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Office of County Executive
Mark A. Hackel

Macomb Matters April 2023 Issue 87

Click for a pdf of Macomb Matters



Message from Mark


Welcome to the spring edition of Macomb Matters, our employee newsletter. It’s been a beautiful start to the season, with plenty of opportunity to get outside and enjoy our 27 municipalities. From shopping in our downtown cores, to getting active along our trail systems, there’s so much to do. Don’t know where to start? Find inspiration for the months ahead at and on the Make Macomb Your Home Events Facebook page.


Outside of the warmer weather and sunshine, spring also brings the start of road construction season. And that’s why we recognized National Work Zone Awareness Week from April 17-21. Over the next few months, you’ll see the hard-working crews from the Macomb County Department of Roads out on projects across our community. So please do your part to protect these workers by following this guidance:

  • Plan ahead. Expect delays, plan for them and leave early to reach your destination on time. When you can, avoid work zones altogether by using alternate routes.
  • Obey road crews and signs. When approaching a work zone, watch for cones, barrels, signs, large vehicles or workers in bright-colored vests to warn you and direct you where to go.
  • Slow down. Look for signs indicating the speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and follow the posted speed limit.
  • Move over. Most state move-over laws apply when passing work crews and official vehicles parked on the shoulder with flashing warning lights.
  • Avoid distractions. Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone at all times.
  • Watch for sudden stoppages. Don’t make sudden lane changes in front of trucks that are trying to slow down.

As you can see, it’s everyone’s responsibility when it comes to the safety of road workers. So be mindful when you get behind the wheel.

On that note, I’d like to highlight two other important weeks that we marked this month: National Public Health Week and National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Both occasions were celebrated in April and gave us the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the hard-working folks at the Health Department and at our Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center. These individuals oftentimes work behind-the-scenes, but their roles are essential in keeping us all healthy and safe. So I’d like to once again thank these County employees for their commitment to their profession and to our community. We appreciate you and we are grateful for your service.

Well, that’s all for now. I hope you enjoy this edition of Macomb Matters and as always, thank you for all you do to make Macomb a great place to call home.

Take care,




Employee Focus

Nancy Latham, MSU Extension


In this edition of Employee Focus, we highlight Nancy Latham, an employee of MSU Extension. Keep reading for insights into Nancy's role at the County and how she spends her free time.

How long have you been with the County/MSU Extension?
I am a HUD Certified Housing Counselor who started with MSU Extension in Genesee County in 2016. I came to Macomb County in 2017.

What is your current position and what do you do?
I am a financial and homeownership instructor. I teach Homebuyer Education classes, which is a required class for anyone applying for the state’s Down Payment Assistance Program. I also teach webinars on several topics related to housing and money management. Examples of some of the webinars: How Much Home Can You Afford?, Informed Renter, Mortgage and Tax Foreclosure Basics, Top 10 Credit Tips, Protecting Your Identity, Make a Spending Plan Work for You, Tips to Build & Protect Your Credit, Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate (who gets what when you die), and more.

I provide one-on-one counseling on budgeting and for homeowners with delinquent mortgages and/or property taxes. I help them apply for any assistance program that is available, work with the lender to get a modification, guide them to set money aside monthly for property taxes, and so on.  I also help them apply for a poverty exemption, if qualified, on their property taxes.

What led you to this career and what are some of the challenges you face?
I love helping people. I have helped people most of my life. More than 20 years ago, I decided I needed to have a career more involved with helping them in a different way. I have worked in the housing industry ever since. Some of the challenges are getting people to provide the information we need and require to be able to help them and for them to show up for their appointments on time. Working with the lenders can also be a challenge.

What have you found most rewarding about your career?
Knowing that someone is able to stay in his/her home.

Briefly tell us about your family (pets count too!).
I have two adult daughters, six grandchildren and one great grandchild. I also have a Yorkshire Terrier named Lucy. She was a rescue.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to go camping. I enjoy walking, reading, playing cards and other games with family and friends.

Briefly describe something you are passionate about, or a philosophy you embrace, or a topic that matters greatly to you, etc.
Treat others the way you want to be treated.



Employee Accolades

Veterans Services employee receives accolade from community member

A recent letter addressed to Macomb County Veterans Services detailed the hard work of Lisa Marie Duncan-Edwards, veteran service officer II. Written by a Macomb County Air Force veteran, the letter shared the story of how she went above and beyond the call of duty to obtain the deserving veteran’s benefits, including researching the veteran’s experience, timeline and health conditions and thoughtfully crafting a plan of action for securing compensation. The veteran wrote:

“Considering all she has done; I would be remiss if I did not bring this to your attention or her chain of command. Lisa Marie is a credit to herself, to your office, and to the people of Macomb County which she so ably represents. I shall be forever grateful to Lisa Marie…..and the other employees of the Macomb County Veterans Services.”

