Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Residents question water rates in Northville

Northville residents are somewhat concerned about the high cost of water in the city.
During the regular meeting of the Northville City Council members Jan. 6, Robert (Bob) Breslin who lives on Whitegate Drive took advantage of the citizens' comments portion of the agenda to ask about the high cost of water.
Breslin said that he received two water bills, one for $633.90 on Oct. 23 and another for $1,106.30 on Dec. 21 and asked if council could explain why the cost was so high. He said that a city employee drew up a $200 per month payment plan for the first bill, which he had paid in full by December. He said that the payments made in October and November were not reflected on his December bill. He also said that he had corrected a leak that contributed to the October bill but wondered why the water cost was even higher on his December bill.

March of remembrance

Celebrations of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy planned

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Celebrations of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are scheduled throughout the area next Monday, Jan. 20.
Dr. King, a revered Civil Rights icon, was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in Dr. King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.
Most federal and local governmental offices will be closed in remembrance of Dr. King and his efforts to change the attitudes about race in the country. Marches, celebrations and special events are planned throughout the area to honor his memory.

Westland council fails to elect president pro-tem

The Westland City Council welcomed two new members and chose a new council president during the first meeting of the new year but were unable to agree on a new president pro-tem of the body.
Following the official swearing in ceremonies of two new council members, Andrea Rutkowski and Mike McDermott, members immediately began to conduct the business of electing officers of the council.
Jim Hart, who has served on the city council since his election in 2018, was chosen by his fellow members to serve as council president. He replaces former council president Jim Godbout who declined to serve another term in the position he has filled since 2008. Godbout has served on the city council since 2001, and is, according to Mayor William R. Wild, the longest serving council president in city history.

Inkster AME church welcomes new pastor

The Rev. Katrese Kirk
The Rev. Katrese Kirk, formerly of Chicago, IL has been named at the new pastor at  Smith Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Inkster.
Kirk's appointment, made by Bishop John F. White of the Fourth Episcopal District, came at the dawn of the 96th year of service of Smith Chapel AME to the Inkster community.
Kirk was previously senior pastor of Coleman Chapel AME Church in Kenosha, WI.  She said that she is passionate about millennial ministry, having served as Youth Pastor at historic Quinn Chapel AME Church, Chicago.  She has developed national programs geared toward young people, including a workshop to help churches attract and retain young adults entitled, Bring Back Our Millennials: Why Young Adults Are Done With Church.  She is a motivational speaker who is committed to helping others unlock their purpose, and live the abundant life that God has purposed for them, according to an official statement from the church.

Northville police arrest 2 in thefts from vehicles

Marwin Lee Chambers
Two men face charges of identity theft, stealing/retaining a financial transaction device and as habitual offenders following their arrest last month by Northville Township Police.
The suspects, Marwin Lee Chambers, Jr., 21, from Pontiac. and Ethan Edwin Thompson, 22, from Waterford, were charged by the office of the Wayne County Prosecutor and were arraigned at the 35th District Court. Chambers, arraigned Dec. 13 before Judge Ron Lowe, was given a $5,000 bond. Thompson was arraigned before Judge Michael Gerou and received a $10,000 bond. Thompson waived his preliminary examination on the charges and will face trial. Chambers' preliminary examination was set for Jan. 17.

Country Garden Club members to meet

Members of the Country Garden Club of Northville will meet at 11 a.m. Feb. 5 at Ward Church, 40000 Six Mile Road in Northville.
The speaker for the meeting will be Sue Grubba who will discuss the Healthy Soil and Wise Fertilizing. Light snacks will be served.
For more information, call (248) 202-1518.

Van Buren official named to SEMCOG post

Lisa Lothringer
Leaders of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) have named Van Buren Township Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Assistant Director Lisa Lothringer to the Planning and Economic Development Task Force.
SEMCOG is a regional planning partner with local member governments within the Southeast Michigan region (Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties).
Lothringer has been with the Van Buren Township DDA for more than 5 years and is responsible for public relations and marketing, working to promote the DDA business district and Van Buren Township as a whole. Most recently, she was the project manager for the $1.15 million Quirk Park Splash Pad and Playground project, which was recently recognized as the 2019/2020 Michigan Recreation and Park Association (mParks) Design Award recipient.

New director takes helm at the Detroit Region Aerotropolis

Christopher Girdwood
Christopher Girdwood has been named as the new executive director of the Detroit Region Aerotropolis.
Detroit Aerotropolis is a four-community, two-county public-private economic development partnership focused on driving corporate expansion and new investments around two Wayne County Airport Authority airports, Detroit Metropolitan and Willow Run. The aerotropolis region is located in the City of Romulus and the townships of Van Buren and Huron along with the City of Taylor.
“Christopher brings a wealth of national experience and tremendous enthusiasm to the role,” said David Glaab, chair of the Detroit Region Aerotropolis Board of Directors. “Under his leadership, I believe Aerotropolis will continue to attract quality jobs and business investment to the region.”

