Thursday, April 2, 2020

Wayne hospital to treat only COVID-19 patients

The emergency room at Beaumont Hospital Wayne has been closed as the facility continues to admit COVID-19 patients transferred from other Beaumont facilities.
The move is part of the hospital surge plan and was implemented last week as Beaumont recorded 650 COVID-19 patients already in care with another 200 cases awaiting test results.
Physicians at each of the Beaumont hospitals will choose patients to be transferred to the Wayne facility and those transitions began last week, officials said. In addition to the emergency room, obstetrical services will be moved from Wayne to the Dearborn Beaumont Hospital to make room for the coronavirus patients.
The move to Wayne was the best option in the effort to avoid overcrowding of patients at other Beaumont facilities, officials said. “It's centrally located, for one, for all of our campuses,” said Beaumont COO Carolyn Wilson, in a prepared statement. “Two, they have a lot of expertise in communicable disease being close to the Detroit airport. We've invested even more training and specialty into that campus to care for this type of patient.”

Speak up

Student among winners of veterans’ competition

Julie Brown, Staff Writer
American Legion Post 251 Chaplain Jack Stange congratulates
Wayne Memorial High School 12th grader/honoree
Julia Givens, as Kerry Hritz, Wayne Memorial Social Science
department chair looks on. 
Julia Givens, a 12th-grader in Kerry Hritz' American Government and Politics class at Wayne Memorial High School, recently was lauded in the Oratorical Contest of the American Legion, Post 251 of Westland.
“She is a wonderful student. She's dedicated, hardworking. She's definitely a leader,” Hritz said.
Givens memorized a series of speeches for the American Legion initiative, focused on the amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
“I'm super proud of her. Just a huge win for Wayne High,” added Hritz of the third-place win by Givens, whose speeches note our U.S. Constitution has the significance of “still being (a) meaningful body.”
It had been 10 years since a student from either Wayne Memorial or John Glenn high school had participated in the Legion Oratorical Contest. Givens will attend Wayne State University to major in Global Studies next year, noted Hritz, Social Science department chair at Wayne Memorial High.

Egg hunt, Sumpter Country Festival are canceled

Two popular Sumpter Township events have succumbed to the effects of the coronavirus.
Officials have cancelled both the annual Easter Egg Hunt and the Sumpter Country Festival for this year in response to the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Both long-time events are organized by the township Parks and Recreation Commission, a volunteer group.
The Easter Egg Hunt, which was planned for April 4 usually attracts more than 40 youngsters up to age 12 who search in age groups for plastic eggs which can be redeemed for bags containing candy and a stuffed animal.

Wayne Main Street group names new director

Lori Morrow has been named as the new executive director of Wayne Main Street.
Morrow is a 10-year resident of Wayne with a background in business. She has s been a volunteer at Wayne Main Street for four years, helping with Downtown Days and serving on the committee for Toast Wayne.
Morrow has attended many Wayne Main Street events and is an active part of the community, according to a prepared release from the organization.
Morrow said she is looking forward to working with volunteers to help grow the community and businesses.


Westland celebrates internship program

The City of Westland recently celebrated the success of the Services to Enhance Potential (STEP) Workplace to Success Intern Program in city hall. 
The STEP Supported Employment Services Department works to help individuals with disabilities and other challenges explore, prepare for, and become successful at a job of their choice, through training opportunities, education and outreach with community businesses, and ongoing support. These workplace internships permit individuals to experience what working in a variety of settings, including experience in custodial, housekeeping, food service, day care and others, according to a city spokesperson.
The success of two interns, Ryan Klotz and Tracy Kulikowski, who worked at Westland City Hall was recently lauded  by city and organization officials.

Inspire Theatre cancels Spamalot

Inspire Theatre in Westland has canceled performances of Spamalot in response to the executive order of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Managers at the theater are offering several options to those who may have purchased a ticket to any of the performances including waiting to determine if the shutdown of gatherings of more than 50 people is extended or cancelled.
The Spamalot tickets can also be exchanged for tickets to another upcoming production or purchases can request a refund. Refund requests will be accepted until noon April 24, organizers said. If the show dates are changes, necessary adjustments to accommodate ticket holders will be implemented.

Romulus council cancels regular April meetings

A combination of technology and common sense allowed the members of the Romulus City Council to meet in regular session and continue the business of the city last week.
Two council members, Mayor pro tem John Barden and Councilwoman Kathy Abdo used phone equipment to teleconference into the meeting and cast their votes on agenda issues.  Councilman William Wadsworth was absent from the meeting.
Barden designated Councilwoman Tina Talley to chair the meeting in light of the teleconferencing. In addition, City Clerk Ellen Craig-Bragg offered an email address at the beginning of the meeting which would have allowed the public to comment in real time on any issues during that section of the regular agenda. Any email comment would have been read aloud to the council members had anyone taken advantage of the opportunity.

Mayor praises performance of essential staff during crisis

Romulus Mayor LeRoy Burcroff recently posted the following email letter to residents detailing the status of coronavirus measures in the city.

Mayor LeRoy Burcroff 
Fellow residents:
I hope this email finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.
I would like to extend my immense gratitude to our essential workers-police and fire, emergency medical professionals, grocery store and pharmacy employees, mail carriers, truck drivers and airport staff. I hope you will join me in keeping these workers, their health and the health of their families in your thoughts and prayers during this time.

