Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Local election results show some surprises

Last week, elections in several local municipalities brought voters out to make their choices for school and road bond issues, candidates and even an advisory vote on public safety funding.
Clerks throughout the area noted an extremely light turnout of voters despite the increased interest in national politics.

City of Belleville returned unopposed Mayor Kerreen Conley to another four-year term and selected Kenneth R. Voigt and Kelly Bates to serve four-year terms on the city council. Loria received 404 votes or 38.4 percent of the ballots cast while Bates received 375 votes or 35.6 percent of the votes cast. Jack Loria received 273 votes or 26 percent of the votes.

Home Town Hero

Local woman named as one of
CNN Top Ten national heroes
Najah Bazzy
The founder of a local charity that helps single women and children facing poverty and despair has been named as one of the Top Ten CNN Heroes of the year.
Najah Bazzy,  CEO of Zaman International, an Inkster-based nonprofit organization that provides services to single women and children, is now one of the candidates for the top honor and Voting for the Hero of the Year will continue through Tuesday, Dec. 3. Individuals can vote 10 times a day, every day for the hero they believe is most deserving of the national honor.

Former Canton man charged in violent gang assault

Doniel Heard
A former Canton Township resident has confessed to carving the name of his current gang affiliation into the chest of a 15-year-old boy.
Doniel Heard, 37, agreed to confess to the brutal attack as part of a plea deal in U.S. District Court last month. In exchange for his admitting to the crime, charges against him were reduced by prosecutors to assault with a dangerous weapon for racketeering. He is expected to be sentenced March 4 in federal court on the charges.

Area mourns death of Kal Jabara, 92

Kal Jabara
Well-known Plymouth businessman and long-time Rotarian Kal Jabara, 92, died Oct. 29 at St. Joseph Hospital in Ypsilanti after a short illness.
Mr. Jabara was born Dec. 12, 1926 in Mancelona, where he grew up and graduated from high school. In 1945, he was drafted into the U.S. Army.

Long-time Northville councilwoman steps down

Nancy Darga accepted a recognition plaque
from Mayor Ken Roth for her years of service.
While Nov. 4 may have been her final meeting as a Northville City Council member, Nancy Darga took the opportunity to remind her fellow council members of a plan by the state to construct a Heritage Trail in Hines Park and promised to keep citizens aware of the progress.

Arts council hosts celebration

The Plymouth Community Arts Council will host a Member's Exhibit Reception and Holiday Party celebrating the 50th anniversary of the organization from 7-9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Cherry Hill Ford Factory project wins honors

State Sen. Dayna Polehanki, State Rep.Kristy Pagan,
 Partnership for the Arts and Humanities Executive
Director Jill Engel  and MotorCities Chairman
Michael O'Callaghan celebrate the honor awarded
to the Cherry Hill Ford Factory Complex.
The Cherry Hill Ford Factory Complex was recently honored  with the Revitalization Award by MotorCities National Heritage Area Partnership as part of the 6th annual Awards of Excellence during Michigan Auto Heritage Day ceremonies at the Capitol Rotunda in Lansing.

Public forum set to discuss future use of Summit

Canton Leisure Services is currently seeking input to determine the “best use” of the Summit on the Park interior space as part of a Feasibility Study and Site Analysis of the community recreation center.
A public forum is planned for 5:30 until 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 at the Summit on the Park Banquet Center, located at 46000 Summit Parkway. Canton residents, Summit on the Park members, and other interested parties are encouraged to attend, organizers said.

Original musical production set at Village Theater

TLC Productions will stage a third original musical, Casting Family at the Village Theatre in canton Township at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17.
 Casting Family is a two-act, comedy musical about a gay male couple about to get married. Their families are unsupportive and plan not to attend, and so the partners-to-be decide to cast actors as 'family' to participate in the wedding. Their journey toward the impending ceremony includes tenderness, adversity, doubt, and a little bit of chaos. The musical is rated PG.

