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Oakland County continues digital winning streak

Oakland County is among the most digitally-advanced counties in the United States for the 13th year in a row, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced. The 2017 Digital Counties Survey by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) has ranked Oakland County among the top counties that maximize services and improve transparency through the strategic use of technology.

“The ongoing innovation by Oakland County’s information technology team delivers high-quality, cost-effective services both to our customers as well as other governments,” Patterson said. 

“Our commitment to digital excellence continues to garner national recognition.”

Among Oakland County’s IT achievements is collaborating with other governments in the cloud. The county launched G2G Cloud Solutions (G2Gcloud.com) to improve government services by sharing technology with other government agencies at little or no cost, thereby reducing the cost of government. The county also developed G2G Marketplace (G2Gmarket.com) to offer solutions from government partners and approved vendors to government agencies through an online store experience.

“Everything we do is about discovering more efficient ways to deliver government services through the use of technology while collaborating with other governments,” Deputy County Executive/CIO Phil Bertolini said. “G2G Cloud Solutions and G2G Marketplace are the result of our vision as a digital county.”

Todd Sander, CDG executive director, said being a digital county plays a key role in serving residents.

“Digital counties are leveraging technology to improve the ways they conduct business and engage with citizens in increasingly innovative and exciting ways. The Center for Digital Government congratulates this year’s winners for their work to reduce costs, encourage citizen engagement, increase efficiencies and proactively address citizen expectations,” Sander said.

NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase said being a digital county helps residents while saving taxpayers money.

“As technology continues to grow in all facets of our lives, county governments are adapting and innovating. The Digital Counties Survey spotlights how counties deploy technology to enhance services and benefit residents while being responsible stewards of taxpayer resources,” Chase said.

For more information about the 2017 Digital Counties Survey, go to http://bit.ly/CDG-DigitalCos2017.

Tech upgrades in Patterson's budget recommendation

Oakland County will transform the way employees communicate and collaborate with each other as well as with the public by investing in a unified communications system to replace its analog telephone and voicemail systems. That’s one of several technology upgrades County Executive L. Brooks Patterson calls for in his balanced budget recommendation for fiscal years 2018-2020.“

Over the next five years, we’ll make a significant investment in capital projects that will maintain and improve technology,” Patterson said.

The unified communications system will provide peer-to-peer video conferencing, establish private wireless access to enable mobility, and link all county facilities. Some of its high-tech features include:
  • Conversion to a digitally based Voice Over Internet Protocol
  • Campus-wide wireless cloak to allow access for employees and guests
  • Video calling to/from all devices on the network
  • Expanded use of instant messaging
  • Expanded network capacity to allow faster communications
Other county technology projects include replacement of the county’s financial and human resources (HR) system, implementation of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and installation of a new firearms training system for sheriff deputies:
  • Oakland County’s current PeopleSoft Financial and HR System lacks many of the work process improvements offered by more modern systems because its HR component is nearly 20 years old and its financial component is over a decade old. The county will identify and implement new enterprise-wide systems which will include modules for accounting, financial planning, receivables, payables, purchasing and vendor management. Not only will the county be able to perform these key functions more efficiently, but it will help improve transparency by making records more accessible and easier to compile.
  • VDI will transform the county’s working environment and improve team member satisfaction while enhancing technical security and operational performance. It is the practice of running a user desktop inside a virtual machine that lives on a server in the county’s datacenter. The benefits of VDI include increased security, easier support, and better availability. It also enables new workforce strategies such as working remotely and enabling employees to bring their own devices.
  • The firearms training system requested by the Sheriff’s Office is a simulator which uses five interconnected borderless screens to create a fully immersive 300 degree environment that trains deputies how to continue to assess situations and expand situational awareness during high stress incidents.
Patterson’s recommended budget also will boost the county’s efforts to position itself as an employer of choice. Because of the improving economy, there is increased competition for new hires. Therefore, Oakland County will provide a general salary increase of three percent for fiscal 2018, one percent for 2019, and one percent for 2020.

“Competition in the labor market is evident and it is becoming more of a challenge to recruit and retain experienced, high-quality employees,” Patterson said. “Thus, the recommended budget includes slight incremental adjustments to employee compensation.”

Other items of interest in Patterson’s proposed budget include funding to assist local communities with road improvements:
  • The Tri-Party Road Funding program leverages county dollars for county road improvements with an equal match amount from the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) as well as the participating local community. The proposed budget assumes the Board of Commissioners will continue to authorize $2 million annually for this discretionary program, leveraging a total of $6 million annually.
  • The pilot Bi-Party Road Funding program to assist local cities and villages with local residential and commercial road improvements in an effort to attract, retain and grow business; retain jobs and encourage community investment; and maintain a safe road infrastructure. It will leverage $1 million of county funds for local road improvement projects with a total benefit of no less than $2 million.
The proposed general fund budgets for fiscals 2018, 2019, and 2020 are $454,704,473; $462,359,483; and $467,470,913, respectively. The total budgets for all funds for those years are $878,423,569; $882,464,428; and $887,158,499, respectively.
“This budget recommendation was accomplished through a partnership of all Oakland County officials. I also want to take this opportunity to thank Oakland County employees for their dedication and hard work,” Patterson said.

To view Patterson’s budget recommendation, go to www.OakGov.com/fiscal and click on “Information & Publications.”

RE/MAX releases June metro Detroit housing report, home prices up 7.5 percent

Excerpt

RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan released its latest housing report of metro Detroit for the month of June.