As you know, Gov. (Gretchen) Whitmer has issued a "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order. All non-essential Michigan businesses are required to temporarily suspend in-person operations until April 13. It is my hope that we can all do our part to keep ourselves and our community healthy by staying home unless performing essential tasks. To support small businesses in our community, please visit our website to find a list of restaurants still open for carry-out.

Farmer’s Market may still open in June

The Romulus Farmer's Market is still tentatively set to open from 5 until 9 p.m. on the second, third and fourth Fridays of the month from June through August. The second and fourth Friday markets are near the Sounds in Downtown in the gazebo while the third Friday Farmer's Market will be in the pavilion during the Movies in the Park. For more information, call (734) 955-4531.

Schools continue food program for students

Roderick Peterson Jr., Special Writer
As the coronavirus sweeps through the nation and the world, Romulus Community Schools continues to provide breakfast, lunch, and educational lessons to students in Romulus and Inkster.
While many public school districts across Michigan are offering onsite meal pick-up service for its families, Romulus has gone a step further by delivering food to the community utilizing the district bus service partner, Auxilio Inc.
“After discussing the immediate needs of our students, we knew our families would be best served if we provided a food delivery option,” said Nicole Crockett, district interim superintendent of schools. “We have almost 100 volunteers, over 20 bus drivers and aides to make daily deliveries possible.”

Sumpter Township budget is topic at meeting

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees met March 24 for a public hearing on the upcoming 2020-2021 budget.
Township Finance Director Michelle Cole told the trustees that in light of the current state of emergency due to the corona virus she was going to discuss just the most important items in the budget.
“This is a budget planning document,” she said. “Everything will have to go through all channels of approval.”
Cole said the top item was the year end total which showed that township revenue was up. “Expenses are up, too,” she said, “but this shows that the township has done a really good job in closing the gap on previous water issues.”

Beaumont Van Buren to accept medical donations

Donations of medical supplies for Beaumont Health are now being accepted at the Van Buren Township facility at 29163 Ecorse Road.
Hospital officials said a central location for donations would better accommodate the distribution of the needed supplies.
“We're overwhelmed with the generosity and support from the public,” said Beaumont Chief Nursing Officer, Susan Grant. “We're thankful for their donations and grateful Gov. (Gretchen) Whitmer's Stay-at-Home order, still allows area residents to go out and drop off much-needed donations of medical supplies. We thank them for stepping up and making a difference.”
As the number of COVID-19 patients continues to climb, Beaumont Health is now accepting specific medical supplies and donations to help support the health systems ongoing efforts to protect staff and patients during the pandemic.

Belleville City Hall is closed

Belleville officials have closed city hall to the public in response to the coronavirus outbreak but essential city services will continue, “just in a different way.”
The city website directs residents to call 911 for emergency response from both police and fire or a medical situation. Non-emergency information is available at the 211 number. Residents can also use the emergency email for information and updates.
The city is accepting only online and drop-box payments and is unable to return change. In the case of overpayment, the amount will be credited toward the next utility bill and receipts will be mailed for cash transactions only.

Inkster council suspends meetings for 30 days

Members of the Inkster City Council have responded to the social distancing ordered by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with a new resolution suspending public meetings for the next 30 days.
The resolution, number os-20-49-R, also permits Mayor Patrick Wimberly as the chief administrative officer to take all actions necessary to the continued operation of the City of Inkster.
The resolution was approved by a unanimous vote of the city council members during the regularly scheduled March 16 meeting.

Northville mayor urges communication as top crisis priority

Bryan Turnbull, the mayor of Northville, recently issued a statement to all residents regarding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the city.
“These are indeed extraordinary times and communication is a top priority for all of us. First, I want to thank our hardworking men and women in the Northville community on the front lines of this COVID-19 battle, with all of its evolving situations (public safety, medical professionals, essential services and those assisting the community),” he said.
He said that he had been in contact with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, along with federal, state, county and local municipal officials and would continue to gather information regarding responding to the virus.

Canton Township reporting 76 cases of coronavirus

At last report from the office of Canton Township Supervisor Pat Williams, there were 78 confirmed coronavirus cases in the community on March 26.
Williams suggested on the township website that anyone who believes they need to be tested for COVID-19 (coronavirus), follow the advice of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The agency recommends patients contact their healthcare provider to discuss symptoms. The MDHHS also has a hotline for coronavirus questions: 1-888/535-6136. This number will be answered daily from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

State grants to Republican Party leader questioned

Don Howard, Staff Writer
Individuals involved in what Plymouth Township officials described as state funding of “urban sprawl” may soon face public scrutiny regarding the ethics of their actions.
The approval of a 2018 supplemental spending bill that included a $10 million grant to Salem Township is again being examined. The 73 projects placed on the spending bill were said to be missing documentation.
The grant money was earmarked as funding to help Livonia builder Bobby Schostak install water and sewer lines for the construction of Salem Springs South, one of two planned subdivisions located in a 200-acre triangle bordered by M-14, Gotfredson Road, North Territorial and Napier roads on the northeast edge of Washtenaw County, just outside Plymouth Township.