The Macomb Matters team would like to say thank you to Lisa Marie for this outstanding service.

Department of Roads employee demonstrates high level of customer service

Sue VanSteelandt, administrative assistant with the Department of Roads, recently received praise from a member of the public due to her proactive response to an issue. When it was reported that a streetlight was missing after the completion of a construction project, Sue took the information and dealt with it appropriately. The individual was so pleased with the response, he wrote a letter to the County, stating:

“It has become commonplace to deride our government and the systems in place to support our community.  I think that exceptional service should be recognized and congratulated as well.  Sue VanSteelandt went above and beyond to address my issue and ensure I was provided with all of the information I needed to further pursue the issue with DTE and Sterling Heights.  I consider that a job very well done!”

The Macomb Matters team would like to say thank you to Sue for this fantastic work.

Is there someone in your office who deserves a “pat on the back” for an outstanding achievement? If so, please let the Macomb Matters committee know about it! Email with the details.



New Hires/Retirees

Mary Barrette


The Macomb Matters team would like to congratulate Mary Barrette on her retirement.

Tell us about the different positions you held during your time with the County.

In 2008, I was hired as a Clerk I in the Circuit Court File Room, where we filed all the court proceedings and pulled files for the judges’ dockets.  In 2009, I moved to Veterans Services, starting out as one of the front office staff answering phones. I was responsible for scheduling appointments for the service officers and helping veterans and their families apply for burial benefits and trust and relief funds. In 2010, I was promoted to veterans service officer and became accredited with the Veterans Administration to assist veterans and their families obtain their federal VA benefits.  In 2021, I was promoted to veteran service officer II and started working as a member of the Veterans Treatment Court teams for the 41B District and 16th Circuit Courts in addition to my other duties.

What will you miss most about working for Macomb County?
What I will miss most of all are the wonderful veterans and their families I have had the pleasure and privilege of assisting for the past 13 years.  I will also miss all of the great people I have been fortunate to work with during my 15 years with the County, and especially my current supervisor, Laura Rios, and the co-workers I am very grateful to call my friends. 

Laura, department director of Veterans Services, spoke highly of Mary’s contributions to the veteran community and said: “Mary is compassionate with helping our veterans in our community and has helped over 3,600 veterans and widows in the last 13 years as a veteran service officer.  As a mentor and trainer she will be missed by our entire staff.”

What are you most proud of during your career with Macomb County?
I am most proud of all of the veterans and family members I have been able to help get the benefits they deserve. They earned them through their unselfish service to our country, keeping all of us safe and providing the freedoms we enjoy each and every day.  I will truly miss this job.  It is the most rewarding job I have ever had.  I don’t think I would have survived 11 years of driving 120 miles round trip (Davison to Clinton Township and back) every day for work without having the love I have for this job and the veterans I have worked with.  So my retirement is bittersweet.

What are your post retirement plans?
In addition to enjoying more time with family and spoiling my 9-month-old granddaughter, Zelda, my post retirement plans are to make my part-time quilting business my new full-time job. I started Red Cardinal Quilting about five years ago.  I provide long-arm quilting services, custom made memory bears, t-shirt quilts and various tote bags and other accessories, which I sell at crafts shows.  My husband and I are also planning to travel a bit, starting with an Alaskan cruise in October.

Congratulations on your retirement Mary! It is well earned!

Click here for a list of New Hires/Retirees



Watch the Falcon Cams in Macomb County


This article originally appeared in MetroParent Magazine, written by Claire Charlton.

Something exciting is happening on two rooftops in Macomb County. Spring is nesting season and in two Macomb County locations, eggs are incubating under two peregrine falcon pairs. These nests are high atop the roofs of the Old County Building in Mount Clemens and the General Motors Cadillac Headquarters in Warren.

And, thanks to a couple of well-placed “Falcon Cams,” you can watch these adult birds care for their eggs and hatchlings.

“The webcam is wonderful,” says Barb Baldinger, long-time member of the Macomb Audubon Society and former volunteer for the Michigan DNR. “Prior to that, we had to cover windows and make a peek hole so we could see the progress.”

