2/23/23 Novi Note

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FEBRUARY 23, 2023 Vol. 3, No. 4 STARTS candgnews.com



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First tennis simulator in the U.S. finds home in Novi

Shelby and Utica put part of water and sewer payments in escrow until state settles debt dispute BY JONATHAN SZCZEPANIAK


Innovation has always been in TennisTEC founder Thanh Tran’s family and can be traced back to when his father helped Tran, at the age of 6, and the rest of his family leave Vietnam on a shrimp boat for Bangkok before planting their roots in Grand Ledge. “He was a go-getter,” Tran said. “He was a smart guy, and he definitely knew his stuff. He knew how to be cunning, and he knew how to hustle.” Now revolutionary in his own right, Tran has brought someSee TENNIS on page 13A

Event to raise money, awareness for Turning Point

Novi High School senior strives to give prom dresses away for free BY KRISTYNE E. DEMSKE


Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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A Novi High School senior is striving to make prom dresses available to all young women through the Promject — a prom dress clothing drive. “Prom is obviously a very special time, and I believe that everyone deserves to look beautiful on their prom day,” said Promject

MOUNT CLEMENS — Taking steps this month to highlight awareness of sexual assault, Turnfounder Stella Camerlengo. “I just wanted to ABOVE:itsNovi Highannual funding Point Macomb is hosting sixth create a space where people can get a prom School senior Stella 29. raiser, Stepping Out With the Stars, April dress regardless of their economic status or Camerlengo, 17, Turning Point strives to empower survivors of See TURNING on page 18A household income.” shows some of the Camerlengo is asking that students, dresses she has colalong with the public, donate new or used lected so far for her Photo by Patricia O’Blenes Turning andentrepreCEO Sharman Davenport stands at the 2021 event with Stepping Out Room lets incubator prom dresses to the Promject to be given Point out President TennisTEC’s Wimbledon withproject, the Stars emcee Evrod Cassimy, of WDIV-TV. neur class to young women who need them. The dresses users play different tennis games Photo courtesy of Turning Point the Promject. will be photographed and cataloged, and then including target practice.


BY CHARITY MEIER cmeier@candgnews.com

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SECOND FRONT PAGE Students achieving success through Novi Adult Transition Center 3A/ NOVI NOTE • FEBRUARY 23, 2023

BY CHARITY MEIER cmeier@candgnews.com

Two students enrolled in the Novi Adult Transition Center, which teaches post-secondary life skills and employment skills to Novi residents ages 18-26 who have disabilities, have translated their success in the program into jobs with Novi High School. Hunter Goodman, 22, and Matt Heslop, 25, were recently hired as part-

time workers at the Novi High School cafeteria after having volunteered at the Novi Library Café through the Novi Adult Transition Center, which is part of the Novi Community School District. Goodman said his goal is to be independent and to do stuff on his own, without somebody telling him to do it. “I like helping out with stuff they need help with,” said Goodman of his new job. See NATC on page 12A

Photo by Charity Meier

Hunter Goodman serves food at the Novi High School cafeteria to sophomore Meghna Routhu. In the background is Matt Heslop. Goodman and Heslop were students at the Novi Adult Transition Center and found their new jobs with the district through the center.

Changes to utility rate systems could have a far-reaching impact BY BRENDAN LOSINSKI blosinski@candgnews.com

Photo provided by DTE Energy

Changes to different rates at different times of day by utility companies such as DTE Energy have some in the community concerned about how it will affect customers.

METRO DETROIT — Changes to utility rates in Michigan are raising some eyebrows as customers are considering what this will mean for their electric bills. DTE Energy, which serves more than 1.2 million customers in the metro Detroit area, will see some of the biggest impact from changes passed down from the Michigan Public Services Commission dictating how utility rates are charged per kilowatt hour. “The Michigan Public Service Commission is transitioning all rate changes to this structure with utilities,” said Angie Pizzuti, chief customer officer for DTE. “There are distinct advantages. Right now, custom-

ers pay $16.09 cents per kWh and the rate goes to $18.06 for anything over 17 kWh. Off-peak hours will now be lower at $15.45. “Between October and May they pay $16.75 during peak hours,” Pizzuti said. “From June to September, the rates would be $20.98 per kWh between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and $15.45 per kWh the rest of the day. … It allows customers the opportunity to use power when there are lower rates if they choose to perform activities during those offpeak hours.” The new rate system will be put into place beginning in March. Despite this possibly resulting in lower energy bills for those who are able to work around the peak hours under the new system, the increase in rates during peak hours, See DTE on page 14A


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Tow truck confusion leads to erroneous stolen vehicle report BY CHARITY MEIER


A mix-up with tow trucks caused a man to believe that his vehicle had been stolen after it was disabled. According to a Novi police report, the man and his fiancée were involved in a single-vehicle crash on Crescent Boulevard, near Novi Road, at approximately 9:40 a.m.

Jan. 22. The man told police that the impact of the collision with the curb caused the front wheel on the driver’s side of his 2016 Chrysler 200 to separate from the axle, disabling the vehicle. The man said he notified his insurance company shortly after the crash. According to the police report, his insurance company told him that it would send a tow truck

out when one was available. The man told police that he later received a phone call from a tow company instructing him to leave his keys inside his vehicle. The couple then left the vehicle unattended in the westbound lane of Crescent Boulevard, just west of Novi Road, to walk to the man’s nearby workplace at 12:30 p.m. Shortly after he started his shift, the man’s fiancée informed

him that she could no longer see the vehicle when she looked outside. According to the police report, the man then contacted the tow truck company, and the dispatcher informed him that the tow truck had been unable to locate the vehicle when it arrived at the scene and had cleared the work ticket. The man told police that he then contacted his insurance com-

pany, which told him that the tow ticket was “completed” and had been “closed out” in its system. The insurance company had no further information. The man went to the Novi Police Department to report the vehicle as stolen. According to the report, the man said he had purchased the car from a dealership that maintains GPS tracking on See TOW TRUCK on page 14A


The Novi City Council unanimously voted to renew its contract with RNA Facilities Management of Ann Arbor during its Jan. 23 meeting. “It’s well worth it and it’s a company we’ve had for lots of years,” interim City Manager Victor Cardenas told the council. The approximately $182,700 contract will cover janitorial services at many city facilities. The cost for each building is:

• City Hall, $28,600.08. • Community Center, $47,260.08. • Public safety building $53,547.60. • Department of Public Works, $25,344.84. • Firing range, $15,728.04. • Township Hall, $2,100. • Lakeshore Park $10,163. The city has contracted with RNA since 2019. With its original contract expiring, the city put out a request for proposals last fall that resulted in three proposals for janitorial services. See JANITORIAL on page 18A

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Nerf Wars to be held at Lakeshore Park Building

Kids can engage in Nerf Wars 6-9 p.m. March 10 at the Lakeshore Park Building. Nerf gun battles for kids in grades 1-3 will take place 6-7:30 p.m. Kids in grades 4-6 will be able to battle it out 7:30-9 p.m. Games to be played include Capture the Flag, Hunger Games, Humans vs. Zombies and Freeze Tag. Participants must bring their own Nerf guns, but darts will be provided. Snacks and drinks will be provided to participants. Registration is open until March 3. Register at cityofnovi.org. The cost is $15 for residents and $17 for nonresidents. For more information, contact Jeff Johns at (248) 347-0400 or email jjohns@cityofnovi.org.