Plymouth commissioners recommend local liquor licenses

Plymouth City Commissioners recently recommended the renewal of liquor licenses at several establishments in the city.
The recommendation for approval will go to the State Liquor Control Commission for: Buon Vino Winery, LLC, Park Place Gastro Pub, Compari's/Fiamma/Sardine Room (three locations one license); City of Plymouth Recreation, Hermann's Olde Town Grill, Mayflower Meeting House VFW, Nico & Vali, Bigalora/Arbor Brewing, Barrio - 555 Forest, Mayflower- Lt. Gamble Post 6695, Plymouth Knights of Columbus, Penn Grill, Plymouth ROC- 1020 W. Ann Arbor Road, Stella's Trackside (Starkweather), Sean O'Callaghan's, Post Local Bistro, E.G. Nicks, Stella Black Dog Tavern (Fralick), Aqua, Westborn Market, Greek Islands, Pakwaan Restaurant, Pizza E Vino and The Honey Hole. In addition, commissioners approved a change in stockholders at both Stella's Black Dog Tavern and Stella's Trackside.

State officials urge residents to complete census online or by mail

It's never been more important for everyone living in Michigan to be counted in the U.S. census, according to state officials.
The census impacts everyone from seniors to students, children and parents and local businesses and neighborhoods. Participating in the census is a civic duty as important as voting in our democracy, they said in a prepared statement.
To help get the word out, the State of Michigan has launched the Be Counted campaign to communicate the importance of completing the census, dispel myths and help ensure every Michigander is counted in the 2020 Census.

Donations are sought

The Plymouth Canton Salvation Army and the Plymouth Community United Way are seeking donations to help those in need during the health emergency throughout the state.
Donations of food are being accepted at the Salvation Army office at 9451 S. Main Street in Plymouth.  Donors should call (734) 453-5464 when they arrive for instructions on dropping off  donations with minimal human contact.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Health concerns cause closures

Cities, townships continue public safety and 
other services while limiting contact with public

In alignment with, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's State Emergency Declaration, Canton Township has closed public facilities through April 5  in an effort to reduce the spread of exposure to COVID-19:
Closed are the Canton Township Administration Building; Summit on the Park; The Village Theater at Cherry Hill; Canton Sports Center; The B.L.O.C.K. Youth & Teen Center;  Pheasant Run Golf Club and  Fellows Creek Golf Club
All critical and emergency services will continue to operate with full staffing, according to a prepared statement from township officials.


As in other communities, Northville Township has responded to the orders of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and closed municipal offices.
In a prepared statement, officials said “based on the available information from various local, state and federal resources, we have decided it is in the best interest of Northville Township to close our Township buildings to the public and suspend our parks, recreation, senior and youth network programs, events and activities.”
Supervisor Robert Nix II said that efforts are focused on ensuring that all essential services, including public safety, utilities and township operations will continue “through the unknown challenges we face moving forward.” 
Entrances to all township buildings will be closed to the public. 


Mayor LeRoy D. Burcroff has officially declared a State of Emergency in the City of Romulus in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus disease.
Due to the unique location of the city with multiple forms of transportation and transient populations, declaring a State of Emergency allows the city access to additional funding and resources to respond to the increased risk to the virus.
The city encourages all residents to continue to follow the preventative measures that have been shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). COVID-19 symptoms include fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. Residents with questions regarding COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the State of Michigan Coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136. If residents experience any symptoms, they are encouraged to contact a physician for counsel on treatment options and to stay home to protect others.


As a result of the COVID-19 virus, Sumpter Township Hall will remain closed to the public until further notice.
“At this time, based on the available information from various county, state and federal resources, we have decided it is in the best interest of Sumpter Township to take this step,” explained Township Supervisor John Morgan.
“The health and safety of our staff, residents, and community as a whole is our highest priority,” he said in a written statement.

Belleville, Van Buren limit local services

As with all other municipal buildings in the area, Belleville city officials have closed all municipal offices through March 30.
Only essential city services like police, fire protection, trash service, and sewer services will be provided during this closure.
The Belleville Public Library is also closed. Parks and recreation events are also canceled through March 30, according to an official statement.
Events at parks with 50 people or more will be canceled until May 11. All inspections conducted by the Health, Housing and Building Department will be scheduled on a case-by-case basis until further notice, the statement concluded.

Restaurants offer carry-out, delivery options

Several restaurants in Belleville and Sumpter Township have responded to the new health and safety rules imposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and remain open for carry-out service to serve the community. Several of the listed restaurants are also offering delivery service.

SMART buses offering free fares for all service

SMART will offer free fares on all SMART services, to eliminate the need for passengers to interact with  fareboxes and maintain greater distance from our drivers.  Free services include Fixed Route, FAST, Connector, Shuttles, Dial-A-Ride and ADA until further notice. 
SMART is continuing to operate full service until further notice.  However, fixed route bus service reductions will begin soon due to declining ridership. The reduced bus service is designed to maintain the existing geographic route coverage and similar hours of service with reduced frequency.  SMART will provide ample public notice prior to the reduction of service. 

Plymouth City Hall offers limited public access

In the regular monthly email city bulletin, the Plymouth Pulse, city officials announced new procedures in light of precautions necessitated by the coronavirus Covid-19.
“We've taken a number of steps to help maintain social distancing, while staying connected with our residents,” the email stated.
All Plymouth city forms, applications and information statements are available online at Just click the Forms and Documents button on the left side of the home page.
In addition, a self-serve kiosk has been installed in the Church Street vestibule at Plymouth City Hall. There, visitors can find everything from Freedom of Information request forms to block party applications. Forms for each department are in color-coded files to make them easier to find. A drop box has also been provided for completed forms, payments and any other correspondence.