Apart from natural curiosity about these majestic birds, Baldinger says it’s important to know when the eggs have hatched so the chicks can be banded by bird experts and followed throughout their adult lives. The Mount Clemens nest has been home to three different females over the years, and the current female, named Brookie Cookie, was hatched atop North Quad on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2019.

Although they don’t migrate, “peregrine means ‘traveler,’” Baldinger says, adding that Brookie Cookie has been laying eggs in Macomb County since 2021. “Last year she laid four eggs, and this morning she laid her fourth egg for this season.” Peregrine falcons lay a total of two to six eggs, one every 48 hours, and the eggs hatch in 33 to 35 days, Baldinger says.

The Mount Clemens nest was established in 2005 and has hatched 31 chicks over the years. The Warren nest started in 2014 and has hatched 22 chicks. Adult peregrine falcons typically live 12 to 15 years, according to Baldinger.

To the brink and back

And, we’re lucky to have these birds at all. During the 1950s, the population greatly decreased, partly due to the use of DDT in pesticides, which caused the birds to lay thin-shelled eggs.

“In the 1960s, there were no peregrine falcons east of the Mississippi River. Historically, there were 13 nests in Michigan and it took a big effort through many organizations to reintroduce peregrine falcons to cities,” Baldinger says.

In 1987, five young peregrines — Bogey, Freedom, Ollie, Sesqui and Sparky — were released at the Guardian Building in Detroit. But it wasn’t until 1993 that the first wild peregrine chicks in Detroit’s history — and the first in the lower peninsula for 37 years — were hatched on the Book Building to parents Pop and Judy.

Learn from the birds in Macomb County

The lives and habits of peregrine falcons are fascinating — these birds are known as the fastest animals in the skies for their dramatic aerial drops while they hunt. Families can learn a lot about peregrine falcons by watching the webcams in Mount Clemens and in Warren.

But if you’re seeking even more bird-watching opportunities, be sure to check out the St. Clair-Macomb Birding Trail, a guide to dozens of bird-viewing sites in the two counties. From Dodge Park to Tomlinson Arboretum to Stony Creek and Wolcott Mill Metroparks, you can discover the best places to spy a variety of bird species.

Use the interactive online St. Clair-Macomb Birding Trail map, or seek out the QR codes posted at many of the sites. Or, grab a paper map at the Macomb County Administration Building. The whole effort, launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, is made possible through the support of numerous partners, says Baldinger, who served as the Macomb Audubon Society representative for the birding trail.

“Get out and enjoy it,” Baldinger says. “COVID built an awareness of birds and there was more interest because we were all at home. But you can be involved at any level, from watching out the window to walking in local parks or traveling around the world. It’s a wonderful hobby you can share with the whole family.

Learn more about peregrine falcons close to home on the Peregrine Falcons Southeast Michigan Facebook page. And tune into the falcon cam atop the Old County Building here.





Healthstyles is pleased to partner with The Association of Financial Educators and offer a Financial Literacy presentation.

Attendees will learn the basics of Investing, Risk Management and Tax considerations. The event is on May 18 at the Verkuilen Building in the MSUE Assembly Room A from 12:15 pm to 1:00 pm. 

Attendees will need to RSVP to and confirm with your supervisor before registering for the event.



MSUE Corner

MSU Extension’s Adulting 101 Program Prepares Young People with Real Life Skills


Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) is excited to add four new classes to its popular Adulting 101 program. These engaging educational programs are designed for high school students and young adults to help demystify the obscure reality of being an “adult.” Each FREE class is packed full of important life skills and tools necessary to live independently. The Adulting 101 program features different topics monthly, taught by experienced MSU Extension Educators and 4-H volunteers. Register here for the new classes being offered May through August.

  • Cracking the Code to College - Thursday, May 18 at 6 p.m.: How do you choose a college that is right for you? Explore the admission and application process and get tips on writing your essay. 
  • How to Buy a Car - Thursday, June 8 at 4 p.m.: Buying a car is an important and costly decision to make. Attend this session to learn about choosing a vehicle, purchasing it and all the considerations when making your decision. 
  • Sew What! Clothing Care Saves Cash - Thursday, July 13 at 1 p.m.: Does sorting dirty laundry seem mind boggling? Not sure about detergent, bleach, fabric softener and dryer sheets? Have a loose button or need something hemmed? We'll spend an hour addressing these concerns and sew much more!
  • Eating Healthy on a Budget - Wednesday, August 16 at 1 p.m: Preparing healthy food and staying within your budget does not have to be a challenge. Planning, preparing and purchasing strategies will be shared so you can stretch your food dollars further.

