LBN Covers Local Business News

Troy – January 30, 2019

Troy – January 30, 2019

Power of the Future: 2019 Economic Forecast

The Troy Chamber of Commerce is hosting a panel discussion of the 2019 economic forecast at their annual meeting on Tuesday, February 12, from 8 to 9:30 am at the MSU Management Education Center. The event will also kick off the Troy Chamber’s 60th Anniversary celebration.

The theme of the panel is change as the operative word for 2019; A new Governor, workforce demands, and a variety of issues we may be facing in our economy. The panel, moderated Rod Meloni of WDIV News, will discuss these issues and share what this might mean for the business community.

The Power of the Future panel includes:

  • Jennifer Llewellyn, Manager and Workforce Development/Director of Oakland County Michigan Works! Agency
  • Dan Gilmartin, Executive Director and CEO of Michigan Municipal League
  • Sandy Baruah, President and CEO of Detroit Regional Chamber

Tickets are $28.00 for Troy Chamber members and $34.00 for future members.


AARP Foundation Tax Aides will be available on Fridays, from February 1 to April 12 to do free tax preparation. Trained in cooperation with the IRS, these aides will help low to moderate income taxpayers, especially those 50 and older, prepare IRS and Michigan taxes. Make an appointment at the Friends of Troy Seniors desk or by calling the FOTS office at 248.526.2608, Monday through Friday, from 10 am to 1 pm.

Bring the following to your appointment:

  • A Social Security card for all persons on the tax return, including deceased spouse pensioners
  • Picture ID (driver’s license, passport etc.) for taxpayer and spouse
  • A copy of all prepared tax returns filed for 2017
  • All forms received for the 2017 tax year. Includes: W-2, SSA-1099 Social Security Benefit, 1099-INT Bank Interest, 1099-DIV Dividends, 1099-B Sale of Securities (with original purchase price of sold assets), 1099-R Income from Retirement Plans, IRA Distributions, Pensions, etc., 1099-OID and any 1095-A, 1095-B or 1095-C Health Coverage or Health Insurance Marketplace forms.
  • All other income statements: 1099-MISC, 1099-G, W-2G, etc.
  • Any letters from the IRS or State of Michigan Treasury that you received in 2018
  • Your bill for 2018 property taxes or total rent receipts and heating bills for your residence
  • Receipts for hospitalization insurance you paid including Medicare D (You do not need receipts for medicines or lists of medicines purchased unless you itemized previously or will itemize this year.)

They may not be able to complete your taxes if you do not have all of the above.

Telephone assistance is not available. If you are homebound, have someone bring your files in. In all cases, you and your spouse must be available to sign the forms.

And More Taxes!

Come learn about 2018 income tax law changes on Wednesday, February 20, from 9:30 to 11 am, in Room 302. In late 2017 Congress passed the most comprehensive and sweeping changes to our income tax laws since the mid 1980s. These changes will impact virtually every taxpayer and the changes will take place with your 2018 tax return. CPA Tom Hill will explain the changes and their impact on your tax situation. He will also talk about strategies to reduce your tax liability. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided. To register, call Friends of Troy Seniors at 248.526.2608 or stop by the FOTS office hours, Monday through Friday, from 10 am to 1 pm.


Support the Stage Nature Center’s sugar bush by “leasing” a maple tree as part of their “Rent-a-Maple” program in 2019. Your name, or the name of a loved one, will hang on a tapped tree during the entire maple syrup season to acknowledge your generous support. The $50 package includes:

An invitation to tap the “leased” tree at the SNC on February 23, 2019. Hot cocoa and donuts will be provided.

  • A spile for home tree tapping
  • One pint of pure maple syrup
  • Maple sugar candy
  • A “certificate of appreciation”
  • Other special surprises!

Register or get more information here.


Beth Robinson

Beth Robinson

City News Editor
To share your news, announcements, and events, please email
Clawson – January 30, 2019

Clawson – January 30, 2019

It’s That Time Again

Taxes are unavoidable, but you can get help. AARP income tax preparation volunteers will be at the senior center to prepare and e-file your 2018 income tax on Friday mornings beginning February 1. You must make an appointment for this free program by calling 248.583.6700. Appointments fill quickly, so call soon.