Area mourns death of former township official

The death of well-known former Plymouth Township official Abe Munfakh was mourned by members of the community last week.
Mr. Munfakh, 79, died March 13 of heart failure.
Mr. Munfakh, a 42-year resident of  Plymouth Township, formerly served on the township board of trustees and was a member of the township planning commission. He also served as chairman of the Great Lakes Water Authority and the Arab America Chaldean Chamber of Commerce. He also served with the Schoolcraft College Foundation and was a long-time member of the Plymouth Rotary Club.

Local businesses respond to state closure orders

While many downtown businesses in Plymouth have been forced to close during the imposed social distancing, others remain open with limited hours. Several restaurants in the area remain open offering carry-out and often delivery service of meals.
The Plymouth Downtown Development Authority has offered a list of businesses open in the community and issues an updated bulletin on a daily basis which can be found at This is the latest information sent last week.

Open in Plymouth are
Stella's Black Dog Tavern will stay open for carryout orders from 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. seven days a week.  Stella's Trackside will be closed.
Hermann's Olde Time Grille is now open for carry out from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Online ordering is available at or order by phone at (734) 451-1213.  Carryout beer is also available.

John Daly street reconstruction project continues

The reconstruction of John Daly Street in Inkster will continue this year, following the current coronavirus crisis.
Members of the Inkster City Council allocated budget funds for the reconstruction of one-third of a mile of the well-traveled street from Michigan Avenue to the Rouge River.
The funding includes the construction of water mains, sanitary and storm sewers, curb/gutter, concrete sidewalks including ADA ramps, material quality control testing, and concrete street reconstruction.
Phase one of the project included work from Rouge River to Inkster Park was completed in 2019.

Westland district court enacts new procedures

Due to the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak and the declared State of Emergency, the 18th District Court has adopted an emergency policy regarding continuation of services. The new policies will remain in effect through Friday, May 1, and are subject to extension, revision, or cancellation at any point without advance notice.
The court will be open during normal posted hours and all cashiers will be open and available for in-person payments. This includes civil infractions, probation payments, payment plans and warrants.
Court officials are encouraging the use of online-payments during this crisis. Payments can be made at

City buildings closed, community events postponed, canceled

In Westland, Mayor William Wild has closed the Westland administrative offices to the public in an effort to comply with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's orders to implement social distancing and  close non-essential businesses.
In a prepared statement, Wild said that several city buildings would be closed and community events postponed or canceled. He stressed that all the closings and postponements would be revaluated and updated and the current coronavirus pandemic conditions progress.
The Westland Friendship Senior Center will be closed and AARP will suspend tax services at the site.

Wayne restaurants offer carry-out, delivery

In Wayne, several businesses and restaurants are remaining open during the crisis, many with limited hours. Restaurants are offering carry out and some delivery service.

Avenue Downtown Wayne
Order online for pick up.
Delivery options coming soon (734) 895-7300
Bill's Shawarma
10 a.m. 9-9p.m.
(734) 326-3800
Dairy Queen
Carry out, Door Dash, and Uber Eats.
Happy's Pizza
(734) 595-1111
Jet's Pizza 
(734) 728-5387

Robbery is investigated

Romulus police are continuing the investigation of a robbery and assault reported at about 4:15 a.m. March 10.
Romulus officers responded to a 911 call from the Amoco Station at 9099 Middlebelt Road where the female clerk reported being struck with piece of firewood and a hammer in an attempted robbery. The clerk told the emergency dispatcher she managed to lock herself in the gas station lavatory and she was being held hostage.

Artist exhibition entries still being accepted

The Village Theater at Cherry Hill Gallery@VT hosts
monthly exhibitions with solo or group shows
 featuring emerging or establishes artists representing
 a variety of media. Photo courtesy of
The Village Theater at Cherry Hill staff.
Local artists have an opportunity to present their works at the Village Theater at Cherry Hill, one of the premiere performance art centers in southeast Michigan.
Proposals for solo or group exhibitions for the 2021 exhibition season in the Gallery@VT will be accepted through April 8. Both local and regional artists are encouraged to apply and all mediums will be considered, officials said.
The Village Theater showcases established, as well as emerging, artists, in a venue visited by about 5,000 patrons each month.
To apply for a solo or group exhibition, artists must submit an entry package, which can be obtained online at

Secret Samaritan

Northville area residents are smiling and wondering about the identity of the mystery donor who stocked the Little Free Library outside St. Paul's church and school on Elm Street with canned goods for those in need. Last week, as social distancing continued, neighbors noticed the donated food which replaced  the usual ‘food for thought’ in the Little Library.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Voters approve school millage requests

Plymouth-Canton schools 
Voters in the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools District approved the $275 million bond proposal on the March 10 ballot by 26,017 yes to 11,997 no votes.
According to school officials, the bond funding will be used for facility and site improvements at several buildings, to enhance safety and security features throughout the district, to purchase furniture and playground upgrades, purchase school buses and address infrastructure and technology needs at most school buildings.
Officials stressed that the approval of the $275 million bond issue will mean no increase in the current tax rate paid by property owners. Currently, the school debt levy in the district is 4.02 mills.
District officials said the funding will be used to construct a third outdoor athletic stadium at the Plymouth-Canton Education-al park and a total renovation of the performing arts center at Salem High School.