ATM theft ring arrested

Officers from the Canton Police Special Operations Group took part in an investigation into the theft of ATM machines from businesses around southeast Michigan.
The in-depth investigation which included officers from the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, South Oakland Narcotic Intelligence Consortium, and the Dearborn, Detroit, Ferndale, Livonia and Warren police departments led to the arrest an arraignment of four suspects last week.

Stuff a SWAT truck

The Westland Police Department is hosting the fourth annual Stuff a SWAT Truck from noon until 4 p.m. on Black Friday, Nov. 29. The SWAT truck will be parked in the lot at the Westland Target store, 35401 Warren Road, awaiting donations. Police officers will be  accepting donations for the Westland Goodfellow's “No Child Without a Christmas” program. Last year, the event generated 19 shopping carts full of toys and more than $300 to help those in need.

Shop Local Saturday

Wayne Main Street promotes national event
This holiday season, officials from Wayne Main Street and the Wayne Downtown Development Authority are reminding shoppers to think Wayne and shop local.
The organizations are spearheading the Small Business Saturday initiative in downtown Wayne, which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 30.

The winner is…

Representatives from the Westland Police Department presented a check to Palmer Lighthouse Home Mission at the Nov. 4 meeting of the city council The donation was funded by proceeds at the Heroes Police vs. Fire Charity Basketball Game which took place earlier this year at the newly improved Stottlemyer Park. Money was raised from food sales and the police department secret weapon, baked goods from Girl Scout Troop 71680. Donations were made by Target of Westland, Edge Fitness, Southeastern Homeowners Association, Wayne-Ford Civic League, and the police and fire unions. As for the final score at the game? Officials would only say that Palmer Lighthouse and the Westland Police Department were just a little happier than everyone else. For more information about Palmer Lighthouse Mission, visit

Jones co-sponsors criminal record expungement bill

State Rep. Jewell Jones, D-Inkster, was a co-sponsor of a bipartisan package of legislation approved by the Michigan House of Representatives last week which will  give thousands of residents with old, low-level criminal convictions an opportunity for a fresh start by expanding eligibility, shortening the required waiting period and establishing an automatic expungement system for certain offenses. The bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Isaac Robinson (D-Detroit).

Van Buren man is charged with killing wife

A Van Buren Township man has been charged with murder in the death of his wife last week.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Terrance Oneal, 63, in connection with the homicide of Belinda Oneal, 62.  The couple lived in the 7000 block of Fay Drive in the township.

Helping hands

Volunteers help rebuild local place of worship
Volunteers from across the country visited
Belleville this summer to help renovate
the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's witnesses.
Volunteers from across the country descended on Belleville this year to help with a face lift at the Belleville Assembly Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Hundreds of volunteers traveled to the area and volunteered their time and skills to renovate the large property on Ecorse Road. Construction began in September and is expected to be completed this winter. The building is a center for large religious gatherings of Jehovah's Witnesses throughout the year and offers services in other languages, including American Sign Language.

Goodfellows continue annual holiday fundraising efforts

After another successful Goodfellows tea, the Romulus Goodfellows are in full swing, preparing for their annual holiday campaign to ensure No Child Without A Christmas.
Organized by Julie Allison, the tea brought as many as 200 people together to support the annual cause, which raised more than $22,000 last year.

Romulus seeks Person of the Year

The Greater Romulus Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for the 35th Person of the Year award.
Each year, the award is presented to a person who has made outstanding non-monetary contributions to the community. Nominations will be accepted at the chamber office until 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 20 and will be kept in strictest confidence, according to a spokesman.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Veteran's Day

On Monday, the nation will celebrate Veteran's Day, originally known as Armistice Day, which is observed annually on Nov. 11 to honor all military veterans who have served in the armed forces.
Distinct from Memorial Day which honors those who died, Veteran's Day marks the anniversary of the end of World War I which formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. One year later, President Woodrow Wilson addressed the country on Nov. 11, and formally declared that Armistice Day should be commemorated every year with “solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service…and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the council of nations.”
Several special celebrations honoring veterans are set throughout the area.

