visitors with autism.
OCPR enjoys a unique relationship with the OUCARES. Each summer OCPR hosts an OUCARES Autism Camp at Independence Oaks County Park. Campers are picked up and bused to the park for a wide variety of activities.
“Each year, campers look forward to experiencing the outdoors and socializing at the parks,” Kristin L. Rohrbeck, director of OUCARES, said. “The parks staff is always extremely kind and helpful with our unique population. The parks have gone above and beyond by having OUCARES offer autism training for their staff to help them understand the disability and equip them with helpful strategies and technique to effectively work with our campers.”
“Oakland County Parks and Recreation is committed to providing people of all abilities with the recreational equipment, programs and services they need to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle at its 13 parks,” OCPR Executive Officer Dan Stencil said. “To better serve patrons with developmental, cognitive and physical disabilities, as well as their families and caregivers, OCPR makes training its staff members a priority.”
Autism affects the way the brain processes information, OCPR supervisors learned during the training session. OUCARES leaders shared that autism affects people in four major areas:
  • Communication
  • Social interaction
  • Sensory integration
  • Learning styles
The growth of OUCARES demonstrates a clear need for autism outreach in Oakland County. OUCARES began in 2004 with just one program and 25 families. Last year, it held more than 25 programs and assisted 1,400-plus families.

“The training for OCPR staff members was a one-time opportunity, but the lessons park supervisors took away from the training session has been repeatedly shared throughout the year with seasonal staff,” Stencil said. “The goal is to provide excellent customer service throughout the parks system.”
The award for the OUCARES program will be presented in July 23 at the NACo annual conference in Columbus, OH. Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Award Program is designed to recognize innovative county government programs among America’s 3,069 county governments.  NACo brings county officials together to advocate on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service. 
For details on upcoming events and activities, visit OaklandCountyParks.comGet social with Oakland County Parks and Recreation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

New Art & About event will transform Downtown Berkley into a living gallery

The Berkley Downtown Development Authority is excited to kick off a new series of summer events beginning Friday, June 9th, from 6 - 9 p.m., in downtown Berkley. Every second Friday evening, from June to October, downtown businesses will open their doors to metro Detroit artists and performers who will showcase their many talents. Event-goers will be able to engage with the artists as they play, display, and sell their work, while at the same time enjoy a variety of merchant specials.

“We’re very excited about the potential for these events,” said Lindsey Tocco, Art & About Committee Chair. “Our downtown is the perfect place for an event like this with its eclectic business mix. And, the response by the artists for a first time event has been amazing. We weren’t sure what to expect but everyone has been so enthusiastic that we can’t wait to see how this event will grow!”

Event-goers will also have the opportunity to:
  • Hop on the shuttle between Coolidge/Catalpa and 12 Mile/Greenfield to view the
    event from every angle
  • Enjoy light snacks and beverages while drinking in Berkley’s eclectic atmosphere
  • Shop merchants specials and enjoy some of the best independent businesses in the area
About the Berkley DDA: The Berkley Downtown Development Authority is a community-driven organization focused on enhancing the shopping experience, economic vitality, and physical appearance of Coolidge Highway and Twelve-Mile Road — Berkley’s traditional commercial Districts. It strives to achieve this mission by being creative, focused, transparent, forward-thinking, and engaged with all downtown stakeholders and the community-at-large. 

Free or low-cost business classes offered in June/July at the Oakland County One Stop Shop

Business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking for assistance are encouraged to attend high-value, low- or no-cost business workshops offered by experts at Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center.

Unless otherwise noted, all programs are held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, west of Telegraph, in Waterford. For pre-registration and a location map, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/businessworkshops or call (248) 858-0783.

June/July Workshops:

Market Research Basics
June 13 | 9-11:30 a.m.
July 11 | 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Troy Public Library - 510 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy
Ready to grow your business? Our Market Research Basics workshop helps you discover ways to find your ideal customers, identify your competitors, perform competitive analysis, identify new site locations, target direct mail campaigns, reveal untapped markets and expand to new and appropriate markets. If you are ready to grow your business, the Market Research Basics workshop is for you.
Cost: No charge | Registration Required

Starting a Business
June 15 | 9-11:30 a.m.
July 6 | 9-11:30 a.m.
July 27 | 10 a.m. - noon

Troy Public Library - 510 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy
Thinking about starting a business? This workshop is designed for individuals who are at the beginning stages of starting a business. This workshop will help aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products and services. Topics like startup costs, financing options and business planning are introduced, along with the necessary steps to getting started. If you are ready to start your business this workshop is for you.
Cost: No charge | Registration Required 
Social Media for Business Growth
June 21 | 9-11:30 a.m.