Gift of Life

Kidney recipient becomes organ donor advocate

Deacon Lawrence J. Bailey considers his kidney transplant a
blessing as he does his family, wife, Imagene, now in long-term
care and children, Patrick and Jessica, in the family portrait. 
Deacon Lawrence J. Bailey considers his donated kidney a blessing, one that helped him find his purpose in life.
Bailey, 65, a Canton Township resident, received a donated kidney in 2013 and has since dedicated himself to spreading his ‘blessing’ by educating the African American community about the need for organ donors and dispelling the most common misconceptions about donation.
“I didn't really find my purpose in life until after my transplant. After my transplant, I was thrust into an arena to educate people,” he said. “I realized, really, what I was created for. The reason I know that is because of the joy I get out of doing what I do now. I get joy in explaining to people why it's important to be an organ donor. That's why I give it my all.”

Recycling program to return to City of Westland

Westland voters approved a Sanitation Millage Ballot Proposal on the ballot March 10 by a large margin 11,738 yes to 6,773 no votes
The millage, a proposed 1 mill to be levied on all taxable property in the city for a 10-year period will be used to fund recycling and garbage services in the city. The millage, expected to general approximately $1.75 million the first year, will be used for recycling, bulk pickup disposal, yard waste collection, composting and trash/pickup disposal.
“I want to thank the residents of Westland for understanding the importance of, and overwhelmingly supporting the Sanitation Millage,” noted Mayor William R. Wild on the city Facebook page.

Suspect facing 22 criminal charges

Chad Alexander Smith
The man who engaged in a shoot-out with Romulus Police and took a 7-year-old boy hostage for several hours is now facing more than 20 criminal charges.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Chad Alexander Smith, 33, with two counts of assault with intent to murder; kidnapping; carjacking; home invasion first degree; two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm; as a felon in possession of a firearm; the killing/torturing of an animal; two counts of assaulting/resisting/obstructing police and 11 counts of felony firearm violations.
Smith does not have a home city of residence on record with authorities.
The charges stem from an incident that began with an attempted carjacking on the 9370 block of Lisa Street in Romulus last August.

Seized kangaroo died during transport to Detroit Zoo

The kangaroo seized in a raid of a storefront by Romulus police last August died while being transported to the Detroit Zoo.
Javon Stacks, who is facing three animal abuse and cruelty charges, appeared in court earlier this month week where he learned that one of the kangaroos seized by police died as the animal was being transported by zoo workers Aug. 15.  Police seized more than 500 animals during the raid.
“During the necropsy we determined that her (the kangaroo) second vertebra, the cervical vertebra, was fractured,” said Dr. Ann Duncan, chief veterinarian at the Detroit Zoo, during a recent hearing in 34th District Court.
According to Romulus police, the raid occurred Aug. 15 after they received a tip about the exotic animals, described as abandoned, being kept at a strip mall location in the city.

Voters OK Westwood millage

Voters in the Westwood Community School District which includes a portion of the City of Inkster approved a 3-mill Sinking Fund Millage proposal on the ballot last week.
Voters cast 1,810 yes votes for the millage and 944 no votes on the question.
The request appeared only on Inkster ballots for voters in precincts where students attend the Westwood Community Schools.
The proposal asked voters to approve the levy of up to but not to exceed 3 mills for 10 years on all property in the city.

Canton Fire Department wins national accreditation

Joshua Meier, director of public safety, left,  Steve Dongworth,
CFAI commission chairperson, Chris Stoecklein, deputy director
of fire safety and Jamie Strassner, deputy fire chief celebrate the
prestigious full-accreditation awarded the Canton Fire Department.  
The Canton Fire Department has joined a prestigious group of public safety personnel across the state.
The Canton department was recently awarded full accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). The accreditation is an international recognition of achievement, demonstrating to the community that the department is performing to industry best practices and is holding itself accountable through an external peer review.
Officials from the department appeared before a 10-person CFAI panel at the Center for Public Safety Excellence annual conference this month for the final phase of  accreditation approval.
Canton Fire Department became a CFAI registered agency in 2013, beginning the extensive task of fulfilling the requirements and self-assessment needed to comply with the 242 standards required for full accreditation. Last December, a four-person assessment team from CFAI was on-site in Canton for one week, conducting a comprehensive review of department policies and proofs submitted to demonstrate compliance.

Sumpter Township voters favor Biden as presidential candidate

About 25 percent of the 7,527 registered voters in Sumpter Township cast ballots in the Primary Election March 10 according to reports prepared by the township clerk's office.
Voters agreed to the request of the Detroit Institute of Arts for an extension of the 1-mill levy to support the art museum, which includes free admission to the facility for all Wayne County residents along with numerous outreach art efforts throughout area communities.

Tickets for Belleville/Romulus Mayors' Ball now on sale

Tickets for the 7th Annual Mayors' Ball benefiting the Romulus and Donahey Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan are now on sale.
Tickets, priced at $100 per couple, include the cocktail hour from 6-7 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and dancing from 8:30 until 11 p.m.
There will be silent and live auctions during the evening at the Belleville Yacht Club, 831 E. Huron River Dr. in Belleville.
Formal attire is encouraged for the event. To purchase tickets or more information, call Julie Wojtylke at (734) 320-3834 or the Romulus Club at (734) 641-3382.