If you are interested in learning more about MSU Extension’s Adulting 101 sessions, please reach out to Macomb County MSU Extension Educator, Kathy Jamieson,



Meet Macomb County’s New Purchasing Manager


Did you know? Macomb County just hired a new purchasing manager! And this position is essential. Because from office furniture to branded giveaways, this person ensures proper procedures around the products we buy through the direction of the activities of Purchasing, Central Stores, Mail Services and the Print Shop. So meet Mark Chomontowski, who started with the County earlier this year.

“After spending much of my career with large companies, I became interested in something with more of a local focus,” he said. “Having lived in Macomb County all of my life, I was looking for opportunities closer to home, and an opportunity to work locally. So working for the County in which I live felt like the right situation.”

Switching from work in the private sector to the public sector can be a challenge, but Mark is managing the transition, while also working through common issues in the purchasing field. 

“We’re dealing with longer lead times, rising costs and resource shortages still lingering from the pandemic,” he said.

These challenges can make work complex, but Mark, who has a bachelor’s from Oakland University and a master’s from Central Michigan University, has the right mindset.

“A particular philosophy that has served me well throughout my career is: ‘Try to do what is right, even when no one is looking.’' he said. “To me...It doesn't mean always be right because everyone makes mistakes, but rather act with integrity and respect and trust will be earned from peers and respect returned by them as well.”

He’s also bolstered by his life outside of work.

“I have a wonderful wife, two children by marriage and a beautiful granddaughter who I love to spoil,” he said. “And when I am not spending time with my family, I enjoy listening to live music, going to sporting events and traveling. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends on a few of our lakes.”

So let’s welcome Mark to the Macomb County team. We’re certain he’ll make a positive impact on our organization and we’re proud to have him on board.



From the heart: A message from Andy McKinnon


This edition has been difficult for me to draft. I keep getting pulled away and frankly it has just been difficult to put anything at all on paper. I know what I want to discuss, I have strong feelings on the matter and yet it is just not coming out. 

At the same time I have been seeing and hearing so much about ChatGPT. I have been talking with colleagues and teasing that I am just going to have a robot write this article and see if anyone notices. 

So I sort of combined the two and asked ChatGPT to draft a memo for me on resilience and below is what came out verbatim:


I wanted to take a moment to talk about resilience and its importance in our personal and professional lives.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks, challenges, and adversity. It is the capacity to adapt to change, overcome obstacles, and remain focused on our goals. In today's fast-paced and ever-changing world, resilience is an essential quality that we all need to cultivate.

At work, resilience can help us cope with stress, manage workload and meet deadlines. It can also help us navigate difficult situations, whether it is a conflict with a colleague, a project that did not go as planned or a performance review that was not as positive as we hoped.

In our personal lives, resilience can help us cope with the ups and downs of life, whether it is a health issue, a relationship problem or a financial setback. Resilience allows us to bounce back from these challenges, learn from them, and move forward.

So, how can we develop resilience? There are many ways, but some of the most effective strategies include:

  • Cultivating a positive mindset: Focus on the positive aspects of your life, practice gratitude, and learn to reframe negative experiences in a positive light.
  • Building a support network: Connect with friends, family, and colleagues who can offer emotional support, guidance, and advice.
  • Developing coping skills: Learn techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or exercise to help you manage stress and anxiety.
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle: Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in regular physical activity can help you build resilience.

Remember, resilience is not something that we are born with, but rather a quality that we can develop and cultivate over time. By focusing on our strengths, building our support network, and taking care of ourselves, we can all become more resilient.

Thank you for taking the time to read this memo. Let's continue to support each other as we navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead.


Shocking, fascinating, terrifying, are all words that immediately popped to mind while reading this. I don’t believe anyone would know this isn’t my writing if I didn’t state it. It sort of reinforced in my mind that resilience truly is what we need to be focusing on. The change of pace is going to continue to accelerate. We can’t and shouldn’t try to stop it. We must focus on being resilient, embracing these technologies, using them to improve our lives and the lives around us and ensuring that we continue to place safeguards in place to keep these technologies from being used for nefarious purposes.

On a final and hopeful note, our next issue will come out when it’s warm, the leaves are on the trees, the boats are in the water and people are having neighborhood barbecues, I for one cannot wait!

Take care,





For Your Benefit


Open Enrollment for voluntary benefits begins June 1, 2023!

