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Southfield Michigan Works! service center relocates to Lawrence Tech campus at City Centre

The Southfield Michigan Works! service center, one of eight Oakland County centers serving both job seekers and companies looking for talent, has relocated to the Lawrence Technological University Enterprise Center in the City Centre Business District.

A grand opening ribbon-cutting is set for Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. Scheduled speakers include Southfield Mayor Kenson Siver; LTU President Dr. Virinder K. Moudgil; and Jennifer Llewellyn, workforce development manager for Oakland County. The office is located at 21415 Civic Center Drive, Suite 116, in Southfield. The Southfield location is the first Michigan Works! center to be integrated within a local university.

“The Southfield Michigan Works! center offers services to more than 25,000 people from the area each year,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “The relocation of the center to the LTU campus makes us accessible to our customers and the businesses which use our services every year and should further strengthen our presence in the area.”

Michigan Works! centers offer a broad array of career management, training and placement services for those looking for jobs. The centers also provide talent recruitment, labor market information, training support and other services to businesses of all sizes. The county executive and the Oakland County Workforce Development Board provide policy, direction and oversight for the Oakland County Michigan Works! Agency.

Southfield Michigan Works! center Manager Lisa Straske said her staff of 15 is looking forward to collaborating with LTU administrators and educators on a regular basis to offer additional training and other services for in-demand jobs. LTU was recently named one of the best universities in the Midwest, according to the Princeton Review. Only 156 colleges and universities in 12 Midwestern states made the list for 2018.“

Partnering with Lawrence Tech will be reinvigorating,” Straske said. “We’re committed to providing our customers with the best resources and services available to help them return to work. This move will allow us to offer new things to even more people, including an additional population of students.”

LTU President Moudgil added, "The strength of the LTU-city of Southfield partnership has resulted in a new office located on campus that greatly enhances access to needed services for the community of job seekers and employers looking to fill good-paying jobs."

The Southfield Michigan Works! service center move was made possible in part by funding from the city's $3.6 million Centrepolis SmartZone. “Centrepolis not only creates an educational arena where start-up businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs can learn how to take their ideas to the next level, it creates more retail, business, and residential opportunities in the heart of Southfield – making this new shared space a perfect functional fit,” Siver said.

10 Michigan cities make list of '100 Safest Cities in America'


Ten of the top 100 safest cities in America are right here in Michigan.

Alarms.org released their annual "Top 100 Safest Cities" list and Michigan is well represented.

Here's some insight on how these rankings are decided from Alarms.org:

According to the FBI, violent crime has been decreasing over the past 10 years (down by 16.5% from 2006 to 2015) while property crime rates continue to gradually fall by 2% per year. Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) has shown that police have improved their methods for monitoring troubled areas and having more outreach. These methods help to prevent crime and encourage people to work to become model citizens.

At the same time, renovations of old buildings have brought life back to once dangerous areas by providing new shops and family entertainment options. The more entertainment and attractions a city has the more the need for more development and property values to rise.

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Fun for all at Ford Arts Beats & Eats


Ford Arts Beats & Eats, the annual festival filled with artwork, live music, and mouth-watering cuisine, is back for its 20th year this Labor Day weekend. From September 1st through 4th, festival-goers will be treated to special events and performances, including the 2017 Juried Fine Art Show and 200 live performances across several stages.

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Conservation-focused Hemingway Coffee to launch online business


A conservation-focused coffee company connected to descendants of Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway is set to launch in metro Detroit this week.

Hemingway Coffee, founded by Tom Black in his Bloomfield Hills home, is an e-commerce and distribution company that appeals to outdoor and conservation enthusiasts, according to a news release.

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Visit the breathtaking Cranbrook House & Gardens


From exquisite gardens, to a reflecting pool, and a stunning Japanese Garden, you’ll be enthralled with all that Cranbrook House and Gardens’ 40 acres of formal, woodland, and naturalistic gardens have to offer. The manicured gardens provide the perfect backdrop to the Cranbrook House, a National Historic Landmark and the oldest manor home in Metro-Detroit.

