Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Local elections set in area communities

Clerks in several local areas are prepared for local elections set for Tuesday, Nov. 5 while in other communities, there are no elections set this year. As always, polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
For information about registering to vote, or requesting an absentee ballot, contact the local clerk's office in your community or visit the municipal website.

City of Belleville electors will fill 4-year terms for mayor and two city council members.
Both precincts in the city vote at St. Anthony's Church, 409 W. Columbia Ave. in the city.
Mayor Kerreen Conley is unopposed while three candidates. Kelly Bates, Jack Loria and Kenneth R. Voigt, are vying for two seats on the city council.

Romulus again wins economic development honor

The City of Romulus has again been recognized for dedication to entrepreneurial growth and economic development through the annual eCities study conducted by researchers at iLabs, the University of Michigan-Dearborn Center for Innovation Research. Romulus was one of only three communities in Wayne County to receive five stars.
"The City of Romulus is proud to receive a five-star rating in the eCities report for the second year in row, demonstrating our commitment to making Romulus a home of opportunity for businesses and entrepreneurs," Mayor LeRoy Burcroff said. "We have doubled down on our efforts to fuel the success of local businesses, and I am thrilled to see continued growth in our community as a result."

New marijuana ordinance prompts council squabble

Tasha Green
Members of the Westland City Council have approved a new ordinance regulating the sale of marijuana in the community by a 6-1 vote.
Councilwoman Tasha Green, who cast the lone dissenting vote, was adamant in her repeated remarks that she favors marijuana but that she was “not comfortable with the integrity of the process.”
The ordinance limits the location of facilities that sell either medicinal or recreational marijuana including certain portions of the city, residentially-zoned areas and the City Centre District. Provisions of the new ordinance regulate security measures at the facilities, odors emanating from such operations and hours such businesses can be open in the city.

Annual International Festival set for Saturday

The annual International Festival returns to The Village Theater at Cherry Hill Saturday, Nov. 2 celebrating diversity in Canton and surrounding communities through song and dance.
This annual cultural and educational festival will take place from 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday on the main stage of the theater, located at 50400 Cherry Hill Road.

Canton Farmers’ Market to host holiday artisans event

In preparation of the holiday season, the Canton Farmers Market will host the Second Annual Holiday Artisan Market on Saturday, Nov. 2, to assist shoppers with finding one-of-a-kind gifts, as well as delicious holiday food items for this festive time of year. A variety of specialty items will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Summit on the Park Ballroom, located at 46000 Summit Parkway in Canton.
This special market will feature local artisans, producers, and craft makers, as well as familiar faces returning from the Canton Farmers Market regular season.

McCartney Project to perform on Village Theatre stage

The McCartney Project, a live concert tribute to Paul McCartney, Wings and The Beatles will perform for one night only on the Main Stage at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9.
The McCartney project covers more than three decades of the most popular Beatles hits through the monster hits of Wings and more. Each song replicates the authentic, iconic sound of Paul McCartney's music.


Demolition of the Smith Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus in now under way. The 51-year-old facility, named for former Wayne County Road Commissioner Leroy C. Smith, a founder of the airport, was retired in 2008 as a terminal with the opening of the new North Terminal. Plans for the space created with the demolition of the building include a de-icing station and overnight parking for planes. The L.C. Smith Terminal Building -- known at the time as Terminal 1-- was built in 1958 and renamed for Smith in 1967. Photo by Chris Szymanski

Goodfellows Tea is served

The 12th annual Julie's Goodfellows Tea is set for 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3 at the Romulus Athletic Center.
The event is a benefit for the Romulus Goodfellows No Child Without a Christmas campaign.
Visitors are welcome to wear their favorite hat and bring along moms, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, cousins and friends. There will be a silent auction and prizes for special hats.
Tickets are priced at $35 per person and RSVPs are requested at the Goodfellows Hotline at (734) 955-4577.  Early purchase is suggested as space is limited.
The Romulus Athletic Club is at 35765 Northline Road in Romulus.

Van Buren Township adopts 2020 budget

Members of the Van Buren Township Board of Trustees approved the $17.6  million 2020 general fund budget by a 5-1 vote at the regular meeting Oct. 15.
The dissenting vote was cast by Trustee Paul White. Township Treasurer Sharry Budd did not attend the meeting.
Also approved were the 2019 amended special revenue budget and the 2020 proposed special revenue budget and the water and sewer budget which includes a 5 percent raise in costs to water users in the township beginning Jan. 1, 2020. That cost is estimated at $8 or $9 quarterly for an average user in the township.

