Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Westland set to OK new marijuana ordinance

Julie Brown
Staff Writer

Following 10 study sessions, members of the Westland City Council on Oct. 7 introduced an ordinance amendment allowing recreational marijuana businesses in the city. The measure is expected to be on the agenda for a vote at the 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, city council meeting at Westland City Hall.
Mohamed Ayoub, city department of planning director, said that details of the discussion at the previous study sessions, maps and more information about the proposed ordinance   are available on the city website for public review. City leaders face a Nov. 1 deadline to act on the measure, which follows November 2018 statewide approval of recreational marijuana use in Michigan.

Past is prologue: History of Plymouth is focus of recent documentary film

Julie Brown
Staff Writer

Mark Salloum, an 18-year Plymouth Township resident, knows his community well. His film about the history of the Plymouth community will soon air at the Penn Theatre in downtown Plymouth.
“I'm just thrilled to make my first feature-length film,” said Salloum, who owns and runs Canton-based Highway Media. “I think the greatest part is just watching the evolution of this town.”
He focused the film work on people and events “that have formed this community. I think that's what really will make it great for the viewing audience.”
“Plymouth, Michigan: A Rich History” will air at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15-16, as well as 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Penn Theatre, across from Kellogg Park in Plymouth. It will also air 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, there.
Salloum said tickets are selling well.

Defrocked priest pleads guilty to assault charge

Patrick Casey, a former priest who served in both Canton Township and Westland, will be sentenced on charges of misdemeanor aggravated assault on Nov. 20 in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Casey, 56, entered a guilty plea as a jury deliberated his guilt on charges of third-degree criminal sexual assault. His plea to the lesser charge ended jury involvement in the case. Casey was accused by a man who claimed that he and the defrocked priest had a sexual encounter on Jan. 17, 2013.

Van Buren hires first full-time firefighter force

Van Buren Township officials have hired the first-ever full-time fire department in the community.
Members of the board of trustees approved the hiring of six full-time firefighters during the Oct. 1 meeting by a unanimous vote.
“We expect you to save our lives someday,” township Supervisor Kevin McNamara said to the newly-hired firefighters, sworn into office immediately by township Clerk Leon Wright.

Family Fun day is tomorrow

Families looking for a way to celebrate fall can meet at the Romulus Historical Park Pavilion from 5 until  8 p.m. tomorrow for an evening of entertainment celebrating the season.
The event, organized by the community Development and Recreation departments in the city, is free and will include hayrides downtown, face painting and a petting farm. In addition, there will be stories and treats from members of the Romulus Historical Society and tours will be offered along with games and other entertainment.

Taking aim: Charity turkey shoot continue in Sumpter

The Sumpter Township Parks and Recreation Turkey Shoots will take place at noon  Oct. 20 and 27 at the police firing range. Registration for the event begins at 11:30 a.m.
Only 12, 16 and 20 gauge shotguns are permitted with a maximum 30-inch barrel. No scopes or extended chokes are permitted.

Grant funds special needs at Aquatic Center

The Summit on the Park Aquatic Center now has four aquatic wheelchairs, as well as other adaptive swimming aids purchased with grant funding from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation National Paralysis Resource Center.  These new features will enable individuals with special needs to independently enter and exit pool areas without using their own wheelchairs, which could potentially become damp or wet.  Additional adaptable water items will also be available, all free of charge, to members of the public with disabilities to assist with water navigation.
The $10,831 award was one of several grants awarded by the Reeve Foundation as part of  seven High Impact Grants totaling $232,266 and 73 Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants totaling $1,244,263.

YMCA moves Plymouth offices to PARC building

The former offices of the YMCA in this
Union Street building have been
moved to the PARC and the house is
now up for sale. Photo by Julie Brown
  
The Plymouth Family YMCA will become the newest tenant at the Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex (PARC).
The two facilities have already established a strong community partnership, an official noted. The YMCA has been using PARC facilities for more than 2 years to facilitate programs including basketball, t-ball, Youth Advisory Board activities and school break camps.  PARC and the YMCA also collaborate on the Plymouth Preschool Enrichment Program (PEP), a comprehensive schedule of classes for preschool children ages 3 to 5 years including music, dance, yoga, sports, and basic cooking skills.

Plymouth City Commission sets infrastructure projects

Members of the Plymouth City Commission have approved a $6.9 million plan for infrastructure improvements throughout the community.
The new plan includes repairs to Farmer, Dewey, Main and Junction and Ann streets in 2020, the first year of the program. In the second year of the plan, repairs would take place on North Holbrook, Hamilton, Maple, Rover Oaks and Hartsough streets. In the third year of the plan, 2023, repairs are scheduled to take place on Harvey, Wing, Spring, Evergreen, William, Simpson, South Union and Hamilton street.