The shortage of available homes continues to impact the market, driving up home prices. A total of 5,271 homes were sold this June, meaning home sales have increased 0.6 percent from last year. Home prices are 7.5 percent higher than last year, with a June median sales price of $206,502. Oakland County saw the biggest increase in home prices over last year at 10 percent. However, Livingston, Macomb, and Oakland counties each saw decreases in total home sales.

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Rochester plans ribbon cutting for bicentennial

Excerpt

The City of Rochester will unveil a bicentennial monument to honor the 200th anniversary of the founding of Rochester.

The city will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12 at Rochester Municipal Park.

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Legal street racing registration open for Dodge's Roadkill Nights

Excerpt

Auburn Hills automaker FCA US announced that registration is open for legal drag racing on Woodward Avenue as part of the Roadkill Nights event, sponsored by Dodge and TEN: The Enthusiast Network, which will take place on Aug. 12 at the M-1 Concourse in Pontiac. The drag racing event and car festival has a total cash purse of $29,000, with $10,000 awarded to the fastest Dodge car.

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River otters move to renovated habitat at Detroit Zoo

Excerpt

The Detroit Zoo announced that the North American river otters are moving into a newly-renovated and expanded habitat. Following a gift from the Edward Mardigian Family Foundation, the habitat was increased to 2,500 square feet of space from 680 square feet, highlighted by new indoor and outdoor elements.

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Soak up the sunshine at Oakland County Parks and Recreation this August

The hustle and bustle of a busy summer give way to long, sunshine-filled days in August. Savor every last moment of summer by enjoying a relaxing day at the campground, splashing around at the waterpark, hitting the links and taking the family to these upcoming activities offered through Oakland County Parks and Recreation:
 