Belleville officials explain Tuesday advisory vote

Members of the Belleville City Council scheduled a special meeting last week to discuss the 2-mill public safety assessment question which will be on the local ballot Tuesday.
The elected officials explained to the small audience that the vote on the question was advisory and that the city would not be required to follow the results of the election.
Several firefighters in the audience were among those who criticized the council members for not making the decision to implement the assessment to fund public safety in the community.

Holiday Home Tour is planned in Northville

From a home built in 1883 to a condominium with a weaving loft, visitors to the Northville Community Foundation Holiday Home Tour can visit five privately-owned homes filled with Christmas spirit this year.
The highly-anticipated tour is planned for 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Nov. 22 and 23 this year.
The tour homes have each been fully decorated for the holidays.  The varied style of the homes and the decorations is sure to please every taste, a spokesperson noted.

Expansion at Rural Hill Cemetery is now complete

The expansion of Rural Hill Cemetery, a feature in Northville since 1948 when the city was a village, has been complete and the newest section is now open.
The expansion includes a veteran's section of the cemetery marked by four large trees that surround a tall pole with a large American flag to symbolize the sacrifice the veterans made for their country.

Not so scary

Tomorrow will be the final day to view the nearly 100 cleverly designed scarecrows in Kellogg Park in downtown Plymouth. The annual exhibit, sponsored by the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, brings out the creativity of local businesses, groups and families as Flo is nearly blown away by insurance rates, an astronaut is ready to launch and formally-dressed ballroom dancers 'perform.' 'Started several years ago, the display has grown from just a few artistic creations to fill the spots available in the park. Photos by Sean Rhaesa 

Winning entries

Wayne Main Street recently announced the winners of the city 2019 Scarecrow Contest during a reception at Derby's Alley. The Facebook winner was Number 43, Taken by the Headless Horseman created by Brooke, Temperance and Verity. The People's Choice winner was Number 22, Charlie's Spongebob, created by the Marshall and Bond Family and the Judge's Choice winner was Number 14, Lily, entered by the Harper family. Each of the winners was awarded a $100 prize. The contest and reception were sponsored by the Wayne Downtown Development Authority, Kurt's Kaps and Dexter Cider Mill. Tomorrow, Nov. 1, will be the last day to take scarecrows down. From 8 - 11 a.m. on Saturday, volunteers will be meeting at the Wayne Historical Museum and then walking through town removing the scarecrows. To volunteer, email

Police awarded grant to fund technology upgrades

Technology at the Westland Police Department is about to get a serious upgrade.
The department was recently awarded a $121,165 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)  through the Michigan State Police.
The JAG Program is the primary federal block grant funding stream for state and local criminal justice agencies.  JAG funds may be used for state and local initiatives, technical assistance, strategic planning, research and evaluation, data collection, training, personnel, equipment, forensic laboratories, supplies, contractual support, and criminal justice information systems.

Local county commissioner awarded NAACP leadership honor

Wayne County Commissioner Glenn S. Anderson (D-Westland) was honored with the Leading Through Service Award presented by the Western Wayne County NAACP during the annual Freedom Fund Dinner Oct. 20.
The award was presented in honor of Anderson's continued involvement with the local NAACP branch, as well as with the community at large.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Major construction project set for I-275

Traffic on Interstate 275 through Plymouth, Canton, Livonia and Northville will slow down considerably during a $50 million repair takes place next year.
The planned construction will take place on I-275 from Ford Road to Six Mile during the entire construction season, state officials told the audience at a meeting last week at Canton Township Summit on the Park.  During the construction, two lanes for north and southbound traffic will remain open, the officials said.
Representatives of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) explained that the project will include the repaving, shoulder widening and bridge maintenance along the freeway. Engineer Adam Pensenstadler told the audience that the repairs are crucial as the concrete on the roadway is from the '70s with asphalt on top.
There will be pirates, princesses, ghosts and maybe even a few real spirits during celebrations of Halloween set throughout the area during the next few days.
Here are a few of the upcoming thrills and chills planned.

Ghost Hunt tomorrow
The Westland Historical Society will host an Adult Ghost Hunt at Westland Historic Village from 7-11 p.m. tomorrow, Oct. 25. The event will take place at 857 N. Wayne Road in the Westland Historic Village Park.
Members of the Great Lake Ghost Hunters will conduct a public investigation looking for spirits. Tickets are limited and  all sales are final. Visit .

