Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Groundbreaking for ‘The Downs’ attended by huge crowd

  Following years of discussion, negotiations and planning, the $350 million redevelopment in the heart of downtown Northville is officially under way.Groundbreaking ceremonies for The Downs, a development which will include 443 residential units, commercial space and 15 acres of parks and greenspace on the 48 acres formerly occupied by the Northville Downs harness racetrack took place May 13.Northville Mayor Brian Turnbull told the standing room only crowd at the event that the project, to be constructed by Hunter Pasteur, would be transformational for the community.“We’ve been a long time working towards this groundbreaking.  This is truly a transformational initiative...not only for Northvillians, but for all in southeastern Michigan,” Turnbull said. U.S. Rep., Debbie Dingell, D-Ann Arbor, joined elected officials from throughout the area along with a crowd of residents during the ceremony. 
“Everybody’s here because this is about the Southeast Michigan community coming together and what’s happening here helps all of us,” Dingell said. She added that the daylighting of the Rouge River would be one of the “greatest benefits” of the project and would reduce flooding in downstream communities. Plans for the project include removing obstructions and restoring the flow of the river to the previous condition before being covered to accommodate previous development. Riverwalk sections are included in the project and could eventually link to state trails, according to development plans. 
Demolition of outbuildings at the racetrack began in March with asbestos abatement. Demolition of the large audience structure at the site will begin soon, officials said. The racetrack officially closed in early February after 80 years at the downtown Northville location.

Gunman arrested following 17-hour standoff with police

 A Canton Township man is facing multiple charges following a 17-hour standoff with police at the Glen Ridge Manufactured Home Park May 8.Canton police officers responded to a home on Annapolis Circle at about 6:15 p.m. May 8 following a report of a domestic disturbance. When officers arrived, they found Scott Earl Hoover, 39, armed and barricaded in the manufactured home. According to police reports, officers secured the area and determined that a felony assault had occurred and confirmed that the barricaded man was armed. The standoff continued for nearly 17 hours, according to police reports during which time officers maintained contact with the suspect. Eventually, a police negotiator was able to convince the man to meet outside the home where he was arrested. Hoover is facing charges of felonious assault, a 4-year felony; felony firearm a 2-year felony, reckless use of a firearm, a 90-day misdemeanor and domestic violence, a 93-day misdemeanor, according to court records. Judge James Plakas of the 35th District Court set Hoover’s bond at $20,000 or 10 percent during his arraignment. He is scheduled to return to court tomorrow, May 17

Child sexual misconduct charges filed in 2018 incident

 Nearly 4 years following alleged inappropriate sexual contact with a child, a Westland man is facing second degree criminal sexual conduct charges. Charges against Paul Wheeler Sposite, 57, were filed last month in connection with incidents that allegedly occurred at the Wayne Knights of Columbus building in 2018.  He was arraigned on sexual misconduct charges on April 26 and released on a $25,000 bond. A report of inappropriate contact between Sposite and a young boy was initially filed with the Wayne Police Department in 2018, but no charges were filed at that time. The boy’s father and stepmother reported the incident telling detectives that the family visited the Moose Lodge on Michigan Avenue in Wayne on Sept. 8, 2018 where Sposite was a high-ranking official in the lodge. The child’s father told officers that women at the lodge noticed Sposite’s contact with the child and believed it was inappropriate, according to police reports.  One of the women recorded the incident on her phone. The boy’s stepmother was informed by one of the witnesses and asked Sposite to stop touching the child, according to reports of the initial incident. Sposite left the club following that confrontation, police reports said One of the women who saw the incident alerted the child’s mother who subsequently found numerous Facebook messages from Sposite to the child. During police interviews, Sposite explained that he had never been alone with the child and denied ever touching him inappropriately. During a November 2018 interview, Sposite told detectives that he had been accused of misconduct previously but the incident had been resolved with his receiving professional counseling. There was no further action reported regarding the allegations or interview.  The boy’s father, however, returned to the Wayne Police Department in 2022, claiming that the child had provided more information about the 2018 incident, including a graphic description of Sposite fondling him. He also told his parents and police that there had been a previous incident of inappropriate touching by Sposite. The investigation was reopened and detectives sent findings to the office of the Wayne County Prosecutor in May of 2022. Sposite was arrested April 26, nearly two years later. As part of his bond conditions imposed by the court during his arraignment, he is required to wear a GPS tether and is prohibited from contacting the victim or any minor children and cannot return to the Wayne Moose Lodge or Wayne Knights of Columbus building.