Make a Valentine Treat

Make a sweet for your sweetie on Thursday, February 7 at 12:45 pm at the senior center. Cost is $3. You can create a special valentine treat for yourself or a loved one. Each person will make five chocolate covered pretzel rods and package them up for gift-giving. Sign up with Gina or Kathy in the Recreation Office.

What’s Up in Clawson?

Clawson’s Downtown Development Authority Director Joan Horton made her monthly report to the DDA meeting. Here are the highlights:

  • Interior work is under way at NOAR Technology, 303 E. 14 Mile (former Toto bldg.)
  • Demolition has begun at 32 E. 14 Mile for the Weiss Distilling project (former home of Great Sport Coffee). Construction will begin in the spring.
  • The architect for the developers of the ACE Hardware property, at 149 E. 14 Mile, will meet with the development team this week to present concepts for improvements. The developers have met with the team several times to talk through concepts and their plans are very much in line with the Downtown Master Plan.
  • Work moves forward on the expansion of Noble Fish and the White Wolfe Patisserie with utility service upgrades currently in progress. A spring or summer opening is their goal.
  • The new alley entrance arch for the E. 14 Mile alley leading to the SE municipal parking lot has been delivered to DPW. Weather permitting, it may be installed before spring.
  • Giffels-Webster is now under contract to provide planning services for the City of Clawson. Planners will be Rod Arroyo, Joe Tangeri and Jill Bahm. This is the same team that provided services to the DDA to develop the award-winning Downtown Clawson Master Plan.

Party with Animals

Tickets are on sale for the Mother/Son Jungle Party, which will be at the Hunter Community Center on Saturday, March 23, at 3 pm. This is a special event for moms and their boys. Price includes light refreshments, a photo memento and an exciting visit from Mark Rosenthal’s Animal Magic.

Mark Rosenthal’s Animal Magic is a nonprofit dedicated to exotic wildlife conservation and life science education. Now in their 39th year, Animal Magic has educated and enlightened audiences across the U.S.  Their popular, live performances, allow them to share their knowledge, respect and appreciation for the animals that share our planet. Come see a fascinating variety of animals from around the world.

Buy tickets in advance at Hunter Community Center. Tickets are $20 per couple and $5 for each additional son.

Start Reading

February’s Wednesday Afternoon Book Club will meet on February 20, from 1 to 2 pm. You can reserve your copy of “To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care” by Cris Beam, and register for this free program in the library or by phone at 248.588.5500.

The book asks “Who are the children of foster care and what, as a country, do we owe them?” Cris Beam, a foster mother herself, spent five years immersed in the world of foster care looking into these questions and tracing firsthand stories. The result is “To the End of June,” an unforgettable portrait that takes the reader deep inside the lives of foster children in their search for a stable, loving family.

Beam shows us the intricacies of growing up in the system—the back-and-forth with agencies, the rootless shuffling between homes, the emotionally charged tug between foster and birth parents, the terrifying push out of foster care and into adulthood. Humanizing and challenging a broken system, “To the End of June” offers a tribute to resiliency and hope for real change.

Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor

Royal Oak – January 30, 2019

Royal Oak – January 30, 2019

Snow News

Snow has arrived. Here is what you should know:

The city asks all property owners to do their best to clear a path at least 36 inches wide after a snowfall for people using wheelchairs and strollers to pass. Please do not push snow into the street.

If you can, please help your elderly or disabled neighbors remove snow and ice from steps and sidewalks.

The Department of Public Service will be in full swing the next few days plowing and salting.

To find out if a snow emergency is in effect, you can:

  • Check the city’s website at gov.
  • Check the city’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter & NextDoor.
  • Call the Snow Emergency Hotline at 246.3442.
  • Sign up for email or text alerts from the Royal Oak Police.
  • Learn more.

Aging in Place Task Force

When you’re older, it can be nice to move someplace with more support. But for many it’s a greater comfort to stay in their homes. The Senior Services Aging in Place Task Force works to help meet their needs. They will meet on Thursday, January 31, from 6 to 8 pm at the Leo Mahany / Harold Meininger Senior Community Center.

It’s Tax Time

You can pick up your 1040 federal tax forms, the related six schedules and 1040 instruction booklets at the library. Tax forms and added information also can be found at Be aware that the IRS has eliminated the 1040A and 1040EZ forms this year. The library expects Michigan 2018 tax forms to arrive in mid-February. Michigan forms can be found at

Royal Oak is Recycling Everywhere

Re-use, re-use, re-use is the theme at the Farmers Market where you will find a bin for collecting plastic bags and also one for collecting egg cartons. Patrons and vendors alike are taking advantage to re-use the bags and cartons rather than sending them to the landfill.