Voluntary benefits are in addition to the benefits already enjoyed by Macomb County employees. There are premiums associated with the voluntary benefits. The premiums for these benefits are automatically deducted from employee’s pay, and are paid for on a post-tax basis.  However, because of the size of our organization and our relationships with the vendors, the products are offered at significant discounts.

The voluntary benefits available during this enrollment period are listed below:

  • Long Term Care
    • LifeSecure Long Term Care provides assistance with personal, everyday activities such as eating, bathing, and dressing, which may be needed as a result of an injury, accident, illness, surgery or advanced age.
  • Hospital Indemnity
    • Aflac Choice offers hospital-related benefits to help with the expenses not covered by major medical, which can help prevent high deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses from derailing your life plans. It is customizable.
  • Short Term Disability
    • Macomb County partners with AFLAC to provide a short term disability product at great group rates.
  • Universal Life
    • Universal Life with Long Term Care Protection, Permanent Life Insurance, Terminal Illness benefit and it is portable.
  • Accident Advantage
    • AFLAC’s Accident Advantage policy provides financial peace of mind to full time employees in the event of injury due to an accident.
  • Pet Insurance
    • Macomb County recognizes that family includes “fur babies!”  Full time employees can purchase medical insurance for their pets through convenient post-tax payroll deductions.
  • Legal Shield and Identity Theft
    • Legal Shield’s legal plan offers full time employees the ability to speak with an attorney regarding any personal legal matter without worrying about the cost.
  • Critical Care Protection
    • AFLAC’s Critical Care policy provides financial peace of mind to full time employees who experience a serious health event such as a heart attack or stroke.

If you have any questions, please visit our Voluntary Benefits webpage or call us at 586-469-5650. You can also find more information and plan documents through your Employee Navigator portal or on our Voluntary Benefits webpage.

And watch for upcoming notices detailing specific dates and times!

Please note that enrollment in the Flexible Spending Accounts can only be done during regular open enrollment, which is in the fall. Employees can enroll in the 457 Deferred Compensation program at any time throughout the year.



Providing support by keeping it casual


The Board of Commissioners has announced the continuation of the Macomb County Casual Day Charitable Collections Program. Participating employees (with department leader permission) may wear casual clothing to work on Fridays (or other designated day), if they donate at least a dollar. Participating departments will be monitored, and donations are sent in a timely fashion. Collected donations are then sent by the Board Office to the assigned charities.

Earlier this year, the BOC announced the full list of programs it will support in 2023. Stay tuned for additional announcements on the topic, and in the meantime, if you are able, please participate in the upcoming Casual Days that will help:

May 5, 12, 19, 26

Charity: The Macomb Food Program
Provides food to over 50 pantries throughout Macomb County.

June 2, 9, 16, 23

Charity: Junior Leadership Macomb
A free program for high school juniors in Macomb County public, private, charter, and home-school programs.

Special: June 30
Charity: Samaritan House
Serving individuals and families within our community by recognizing their needs and mobilizing the means for dealing with those needs so that suffering can be relieved, dignity preserved, and love shared.



Macomb County Animal Control Adoption of the Month - March/April


Pictured are just a few of the many animals who found a home with the help of Macomb County Animal Control! Is your companion waiting for you? Pay a visit to the shelter and find out! Visit the website for more information about pets available for adoption, information about the adoption process and hours of operation.



MMYH Ambassadors

MMYH Ambassador - Take a quiz, win a prize!


Welcome back to the MMYH Ambassadors column! This edition will feature a fun tradition hosted by the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development - Sprint and Splash!

This is the 12th annual Sprint and Splash Festival of Races, which will return to Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township on Saturday, August 12. Events include:

  • 5K run / walk
  • Duathlon – Which combines a 5K run and a 2-mile paddle using a kayak or stand-up paddle board
  • 2-mile paddle race (kayak or stand-up paddleboard)

Registration will open May 1. And interested individuals are being encouraged to sign up using code “EARLYBIRD23” for $5 off sign up fees. The offer expires at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 5. Find pricing and additional details at

Music, beer, food and more will be available on site, and all proceeds benefit the Huron-Clinton Metroparks and the Clinton River Watershed Council — so you do not want to miss this year’s event!

Now - think you’re ready to complete the ambassador quiz and win some great County swag? Click here to get started and stay tuned for the next issue, where we’ll cover a new topic.



IT Download

A message from Jako van Blerk: Free USB charging stations are convenient, but are they safe?


Our Security partner, IANS, pointed us to a recent Washington Post article regarding a warning from the Federal Government about the safety of free USB charging stations. We use them at airports, hotels, coffee shops, businesses and other places, because we need to charge our heavily used electronic devices. Everyone recognizes the need for them and makes them available to the public as a free service; it’s part of modern-day customer service.