Local elections scheduled throughout area for Nov. 5

Clerks in several local areas are prepared for local elections set for Tuesday, Nov. 5 while in other communities, there are no elections set this year. As always, polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
For information about registering to vote, or requesting an absentee ballot, contact the local clerk's office in your community or visit the municipal website.

City of Belleville electors will fill 4-year terms for mayor and two city council members.
Both precincts in the city vote at St. Anthony's Church, 409 W. Columbia Ave. in the city.
Mayor Kerreen Conley is unopposed while three candidates. Kelly Bates, Jack Loria and Kenneth R. Voigt, are vying for two seats on the city council.
In addition, Belleville voters will be asked to approve a special assessment for the police and fire department operations of up to 2.00 mills or $2 per $1,000 of taxable value on real property in the city.

City manager retires after 29 years in township

Chip Snider
After serving Northville Township for more than 29 years, Township Manager Chip Snider officially announced his retirement last week during the regular meeting of the board of trustees.
As township manager, Snider worked diligently to redefine the concept of servant leadership.
Snider's myriad contributions to the township include organizationally restructuring both the Northville Township Police and Fire departments to a nominally consolidated Public Safety Department.

Romulus council rejects tax abatement request

Scott Spielman
Special Writer

Members of the Romulus City Council rebuffed a request last week for a tax abatement to bring a Canadian firm to the southeast side of the city.
The D & G Building Co. had requested an Industrial Development District (IDD) be established on two large but narrow plots of land off Inkster Road, just north of Eureka Road for the construction of a greenhouse facility that would be owned and operated by Mucci Farms, which is based in Ontario. The 55,000 square foot building would employ between 80 and 100 people and serve as a distribution center for fruits and vegetables grown at Mucci Farms facilities elsewhere, according to the project sponsors.

Rotary Club presents grants, honors members

Rotary District 6400 Governor John Chambers
congratulates Doing the Right Thing award
winner Joyce Rochowiak,along with
Rotary President Rachel Kozlowski. 
The Belleville Rotary Club awarded three financial grants and recognized the contributions of several members at the meeting last week.
The club members presented a $500 check to Gabby Burton and Martha Honoian from Friday Fill-up, a group that helps provide meals for children in food insecure households. The group provides a backpack to students which contains two breakfasts, two lunches and three snacks, plus an item to help the family stretch the food budget through the weekend. Friday Fill-up is headquartered at Trinity Episcopal Church.
For more information about Friday Fill-up, or to help the efforts of the group, visit

Final Turkey Shoot is at noon Sunday

The final Sumpter Township Parks and Recreation Turkey Shoot of the year will take place at noon Oct. 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.
Prizes include turkey, ham, bacon and cash rounds. Ammunition is provided.
The police range is located at the old landfill on West Willow Road between Sumpter and Elwell roads.
For more information, call Don Swinson, (734) 674-4980.

Sweet treat - Taste of Westland event planned

Chef Tony Paquette, at left, with others from
the William D. Ford Career-Technical Center, will
again bring desserts to the Holiday Taste Fest.
Julie Brown
Staff Writer

The Westland Holiday Taste Fest, set for 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, will offer tasty food, entertainment, an auction, raffles and more.
The event will take place at the Hellenic Cultural Center, 36375 Joy Road in Westland and proceeds will support the Westland Rotary Charities and Westland Chamber of Commerce.
Wayne County Community College District is presenting the annual social event this year, while other sponsors are also being sought. Call the Westland Chamber at (734) 326-7222 or visit the website, for more information.
“It's going to be a great event,” said Gretchen Heinicke, president/CEO of the Westland Chamber. The event is in its 21st year and draws some 350-450 revelers.
“The food is delicious and chef Tony (Paquette) will be there with his desserts,” she noted of the William D. Ford Career-Technical Center staffer and his Wayne-Westland students.

Passing of John Norton mourned

John Norton
John Norton, the son of former long-time Wayne Mayor Patrick Norton, died Oct. 14.
Mr. Norton, 49, was born April 3, 1970, the son of the late Patrick and Karen Norton. He was born with Down Syndrome and was well-known throughout the community ‘and touched the lives of everyone he met.’ his family said. A Wayne resident, he competed in Special Olympics and participated in community theater at the State Wayne Theatre downtown. He worked at Wendy's on Michigan Avenue for two decades.

