Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Pumpkin Festival: Annual Romulus celebration set

The 22nd Annual Romulus Pumpkin Festival will celebrate the history and spirit of the community tomorrow and Saturday, Sept. 20 and 21, with entertainment and events designed to please all ages and interests.
Some of the most popular events at the parade are the annual culinary contests which allow area residents to submit their finest canned goods, pies and sunflowers for honors.
The winners of those various contests will all be announced as part of the festival at 12:30 Saturday, Sept. 20 in the Hospitality Tent.  Entries in those contests celebrating the harvests of tomatoes, green beans, pickles and fruits delivered their entries in the contest to the Romulus Senior Center today. 

Town hall addresses concerns about opioid clinic

A town hall meeting designed to allay concerns about an opioid treatment center drew a large crowd in Westland last week.
The new facility met the requirements of both the planning commission and city council and was approved for the former Montana's Steakhouse site at 34290 Ford Road. Council members James Hart and Peter Herzberg cast the only dissenting votes on the new facility.
Following approval of the site, residents appeared at a council meeting to protest the decision prompting Mayor William R. Wild and the council to schedule the public meeting to provide information and address concerns of residents who protested that the facility would be too close to two schools, an apartment complex and a cemetery. and that other locations would be more desirable.

$12 million road bond to be on Plymouth city ballot

Voters in the City of Plymouth will be asked to approve a roads improvement bond on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Members of the Plymouth City Commission voted unanimously to place the question on the ballot. If approved by voters, the city would be allowed to borrow approximately $12.28 million to be repaid over a 10-year period. If approved, the cost to the owner of a home with a tax value of $188,085 would be an additional $236.26 next year and $239.17 in 2021, officials said.

Van Buren OKs $28,000 Splash Pad promotion

The new Splash Pad in Van Buren Township may soon become a tourist attraction.
The facility, the largest in Wayne County, will appear on the cover of a soon-to-publish hard-cover book that will be placed in more than 145 hotels in the greater Detroit area, following unanimous approval of the $28,000 expense by members of the Downtown Development Authority.
The request for the expense was presented to the authority members by Van Buren Township Downtown Development Authority Assistant Director Lisa Lothringer.

Entries sought for annual city Scarecrow Contest

Downtown Romulus could soon be a pretty scary place to visit as the annual exhibit of scarecrows is displayed.
Local artisans have only until Sept. 27 to deliver their finished contest entries to the Romulus Department of Public Works. Families, businesses, organizations and individuals are all eligible to enter the competition, which began in 2015 and continues to grow each year. There is no fee to enter, but a 6-foot-3-inch scarecrow frame is available to purchase for $5 at city hall while supplies last.

Sumpter Township wins national weather preparedness honor

Sumpter Township was recently honored by the National Weather Service as a leader in storm preparedness.
Officials from the National Weather Service have named Sumpter Township among the agency "StormReady" communities. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
"StormReady encourages communities to take a new, proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and public awareness," said Richard Pollman, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service forecast office in White Lake.  "StormReady arms communities with improved communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property - before and during the event."

Going clubbing: New Canton Kiwanis Club seeks community members

Children enjoy the Back to School event organized
 by members of the new Canton Kiwanis Club, below. 

The new club meets at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at the Canton Municipal Building, on the west side of Canton Center Road by the Canton Public Library. Reservations aren't needed as the new club members are eager to recruit people.
A recent Back to School event for families

Canton Club 55+ members to host Open House for seniors

Canton Club 55+members are hosting Open House from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at the Summit on the Park recreation center, located at 46000 Summit Parkway in Canton.
Attendees will learn about upcoming Canton Club 55+ fall classes, programs, and events during this Open House. Participants can also learn about the Summit on the Park Back to School membership special and enjoy a morning of fun at the premier fitness and community recreation destination.

Howl at the Moon event planned at Canton Dog Park

The Canton Dog Park will be the site of a howlin' good time during the Howl at the Moon event set for 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. The free event will take place at the park located on Denton Road, just north of Cherry Hill Road in Canton.
Dog owners along with their four-legged friends can enjoy live entertainment, purchase merchandise, and receive free giveaways from local pet supply and service vendors, while supplies last.

