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Focus Macomb - May 2024

Message from Mark

Mark Hackel

Welcome to the May edition of the Focus Macomb newsletter. I’d like to begin this message by recognizing Memorial Day, which we just marked on Monday, May 27. The long weekend has a tradition of barbecues and outdoor gatherings, but Memorial Day has a deeper purpose - honoring the military men and women who lost their lives while serving our country. To do this, American flags are placed at the half-staff position, people lay wreaths or flowers at cemeteries and memorials and parades are held in towns and cities across the country. 

I marked the occasion at the St. Clair Shores Memorial Day Parade – and I was proud to see so many of you lining the streets to show your appreciation and pay respects to our fallen soldiers. It really was a special day.

This month we also saw several notable events here at the County. On May 18, we marked the 60th anniversary of Macomb Community Action with a family fun gathering at the Verkuilen Building in Clinton Township. Our teams were thrilled to welcome so many of you and to share information about the services we can provide. That same day, we also hosted the 34th annual Walk for Warmth, an initiative that raises funds to support individuals and families with heat emergencies during the winter months. It was incredible to see our community show up for such a great cause. 

Earlier that week we also gave the public one final opportunity to tour a portion of the existing Macomb County Jail, an historic landmark, before it undergoes demolition. Visitors were able to walk through the original maximum security area, a facility built in the 1960s that somewhat resembles Alcatraz. Stay tuned for more news on the jail, as it will help transform criminal justice in our community.

Finally, on May 9, the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development hosted the Macomb Business Awards. You can read more about the winners later in the newsletter – but I just wanted to note, they truly are outstanding local businesses and organizations. 

Now, this week I’ll be up in Mackinac attending the annual Mackinac Policy Conference with the Detroit Regional Chamber. This annual event features some of the state’s top business and community leaders, and we’ve got a great team together representing Macomb County. During the conference, we plan to share several ideas and initiatives that are important in our community. For instance, we’ll discuss how our jail update will address issues that correctional institutions are seeing across the country, particularly with mental health and substance use. We’ll also promote Selfridge Air Force Base and its planned Northern Border Coordination Center, which will demonstrate its leadership and ability to protect our borders and our freedoms. Together, these topics showcase how Macomb County is leading the way when it comes to public safety, and we are proud to share our work so other communities can follow in our example.

That’s all for now. As always, I encourage you to visit, where you’ll find ideas and inspiration for the summer months ahead. You can also find us on Facebook. And we even have a special events page with all the details and information you need for attending local festivals, gatherings and more.

So have a great start to the summer season, Macomb County. Take care and stay safe,



Winners of the Macomb Business Awards announced at 12th annual event

2024 Macomb Business Award winners

Business leaders from across the region attended the 12th annual Macomb Business Awards, presented by Consumers Energy, at the Andiamo Celebrity Showroom in Warren. Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel joined Vicky Rowinski, director of Macomb County Planning and Economic Development, to recognize award winners.

“Every day, local businesses and organizations make our County a better place to live, work and experience, and the Macomb Business Awards is a prime opportunity for us to showcase this,” said Executive Mark Hackel. “I’m proud to share the stage with these incredible local leaders and to once again promote that the County is your trusted business partner.” 

Winners of the 2024 awards include:

  • Best Place to Work: AGS Automotive, Sterling Heights
  • Fueling the Talent Pipeline: Aramark Facilities Management, Warren
  • Hidden Gem: Deer Camp Coffee Roasting Company & Outfitters, Sterling Heights
  • Hometown Hero: L&L Products, Romeo
  • Manufacturer of the Year: I.F. Metalworks, Roseville
  • Nonprofit of the Year: CARE of Southeastern Michigan, Fraser
  • Startup of the Year: Epoch Expressions, Sterling Heights
  • Economic Development Partner of the Year: Velocity, Sterling Heights

Retired Fox 2 Anchor Huel Perkins served as emcee of the Macomb Business Awards while the keynote was provided by Princess Castleberry, a wellness and risk management consultant who creates learning experiences for organizations that want to protect their people, purpose, and profits by making wellness actionable. 

The 12th annual event was presented by Consumers Energy. Additional sponsors include First State Bank, ITC, Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, OneMacomb, Connect Macomb, Macomb Community College, the Macomb County Chamber, the Macomb Intermediate School District, Velocity, RCO Engineering, and SMART.

Macomb County Office of Senior Services celebrates Meals on Wheels Volunteers

a banquet hall full of seated people for a breakfast reception

Recently, County Executive Mark Hackel, Macomb County Office of Senior Services director Sheila Cote and staff celebrated the over 800 Meals on Wheels volunteers at their annual recognition breakfast. The event was held in Sterling Heights at the Century Banquet Center on Wednesday, April 24.

Meals on Wheels is a program where volunteers deliver meals directly to seniors who are homebound and no longer prepare meals for themselves. Shelf-stable foods are offered, and the hot meals are locally prepared fresh on a daily basis and meet the recommended dietary guidelines. Each volunteer and paid driver is required to complete a background check and receive training.

A $3.50 contribution is suggested for each meal, but participants are asked to donate what they can. All donations go directly back into the program to help provide meals. 

Thank you once again to all those who volunteer and give back to the community by helping those in need.