Belleville seeking to hire new city manager and new police chief

City of Belleville officials are attempting to fill two top jobs in the community. Belleville Police Chief Hal Berriman has submitted his resignation effective Jan. 31 and City Manager Diana Kollmeyer will leave Feb. 2.  Members of the city council met last week to review 10 finalists from the nearly 400 applications received for Kollmeyer's full-time position.
The four finalists for the position will be sent questionnaires and may be called for 90-minute personal interviews with city council members Jan. 25. Finalists will also be invited to attend a public meeting Feb. 3 just prior to the final decision expected on Feb. 4.

Historic calendars are now on sale

The Belleville Area Museum and Historical Society now has the 2020 Historical Calendar, featuring historical photographs of tri-community bridges, roads, and waterways, on sale for $5.
Calendars are available for purchase at the museum, from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and from noon until 4 p.m. Thursday and Saturday. 

Students plan annual Peace Summit at school

Julie Brown, Staff Writer

Students at the Rotary Club-built schools in Gao, Ghana
depend on the support of local groups like the high school
Interact Club for school supplies and materials. 
Ninth- through 12th-grade students from Plymouth-Canton will learn about peace and conflict resolution at a Saturday, Jan. 18, forum in the cafeteria of Salem High School, 46181 Joy Road in Canton.
The annual Peace Summit will be presented from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 18 for students through Interact, the high school arm of Rotary International.
“The purpose is to educate our young adults as to the needs of world service,” said Chuck Lang of Canton, an adviser to the Plymouth-Canton Interact and member of the Rotary Noon Club of Plymouth.

Police search for motive in murder-suicide of couple

Don Howard, Staff Writer

New details have surfaced during the investigation of a recent murder-suicide in Plymouth Township.
Last month, responding to reports of shots fired, police officers found 37-year-old Christina Salamay dead from a single gunshot wound to the head, sitting in the driver's seat of a minivan parked in front of the family home. Shortly thereafter, officers found the body of her husband inside the residence also dead from a bullet wound to the head. Police say 46-year-old James Salamay killed his estranged wife with a recently purchased rifle before turning the weapon on himself. 

2 facing charge in break-in, thefts at Canton nail salon

Benjamin James Timmer
Two suspects are facing felony charges in thefts from a Canton Township nail salon.
Benjamin James Timmer, 49 of Westland, and Katelyn Marie Howard, 22, of Inkster, have been charges in connection with a breaking and entering at Tina's Nail Salon on Ford Road which took place sometime Wednesday, Dec. 8. Police officers discovered the glass front door of the nail salon shattered. When the business owner was called to the scene, items were discovered missing from inside the business.
Katelyn Marie Howard
Officers identified Timmer and Howard as possible suspects and an ensuing investigation led to the charges issued by the Wayne County Prosecutor's office. Timmer is charged with breaking and entering a building, a 10-year felony, possession of burglary tools, a 10-year felony as as a habitual offender, fourth offense. Howard was also charged with breaking and entering a building.
The suspects were arraigned Jan. 9 before Judge Ron Lowe at the 35th District Court. Timmer's bond was set at $10,000 or 10 percent and he must wear an electronic tether if released from police custody.
Howard's bond was set at $5,000 or 10 percent.
They are scheduled for another court appearance this month.

Annual record show will fund 88.1 student radio station

The annual 88.1 record show will bring thousands of vinyl records, CDs, import only releases, t-shirts, posters and other collectables to the Salem High School Cafeteria.
The record show is set for 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 and proceeds will benefit the nationally-recognized student radio station operated by the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.

Small Business Saturday success celebrated in Wayne

Rhonda McElroy, left, Helium Studio employee,
and  Wayne Main Street Board President
Juan Bradford present Leslie Herber with her gift certificate
 to Helium Studio as part of Small Business Saturday
in Wayne last November. 
Small Business Saturday was a success in Wayne according to officials from Wayne Main Street, organizers of the event.
Small Business Saturday is a national effort to promote shopping locally from small, independent merchants and took place Nov. 30 last year. Businesses throughout the downtown Wayne district welcomed customers, the spokesman noted. The kick off event took place at Karma Coffee & Kitchen where more than 100 shoppers received free coffee and tote bags as well as a random gift card from a local business in each bag.

Westland reappoints 2 city department directors

Mohamed Ayoub
Members of the Westland City Council unanimously approved the re-appointments of two department directors during the Jan. 6 meeting.
Mohamed Ayoub was reappointed to serve as city planning director and Kyle Mulligan will continue to lead the parks and recreation department.
Ayoub, originally appointed by Mayor William R. Wild in March of 2019, was appointed to a new term ending Dec. 31 of 2021.
“I'm very humbled by the experience and pleased that Mayor Wild and the city council re-appointed me for another year of service in the All American City,” commented Ayoub. 
Kyle Mulligan
“Every day I'm learning more and more about the City of Westland which allows me to improve the work I do for our community. The mayor and city council put together a very strong foundation for the future of planning before I was hired and while I know there is a lot more to be done, I look forward to working with the mayor, council, and the community to advance the city's vision,” he added.