Northville Public Schools are named ‘Best in State’

The Northville Public School District received top marks from, a rating system that determined the top 100 schools in the state.
Northville was rated as the best school district in the state, the district consistently has a graduation rate of more than 96 percent and students outperform the national averages of both the ACT and SAT tests on a regular basis.
Northville was closely followed by Lake Orion Community Schools in second place and Hudsonville Public Schools in third while the Novi Community School District was placed at fourth among Michigan public school districts.

Plymouth commissioners OK plan for Kellogg Park Fountain

Members of the Plymouth City Commission authorized the agreement for funding of the new fountain in Kellogg Park at their March 2 meeting.
The grant agreement between the city and the Wilcox Foundation is for the amount of $1,170,449.10 for the construction and installation of the new fountain. Commissioners also authorized the expense of an additional $30,000 for the fountain project. This newly approved funding is in addition to the previous authorization of $20,000 in funding from the Downtown Development Authority bringing the city contribution for the fountain to $50,000.
Construction on the new fountain is expected to begin in late June of this year, officials said.

Cost of repairs to MainCentre parking lot are discussed

There is no dispute that improvements to the lower level of the two-story parking deck at Center and Cady streets in downtown Northville are needed, but who funds the repairs is a matter of opinion.
According to a report from City Manager Pat Sullivan, the repairs are the responsibility of Singh, the company that owns and operates MainCentre. Singh attorney Lawrence Kilgore, however, maintains that the responsibility for the repairs rests with the city as part of the original contract between Singh and the City of Northville. Kilgore told members of the city council that Singh bought parking credits of just under $1 million to be able to use the lower level of the parking deck and add gates so it could be used exclusively by residents of MainCentre.

Conference of Western Wayne board officers are selected

Belleville Mayor Kerreen Conley will serve as the chair of the Conference of Western Wayne association for 2020.
Canton Township Supervisor Pat Williams will serve as vice-chairperson; Wayne Mayor John Rhaesa will serve as treasurer; David Glaab, supervisor of Huron Township will act as secretary of the association and Robert Nix II will be chair emeritus of the group.
The Conference of Western Wayne comprises 18 member communities and is a bi-partisan group representing nearly 700,000 residents in the region.

Here she is…

Distinguished Young Women
for 2021 title winners are chosen

Distinguished Young Woman of Wayne Westland
Morgan Butler, center, and first runner up,
Distinguished Young Woman of Wayne County
Emma Elinski, at right, and second runner up,
Distinguished Young Woman of Westland Arleth
Gonzalez, left, were awarded multiple scholarships during
the pageant earlier this month.
Morgan Butler, a student at Wayne Memorial High School was named as the Distinguished Young Woman of Wayne-Westland for 2021 during ceremonies March 6.
Nine contestants from Wayne, Westland and Inkster competed for thousands of dollars in college scholarships and the chance to represent local communities at local events and at the state finals in July 2020. The scholarship program is based on academic scholastics, leadership, physical fitness and talent.
Butler received a total of $2,200 in scholarships including several category scholarships during the event.
Emma Elinski, a student at John Glenn High School in Westland, was named as the Distinguished Young Woman of Wayne County for 2021 during the event and was awarded $850 in scholarships.

Voters agree to 3 changes to Wayne City Charter

Voters in the City of Wayne approved all three amendments to the city charter on the March 10 ballot.
City officials asked voters to amend the city charter to permit them to extend the current 1-mill tax dedicated to funding police and fire services for another six years. The current mill expires this year and the extension will keep the current property tax in the city at the same level. Voters agreed with 2,432 yes to 829 no votes on the question.
The yes votes will increase the tax rate by 1-mill or $1 for every thousand dollars of assessed property valuation which is usually about half the market value of the property.

Westland appoints 4 to volunteer city commissions

Members of the Westland City Council approved appointments to boards and commissions during their regular meeting March 2.

Don Nicholson has been appointed to serve on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Council.  Nicholson has lived in Westland for 45 years and is the owner of Don Nicholson Enterprises, LLC.  which has provided services to the Wayne-Westland community for more than 25 years. 
Nicholson recently served as chairperson of the Disability Concerns Committee and was the City of Westland 2015 Business Person of the Year.  He is the chairperson for the Westland Chamber of Commerce, president of Friends of Nankin Mills, winner of the Governor's Award for Tourism Partnership 2016 and each year organizes Cruisin' Hines, the Wayne Road Cruise.
His term will expire on Dec. 31, 2021.                   

Ruby Richards has been appointed to a three-year term on the Planning Commission.  She has been a Westland resident for more than 10 years and is an active member of the community.
Richards graduated from Macomb County Community College with a degree in Auto Body Design.  She has been working at AM General for 30 years in design on various military vehicles and is experienced in reading drawings and blueprints. 
Her term will expire on March 2, 2023.                           

Deanna Adams-Stachow has been appointed to a three-year term on the Planning Commission.  Adams-Stachow is an active member of the community and has lived in Westland for four years.
She has had experience with bidding contracts and reading and tracking changes on blueprints as an employee of the Detroit Public Schools. 
She has also worked with facility repairs with the opening, closing and demolition of buildings. She is active in Westland by volunteering and fundraising for people in the community.
Her term will also expire on March 2, 2023.