Aug. 2
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. The River Walk is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 17. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com. 
Aug. 3
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 3 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. The River Walk is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 17. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
Aug. 4
  • Enjoy a wet and wacky weekend with water wars, bubble blast, water color art, H20 inflatables, dunk tank, paddleboat races, slip and slide, wagon rides, DJ dance and band Aug. 4-5 at Addison Oaks Campground, 1480 W. Romeo Road in Leonard. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
Aug. 5
  • Join Michigan State University Extension – Health & Nutrition for a Blueberry Nutrition Program from 8 a.m.-noon Aug. 5 at the Oakland County Farmers Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford. Come out and try Michigan blueberries and learn how to purchase them for quality and how to store and preserve them. This program is sponsored by Genisys Credit Union. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or call 248-858-5495 for more information.
  • Join Oakland County Parks and Recreation for Air Fair from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5 at Groveland Oaks County Park, 14555 Dixie Highway, Holly. The event includes hot air balloons, inflatable bouncers, avian presentation, glider demo, balloon crafts, remote controlled airplanes, kite making, hayrides, food vendors, face painters, big screen movie, DJ dances and a band. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. For more information, call 248-634-9811. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
  • Oakland County Wheelchair Daze – Presented by the Filippis Foundation, a program for individuals of all ages with any form of disability and their immediate families, will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5 at Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Presented by the Filippis Foundation, the event includes carnival games, barrier-free boat rides, music, dancing, cotton candy and BBQ lunch. The entire event is free, including park admission and parking. Wheelchair Daze is sponsored by Canine Companions for Independence, Cascade Dafo, Chantel Giacalone, Crawl Walk Jump Run Therapy Clinic, MobilityWorks Restorative Medical and Colony Marine. Pre-register by July 25 at OaklandCountyParks.com or call 248-424-7081. For more information, email Adaptive@oakgov.com.
  • A Let’s Be Scientists Mini-class is set from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Head to the nature center for a day of experiments, learning and fun. Make soda geysers, do an experiment with skittles, make a concoction to take home and more. This is a kids-only event, so leave parents at the door. All supplies and snack are included. The program is suitable for children ages 5 and older. A signed release form is required with registration. Cost is $12/child. For more information or to register, call 248-858-0916.
Aug. 7
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 7 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. The River Walk is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 17. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
Aug. 9
  • Come out for Make a Splash: Wookie Wednesday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9 at Waterford Oaks Waterpark in Waterford Oaks County Park, 1702 Scott Lake Road, Waterford. Come dressed as an intergalactic character and enjoy the following activities: Water gun T-shirt tie-dye (participants need to bring their own light colored T-shirt), pool noodle lightsabers craft, nature activity and Nerf gun target practices. For more information, visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. The River Walk is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 17. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
Aug. 10
  • Enchanted Forest Friends is 10:30 a.m.-noon Aug. 10 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Don your wings or pointed hats and join us for a program exploring those elusive forest friends: Fairies and Gnomes. Learn the difference between these two mythical beings and discover what makes them magical. Enjoy a treat and a story, then head outside to spot any evidence of their mischief. Cost is $5/person. Pre-registration with payment required. Call 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays. For more information, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. 
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 10 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. The River Walk is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 17. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
Aug. 11
  • Funtastic Family Fest is Aug. 11-13 at Groveland Oaks Campground, 14555 Dixie Highway in Holly. Enjoy fun family times featuring games and contests, comedy magic show, dodgeball, face and body painting, nature hike, dunk tank, creative crafts, scavenger hunt, paddleboat races, hayrides, big screen movie, DJ dances and a band. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. For more information, call 248-634-9811. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
  • Enjoy a Corn Roast Aug. 11-12 at Addison Oaks Campground, 1480 W. Romeo Road in Leonard. Dine on roasted corn and potatoes and enjoy a corn-on-the-cob-eating contest, inflatables, face painters, DJ/karaoke, pie eating contest, corn husk figures, wagon rides and a band. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
Aug. 14
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. The River Walk is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 17. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
Aug. 15
  • Behind the Scenes Mini-Camp is set from 1-4 p.m. Aug. 15-16 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Ever wonder what naturalists do behind the scenes? Go off trail, peek into a nest box, help feed the nature center’s captive animals and more. This mini-camp is a must for any naturalist-in-training. Crafts and snacks will be provided each day. Dress for the weather; hiking shoes are a must. A signed release form is required with registration. Cost is $10/child for one day or $17/child for both days. Pre-registration with payment required. Call 248-858-0916 weekdays or Wint Nature Center at 248-625-6473 on Saturdays. For more information, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. 
Aug. 16
  • Behind the Scenes Mini-Camp is set from 1-4 p.m. Aug. 16 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Ever wonder what naturalists do behind the scenes? Go off trail, peek into a nest box, help feed the nature center’s captive animals and more. This mini-camp is a must for any naturalist-in-training. Crafts and snacks will be provided each day. Dress for the weather; hiking shoes are a must. A signed release form is required with registration. Cost is $10/child. Pre-registration with payment required. Call 248-858-0916 weekdays or Wint Nature Center at 248-625-6473 on Saturdays. For more information, visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. The River Walk is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 17. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
Aug. 17
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 17 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com. 
Aug. 18
  • Bikes, Balloons and Balls is Aug. 18-20 at Groveland Oaks Campground, 14555 Dixie Highway in Holly. Ride and roll with bike races and contests, team ball games, balloon crafts, relay races, big screen movie, clown, hayrides, DJ dances and a concert under the stars. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. For more information, call 248-634-9811. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
  • Enjoy recreation activities, DJ dance and band Aug. 18-19 at Addison Oaks Campground, 1480 W. Romeo Road in Leonard. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400. 
Aug. 19
  • NatureFit: Kayak/Try It! is set from 9:30-10:45 a.m. Aug. 19 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. If you have ever wanted to try kayaking, this beginners program is for you. Learn kayaking basics and enjoy a naturalist-guided tour exploring the highlights of beautiful Crooked Lake. This program is suitable for ages 11 through adult. Up to one hour will be spent on the water; meet at the Independence Oaks Boathouse. Space is limited so register early. Cost is $8/person, which includes kayak rental, water and snack. Pre-registration with payment required. Call 248-858-0916 weekdays or Wint Nature Center at 248-625-6473 on Saturdays. For more information, visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • A Pet Vaccination Clinic will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 19 at Orion Oaks Dog Park. No appointment is needed; everyone welcome. A number of dog and cat vaccines will be available along with heartworm tests, flea protection, microchips and dog licenses. All are available for a nominal fee; cash is preferred, but MasterCard, Visa and Discover are accepted as well. The vaccination clinic is presented by All About Animals and the Dog License event is presented by Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center. For pet safety, bring dogs on a leash and cats in a carrier. Orion Oaks Dog Park is located on Joslyn Road between Clarkston and Scripps roads. For more information, visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • Get involved with BMX Racing at Waterford Oaks County Park. A BMX Free Trial Day is from 2-5 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Waterford Oaks BMX Track, 1702 Scott Lake Road in Waterford. There will be no charge for admission, bike rentals, helmet rentals or track time during the event. Long sleeve shirt, pants and closed-toe shoes (no Crocs) required. Bring a peg-free bike and/or full-face helmet if available. The fun will include free inflatables (socks required), climbing tower, bike safety checks courtesy of Performance Bicycle of Bloomfield Hills and USA BMX Membership sign ups. Enter to win BMX T-shirts and Family Fun Passbooks. This event is sponsored by Genisys Credit Union. Call 248-858-0915 for more information.
  • Insect Safari is 2-4 p.m. Aug. 19 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Spend some time investigating the creeping, crawling and fluttering world of insects. Expand your knowledge of these colorful creatures through hands-on and interactive experiences including sweep net exploration. A ‘bee-licious’ snack will be provided in celebration of National Honey Bee Day. Come dressed for the weather. This program is suitable for ages 5 and older. Cost is $5/person. Pre-registration with payment required. Call 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays. For more information, visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
Aug. 24
  • Be sure to come hungry to the Oakland County Farmers Market on Aug. 24 to enjoy the Food Truck Rally. From 10 a.m.-1 p.m., visitors can indulge in savory BBQ, cool treats and freshly prepared culinary creations from popular vendors. The market will be open for shopping during the Food Truck Rally. Parking will be available at the market, the Road Commission of Oakland County lot located west of the market and at the lot located north of the market. The Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. Market hours are 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Aug. 25
  • It’s Epic Eras weekend Aug. 25-27 at Groveland Oaks Campground, 14555 Dixie Highway in Holly. Get in the groove with tie-dying, hula hoop dance demo, pie eating contest, team games, Tin Can Campers vintage trailers, glow crafts, face painting, hayrides, big screen movie, DJ dances and a black light bash with an oldies band. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. For more information, call 248-634-9811. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
  • Go Back in Time Aug. 25-26 at Addison Oaks Campground, 1480 W. Romeo Road in Leonard. Go retro with tie-dying, hip headbands, hula hoop dance demo, candy bar bingo, face painting, neon glow crafts, team games, wagon rides, black light bash, DJ dance and an oldies band. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
Aug. 26
  • Join Oakland County 4-H staff and discover the endless opportunities available to youth and adult volunteers during Family Market Day from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Oakland County Farmers Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford. Participate in a children’s activity about healthy eating. Get ideas for healthy school and work lunches as well as information on nutrition and food safety from the Michigan State University Extension - Health & Nutrition. Also, children can create a simple, fun and free make-and-take craft with Michigan State University Extension – 4-H Youth Development. This program is sponsored by Genisys Credit Union. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or call 248-858-5495 for more information.
  • Join Michigan State University Extension – Master Gardeners for a Daisy Dying Program from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Oakland County Farmers Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford. By placing daisies in colored water, participants will discover how plants take up food through their roots and stems to produce flowers, fruits and leaves. This program is sponsored by Genisys Credit Union. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or call 248-858-5495 for more information.
  • A 4-person Scramble Series for men and women ages 50+ is set for Aug. 29 at Springfield Oaks Golf Course, 12450 Andersonville Road in Davisburg. Check-in is at 7:30 a.m. with a shot-gun start at 8:30 a.m. Pre-pay is $132/team or $33/person. Non-pre-pay fees are $168/team; $42/person. Event includes 18 hole green fees, cart rental, continental breakfast, lunch immediately after the round, contest holes and prizes. In the event of a rain out the day of, lunch will still be provided. Rainchecks will be issued for green fees and cart rental only. Optional Skins game: $20 per team, must be paid prior to the start of the round. The registration form is available at OaklandCountyParks.com. For more information, contact Tournament Director Jan Villarreal at 248-634-2261 or email SpringfieldOaks@oakgov.com.
For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @OCParksAndRec.