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Canines and owners invited to special Dog Swims at Oakland County Parks

Oakland County Parks and Recreation’s waterparks will go to the dogs during the annual Dog Swims Sept. 9-10.
Sponsored by Camp Bow Wow in cooperation with Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, dog swims will be held:
  • Saturday, Sept. 9 – Waterford Oaks Waterpark, 1702 Scott Lake Road., Waterford
  • Sunday, Sept. 10 – Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road., Madison Heights
Dog swims are divided into 50-minute sessions beginning at noon. Dogs will be grouped according to weight. All owners must show a valid Michigan dog license and proof of vaccinations at time of event. Each time slot will be limited to 75 dogs. Check in is 30 minutes prior to scheduled swim. Health department rules mandate no people are allowed in the water.
Registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com. The cost for pre-registration is $10 and includes a souvenir for the dog’s owner, waterpark entry, a swim session for the dog and contest entry. Contests will include best wet look and best swimsuit.  Mailed registration must be postmarked by Sept. 1. Email or fax registration accepted through noon, Sept. 6. On-site registration will be $15, based on availability.
For additional details email Dogs@oakgov.com.
Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

LTU event to show how Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Immersive Reality affect business

From immersive virtual reality (VR) caves to head-mounted devices (HMDs) to augmented reality (AR) headsets and more, a program at Lawrence Technological University will give attendees a chance to learn about these new tools in a relaxed environment and discover the positive impact they may have on the way business gets done.
Join the LTU Collaboratory on Thursday, Sept. 7 for a symposium from 8 a.m. to noon in the UTLC Gallery on the LTU campus, 21000 W. 10 Mile Road, Southfield, for a hands-on demonstrations of the DAQRI Smart Helmet, the Microsoft Hololens, the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift, and a demonstration of immersive cave technology.
Expert presenters will include:
  • Jeff Brum from Mechdyne, on applications of virtual reality from training firefighters to developing a virtual aquarium for a research institute
  • Simon Wealans from DAQRI on how the smart helmet they developed can use augmented reality to save lives on the battlefield, help first responders in cities, and train new workers
  • Steve Couchman from LivePicture on how virtual reality headsets can be used in a design or marketing workflow
Registration is $15 if booked online at www.ltucollaboratory.com/events/ar-vr-ir-oh-my, or $20 at the door. A continental breakfast is included.
The event is sponsored by the LTU Collaboratory in partnership with the City of Southfield Centrepolis SmartZone and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
For more information on how the LTU Collaboratory can help your company innovate and grow, visit www.ltucollaboratory.com.
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.

34,500+ public votes whittle down 232 artists as MI Great Artist Competition teduced to top 22

Fourteen Oakland County residents, five from Macomb County and three from Wayne County are the 22 artists who have a chance at becoming the 2017 MI Great Artist winner.
More than 34,500 public votes were cast in 12 days during the online art competition. The field of 232 entrants was reduced to 22 semi-finalists for consideration by a panel of judges. Originally the top 20 artists were to be selected but the closeness of the voting and the quality of the entries made it necessary to include the additional two artists.
“I continue to be amazed by the work of these talented artists and how the public has embraced the competition,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “In less than two weeks, we had more than 34,500 votes – 15,000 more than we had last year. The contest gets bigger and better each year. I thank the artists for entering and congratulate those whose work will go before the judges.”
A panel of judges will review the work of the semi-finalists beginning Tuesday and announce the five finalists on September 19. Their work will be displayed at Park West Gallery in October. Patterson and Park West Gallery founder and CEO Albert Scaglione launched the contest in 2012 as a quality of life initiative to identify and support up-and-coming artists. They will announce the winner at an evening gallery reception on October 25. The finalists will share a prize package worth more than $16,000.
The judges are Scaglione; Elliott W. Broom, vice president of museum operations at the Detroit Institute of Arts; Dominic Pangborn, founder of Pangborn Design Collection and a former professor at the College of Creative Studies; artist and sculptor Don Tocco; and Kristie Everett Zamora, arts and culture coordinator for Oakland County's Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.