Westland mayor to co-chair national committee

Westland Mayor William R. Wild has been appointed to serve alongside Mayor Elizabeth B Kautz from Burnsville, MN as co-chairs of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) Small Business and Entrepreneurship Task Force.  Both mayors were selected by USCM President Mayor Bryan K. Barnett of Rochester Hills. 
“Mayor Wild has long been a leader and a national voice on entrepreneurship and I was excited to appoint him to represent Westland on the national stage as we work on this important aspect of job creation and our economy,” commented  Barnett.  “Wild is in a unique position to lead, coming from a small business background, and I am confident that he will help the USCM develop a proactive, strategic agenda through this task force.”

Wayne Main Street schedules ‘Toast’ fundraiser

Local band, Sugartips, will be entertaining at Toast Wayne, the annual fundraiser for Wayne Main Street, set for 7-10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3. 
This year, the event will take place at a new venue, the former site of St. Mary's School, 34530 W. Michigan Ave., located next to St. Mary's church in downtown Wayne. The event will feature live music, a curated silent auction, strolling appetizers from local restaurants, along with complimentary bar service. Tickets to Toast Wayne are $35 each or four tickets for $100 and can be purchased at

Jones favors renaming of highway

State Rep. Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) said he was pleased to see the approval of a bill last week ( House Bill 4261) to rename a portion of US-24, between M-153 and Warren Avenue in Wayne County, as the Julie Plawecki Memorial Highway.
“Julie's tireless service and compassion for her fellow Michiganders set an example that I strive to follow each day,” said Jones. “She cared deeply for the community that I call home and her memory will undoubtedly live on in the hearts and minds of all those she touched. Establishing this memorial is just one small way to forever commemorate her commitment to the people of our state.

Public opinion sought in relocation of post office

The Northville Post Office will be completing a change of address card soon as officials have announced a plan to move the facility from the current location on Wing Street.
Vee A. Spikes from the Facilities Implementation Team of the United States Postal Service notified City of Northville officials that the Northville Main Post Office would be relocated to a “yet-to-be-determined location within the city limits,” in a letter July 30.
Spikes said the postal service is currently experiencing issues associated with space constraints within the current building. She suggested that the proposed alternative is to pursue a new construction facility and asked the city to help find suitable land for the proposed 15,845 facility.

New commission members named

Plymouth Township now has a nine-member Environmental Leadership Commission.
Members of the township board of trustees confirmed the appointments of Linda Barterian; Ashley Binion-Zucaro; Cheryl Bord; Joanne Lamar; Mary Ann MacLaren; Angel Price; Robert Prohaska; Andrew Wolf and Anita Yeager.
The Citizens Advisory Council, which was initiated in 2017, resulted in the creation of several committees, including one on Environmental Stewardship, according to township officials.

Old friends

When Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy agreed to speak at the Plymouth Men's Book Club last week, she was surprised to find the man who first hired her, former prosecutor George Ward, at right, in the audience. The Men's Book Club, organized by Fred Hill, at left, includes no reading, but does focus on charitable contributions. Worthy spoke about her experiences as a judge and now a prosecutor and her charity, The Children's Center, in Detroit. The center serves nearly 7,500 children annually who struggle with behavioral, emotional, educational or physical challenges. Photo by Dave Willett

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Smoke alarm alerts resident to fire

By Don Howard - Staff Writer

A Northville resident is thankful for his smoke alarm which very likely saved his life after his apartment kitchen caught fire last week.
Fire crews from five communities were dispatched to the Swan Harbour Apartments at 19255 Silver Springs Dr. in response to the first alarm called in at 6:28 p.m. Aug. 29.
According to reports, Northville Township Firefighters were first on the scene, arriving within 5 minutes of the alarm. When the firefighters arrived, they reported visible flames blowing from the second story apartment doorwall. Mutual Aid was requested from LivoniaPlymouth TownshipNorthville City and Novi fire departments.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Financial dispute at 34th District Court settled

The funding dispute at the 34th District Court which serves the townships of Sumpter, Van Buren and Huron along with the cities of Belleville and Romulus has been formally settled by a new funding agreement among the municipalities.
The District Court Unit Funding Agreement will replace the one signed in 1998 and revised either in writing or verbally multiple times by the communities served by the court
This written agreement was suggested by Michigan State Court Regional Administrator Paul J. Paruk who completed an audit of the court finances following questions raised by court officials earlier this year about disbursements by Romulus, the host community of the court. That disagreement was reportedly based on the 2016 agreement to construct a new court building for which the City of Romulus issued a $17 million bond as a funding mechanism. The court subsequently added fees on traffic tickets and fines to be set aside to pay that bond obligation. Questions about the correct distribution of those funds were eventually referred to the Michigan State Court Administrative Office for a review and an audit. That audit was completed by Paruk who sent a letter detailing his findings to all the communities involved last month.

