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October 24, 2013 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-10-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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.7erndale Cemetery Back To Normal
After High-Speed Police Chase

Keri Guten Cohen
Story Development Editor

achpelah Cemetery in
Ferndale was filled with
at least 100 people for two
unveilings and graveside visits on
Sunday, Oct. 13, when the peaceful
morning was shattered by a high-speed
police chase through the cemetery.
A Ferndale police officer pulled over
Michael Wasikowski, 43, of Sterling
Heights after running his license plate
and learning he was a wanted felon.
Wasikowski turned in to Machpelah off
Woodward Avenue, but took off in his
Dodge Intrepid into the cemetery while
the officer, with gun drawn, was trying
to arrest him, the officer's dash camera
showed.
"He left the front gate at a high rate
of speed," said Paul Saville, Machpelah
general manager, who took off on foot,
hoping to keep the car away from the
unveilings. At the south part of the cem-
etery, there's a gate; he drove down one
row of interments instead, running over
water spigots, quite a few flower beds and
damaging two headstones:'
At one point, Wasikowski left his car
and hopped a fence into Beth Abraham
Cemetery where he was apprehended.

He was charged with second-degree
fleeing and eluding, resisting and
obstructing police, along with malicious
destruction of tombs and memorials.
He is being held on a $150,000 bond in
the Oakland County jail.
No cemetery visitors were injured,
and calm returned to Machpelah
quickly.
"You think you just go to work and
expect an easy day with a couple of
unveilings; Saville said of the excite-
ment. "Everything is fixed. If you came
out today, you couldn't really tell it hap-
pened:'
Ferndale Det. Lt. Bill Wilson said,
"It's very unusual for this to happen in
a cemetery. There was some property
damage, but no one was hurt and the
bad guy is in jail."
Cost to repair the damage, includ-
ing replacing one stone and repairing
another, came to $2,400.
"We will work through courts or his
insurance to recover the cost," Saville said.
"Our deductible is $2,500, so we hope to
get restitution.
"We are a nonprofit cemetery; all the
money goes back into the maintenance of
the cemetery. This is something we just
can't afford. High-speed chases are just
not in the budget:'



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New Program For Teens
With Autism Spectrum
Wish Upon A Teen, a local nonprofit
that services teenagers with devel-
opmental or medical conditions,
and Friendship Circle of Michigan
announced a new partnership around
programming for teenagers with
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
focusing around media creation and
production.
The program, available to teenagers
who are active with Friendship Circle,
will teach them how to utilize Apple's
Garage Band and iMovie applications
for creation and editing of videos. The
program will also teach teens how they
can use these skills in the job field.
For information, contact Friendship
Circle of Michigan at (248) 613-9218
or Bassie@friendshipcircle.org.

High School Semester
Abroad Program Coming
The Dror Leadership High School,
a new high school semester abroad
program in Israel, will launch January
2014. Based in the Galilee, students
will study in the city of Karmiel and
live on a nearby kibbutz. They will

also participate in service-learning
projects.
The directors of the new program
all live in urban kibbutzim and come
from two different movements in
Israel: Kvutzot Am and Dror Israel.
Kvutzot Am, a network of educators
who have made aliyah from different
continents, has a dozen years' experi-
ence running programming for teen-
agers from North America.
Dror Israel, a collective of Israeli
youth movement graduates dedicated
to education and social justice, runs
various educational projects through-
out Israel, including eight high schools.
"We wanted to create an opportu-
nity to really experience Israeli society
by contributing something to it and
understanding the issues it faces," said
Sivan Bamberger, the program direc-
tor. At the same time, we're dedicated
to creating strong friendships and a
supportive community among the
students. We're building a program
designed to give teenagers lifelong
relationships with Israel, with their
Judaism, and with each other"
For more information, visit
drorleadership.org .

2038 Cass Lk Rd #4 . Keego Harbor 855.324.8434

October 24 • 2013

17

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