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The Year in Review 2013: Part II



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January 08, 2014 - July 3

More than 250 folks attended the Hollywood-style sneak preview of Disney's new Lone Ranger movie at the Oxford 7 Theater. Many dressed up as either the iconic masked lawman or Tonto, his Indian partner.

Oxford Township's Water and Sewer Committee is recommending sewer rates be doubled in order to stop the system from operating at an annual loss of about $900,000.

Oxford resident Sarah Liford, 13, was crowned the Jr. Horse Court Queen by Oakland County 4-H, while Addison resident Maria Vitucci, 19, was crowned Sr. Horse Court Queen.

The Oxford Village Council denied the DDA board's request to pay former DDA director Madonna Van Fossen a $3,015 severance package and allow her to keep her municipal-owned laptop computer.

Oxford United Methodist Church on E. Burdick St. has agreed to lease space to Breyleigh Christian School, a new tuition-based K-8 school that would serve students of all denominations.

A 17-year-old Shelby Township girl who was allegedly drunk and resisting an Oakland County Sheriff's deputy's attempts to subdue her was Tasered and arrested at Addison Oaks County Park.

Bill Service, production supervisor for Oxford Community Television, and C.J. Carnacchio, editor of The Oxford Leader, received State Media Awards from the American Legion Department of Michigan for their "exceptional" coverage of local events involving veterans.

Citing their decision to go a different route, Oxford Virtual Academy officials severed ties with Homeschool Connections.

July 10

Polly Ann Trail Manager Juliane Bagley resigned from her position citing her daughter's "ongoing health crisis" as the reason. She had been trail manager since April 2011.

Real estate developer Burton-Katzman is proposing to buy Oxford Village's municipal complex on W. Burdick St. and build 30 to 35 townhouses on the site.

Legendary disc jockey Chuck Daugherty recalled his days working on the Lone Ranger radio show with Brace Beemer, the Oxford resident who portrayed the masked man from 1941-54.

Kate McQuater, a 2009 OHS graduate, is traveling the world and helping others in an effort to cultivate her global citizenship.

Oxford Village attorney Bob Davis advised the village council that it can't remove and replace DDA board members at will. There must be cause.

July 17

Oxford Village Council President Tony Albensi announced he will be resigning as he and his family are planning to leave the community.

Opinions were mixed as between 40 and 50 people attended a design charrette to gather public input regarding the concept of turning 860 acres of the Koenig Sand & Gravel property into a multiuse park centered around ORV use.

The Oxford Township Board voted 7-0 to double sewer rates as of Oct. 1. Customers will go from paying $86 per REU every six months to $86 per REU every three months.

Fredric and Cindy Ashley will serve as Grand Marshals for Leonard's Strawberry Festival parade.

Downtown Oxford received national Main Street Accreditation again.

Daniel Axford Elementary Principal Joyce Brasington, a 1982 OHS graduate, is leaving to become the new principal of Wattles Elementary School in Troy.

July 24

The Oxford Area Cable Communications Commission voted 5-0 to immediately terminate station manager Ken LaPlace. No reason for the firing was publicly stated, how ever, it was noted that LaPlace hadn't done any work at the station since June 27. LaPlace submitted a $12,210 bill to the commission for equipment he claims he had been renting to the station. The commission had not authorized or agreed to any equipment rentals.

In an effort to service its riders more effectively and potentially save money, the North Oakland Transportation Authority will cut its service area from 448 to 223 square miles beginning Oct. 1.

The search for a new Polly Ann Trail manager is underway.

Oxford resident Elizabeth Ruff was named principal of Jefferson International Academy, a new charter school in Waterford Township. The school will open this fall.

Oxford American Legion Post 108's regular blood drives have collected 1,883 pints or 235.375 gallons since February 2002.

The Oxford Fire Department secured a $173,024 federal grant to purchase 28 self-contained breathing apparatus units.

July 31

The Oxford Village Council is considering a proposed ordinance to regulate rental units.

A motion to pursue a contract with the Oakland County Sheriff's Department for dispatch services failed in a 3-2 vote by the village council. However, a motion directing the village attorney to advise council on how the issue could be placed on the ballot passed 4-1.

In order to help cover its expenses, Addison Township voted to raise its building fees.

The Oxford Village Council is moving forward with the East Alley project by authorizing some preliminary engineering work and directing the village manager to present various funding options for the three-phase project.

August 7

Public hearings regarding the proposed multi-use park centered around ORV use in Oxford Township have been scheduled before the township board and village council.