Business Power Tools – An overview for using LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to grow any business.
Whether you call it social media, social networking, web 2.0 or internet marketing, the question on every professional’s mind is this: “Is social media a waste of time or an essential power tool for business in a post phonebook world?”
Amid all of the distractions, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are emerging as essential tools for marketing your business. Join Terry Bean from Motor City Connect for this entertaining and educational seminar as he takes you through the tools and rules of social media. You’ll learn what works, what to avoid and how to use LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to grow your network, engage prospects and generate profit. Get ready to kick your internet marketing presence into gear.

This class is designed to use these tools for profit. It covers:
  • Three Things You MUST do to Find Success on Each Platform
  • How to Use Status Updates That Gain Attention
  • Ways to Manage Priorities So You’re Not Stuck in an Endless Loop
  • How to Make Posting Simpler
  • The Fastest Way to Grow Your Audience
  • Which Platforms Are Best for You
Cost: $40 per person | Registration Required

July Workshops

CEED Lending Small Business Loan Orientation
July 12 | 9-11 a.m.

Have a need for alternative financing for your business? Is your business located in Oakland County? Consider learning more about the CEED Lending Small Business Loan Program. Discover the requirements and processes necessary to apply for and obtain a small business loan. If you are interested in alternative financing for your Oakland County small business, then the CEED Lending Small Business Orientation is for you. CEED Lending is an initiative of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council.
Cost: No charge | Registration Required 

Walk-in Start Up Thursdays in Waterford and Novi

WalkIn-StartUp Small Business CounselingJune 1 | 9:30 a.m. – Noon | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
July 6 | 9:30 a.m. – Noon | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

In Waterford: One Stop Shop Business Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford
In Novi: Novi Civic Center - Community Development Center Room, 45175 Ten Mile Road, Novi

Whether you opened a business or you’re thinking about it, the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center has resources to help you. We can provide you with confidential small business counseling. You receive one-on-one advice from an experienced business consultant – with no appointment necessary. Consultants offer direct answers to your questions about startups, suggest next steps and provide guidance on business planning tools. These high value services are offered at no charge to you. Walk-in sessions are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each session is limited to 15 minutes. 

The City of Wixom is pleased to announce the second annual Wixom Block Party

The City of Wixom is pleased to announce the second annual Wixom Block Party! Activities at this year’s party include great food, a best meatball contest for area restaurants, a cannoli eating contest, football bowling, cornhole game, pet adoption, and live music from county music star and Highland, Michigan native Audrey Ray.

Vendors are being sought for this event. Interested vendors may apply to Debra Barker, Economic & Community Services Director, at dbarker@wixomgov.org.

Memorial ceremony honors fallen veterans

A crowd of several thousand veterans, families, friends and the general public are expected to attend a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Great Lakes National Cemetery honoring military service members who died in the service of their country.

The Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly will host the 12th annual observance, set for 1:00 p.m. Sunday, May 28th. Colonel Clark C. Barrett, Michigan Army National Guard is the keynote speaker.

There will be patriotic music by Emily Esralian. The Holly VFW Post #5587 will present the colors and perform a rifle salute during the ceremony. Wreaths will be presented by organizations and taps will be played.

The Great Lakes National Cemetery is one of two such national shrines in Michigan. Opened for burials in 2005, the cemetery’s 544 acres will be the final resting place for an estimated 244,000 veterans and their dependents. Thus far, approximately 33,000 veterans and dependents have been interred at the site.

Sunday’s ceremony is one of many across the area and the nation. The Memorial Day Ceremony is a great opportunity to honor our service members who gave their lives to secure our freedom.

The Great Lakes National Cemetery is located at 4200 Belford Road in Holly, Michigan. If you have any questions about this ceremony, please contact GarthWootten, Great Lakes National Cemetery Advisory Council President, at wootteng@oakgov.com or 248-858-0785.