Grant will fund hiring of 13 Westland firefighters

Westland has been awarded a $2,387,804.25 federal grant to fund the hiring of 13 new firefighters for three years.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant (SAFER) was awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA). The grant requires a city match funding portion of 25 percent or $322,676.32 in years one and two. The third year requires a city match funding portion of 65 percent or $838,958.25. The average annual cost to the city for the increased emergency staffing will be 38 percent during the three years of the grant.

Warm welcome

Members of the Wayne City Council welcomed new firefighter Tyler Fugate to the public safety department earlier this month during their regular meeting. Fugate took his oath of office from City Clerk Tina Stanke and was welcomed with a round of applause from the council members and audience.

Legends holiday raffle tickets now available

Tickets for the Annual Christmas Giveaway in Inkster are now on sale.
Every year, the giveaway provides groceries, clothes, food and toys to 100 Inkster families in need for the holiday as the group has been doing for decades.
This year the event, organized by the Inkster Legends of Basketball, will offer three grand prizes, including a family package to see the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters along with a $50 dinner card; a family package for two nights at the luxurious Mackinac Island Bayshore Resort along with a $50 gas card and four tickets to see the Detroit Pistons play the Milwaukee Bucks Feb. 20, 2020, which also include a $50 dinner card.
All proceeds go to the Inkster Christmas Giveaway which provides groceries and gifts for at least 100 needy families in the city. 

Sample ballots now accessible on Inkster city website

Voters in Inkster can already get a look at the upcoming Nov. 5 general election ballot by visiting the city website.
Candidates include incumbent Mayor Byron H. Nolen and Patrick Wimberly who is challenging him for the mayoral office.

City of Northville welcomes public safety grants

Northville City Police Chief Alan Maciag and Fire Chief Steve Ott had some good news for members of the city council during their regular meeting Oct. 7.
Maciag reported that the Bureau of Justice Assistance had awarded the city department a grant of $1,771 for the purchase of new bulletproof vests. The grant, Maciag said, will cover the cost of new, damaged and expired vests that have reached the 5-year efficiency expectancy.

Tribute Beatles to perform

The Mersey Beatles, an all-Liverpool-born Beatles tribute band, will return to Village Theater tomorrow. The show will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road, the band will play the entire album live followed by a set of greatest hits. The show spans the Fab Four's entire catalogue with four costume changes and authentic Liverpool accents, wit and charm.  To purchase tickets ($17 - $45 VIP, including premium seating, a meet and greet with Julia Baird and the band, and a CD download) visit cantonvillagetheater.org. Village Theater is an all-ages venue and is located at 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton.

State official shares Canton Road concerns

Julie Brown
Staff Writer

State Sen. Dayna Polehanki is among many individuals concerned about the dangers of making left turns at Lilley and Ford roads in Canton Township.
“We're going to get to work on that,” Polehanki told Canton Board of Trustees members at the Oct. 8 meeting.
Polehanki, elected in November 2018, praised Canton's B.L.O.C.K., Lead Like a Girl, and Be a Model Man for their youth leadership efforts. She thanked Canton Clerk Michael Siegrist for his work in increasing absentee voting numbers.

Canton Historical commission seeking new 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. 

Emagine Theatre robbed; police seeking 3 suspects

Canton police are continuing to investigate the smash and grab robbery at the Emagine Theater last Wednesday, Oct. 9.
Police are seeking three men who smashed the front glass doors of the theater at 39536 on Ford Road at about 3:30 a.m. and managed to remove the cash box from the ATM and flee the scene in a stolen 2004 blue Dodge Ram pick-up truck. The vehicle was recovered at a nearby business.
The theater entrance suffered significant damage during the incident.
Anyone with possible information about the incident is asked to contact the Canton Police Department at (734) 394-5400.

