Daily Briefs, December 1

Holiday festivities
The Wayne County Probate Court is hosting its holiday party from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22 at the Greektown Casino and Hotel. The event has been successful in the past thanks to the help and cooperation of more than 250 employees and contributors. Donors of $150 will receive a ticket to the party, send one employee to the party and receive complimentary parking. The cost of each additional ticket is $75. The court is seeking patrons able to make a donation of $150. Donations should be made by Dec. 15. Make checks payable to Wayne County Probate Court Employees Fund and mail it to “Melissa Nieman, 24026 Waterview Dr., New Boston, MI, 48164.”

The Italian American Bar Association (IABAM) is hosting its 2011 Winter Gala on Friday, Dec. 2, at the Detroit Athletic Club. The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails followed by dinner at 7:30. Cost is $100 per person. The event is black tie optional. Register with IABAM President Anthony Viviani at aviviani@atamichigan.com or 313-499-8452. For additional information, visit www.iabam.com.

The Polish American Legal Society (PALS) will host its annual Christmas Party on Friday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. at the American Polish Cultural Center located at 2975 E. Maple Road in Troy. Attendees as asked to bring an unopened toy to support Toys for Tots. Black tie is optional. Cost for the evening is $50 per person. To register or for additional information, call PALS President Richard Wygonik (313) 943-2136, Ryan Hill (313) 962-4954, or Mary Ann Kozlowski (248) 647-9779.

The Oakland County Bar Association will host its Holiday Gala on Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Birmingham Country Club. Cost is $65 for members, $50 for new lawyers (P69233+), and $75 for non-members. Registration is requested by Wednesday, Nov. 30. For those not pre-registered there will be an additional $50 charge at the door. To register, visit www.ocba.org or call (248) 334-3400.

The Women’s Bar Association, Oakland County Region of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, will host its 29th Annual Holiday Party on Thursday, Dec. 8, at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at 323 North Old Woodward in Birmingham from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Cost to attend the party are as follows: $30 for current law students, $45 for WLAM members, $50 for non-members, and $55 at the door. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor may do so at the following levels: Platinum, $400, includes six admissions; Gold, $300, includes four admissions; Silver, $200, includes three admissions, and Bronze, $150, includes two admissions. For additional information, contact Ruth Lyons at rlyons@garanlucow.com.

House panel OKs bill to allow more charters

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A proposal designed to allow more charter schools or public school academies in Michigan has taken a step forward.

The Republican-led House Education Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would end some numerical and geographical limits on charter schools. The bill passed by an 11-6, mostly party line vote and advances to the House floor.

The measure narrowly passed the Republican-led Senate in October.

The state has roughly 250 charter schools. Supporters say more should be allowed to boost educational options in public schools.

Democrats oppose the bill and say it appears to be an effort to help charter schools that are sometimes run by for-profit companies at the expense of other public schools.