Gretchen Heinicke has been appointed to a partial term on the Economic Development Corporation (EDC)/Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA) Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.
Heinicke is a life-long Westland resident and graduated from John Glenn High School.  She is currently the President/ CEO of the Westland Chamber of Commerce.
Heinicke supervises different events in Westland and is an advocate for the Westland Business Community in promoting growth and success.  She was a college admissions officer during which time she recruited high school seniors to attend college.
Heinicke's term will expire on Feb. 5, 2022.
“Don, Deanna, Ruby and Gretchen bring diverse skill sets, life experiences and enthusiasm to their newly-appointed positions and I look forward to working with them throughout their upcoming terms,” commented Mayor William R. Wild. 

Thursday, March 12, 2020

City of Romulus names interim police chief

Robert Pfannes is sworn into his new position as
interim chief of police by Romulus City Clerk Ellen Craig-Bragg.
The City of Romulus has sworn in Robert J. Pfannes as interim chief of the Romulus Police Department. Pfannes will lead the department while Police Chief Jadie Settles is on medical leave.
Pfannes, who worked in law enforcement for more than 32 years, recently retired as chief of police for the City of Ann Arbor Police Department after also having served with the Garden City Police Department. During his career in law enforcement, Pfannes has been a road patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, SWAT team leader, undercover narcotics officer, and lieutenant and Special Threats Incident Commander for the City of Ann Arbor.

Community mourning death of Melissa McLaughlin

Shirley Melissa McLaughlin
American flags in Canton Township were lowered to half mast last Thursday as a tribute to former township Treasurer Melissa McLaughlin, a long-time resident and well-known public figure who died March 4 following a year-long battle with cancer.
Shirley Melissa McLaugh-lin, was born June 3, 1957 and earned her bachelor of science degree in education from Eastern Michigan University in 1978. During her career in public service, she served as the Canton Township treasurer from 2008 through 2016 and under her direction the township earned a AAA rating by Fitch and an AA rating by Standard & Poor.. She was also proud of her work with then state legislator Kurt Heise, now the Plymouth Township supervisor, on several legislative efforts including work on Public Acts 223, 224 and 225 which improved property owners' abilities to evict squatters from their homes. She implemented advanced tax software in the treasurer's office and reduced billing costs by $50,000 annually.

Probe into coach’s auto crash is reopened by sheriff

The Feb. 8 rollover car crash involving a Wayne Memorial High School wrestling coach is being investigated by the Livingston County Sheriff's Department following reports that there were passengers in the vehicle not previously identified to investigators.
Reports indicate that there were three members of the wrestling team in the vehicle driven by the coach which crashed near the Howell exit from I-96. Initial reports indicated that the driver lost control of the vehicle on the exit curve at about 8:18 a.m. traveling at more than 70 m.p.h. and the roadway was snow covered. The vehicle entered the area between the highway and the exit ramp and rolled over, trapping the three teens inside, according to reports from witnesses.
The students were subsequently picked up from the wreck and taken to the wrestling conference tournament and competed in their matches without any medical examination or treatment. Reportedly, the teens were cautioned not to speak to anyone about the accident.

Make A Wish

Benefit gala set to fund charity

Julie Brown, Staff Writer
Kelly Miller of Farmington Hills, Suzy Hoover of Livonia,
and Deb Mulka of Livonia are the musical Whatabouts
who will perform at a May 15 benefit for the
Make A Wish Foundation in Westland. 
The Whatabouts musical group is planning a Glamour Ball this spring for Make A Wish Foundation.
The Make A Wish nonprofit group helps ailing children and their families with treks to favorite destinations. Kelly Miller's three-person Whatabouts musical ensemble will perform Friday, May 15, at the charity benefit at Joy Manor banquet hall.
Joy Manor is at 28999 Joy Road in Westland (south side of Joy). The Glamour Ball of “Vintage Glam or Fashion Today” gives folks a chance to help sick children as well as dance, eat dinner, and enjoy an open bar.
The May 15 event costs $50 per person and will continue from 6-11 p.m. Miller, a Farmington Hills resident, formerly of Garden City, has ticket information at (734) 377- 1745.

Westland reappoints 2 to city commission terms

Debra Fowlkes
Sharon Scott
Two long-serving Westland residents were re-appointed to city entities last month.
Members of the city council confirmed the re-appointment of Debra Fowlkes to the Westland Planning Commission and the re-appointment of Sharon Scott to the Downtown Development Authority during their regular meeting Feb. 18.
Fowlkes' new three-year term will expire Feb. 18, 2023 and Scott's four-year appointment will conclude Feb. 18, 2023.
Fowlkes, a long-time resident of Westland, has served on the planning commission since May 2015.  She previously served on the police and fire Civil Service Commission.
Fowlkes also served on the Wayne-Westland Community Schools Board of Education and was president of the board.

At last

Avery Hall, an Army veteran who left Wayne Memorial High School when he was 17, before graduation, to serve in the Korean War was awarded his high school diploma during a special ceremony Feb. 28 at Taft-Galloway Elementary School. Hall's military career included service in Vietnam, Germany, Alaska and Fort Sill.  Now 84, he currently resides in a veteran's home in Oklahoma. 