Oakland County scores a AAA bond rating again

Oakland County has captured a AAA bond rating with a stable outlook from both Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s for the 19th year in a row, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Treasurer Andy Meisner, and Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash announced. The two bond ratings agencies assigned their highest credit scores to Oakland County’s $4.8 million Evergreen and Farmington Sewage Disposal Systems North Evergreen Interceptor Bonds, Series 2017.

“Nearly two decades of AAA bond ratings is validation of our multi-year budget and decision to transition away from traditional forms of retirement benefits to ones that reflect what the private sector is doing today,” Patterson said.
Meisner agreed that the county’s financial position is stronger.

“The AAA bond rating is a symbol of Oakland County excellence and leadership that helps us serve our citizens and save money,” Meisner said.

The AAA rating will enable Nash to obtain the lowest interest rates the market allows to finance the bonds.

“The AAA rating allows my office to negotiate the best possible interest rates on the loans we use to invest in our water, sewer and drain infrastructure,” Nash said. “It has been most beneficial to our operating the largest drain office in Michigan. We are proud of the exceptional budget and management practices that allow Oakland County to earn this rating.”

Moody’s said the county’s finances will remain strong into the future.

“We expect the county’s fiscal position to remain healthy going forward,” Moody’s said. “General fund operations were positive for an eleventh consecutive year and the county’s available general fund balance… grew to… 62% of general fund revenue.”

That’s more than seven months of general fund revenue for the county. The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada recommends governments keep two months of general fund balance on hand.

Moody’s also cited the county’s rolling three-year budget with a five-year outlook and low pension burden because the county moved employees from a traditional pension retirement system to a 401(k)-style retirement in the 1990s. Moody’s also based the rating on the county’s continued strong economic growth. In the county’s three-year economic outlook released last month by the University of Michigan, economists forecasted that by 2019, Oakland County will recover all the jobs it lost from 2000 to the summer of 2009 due largely to the Great Recession and auto bankruptcies.

Valentine Distilling Co. wins double gold awards for Mayor Pingree bourbons


Two of Ferndale-based Valentine Distilling Co.’s bourbons ranked in the highest class at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition last month. Forty-three spirits experts participated at the Hotel Nikko from April 20-23, where judges critiqued more than 2,100 entries through blind tasting, awarding the bronze, silver, gold, and double gold medals.

Valentine’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the double gold, which is awarded to the very best among entries that receive a gold medal rating from judges.

Read more

Novi students are national DECA champs


When it comes to business and marketing, four Novi High school students know their stuff.

The four students were crowned national champions last weekend at the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

Read more

One house at a time, Rebuilding Together helps Oakland County


Standing inside her White Lake home, amongst the sound of hammers banging and saws grinding, Patty Young stood quietly taking it all in.

All around her, a small army of volunteers – mostly representing Milford Presbyterian Church and Highland United Methodist Church – performed much-needed repairs on her home.

They had come to represent the nonprofit Rebuilding Together Oakland County on National Rebuild Day Saturday, April 29.

Read more.

Birmingham breaks ground on 'state-of-the-art' fire station


Birmingham broke ground on a new fire station.

"It is exciting to be building another civic structure in the city of Birmingham," Mayor Mark Nickita said at a groundbreaking ceremony. “The Chesterfield Fire Station will be a state-of-the-art facility and will be an asset for the city, serving our residents and firefighters for decades to come."

Read more.

Novi music festival gets new name, dates


Now that the city of Novi has a new signature festival — The Main Event Novi, presented by Diversified Members Credit Union — it just needs Mother Nature to cooperate so people can head “downtown” this summer for two days of live music, beer and wine and great food from local restaurants.

Read more

LTU students demonstrate museum docent robot

A team of Lawrence Technological University robotics engineering students conducted a flawless test of a robot designed to give the world a chance to virtually visit a historic Detroit auto plant.
The students demonstrated the robot at the annual meeting of the Model T Automotive Heritage Complex, the nonprofit that runs the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant as a museum.
The robot is designed to follow a strip of magnetic tape around the museum, following a docent. Cameras and microphones on the robot will allow people who log into a museum website to see and hear about the automotive displays at the Piquette plant. A screen on the robot will also allow those taking the virtual tour to type in questions they’d like to ask the docent.
Jerry Mitchell, a retired Wayne State University anatomy professor who chairs the Piquette plant’s board, called the LTU students “wonderful young people, an inspiration to all of us” who make him “more optimistic about the future of our country.”