The semi-finalists listed alphabetically are:
  • Meredith Lea Bailey - Rochester Hills
  • Michael Bollerud – Taylor
  • Nancy Jane Byrum – Wyandotte
  • Hailey Callahan - Rochester   
  • Rick Cook - Chesterfield
  • Caroline Del Giudice - Detroit 
  • Lacy Draper – Roseville
  • Kim F. Fujiwara - Rochester Hills
  • Andrew Groen - Rochester Hills
  • Margret Grace McDermott – Clarkston
  • Allison Michelini - West Bloomfield
  • Claudia Monet - Waterford
  • Kelly O'Hara - St. Clair Shores
  • Wendy C. Popko -Sterling Heights
  • Rachel Quinlan – St. Clair Shores
  • Arthur Mervyn Richards III - Madison Heights
  • Kimberly Kelly Santini - Lake Orion
  • William Bradshaw Ten Eick - West Bloomfield
  • Ellen Anne Tessada - Rochester Hills
  • Vasundhara Tolia - Bloomfield Hills
  • Thomas Tunney - Commerce
  • Jennifer M. Whaley - Rochester Hills
The MI Great Artist winner will receive $1,500; five submitted artworks framed by Park West Gallery; a group exhibition in October at Park West Gallery in Southfield, with an award ceremony and reception Oct. 25; and a selection of business services from the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center; among other prizes
Four runners-up will each receive $375 and other services.
MI Great Artist partners include Oakland County, Park West Gallery, AdvantageOakland.com and Oakland County Prosper® magazine. 

Turbine truck to speed down runway at OCIA Air Show

A Ford F-450 with three jet engines will throttle up at this year’s Oakland County International Airport (OCIA) Open House & Air Show on Sunday, Aug. 27. Homewrecker, a jet semi performance by McCart Jet Motorsports, is the newest act that will blow the hair off air show spectators.

“Homewrecker is expected to draw both aircraft and automotive enthusiasts alike as it speeds down the runway with the roar of its jet engines,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Of course, our aerial acts will continue to dazzle the crowd with some death-defying aerobatics, thanks to the many sponsors that support this family-friendly event.”

The OCIA Open House & Air Show Committee gave fans more of what they love by extending the air show from an hour to an hour-and-a-half last year. This year’s airshow will again run from 2-3:30 p.m. because of last year’s success.

Michael Vaknin of Dacy Airshows will have spectators on the edge of their seats with gyroscopic and high-g maneuvers in his Extra 300 airplane. Greg Koontz and the Alabama Boys combine comedy with aviation antics culminating in the landing of a Piper Cub on top of a moving pick-up truck.

Kevin Copeland of KC Aerosports in Traverse City was set to return this year, but he died in a tragic motorcycle accident last month. Copeland was a big part of the air show family who will be missed by many. The OCIA Open House & Air Show Committee sent condolences to his family.

Two World War II-era planes from Liberty Aviation Museum of Port Clinton, Ohio will make their first appearances at the open house – a B-25 bomber named “Georgie’s Gal,” a fresh B-25 restoration, and a Lake Erie Warbirds TBM Avenger, a dive bomber. They will join over 50 aircraft on the ground with which open house attendees can interact such as the Tuskegee motor gliders, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office helicopter and hovercraft, and University of Michigan Survival Flight helicopter.

“We love hosting a variety of warbirds at our annual open house and air show,” said J. David Vanderveen, Oakland County director of central services who oversees the airport. “There is just something about these restored planes once flown by the Greatest Generation that captures the imagination.”

Individuals can take-off in a helicopter for $35 or an airplane for $25 per adult, $20 for kids under 12, and $55 for one adult and two kids.

For children there will be a play area equipped with bounce houses and a rock wall. Bill Crell, “The NASA Guy,” will show off his latest experiments and demonstrations. Plus, there will be a health and safety fair from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. including the Michigan Child ID Program, which informs families about abduction prevention and provides fingerprinting for children.

Attendees also may tour the nation’s first LEED-Gold certified general aviation terminal. Open since 2011, the eco-friendly terminal features solar panels and wind turbines, solar hot water heater, and a geothermal field all designed to reduce energy consumption. Today, the terminal has reduced its energy consumption by 44 percent.