Lola’s fitness advice

CITY PLANS COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE SESSIONS The city will be holding two community open house sessions to get feedback on specific study areas for its update to its master plan for land use. The open house sessions will be held 10 a.m.noon Saturday, Feb. 25, and 4-6 p.m. Thursday, March 2, at the Novi Civic Center. For more information, visit cityofnovi.org/masterplan. The city is also in the beginning stages of updating its active mobility plan, which will be briefly discussed during the open house sessions according to a press release. More information can be found at walkbike.info/novi.

South Lake Drive to close Feb. 27

South Lake Drive will close to through traffic at Lakeshore Park beginning the week of Feb. 27 to replace the Lakeshore Park Tunnel, according to a press release. The work is anticipated to be completed before Memorial Day weekend, the release states. Access west of Lakeshore Park will be maintained from West Park Drive and east of Lakeshore Park, from 13 Mile Road/ Old Novi Road, the release states.


The Novi School District took second place in the Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association’s annual one-act play competition, which was held Feb. 17-18. The students performed “These Shining Lives,” a play based on the lives of women in the 1920s who were poisoned by radium while working at a clock factory. The students were judged on every aspect of the production from the set to the costume design, lighting and acting.

DNR Outdoor Adventure Center to offer family hikes


The Novi Birders group will resume March 6. Through the group, residents explore different birds that pass through and live in the city of Novi. The group meets every other Monday at 9 a.m. Participants are asked to bring binoculars, birding and books, and to wear hiking shoes. There is no charge to participate in the Novi Birders. The group will meet at Lakeshore Park March 6, Maybury State Park March 20, Heritage Park April 3, Kensington Metropark April 17, ITC Community Sports Park May 1 and at Lyon Oaks County Park May 15. The group will not meet May 29. For more information, contact Novi Parks at (248) 347-0400 or noviparks@cityofnovi.org.

The DNR Outdoor Adventure Center will be offering a series of five family hikes at various locations across the Detroit metropolitan area. The series will kick off March 23 at the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit with a 30-minute information and discussion session including tips and tricks for hiking Michigan’s state parks with kids, according to a press release. Following the discussion, participants will hit the trail at Milliken State Park. The series will feature two hikes in Oakland County. On April 6, hikers will head to Maybury State Park in Northville. Then on April 20, they will go to Proud Lake Recreation Area in Commerce Township. The series also includes a hike at Algonac State Park in Marine City on May 4 and will finish on May 18 at the Sterling State Park in Monroe. The hikes are 9-10:30 a.m. Participants can take on whichever hikes they choose. The cost is $5 per family per hike. Preregistration is required. For more information, search “DNR” at Michigan.gov or contact the DNR-OAC at DNR-OAC@Michigan.gov or (844) 622-6367.

Frequency or duration, which is more important to a workout? Personal trainer and Novi resident Lola Faleix said her clients often ask her that question. According to Faleix, the American Heart Association recommends exercising three times a week for 30 minutes. However, she said they offer few guidelines and are only referring to cardiovascular exercise. According to Faleix it is important to get your heart rate into a target heart rate zone three times a week for 30 minutes (90 total minutes). In order to find your target heart rate, she said to use the target heart rate formula: 220 minus your age, times 75%-85%. “Keep in mind it may take some time to reach your THR zone if you are a beginner,” said Faleix. “Unfortunately, the AHA does not give recommendations on resistance exercise (weight bearing). That recommendation, which comes from various exercise specialists, is that a person should do a ‘full-body’ workout three times a week with no time limit offered.” According to Faleix, a full-body workout should take anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes three times a week. “There is a learning curve, so it may take longer as you are learning the exercises,” she said. “Going back to the second part of the question, a person can count minutes. A person can certainly do all 90 minutes on one day, but generally speaking, how realistic is it that beginners are going to do 90 minutes all at one time?” Faleix said that a person can break up the 90 minutes of exercise in whatever way feels most comfortable. She said some people might do 15 minutes twice a day for three days, while others might choose to do 15 minutes a day, six days a week, and still others might choose to get it over and done with and do their 90 minutes all at once. “It would be similar for resistance exercises. You don’t have to do a full-body workout on just three days. You could do lower body and core on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and upper body on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday,” Faleix said.







WATCH Catalytic converter cut from vehicle in Emagine employee lot

A woman went to the Novi Police Department Feb. 14 to report that the catalytic converter, valued at $1,500, had been stolen off of her vehicle sometime during her shift at the Emagine Theater Feb. 13. The woman told police that she parked her 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander in the employee lot located on the northwest side of the building at 4:25 p.m. When she returned to her vehicle at 10:20 p.m., she saw that a pipe from the vehicle’s exhaust system was touching the ground. She said that when she went to start the car, she heard a loud sound coming from the exhaust system. According to the report, no surveillance footage was available. Police provided the woman with a case number. According to the report, police have no suspects or witnesses in the case.

Catalytic converter stolen from Vibe Credit Union headquarters

A catalytic converter was stolen off of a gray 2012 Ford Fusion while it was parked in the rear south parking lot at the Vibe Credit Union headquarters, 44575 W. 12 Mile Road in Novi, on Feb. 2, according to a report. The vehicle owner told po-

lice that he had parked the car at approximately 7:45 a.m., when he arrived for work. He said that when he returned to his vehicle at approximately 4:20 p.m. and went to start the car, he realized that the catalytic converter had been stolen. According to the report, police have no suspects. The owner was able to file an insurance claim for the repairs, which cost $855.

hicle. According to the report, no evidence was found around the vehicle, but a gas cap had been opened on another vehicle parked behind the building. There were no fingerprints, tools or footprints in the area from this incident, according to the report. The manager said he would contact Novi police if he could find any useful surveillance footage.

Thief takes catalytic converter from Freightliner truck

Catalytic converter stolen in Carrabba’s parking lot

The catalytic converter was stolen off a white 2019 Freightliner truck belonging to Navis Pack and Ship, 22870 Venture Drive, Suite A, in Novi sometime between 4 p.m. Feb. 3 and 2:40 p.m. Feb. 6. The theft was reported by Star Truck Rentals. According to the report, the converter, estimated to be worth $7,000, was cut from underneath the vehicle. The general manager of the company said that the truck was parked behind the east side of the building at 4 p.m. Feb. 3. He said no one was working at the building during the weekend. The manager said that at around 2:40 p.m. Feb. 6, the vehicle was turned on and it did not sound right. Upon further inspection, he said, they found that the catalytic converter had been cut from the vehicle, leaving a clean cut on the piping underneath the vehicle, according to the report. The manager said he did not have any possible suspects, but that there were other converters stolen in 2022, when a black pickup truck was seen as the suspect ve-

A woman went to the Novi Police Department Feb. 8 to report that her catalytic converter had been stolen off of her silver 2008 Toyota Prius while it was parked in the parking lot north of Carrabba’s Italian Grill, 43485 W. Oaks Drive, sometime during the late afternoon and evening Feb. 5. The woman parked her vehicle at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 5 to go to work. She returned to her vehicle at 10:30 p.m. and discovered a loud sound emitting from underneath the vehicle, according to the report. She told police that when she took her vehicle for repairs, she was told that her catalytic converter had been stolen. She provided police with a photo of the underbelly of the vehicle. According to the report, the officer said he could see a clean cut on the exhaust system with a missing section where the catalytic converter had been. The woman reportedly said that she was quoted $1,300 to repair the vehicle. Police provided the woman with a case number. At the time of the report, police had no suspects or witness information.