Oxford Township's metered sewer users are facing a potential 33 percent increase if the township board approves a recommendation from the water and sewer committee.

Oxford resident Kelly Morrison got to meet Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera when he visited Lake Orion High School.

Downtown Oxford's Sweet & Savory Bake Shop won the Silver Bullet Good Deeds contest for baking, decorating and donating 250 Lone Ranger cupcakes for the July 2 movie sneak preview.

August 14

Oxford resident Sharon Carnes is attempting to raise enough money to purchase a home for herself and her three special needs children.

The entire Oxford school district is on track to become the first preK-12 International Baccalaureate authorized school district in Michigan.

The 2013 class of inductees for the Oxford Hall of Fame include Megan Burns, Dr. Heather Hall, Zach Line, Bobby Schmidt and Jenny White.

A youth group from Oxford Free Methodist Church did some mission work in Copperhill, Tennessee.

Too little time, too little money and too many regulatory hoops put the kibosh on plans for Breyleigh Christian School to move into the Oxford United Methodist Church.

The Oxford Village Planning Commission recommended PUD approval, with conditions, for the 27 and 33 Pleasant St. properties so Merge Studio & Gallery can move there. The zoning agreement must now be approved by the village council.

August 21

The Oxford Township Board voted unanimously to deny support to a proposed multi-use park centered around ORV use that would have been located on the Koenig Sand & Gravel property.

The Oxford Village Council approved the PUD agreement that will allow Merge Studio & Gallery to move to Pleasant St.

Oxford Township Clerk Renee Wilson is leaving for a new job in Fenton. She's being replaced by Susan McCullough.

Chad Boyd was named the new principal of Daniel Axford Elementary School.

August 28

Oxford Schools received the lowest rating on the state's new accountability scorecard. Districts are now graded using colors. Oxford is received an overall red.

The Oxford Tap will be featured on a new television show called "Pubs Across America."

Mark Hurrish, a 2010 Oxford High School graduate, won a $3,000 scholarship as he took first place in the radio category of the 2013 Freedom of Speech Public Service Announcement Contest.

The Oxford-based Relume Technologies was acquired by the Connecticut-based Revolution Lighting Technologies for $15 million.

September 4

The Lake Orion Dragons football team beat the Oxford Wildcats 35-30.

The Oxford Village Council voted to approve a three-year contract whereby Lake Orion will begin paying Oxford $20,000 annually – with 2 percent increases in 2015 and 2016 – to answer all of its 9-1-1 calls and provide dispatch services for its police department.

Oxford Fire Sgt. Jeffrey Siarto is one of 10 finalists in the Home of the Brave National Anthem Singing Contest sponsored by Comerica Bank. If he wins, his department will receive a $10,000 grant.

Kingsbury Country Day School in Addison Township began the new school year as a charter public school.

After years of discussing and tweaking, the Oxford Village Council is moving forward in the process with a proposed sign ordinance that would prohibit portable sidewalk signs.

Oxford Village Manager Joe Young estimated it could cost anywhere from $750,000 to $1.125 million to construct new village offices and a police station if the current complex were sold and turned into townhouses.

Oxford school officials criticized the new state system that uses colors to grade districts.

September 11

Zach Line, a 2008 OHS graduate, played his first regular season NFL game as a Minnesota Viking against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

Tricia Kachin, a 2008 OHS graduate, lost her battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, but her family is continuing the fight with the newly-formed Kachin Strong Foundation.

Lake Orion resident Jerry Cremin is planning to purchase the two-story building at 23 N. Washington St. and turn it into an Irish pub. The building currently houses Wilson & Associates, Architect.

The Rotary Club of Oxford helped bring clean water to 53 families in Guatemala.

After six long months of recovery from a Feb. 17 hit-and-run accident in downtown Oxford, Lake Orion resident Derek Luke is finally ready to return to his job and life.

The Oxford school district has 15 new teachers this year.

September 18

Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe requested a public apology from Oxford Village President Pro-Tem Dave Bailey for remarks he made during the Aug. 27 council meeting regarding the county dispatch center and its performance.

A violent crash in front of The Golden Nugget restaurant (1055 S. Lapeer Rd.) claimed the life of Mitchell, a 10-year-old English springer spaniel who was a registered therapy dog.

The forensic audit report has been made public. It revealed that $20,684 in Oxford Village property tax funds from 2010 are missing and former Deputy Clerk Marion Patricia Paad is "a person of interest" in connection with its disappearance.