Spooktacular event to take place

The Van Buren Township Parks and Recreation Department annual Candy Loop will take place at Quirk Park from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, rain or shine.
The 'spooktacular' event will take place behind Van Buren Township Hall on the small walking track near the pavilion. The park is located at 46425 Tyler Road.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Wayne-Westland school superintendent resigns

Members of the Wayne-Westland Community Schools Board of Education unanimously accepted the resignation of Dr. Shelley Holt, former superintendent of schools. The resignation was part of a mutually-agreed upon settlement which also ends Holt's $2 million lawsuit against the district. No financial terms of the settlement were revealed by the district.
The unanimous vote took place Oct. 1 in a special session convened to end the district administrative relationship with Holt who had come under public criticism from parents, teachers and students during public meetings of the school board. She was accused of mismanagement, favoritism and creating a “culture of fear” and retaliation in the school district.
“I wish Dr. Holt nothing but the best as she moves on and thank her for the many positive contributions she made to the school district during her time as superintendent,” said Board President David R. Cox.
The resolution allows the board of education members to move forward with a search process to hire a new superintendent for the district, according to a prepared statement from the schools.
During the search process, current Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Operations Jill Simmons will serve as interim superintendent. Simmons, who earned her bachelor's degree in business administration from Eastern Michigan University and a master's degree in human resources and employment relations.

Ringing success: Youths thrive at boxing club

Getting set to train in the Norwayne Boxing Gym ring,
from left, are Jesse Nelson, 17, a Livonia Franklin High
School senior; Ryan Reed, 16, a John Glenn High School
 junior and Sean Buza, 16, a Wayne Memorial High School junior.
Julie Brown
Staff Writer

Jirair Thompson, 14, has found a good thing at the Norwayne Boxing Gym.
“In my school, I used to get in trouble,” said Thompson, a sophomore at Wayne Memorial High School. “I get in less fights” in school now,” he added.
Thompson, in the ring at the gym inside the Jefferson-Barns Community Vitality Center, points to a 2018 Chicago Youth Boxing Club belt he won, along with a more recent one from Toledo, Ohio, competition. He enjoys traveling to boxing matches and he also appreciates the academic support from the Norwayne Boxing Gym.
“You remember that name, it's going to be out there,” promised coach Erskine Wade of Thompson. The coach cited the great boxing progress Thompson has achieved in one year.
The Norwayne Boxing Gym was founded by Jeff Styers, a former professional boxer. “He knew he wanted it here because he grew up in this area,” explained Jan Mnich of Northville, the gym director.”

Preliminary plan for Phoenix Mill OK'd by Plymouth

The Phoenix Mill in Plymouth Township may live up to its name as plans to restore and repurpose the building received preliminary approval from the planning commission recently.
The mill was one of three operated by Ford Motor Co. which shut them downdecades ago. The Phoenix property was closed in 1947 along with the Wilcox and Newburgh mills, all built in the 1920s and designed by renowned architect Albert Kahn. All three mills are located in Hines Park and the proposed sale of the sites has been the subject of protests by a the Save Hines Park group.

2019 Wayne Athletic Hall of Fame revealed

Wayne Memorial High School has revealed the 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees.
The Hall of Fame had been part of the Wayne-Westland Athletic Hall of Fame that was created to honor area athletes and their accomplishments and encourage community pride. The original Hall of Fame was housed at Jake's Again Lounge. Original members of the Wayne-Westland Athletic Hall of Fame comprised community members, athletes and coaches from St. Mary's, John Glenn High School and Wayne Memorial High School.

Westland police launch educational visits on vaping

Michigan retailers are no longer allowed to sell flavored e-cigarettes without being fined or serving possible jail time, according to new state laws.
Police in Westland are taking the new law seriously and have assigned police and traffic bureau officers to conduct an educational campaign by visiting establishments currently selling these types of products. 

Fall Into Fashion Show is set

The members of the Wayne Ladies Literary Club are hoping to bring a little of the excitement of the fashion shows in Milan, New York and London to the local community with their Fall Into Fashion event.
Fall Into Fashion is the 2019 fundraiser for the group. The Coral Sash, a modern boutique with vintage charm located in South Lyon, will be bringing the latest styles to the runway using real women as models. The Coral Sash bills itself as a space where “grandmothers, mothers, and daughters could shop together in one place.”

Lions Club marks 50 years of service in Canton

Jacob Ooms earned a $2,000 scholarship this year from
 the Canton Lions Club. The club has awarded $14,000
in scholarships to Plymouth-Canton students since 2014. 
Scott Spielman
Special Writer

The Canton Lions Club passed a quiet milestone recently.
The service club, which celebrated its 50th anniversary earlier this year, has now donated more than $100,000 back to the community through contributions to various charitable organizations and causes.
“Everything is falling together right now and turning out well,” said club President Ron Sullivan.
The Lions Club supports vision- and auditory-related causes throughout the Canton community and southeast Michigan, including Leader Dogs for the Blind, the Penrickton Center, Eversight Michigan, Beaumont Silent Children, Madonna University and several others.