Suspect wearing all black steals catalytic converter in mall parking lot

A catalytic converter was stolen from a woman’s car while she shopped at Twelve Oaks Mall Feb. 6. The woman reported that she arrived at the mall at 6 p.m. and that when she went to leave the mall a few hours later, her car was making a strange noise. The woman then decided to leave the vehicle there overnight and was advised by her insurance company to file a police report. According to the report, an officer checked the vehicle at the scene and found that the catalytic converter had been stolen from the red 2018 Toyota Prius. An officer from Allied Universal Security at Twelve Oaks Mall was able to review security footage of the Orange 2 parking lot and observed a gray or black newer model Chevrolet Malibu with tinted windows arrive at approximately 6:45 p.m. and park in front of the victim’s vehicle. The security officer said the footage showed that once a parking space opened next to the victim’s vehicle, the suspect vehicle then pulled in next to the victim’s vehicle. According to the report, a suspect wearing all black clothing is seen exiting the rear passenger seat and looking at the victim’s vehicle. Shortly after, the footage shows the suspect use a floor jack to jack up the vehicle and then remove the catalytic converter. The Malibu then drives off and exits mall prop-

erty. Police were not able to obtain a license plate number from the footage. The woman was provided with a report number. According to the report, the cost to repair the woman’s car was $2,999, which included other repairs.

Thief steals Dodge Charger from Twelve Oaks parking lot

A 2021 Dodge Charger was stolen from the Twelve Oaks Mall parking lot near California Pizza Kitchen, according to a report. Police were dispatched to the Twelve Oaks lot, where a man claimed he had parked his Charger near orange pole No. 37 at 10 a.m. Feb. 11. The man said that when he got off work at 9 p.m., there was a different vehicle in the spot where he had parked his car, and he saw shattered glass on the ground near the parking spot. The man described his vehicle as being light gray with all tinted windows and no distinguishing features. He told police that his vehicle was locked and also had a wheel lock equipped to the steering wheel at the time it was stolen. He said that there was an Apple AirTag inside his vehicle when it was stolen, and he could have a possible location. The last known location for his vehicle, according to the AirTag, was in Detroit at 12:48 p.m. Feb. 11. Novi Police contacted the Detroit Police Department based on the Apple AirTag data, but according to the report, Detroit police were unable to locate the vehicle. See CRIME on page 8A



Novi police to receive new in-car and body cameras BY CHARITY MEIER cmeier@candgnews.com

Novi police officers will soon be equipped with body cameras, as well as dash cams and recorders. The City Council unanimously approved the purchase of the body cameras, as well as new dash cams, during its regular meeting Feb. 6. “We have been tossing around for quite some time the addition of body cameras, which is the next evolution of safety for our officers,” said interim City Manager Victor Cardenas. “We have cameras and recorders on our officers now when they are near their vehicles. This just adds another layer of surveillance and protection when they are on foot or leaving their vehicles.” The city of Novi and the Novi Police Department have had dash cams in their vehicles for more than 20 years, ac-

Crime from page 7A

The man was given a report number, and according to the report, has filed an insurance claim.

Failed matchmaking results in ominous texts

A woman came to the Novi Police Department Feb. 8 to report that her best friend’s ex-boyfriend had been threatening her and her husband. According to the police report, the woman told police that she had connected her best friend with a friend of her and her husband. However, she said her best friend and the friend recently broke up. The woman said she has been receiving messages from her friend’s ex since Feb. 5 regarding his relationship with her friend. The woman told police that after the man did not receive a response to his text messages, he sent a message Feb. 8 that stated that not responding would result in “unintended consequences.” The woman told police she felt threatened by that message and feared that the man might come to her house. She said she did not know what he was willing to do. She was worried that he would falsify bad reviews of both of their businesses online. The woman showed the messages to the officer taking the report. According to the report, the man sent the woman another message while she was speaking with police, stating that there were going to be consequences. According to the report, the man never

cording to Cardenas. However, the cameras are now out of warranty and unserviceable, which has caused the need for them to be replaced. Police Chief Erick Zinser echoed Cardenas’ sentiments, saying that the cameras the department has now are at their end of life, and servicing them is getting more and more difficult. “Body cameras are really about transparency. It’s about accountability. It’s about building public trust. It’s about protecting our agency. It’s about protecting the city of Novi,” Zinser told the council. “The technology is out there.” Zinser said that the audio in the cars works well, but when they get farther and farther away from their vehicles, the audio is often garbled. He said that to provide better transparency, the Novi Police Department wants to be able to capture what is going on away from the vehicle and can do so with the body cameras.

specified what he meant by “consequences” or made any other possible threat. The woman requested that the officer contact the man and tell him to stop contacting her. The officer advised the woman not to respond to any of the messages and to block him on her phone to prevent him from continuing to contact her. The officer later contacted the man sending the text messages. The man reportedly said that he was trying to resolve an issue he felt he had with the woman and her husband. Police advised him not to further contact them and he agreed without any issue, police said. Police contacted the woman Feb. 9. She stated that neither she nor her husband had received any further communication from the man. Police advised her to document any further contact, if any occurred, and to report it so the incident could be reviewed for charges.

Silver hatchback implicated in vehicle break-in

The rear window of a black 2018 Chrysler 300 was shattered between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Feb. 9 at Twelve Oaks Mall, according to a police report. The window was estimated to be worth $69. The vehicle was parked in section gold 40 of the parking lot. The victim said he came out of the mall and found the rear window smashed, but nothing appeared to be taken from the vehicle. According to the report, officers also observed damage to the glove compartment, as it was lying on the floor of the front passenger seat. The man told police that the car was still drivable and that he was able to

The council unanimously moved to approve the contract with Axon Enterprise Inc. for $963,095 with final language and execution to be completed by the city manager and city attorney, and to amend the budget to make the purchase this year. The city was planning to allocate funds for the purchase in the 2023-24 budget, but, with consideration of the six months to a year lead time on receiving the purchase, opted to amend this year’s budget. The cost is $397,122.70 for the dash cam system and $565,973 for the body cameras. The quote is for 26 vehicles and two motorcycles, which includes 24 police patrol cars and two fire command vehicles. The quote includes 75 wireless body cameras that integrate with the in-car system, as well as all related supporting equipment and cloud storage, and five-year warranties on all equipment. Call Staff Writer Charity Meier at (586) 498-1092.

start his vehicle prior to their arrival. Officers were unable to find any further evidence at the scene, according to the report. Surveillance footage shows a silver hatchback parking next to the black Chrysler 300 in section gold 40 at approximately 9:34 p.m. The silver hatchback remained parked

next to the Chrysler 300 until it left the area at approximately 9:41 p.m. The footage does not show anyone exit the silver hatchback during that time. According to the report, no further suspect or witness information was found, and the case was closed. — Charity Meier

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or business owners, networking is a great way to build connections and grow professional contacts. As the number of female entrepreneurs rises, networking can be particularly beneficial, as it often creates a culture of women supporting one another in business. In Oakland and Macomb counties, there are many women who have started their own businesses. In one village, the downtown retail area is entirely made up of women-owned businesses. Retail shops in downtown Franklin are 100% woman owned, including many shops and eateries. Madeleine’s French Patisserie is one of the newer additions to downtown Franklin. They have been in business for about a year. “In general, I have found that the town has been very supportive,” Madeleine’s French Patisserie owner and head pastry chef Holly Kaiser said. Since Franklin is a small village, Kaiser said she has had to be creative to attract people to her business. However, collaborating with surrounding businesses has helped bring awareness to Madeleine’s French Patisserie. For instance, the business provides charcuterie orders for Tangerine Wine, which in turn provides the See WOMEN on page 11A

Rachel Devries, the membership engagement manager for the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce, pictured right, helps the community network. Photo provided by Denise Grace