10th annual Troy Traffic Jam takes place Sunday, August 6 at the Columbia Center

Troy Historic Village is excited to announce that the 10th annual Troy Traffic Jam car show will take place on Sunday, August 6th from 10am – 3pm at the Columbia Center on Big Beaver Rd. Troy’s premier car show features all the chrome and muscle that car enthusiasts come to expect with over 300 vehicles anticipated to be on display. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the event, the Traffic Jam is unveiling a new logo that will be featured on t-shirts. It’s bright, fun and classy, just like the cars that will be there! The Troy Traffic Jam is a free, fun and family-friendly event with plenty of activities, music and food to keep the entire family entertained.

The event is made possible by major sponsors KIRCO/Columbia Center, Kelly Services, The Suburban Collection, American House, and the City of Troy. Troy’s Director of Economic and Community Development Mark Miller shared the following news about this year’s car show, “I’m happy to announce that this year the new free Troy Trolley will be running during the Traffic Jam. Visitors can enjoy the show and hop the trolley to the Somerset Collection or great restaurants along the Big Beaver corridor.”

The Troy Traffic Jam car show started 10 years ago with the strong support of Alan Kiriluk, founder and chairman of KIRCO, a Troy, Michigan based commercial real estate development, construction, and property management organization. The car show has grown through the years to nearly 300 vehicles that included a 1932 Stutz DV-32 Super Bearcat, a 1930 Packard Phaeton, and a 2015 Chrysler Challenger Hellcat, to specialty vehicles such as a MUTT, or Multi-Utility Tactical Transport from General Dynamics Land Systems, which will be part of the show again this year. The 2016 show was highlighted by an ultra-rare Tucker 48, a recent barn find in Ohio, and was debuted by owner Mark Lieberman at the Troy Traffic Jam! Road and Track even live-streamed an interview with Lieberman from the show that received over 14,000 hits. “We’re so excited to say that Mr. Lieberman will be back again this year with another rare Tucker”, said Loraine Campbell, Executive Director of Troy Historic Village.

This year the Troy Traffic Jam is proud to have a piece of Hollywood History…the 1930 Rolls Royce Phantom once owned by legendary movie star Marlene Dietrich. It’s sure to be a huge draw at the car show. Other anticipated highlights include a 2017 limited edition Mustang Shelby 35, and a 40 Ford Coupe – winner of the 2015 Detroit Autorama Preservation Award – owned by metro Detroit native Mike Stowe. Stowe purchased the car in 1958 for $125 which needed immediate restoring. “On the way home it seemed to be running funny. I decided to remove a head to check the condition of the motor. When I looked down the hole where the piston should be, I discovered one was missing. I was able to see the crankshaft with no rod in it. That engine came out and was thrown away”, said Stowe.

The Troy Traffic Jam also provides kids’ activities. This year the KidZone, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Troy, will include face painting, kid and car-friendly crafts, and an opportunity for children to vote for their favorite cars. Another fun kid activity will be a remote control car obstacle course sponsored by Mahindra. Music at the show is provided by DJ Bob Steel, and plenty of great food and beverages will be available for purchase from Kona Grill and Insalata, as well as an ice cream cart with Good Humor brands.

Individuals interested in displaying their vehicle(s) are welcome to register at TroyTrafficJam.com. The entry fee is $20 per car. All registration fees for the Troy Traffic Jam are tax deductible and support the Troy Historic Village.

Additional sponsors for the event include Community Choice Credit Union, Morgan Stanley, Mahindra, Independent Bank, DiLisio Contracting, along with 11 other local businesses. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Interested businesses can contact Ronica Bhattacharya at fund@thvmail.org or visit TroyTrafficJam.com to view sponsorship levels and complete an online sponsorship form.

About Troy Historic Village
Troy Historic Village is located at 60 West Wattles Rd., Troy MI. The Village which is open year-round showcases ten historic structures in a charming five-acre complex. Visitors of all ages can explore Michigan history by witnessing and sharing the lifestyles of the pioneers who established homes and farms in rural Troy Township during the 1800s. Troy Historic Village serves the counties of Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb, providing a memorable and interactive experience for all visitors. Offering a wide variety of activities for children and a diverse range of lectures and events for adults, the Village aims to enhance appreciation of history while using Troy's rich and evolving story as a backdrop. Their goal is to conserve local history, connect the community with heritage and continue outstanding educational programs.