9-1-1: Emergency dispatch system is upgraded

Plymouth Township Police Communications Supervisor Cynthia Fell 
demonstrates the new Rapid-Lite software.
Don Howard – Staff Writer

The true first responders in emergencies aren't the police or fire personnel who appear at the scene of a crisis.
They are the 911 dispatchers or Public Service Aids, who answer the initial calls for emergency service in the crisis situations that can take place any time of the day or night.
The constant management of those emergency calls can take a toll on 911 dispatchers.
Last year, Public Service Aids in Plymouth Township fielded 13,791 911 calls and responded to 34,998 requests for service from both the City of Plymouth and Plymouth Township residents in need of emergency help.
The unique dispatch system in the township includes nine full-time professionals on the front lines of stress 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year.  The dispatchers answer the initial calls for police, fire, and all emergencies and provide dispatch and communication support services. They make split-second decisions regarding people who are very often in trauma, suffering emotional situations, reporting a fire, a weather emergency or even a water main break. Part of the dispatcher's job is to remain professional, calm and collected no matter how dire the situation might be.

Community mourns death of the Rev. William Kren

The Rev. William Kren
Members of the Romulus community are mourning the death of a beloved and well-known minister who was named as the 33rd Romulus Person of the Year in 2018.
The Rev. Rev. William “Bill” Kren, 72, died on Friday, Sept, 6, 2019, at his home in Garden City, after a courageous battle with cancer. Mr. Kren was born Sept. 16, 1946, to Frank and Virginia (Morey) Kren and was the oldest of seven children. He married his wife of 51 years, Elizabeth “Sue” (DePugh) Kren in 1968..
Mr. Kren was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but called Detroit home after his family moved to Michigan in the early 1950s. After graduating from Western High School in 1964, he joined the United States Army and served one tour of duty in Vietnam from 1965 to 1966; he was honorably discharged in January, 1968 and he and his wife were married the next month.

Van Buren to celebrate Safety Day on Saturday

Van Buren Township will celebrate Family Fun and Public Safety Day from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 14 at Menards, 10010 Belleville Road in Van Buren Township.
The day will provide Van Buren resident an opportunity to meet "the real life superheroes dedicated to protecting our wonderful community," organizers said.
There will be family-friendly activities, food, live entertainment and insights into the work of emergency personnel.

Romulus police caution drivers about school bus safety

Julie Brown - Staff Writer

Romulus Police Sgt. Roger Salwa is among many concerned about school bus safety, including distracted drivers who ignore safety procedures.
"We have a lot of motorists," said Salwa, who oversees traffic and records for the Romulus Police Department. He sees distracted driver cases often. "Unfortunately in general I think that has increased," said Salwa.
He and other public safety leaders are happy to share school bus safety tips, especially at this start of the school year.
"We do our best, especially if we get complaints," said Salwa. His department uses "appropriate enforcement" in, for example, cases on Merriman and Eureka roads for drivers following a school bus unsafely.

Veterans Health Summit set in Canton next week

Julie Brown - Staff Writer

U.S. military veterans and their spouses are eligible for benefits in health and other areas. Health benefits are the focus of an upcoming Veterans' Health Summit offered by the Canton Community Foundation.
“It's changed over the years,” said Beth Meade, Canton Community Foundation president, of the free event. Now in the 10th year, the seminar will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 18 at Schoolcraft College's VisTaTech Center, on Haggerty Road north of Six Mile in Livonia.
Registration in advance is required by Sept. 13 at For more information, Meade can be reached at (734) 495-1200. Adult children of veterans also attend, such as those whose parents served in Vietnam.

Legislator praises new ban on vaping

State Rep. Jewell Jones
State Rep. Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) is solidly in agreement with recent orders of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Last week, Whitmer ordered the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to issue emergency rules to protect Michigan teens from the harmful effects of vaping. The governor's order bans the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products, and misleading marketing regarding their safety.