Vandals destroyed 16 trail signs at Oakwood Lake Park. The estimated cost of the damage is approximately $5,000.

Oxford Public Library Director Bryan Cloutier was appointed to the village council.

Oxford Township is considering enacting a curfew ordinance for minors under the age of 17.

September 25

DDA board members Jim Bielak, Tom Jones and Anna Taylor all simultaneously resigned, leaving the nine-seat board with only four members, not enough to conduct meetings. There were already two vacancies.

Oxford Village resident Brooksie Pollack is planning to turn her 9 Hudson St. home into a guest house for foreign visitors associated with the Oxford school district.

Owen Bachusz and Tarren Leszczyski were named Oxford High School's 2013 Homecoming King and Queen.

Oxford Village was awarded a $65,000 state grant because its consolidating its dispatch system with Lake Orion.

October 2

Oxford Village Councilman Elgin Nichols is continuing to push for a public vote on dispatch services issue. He wants residents to have a choice – stay with local dispatch or contract with Oakland County.

The OHS Equestrian Team secured another regional championship.

The North Oakland Ladies Auxiliary No. 334 Veterans of Foreign Wars was instituted and its officers installed. Orion Township resident Kathy Hubbard is its first president.

The OHS Marching Band took first place at the Chippewa Valley Invitational.

The Rotary Club of Oxford and the Oxford Hills Golf & Country Club are hosting a golf outing to memorialize the late John and Virginia Hubbard and raise scholarship money.

The Oxford Village Council approved the establishment of a new 9-1-1 Dispatch Reserve Program.

October 9

OHS seniors Hope McColl and Megan Kerin are working to put on a special prom for special needs high school students in and around Oxford.

The Oxford school district's head count is down by 98, but the number of full-time equivalent students is up by 10.

Chadwick Adam Cartner, 27, of Oxford, was arrested on two counts of receiving and concealing stolen property. Sheriff' investigators believe he's connected to a total of six break-ins in Brandon and Independence townships.

The OHS National Honor Society inducted 46 new members.

Oxford Leader Editor C.J. Carnacchio received three awards in the Michigan Press Association's 2013 Better Newspaper Contest.

The Oxford Village Planning Commission voted to recommend reducing its size from nine to seven members.

October 16

Oxford Township officials want to investigate whether having one dispatcher on duty in the village center is enough to handle emergency calls from the village, township and Lake Orion.

The price of the Oxford Leader has increased from 50 cents to $1 per issue.

Developer Burton-Katzman is looking to build up to 396 apartments and condominiums on a 56.38-acre parcel located west and south of OHS and east of the Boulder Point golf course.

The DDA has five new members. They are Rod Charles, Phillip Maxwell, Pete Scholz, Kevin Miles and Susan Schurr.

The Oxford Village Council voted to meet only once a month beginning in November. It will meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.

Timothy David Peacy, 30, of Lake Orion, was arrested after he allegedly burglarized two homes on Tanview Dr. and piled the stolen items on the Polly Ann Trail.

October 23

Oxford residents Tony and Sasha Fritz tied the knot in Centennial Park. Everything in their wedding was provided by Oxford businesses.

Donna Sommers, 59, of Oxford, is searching for potential bone marrow donors.

The potential use of some 30-year-old pipelines for oil and natural gas drilling purposes has some Addison residents extremely concerned about health and environmental issues.

The OHS Equestrian Team earned the state reserve championship.

The Oxford DDA received a verbal offer of $150,000 for the three parcels its owns along E. Burdick St.

Patrick Ball is the new Polly Ann Trail manager. He served as Oxford's athletic director from 1998 to 2009.

October 30

A concept plan to calm traffic along M-24 was presented to both the Oxford Village Council and DDA board.

A fund-raiser is set to benefit a college fund for the four small children that William Kochis, a 2002 OHS graduate, left behind when he was killed in a Sept. 10 traffic crash.

Daniel Axford Elementary second-grader Hunter Hughes was published in Highlights for Children magazine.

A proposed ordinance to require the registration of residential rental units within Oxford Village and regulate their inspection was rejected in a 4-0 vote by the council.

The Oxford school district is partnering with the China-based Weiming Education Group to have housing built in Oxford for visiting foreign students.

November 6

Kingsbury Country Day School reached out to victims of the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings by painting messages on a national Prayer Canvas.