About KIRCO
KIRCO is an award winning, full service, vertically-integrated commercial real estate organization. Having planned and developed over 30 million square feet, KIRCO is a major developer of build-to-suit own or lease properties coast to coast. The company's vertically-integrated structure, including development, construction and property management, works together as one extraordinary unit to bring out the best in every project in which it plays a role. KIRCO is third-generation family owned and operated, and has expertise in the office, industrial, retail, senior living and healthcare sectors. Founded in 1974, KIRCO is headquartered in Troy, Michigan with presence in Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama.

Oakland County Parks and Recreation lifeguards honored for saving a life

Teamwork and training synched when lifeguards at Red Oaks Waterpark in Madison Heights pulled an unconscious swimmer from the water in mid-June.

“The lifeguard on duty noticed an 11-year-old male in the water not moving. The lifeguard responded, performed a save and opened the boy’s air way.  The child did not show signs of breathing so the lifeguard administered rescue breaths in water, while a team of lifeguards responded and removed the child from the wave pool,” Matt Pardy, Red Oaks Park Supervisor, said.
 
According to Pardy, once the child was on the pool’s deck, lifeguards performed an assessment and determined the child had a pulse but was not showing signs of breathing.  Using a bag-valve-mask and oxygen, lifeguards administered rescue breaths for the child.  Prior to the two-minute reassessment, the child began to cough/vomit up water and regained consciousness. EMS transported the child to a hospital where he was examined and released later in the evening having made a full recovery. The incident occurred on June 15 at 12:19 p.m.
 
“The Red Oaks lifeguards acted decisively in the rescue, expertly applying their training and following the established emergency action plan.  These efforts resulted in a child's life saved.  We enthusiastically congratulate these lifeguards for their service as they exemplify what it means to be a professional lifeguard,” Luke Martinez of Jeff Ellis & Associates said.

Oakland County Parks and Recreation’s 100 lifeguards are trained through Jeff Ellis & Associates International Lifeguard Training Program. Ellis is an aquatic safety and risk management consultant.

For their participation in saving the child’s life, six lifeguards were honored with the Lifeguard in Action Award from Ellis & Associates.

Individuals who received this honor are:  
•Joshua Turner - Waterford
•Dilon Lemond - Davisburg
•Sam Kuznia – Royal Oak
•Joe Heaton - Roseville
•Rebecca Dorey - Clawson
•Zach Owczarzak – Clarkston
 
“The Lifeguard in Action award is given to lifeguards who positively contribute to the efforts of a team (or acting individually) in saving a life.  While there may be many examples of this every year, we look to highlight individuals who either performed exceptionally well or went above and beyond to get the positive outcome,” Martinez said. “It is hard to articulate this as there are a lot of intangibles. Suffice it to say that we do not give these awards out very often, which I think adds to the meaningfulness of the honor.”

Joshua Turner and Dilon Lemond were recognized by the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission at its July 12 Commission meeting.

“Joshua and Dilon were the first two lifeguards to recognize the distressed boy in the water and respond to render first aid. They were the critical first step in saving this child’s life,” Sue Wells, Manager of Park and Recreation Operations, said. “The Parks Commission wanted to honor these young men for their dedication to their job and commitment to safety.”

Turner and Lemond are assigned to work at Waterford Oaks Waterpark in Waterford, but had been assisting at Red Oaks Waterpark the day of the incident.

Oakland County Parks and Recreation provides 100 lifeguards to monitor the aquatic safety of its 215,000 annual visitors at two waterparks and one beach. Lifeguards are on duty through Labor Day at Red Oaks Waterpark in Madison Heights, Waterford Oaks Waterpark in Waterford and Groveland Oaks County Park Beach near Holly.

OCPR’s lifeguard staff has received Ellis & Associates International Aquatic Safety Awards for exceptional safety every year since 2010.
 
For details on upcoming events and activities, visit OaklandCountyParks.comGet social with Oakland County Parks and Recreation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Waterford Mott teacher brings back science lessons from NASA summer institute

Excerpt

Waterford Mott High School teacher Sharon Spencer joined educators from across the nation for the LiftOff Summer Institute at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas last month.

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Seger sponsors Dale Carnegie program at Children's Village

Rocker Bob Seger’s generosity is bringing life-changing skills to at-risk teens at Oakland County Children’s Village. For the second year in a row, Seger is sponsoring the Dale Carnegie Teen Program at Children’s Village which is taking place through July 21.

“Oakland County is grateful for Mr. Seger’s support and continued generosity,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “His participation sends a powerful message to our at-risk youth that they matter and their success matters.”

The first class of 12 at-risk Children’s Village teens graduated from the Dale Carnegie Teen Program in June of 2016 with inspiring results. They learned public speaking and decision-making skills. Their self-confidence grew every session. Most importantly, the students learned to replace negative attitudes with positive thoughts and actions.

“I got to watch each of these students change right before my eyes. I know that this year we’ll again see incredible changes in all the teens taking the course,” said Aaron Danish, a Brother Rice High School student who, as a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Teen Program, was inspired to bring it to Oakland County Children’s Village. Now, he is a volunteer graduate assistant with the program.

“I saw the big difference this program made for me and my classmates,” Danish said. “We gained confidence and learned goal setting and public speaking skills. It occurred to me that those who need it most rarely have the financial means to get this kind of training and support.”