Historical board seeking members

The Canton Historical Society, a volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation of local historical information and resources in the township, is currently accepting letters of interest to fill three board member positions.  
The Canton Historical Society offers valuable opportunities for individuals interested in helping keep the history of Canton alive.  Once appointed, these new board members will begin a three-year term starting in 2020. 

Criminal charges filed as secret camera found

Futa Sakamoto
A Canton Township man faces 9 years in prison if convicted of charges he placed a recording device in a changing stall at Aqua Tots.
Futa Sakamoto, 44, was arraigned Sept 27 in 35th District Court before Judge Mike Gerou on charges including: capturing/disturbing image of unclothed person, a 5-year felony; surveilling an unclothed person, a 2-year felony and eavesdropping-installing-using device to observe/record/photograph, a 2 year felony.

Northville Heritage Festival begins tomorrow

An annual tradition will officially begin throughout Northville with the step-off of the Victorian Parade at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, Sept. 13.
The parade will stage in the parking lot of Old Village School on West Cady and then will proceed east on Cady, north on Wing, west on Main, north on West, east on Dunlap, south on Center, west on W. Cady and return to the Old Village School parking lot.
The Northville Heritage Festival takes place every September in downtown Northville and celebrates the rich history and small-town charm of the Northville community, according to organizers from the Northville Chamber of Commerce.
From 9 a.m. until noon tomorrow, Northville Public Schools grade-students will participate in Victorian-related activities throughout town.

4 arrested in thefts from local Home Depot store

Don Howard - Staff Writer

Plymouth Township Police arrested four people last week thought to be associated with an ongoing theft ring involving heavy duty construction equipment.
Robert Lee Jones III, 26, of Detroit is facing a three count felony charge after his arrest on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at the Home Depot store located at 47725 Five Mile Road.
According to police reports, Jones is the alleged ringleader of a confidence game perpetrated when he and his accomplices targeted the Plymouth Township home improvement store and rented earth moving and excavating equipment under false pretenses. Jones would then sell the stolen goods on social media to local builders and contractors.

Developer withdraws plans for Northville Downs project

Concerns expressed by local residents were apparently a factor in the recent withdrawal of a plan to develop 48-acre Northville Downs racetrack property into a commercial and residential feature of the city.
Hunter-Pasteur Homes has withdrawn its Planned Urban Development (PUD) application which would have developed the first 13-acre northern portion of the Northville Downs site into 300 apartments and 19,000 square feet of commercial property. The total cost of development of the land had been reported at $200 million.
That withdrawal allows Watermark Residential of Indianapolis to submit a plan for a mixed-use apartment-retail building on Cady Street. Hunter-Pasteur plans to sell the land on Cady to Watermark, according to city officials.

Star struck: Westland to honor award-winning actor

Gregory Jbara, 1978 
Gregory Jbara, 2019
The signs will be formally dedicated at 10 a.m. Sept. 28 at Westland City Hall, 36300 Warren Road and the event is open to the public.
Jbara was born in Westland, which was then Nankin Township, Sept. 28, 1961. He attended Kettering Elementary, Tinkham Elementary, Marshall Jr. High and went on to graduate from Wayne Memorial High School. From there, Jbara went on to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor from 1979 to 1981 and then left Michigan to attend the Juilliard School Drama Division in New York from 1982-1986, Group 15, where he received his bachelor of fine arts degree.

Scarecrow Show entries sought for annual city display

It is getting pretty scary in downtown Wayne, or it will about Sept. 28.
Participants have only until Sept. 21 to register to participate in the Scarecrow Show organized by Wayne Main Street. Those interested in participating can do so by downloading an entry form online at scarecrows or by registering in person at the Wayne Historical Museum (One Town Square, Wayne). The entry fee for the show is $20 or $15 for returning participants who already have a scarecrow frame.

Attorney general hosts elder-abuse meeting in Wayne

Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia) Rep. Kevin Coleman (D-Westland) and Attorney General Dana Nessel will host a summit about senior issues from 1-2 p.m. tomorrow,  Friday, Sept. 13, in Wayne.
The Senior Summit is a chance to discuss issues affecting seniors such as identity theft, legal rights, elder abuse, services available to seniors, how to avoid scams and other topics, according to a prepared statement.