Mulligan, first appointed by Wild in May of 2019, will serve as the parks and recreation director for a term effective through Dec. 31, 2021.

State police continue investigation into shooting death

Michigan State Police continue to investigate a deadly shooting which took place in Inkster Jan. 2.
Troopers responded to a report of shots fired in the area of New York Street and Princess Street around 7:15 p.m. on Thursday. As the officers canvassed the area, they discovered the body of a 23-year-old man from Inkster in a nearby garage.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Click below to view flip version of this weeks edition

View the official guide to the 38th Annual Ice Festival

38th Annual Ice Festival opens in Plymouth

The 38th Annual Plymouth Ice Festival may not officially open until the cutting of the ice ribbon by city officials tomorrow evening, but there will be a very special preview for some guests this evening.
The Miracle League of Plymouth and the Plymouth District Library have joined with festival producer James Geitzen of JAG Entertainment to provide an opportunity for special needs' families to enjoy a sneak peek of the festival this evening.
“This is something new for us and I am very excited about it,” Geitzen, who has produced the festival for six years, said. “It's a great way to allow more people to enjoy the ice and the event and it is just a great idea,” he added.
Geitzen is also looking forward to several other events at the 2020 celebration of all things winter this year but his favorite attraction has not changed through the years.
“It's the dueling chainsaws,” Geitzen said. “These guys have a chainsaw, a block of ice and 15 minutes and they produce art, every year. It is just a really exciting event,” he said.
That doesn't distract from his other favorites, which are, of course, the ice carvings themselves and the products of the college teams competing for honors and prizes. Then there are the sponsored carvings like the 20-block sculpture sponsored by Michigan First again this year.

The Salvation Army continues Red Kettle fund drive

Julie Brown, Staff Writer

The Metro Detroit kettle of The Salvation Army
holds honors as the world's tallest at 56 feet.
Leaders of The Salvation Army appreciate all
donors and note fundraising runs
through the end of January.
Those volunteer bell ringers outside businesses throughout the area during the holidays collecting for the Salvation Army may have disappeared, but the work of the organization continues year round.
Salvation Army officers and volunteers work at disaster sites worldwide and across the country throughout the year to help feed, clothe and shelter people along with the efforts of the group in teaching budgeting, combating human trafficking, offering youth character building programs, and helping those with addictions become clean and sober.
The Plymouth Corps of the Salvation Army, as of Jan. 3, reached $171,000 of the local $186,000 Red Kettle fundraising goal while the Wayne-Westland Salvation Army Corps has collected $110,000 of the $129,000 goal set for this season.

Trial set for man accused in threats against cops, judges

A Van Buren Township man could face 20 years in prison if convicted of threatening the lives of police officers and local judges.
James Bernard Lang, 55, is charged with filing a false report or threat of terrorism and one count as a habitual offender, fourth offense, which carries a five to 15-year sentence upon conviction.
Prosecutors claim that Lang called the Van Buren Township Dispatch Center and made verbal threats on the lives of township police officers and the two sitting judges at the 34th District Court in Romulus.

Canton planning annual Dr. King celebration

Shaun Boothe, creator of ‘The Unauthorized Biography
 Series,’ will perform at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill
Jan. 20 to celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy. 
Canton Township will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a civil rights inspired concert by award-winning hip hop artist Shaun Boothe.
Boothe is an award-winning hip-hop recording artist, TEDx speaker and creator of 'The Unauthorized Biography Series'.   After spending more than a decade in the music industry, Boothe's path has shifted to now focus on educating the next generation as an inspirational speaker and performing artist.
The Unauthorized Biography Series is a musical project that celebrates the world's greatest cultural icons through biographical hip hop songs. Each chapter in the series captures the legacy of a positive and influential iconic figure in a documentary-style music video.  Icons featured in the series include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bob Marley, Muhammad Ali, Malala Yousafzai, Terry Fox, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama and more.
Boothe combines his passion for speaking with the Unauthorized Biography Series as a powerful tool to both entertain and inspire others to achieve their own greatness.  “The power of hip hop is in the stories we choose to tell,” stated Boothe.  “Our stories can either build us up or break us down.”

New group questions race track development plan

Nearly 200 Northville residents flocked to the Marquis Theater for a special event in November, but the attraction wasn't on the stage or screen.
The first meeting of Citizens For Northville, a grassroots organization led by longtime Northville resident and retired General Motors executive Bill Poulos drew the crowds, anxious to hear the plans for the development of the 50-acre Northville Downs raceway property in the middle of the downtown area. Poulos has said he believes that the planned residential housing on the site will “kill the city.”