So he spoke with his mother, Dr. Myra Danish, a board member of Children’s Village Foundation, and together they contacted Seger who immediately embraced the program. Based on last year’s inspiring and lasting results, Seger agreed to support it again this year.

Danish participated as an assistant in the 2016 course under the direction of Kathy Tosoian, a Dale Carnegie instructor. Tosoian will return this year to lead the course with Danish at her side.

The sessions and graduation are closed to the public and media.

About Children’s Village and Children’s Village Foundation
Children’s Village is the Oakland County’s residential facility for children and youths who are in need of out-of-home services. Youth are placed in Children’s Village by court order or by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Children’s Village provides residential care and comprehensive treatment services for youth and their families. To learn more about Children’s Village, go to www.OakGov.com/Village.

The Children’s Village Foundation provides funding for extra-curricular educational programs as well as special projects and activities. The foundation is made up of volunteers from the community and every dollar raised has a direct impact on the children. For more information about Children’s Village Foundation, visit www.CVFoundation.com.

Rochester Marine honored for helping save woman's life on Mount Fuji

Excerpt:

Christopher Ehms, a Marine and Rochester native, was honored after helping save a woman’s life on Mount Fuji in Japan.

Cpls. Ehms, Otto Thiele and Eric Goodman and Lance Cpls. Antonio Martinez and Avelardo Guevara Osuna were hiking Mount Fuji on Independence Day weekend when Thiele heard another hiker crying for help.

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Soak up the sunshine at Oakland County Parks and Recreation this August

The hustle and bustle of a busy summer give way to long, sunshine-filled days in August. Savor every last moment of summer by enjoying a relaxing day at the campground, splashing around at the waterpark, hitting the links and taking the family to these upcoming activities offered through Oakland County Parks and Recreation:
 
Aug. 2
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. The River Walk is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 17. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
 
Aug. 3
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 3 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. The River Walk is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 17. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
 
Aug. 4
  • Enjoy a wet and wacky weekend with water wars, bubble blast, water color art, H20 inflatables, dunk tank, paddleboat races, slip and slide, wagon rides, DJ dance and band Aug. 4-5 at Addison Oaks Campground, 1480 W. Romeo Road in Leonard. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
Aug. 5
  • Join Michigan State University Extension – Health & Nutrition for a Blueberry Nutrition Program from 8 a.m.-noon Aug. 5 at the Oakland County Farmers Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford. Come out and try Michigan blueberries and learn how to purchase them for quality and how to store and preserve them. This program is sponsored by Genisys Credit Union. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or call 248-858-5495 for more information.
 
  • Join Oakland County Parks and Recreation for Air Fair from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5 at Groveland Oaks County Park, 14555 Dixie Highway, Holly. The event includes hot air balloons, inflatable bouncers, avian presentation, glider demo, balloon crafts, remote controlled airplanes, kite making, hayrides, food vendors, face painters, big screen movie, DJ dances and a band. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. For more information, call 248-634-9811. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
 
  • Oakland County Wheelchair Daze – Presented by the Filippis Foundation, a program for individuals of all ages with any form of disability and their immediate families, will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5 at Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Presented by the Filippis Foundation, the event includes carnival games, barrier-free boat rides, music, dancing, cotton candy and BBQ lunch. The entire event is free, including park admission and parking. Wheelchair Daze is sponsored by Canine Companions for Independence, Cascade Dafo, Chantel Giacalone, Crawl Walk Jump Run Therapy Clinic, MobilityWorks Restorative Medical and Colony Marine. Pre-register by July 25 at OaklandCountyParks.com or call 248-424-7081. For more information, email Adaptive@oakgov.com.
 
  • A Let’s Be Scientists Mini-class is set from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Head to the nature center for a day of experiments, learning and fun. Make soda geysers, do an experiment with skittles, make a concoction to take home and more. This is a kids-only event, so leave parents at the door. All supplies and snack are included. The program is suitable for children ages 5 and older. A signed release form is required with registration. Cost is $12/child. For more information or to register, call 248-858-0916.
 
Aug. 7
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 7 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. The River Walk is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 17. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
Aug. 9
  • Come out for Make a Splash: Wookie Wednesday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9 at Waterford Oaks Waterpark in Waterford Oaks County Park, 1702 Scott Lake Road, Waterford. Come dressed as an intergalactic character and enjoy the following activities: Water gun T-shirt tie-dye (participants need to bring their own light colored T-shirt), pool noodle lightsabers craft, nature activity and Nerf gun target practices. For more information, visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
 
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. The River Walk is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 17. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
Aug. 10
  • Enchanted Forest Friends is 10:30 a.m.-noon Aug. 10 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Don your wings or pointed hats and join us for a program exploring those elusive forest friends: Fairies and Gnomes. Learn the difference between these two mythical beings and discover what makes them magical. Enjoy a treat and a story, then head outside to spot any evidence of their mischief. Cost is $5/person. Pre-registration with payment required. Call 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays. For more information, visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
 
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 10 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. The River Walk is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 17. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
Aug. 11
  • Funtastic Family Fest is Aug. 11-13 at Groveland Oaks Campground, 14555 Dixie Highway in Holly. Enjoy fun family times featuring games and contests, comedy magic show, dodgeball, face and body painting, nature hike, dunk tank, creative crafts, scavenger hunt, paddleboat races, hayrides, big screen movie, DJ dances and a band. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. For more information, call 248-634-9811. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
 