Canton site selected for new veterans’ health clinic

It has been more than five years in planning but construction on the new $12-$15 million veteran's health care facility in Canton Township is expected to begin soon.
The state-of-the-art facility will offer primary care, mental health care, laboratory and pathology and imaging services for veterans in the new 40,000 square-foot complex to be constructed on North Lotz Road near the intersection of Ford Road and I-275, officials said.

Technology company plans expansion into Plymouth Township

A technology company is planning a $1.3 million expansion in Plymouth Township that could bring 48 new jobs to the area.
BEET, Inc., a company that creates technology to detect line failures and potential issues, will be implementing technology across 13 new facilities throughout the United States, including the Plymouth Township expansion. The company technology is implemented through ENVISION software, which has helped BEET build a strong customer base in the automotive industry, noted a spokesman from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The company has also started expanding into non-automotive industrial sectors to diversify business.

Officer cleared in jail death, EMT to be retried on charges

A jury has found former Westland Police Sgt. Ronald Buckley not guilty on charges of misconduct in office while a separate trial for former Westland EMT Leah Maynard on the same charges ended in a mistrial.
The two, along with former Westland EMT Matt Dicosola, were all charged in the Dec. 10, 2017 death of William Marshall while he was in custody at the Westland jail.

Help wanted - Canton Aquatic Center seeking workers

Summit on the Park community recreation center, located at 46000 Summit Parkway in Canton, is now hiring lifeguards and swim instructors. These part-time positions offer flexible hours ideal for students, second job seekers, retirees and others.
"Becoming a lifeguard or swim instructor at Summit on the Park means joining a dynamic, diverse and welcoming team at a great place to work," said Brad Chiasson, Aquatics Specialist. "These are perfect jobs for anyone seeking flexible hours in a fun environment."

Monster Mash

A spooktacular time took place on the Main Stage of the Village Theater during the Second Annual Cherry Hill Village Monster Mash Oct. 19.The one-of-a-kind event for the 21-and-older crowd included haunted portraits and spider nets hanging from the walls, candle lights floating from the ceiling, and gravestones protruding from the floors.This adult Halloween party featured favorite Top 40 hits and Halloween covers by Atomic Radio. Audience members danced, enjoyed spooky drinks, pizza, as well as two challenging escape rooms.Audience members also participated in a costume contest with trophies and prizes. The Scariest Costume winner walked away with the grand prize of free ice cream for a year, courtesy of Cold Stone Creamery, located at 50409 Independence Street in Canton.  Additional prize winners for scariest and best couple's costumes were awarded a gift basket from Busch's Fresh Food Market of Canton and a wine basket with two free tickets for a show at the Village Theater, respectively.

Youth advisory council sworn in

Canton Youth Advisory Council members are eager to roll up their sleeves and get to work.
They were sworn in at a recent Canton Board of Trustees meeting and are: Bhavuk Gaddam, president; Rishabh Verma, secretary; Brahmpreet Saini, treasurer; Natalie Richardson, council member; Aarushi Ganguly, council member; Ayush Verma, council member and Hasan Zai, vice president.

‘Calendar Girls’ comedy opens tonight

Still Got It Players will present the comedy, “Calendar Girls”” in the Biltmore Studio at the Village Theater in Canton this weekend.  Performances will take place at 7:30 tonight, Nov. 7 and tomorrow, Nov. 8, and at both 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov 9 and Sunday, Nov. 10. Tickets, priced at $15 to $18 can be purchased online at, in person at the Box Office  from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through  Friday or by phone at (734) 394-5300 ext. 2.

Romulus library celebrates year of growth

Patty Braden
Scott Spielman
Special Writer

It's been another successful year for the Romulus Public Library and more good things are on the way.
Library Director Patty Braden outlined the successes from the 2018/2019 fiscal year for the Romulus City Council last week and talked about plans for next year.
“Everything is going up, up up,” said Councilwoman Tina Talley. “I use the library quite frequently and it's always been a blessing to me.”