The public library has added a plastic bag recycling collection bin and used battery bucket in the south vestibule. Clean plastic bags, including zip lock bags and heavy plastic handled bags can be recycled, but please remove the zipper portion from the top of the zip lock bags.

Winter Nature Walk

It may be frosty outside, but it’s a great opportunity to see the Tenhave Woods in beautiful winter white. Come out for a winter nature walk at Tenhave Woods on Saturday, February 16th at 2 pm. Park at the Lexington & Marais lot and meet at the Lexington entrance. The walk is free, and no registration is required.

Drop in for a Card Game

Drop in for company and cards at the senior center. A different game each day:

Rubber Bridge – Mondays at 12:15 pm – Drop in with a partner to play or come early if you have no partner, they will try to pair. Cost $1.

Pinochle – Tuesdays at 12:30 pm. Drop in for pinochle and meet new friends. Cost $1.

Duplicate Bridge – Wednesday at 12:30 pm – Drop in with a partner to play. For more information visit Cost $2.

Euchre – Thursdays at 12:30 pm – Drop in to join experienced players who like to play Euchre. Play 8 rounds of cards. Cost $1.

Call 248.246.3900 for more information.

Beth Robinson

Beth Robinson

City News Editor
Birmingham – January 30, 2019

Birmingham – January 30, 2019

High School Musicals (Plural!)

Brassy Dolly Levi is a meddlesome matchmaker who brings together the young clerk of a wealthy Yonkers merchant and his assistant with a widowed hat maker and her assistant, while making sure she herself gets to marry the merchant, in Seaholm High School’s production of the classic American musical “Hello Dolly.” Enjoy favorite songs like “Hello Dolly,” “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” and “Before the Parade Passes By” as Seaholm High School Presents “Hello Dolly.” Tickets now on sale at Adults are $15, children/students are $10. Performances are February 1, 2 and 8 at 7 pm and February 3, 9 and 10 at 2 pm.


Disney Channel’s smash hit movie musical “High School Musical” comes to life onstage in Disney’s High School Musical JR. at Birmingham Covington on Wednesday, January 30 at 4:30 pm and Thursday and Friday, January 31 and February 1 at 7 pm. Come see Troy, Gabriella and the students of East High deal with issues of friends and family while balancing their classes and extracurricular activities. Tickets are $10. Email Mrs. Bassett at with any questions.


Calling All Park Visionaries

The City of Birmingham’s Parks and Recreation Board invites residents to the Parks and Recreation Board Meeting on Tuesday, February 5 to help select potential park projects. The meeting will be held at the Department of Public Services (851 S. Eton) at 6:30 pm.

The 2018-2022 Parks and Recreation Master Plan identified 10 categories of capital Improvement projects based on input from city-wide stakeholders during the Parks and Recreation Master Plan process last year. If you are unable to attend, you can still provide your top picks by completing a short poll at

It Takes More than a Fidget: Managing Stress & Mental Health

Students with learning and attention issues are at greater risk of anxiety and depression that can develop into an even bigger challenge than the initial learning struggle. Stephanie Cork will share tips and techniques from dialectical behavior therapy that teach students coping skills, at the Friends Of Different Learners meeting on Thursday, February 7, at 7 pm at Birmingham Covington School. Visit for more information about Friends.


Get Ready for the SOUPer Bowl

Beginning Monday, January 28, the Greenfield Elementary School Leadership Group is sponsoring their very own SOUPer Bowl.  They are collecting cans of soup all week long which will be donated to the Lighthouse of Oakland County food pantry. Food supplies tend to drop after the holidays so now is the perfect time to restock and help those in need stay warm during these cold winter days. Teams will be the pre-K through 2nd graders vs. grades 3-5.

A Great Place to Live

In a study conducted by HomeSnacks, Birmingham ranked 3rd in a new study listing the top ten cities to live in Michigan. The study analyzed more than 170 places in Michigan, looking at factors such as home values, income, population density, unemployment rate, commute time, crime, education levels, health insurance coverage and poverty rates. HomeSnacks combines recent data from the Census, FBI, OpenStreetMaps, and dozens of other sources.