“Whether you’re an aviation buff or just a kid deep down inside, the Open House & Air Show has something for everyone,” said Louis Martin, chair of the OCIA Open House & Air Show Committee. “This truly is an event the whole family can enjoy.”

OCIA’s 32nd annual open house hours will be from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. General admission is free. There is a $5 fee per vehicle for parking. For more information, go to www.OakGov.com/aviation or go to OCIA’s Facebook page at OakGovAirport and click on events. The airport is located at 6500 Patterson Parkway in Waterford.

The OCIA Open House & Air Show Committee would like to thank its sponsors: Suburban Ford, Page Toyota, ABC Harley Davidson, Aviation Station, Magnum Helicopters, Oscar W. Larson, Corrigan Oil, Encompass Management Group, and LL Johns & Associates.

Showplace to host Brickworld LEGO Exposition


Brickworld is excited be bringing a premiere LEGO display and exposition to the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. The event will fill 40,000 square feet with displays, interactive activities and vendors.

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Mirror Dog Productions announces Michigan premiere of feature film Urban Myths September 29th


Mirror Dog Productions announced that their feature film, Urban Myths, will premiere on September 29 at the Emagine Theater in Royal Oak, Michigan. The premiere will also serve as a charity fundraiser to benefit The Rainbow Connection. Urban Myths is a paranormal suspense thriller, drawing from ancient American tribal cultures and set in the deep woods of Michigan, all in a family-friendly format.

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Oakland University unveils School of Music, Theatre and Dance

The Oakland University Board of Trustees voted at its August formal meeting to approve the creation of a School of Music, Theatre and Dance. This move follows a consistent expansion and transformation of programs offered by the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance over the past 32 years.
“We developed the School of Music, Theatre and Dance to be housed within the College of Arts and Sciences and led by Distinguished Professor of Music Education Jackie Wiggins, who will initiate the roles of Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and Director of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance on an interim basis until a permanent associate dean can be hired,” said James P. Lentini, D.M.A., senior vice president for Academic Affairs, provost and professor of Music. “In addition, Dr. Wiggins will have an associate director and each of the departments will be headed by a department chair.”
“Growing Music, Theatre and Dance from a department into a school should help strengthen our position in the state and regionally, and also enhance our ability to continue recruiting some of the most talented students in all three disciplines,” added Kevin J. Corcoran, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “It should help increase our visibility so that we may serve our region better and open the door to more collaborative learning opportunities and important philanthropic opportunities.”
“We are very thankful for the Board’s recognition that the creation of this school was warranted by our blossoming programs and was the next logical step in our development,” said Jackie Wiggins, Ed.D., associate dean and director of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.
Oakland University was founded in 1957 as a liberal arts college and a part of Michigan State University. The Music Department was established in 1959 and Varner Hall opened in 1970 as the university’s home of performing arts education.
Theatre and Dance began as extra-curricular programs at Oakland University. Then, in 1982, the theatre and dance programs joined the existing music department, forming a Department of Music, Theatre and Dance.
Oakland’s performing arts programs earned accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music, National Association of Schools of Theatre and National Association of Schools of Dance in 2001.
The department has flourished since that time, leading up to this week’s announcement of the formation of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.
There are currently 172 faculty and staff members serving 3,400 Oakland University students with about 230 music majors, 110 theatre majors and 60 dance majors. Oakland’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance offers 23 degree programs – bachelor’s through doctoral – six minors and six professional certificate programs. A bachelor’s degree in Music Technology and Industry is also currently under review and the school maintains an active research center, the Center for Applied Research in Musical Understanding.
The School of Music, Theatre and Dance provides the campus and surrounding community with more than 200 performances and events each year. Its Music Preparatory Division teaches more than 300 community members each year, ranging from pre-schoolers through senior citizens.
Artists-in-residence affiliated with the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance include world-renowned jazz musician Regina Carter, the Oakland Symphony Orchestra and dance ensembles Eisenhower Dance and Take Root.
Professional partners of the school include the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, Meadow Brook Theatre Ensemble, Oakland Youth Orchestras, the Oakland University Cooperative Orchestral Library and Synergy on Stage.
The school also supports major study abroad programs, including Traditional Music and Dance Study in Ghana, participation in the Hydrama Theatre Festival in Greece and Dance Study in Germany.
Oakland is one of the few universities in the U.S. to have a Brass Band, which has achieved national and international recognition. It also has one of the few undergraduate musical theatre programs to take students to New York to connect with and perform for agents and producers, and to get advice from working actors.
In addition, Music, Theatre and Dance alumni have been highly successful in working in performing arts careers, including a voice alumna who recently made her debut at the esteemed La Scala Opera House in Milan, Italy.
Learn more about the School of Music, Theatre and Dance by visiting the website.