Driver, passenger killed in Plymouth Township vehicle crash

 Two people were killed last Sunday when a driver lost control of her vehicle and crashed into the opposite lanes of Interstate 275 in Plymouth last Sunday. A third person in another vehicle was seriously injured in the incident, according to police reports. Michigan State Police reported that a 46-year-old woman from Jasper lost control of a Ford Edge SUV at about 3:25 a.m. May 12 as she was driving southbound of I-275 near Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth. The vehicle crossed over the median and up onto the embankment on the northbound side of the roadway, police reports said. The vehicle then rolled down the embankment into oncoming northbound traffic and was struck by a Buick LaCrosse. The driver of the SUV and her passenger, a 21-year-old Canton Township resident, were both killed in the crash, according to police reports. The driver of the other vehicle suffered only minor injuries in the crash, according to police reports.

Court order keeps downtown Northville streets open

 Downtown streets in Northville will remain open while a lawsuit against the city continues according to a court decision rendered last month.Plans to close Main and Center streets in the downtown “social district” prompted a lawsuit filed by “Let’s Open Northville,” a group of local business owners and residents who disagree with the city decision to close the streets for six months of the year.Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Charlene Elder granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the city from closing the streets while the complaint from the Let’s Open Northville (LON) group proceeds. The injunction prohibits the closing of Main Street between Center and Herron streets and Center Street between Main and Dunlap streets as planned by the city to take place between May 1 and Nov. 1. The city spent an estimated $200,000 for the installation of retractable bollards at impacted intersections to block traffic in the affected areas. Temporary closings for special events and festivals are not impacted by the court decision. Scheduled events will continue as planned, according to city officials. “The judge’s decision that Let’s Open Northville (LON) is likely to proceed on the merits is another step towards protecting LON’s members’ rights,” wrote Kyle Konwinski, one of the attorneys representing Let’s Open Northville in the lawsuit. “The judge again rejected all of the city’s arguments and instead entered the extraordinary relief of an injunction.” City officials have requested a reconsideration of the judge’s decision and will appeal to a higher court according to reported statements from City Manager George Lahanas. Court filings from LOP allege city officials overstepped any such legal authority when approving the street closures and have violated city ordinances, state and local fire codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other legal protections. The suit further claims the plan had a serious negative impact on local 
businesses.

Canton B.L.O.C.K. program receives $6,500 grant from BJs

 The B.L.O.C.K. Youth and Teen Center recently received a $6,500 donation from BJ’s Wholesale Club, a leading operator of membership warehouse clubs, in conjunction with their Canton Township gas location, which opened in 2023. The funds were provided by BJ’s Charitable Foundation and will be used to cover annual gas costs for B.L.O.C.K. vehicles.shanks to the generosity of BJ’s Wholesale Club, B.L.O.C.K staff will be able to keep our tanks filled for a full year and provide even more opportunities for our members to participate in a wide variety of field trips and activities, as well as transportation to and from home without the worry of high fuel costs, and for that, we couldn’t be more grateful,” said Chelsea Straub, Canton youth recreation specialist. “This contribution has the potential to have a major impact on numerous BLOCK participants, and on behalf of all our staff, I want to thank BJ’s Wholesale Club for its generous support.”   Established in 2004 by BJ’s Wholesale Club, the BJ’s Charitable Foundation helps meet essential needs for families in the communities where BJ’s members and team members live and work, according to a company spokesman. Through local and national non-profit partnerships, the foundation focuses giving efforts on three main pillars: hunger relief, education, and health and wellness. The company currently operates 244 clubs and 175 BJ’s Gas® stations in 20 states and has more than seven million members.“We are driven by a shared purpose of taking care of the families who depend on us in the communities where we live and work,” said Kirk Saville, head of corporate communications, at BJ’s Wholesale Club. “With this donation, we are proud to help youth and teens in the Canton community access B.L.O.C.K’s recreational and educational opportunities.”The B.L.O.C.K. Youth and Teen Center, located on the third floor of the Canton Administration Building at 1150 S. Canton Center Road in Canton, provides a fun, teen-friendly environment where students from ages 11-17 can participate in supervised afterschool programs, social events, and activities. For more information about The B.L.O.C.K. Youth and Teen 
Center, visit www.cantonmi.gov/theblock or call (734)398-5570.

Construction delay

 Failure to follow bid procedure stalls supervisor’s office renovation plan

Failure to follow established purchasing procedure may cause a further delay in Sumpter Township Supervisor Tim Bowman’s plan for $55,860 in renovations to his office.

During a regular meeting of the board of trustees last month, Bowman proposed the renovations including $47,860 for construction costs and $8,000 for fixtures and furniture for approval. None of the trustees in attendance motioned for approval of the expense.  Bowman said the plans include furniture and fixtures for a new meeting room.

During discussion of the project, Trustee Matthew Oddy inquired about the lack of a glass partition in front of the supervisor’s secretary which had originally been proposed. Oddy noted that all other township offices where the public meets officials currently include the glass fixture.

Bowman said that alterations in the original plan included a design variance favored by his current assistant and now include accommodations for disabled visitors, along with a new desk for the assistant. Oddy noted that the changes in the plan were not compliant with the safety precautions initially proposed. Bowman said he was in favor of the new design and that the safety glass was unnecessary and noted that in visits to several other municipal offices, glass between the public and the official or clerk was not installed.

The main objection to Bowman’s plan, however, was his failure to procure three sealed bids for the work. 

Township Clerk Esther Hurst asked Bowman if he had received the required three sealed bids. She explained that the township purchasing policy 

requires three sealed bids for any expense more than $10,000. 

Bowman admitted he had not gotten the bids and disputed Hurst’s 

assertion that the bids were a purchasing requirement. He claimed that three bids had never before bid required, a statement Hurst denied, noting that the bidding process in the township was long-standing.

“It has always been our policy,” Hurst reiterated.

Bowman then claimed he received three bids from contractors for the work as instructed by Finance Director Scott Holtz, “and now you want sealed bids. I’m done with it, do what you want,” he told the board members.”

Oddy reminded Bowman that it is the township policy to present a detailed description of the purchase or work to the board for approval and then advertise for sealed bids. He suggested that with no motion for approval of the expense presented for a vote, the meeting could continue with no action.

“It’s always been our policy,” Hurst said. “We have to advertise.”

Planning commission OKs proposed 4th Canton Township Fire station

Plans for a fourth fire station in the township were approved by members of the Canton Planning Commission during a May 6 meeting.The new structure planned for the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and South Lilley Road is in the planning states but will incorporate alternative energy sources for an energy net-zero building, according to plans. Costs for the building have not as yet been determined but will be a factor in the construction, officials said. Plans for a fourth station have been discussed for some time by township officials as about 25 percent of calls come from the southeastern quadrant of the township where the new station is planned. Officials noted that the new station would reduce response time significantly in that area. Officials said currently those response time were at 12 to 13 minutes in that southeast area of the township. Fire officials said the optimum time should be 5 to 7 minutes. Plans submitted show the station as nearly identical to Fire Station No. 2 on Warren Road which was constructed in 2021. It is about 13,400 square feet with three firetruck bays, officials said. Funding for the project will be supplied by a $7 million grant from the state and a $1.7 million federal grant. Fire officials credited the efforts of state Rep. Ranjeev Puri, D-Canton, and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Ann Arbor, in securing the funding for the new 
building.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Northville officials celebrate ‘State of the Community’

The recent State of the Community address in Northville drew a large crowd to hear updates from Mayor Brian Turnbull, Township Supervisor Mark Abbo and Northville Public School Superintendent Dr. RJ Webber. Business leaders, elected officials or their representatives, and other members of the community were among those who came to hear the speakers and network. The annual event was sponsored by the Northville Chamber of Commerce and Director Doug Wallace was the master of ceremonies.

Turnbull said downtown businesses are going strong and noted that two restaurants were recently featured on Fox TV. He proudly noted that he and the other leaders speaking at the event work well together to help move Northville forward. 

He provided an overview of new projects in Northville and explained that demolition has started on the Downs site and the redeveloped area will have new parks, residences and commercial space as well as a daylighted river.  He noted that the riverwalk development starts at Ford Field, where the Randolph Drain flows into the Middle Rouge River, and will continue through the Foundry Flask site and onto the soon-to-be daylighted river at the Downs river park. He expects the entire riverwalk to be completed in 2027, just in time for the city bicentennial anniversary.

Ford Field is undergoing improvements with a new west-side, barrier-free entrance and reconstruction of the Randolph Drain outlet into the river at Serenity Point in Phase I.  A new playground and restrooms will come in Phase II. There are plans for tree trimming and removal in some places and buried utility lines to provide a scenic view into the park from downtown Northville.

The mayor noted that 6.5 percent of the city population is involved on boards, commissions and task forces to benefit the city.

He touted the championship trees in the city – four worthy of state recognition and two of national recognition. He said the old elm tree behind City Hall is being carved into a mustang (horse) at the top and historical artwork along the trunk.

Abbo spoke about the Michigan International Technology Center (MITC) that is being developed on Five Mile between Beck and Napier in Northville Township. The township received a $10 million grant from the state for MITC. He proudly touted the township triple-A bond rating, which he said is akin to a 850 credit score and said less than 20 communities in Michigan have that rating level. 

The township received a “Top Workplace” award from the Detroit Free Press; he noted they were the first municipality in Michigan to receive it. He mentioned the Parks and Rec award he received from MParks (Top Local Official) had his name on the award only because there couldn’t be 32,000 names on it (the number of residents in Northville Township). He said the township has the privilege of converting 350 acres of former brownfield into Legacy Park, which was a long time in the making. The first phase of the trails will open this fall.

To address community needs, there is now a cricket pitch at the Marv Gans park and will soon open a new skateboard park, Abbo said.

The new Essential Services Complex, public safety headquarters, being built on 15 acres at Legacy Park received a $1 million grant from U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell’s office to replace the communications system for public safety. 

Webber expressed his appreciation to voters who renewed the school bond in 2023, which provides $134.4 million to the school district while maintaining the current debt millage rate for taxpayers. That money has been applied to infrastructure upgrades at Meads Mill School and district wide, technology purchases for students and teachers, and program enhancements, he said. He touted the new, full-day Young 5’s program that starts in the fall and provides activities and lessons for children. Because it’s free, it will save parents a considerable amount on day care, he explained. Webber also mentioned an underwater “drone” program, the SeaPerch project that uses remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to perform several functions. They were tested by engineering students at the Northville High School pool. Webber called all first responders in attendance to the stage to thank them for their service.  

Branching Out

 Federal grant funds Canton Township tree replanting project


Canton Township officials dug in during a special event during the Annual Fishing Derby last week.

Township Supervisor Anne Marie Graham-Hudak was joined by U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, along with members of the township board of trustees and local residents to plant six trees to honor the six U.S. military branches. The tree planting project was funded by $20,000 in federal grant funds that were administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to replant some of the hundreds of trees  damaged or destroyed in and around Heritage Park during the August 2023 tornado that briefly touched down in the community.

Branches of the military honored with a Columnar Oak tree in Heritage Park near the township veteran’s memorial included: the Army; Marine Corps; Navy; Air Force; Space Force; and Coast Guard.  

Funding for this grant comes from the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry program, which requires one-to-one matching funds for projects on non-federal, public lands or lands open to the public. The Canton tree restoration project utilized the grant funds to add 83 trees to Heritage Park and 21 trees to Griffin Park. Five species of new trees were introduced that are not part of the current township inventory. These include the American Beech, Bitternut Hickory, Black Tupelo, Cucumbertree Magnolia, and Katsura. All of these trees were selected for their ability to thrive in soil with fluctuating moisture and salt conditions, to adapt to changing environmental conditions, as well as their ability to withstand storm damage, officials said.

“Canton is grateful to have received this grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that will help support our goal to create a greener, more resilient, healthier community for everyone,” stated Marie Graham-Hudak. “These federal funds have helped the township replace the damaged trees in our parks that play such an essential role in contributing to the overall aesthetics and livability of our community.”

Canton Parks and Planning Services staff collaborated on this tree restoration plan to plant a total of 100 trees in Heritage Park and Griffin Park this spring.

New state representative takes official oath of office

State Rep. Peter Herzberg (D-Westland) recently took his oath of office to serve out the remaining term of the 25th House District, which comprises all of Wayne, most of Westland, and parts of Canton and Dearborn Heights. 

The seat has been vacant since late last year, when former state Rep. Kevin Coleman was elected mayor of Westland.  

“I am honored to serve as state representative of my hometown,” Herzberg said. “I look forward to pursuing priorities that will propel our community forward. As we prepare next year’s budget, I will work to bring home investments that will have a lasting impact for folks in my district and for Michiganders across the state.”   

Herzberg grew up in Westland, near Warren and Wayne roads, and has lived in the same neighborhood for his entire life, now with his wife and daughter. He said he loves his community and has served in various nonprofit organizations, such as the Westland Festival Committee and the Westland Veterans Association. His strong community-oriented spirit has led him to help raise funds for Alzheimer’s research, juvenile diabetes research and the Westland Veterans Memorial Garden and Camp Liberty, he added. 

“I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put the people of Michigan first. This Legislature has been historically productive, but there’s more work to do to keep moving Michigan toward a better and brighter future,” 

Herzberg continued. 

Canton Sports Center celebrates $1,2 million renovation

Canton Township Supervisor Anne Marie Graham-Hudak, along with the Canton Township Board of Trustees and other dignitaries, celebrated the grand reopening of the Canton Sports Center following completion of a $1.2 million renovation project at the facility. Upgrades made to the sports center include the installation of a new state-of-the-art MUSCO sports LED lighting system that will improve on-field lighting and visibility in all 12 softball fields, reduce energy consumption, and enhance the overall experience for players and spectators, officials said.

Additional improvements include the replacement of much of the concrete sidewalks surrounding the facility, as well as the replacement and expansion of asphalt paths leading up to the 12 softball fields. These renovations follow the improvements made to the inside of the Canton Sports Center facility, that include a dining area makeover to Kicker’s Bar & Grill, a full-service restaurant located inside the building.  These improvements include an updated look with a new paint color scheme, booth cushion replacements, and the installation of all new windows, according to township officials.

“One of the many goals of this project was to deliver superior upgrades to this premier sports complex that will provide an improved experience for everyone who visits,” said Greg Hohenberger, director of Canton Leisure Services.  “In addition, it’s important to increase energy efficiency, as well as minimize the amount of light cast and reduce night sky pollution, which this new sports LED lighting system should accomplish.”

The Canton Sports Center, located at 46555 W. Michigan Ave., features a 12-diamond lighted softball/baseball operation with state-of-the-art facilities, as well as Kicker’s Bar & Grill. The complex annually plays host to several national tournaments that produce a significant economic impact to the area; at times generating more than $1 million in revenue for area businesses, officials noted.

For additional information about the Canton Sports Center, visit csc.canton-mi.org, or call (734) 483-5600.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Canton supervisor’s race to be candidate rematch

Canton Township voters will see a re-match during the Nov. 5 race for township supervisor but will limit a vast field of candidates for trustees during an Aug. 6 primary election.

Incumbent Supervisor Anne Marie Graham Hudak and former Supervisor Pat Williams will again vie for the top job in the township. In the 2020 election, Graham Hudak, a Democrat, defeated then incumbent Williams, a Republican, with about 55 percent of the vote.

Williams, 63, was supervisor from 2008 until 2020 and served as a trustee from 2008 until 2016. He is currently working in real estate.

Graham-Hudak, 62, served on the board of trustees from 2016 until 2020 when she challenged Williams for the job. 

No challengers have emerged against incumbent Clerk Michael Siegrist or Treasurer Dian Slavens, both Democrats while 11 candidates have filing election petitions for the four seats on the November ballot. Current Trustee  Steven Sneideman, who has served on the board for 12 years, has opted not to seek reelection. Trustees Kate Borninski, 

Sommer Foster and Tania Ganguly all Democrats are seeking reelection. They are being challenged by Ammara Ansari, Dave Harris and Syed Jafry, also Democrats.  John Anthony, Tyler Grable, Jeff Graunke, Marko Kozina and Leander Richmond, all Republicans, are also seeking terms on the board of trustees.

During the Aug. 6 primary election, voters will limit the November ballot to the four top vote getters from each party. 

Cool Champions


 Members of the Romulus United Enforcers were the winners of the Copper Cup B division championship earlier this month. Romulus ended the weekend with a 3-2 record, beating  Oakland County then Southfield Police Department 5-2 in the championship game to win their second consecutive Copper Cup after winning the C division last year. The Copper Cup Hockey Tournament is limited to first responders. Proceeds from the event benefit the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. The tournament has generated thousands of dollars to the group during the past years.

Northville Township wins prestigious fire education award

 The Northville Township Fire Department Kindergarten Fire and Life Safety Education Program was recently honored with the prestigious 2023 Leland Gayheart Prevention Award from the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center and the Gayheart family. 

Managing Director Karla Klas of the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center, Injury Prevention and Community Outreach, who represents the Leland Gayheart Award Committee, presented the plaque and a $1,000 honorarium at the April 18 Northville Township Board of Trustees meeting where she praised the program for comprehensiveness.

    “They are reaching our children at an early age and already starting to teach them the safety and critical thinking skills that they need,” Klas told the trustees.

Deputy Fire Chief Tom Hughes created the curriculum in 2017 in collaboration with Northville Public Schools. Every kindergarten student undergoes fire prevention and life safety lessons during a week in the fall. Superintendent of Northville Public Schools  Dr. R.J. Webber was on hand for the award 

presentation.

    Primary instructors of the classes are Lt. Michael Obermiller and Firefighter/Paramedic Jeff Sims. They provide fire safety curriculum to the classrooms of all six schools, including one in the City of Northville and the other in Novi. The lessons are taught by district kindergarten teachers who teach four main concepts: 1) Firefighters are community helpers, 2) Stay away from hot things, 3) Smoke alarms are important, and 4) Get outside and stay outside. On the fifth day, the students have an onsite field trip.

    Firefighters visit the classes offering instruction, demonstrations and a fire truck tour. Northville Township Fire Department personnel conduct the entire event at all township schools, while the City of Northville and the City of Novi fire departments bring their fire trucks and staff for the truck demonstration events in their jurisdiction.


    “It’s a true partnership in the name of fire prevention,” Hughes said. There is also a partnership with parents. Because the primary risk for fire occurs at home, students bring handouts to their parents to share throughout the five-day course in school, reinforcing the importance of these safety messages directly to those most responsible for their children’s safety.


    “Our goal was to turn our public education programs from ‘trucks and helmets’ to evidence-based, vetted fire and life safety messages that focus directly on our community in an age-appropriate way,” Hughes explained. Since 2017, this program has reached 114 kindergarten classes and more than 2,500 students.


    “That’s 2,500 families that have learned fire prevention skills,” beyond the “Stop, Drop and Roll” concept, Hughes added. Northville Township Fire Department has also been generous in sharing this curriculum with other fire departments across the nation that want to start similar programs.


    “Northville Township Fire Department is saving lives,” said Klas. “They also are preventing injuries which is my goal. I don’t want people to have to come see us at the Trauma Burn Center.” Township officials and audience members gave the firefighters a standing ovation following the presentation.

    

    “I can’t express enough how proud we are of the Northville Township Fire Department,” said Supervisor Mark J. Abbo. “On behalf of the board of trustees, we thank the fire department so much for everything it does. What a great team you have.”

Veterans to host Ruck Walk

Members of the Plymouth Township Veterans Commission are seeking a few good men and women to help celebrate Armed Forces Day in the community.The commission is hosting a Ruck/Walk to salute service members past and present along with first responders beginning at 8 a.m. May 18., Organizers stressed that this is a walk and not a race and participants are urged to pack a ruck as heavy as is comfortable or walk with a weighted vest to support those who defend the country and residents.Check in will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Plymouth VFW, 1426 S Mill St. Overflow parking is available at 1042 S. Mill St. (East Middle School). At 7:50 a.m. participants will gather for the National Anthem, remarks and safety guidelines before the walk officially begins at 8 a.m.Organizers stressed that this is a family friendly event and tickets are sold for individuals or families. Only service animals will be allowed. There will be pacers and a water station at the First Responders Memorial where the walkers will observe a moment of silence.Donuts and juice will at the VFW upon completion of the Ruck/Walk. Registration is available at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/armed-forces-5k-ruckwalk-tickets-885657524497?aff=oddtdtcreator&fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTAAAR0-uGNPdDqpMh-Mcn259DeAcIdajknoFVZe5XmjYCIAkwcz6Z8J3bMwXBk_aem_AcXpGg4q85qTNZQ2XzJiDwDLcBDHWxUqXp43Q4-IhGf3JyMHjuB9gX1wjMotjWE2E9cc0TVtRr5UZDLSnowagcOL 

Northville Farmers Market moves to new location today

The Northville Farmers’ Market will open for the season from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. today, May 2, at the new temporary location at the Highland Lakes Shopping Plaza, 43041 W Seven Mile Road.Northville Chamber of Commerce Director Doug Wallace said the season would extend each Thursday until Oct. 31, except for July 4. “We’re excited about all the new vendors we have this year. They include three new farmers, floral farmers and a woman who sharpens knives, scissors and garden tools. It’s always a bigger draw when we’re able to offer unique services and products,” said Wallace. He noted that longtime farmers Carol and Mary have retired, along with a few others. He said new vendors are welcome to apply for spaces.Food trucks are not permitted at the market this year, however there are four restaurants in the shopping plaza. The market is bringing back “Chef’s in the Market” and will also have solo musicians. Guitarist/singer Leah Brooke will perform today during the first market day of the season. Orin Jewelers is sponsoring the musicians, who typically play for a few hours. The main market sponsor is Renewal by Anderson. Another sponsor, the Serra Ford dealership, will have a “show vehicle” parked near the market. Nonprofits are welcome to set up a free booth at the market and can schedule a date by contacting the chamber. The demolition of the former Northville Downs property necessitated the temporary move of the market to the shopping plaza. Negotiations continue between the chamber, city and township and property owners regarding a new permanent site for the Farmers’ Market. For more information about the market, contact the chamber at (248)349-7640 or visit the website. The chamber-sponsored flower sale will be the weekend of Memorial Day May 24 and 25, in downtown Northville.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

State of the City address stresses cooperation

 


Romulus Mayor Robert McCraight presented his annual State of the City address earlier this month to an audience crowded with residents and city officials and visitors.
As usual, the Romulus Police Honor Guard opened and closed the event with the presentation and retiring of the flag. This year, Deputy City Clerk D’Sjonaun entertained the large crowd with a remarkable rendition of the national anthem. Julie Wojtlko, MCraight’s chief of staff, introduced the officials in the audience prior to the invocation by the Rev. Arthur Willis.

McCraight presented a detailed summary of the past year in the community and the list of accomplishments and successes the city has seen during the past year. He presented a graphic of five pillars of city management and explained the success Romulus and his administration have accomplished in each area during the past year.

McCraight didn’t shy away from responding to challenges the city is working to overcome. He stressed that the new 34th District Court building has been paid for by those who use the court and explained “the city does not owe money for the building. What we have to solve is the operational costs,” he told the crowd, “and we are working with the other communities who use the court to find solutions.”

“We continue to find new ways to innovate and one of those is working together with the schools,” McCraight explained as he introduced Superintendent of Schools Benjamin Edmondson to address the status of the district.

Edmondson, like McCraight, didn’t shy away from difficult situations the schools currently face and told the crowd, “Nobody deserves your trust if they’re not going to be truthful and transparent with you.” He stressed the importance of communication with the schools and urged residents to make an effort to become informed.

McCraight solidly agreed with Edmondson regarding the importance of the city and the school district working in concert to solve problems.

“We’ve got a lot of things we’re trying to change in this city, but if schools aren’t coming along and going with us, it’s going to continue to pull us down,” McCraight said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been with an economic development person who wants to develop in our community who makes the decision based on the schools.”

McCraight referenced the new state program dedicated to developing workforce housing and explained that Romulus has 3,000 acres available. He discussed the growing use of technology in nearly every city department, including the police and ordinance enforcement. The mayor also noted the difficulty across the county in recruiting police officers and explained that issue is also one the community is working to alleviate.

The mayor ended his address by presenting the first Ambassador Award from the city designed to recognize a group or individual who presents a positive image of Romulus outside the community. This year, the initial award was presented to the Romulus Flyers, a youth football league.

As has become his usual closing, McCraight thanked his wife, Kendra, but rather than his presentation of flowers to her, this year he opted for a Harley Davidson gift basket and noted with a smile that she has recently taken up cycling, joining him in his off-duty hobby.

Home town heroes


 First responders, civilian honored for saving life of baby 

It really does take a village to raise a child, especially in a life-threatening emergency.

Last week, during the regular meeting of the Northville Township Board of Trustees, 13 first responders were recognized for their heroism in saving the life of a baby during an emergency situation earlier this year. A standing ovation from the audience accompanied the presentation of the lifesaving awards recognizing the exemplary actions of the first responders credited with saving the child’s life.