Vernita "Red" Voikos, of Oxford, passed away on Oct. 31. She was 79. Voikos owned the downtown bar Rob's Place from 1972 to 2009.

The Oxford school district is the first district in Michigan to receive preK-12 authorization under the International Baccalaureate program.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for Deer Trail Academy, the new charter public school located on the Crossroads for Youth campus in Oxford.

Oxford resident Laura Holt, a registered nurse, won the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Jon Elges, a 1996 OHS graduate, is the new youth detective for the Oakland County Sheriff's Department's substation in Oxford Township.

November 13

Loretta Lee "Corky" Hallead, who worked for the Oxford school district for 37˝ years, passed away on Nov. 2. She was 76.

Fund-raisers are set to help the family of Nicole Burton, the Lakeville Elementary third-grader who died Nov. 8. Burton had been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia for five years.

Students in OMS teacher Meredith Summer's class sent cards to Jaime Hazan, who was a first-responder in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on New York City.

A concept plan for calming M-24 traffic and improving safety in Oxford Village got a favorable reception during an open house.

Enbridge, Inc., the Canada-based energy distribution company, announced its delaying its major pipeline work in Oxford and Addison townships until the weather permits in 2014.

Monitoring wells in Oxford Township and Village show there are no contaminants in the groundwater.

November 20

Wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour blew through the Oxford/Addison area knocking down tree limbs and causing power outages. Approximately 2,700 DTE Energy customers lost electricity locally.

OHS Principal Todd Dunckley took some time to address the new dress code rumors.

An Oxford parent is concerned there's a "double standard" when it comes to who can and cannot participate in the Academic Games.

November 27

The Oxford school district has decided to have all local school taxes collected on the summer property tax bill beginning in 2015.

Oxford Village has put together a committee to look into how much water and sewer rates should be increased in order to meet financial obligations.

Holocaust survivor Erna Blitzer Gorman, 79, told her story to OMS seventh-graders.

Oxford Township voted to accept a $495,410 grant from the state to fix the drainage problems that have been plaguing the Elk View Estates subdivision since the late 1990s.

Although he's missing his left foot and part of his left leg, OMS seventh-grader Nicholas Knotts lives life and plays sports with "no limitations."

December 4

Ruth Patterson, who co-owned and operated Patterson Prescription Pharmacy in downtown Oxford from 1964-94, will serve as the Grand Marshal for Oxford's Christmas parade.

The Oxford-based Raven Engineering, Inc. is exploring the feasibility of buying and rehabilitating the 20,000-square-foot building at 98 S. Glaspie St. The property, which is approximately 3.5 acres, is owned by Oxford Village.

Oxford Village's spendable fund balance has grown by $80,729 over last year, according to the municipality's auditor.

OHS junior Keegan Konkle is now an Eagle Scout.

December 11

The Oxford school district laid out the conceptual plan for housing international students.

Preliminary figures suggest Oxford Village may need to raise its water rates by 80 percent and sewer rates by 40 percent. Nothing's been decided yet. A committee is still reviewing things and preparing to make a recommendation to council.

North Oakland VFW Post 334 honored Oxford teachers Jan Flynn, Amy Granger and Jennifer Coggins for promoting patriotism and citizenship.

Delbert Lee Robinson, who worked for the Oxford Village Police Department for approximately 20 years and the DPW for 34 years, passed away on Dec. 9. He was 81.

December 18

Oxford Township claims that by adding Lake Orion as a customer, Oxford Village breached the dispatch services contract.

Oxford Township officials are moving forward with a proposed $1.26 million expansion to the township hall. Officials are looking to add a meeting room and substation for the Oakland County Sheriff's Department.

Longtime Addison resident John Patrell passed away on Dec. 10. He was 88.

Lifelong Oxford resident Richard "Dick" Buechler, former owner of Buechler & Sons, Inc., passed away on Dec. 13. He was 83.

Oxford Township officials are looking to prohibit waterfowl hunting on nine lakes in the densely-populated southwestern portion of the township.

December 25

An ice storm hit the Oxford/Addison area leaving nearly 8,600 DTE Energy customers without electricity and causing two house fires.

Oxford Village contends that it has not breached the dispatch services contract with the township. The village is willing to work together with the township on any outstanding issues. However, if the township wants out of the contract, the village indicated it won't engage in a legal battle.

The Oxford school district wants the open-carry of firearms prohibited in schools.

The North Oakland Transportation Authority could ask voters to approve a property tax to help support it and make up for the nearly $387,000 in federal funding it will lose in 2015.

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