Treasurer, auditor squabble about bank fees

The responsibility for nearly $10,000 in accounting charges sparked a heated exchange at the Feb.11 Sumpter Township Board of Trustees meeting.
Township Treasurer Kenneth Bednark heatedly addressed an agenda item which requested the board authorize payment of $3,062 to the township accounting firm of Post Smythe Lutz and Ziel. The fees were charges for the correction of errors that occurred during the change of township banking from PNC to Comerica by Bednark. Bednark called the fees a political ploy by  Deputy Supervisor Karen Armatis and then claimed the errors were created by Cari Ford and Ron Traskos with Post Smythe Lutz and Ziel and were not the responsibility of his office.

Living history lesson

Students at Wick Elementary School in Romulus presented a black history program called “Great Black Leaders: Past and Present” last month and kindergarten through fifth grade students took part in the living history lesson. , dancing, African drummers, and even a mock talk show as part of the presentation. The dance team performed and the boy's mentoring program (Dream Kings) also performed. There also was a brief Greek Life acknowledgement and history by Principal Kimberly Calloway, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
The event was under the direction of Carrie Hurn and students presented lessons on Kings and Queens of Africa; Distinguished Slaves; Jim Crow Era /Freedom Fighters; Civil Rights Leaders and Current Day Leaders. The students included singing

Sumpter trustees consider reassessment of property

Sumpter Township residents could be receiving some special visitors during the near future, if trustees agree to a plan to reassess property in the municipality.
WCA, a professional assessment firm, has proposed a reinspection and reassessment of all property in the township in an effort to update and correct outdated tax records, some of which are 30 to 40 years out of date. Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees are expected to consider the $114,540 expense to fund the reinspection and reassessment of township property at their March 24 meeting.
WCA assessor Aaron Powers said the reassessment is necessary to correct outdated records and ensure the township is in compliance with state tax commission recommendations.

Owner’s lawsuit delays house demolition deadline

The owner of the mold-filled home at 870 Lotz Road in Canton Township has until April 11 to either cure the problem or demolish the structure unless the Circuit Court grants her petition and takes control of the situation.
Should the owner, Jeanne Wyatt, fail to demolish the house, and the court fail to grant her petition, the township will order the work done and charge Wyatt for the removal of the home
Members of the township board of trustees agreed to extend the original deadline set Feb. 25 for demolishing the home during a closed session Feb. 11. The board members ordered the demolition following reports from building officials who cited dangerous mold growing inside the house.

All aboard

History buffs publish book about railroads  

Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens
Two local history buffs in Plymouth have published a book about the impact of railroads throughout the area.
Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens, the executive director of the Plymouth Historical Museum, and Ellen Elliott, a local historian and lecturer, combined their research sources and talent to produce the new volume which shows the importance and impact the railroads had in the area.
Kerstens, who is also a retired U.S. Marine major, has published three previous works. Elliott serves as the executive director of Friends of the Penn and is the manager of the Penn Theatre in downtown Plymouth.

Michigan Philharmonic plans ‘March Mahler Madness’

The Michigan Philharmonic orchestra will celebrate March Madness right along with the rest of the country - only with a twist.
“Mahler Madness” set for 2 p.m. March 15 features the orchestra in an afternoon of eclectic music with classics from Mahler and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, mingled with new music from local star, Jessica Hunt.
Music from this concert is threaded together with themes about childhood and childlike remembrances. Visiting composer Hunt's music is a nod to her childhood memories of her grandparents' home in the Northwest while Mahler's music shares musical images of a child's view of heaven.

Board OK’s air quality device on school land

Members of the Northville Public Schools Board of Education approved a plan to allow Advanced Disposal Systems to install an air quality monitoring system on Ridge Wood Elementary School property.
The system will be constructed and paid for by Advanced Disposal Systems (ADS) and is in response to an order from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency demanding the testing system for air quality near the ADS-owned Arbor Hills landfill.
The school is within a mile of the landfill which was cited by state officials for air-quality offenses several times last year. The impact on air quality near the waste site has been discussed at several meetings of the Northville City Council members and numerous complaint letters have been sent to ADS. An air quality monitoring system at the landfill site was ordered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last fall.

Construction sight

Volunteers turned out in droves last week during the Habitat for Humanity International Women Build Week at a home site in Inkster. Among the volunteers was 12th District Wayne County Commissioner Glenn Anderson who noted that twice as many volunteers as in the photo worked at the day-long event. The week took place March 1 through 8, the week leading up to International Women's Day. The event calls on women across the globe to raise a hammer to spotlight the need for safe and affordable housing and provides the tools for women to empower and educate themselves about skills used when repairing and restoring homes. This year, approximately 6,000 women volunteers in more than 235 communities in the United States, India and Canada participated with the goal to build and improve 540 homes while raising awareness of housing issues facing women and their families.

History of Maybury Sanatorium to be lecture topic

William H. Maybury 
Maybury Sanitorium: Fresh Air Care will be the topic of two presentations in Northville in April.
Both presentations will begin at 7 p.m. The April 6 presentation will take place at the Northville District Library in downtown Northville and the April 7 presentation will take place at Northville Township Hall, 44405 Six Mile Road, Northville.
The moderator of the programs will be Joe Oldenburg, a local historian, who is a member of the Northville Township Historic District Fund. Oldenburg will discuss the history  surrounding the facility.
Construction began 100 years ago this month at the site of what is now Maybury State Park for the purpose of treating tuberculosis. The presentations are free but due to the popularity of the programs, reservations are highly recommended and can be made at (248) 349-3020.