Canton board members mark promotions of 3 officers

Three public safety recognitions at a meeting of the Canton Township Board of Trustees last month packed the meeting room with family and friends.
Newly promoted Sgt. Andrew Colthurst's promotion was announced first.
Colthurst joined the Canton Police Department in 2007, and was joined by parents Eric and Susan Colthurst.

High marks

Interim superintendent promoted by school board

Dr. Flinnoia Hall III 
Dr. Flinnoia Hall III has been named as the superintendent of the Romulus Community School District.
Hall, who has been serving as the acting superintendent since February of 2019, will assume his permanent role on July 1 when his current contract as acting superintendent expires.
Members of the Romulus Community Schools Board of Education named Hall to the permanent position by a 4-3 vote during a meeting in November.
“I'm honored that the board has seen the work that I've done in the acting role, and has considered the work I've done over nearly six years in this district,” said Hall. “I'm glad they feel that I am the right person for this job.”

Belleville officials hope to see state funding soon

City of Belleville officials are looking forward to the new state budget and the New Year.
Mayor Pro-tem Jesse Marcotte reminded the council members during a meeting last month that efforts from two years ago to secure state funding for the Doane's Landing seawall repair may pay off soon.

Romulus plans Community March to honor Dr. King

The City of Romulus, Romulus Community Schools and the Romulus Ministerial Alliance will host a celebration of the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jan. 20.
The annual tradition includes a march from Romulus Middle School to the high school where breakfast will be served and the program take place.
Shuttle service is provided from Romulus High School to the middle school for those doing the walk beginning at 7 a.m.
Walkers should be at the Middle School by 7:30 a.m. The march will step off promptly at 8 a.m.

Warm welcome

Veterans’ Tent is popular attraction
during annual Plymouth Ice Festival

As the crowds flock into the huge tent behind E.G. Nick's restaurant during the Ice Festival this year, they probably won't realize the $5 cover charge is being collected by a hero.
The tent, renamed the Veteran's Party Tent this year, will feature two of the most popular bands in the area, Smokin' Mirrors on Friday and Power Play Detroit on Saturday. It is one of the largest fundraisers of the year for the Vietnam Veterans of America group. The men collecting the cover charge and checking IDs at the entrance are veterans of that war and have seen armed conflict that didn't end with their return home during the late 1960s. Many faced angry crowds, jeers and the hostility of their fellow Americans.
“The first thing I did was get out of my uniform even though I was proud to wear it,” veteran Rick Adis said. “I just didn't want to take all the crap.”
Vietnam veteran Ron King of Plymouth Township recalled an airline gate agent in San Diego, California, suggesting he change his clothes as his uniform could offend some people. “We didn't get treated well,” he said.

Moving right along

Tubing slide will be relocated during 2020 Ice Festival  

Crowds looking for the Tubing Run at the Plymouth Ice Festival this year will not find it at the usual location on Ann Arbor Trail.
This year, the popular attraction has been moved to Main Street near Ann Arbor Trail and obviously, won't be hard to spot.  While only about 10-feet high, the amusement looks much taller according to Josh and Melissa Zian of Clarkston who bring the structure to the Plymouth Ice Festival. The slide provides about 100 feet of sliding fun, they said.
“We do it because it's fun. We just developed it. You can do it year round. You don't need snow,” explained Josh Zian.
“It looks bigger because we have sides on it,” he said of the ride, noting it's used “like a ski resort” with inner tubes.

Death of longtime coach, Larry ‘Chum’ Stockwell mourned

Larry “Chum” Stockwell
An icon in the local Wayne and Westland communities, Larry “Chum” Stockwell died Jan. 2.
Mr. Stockwell, 80, was the owner of Chum's Donut Shop in Westland, a business started by his father, Chalmer C. “Chum” Stockwell in 1941 and considered a veritable institution in the area.
Mr. Stockwell was the youngest of five children, born to Chalmer and Helen Marie Stockwell on Feb. 13, 1939. He grew up in Belleville and graduated from St. Mary's High School in Wayne in 1957.

Winners of Basketball Legends of Inkster raffle named

Last month, lucky winners helped families in Inkster when the winners of the Basketball Legends of Inkster Big Raffle were announced at the Booker Dozier Recreation Complex.
Funds from the annual raffle are used each year to provide toys, gifts and groceries for holiday meals for at least 100 Inkster families. This year, winners of the raffle included:
Winners of the three grand prizes included Brian Quantz who won tickets to the
Detroit Pistons game against the Eastern Conference Champion Milwaukee Bucks at Little Caesars Arena on Feb. 20 and a $50 dinner card at Sports & Social in Detroit.