Felony charges filed in Wayne shooting

A Wayne man is facing charges of felonious assault and felony firearm violations following an incident in the early evening of Oct. 14.
According to police reports, officers from the Wayne Police Department were dispatched to the 35000 block of Brush Street at about 7 p.m. Oct. 14 following a report of a man shooting a gun in the area.
When the officers arrived on the scene, they were advised by witnesses that the suspect had fled the area on foot.

Annual Legends charity raffle tickets still available in Inkster

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. 

Student radio station to host Euchre Tournament

Students at The Park 88.1 radio station are hoping for a good deal during a planned Euchre Tournament set for 7 p.m. on Nov. 2 at the Plymouth Elks Club.
This is the 8th Annual Euchre Tournament fundraiser for the student-operated radio station, part of the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools. The station has been operating for more than 47 years.
The euchre tournament was the idea of 88.1 alumnus Denny Kapp.

Plymouth Township to formally recognize historic properties

Members of the newly-formed Plymouth Township Historic District Commission formally approved an application form enabling property owners in the township to seek designation of their properties as historic resources.
Adoption of the one-page form at the Sept. 27 meeting will enable commission members to consider applications from property owners seeking recognition of the community heritage embodied in their homes and structures. Studies show that historic designation also benefits property values, besides preserving important community assets, a spokesman from the township noted.
There is no cost or fee for submitting the application, which is available on the township web site,

Better Than Ever players present ‘Proposals’ on stage

Better Than Ever Productions will present a combined theatrical production/book signing of Proposals by Neil Simon at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton from Friday, Nov. 1 through Sunday, Nov. 3.
The play recalls the last time the Hines family gathered at their retreat in the Poconos.  The summer of 1953 brings romantic entanglements that coalesce one idyllic afternoon - Burt Hines, in his mid-50s and convalescing from a second heart attack, eagerly anticipates the arrival of the ex-wife he still loves. 

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 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.

City manager to serve on Municipal League board

Northville City Manager Patrick Sullivan was recently named as a new board member of the Michigan Municipal League.
Members of the state organization recently elected six new members to the board during the  annual meeting at the 2019 convention Sept. 25 in Detroit.
Sullivan has been the city manager in Northville since 2006. Before coming to Northville, he was the city superintendent in St. Clair for 10 years and the assistant city manager/village clerk in the Village of Beverly Hills for five years.

Northville names annual beautification award winners

Members of the Northville Rotary Club hosted the 30th Annual Beautification Awards luncheon recently and nearly 100 guests attended the event.
City of Northville Beautification Commission Chairperson Diane Pittaway presented awards to 27  businesses and organizations while  Northville Township Beautification Co-Chair Lynne Mosteller bestowed awards on 21 businesses in the township.
The two top city awards were presented to Northville Garden Club Park for “The Best in Town” and First United Methodist Church for “The Pride of Northville.” Twenty-four city awardees received a Certificate of Recognition “for their outstanding efforts to beautify the building and grounds in the City of Northville.”

Northville, Plymouth departments marking Fire Prevention Week

Not Every Hero Wears A Cape, but firefighters throughout the area are often lifesavers. Fire department personnel will help local families learn about fire safety while enjoying several attractions during Fire Safety Open House events being hosted in both Plymouth and Northville.
Visitors at the Plymouth Township station can meet firefighters, see and touch the new township fire engine and ambulance, learn how to use a fire extinguisher, view fire safety demonstrations, spray fire hoses in the squirt house, see a motor vehicle accident with the Jaws of Life demonstration, and other attractions from 10 a.m. until noon this Saturday, Oct. 12.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Deep well license transfer concerns Romulus officials

Scott Spielman
Special Writer

     Officials in the City of Romulus are hoping a pending change of ownership at a deep injection well in the community will provide an opportunity to address safety concerns there.
     “It's not a new topic; it's not a fun topic,” said Romulus Mayor Leroy Burcroff. “A lot of people have put a lot of hours and a lot of fight into this, but it continues.”
The well, which accepts hazardous liquid waste and pumps it nearly a mile underground, originally opened in 2005 and was operated by Environmental Disposal Systems. The company experienced financial problems and the facility was also cited for safety violations. It has remained largely inactive since the license was transferred to another company, Environmental Geo-Technologies, in 2011.