  • Enjoy a Corn Roast Aug. 11-12 at Addison Oaks Campground, 1480 W. Romeo Road in Leonard. Dine on roasted corn and potatoes and enjoy a corn-on-the-cob-eating contest, inflatables, face painters, DJ/karaoke, pie eating contest, corn husk figures, wagon rides and a band. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
Aug. 14
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. The River Walk is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 17. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
Aug. 15
  • Behind the Scenes Mini-Camp is set from 1-4 p.m. Aug. 15-16 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Ever wonder what naturalists do behind the scenes? Go off trail, peek into a nest box, help feed the nature center’s captive animals and more. This mini-camp is a must for any naturalist-in-training. Crafts and snacks will be provided each day. Dress for the weather; hiking shoes are a must. A signed release form is required with registration. Cost is $10/child for one day or $17/child for both days. Pre-registration with payment required. Call 248-858-0916 weekdays or Wint Nature Center at 248-625-6473 on Saturdays. For more information, visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
 
Aug. 16
  • Behind the Scenes Mini-Camp is set from 1-4 p.m. Aug. 16 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Ever wonder what naturalists do behind the scenes? Go off trail, peek into a nest box, help feed the nature center’s captive animals and more. This mini-camp is a must for any naturalist-in-training. Crafts and snacks will be provided each day. Dress for the weather; hiking shoes are a must. A signed release form is required with registration. Cost is $10/child. Pre-registration with payment required. Call 248-858-0916 weekdays or Wint Nature Center at 248-625-6473 on Saturdays. For more information, visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
 
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. The River Walk is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 17. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
Aug. 17
  • River Walk is from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 17 at Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. Walk the River Ride for fun and exercise. All abilities and fitness levels are welcome. This program is for adults only. Cost is $5/visit. For more information, call 248-424-7081 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
 
Aug. 18
  • Bikes, Balloons and Balls is Aug. 18-20 at Groveland Oaks Campground, 14555 Dixie Highway in Holly. Ride and roll with bike races and contests, team ball games, balloon crafts, relay races, big screen movie, clown, hayrides, DJ dances and a concert under the stars. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. For more information, call 248-634-9811. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
     
  • Enjoy recreation activities, DJ dance and band Aug. 18-19 at Addison Oaks Campground, 1480 W. Romeo Road in Leonard. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
 
Aug. 19
  • NatureFit: Kayak/Try It! is set from 9:30-10:45 a.m. Aug. 19 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. If you have ever wanted to try kayaking, this beginners program is for you. Learn kayaking basics and enjoy a naturalist-guided tour exploring the highlights of beautiful Crooked Lake. This program is suitable for ages 11 through adult. Up to one hour will be spent on the water; meet at the Independence Oaks Boathouse. Space is limited so register early. Cost is $8/person, which includes kayak rental, water and snack. Pre-registration with payment required. Call 248-858-0916 weekdays or Wint Nature Center at 248-625-6473 on Saturdays. For more information, visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
 
  • A Pet Vaccination Clinic will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 19 at Orion Oaks Dog Park. No appointment is needed; everyone welcome. A number of dog and cat vaccines will be available along with heartworm tests, flea protection, microchips and dog licenses. All are available for a nominal fee; cash is preferred, but MasterCard, Visa and Discover are accepted as well. The vaccination clinic is presented by All About Animals and the Dog License event is presented by Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center. For pet safety, bring dogs on a leash and cats in a carrier. Orion Oaks Dog Park is located on Joslyn Road between Clarkston and Scripps roads. For more information, visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
 
  • Get involved with BMX Racing at Waterford Oaks County Park. A BMX Free Trial Day is from 2-5 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Waterford Oaks BMX Track, 1702 Scott Lake Road in Waterford. There will be no charge for admission, bike rentals, helmet rentals or track time during the event. Long sleeve shirt, pants and closed-toe shoes (no Crocs) required. Bring a peg-free bike and/or full-face helmet if available. The fun will include free inflatables (socks required), climbing tower, bike safety checks courtesy of Performance Bicycle of Bloomfield Hills and USA BMX Membership sign ups. Enter to win BMX T-shirts and Family Fun Passbooks. This event is sponsored by Genisys Credit Union. Call 248-858-0915 for more information.
 
  • Insect Safari is 2-4 p.m. Aug. 19 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Spend some time investigating the creeping, crawling and fluttering world of insects. Expand your knowledge of these colorful creatures through hands-on and interactive experiences including sweep net exploration. A ‘bee-licious’ snack will be provided in celebration of National Honey Bee Day. Come dressed for the weather. This program is suitable for ages 5 and older. Cost is $5/person. Pre-registration with payment required. Call 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays. For more information, visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
 
Aug. 24
  • Be sure to come hungry to the Oakland County Farmers Market on Aug. 24 to enjoy the Food Truck Rally. From 10 a.m.-1 p.m., visitors can indulge in savory BBQ, cool treats and freshly prepared culinary creations from popular vendors. The market will be open for shopping during the Food Truck Rally. Parking will be available at the market, the Road Commission of Oakland County lot located west of the market and at the lot located north of the market. The Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. Market hours are 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Aug. 25
  • It’s Epic Eras weekend Aug. 25-27 at Groveland Oaks Campground, 14555 Dixie Highway in Holly. Get in the groove with tie-dying, hula hoop dance demo, pie eating contest, team games, Tin Can Campers vintage trailers, glow crafts, face painting, hayrides, big screen movie, DJ dances and a black light bash with an oldies band. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. For more information, call 248-634-9811. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
 
  • Go Back in Time Aug. 25-26 at Addison Oaks Campground, 1480 W. Romeo Road in Leonard. Go retro with tie-dying, hip headbands, hula hoop dance demo, candy bar bingo, face painting, neon glow crafts, team games, wagon rides, black light bash, DJ dance and an oldies band. For the summer campground recreation schedule, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. To make a camping reservation, call 248-858-1400.
Aug. 26
 
  • Join Oakland County 4-H staff and discover the endless opportunities available to youth and adult volunteers during Family Market Day from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Oakland County Farmers Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford. Participate in a children’s activity about healthy eating. Get ideas for healthy school and work lunches as well as information on nutrition and food safety from the Michigan State University Extension - Health & Nutrition. Also, children can create a simple, fun and free make-and-take craft with Michigan State University Extension – 4-H Youth Development. This program is sponsored by Genisys Credit Union. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or call 248-858-5495 for more information.
 
