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municipal

Water, sewer rates rise in Bloomfield Township

In a split 4-3 vote, Bloomfield trustees approved increasing the rates the township charges for water, sewer and ready-to-serve, their operating expense, as of April 1, 2021, at their meeting on Monday, April 12. >>>

Commonwealth bistro application moves ahead

The Birmingham City Commission on Monday, April 12, approved one bistro license application, by existing business Commonwealth Cafe, to move forward, and paused on two new applications. >>>

Planning Board rejects restaurant at riverfront

A proposed bistro along the edge of the Rouge River in downtown Birmingham was rejected on Wednesday, April 14, by the city’s planning board, leaving the fate of the potential restaurant up the Birmingham City Commission. >>>

New Starbucks with drive-thru approved

The Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a site plan and special land use to build a new Starbucks with a drive-thru at the CVS shopping center on Woodward at the southeast corner of Square Lake Road, at their meeting on Monday April 12. >>>

New beauty salon confronts parking denial

A proposed beauty salon at the southern end of Birmingham’s downtown area is facing parking challenges following the city commission’s decision on Monday, April 12, to deny the owner’s request for additional permissions. >>>

$5.8 million city ice arena contract approved

Birmingham city commissioners voiced concern about construction costs overruns on Monday, April 12, while approving $5.8 million in construction work contracts for the city’s 47-year-old ice arena. >>>

New township safety path added for 2021

After previously suspending a planned safety path along Club Drive in Bloomfield Township, the board of trustees unanimously approved a replacement path for 2021 along the east side of Telegraph Road between Hickory Grove and Franklin roads, at their meeting on Monday, April 12, to be added to the other planned routes to be built this season. >>>

education

Birmingham Schools investment rating lowered

Birmingham Public Schools has been notified by Moody's Investors Service that they have downgraded the district's general obligation unlimited tax rating from Aa1 to Aa2, school officials announced. >>>

Bloomfield district intends full fall 2021 opening

In an email to parents, Bloomfield Hills Schools Superintendent Pat Watson said the district intends to offer full programming in the fall of 2021, from sports to field trips to programming. >>>

Birmingham students summer academic camp

Elementary and middle school students enrolled in Birmingham Public Schools will have the opportunity to maintain and increase their academic skills in mathematics and literacy this summer with a free four-week summer learning opportunity sponsored by the school district. >>>

public safety

Burglars strike Birmingham men's store

Birmingham police are investigating a brazen burglary that occurred early Tuesday, April 13, near Maple and Old Woodward, in the city’s downtown area, where thieves stole approximately $50,000 of clothing during a middle of the night hit. >>>

Barber sidewalk sign stolen in Birmingham

An unknown person stole an “A-frame” sidewalk sign sometime on Friday, April 9, or Saturday, April 10, from Birmingham Barbers, 800 S. Adams Road, police said. >>>

License plate stolen off back of pickup truck

A Bloomfield Township resident had the license plate stolen from the back of his vehicle on Wednesday, April 7, in the 1600 block of Bloomfield Place…>>>

Thieves cut off catalytic converters at two sites

Scrap-metal thieves in Bloomfield Township stole three catalytic converters from two different locations on Friday, April 9, police said. >>>

Downtown Support Campaign

Downtown newsmagazine has launched a membership campaign for donations to the publication to allow us to remain strong and grow while still remaining free to most homes in the Birmingham/Bloomfield area. Publisher David Hohendorf’s letter to the local community explains the background on the membership effort. >>>

longform features

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Teen suicides rising, then came the pandemic

Diane Orley, now living in Birmingham, was woken up before dawn on August 26, 2013, by two police officers at her Bloomfield Township front door. Her first thought was that her son, George, 20, had been in a car accident. The day before he had packed up his car and was driving back to begin his sophomore year at the University of Michigan. >>>

Balancing large farms and toll on environment

Earl Butz, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in 1973, told America’s farmers to “get big or get out,” ushering in decades of policies and incentives for the country’s agricultural industry to embrace farming at an industrial-sized scale as countless smaller family farms struggled and lost ground. According to the organization American Farmer, the United States between 1992 and 2012 lost 31 million acres of farmland to urban and suburban development. >>>

oakland confidential

MOVIN’ ON UP

Rochester Hills Clerk Tina Barton, who ran unsuccessfully the last two cycles for Oakland County Clerk, is shucking her partisan cloak and going national. As of March 29, Barton will be the Senior Program Advisor to the Executive Director for the Election Assistance Commission, an independent U.S. government agency created by the Help America Vote Act in 2002 with a mission to improve voter experience and support election administrators.  >>>

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