Every Hero Doesn't Wear A Cape: Local departments celebrate national Fire Prevention Week

     Not Every Hero Wears A Cape, but area firefighters are often exactly that and are dedicated to saving lives in case of fire. Several local fire departments are hosting events during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 6 through 12, to help educate and inform local families.
     The local fire departments are teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®)-the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years-to promote the Fire Prevention Week campaign,
"Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!" The campaign works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

Canton OKs preliminary condominium development plan

Julie Brown
Staff Writer

     A plan for 222 detached condominiums received preliminary site-plan approval from members of the Canton Township Board of Trustees last week over protests from residents of the first-phase of the project.
Township Supervisor Pat Williams noted that the final plans for the Grandview-South Planned Development District have not yet been completed.
     “This is not it. This is a preliminary plan, not final. There's more coming, we haven't seen it yet,” said Williams at the Sept. 24 board of trustees meeting.

Canton teacher wins Excellence in Education award

Canton High School educator Jay Obsniuk, right, 

accepts his Excellence in Education award
 from a Michigan Lottery representative. 
     A Canton High School educator known for inspiring students to learn about robotics and related sciences plus coaching robotics teams to state and national titles has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Jay Obsniuk, teaches robotics, electronics and STEM engineering at Canton High School,part of the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools District.
The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education awards in 2014 to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state during the school year. Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a $1,500 cash prize, and a $500 grant to their classroom, school or school district.  One of the weekly winners will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

NAACP to host annual Freedom Fund dinner Oct. 20

     The NAACP Western Wayne County Branch will host their 22ND Annual Freedom Fund Dinner from 5-8 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20. at The Prestige Banquet Hall located at 6600 Allen Road in Allen Park.
     Seating will begin at 4:30 p.m. and there will be a Mix and Mingle Soiree will take place from 7-8 p.m.
     Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II will be the keynote speaker at the event which will honor Roy Wilson as the Lifetime Achievement Honoree; Congresswoman Rashida Tliab will be the Great Expectation Honoree; Wayne County Commissioner Glenn Anderson will be honored as the Leading Through Service/Elected Official Honoree; Jaylia Washington will be honored as the Trailblazer; the Seeds2Feed Foundation will be the Community Service Honoree and Judge Deborah Thomas will be the Freedom and Justice Honoree.

Brake4Buses: Graduate develops bus safety campaign

Nashawn Craig can be seen in several social
media videos about bus safety. The Romulus High School
graduate works as a bus aide in the school district.
Julie Brown
Staff Writer

   While he may only be nearing his 18th birthday, Romulus High School graduate Nashawn Craig is already a well-known social media personality.
Craig works as a bus aide for Romulus Public Schools, which prompted his current efforts on social media and YouTube to educate motorists about school bus safety. He has worked with others “just to show this is a problem and needs to stop.”
     Craig was a student passenger on a Romulus school bus when he saw firsthand a dangerous driver. “Definitely, definitely, definitely,” he said of his current work and what district drivers see. “You would be surprised at some of the things we see.”
He recently witnessed a car being driven the wrong way on Michigan Avenue, he said.      Craig said he also appreciates the Romulus district bus drivers who have helped on his #Brake4Buses campaign, with several drivers even coming in Saturday on off time to appear and drive in the campaign videos.
     Craig started the bus safety work for his first project with the Family Career and Community Leaders of America group, in which students appear before judges to give presentations. He has been to several nationals for that organization, including trips to California and Georgia.
     In one video, a woman driver is shown cutting off a bus and “the screen goes black. It's something that could happen,” said Craig. “That's seen a lot around here, too.”
One of the safety videos has almost 100,000 views on Facebook and shows cars passing stop signs. The Romulus teen shares his work on varied social media, but finds nationwide Facebook is most often used by school bus drivers.
Craig showed his work to classes at Romulus High School “to see if the video was effective for all ages.”
     He appreciates educators, including Romulus school administrators who gave the OK to post safety posters by school doorways. Craig was a Barth Elementary student in Romulus and works with children and staff there in creating the safety videos.
He's now at work on one for emergency evacuation and other safety procedures which also addresses problems with students hanging out of windows.
     “It's been a long process” of creating and editing footage,” he said
“It's friends, family, advisors, teachers. Definitely the Romulus Transportation Department has been fabulous,” said Craig. He likes the people who assist “even if they are camera shy.”
     Craig repeats the time-honored message on looking both ways to cross a street safely, adding of the work he does “I try to get it out to all ages. I try to target everybody.” is a video link for more about Craig.