Parks and Recreation Commision Appointment

Andrea LaFontaine, former State Representative of Birmingham was appointed to the 2019 Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission. The commission makes policies regarding the system’s 6,700 acres. Commissioners allocate resources throughout 13 parks and make decisions about purchasing park land, constructing facilities, preserving maintenance standards and developing innovative programs and services.


Beth Robinson

Beth Robinson

City News Editor
Motor City Barbell and Fitness Club: Lifting Large and Preaching Wellness in Clawson

Motor City Barbell and Fitness Club: Lifting Large and Preaching Wellness in Clawson

Motor City Barbell and Fitness Club: Lifting Large and Preaching Wellness in Clawson
LBN Community Series
Justin Tebedo is one strong guy: He can squat an impressive 400 pounds and bench press 260.

But he’s not bragging. This former Marine is on a mission: Show people how to build their bodies better, through fitness, nutrition and strength training. After years of doing personal training at other people’s gyms, he opened his own cross-training studio in Clawson, Motor City Barbell and Fitness Club.


“We started with zero members in December of 2016,” says the 30-year-old Tebedo (pronounced TEE-be-do), “and now we’re up to 45.”

In September of 2018 he moved from his first building, a diminutive 150-square-foot studio in downtown Clawson, to a comparatively massive 2,000 square-foot space. His goal is 75 members and a couple more trainers, and he’s moving right along as planned.

Enter through the back door of the charcoal-gray building, where you’ll be greeted by Tebedo’s Australian Shepherd mix, Maya. On this sunny day, Tebedo has a rare break, the gym is empty for the moment, and he reflects about where he started and where he is headed.

The Clawson resident joined the Marines after graduating from Reese High School in Reese, MI, a small, everybody-knows-your-name town outside of Frankenmuth. He was on the school football team, the Reese Rockets, and trained with weights, but he says the five years he spent in the Marines traveling the world as a C-130 cargo aircraft crew member made a huge impact on the direction of his life.

“It gave me more confidence and the feeling that anything’s possible if you put your mind to it.”

That includes creating a cool and informative website, which he figured out how to build on his own, and putting together the inside of his light-filled gym. He painted the walls, built all the wooden equipment stands, coated the cement floors, added a powerful sound system, equally high-end fitness equipment, and even a real traffic light for interval workouts. That certainly will get someone’s attention.

“I like to keep it very clean and organized,” says Tebedo, adding that a lounge area, where you can recharge and watch the big-screen TV, is in the works. And the big news is he recently got engaged to Ashely Levin, who also trains with him in his club.

Tebedo has been involved with training for 10 years, eight of which have been in the Detroit area. He earned several certifications from the National Personal Training Institute in Rochester, MI, including diet and nutrition, cross-fit, and kettlebells and Olympic lifting.

“Justin never gave up on me and he will not give up on you.”
He offers personal training by appointment, either one-on-one or small groups; strength and balance training; body-movement awareness; nutritional programs (he doesn’t push any products, just sound eating that will help clients lose weight); and helps clients graduate to new levels after each one is achieved. He also offers seminars, olympic weightlifting twice a week, Barbell 101 three times a week and open gym throughout the week. “I’m trying to build a youth athletic program as well,” he says.
“I want to keep it as a club,” says Tebedo, where everybody knows each others’ names, just like the town he grew up in, and just how he sees the city of Clawson. Motor City’s members average between 28 and 50 years old, but all ages are welcome. And he emphasizes that no one should feel intimidated about the barbells just because they’ve never used them before. “Basically I teach progression of movements, from beginning to more advanced.”
Reading the positive testimonials on his website, like the woman who dropped five dress sizes in two years, is enough to motivate anyone who sits at a desk all day, feeling hopeless about change: “Justin never gave up on me and he will not give up on you. Since our first meeting, I have lost approximately 45 lbs., now comfortably fit into a size 4, competed in a bodybuilding competition (bikini division), and have begun training to compete in an Olympic Weightlifting meet early next year.”

So, if you’ve made that New Year’s resolution and are still pondering a way to keep your word, Justin Tebedo just might be the guy who can make it happen.

Motor City Barbell
and Fitness Club
844 W. 14 Mile Road
Clawson, MI 48017
or 248-677-4766

Discounts offered for first responders, teachers and families.