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Dresses from page 1A

placed on the Promject website, which was set to go live Feb. 24, after press time. The Promject is open for students from all local schools who might need a dress to receive one. “I feel like a lot of clothing drives are very much just a shirt and jeans, or just regular-clothing-based, and I feel there aren’t enough instances where people are donating things like prom dresses or more elegant clothing for people. Especially with rising inflation, prices are constantly going up. Prom dresses are really expensive, and there are still a lot of people that can’t necessarily afford them.” Camerlengo said she had received approximately 20 dresses as of Feb. 13. She said there is not a set goal as to how many dresses she wishes to obtain, but she strives to be able to give out as many as possible to those in need. “Even if I just make one per-

son happy with their dress, I feel like I’ve accomplished my goal,” she said. As an added incentive to donate to the Promject, the first 20 Novi High School students who donate will receive $20 off their prom ticket, which costs $80 per person. As of Feb. 13, approximately seven students had donated to the Promject. Along with Novi High School students, four additional schools had donated dresses to the Promject. “Those tickets are really expensive, so that reward for donating felt really good,” said Isabelle Jaing, who donated two dresses to the Promject. Jaing said that she heard about the Promject through the high school newspaper and decided to donate the dresses. She said that she never wore the dresses, as they were not to her taste, but she hoped they might be of interest to other young women. “I thought this was like the perfect opportunity to give back,” said Jaing. Camerlengo founded Prom-

ject during her incubator class at Novi High School last fall. According to Camerlengo, the class is “dedicated to social impact through student-led entrepreneurship.” In the class, students are asked to come up with an idea that will solve a problem in society today, and then work to make that idea a reality. “She is just a person who is just passionate about sustainable fashion and combating fast fashion and also providing to the greater good for students who may be reluctant to attend the prom due to financial restrictions on getting the appropriate attire,” said Kristin Franchi, who teaches the incubator course at Novi High School. Franchi said that she and the other incubator instructor, Hattie Maguire, thought that if the need is there it could be a really great project for Camerlengo, and they thought to extend it beyond Novi where the need is “perhaps a little more.” She said they liked the idea and think that it might help to get rid of the stigma of wearing something that has been used before.

Brookdale Southfield offers exceptional senior living, peace of mind

Through the Promject, Camerlengo hopes to help young women find prom dresses for no charge. Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Jaing said she thinks the Promject is a great way to reduce stigma around second-hand stores. According to Franchi, Promject needs to ramp up a bit over the next month in order to provide a “nice” variety of dresses. According to Franchi, Camerlengo needs to cast a wide net in order to get a variety of dresses, shapes, colors, sizes and styles. She said she hopes Camerlengo is able to get at least “a handful” of dresses in each size, so that girls can have something to choose from. “I would hope that she would link up with somebody that is also inspired by this kind of idea in or-

der to take it over next year and to always have it as a sort of annual thing where you continue to allow this as a possibility for those who would otherwise struggle to purchase a dress,” said Franchi. She said she thinks menswear might also be included next year in “Promject 2.0.” The Promject will be accepting dress donations through March 31. To donate a dress, contact Camerlengo at novcamerlengos23@ stu.novik12.org. Recipients will be able to pick up dresses starting April 1. Call Staff Writer Charity Meier at (586) 498-1092.

Independent Living at Brookdale Southfield

Decades of experience. Strong roots in the community. A vibrant and diverse resident population. A loyal, caring staff. Those are You might not have known that retirement could look like just a few of the things that make Brookdale Southfield the premier this. But it can! Our independent living community offers choice for seniors who wish to enjoy exceptional, independent our residents the chance to live a life of redefined indepenliving with all of the amenities and services necessary to provide dence. Here, the worries of home ownership, paying bills, peace of mind for themselves and their family members. “We’re a community that has been around for a long time. lawn care and more, are traded for yoga classes, bingo Brookdale itself has been around for almost 40 years. Our community has been here since 1999 and groups and movie nights. Here, days are filled with interwas formerly called The Heritage Southfield,” said Sara t, Brookdale Southfield’s executive director. esting things to do, and social circles are filled with inter“We are a senior living community with a vibrant resident population,” Reyst said. “We’re a multicultural community. esting people to do them with. This is your life, lived well. That’s probably one of our greatest strengths. We have a whole range of people who have chosen Brookdale Southfield as their home, and we celebrate all of those different cultures and backgrounds throughout the year, to be all-inclusive.” The property itself, on 11 Mile Road west of Telegraph Road, rests on protected wetlands, affording an atmosphere of peace and tranquility for residents. • Emergency Alert System “It’s always going to be surrounded by nature. We watch deer have their babies every year. It is in a pristine location,” Reyst said. While the beauty of the surroundings gives Brookdale residents peace, • Pet Friendly it is the caring staff and the services they offer that provide peace of mind always. “We have associates with us that have been here since the building opened, so we have an extremely • Indoor Pool long tenure among all of our department heads, from the kitchen to housekeeping, to our leadership • Chef Crafted Meals team. There are people here who aren’t new at this, who have solutions, and there’s not a problem we haven’t encountered that we can’t overcome,” Reyst said. • Courtyard with Gazebo & Garden Brookdale Southfield is a true retirement community where seniors can live independently, while Sara Reyst additional services are there to support residents, as needed. The community is pet-friendly and • Transportation offers amenities including an indoor pool and a therapy pool, a fitness center, transportation, many Brookdale recreation and social activities and a maintenance-free lifestyle. Brookdale Southfield is located at Southfield’s Executive Director 25800 W. 11 Mile Road.

Featured Amenities

To schedule a tour or for more information, call (248) 727-2000 or visit brookdale.com.




Women from page 9A

wine-tasting portion for special events held by Madeleine’s French Patisserie. Denise Grace, the founder and president of Grace Financial Group and Women Empowered by Grace, does educational workshops to benefit women and their finances. Networking through the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce has widened Grace’s outreach and has helped her find clients who are interested in becoming more confident in their finances, she said. Some of Grace’s clients are small-business owners. She said she would encourage these clients to network, beginning with the chamber of commerce. While she understands that networking can be intimidating — entering a room full of new people — she emphasizes the importance of taking a step outside of one’s comfort zone to make valuable connections. “People are there to network. People are there to meet new people, so don’t think that they don’t want to meet you, because that is what they are there for,” Grace said. Grace is the chair of the Women’s+ Business Committee through the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce. Within this committee, Grace said, she focuses on nurturing camaraderie and personal connections in addition to professional contacts. “In our chamber and in our women’s group, we are about supporting each other’s businesses, because the more those businesses grow, the better it is for our whole community,” Grace said. Kelly Finley, a broker and the owner of New Century Realtors in Troy, said her favorite part about networking is meeting new people and having “just the right person” to introduce others to. In addition to her work, Finley networks through being a member of the Troy Chamber of Commerce and the Detroit Athletic Club. Finley said going out of her comfort zone


Photo provided by Denise Grace

The Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce encourages men and women to connect and network. and meeting people has helped her make connections she would otherwise not have made, which has ultimately benefited her career. “Women in business are a force, and I think that the more people that you meet, the more opportunities you have,” Finley said. Rachel Devries, the membership engagement manager for the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce, said her job is to help introduce people to one another at the chamber’s many networking events. While she helps people network as her job now, she said all of her jobs have been found through networks. “I think it (networking) is really important for all genders, but especially for women who are having a slower time getting back into the workforce from COVID. I think it is so important that we are out and about and meeting people. The more you can get to know someone, the more you can build that trust,” Devries said. She said she finds networking one of the best ways to not only get a job but also to grow a business and make new friends.


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Marian invites current 6th and 7th grade families to our virtual Spring Information Night. For more information on admission, tours and tuition assistance, visit www.marian-hs.org/#admission or call (248) 502-3033 to become #MarianStrong .