Committee proposes use policy for new library meeting rooms

     Members of the Belleville Area District Library Board are considering a new use policy for the facility.
     While homeowners associations, civic organizations and group will be welcome to use the meeting rooms, those promoting a political viewpoint or platform will not. Members of the board met earlier this month to discuss the new use policy according to report from Mary Jane Dawson, chairperson of the library use policy subcommittee. She said that preliminary discussions would prohibit the use of the meeting rooms for political gatherings, the sale of products or private parties while communities groups and associations would be welcome along with groups that do not promote a particular political viewpoint but provide information, like the League of Women Voters.

Director of Wayne Main Street group resigns

     Wayne Main Street is searching for a new executive director following the resignation of Maxwell Cameron.
     "It is with both sadness and gratitude that we announce Maxwell Cameron's departure as executive director of Wayne Main Street. Maxwell has played a critical role in the success of our organization. We will miss him, but we wish him well in his new endeavor," the group said in a prepared press release.
     "Rest assured our organization will continue to host the volunteer lead events our community has come to expect, such as the upcoming Downtown Scarecrow Event, Toast Wayne and Small Business Saturday," according to a letter from Juan Bradford, the president of the Wayne Main Street Board of Directors.

Westland council grants U.S. Farathane tax abatement

     Members of the Westland City Council approved a 12-year tax abatement program for U.S. Farathane, a plastics manufacturing and automotive supplier that has been operating in the city since 2007.
     The Industrial Facilities Exemption PA-198 of 1974 provides a tax incentive to manufacturers to renovate and expand aging facilities, assist in the building of new facilities and to promote the establishment of high-tech facilities.

‘MiMoz Clothez’ donations provide help to local students

Julie Brown
Staff Writer

     Dolores Hamrick and Tami Phillips are into their seventh year with MiMoz Clothez, a nonprofit organization which provides clothing to Wayne-Westland Community Schools students.
     The Wayne residents provide the clothing for children and teens  for free "and then shoes if we have them," said Hamrick. "We don't get a lot of good shoes."
She quotes longtime children's television advocate/personality Fred Rogers: "Any person who helps a child is a hero."
The women began to mend, clean and sort clothes in their basements about seven years ago and then Vic Barra of the Wayne Ford Civic League offered a room for MiMoz Clothez as well as financial support.

Westland seeking public input as Recreation Master Plan is upgraded

     The opinions of city residents will be a major consideration in the updated Parks and Recreation Master Plan, according to city officials.
“We would greatly appreciate all of our residents to take the time out to complete this parks and recreation survey,” commented Kyle Mulligan, director of Parks and Recreation for the city. “The survey aims to get a more comprehensive understanding of the types of recreational amenities Westland residents currently utilize and where they would most like to see resources deployed for improvements.”

All aboard: Historic train depot to become new sweet shop in Old Village

Don Howard
Staff Writer

     The historic Plymouth railroad station built in 1870 will soon see yet another incarnation, this time as an ice-cream and sweets shop in Old Village.
Craig and Bonnie Butler had been operating a formal photography studio in the original and only train depot in the city until they recently began a major remodeling effort at the building.
     Five years ago, the Northville couple purchased the 150-year-old depot building with the adjoining lots and a smaller building, and a narrow paved back street which is now used as an alley, and moved their photo business from Northville to Plymouth. Craig Butler, a professional wedding photographer, ran the studio in the old depot and his wife started a specially candy business in the nearby smaller building about two years ago. Craig David Butler Studios has now been moved to the smaller building and will continue to remain open for business, the couple said.

Added grants bring $808,000 in funding to fire department

The Northville City Fire Department (NCFD), which serves the cities of Northville and Plymouth, has been awarded $808,146 in three separate FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) requests, which will be used to purchase a new ambulance, new hoses and new radios. The latter two grants are regional grants. The new hoses will be purchased for three fire departments (NCFD, Northville Township and Plymouth Township.) The radio grant was submitted by the Dearborn Heights Fire Department on behalf of 16 departments within the Western Wayne Fire Department Mutual Aid Association, which includes Northville and Plymouth, both cities and townships.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) “provide funding for critically needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operations efficiencies, foster interoperability, and support community resilience,” according to the FEMA website.