But bad actors have figured out ways to introduce malware and monitoring software via USB ports into our devices. Someone breaking into your phone that has so much of your personal information on it, is as invasive as someone breaking into your home. Ritesh Chugh, an associate professor and technology and society expert at Central Queensland University says that “as little as one minute of charging time may be adequate for compromising a user’s phone.” The FCC’s website cautions: “Don’t let a free USB charge wind up draining your bank account.”

Although “juice jacking” as they call it is not that familiar and not yet widely publicized because no real data exists to determine how big the problem is, the fact of the matter is that it is already a problem, and it will continue to grow. Malicious individuals are always on the lookout for ways to invade our privacy, and they make serious business of it. The point is that it’s a vulnerability that malicious actors can and will exploit to further expand their criminal activities.

Some good advice:

  •  If you have used public charging stations, look for things like reduction in battery life, slowdown in operations, overheating, settings changing without your input and unusually high data usage – this might indicate that your phone has been compromised.
  • Use a USB C cable that has more advanced technology and does not allow data extraction, or use a charging only USB cable that cannot transmit data, or even use a wireless charger, which does not have these vulnerabilities.
  • Do not use the charging stations, but rather use your own plug-in charger and cable that you carry with you, or a small power pack to charge your device(s) from.

I hope this helps in keeping all of us aware and vigilant regarding our surroundings. I have used these charging stations multiple times myself, however I will not do that again.



Paw Print


Greetings from Chief Randazzo!

As you know, we work all year long to promote responsible pet ownership, prevent animal abuse and prosecute those who commit crimes against animals. If you’ve visited our Youtube channel and watched some episodes of our program, On Patrol with Animal Control, you know why this is an unfortunate but necessary aspect of our career path.

This month, we’re focusing on prevention, because April is National Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month.  In order to raise awareness, Utica hosts an annual Puppy Parade every year. Each year there is a “special guest” who represents the victims of animal cruelty. This year, the special guest is Blu, a two-year-old rescue in the care of the Saving Destiny Dog Rescue. There will also be some human special guests representing agencies that advocate for animals, and they will share some brief words about their work. This is a great opportunity to connect with those agencies and meet some vendors as well. The highlight of course is the Puppy Parade, where pets and animals are celebrated! This event is on Saturday, April 29, at Grant Park in Utica, at 2 p.m. Pets of all ages are welcome. For more information, please visit the city of Utica’s website. And join us the next day, Sunday April 30, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for our very first Paws, Pose and Play event at Stony Creek Metropark! We’ll be celebrating at the Oakgrove Off-Leash Dog Area. There will be dog training presentations, food trucks, music and artists to draw portraits of your animals. You’ll also have an opportunity to meet the Metroparks very own Police K9 dog Ripley! This is an event you do not want to miss.

If you’d like to add a member to your family, we have regular adoption events. We found homes for 13 of our shelter residents at the last event on April 15, but there are many more animals looking for loving and responsible homes. For more information about available animals, or upcoming adoption events, visit the Animal Control Website and follow us on Facebook.

Until next time!



Recipe Corner

Rhubarb Muffins



  • 1 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose, whole-wheat or combination)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup diced rhubarb (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 muffin
Servings per container: 12
Saturated fat……………... 0g
Vitamin C………………...1mg


Wash hands and all food preparation surfaces.

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, egg, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Stir in rhubarb.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened-do not overmix.
  5. Divide the mixture between muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan after a few minutes of cooling.
  6. Store muffins in a closed container for up to two days at room temperature or a week in the refrigerator.


  • If using frozen rhubarb, measure when mostly frozen. After thawing add rhubarb and extra juice to wet ingredients.

Recipe provided by: Food Hero, Oregon State University Extension,

Download a PDF version



Blog Log


Motor City Rockers provide great product, family entertainment

Macomb County has first community meeting on Health-care hubs concept




News Nook


Macomb County Animal Control: Caring for Macomb’s Furry Friends

3 one-of-a-kind records shops you can only find in Macomb County






Utica Puppy Parade

Saturday, April 29, 2023
Grant Park, Utica
Learn more



MetroBarks: Paws, Pose and Play

Sunday, April 30, 2023
Stony Creek Metropark
Learn more



Sprint and Splash

Saturday, August 12, 2023
Lake St. Clair Metropark
Learn more


Do you have comments or suggestions for Macomb Matters? Please send them to