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NATC from page 3A

Goodman said he likes the NHS cafeteria better than the library cafe because he can talk to people and it’s not as slow-paced as the library. Heslop said he liked working at the library better, as he preferred the slower pace. At the cafeteria, the students make cookies, prepare meals to take to the school store, and serve student meals. “They learn a lot of skills (through the job),” said Kim Sinclair, Novi Community School District Nutrition and Food Services director. “They have to learn portion size. They learn how to work together as a team — for we all succeed together, at the end of the day.” She said Goodman and Heslop are really good at knowing what they have to do for each aspect of their jobs. Heslop said his favorite thing to do at work is to serve the mashed potatoes to the high school students. According to Goodman, that is one of the most popular school offerings. The school feeds between 800 and 850 students per day at the cafeteria, according to Sinclair. She said Goodman and chef Kim Johnson will often have a competition to see who can serve the most.

Hunter Goodman and Matt Heslop prepare french fries and cheese sticks for the Novi High School cafeteria. Photo by Charity Meier

“They value being valued,” said Sinclair. “They feel bad when they can’t come in. Most employees, when they can’t come in, they’re like, whatever, but they actually feel bad. (They) come to life here.” “That’s the goal (of NATC). That’s what our program is all about,” said NATC transition coordinator Kristin Corrion. “Kimberly has provided an opportunity, and all of our

work partners provide an opportunity we just can’t provide, and it’s fantastic. So, we appreciate it.” Corrion said that NATC and programs like it are always seeking more work partners who are interested in giving young people who have disabilities an opportunity to become part of the workforce. She said that along with the high school, NATC’s current part-

ners include the Novi Public Library, Macy’s, Premiere Pet Supply, Ascension Providence Hospital, St. James Church, Ace Hardware, National Food Group and Emagine Theater. For more information on the program or to become a partner, contact Corrion at kristin.corrion@novik12.org. Call Staff Writer Charity Meier at (586) 498-1092.




Tennis from page 1A

thing to the community that nobody in the country has seen before. The first of its kind in the United States, TennisTEC has opened the nation’s first-ever tennis simulator in Novi for people of all ages to enjoy. The building features two courts for interested customers to enjoy with the Wimbledon Room geared more for younger players and more fun-oriented activities. The room’s Wimbledon-based aesthetics with the Wimbledon colors and logo set the tone for the room, but the real fun is the target on the court. Players can utilize the court for multiple features including a target game where players attempt to hit the tennis ball through different targets to earn points against their opponents. “You can do anything you want here,” Tran said. “This part is for them to have fun.” Farther back in the building sits the ultimate tennis simulator experience where competitive, noncompetitive, or first-time tennis players can practice or compete using the simulator. Featuring multiple modes including head-to-head and target practice, users can also enter practice mode to work on their forehand and backhand shots as well. If customers are feeling confident, they can go head-to-head with two different computer opponents that are named after Tran’s son and daughter, Justin and Ava, and earn a free membership for a year if they win. It’s tennis, but imagined and practiced in a completely different environment. Detroit Catholic Central graduate and former No. 1 doubles tennis player Nick Maynard said it’s a distinctive feeling from a traditional tennis practice. “It’s very unique; it’s the first one in the country,” Maynard said. “It’s definitely different than what we’re used to as high school players, but the ability to train certain parts of your game or certain areas is definitely increased here rather than a regular practice.” Maynard, now a team member for TennisTEC, joins an experienced staff with Novi High School graduate and Lawerence Tech tennis player Takuya King, and Justin Tran, who plays tennis for Detroit Catholic Central. With Novi and Catholic Central both featuring strong tennis squads, Maynard said TennisTEC’s location was the perfect area to establish a foundation. “This is a great area, especially for D1s (Division 1 schools) in Michigan,” Maynard said. “This district and this region is very, very good. There’s a lot of good teams with

ABOVE: TennisTEC team member Takuya King demonstrates the tennis simulator. LEFT: TennisTEC owner Thanh Tran, left, and his team cut the ribbon at TennisTEC’s grand opening Jan. 27 in Novi. Photos by Patricia O’Blenes

Northville, CC, Novi; southeast Michigan in general is very tennis-friendly.” While Novi served as an excellent choice on its own, it didn’t hurt that one of Tran’s other innovative businesses, AccelerateKID, stood just a few steps away from TennisTEC. Tran graduated from Michigan State University with a master’s degree in electrical engineering, and founded AccelerateKID, which teaches computer programming to kids, back in 2013. He was able to mix that with his love for tennis over the summer with Tennis and Tech at University of Detroit Mercy with over 200 children learning tennis and computer coding during the camp. After hearing a space was available near his computer programming school, Tran felt it was the perfect chance to capitalize on his dream. “Back in the pandemic, tennis was probably one of, if not the fastest growing sport, due to the social distancing, and you can just go outside and play,” Tran said. “You just need one other person. In 2021, they saw that increase continue, and that was important because that’s why I ended up doing this, because I saw that people weren’t just play-

ing, but continuing to and buying expensive rackets. Looking at the data, I felt like, ‘OK, this might be it,’ along with pickleball and all that, but we don’t use the ‘P’ word here yet.” Tran jumped at the opportunity, partnering with Golfzon, a South Korean-based company that distributes golf simulators. Using his computer engineering background, Tran was able to make it suitable for tennis for anyone who wishes to play tennis, including players with disabilities. “I reached out to them (Golfzon) to see if they wanted to partner up and be a distributor of a tennis simulator, and they gave their permission and their software,” Tran said. “We retrofitted it, and we basically not only work with body-abled players, but we also retrofitted it to meet it with wheelchair players.” Tran said he wanted to emphasize from the beginning stages of his company that the simulator is fun, but also inclusive. Since it’s the first of its kind, Tran said he compared various global golf simulator companies to help draw an idea of what he wanted his building to look like.

“When we started this and were looking at all the models, we wanted to be the Topgolf of the world, but of course that’s over a million dollar investment,” Tran said. “Then, we thought about X-Golf, and we wanted to be like X-Golf because we don’t need a full size court, we just need simulators like they have. Then we could have a little bar, but the investment of a liquor license, bar and all that wasn’t in my investment. Then we looked at GolfTEC, and I said, ‘I think I can do that,’ but then we put a little twist and make it fun.” Tran was able to find common ground between the three companies and has officially opened the simulator to the public after its grand opening and ribbon-cutting Jan. 27. Now, it’s just drawing the public into the tennis world. “We want to make sure when they walk out, they said they had fun,” Tran said. “If they didn’t have fun, we didn’t do our job.” For more information, visit www. thetennistec.com. Call Sports Writer Jonathan Szczepaniak at (586) 498-1090.




Cottage & Lakefront Living Show and Outdoorama: 1-8 p.m. Thursday, noon-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave. in Novi, one admission good for both events, suburbancollectionshowplace.com, (248) 348-5600

FEB. 25

Tiny Tunes: Classical music by Michigan Philharmonic for ages 8 and younger at 10 a.m., Jack Wilcox Theater at Plymouth Arts & Recreation Complex, 650 Church St., michiganphil.org, info@ michiganphil.org, (734) 451-2112


Widowed Friends movie/lunch: Movie at Phoenix Theatres Laurel Park, 17310 N. Laurel Park Drive in Livonia, lunch at Bar Louie’s in mall, call Peggy at (734) 744-5580


Simple Suppers: 5:30-6:45 p.m. Fridays Feb. 24-March 31, St. James Catholic Church, 46325 10 Mile Road in Novi, (248) 347-7778, stjamesnovi.org

Tow truck from page 4A

its vehicles. Police contacted the car dealership and obtained a contact number for the company that handles the vehicle tracking. The company was able to provide Novi police with the location of the vehicle. It had been taken to an auto repair shop in Farmington Hills. A representative for the auto repair shop said it had been contacted for the tow. Police contacted the insurance company again and learned that it is common for it to dispatch multiple towing companies to the same location. Novi police contacted the man, informed him of his vehicle’s location and advised him to contact the garage to make arrangements for the vehicle. The vehicle has since been taken off the list of stolen vehicles, and the case has been closed.