The School of Music, Theatre and Dance provides pre-professional, professional, liberal arts, and general education in the performing arts through artistically-grounded academic programs and diverse performance opportunities.

Our work is kinetic, alive, visceral––occurring collaboratively among learners and teachers, realizing learner potential, cultivating unique artistic voice––in artistically rigorous, authentic, interactive environments. 

Detroit Zoo's camel family grows by two humps


There are two new humps in the Detroit Zoo's camel family.

Nine-year-old Bactrian camel Suren gave birth to a 125-pound female calf named Rusi on July 31, according to the zoo.

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Oakland County presents 3rd Annual Breastfeeding-Friendly Place Awards

Oakland County Health Division’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, in partnership with the Oakland County Breastfeeding Coalition, celebrated World Breastfeeding Week this morning by holding the 3rd Annual Breastfeeding-Friendly Place Awards. Three Oakland County organizations were awarded top prize in their respective category for taking extra steps to support breastfeeding mothers.

The award recipients are:
• Business Category – Pee Wee Patch in Lake Orion
• Pediatrician Category – Serenity Pediatrics in Bloomfield Hills
• Employer Category – South Oakland Shelter in Lathrup Village
“Organizations that support breastfeeding help lessen social stigma, and create an environment that is reassuring and open,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County Health Division. “Reducing breastfeeding barriers encourages mothers to start and continue breastfeeding, to the best of their ability, as the primary feeding method for their child.”
Nominations were submitted by employees, patients, or customers during the submission period (March 1-April 28), and then scored by WIC staff and members of the Oakland County Breastfeeding Coalition using the Health Division’s appraisal questionnaire. The questionnaire indicates an organization’s existing breastfeeding-friendly practices such as having a written policy in support of breastfeeding at the workplace and a quiet, private space for breastfeeding moms. Winners received plaques to commemorate the honor, and all nominated organizations were recognized with a certificate for their efforts.
Breastmilk helps keep babies healthy by:
• Supplying all necessary nutrients in proper proportions
• Protecting against diseases, infections, allergies, and obesity
• Being easily digested - reduced constipation, diarrhea, or upset stomach
Mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes and certain cancers such as breast cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They may find it easier to return
to their pre-pregnancy weight. Plus, breastfeeding strengthens the bond between mother and child. Mothers who are able to pump while at work and continue to breastfeed their infants miss fewer days of work on average than those who are formula feeding.
“We are proud to support these nominated organizations that are taking extra steps to encourage breastfeeding wherever people may play, work, or visit.” Jennifer Day, Chairperson of Oakland County Breastfeeding Coalition. “They are helping to create a baby-friendly community and deserve to be recognized.”
The Oakland County WIC program has a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor with specialized training to provide education and support to clients. To reach the Oakland County WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, call 248-431-1403.
For more information regarding breastfeeding, call Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533, visit www.oakgov.com/health. Find up to date public health information on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter @publichealthOC.

About World Breastfeeding Week

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month and the celebration kicks off with World Breastfeeding Week. This annual celebration is held every year from the 1st -7th of August in more than 120 countries, and promotes breastfeeding as one of the most effective steps a mother can take to protect the health of her baby. For more information, please visit http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org

Shelby Paint and Decorating to use all Michigan-made paint


Shelby Paint and Decorating announced it will sell the company’s original Motor City Paint and Stain at its locations in Shelby Township, Rochester Hills, and Grosse Pointe Woods.

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