Funeral services set today for John K. Sterling

John K. Sterling, Jr., the original and former information officer for the Huron-Clinton Metroparks, died at his retirement home at Sunrise Senior Living in Westlake Village, CA on Saturday, Oct. 26. He was formerly a long-time resident of Canton Township.
Mr. Sterling began his career with the Metroparks as a seasonal recreation employee at Metro Beach Metropark (now Lake St Clair Metropark) in the summer of 1955. He continued to work at Metro Beach each summer until 1959.

‘Matilda’ performances planned in Plymouth

A little girl with a very big brain; a troop of schoolchildren with a taste for revenge; a cruel headmistress with a secret, and a used-car salesman. Those characters, and more, will come to life when Matilda the Musical comes to Plymouth Nov. 7 through 10.
The show, based on a Roald Dahl children's book, will transform the theater at the Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex into an English private school for six performances.

Homes for the holidays

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. This year, the highly anticipated tour is planned for 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Nov. 22 and 23. The 2019 Holiday Home Tour will also feature a refreshment stop at the Tipping Point Theatre in downtown Northville. 

Township clerk prepares for 2020 national election

Plymouth Township Clerk Jerry Vorva and his staff are already preparing for the 2020 election which is expected to attract a huge voter turnout.
Vorva said that his office anticipates a much larger absentee voter turnout due to changes in the law concerning “no reason” absentee voting.
The clerk's office is currently recruiting workers for the township election team. Applicants should have leadership and/or computer skills and a desire to be a part of the 2020 election process. The hours are long, but the pay is generous, Vorva said. For further information, contact Vorva at (734) 354-3224, or by email at

Genealogists meeting set

Members of the Northville Genealogical Society will meet at the Northville District Library located at 212 W. Cady St., Northville beginning at 1:15 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10.
There will be a roundtable discussion about using genealogical software to store data followed by a general meeting at 2 p.m.
Tim Gliesner, manager of Special Library Collections at the Library of Michigan will be the guest speaker at 3 p.m.  He will discuss My Heritage Library Edition.

3 Cities Art Club accepting entries for annual exhibition

Local artists have only until Nov. 12 to submit their work for the upcoming Three cities Art Club 8th Annual Open Call for Artists.
The juried exhibition will include prizes for original hanging art in two categories, photography and all others. The entry fee is $35 for up to three pieces plus $5 for each additional entry.  Entrants can receive $10 off the entry fee by joining Three Cities Art Club at time of entry by paying membership fee of $25, good for the 2019-2020 club season.  Go to for additional information and to download the entry form and a club membership form or, call (313) 231-3939 to request a free informational package.   

Cool customers - City celebrates renovations at Mike Modano Ice Arena

Westland officials and community members
celebrate the renovations to the Mike Modano
Ice Arena with an official ribbon cutting.
Westland officials and members of the community were on hand last week to celebrate the completion of the final phase of improvements to the Mike Modano Ice Arena with a ribbon cutting ceremony. 
The arena has been undergoing numerous upgrades and repairs and in April, members of the city council contracted with J.S. Vig Construction for the consulting and project management services associated with the most recent project.

Spirit of service

Members of the Rotary Interact Club at Wayne Memorial High School dropped off handwritten thank you cards for each officer at the Wayne Police Department along with some home made treats last week. Officer Matthew Whalen and Sgt. Stephan Perez were among those on the force who expressed their appreciation to the teens for the gesture and enjoyed the snacks. The club members also joined Sue Webb last weekend and painted the posts and fascia of the pavilions at the City of Wayne Rotary Park II, along with the picnic tables in the park. Four of the park pavilions in the city have now been repainted by volunteers and the efforts of local groups continue to improve the city facilities.

Holiday Giveaway tickets on sale

Tickets for the Annual Christmas Giveaway in Inkster are still available.
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.