DTE from page 3A

particularly during the warmer months, has some customers concerned. Many people don’t have the option to not use electronics during those peak hours, an issue that is even more relevant with so many people working from home. “I work from home five days a week,” said Sterling Heights resident Shelly Weirsbaski. “I can’t choose to not have a Zoom meeting in the afternoon or turn off my computer when I’m supposed to be getting work done.” This is even more concerning for those who have health issues and rely on devices such as breathing aids or dialysis machines. They obviously can’t wait until off-peak hours to use electric devices that help maintain their health. Bert Copple is the owner of a Home Instead franchise, which provides in-home care for senior citizens. He said the effect that such changes could have on the senior citizen population could be troubling. “For seniors on fixed incomes, we find those seniors are already incredibly cautious when it comes to spending money,” said Copple. “Often we find them already not using their air conditioning or heater or an appliance just to save money. They become very paranoid about how much they are spending on electricity. We have our workers arrive in their home and it’s too intolerable even for them.” He said seniors who are worried about increases to their electricity bills could make decisions that are harmful to their health. “I can easily see people trying to say, ‘I can go without oxygen during that time of day.’ That would be incredibly

detrimental and dangerous,” said Copple. “The average person on oxygen uses a machine that runs on 300 watts per hour. Anything else running during that time also would go up. It will be problematic for people on a fixed income.” Pizzuti said that DTE is aware of such concerns and said that they don’t expect people to stop using all devices during peak hours but that some appliances can be used during off-peak hours instead. “We understand and we don’t want customers to completely stop service during peak hours,” she said. “They can still save money by using devices like washing machines or dishwashers during non-peak hours.” She added that the rate changes are not a result of the switch over to smart utility meters performed over the last several years, which has been a concern for some in the community. “When we installed the smart meters it was to provide more control, not to change how we charge,” Pizzuti said. “They eliminated manual meter reading. It allowed customers to monitor their usage. It allowed us to also detect power outages more quickly. The Michigan Public Services Commission wanted us to move to this hourly rate system.” Pizzuti said that, ultimately, such changes are necessary to reduce strain on the power grid and that this is in no way designed to profit more from its customers. “The new time of day structure is not a rate increase. It’s actually lower during most times of day,” she said. “It evens out peaks and reduces demand during high usage time. This way we don’t have to activate additional resources to generate that additional energy during those peak hours. … I think The Michigan Public Services Commission

wanted to offer more choice to customers and to protect the grid as society becomes more and more electrified.” Matt Helm, the public information officer for the Michigan Public Service Commission, said the organization instituted these changes because such rates encourage customers to spread electricity use over a greater number of hours, flattening energy peaks and thus saving customers money in the long term because utilities do not have to procure additional energy resources at their most expensive prices to produce. “The goal of time-based pricing is to align utility rates with the actual costs of producing it at different times, in a revenue-neutral way (the utilities will not make additional profit off these rates), with the aim of reducing overall peak demand,” he said in an email. “In summertime, for one, it costs more to produce electricity on a hot weekday, when business is in full swing and residential and commercial customers are using air conditioning, than it does on a cool weekend when businesses are closed and air conditioning is less needed.” Still, many in the community are worried about how the change to higher rates during peak hours will affect customers when implemented in the real world. “I’m concerned for people on fixed incomes,” said Copple. “It is an incredibly vulnerable population, and what would happen if a senior turned off their heat at 4 p.m. and then they forget to turn it back on? Add in conditions like dementia, and this is a very real concern. It can dramatically affect the health of the senior with breathing and body temperature regulation. It will in turn affect caregivers who need to keep a closer eye on some seniors to ensure this sort of thing doesn’t happen.”



Employers, employees react to minimum wage court ruling METRO DETROIT — Michigan employers, tipped workers and those earning the minimum wage are reacting to a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling that affects how employees are paid. In a 3-0 decision issued Jan. 26, the Michigan Court of Appeals overturned a July 2022 Court of Claims ruling and declared that the Michigan Legislature lacked the constitutional authority to adopt and subsequently amend two 2018 ballot initiatives. One would have increased the minimum wage to $12 per hour in 2023 and increased tipped wages to the full minimum wage. The other would have enacted one of most sweeping paid sick leave laws in the country, thereby requiring nearly every business across the state to make significant changes to their paid time off policies and procedures. Vivian Smith is a 28-year-old from Detroit and a member of Fight for 15, a group which seeks a $15 an hour minimum wage. She has worked as a cook at a McDonald’s for five years and makes $10 per hour, which she said is barely enough to cover rent and her other bills. She believes that workers need increases in the

minimum wage in order to make a living wage that matches how hard they work. “I feel like the economy is getting worse and $13 is not enough. I am working so hard in the fast food industry, we do everything in the store, we do it well and we deserve better pay,” Smith said. Marty Knollenberg is a former Michigan state representative and the owner of the Sedona Taphouse restaurant in Troy. He said he was relieved after the Court of Appeals ruling, saying that a different result could have been detrimental to businesses and, by extension, their customers. “Obviously, this is good news for restaurant owners, for our services and for our guests in the short term,” he said. “I am happy with this decision. The other side is going to appeal, so we will have to wait to see what that appeal will look like and if the (Michigan) Supreme Court will take it up.” The more bitter point of contention was the subject of changing the laws regarding the tip credit. Knollenberg said that eliminating tip credit could mean radically higher operating costs of businesses like restaurants and actually mean less pay for employees at establishments where they generally receive high amounts from tips.

“What happened was that a ballot initiative (was proposed) to increase the minimum wage took place and it also could affect the tip credit,” he said. “Such measures try to bundle multiple issues on one proposal. Most people wouldn’t be aware that increasing the minimum wage would also change how the tip credit works. Restaurant owners can explain to people (about) this tip credit or as I would call it, a ‘tip wage.’ (It) is a lower wage, which is $3.84 per hour, but that is offset by the tips they receive. If they aren’t making at least $10.10 an hour, the employer has to make up that difference. Nobody is making less than $10.10 per hour in my restaurant. I don’t know what problem they are trying to solve.” Rogers countered that businesses have a responsibility to pay their employees a fair wage and if they are unable to do so, they are already failing. “They shouldn’t be in business if they can’t pay us what we are asking for,” she said. “The economy is going up and they are not paying us the amount we need even though we are working hard. I do five things at work and get the customers out fast and sometimes I even stay after my shift is over.” On Jan. 1, 2023, Michigan’s minimum wage rate increased from $9.87 to $10.10 per

hour as set by Michigan’s Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act of 2018 establishing the annual schedule of increases. The increase to $13.03 for regular employees and $11.73 for tipped employees could still be appealed. Call Staff Writer Brendan Losinski at (586) 498-1068.

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under the big top


ABOVE: Clowns ratchet up the excitement at the 2023 Shrine Circus Feb. 11 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. NEAR RIGHT: The Pork Chop Revue entertains the crowd with singing pigs, jumping pigs and other swine tricks. MIDDLE: The ringmaster performs his job at the Shrine Circus.