The students built a custom-made steel chassis for the robot, which is powered by rechargeable batteries and uses wheelchair motors and wheels to get around. They named the robot H.E.N.R.Y., for “Historical Engineering Narrated Remotely for You.”

The nine students who worked on the project are Zachary Cowan of Rochester Hills, Matt DiMilla of Brownstown Township, Patrick Feliksa of Rochester Hills, Christopher Leclerc of Canton Township, Ryan Martin of Redford Township, Charles Morton of Muskegon, Luis Rodriguez of Valencia, Venezuela, Nicole Turkus of Grosse Pointe Woods, and Joey Yudasz, team captain, of Waterford Township. They started building the robot in November under the supervision of LTU robotics lab instructor James M. Kerns.

The Piquette plant was home to Model T production from 1904 to 1910. On Jan. 1, 1910, Henry Ford’s more famous Highland Park plant opened, home of the first moving assembly line. At Piquette, automotive assembly was still done the old-fashioned way – workers put an automotive frame up on sawhorses and bolted and welded the rest of the parts onto it, rolling it out the door when it was done.

While no model of efficiency compared to the moving assembly line, the Piquette plant did set records for its time, at one point churning out 110 Model Ts a day.  

The museum last year attracted 18,000 visitors from more than 50 countries. Sunday’s visitors, according to museum director Nancy Darga, included people from Cuba, Ecuador, Germany and Sweden. The museum is listed as an automotive heritage site with the Automotive National Heritage Area, part of the National Park Service system.
Since taking over the building in 2000, museum volunteers have been worked to restore its 355 windows, shored up its brickwork, and have created display cases of important automotive history objects. Henry Ford’s original office has been restored. Dozens of historic vehicles from the early 20th century are now on display in the museum. Volunteers also spent the past year and a half improving and standardizing the informational signs that stand in front of each vehicle on display.
Most recently, volunteers have worked on restoring the secret third-floor laboratory where Henry Ford and a small group of close associates designed and first built the Model T, Ford’s first car that truly met his vision of a practical automobile the average American could afford and properly maintain. The restored room will officially open on the Model T’s birthday in September.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

Oakland County Parks and Recreation wins three state awards

Oakland County Parks and Recreation has received three Community Service Awards from the state organization, mParks (Michigan Recreation and Park Association), for its support of outdoor recreation. 
The Oakland County Farmers Market’s cooking demonstrations with edibleWOW magazine, the market’s annual Oakland Uncorked event with the Waterford Chamber of Commerce and Volunteers Barb and Gary Smithson were all honored at a special ceremony in Lansing April 19. The awards recognize individuals and groups who show outstanding support to recreation and park programs.
Oakland County Farmers Market hosts six “Cooking with edibleWOW” demonstrations at the market during the winter focusing on local chefs and restaurants. The events are on Saturdays and hosted by edibleWOW Magazine owner and publisher, Robb Harper. The demos are free for anyone to attend, thanks to edibleWOW’s partnership.
Harper plans the seasonal meal for the demonstrations with the chefs to be sure as many local fruits and vegetables as possible are used.  The chefs discuss how to cook the ingredients for sale at the market, food preservation and other kitchen skills.
For five years, the Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce and the Oakland County Farmers Market have enjoyed a unique collaboration on an event with a regional draw of more than 300 people annually. Oakland Uncorked offers guests 21 years and older an evening of culture and entertainment while experiencing the best Oakland County has to offer in culinary tastings, fine wines and craft beer.
In addition to planning and promoting Oakland Uncorked through its newsletter, website and e-marketing messages, the chamber also hosts monthly networking meetings at the market, and has sponsored a “Cash Mob” event in which nearly 50 chamber members descended en masse on the market to shop with vendors.
Barb and Gary Smithson have volunteered with Oakland County Parks and Recreation since 2015. They help with nature education programs at Red Oaks Nature Center, dog swims at Red Oaks Waterpark and special events like Pumpkin Fest, Glow on the Road and Haunted Hallows. In addition, they are dog park ambassadors at Red Oaks Dog Park.
For details on upcoming events and activities, visit OaklandCountyParks.comGet social with Oakland County Parks and Recreation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
2052 Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts