Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Fire departments share in federal grant funds

The Northville Township Fire Department and the City of Northville Fire Department have been awarded federal grants to upgrade outdated equipment.
According to U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, the City of Northville will receive $471,838 and Northville Township $254,545 as part of $1,332,004 awarded to fire departments in five Michigan communities.  These grants come from both the Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants program.
 “Our firefighters in Southeast Michigan put their lives on the line to protect our families, homes, and communities,” said Stabenow. “These new resources will provide critical training and give our first responders the equipment they need to better serve the public and do their jobs more safely and effectively.”

The Revolutionary 60s: Museum exhibit recreates decade of change across America

Exhibits coordinator Mary Thackston started to volunteer
at the Plymouth Historical Museum in 2005. 
Behind her is the Apollo 11 part of the local exhibit.
Julie Brown - Staff Writer

From baseball cards to a blue 1965 Mustang convertible, the current exhibit on the 1960s at the Plymouth Historical Museum offers plenty of learning and fun.
Mary Thackston, exhibits coordinator, is pleased with the many items members have loaned the museum, at 155 S. Main St. in downtown Plymouth.
“It was just interesting to look back on everything, and so much happened,” said Plymouth Township resident Thackston. “So many things happened. You have some newspapers of the times. The music was great, the best music.”

Amazon to purchase 100,000 Plymouth-made trucks

Rivian, the electric vehicle company in Plymouth, has received an order for 100,000 electric delivery vans from Amazon.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the order during an event last week in Washington, D.C. when Bezos also unveiled a plan to tackle climate change. Bezos said he expects the 100,000 Rivian vans to be on the road by 2024, according to USA Today. The first vans will hit the road in 2021, Bezos said,  with prototypes possibly arriving as soon as 2020.

Trick or Feet, Walk & Roll event planned

A Halloween-themed event providing a spooktacular kickoff to fall and fun for the whole family is set for Oct. 6 at Maybury State Park in Northville.
The annual Trick or Feet, Run Walk & Roll will include a live DJ, refreshments, face painting, temporary tattoos, pumpkin painting, and a magician to entertain younger visitors. Visitors can enter one of four costume contests to win prizes: Best Individual Costume, Best Group Costume (3-8 people), Best Kid Costume (age 12 and under), and Cutest Furry Friend. Dogs on leashes are welcome to attend.

Ex-convict is charged in fatal shooting

Cleve Ransaw
A convicted felon from Wayne has been arrested and charged with the Friday, the 13th killing of an Inkster man.
Cleve Ransaw, 26, of Wayne now faces multiple charges in the shooting of a 27-year-old Joseph Kenneth Benson on Western Street near Oakwood at about 11:30 p.m. Sept. 13. When Inkster police officers arrived at the scene, they discovered Benson lying in the street suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene and his remains transported by emergency responders, according to police reports of the incident.  Police said the shooting was an escalation of an altercation between the two men that took place earlier the previous evening.  Prosecutors also allege that Ransaw took cash from Benson and that the two were acquainted.

Genealogists welcome speaker

Members of the Northville Genealogy Society will meet beginning at 1:15 p.m.  Oct. 13 at the Northville District Library located at 212 W. Cady St., Northville.
A roundtable discussion on Family Search hints begins at 1:15 p.m. and  Bernadette Bartlett from the Library of Michigan, will speak at 3 p.m. about Using Michigan Documents including the Pioneer and Historical Collection.

Monster Mash: Annual Halloween celebration is set

Cherry Hill Village Monster Mash participants enjoy the spookiest
holiday season of the year during this special event at
Canton's Village Theater. (Photos courtesy of Laura Mortier). 
The 21 and older crowd are expected at the Second Annual Cherry Hill Village Monster Mash beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19  at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton
The adult Halloween party will feature favorite top 40 hits and Halloween covers by Atomic Radio. Guests can also participate in a costume contest, cash bar, and refreshments.  Audiences will be treated to a unique experience as the main focus of the event will be a dance party on stage where there will be a bar and tables for seating in between dancing.

Community Foundation seeks PORCH volunteers

Canton Community Foundation members are looking for folks to join them on the PORCH.
PORCH is an acronym for Providing Others with Renewed Confidence and Hope, and follows a needs assessment completed about a year ago, said Mili Tandon of the foundation. The study found “loneliness in the community” and a need to “to help alleviate the problem of social isolation.”
Volunteers age 18 and up are being sought in the Plymouth-Canton area, with plans to reach out geographically later on. The designated Friend is the trained volunteer who will visit those in the program, said Tandon, while the designated Neighbor is the person getting the visit.

Museum volunteers provide historical research

Museum exhibits done right take research, and volunteers at the Plymouth Historical Museum are happy to help.
Dan Packer, among those working in museum archives, is one of those volunteer researchers who helps Exhibits Coordinator Mary Thackston.
“She'll have a theme or an idea. We'll find newspaper articles, books, anything of a paper nature. Pictures, lots of pictures.”

On the job: Former service aides join force

Each of the three newest officers, sworn in at City Hall ceremonies last week, worked as a part-time Police Service Aide (PSA) before successfully completing the police academy and joining the force.
New Officer Peter Bednarz grew up in the City of Wayne and graduated from Livonia Churchill High School. He served as a Westland PSA for seven years and was a service aide trainer for three years.
In April of 2019, Bednarz received the Westland Police Life Saving Award.  Bednarz graduated from the Washtenaw Community College Police Academy in September 2019, where he was appointed to squad leader.
New Westland police officers Peter Bednarz,Summer Chalfin and Cameron Plofchan were sworn into office at City Hall last week. All three previously worked as part-time Police Service Aides in the city. The newest Westland police officers are familiar faces at the police station.

Wayne chamber seeks nominations for board

The Wayne Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for four new board members to help strengthen the organization.
According to a prepared release from the organization, the chamber has been working at a deficit of board members for the past three years. While the bylaws of the group allow for nine members of the board of directors, the group has been operating with only four.
There are minimum requirements for nominees for the board. The new board members must be a member in good standing of the chamber and have been a member for no less than a year.

Super stars

More than 100 visitors crowded the Jefferson Barns Community Vitality Center Aug. 31 to witness Athletes Without Limits play against a team from Arc of Detroit. The charity basketball event was a fundraiser for the Special Olympics Hybrid Basketball Team and was organized by Westland Police Officers Chaim Kozak and Rodney Donald. Athletes Without Limits is a combined group of Special Olympic athletes who travel the world playing other special needs athletes. “Officer Kozak and I were approached by the Arc of Detroit explaining they were in need of funds for traveling expenses, equipment etc.,” commented Donald.  “We both felt this was important for these special athletes to be able to live out their dreams, thus creating the charity basketball event.” The event raised $1,375 through donations, which was awarded to the team at the Sept. 16 Westland City Council meeting.

Westland man facing charges in death of woman

The man who led police to the body of a missing 23-year-old Westland woman will face multiple charges in Third Circuit Court in downtown Detroit.
Anthony Kesteloot, 25, of Westland is charged with tampering with a dead body, obstruction of justice, failing to report the discovery of a dead body and tampering with evidence in a criminal case, all felonies, and a misdemeanor charge of removing a dead body without medical examiner's permission.

On the docket: Court finance agreement OK’d as building construction continues

Construction continues on the new 34th District Court building
next to Romulus City Hall on Wayne Road.
Construction is expected to be complete early next year.
City of Belleville officials have officially agreed to the terms of a funding agreement making the City of Romulus the funding agent for the 34th District Court.   The agreement was reached with the support of the office of the Michigan State Court Administrator and has also now been signed by both Sumpter, Van Buren and Huron townships and the cities of Belleville and Romulus.
The new agreement clearly outlines procedures for disbursement of funds and protects all the communities served from any future misreading or misinterpretations and replaces a 1998 agreement which had been verbally modified, leading to a misunderstanding earlier this year.

Belleville dentist offers free services to public

Residents in the Belleville community and surrounding areas will have the opportunity to receive free dental services at The Lakes Dental Care on Friday, Oct. 11.
Dr. Tracey Upell, Dr. Andrew Atisha and team at The Lakes Dental Care will be improving the oral health of the community as part of Free Dentistry Day, a day dedicated to providing free dental care to the growing number of Americans without dental insurance. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 108 million Americans are living without dental insurance.
“We understand that many people in our community and across the nation haven't been to the dentist for a long period of time. Some don't understand the importance of dental health, but more often than not, they don't have the financial means,” said Upell. “This event is a great opportunity for us to share our time and resources with those less fortunate and give back to the community.”

Train delays prompt public safety concerns in Romulus

Kevin Krause, Romulus director of Fire Services and Emergency Management was among those who joined Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Haley Stevens (D-MI), and Tim Walberg (R-MI)  to discuss the urgent need to work together to face challenges at a number of railroad crossings in Western Wayne and Monroe Counties. Also at the meeting were Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Director Paul Ajegba along with several Wayne County mayors and other public safety officials, railroad representatives, and local business leaders.
 As a manufacturing hub of world, Michigan depends on a strong rail transportation system. There are numerous sites in Southeast Michigan where trains have blocked roadways, at times for hours, causing public safety concerns and serious inconveniences for motorists, especially when trains block intersections for hours which they have on numerous occasions, the officials told railroad representatives.

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.

Friday, September 6, 2019

64th Fall Festival sweeps into Plymouth

This afternoon, streets will begin to be filled with the sounds of carnival rides being installed and various booths and attractions being erected along Main Street as the City of Plymouth prepares for the 64th Annual Fall Festival.
Bingo to support the Plymouth-Canton Little League will take place in The Gathering tomorrow evening and one of the most awaited events of the year, the Civitans Taste Fest will take place in the Veteran's Tent behind E.G. Nick's restaurant on Forest Street. 

Builder to donate new welcome sign to Romulus

Visitors to Romulus will soon be greeted with a new welcome sign to be installed in the triangle at Hannan and Northline roads in the city.
Nino DiDomenico from D&G Building in the city appeared before members of the Romulus City Council at the regular meeting last week as part of a request for the waiver of a building permit for the installation of the large brick “Welcome to Romulus” sign that will rest on a 3-foot brick wall which will extend on either side of the message.

Opioid clinic prompts delayed citizen protests

Residents opposed to the planned opioid treatment facility in Westland may have missed the appointed time in which to voice their complaints.
The new facility, to be located at 34290 Ford Road, the site of the former Montana's Steak House, was approved by members of the city council by a 5-2 vote Aug. 5. Several residents used the public comments portion of the Aug. 19 meeting of the Westland City Council agenda to voice concerns and objections to the facility.

Scheduled road repair work now under way in city

Two road projects in Northville will begin this month with 1.7 miles of reconstruction work on Morgan Boulevard and Cady Street by Nagle Paving Co., of Novi.
The work includes the addition of eight parking spaces on Cady Street, officials said.
The cost of the pavement repair or replacement is $1,031,473. Other streets slated for work are Lexington Court, Glenhill Drive, Morgan Circle, Morgan Court, MacDonald Drive, Taft Road and Baseline Road - which will all be repaired with a mill and fill construction procedure.

Auditions set next week for young stage performers

Young actors and singers in the area will have a chance to show off their talents during upcoming auditions for the Plymouth Uptown Players set for next week.
Auditions will take place at the Plymouth community Arts Council from 5-6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15 and again from 4:30 until 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18 for young actors in 4th through 9th grade.
To audition, students must complete pre-registration online at or by calling (734) 416-4278 and schedule an audition appointed. Actors will meet in small groups for 20-30 minutes with the director of the upcoming musical, Sonja Marquis. Students must register and sign the Actor Commitment Contract on audition night for registration to be complete, organizers said.

Annual Maybury Farm Corn Maze set to open soon

The 10-acre Maybury Farm Corn Maze will open Sept. 27 and families can enjoy the Great Pumpkin Festival at the farm Oct. 12 and 13.
This year, the family-friendly corn maze promises to be one of the best that Maybury Farm has ever created, noted Maybury Community Foundation Director Diana Wallace. The maze features 10 acres of thick, lush corn with a brand-new design.  The full maze is 9-acres and is sure to challenge adults and kids alike, she said and will take an estimated one hour to complete.
This year, the farm will also offer a Kid’s Maze that is approximately 1 acre and will take an estimated 20 minutes to complete,”so it's perfect for little ones,” Wallace added.

Friends: People Helping People project set for this Saturday

A group of Friends will gather this Saturday, Sept. 7,  for the 23rd Annual  Friends: People Helping People event in Wayne.
The Friends are a group of volunteers who meet to help disabled or elderly neighbors in the city with home maintenance and repair jobs they are unable to complete themselves.
Homes suggested for help are viewed by a committee from the Friends group and members evaluate the amount of help necessary. To be considered, the homes must be owner occupied.

Athletic director named at Wayne Memorial High School

Jason Malloy has been named as the new athletic director at Wayne Memorial High School.
It is somewhat of a homecoming for the 39-year-old educator, whose parents lived in  Wayne.
A graduate of Robichaud High School in Inkster, he was a four-year varsity football starter and as a senior was team MVP. He was named to the All-Area, All-Metro and All Conference teams during his high school football career during which he set several records which still stand today. He also played basketball during his high school tenure.

Elder abuse seminar draws crowds to Inkster

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel heard about serious nursing home abuses, as well as problems with medical disability and hospital care during an Aug. 26 forum in Inkster.
Nessel recently announced a bipartisan Elder Abuse Task Force, after conferring with justices of the Michigan Supreme Court. Nessel told the packed room last week of earlier efforts, “What these task forces had been good at was identifying problems in the system.”
She works with co-chairs Justice Richard Bernstein and Justice Megan Cavanagh, state Supreme Court members, and others to address elder abuse. The group traveled the state on a listening tour “so we could hear from everybody in those communities,” said Nessel.

Winning lottery ticket sold in city

A lottery ticket sold at the Wayne Med Mart on South Wayne Road in Westland was worth $4 million.
The ticket holder, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was stunned when he realized he has won with the Millionaire's Club instant game ticket.
“I bought two tickets, and moved to the side of the counter to scratch them off,” said the 34-year-old player. “Normally, I scratch the full ticket before looking at the prizes, but when I saw the money symbol I figured I only won the one prize, so I scratched it off.

Developer cancels Hawthorne Valley home building plans

The site of the former Hawthorne Valley golf course and restaurant is back on the market following cancellation of plans to construct 41 homes for disabled individuals on the site.
The development, proposed as Hawthorne Oaks, included homes and condominium units which would have all been Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, something the developer, Three Oaks Communities, referred to as a “niche market.”

Township recruiting new public safety officers

Staffing at the Canton Township Public Safety Department is a concern of
officials who noted that currently the township is down two police officers and two firefighters.
“It's a regional thing, it's not just Canton,” commented Township Supervisor Pat Williams during the Aug. 27 regular meeting of the board of trustees when the staffing shortages were discussed.
Williams said he encourages applicants to seek the jobs. Officials also discussed the possible hiring of part-time Police Service Aides  to augment police officer and firefighter ranks. After the meeting, Public Safety Deputy Director Chris Stoecklein said retirements are a big factor in staffing shortages.

Annual Do Good Expo commemorates tragic 9-11 attacks

The second annual Do Good Expo at the Summit on the Park in Canton Township is set for the the National Day of Service and Remembrance, marking the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Designated a national day of service by Congress in 2009, this national day of reflection and service was established to engage individuals in community service on 9/11 as an annual and forward-looking tribute to the 9/11 victims, survivors, and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks.
To celebrate and connect organizations and individuals who make a difference in the community, Canton Leisure Services will gather dozens of local non-profit, volunteer, and service-based organizations from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11 in the Summit on the Park Banquet Center, located at 46000 Summit Parkway in Canton.

Welcome home - Modular home installed in Romulus

One Romulus home is really on the fast track.
Last week, a two-story, single-family home was assembled on former State Land Bank property in Romulus is just under four hours. Members from the State Land Bank Authority attended the installation of the modular home on Thursday. Officials from the Land Bank were able to tour the newly-completed home almost immediately.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Van Buren OK’s new sign

A bit of Vegas is coming to Van Buren Township.
While members of the township board of trustees have approved $29,995 for an electronic message sign to be installed in front of township hall, they are hoping for some further enhancements to the design. The sign, purchased from Veres Environmental Graphics and Signs (VEGAS), a local company. Jonathan Townsend, representing the vendor, told the members of the board that it will take four to eight weeks to install the sign when they inquired about design changes that might include work similar to that done by the late Chesley Odom who designed the sign at the corner of High and Main streets in Belleville.