Photos by Patricia O’Blenes

Camels thrill the audience at the 2023 Shrine Circus in Novi.

TOP: Dancers take to ropes high above the audience at the Shrine Circus. ABOVE: The Bone Breakers, contortionists and dancers, demonstrate their amazing flexibility.








State of the City tickets on sale

Tickets are on sale now for the Novi State of the City address to be held at the Suburban Collection Showplace at 11 a.m. March 2. Those who can’t make it for lunch are invited to come at 12:45 p.m. to hear Mayor Bob Gatt’s speech free of charge or to watch it live at www.cityofnovi.org. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the city’s website.

Motor City Comic Con announces celebrity guests

Motor City Comic Con will be held May 19-21 at the Suburban Collection Showplace. This year’s special guests will include actor Mark Sheppard, of “Supernatural”; Charles Martinet, who has done the voices for Mario and friends in the Super Mario video game series; Yuri Lowenthal, whose voice roles have include Sasuke Uchiha in “Naruto” and Ben Tennyson in “Ben 10”; and Tara Platt, who has voiced many characters in the English language versions of anime films, including Temari in “Naruto.” Comic book guests scheduled include Peter Tomasi, Jamie Tyndall, Anthony Piper,

Dave Aikins, Andy Bennett and Terry Kavanagh. The comic convention has been held annually since 1989 and is marketed as “Michigan’s largest pop-culture event.” According to a press release, over 250 comic book creators, writers and artists are featured at Motor City Comic Con each year, as well as actors from the television and movie industry. For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, visit www.motorcity comiccon.com.


City to give out tree and shrub seedlings

The city of Novi will be celebrating Arbor Day by giving out free tree and shrub seedlings to residents who request them. Each resident is eligible to receive up to 10 free tree and shrub seedlings as part of the seedling giveaway. According to a press release, the city is offering 10 species native to Michigan, including large shade trees, trees and shrubs that provide flower blooms or fall color, evergreen trees, and species that can feed wildlife and humans. Seedlings can be reserved until 5 p.m. Friday, March 3, and will be distributed at the Civic Center 3-7 p.m. on Earth Day, Friday, April 21, the release states. Visit www. cityofnovi.org for more information. — Charity Meier

February Savings

from page 4A

The proposals were evaluated by a team of city leaders. During the evaluation, they reviewed supplemental questionnaires, performed walk-throughs of the facilities, spoke to references, and met with company representatives for all three bids. City leaders decided to continue with

RNA to conduct the city’s janitorial services. RNA also provides janitorial services for Washtenaw County, the Southfield Police Department and Detroit Public Schools. “Our team believes RNA can carry out the contract due to their familiarity and book of business with other municipalities,” the team’s written recommendation to council states. Call Staff Writer Charity Meier at (586) 498-1092.



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Customer allegedly threatens staff over sold-out menu items

WEST BLOOMFIELD — At approximately 8:25 p.m. Jan. 14, a customer at a restaurant on Orchard Lake Road reportedly became verbally abusive when he was told that several menu items were sold out. The customer made verbal threats about physically assaulting an employee, according to a police report. The customer was gone by the time police arrived. The case was turned over to detectives.

Fraudster pretends to be police detective

WEST BLOOMFIELD — In a report dated Jan. 17, someone called a resident on Horseshoe Drive from a spoofed telephone number to make it look like it was from the West Bloomfield Police Department. The suspect reportedly stated that he was a West Bloomfield Police Department detective who worked for the Department of Treasury. The suspect demanded that the resident withdraw money from her bank account and send it in bitcoin. The resident suspected fraud and went to the West Bloomfield Police Department, where her suspicion was confirmed.

Intoxicated driver strikes bus twice

BIRMINGHAM — On Jan. 28 at approximately 9:11 p.m., a patrol officer observed a vehicle hit a bus from the rear twice along Woodward Avenue before proceeding onto Humphrey. The officer observed the vehicle’s driver, a 59-year-old man from Berkley, walking away from the damaged vehicle along Humphrey. The driver failed a field sobriety evaluation, and a preliminary breath test showed a blood alcohol content of twice the legal limit. The driver was arrested.

Money stolen from ‘off limits’ closet during estate sale

BIRMINGHAM — At approximately 4:12 p.m. on Jan. 27, an officer was dispatched to the 600 block of Ann Street on a report of a larceny. A woman said money was stolen from her purse while it was stored in an “off limits” closet during an estate sale she was hosting. Witnesses reported seeing two female suspects rummaging through something in the corner of the closet before hurrying down the stairs and out the door. There were no additional witnesses or suspects.

Theft spotted during neighborhood patrol

BIRMINGHAM — On Jan. 27 at approximately 4:23 a.m., an officer was conducting a neighborhood patrol due to recent larceny from auto activity. The officer saw a vehicle stopped, with its doors open, blocking a driveway in the 800 block of Oakland Avenue. Two individuals in ski masks entered the vehicle and sped away. A vehicle that was observed across the street also sped away following the first vehicle. The driver of the second vehicle was also wearing a ski mask. Both vehicles had their headlights and taillights off. Because of their high rates of speed, officers were unable to get close enough to the suspect vehicles to attempt a traffic stop. The patrol officer made contact with the victim in the 800 block of Oakland Avenue, who reported that his wallet was stolen from his vehicle and his credit cards were used at several locations before they were reported stolen. There were no additional suspects or witnesses.

Suspects arrested for retail fraud

BEVERLY HILLS — At approximately 8:51 a.m. on Jan. 23, a Birmingham officer was dispatched to Market Square on a report of suspects involved in a retail fraud that had occurred the day prior returning to the store. A witness reported seeing two suspects take several unpaid items from the store Jan. 22. The suspects were also allegedly involved in a retail fraud at a nearby store in Beverly Hills Jan. 23, prior to returning to Market Square. The suspects were identified and arrested for retail fraud by the Beverly Hills Police Department.

Shoplifting at sports store

MADISON HEIGHTS — According to a police report, an unknown man and woman shoplifted nearly $600 worth of goods from Dunham’s Sports in the 32100 block of John R Road at around 4 p.m. Jan. 29. Police were investigating.

Whipped cream taken

ROYAL OAK — A complainant reported to police that at 6:06 p.m. Jan. 28, someone stole two cases of whipped cream canisters from a Mobil gas station located at 1624 E. 11 Mile Road.

Teens allegedly steal pickup truck

BERKLEY — A stolen vehicle was reported to police at 5:46 p.m. Jan. 29 in the 3900 block of Catalpa Drive. According to the report, the pickup truck of a

34-year-old Southfield woman was stolen. The woman told police that she had parked her Chevrolet Silverado outside her mother’s house to drop off groceries. While there, she noticed a black vehicle drive by, but she disregarded it. At some point, she saw her pickup truck leave with a black Chrysler. While speaking to police, she was able to track her vehicle to the area of a TGI Fridays in Southfield. Southfield police were notified of the stolen vehicle. At approximately 6:17 p.m., Berkley police were notified by Southfield police that they had the stolen Silverado and the Chrysler. Both vehicles had rammed Southfield police, but two juveniles, a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old, were in custody. Berkley police went to the location of the pickup truck, where they saw that it was wrecked. The vehicle was towed from the location.