  • Join Michigan State University Extension – Master Gardeners for a Daisy Dying Program from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Oakland County Farmers Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford. By placing daisies in colored water, participants will discover how plants take up food through their roots and stems to produce flowers, fruits and leaves. This program is sponsored by Genisys Credit Union. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or call 248-858-5495 for more information.
 
  • A 4-person Scramble Series for men and women ages 50+ is set for Aug. 29 at Springfield Oaks Golf Course, 12450 Andersonville Road in Davisburg. Check-in is at 7:30 a.m. with a shot-gun start at 8:30 a.m. Pre-pay is $132/team or $33/person. Non-pre-pay fees are $168/team; $42/person. Event includes 18 hole green fees, cart rental, continental breakfast, lunch immediately after the round, contest holes and prizes. In the event of a rain out the day of, lunch will still be provided. Rainchecks will be issued for green fees and cart rental only. Optional Skins game: $20 per team, must be paid prior to the start of the round. The registration form is available at OaklandCountyParks.com. For more information, contact Tournament Director Jan Villarreal at 248-634-2261 or email SpringfieldOaks@oakgov.com.
 
For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @OCParksAndRec.

County Executive's Emerging Sectors business attraction program tops $4 billion total investment

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced the Emerging Sectors® business attraction and retention strategy he created in 2004 to diversify the county’s economy has surpassed $4 billion of total investment.

The strategy had four successes in June totaling $367 million of new investment, resulting in more than 1,700 new and retained jobs. When combined with figures since inception in 2004, the program has 450 business successes resulting in total investment of $4.3 billion; 44,562 new jobs and 29,920 retained jobs. A success is a company that is either new to Oakland County or expanded here when it considered moving to another state or country. Patterson said the strategy is responsible for new investment in the county, on average, of $915,000 every day for 13 years.

“The Emerging Sectors program has been an incredible success,” Patterson said. “It has changed the face of Oakland County’s economy.”

The milestone was reached 13 years after Patterson introduced the program to diversify Oakland County’s economy which had been heavily dependent on the automotive industry. The strategy targets international companies that show an interest in expanding operations into North America and North American companies that identified Oakland County as a possible business location. The targeted sectors include advanced electronics, advanced materials, medical technology, information technology/communications, aerospace and defense/homeland security.

“I wanted to wean us off our reliance on automotive, for which we paid such a heavy price during the Great Recession,” Patterson said. “I tried to balance my expectation with some realism about our likely success but I had no idea we would move so quickly.”

The most successful sectors have been health care/life science (Medical Main Street) at $1.1 billion of total investment, and IT/communications (Tech 248), at $801 million.

The companies that put Emerging Sectors over the top in June, including country of origin if not U.S.-based, business sector and location of Oakland County facility, are:
  • Elektrobit: Germany, advanced electronics, Farmington Hills
  • Autoliv Electronics America: Sweden, advanced electronics, Southfield
  • Williams International: aerospace, Pontiac
  • Cynerge Consulting: communications/information technology, Pontiac
Oakland County aggressively seeks international investment, with about 1,100 foreign-owned firms from 39 countries having business locations here. The county attracted $371 million of foreign direct investment in 2016 – about 38 percent of the county’s known private investment of nearly $900 million for the year. Through June, 18 international companies from seven countries announced new investment totaling $162 million and more than 4,700 new and retained jobs.

Deputy County Executive Matthew Gibb accompanied Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on a trade mission to Europe last month in an effort to attract companies to Oakland County. At the same time, Economic Development Director Irene Spanos was in Washington D.C. at the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The event attracted company representatives from more than 40 countries interested in establishing operations in the U.S.

Patterson lauded Gibb, Spanos and their team for attracting the new investment.

“Since coming together as a team less than five years ago, Matt and Irene have grown investment in the program by nearly $3 billion – a feat unmatched in the state,” Patterson said.

The success of the Emerging Sectors program has increased as it has matured. In 2008, Patterson hosted a celebration at the Cranbrook Institute of Science to honor the first 70 Emerging Sector companies whose total investment surpassed $1 billion. With the Great Recession at its peak, it took until 2013 for the program to reach $2 billion in total investment. More than 500 representatives from Emerging Sector companies and other guests were invited to a “What Goes into $2 Billion?” celebration on the arena floor at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The program reached $3 billion in 2015, which was marked by a celebration at Pentastar Aviation in an airport hangar at Oakland County International Airport. All of the celebrations were privately funded by sponsors.

Patterson said he would hold out until the program reaches $5 billion for the next celebration.

“This came on us too quickly,” he said.

Roadkill Nights powered by Dodge returns to Pontiac's M1 Concourse

Excerpt

Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge, a drag racing event and car festival, today announced it will return to the M1 Concourse in Pontiac for its second year on Aug. 12.  

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