For those interested in learning more, visit the Office of Senior Services website

One Peregrine Falcon banded and two rehomed

Peregrine Falcon chick, Gabe

Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel, in collaboration with officials from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, proudly announced the naming and banding of a Peregrine Falcon chick, once again making Macomb its home, enriching the skyline atop the historic County Building. This male chick hatched on the 11th floor of the Old Macomb County Building at 10 N. Main Street in downtown Mount Clemens.

Executive Hackel named the chick "Gabe," in honor of Gabe Anton, a cherished figure in Mount Clemens and the surrounding community. Among his many contributions and achievements, Anton was at the forefront of the Art in Public Places artwork project, and led the campaign to expand the historic Carnegie Library, now Anton Art Center. 

“This has become such an enjoyable tradition here in the county over the years and we are very excited to have the opportunity to once again band and name the falcons after a long hiatus,“ said County Executive Mark Hackel. “Being able to watch the development 24/7 with the EarthCam setup has provided the community a front row seat into nature. We are grateful for the partnership with the DNR for their commitment to our natural resources, and we look forward to watching ‘Gabe’ develop and spread his wings.”

Then, on May 26, officials successfully rehomed two baby Peregrine Falcons whose previous nest was located in a dangerous location at the Detroit Metro Airport. One male falcon and one female falcon were added to the existing nest of Brookie Cookie, the mother, and her offspring, Gabe. Hackel named the chicks Dorothy and Bonner, in honor of Dorothy and Bonner Upshaw.

Dorothy Upshaw was an employee at TACOM for 41 years. She was a community leader and  attended many community meetings. Her memberships include the NCNW (National Council of Negro Women), Macomb County Library Board, Macomb County Services Board, OYAA (Old and Young Alumni Association) and Turner CME Church, where she served as Trustee Emeritus. She died February 18, 2017.

Bonner C. Upshaw Jr. was born July 1, 1932 in Mount Clemens. He graduated from Mount Clemens High School in 1951 and attended Wayne State University and Macomb Community College. Bonner was the first African American Mount Clemens police officer, retiring as a detective after 25 years. He was also a past president of the NAACP. He died November 29, 2000.

The Peregrine Falcon remains federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and in Michigan, it retains its endangered species status under state law. For further insights into Macomb County’s Peregrine Falcons, visit our website.

Macomb County marks Arbor Day with tree planting in Romeo

tree planting for arbor day

Macomb County marked Arbor Day by joining with officials from the Village of Romeo and members of the Romeo Tree Board to plant 10 trees at Trailside Park in Romeo, including Tulip Trees, White Pine, White Oak, and Black Gum.

"This is our second year celebrating Arbor Day here at Trailside Park in Romeo, and I'm so happy to see the improvements our plantings have brought to this space," said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. 

Trailside Park is located along the Macomb Orchard Trail near 32 Mile Road and Van Dyke. The park is a former Macomb County Road Commission storage site which was redeveloped into natural space. The planting of trees within the park continues the site’s transformation into an outdoor destination in northern Macomb County.

Village officials and Tree Board members have worked to increase trees within their community due to their proven benefits.

“The Village of Romeo, our Tree Board, and residents value and enjoy our prized tree canopy,” said Meagan Poznanski, president, the Village of Romeo. “We thank Macomb County along with the Green Macomb program for continuing to partner with and invest in the Village of Romeo.”

The event was led by Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED), which will host several plantings this season through its Green Macomb Urban Forest Partnership. Launched in 2016, the program aims to double tree canopy in Macomb County.

More information on green canopy in Macomb County can be found at

Macomb County Health Department cautions residents on the presence of ticks and Lyme disease

With the onset of summer fast approaching, the Macomb County Health Department would like to inform residents that ticks are currently active in Macomb County and across the state of Michigan, and that there are steps and actions that can be taken to prevent illnesses spread by ticks, such as Lyme disease.

“Because we have had a relatively mild winter and spring season, there is an elevated probability of the presence of ticks,” said Tom Barnes, division director of the Macomb County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division. “So as we start to spend more and more time outdoors in the spring and summer, we all need to be mindful of the presence of ticks and some of the strategies to avoid tick bites, and potentially, Lyme disease."

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria and is spread through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks (also known as deer ticks). The presence of the blacklegged tick in Michigan is growing. In fact, based on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ 2024 Michigan Lyme Disease Risk Map, 81 of Michigan’s 83 counties have a known risk for Lyme disease, or potential risk for Lyme disease. Local surveillance efforts by the Macomb County Health Department on blacklegged ticks that were collected in 2021 and 2022 tested positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Test results on blacklegged ticks that were collected in 2023 are currently not available.  

If someone is bitten by a tick that is suspected or confirmed to be a blacklegged tick, they should call their healthcare provider. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headache, and fatigue. Many people, but not all, will get a characteristic “bull’s-eye” skin rash. If untreated, infections can become serious. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics.

The Macomb County Health Department is actively monitoring the population of ticks in the county to identify any changes or migration. For more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on ticks and Lyme disease, visit

Save the date

Selfridge Air Show Open House 
Selfridge Air Show/Open House 

June 8 and June 9; Free admission 




For more happenings throughout the county, visit Make Macomb Your Home events and stay up to date with the Make Macomb Your Home official Facebook page.

Department:Planning and Economic Development