Last February, emergency dispatchers received a call from Northville resident Abby Salamen who reported an infant in distress who was not breathing and had no pulse. Public Safety Ofc. Carrie Hollingshed provided crucial lifesaving instructions by phone to Salamen until Police Ofc. Chris Bachand arrived on the scene and immediately began to perform CPR on the small child.

When township firefighter/paramedics arrived, they were able to provide Advanced Pediatric Life Support for the child as they transported the baby to the hospital. The child was successfully resuscitated and was later released from the hospital with no long-term health consequences related to the incident.

Township officials presented Lifesaving Awards to the 13 individuals responsible for saving the life of the child including civilian award to Salamen and departmental awards to both Holligshed and Bachand.

Firefighters Chris Wiggins, Mike Mandziuk, Kyle Susewitz, Jake Fedel, Chris Kilinski and Mackenzie Slowik were honored for their lifesaving efforts along with Battalion Chief Brad Neuhart, Lt. Mike Obermiller, Training Coordinator Jesse Marcotte and Fire Marshal Kyle Lewis.

“For the actions taken by these individuals, a child’s life was saved,” said Fire Chief Brett Siegel in presenting the awards. “We want to thank you all for the for service to the Northville community and upholding the finest traditions of the Northville Township Department of Public Safety.”


Construction of Five Mile Road could cause traffic delays


 Road work on a stretch of Five Mile Road that runs along Plymouth and Northville townships has begun, according to township officials and area drivers attempting to navigate the area.

Road crews are rebuilding and widening Five Mile Road between Beck and Ridge roads, as well as curb and gutter placement, concrete and aggregate shoulder placement, underdrain installation, bioswale installation, ditch construction, signing, striping and restoration, township 

officials noted.

Officials warned drivers to expect congestion and temporary detours throughout the duration of the construction project.

One lane of traffic in each direction is open but there will be closures along Five Mile and Ridge roads during certain portions of the project, according to township officials. Drivers will have access to all adjacent streets and entrances during for the project, they added.

“Northville Township is glad to be a part of MITC, an exciting project that brings both jobs and an expanded tax base to the region,” Northville Township Supervisor Mark J. Abbo said. “We are grateful to Wayne County in helping build solid roads and infrastructure to help our residents zip around the region.”

There are also numerous development projects in the works along Five Mile Road, including a new Meijer store in Plymouth Township.

Officials expect the roadway construction project, which is being funded with a $10 million state grant, to last through the remainder of this year.


Spring Spectacular



 Canton and Plymouth bands to perform together in special concert

The Canton Concert Band and Plymouth Community Band will combine forces for the first time at the Village Theater at Cherry Hill at 7 p.m. May 4. for a “Spring Spectacular” concert.  Each ensemble will present a unique variety of music, followed by a combined performance of both bands playing together as one.

Under the direction of Ryan Hoffman, the Canton Concert Band has been a staple ingredient in the Canton Community for 20 years. The 52-member concert band performs year-round at different events throughout the community and presents three annual performances in the fall, winter, and spring at the Village Theater at Cherry Hill.

“We are thrilled to be able to present this collaborative performance to ring in the spring,” said Hoffman. “Both bands have been hard at work, creating a program of music that will appeal to any audience.”

With a Bachelor of Music degree from Wayne State University,  Hoffman studied music education as well as jazz and composition.  Prior to conducting the Canton Concert Band, he played in their trumpet section.  Currently, he also plays in the Northridge Church orchestra and enjoys private teaching, as well as writing music.

The Plymouth Community Band under the direction of Carl Battishill comprises 55-75 volunteer, amateur musicians who enjoy coming together to make music in a “concert band” arrangement.  Members come from all walks of life, have diverse backgrounds and experiences, and range in age from teenagers to octogenarians, a spokesman noted.

Battishill has been the director of the 65-year-old Plymouth Community Band for the past 45 years. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Michigan, and was a music teacher in schools in Frankfort, Plymouth-Canton, and West Bloomfield for 48 years. Now retired from teaching, he spends his time with family and friends, working in the yard, and attempting to play golf.

Tickets for Spring Spectacular are $12 - $14 (fees included) and can be purchased online at www.cantonvillagetheater.org or by calling the Village Theater Box Office at (734) 394-5300.  Box Office hours are from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 4 until 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the box office one hour prior to show time.

 

The Village Theater at Cherry Hill is located at 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton. For more information about this special performance, call (734) 394-5300 or visit www.cantonvillagetheater.org.