Man allegedly tries to pass fake bill

BERKLEY — A 26-year-old Detroit man was arrested for possession of counterfeit money, passing counterfeit money and possession of dangerous drugs at 1:16 p.m. Jan. 26 at an A&W restaurant at 4100 W. 12 Mile Road. According to Berkley police, they received a report of a subject passing fake currency. When public safety officers arrived, they saw the suspect sitting in a black Chrysler 200. Police met with an employee of the restaurant, who stated that the suspect tried using a fake $100 bill. The suspect reportedly told police that he didn’t know the bill was fake. He was placed in handcuffs and in the back of a patrol vehicle while his car was searched. Police reportedly were able to locate two $50 bills, one $20 bill and two $1 bills that were all fake. Police said they also located three white pills, which tested positive for oxycodone, in the pocket of the man’s jacket.

Six A&T High School students taken into custody after physical altercation

SOUTHFIELD — School resource officers and security personnel responded to a large physical altercation that broke out in the cafeteria of Southfield High School for the Arts and Technology at 1:15 p.m. Feb. 1. Officers intervened to stop the large fight, and in the process of doing so, two students were tased, and a total of six students were detained and transported to the police station. The students were released into the custody of their parents or guardian. The fight resulted in one student sustaining a minor hand injury. While the investigation was ongoing, Superin-

tendent Jennifer Green addressed the situation in a press release. “We take these incidents very seriously. According to Board of Education policy, students involved in physical altercations will face disciplinary actions.”

Driver charged with driving drunk after crash

TROY — Troy officers responded to a two-vehicle crash at 6:46 p.m. Jan. 16 near the intersection of Crooks Road and West Big Beaver Road. While speaking with one of the involved drivers, a 65-year-old Royal Oak man, officers noted he had bloodshot eyes, was slurring his speech, and there was an odor of intoxicants coming from his vehicle. Police said that the driver admitted to having a few drinks at a friend’s house prior to driving. The driver was asked to perform several sobriety evaluations, which he performed poorly. He submitted to a preliminary breath test with a result of 0.099% blood alcohol content. The suspect was arrested and transported to the Troy police station, where he agreed to submit to a chemical breath test, with results of 0.15% and 0.14%. The driver was charged with one count of operating while intoxicated – third offense.

Car window broken at dealership

NOVI — Police were sent to Marty Feldman Chevrolet, 42355 Grand River Ave. in Novi, at the intersection of Town Center Drive and Crescent Boulevard, on Jan. 24 after an employee found that the driver’s side window had been broken out of one of the dealership’s cars. According to the report, all of the vehicles in the satellite parking area were checked and found to be in proper condition at approximately 10 a.m. Jan. 23. However, when the employee came to the satellite parking lot at approximately 9:30 a.m. Jan. 24, he found a white 2023 Chevrolet Malibu with the driver’s side window broken out. Officers provided the dealership representative with a report number.

Man arrested at hospital for domestic violence

NOVI — A man brought his girlfriend to Ascension Providence Hospital’s Novi Campus at 12:25 a.m. Jan. 27, after he allegedly physically assaulted her during an argument in their Novi home. Medical staff contacted police regarding the domestic assault and informed police that the alleged assailant was waiting in the lobby. Police arrived and arrested the boyfriend, who has since been arraigned on a charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder. He reportedly was given a $10,000 cash or surety bond and is out on bail.


4B - NOVI NOTE, February 23, 2023

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METRO DETROIT — Jewish Family Service is scheduled to offer sessions of a grief and loss support group for women 60 and older. The group is set to be led by JFS licensed master social workers and clinicians Mayim Meyers and Cici Syms, and it will focus on providing a supportive space to begin to process grief. Participants will learn coping skills, the non-linear process of grief, increased understanding of typical and complex grief, and connections with others in a similar place, according to a press release. The session dates are scheduled to take place 10-11:30 a.m. Fridays March 10 and 24, April 14 and 28, May 5, and June 2. According to the release, group size is limited. For more information, contact Mayim Meyers at (248) 592-2694 or mmeyers@jfsdetroit.org.



WEST BLOOMFIELD — Volunteer Meals on Wheels drivers are needed in West Bloomfield, according to the township’s website. Pickup is at the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation office, located at 4640 Walnut Lake Road. Pickups are scheduled for 9:30 a.m., with routes typically taking between an hour and an hour and a half, according to the website. Volunteers are the backbone of the program, the site states. “Not only do our volunteers deliver meals to our homebound seniors, they also deliver a warm smile and a friendly greeting. … Our seniors are able to remain in their homes due to the generosity and kindness of our many volunteers.” For more information, call Lucy at (810) 632-2155 or send an email to info@lwmow.org.


OAKLAND COUNTY — The Oakland County Parks and Recreation Department is seeking seasonal staff as it prepares for its spring and summer seasons. The department stated that it has “hundreds” of jobs that need to be filled at its various campgrounds, aquatic facilities, golf courses and parks within the next few months. The jobs come with perks such as a $500 cash bonus, annual vehicle permits and a limited number of passes to use the facilities. There are positions available for ages 16 and older starting at $13.52 an hour. For job descriptions, salary ranges, application requirements and qualifications, visit OakGov.com/jobs. For more information, visit OaklandCounty Parks.com.

Community Choice Foundation plans to award $100,000 in scholarships METRO DETROIT — Community Choice Foundation announced that applications are now open for its college, continuing education and skilled trades scholarships. The foundation has awarded more than $1.4 million in scholarships to almost 300 students since 2009. A total of $100,000 will be awarded to students in 2023, with 15 $5,000 college scholarships, six $2,500 continuing education scholarships and four $2,500 skilled trades scholarships. Applying students must be Michigan residents and attend a Michigan-based institution, academy or training program following high school graduation. Applicants will be judged by their academic achievements, community involvement and extracurricular activities, along with completion of an essay. “We look for students who have a passion for the future and who are very goal-oriented and motivated both with their careers and in support of their communities,” Community Choice Foundation Executive Director Kevin McAlpine said in a prepared statement. The scholarship program is funded by Community Choice Credit Union and the generous support of its members, team members and local businesses. Applications are due Feb. 28 and may be filled out online by visiting CommunityChoiceFoundation.org. Scholarship winners will be announced in April. Community Choice Foundation is the charitable arm of Community Choice Credit Union and is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit CommunityChoiceFoundation.org or call (877) 243-2528, ext. 2460.

MSGCU to award more than $100,000 in scholarships this year METRO DETROIT — Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union announced today that applications are being accepted for its annual scholarship program through Feb. 28. The Credit Union has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to more than 500 students and educators since the inception of its program. MSGCU is offering various scholarships to 33 recipients. Nonmembers are welcome to apply and must become members if selected as scholarship recipients. The credit union welcomes everyone in Michigan to bank with it. Online applications can be submitted at msgcu.org/ scholarships. The following scholarships are available: • The Educational Solutions Scholarship helps high school seniors with plans to attend college with 18 scholarships of $2,500 each. • The Rudolph Heino High School Scholarship is for high school seniors heading to college with a demonstrated commitment to helping others. Five scholarships of $2,500 are available. • The Larry Swantek Educational Studies Scholarship is for high school seniors and current college students planning to become teachers. There are four scholarships of $2,500. • The Milo Perreault Educator Advantage Scholarship helps certified educators and administrators continue their educations. They can apply for one of four scholarships of $2,500. • The William Cayen Skilled Trades Scholarship is available to two individuals pursuing certification in electrical, HVAC, automotive or other skilled trades programs. Each scholarship is for $2,500. • The Credit Union also funds the Stephen Thomas First Responder Scholarship, which supports first responders enrolled in police and/ or fire academies at local colleges with 14 scholarships of $2,000 each. Applications occur directly with Macomb Community College, Oakland Community College, Washtenaw Community College and Schoolcraft Community College. Students can apply for this scholarship throughout the year and more information is available through the program directors of each academy. Visit msgcu.org/scholarships for details and to learn more about the application process.

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