Village Theatre now offers Sensory Sensitive movies

The Village Theater at Cherry Hill has begun a series of inclusive Sensory Sensitive Movie Program in the Main Auditorium at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill.  These monthly movie showings are designed to ensure a sensory inclusive and welcoming experience for all who attend.
The Sensory Sensitive Movie program features movies with the sound turned down and the lights turned up to provide a comfortable environment. Reduced capacity showings will also allow for more space for moviegoers to walk around, sing, shout, dance, clap and talk.
 A limited number of weighted lap blankets, headphones and fidget devices will be available for checkout during these special showings, as well as for any performance in this venue.
Canton Leisure Services facilities, including The Village Theater at Cherry Hill, received Sensory Inclusive Certification from KultureCity, a leading non-profit organization committed to creating more inclusive communities nationwide. 
 Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions.
One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to overstimulation and noise, which is an enormous part of the environment in a high traffic area.  Common stimuli like lights, noises and textures may be perceived as too bright, too loud or too uncomfortable preventing participation in common activities.
“The movie theater environment is not always enjoyable for our son Cristian,” stated Canton resident Deborah Lawless.
“The massive volume can cause him to become agitated, the requirement to sit still for the entire length of a film, and the dark surroundings take away the enjoyment of the movie for him. It's to the point he will decline going to the theater.”
Lawless went on to explain: “We heard about sensory sensitive viewings and decided to attend a showing.

Library to open time capsule

More than 30 years ago, during the construction of the Canton Public Library, officials buried a time capsule under the front entryway of the structure. The capsule has remained hidden, untouched since 1988, until this past July, when it was unearthed during a renovation project.
That mysterious time capsule will be opened during an event set for 6:30 until 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct, 16, At the Prime Time Capsule Event, there will also be a retro candy table, an '80s themed photo booth, throwback music, letters to the future, historical library artifacts and a library video.

Annual Christmas Give Away tickets now on sale

It's never too early to help a neighbor and as the holiday season approaches, tickets for the Annual Christmas Giveaway in Inkster are now on sale.
This year the event, organized by the Inkster Legends of Basketball, will offer three grand prizes, including a family package to see the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters along with a $50 dinner card; a family package for two nights at the luxurious Mackinac Island Bayshore Resort along with a $50 gas card and four tickets to see the Detroit Pistons play the Milwaukee bucks Feb. 20, 2020, which also include a $50 dinner card.
All proceeds go to the Inkster Christmas Giveaway which provides groceries and gifts for at least 100 needy families in the city. 

On the line

As the UAW Strikes continue, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) this week continued to visit picket lines and stand with UAW workers at the GM plant in Romulus. Dingell will visit different shifts all week at all the plants in her district. “All the UAW workers want is a fair shake,” said Dingell. “The spirit on the picket lines are strong, but many are still worried about their healthcare, job security, and if they will be able to put food on the table. Organized labor invented the five-day work week. They found new ways to increase productivity and scale up and deliver great American made products. This strike is for the working men and women who must be respected as full partners with business in this country.” Since the start of the UAW strike, Dingell has visited the picket lines often and at different hours to show support and listen to the concerns of UAW workers. Last week, Dingell joined UAW workers on strike at the GM plants in Belleville, Ypsilanti, and Romulus.

‘Tis the Season: Annual Belleville Festival of Trees accepting holiday entries

It may be October, but the Belleville Area Museum is preparing for the Festival of Holiday Trees set for Nov. 21 through Dec. 21.
The event, part of the 24th Annual Belle Noelle Holiday Festival at the facility, displays trees and wreaths decorated by community organization, individuals and businesses. Organizers call the program a focal point of the holiday celebration in Belleville, Sumpter and Van Buren townships.
Each entry should have a cultural or historical holiday theme or one that is representative of the organization decorating the tree. Past themes have included an old-fashioned Christmas, Santas, gingerbread men, peppermints, patriotic red, white and blue ornamentation, and others. Organizers added that entry rules allow for a floor-size or tabletop artificial tree or an artificial wreath. A table-top tree can be a maximum 3-feet tall and entered wreaths much include a sturdy wire attached for hanging.

3 new restaurants to open at Detroit Metro Airport

Three new restaurants are coming to Detroit Metro Airport as part of the ongoing redevelopment there.
Members of the Romulus City Council approved three liquor licenses for the eateries, two of which are based in Michigan. They are: the Jolly Pumpkin, Anita's Kitchen, which is based in Royal Oak and Outback Steakhouse.