Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Condominiums OK’d at site of historic school

Developers presented an artist's rendering of the proposed
condominiums at the former site of the one-room Perrinville School.
Members of the Westland City Council approved the rezoning of the former site of the Perrinville schoolhouse last week, along with a preliminary plan and final site plan for the land.
Planned for the 5-acre site at Farmington Road between Joy and Ann Arbor Trail is a six building, 28-unit condominium development. Construction on the new condominiums, which will back up to Edward Hines Drive, is expected to begin this summer, according to the developers.

Stepping out

The student showcase at Dance New York in Plymouth earlier this month featured nearly 40 dancers of all ages from throughout the area showing off their technique with a wide variety of performances. 
Kermit the Frog made a special appearance waltzing with Miss Piggy (Janice Stanton) and the Ladies Formation Team including Andrea Bzura, Nicole DeBrincat, Lynn Diedrich, Cheryl Fabian-McCoy, Linda Hodges, Sabrina Hubbard, Rebecca Jacobsen, Joyce Jenereaux, Dorrie Milan, Jean Polyachenko, Natalie Scruggs, Emily Solecki and Susan Walsh performed a Charleston for the show finale. Instructors Clive (Kermit) and Suzanne Phillips, Jonathan Welly, Tiffany Sullivan and Ashleigh DeWeese performed with their students during the showcase presentation.

29th district judge to retire in March

Judge Laura Mack
Court will be adjourned for Judge Laura Mack who has announced her retirement effective March 1.
Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed Mack to the judicial post at the 29th District Court in Wayne on Jan. 12, 2004 to replace Judge Carolyn Archbold, who retired at the end of 2003, leaving three years on her elected term. In a mandated election in 2004, Mack was affirmed by the voters to serve out the remainder of Archbold's term that ended in 2006.  In 2006, Mack was again elected, this time to a full 6-year term and she was re-elected in 2012 and 2018.
As Mack is in the middle of her six-year term, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will appoint her replacement.

‘Stranger Danger’ prompts police, Ring alliance

Inkster police now have a new “eyewitness” available to help them locate those suspected of crimes in the city.
According to Inkster police, a local homeowner captured video of the vehicle involved in a ‘Stranger Danger’ incident earlier this month.
According to a letter sent to parents in the Wayne Westland school district, the incident took place Jan. 13 as the student was walking home from Stevenson Middle School. The student was approached by a man in an SUV near Birchwood and Division streets just off Middlebelt Road in Inkster.

Northville clerk prepares for March primary

A closed Presidential Primary is planned in Michigan for Tuesday, March 10, and City of Northville Clerk Dianne Massa is getting prepared.
While there is no political party registration requirement in Michigan election law, in this specific election, registered voters will need to make their ballot selection in writing before being issued a ballot (whether voting at the polls or by absent voter ballot).

Suspects sought in Michigan Avenue shootout

The search continues for individuals involved in a two-car shoot-out in Inkster last week.
According to police reports, a shootout began last Wednesday night in the parking lot of the Citgo gas station at Middlebelt Road and Michigan Avenue West.
Police said that surveillance video shows that as a blue car drove out of the parking lot, a shooter in the vehicle fired on a white SUV parked at one of the gas pumps.

Senior tax assistance available

AARP Foundation Volunteer Tax Aides will offer free tax preparation services at the Northville Community Center again this year. Tax preparation is by appointment only and is offered  from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. each Thursday at the Northville Community Center.  First appointments will begin on Thursday, Feb. 6 and the last day will be Thursday, April 9.  This service is provided to taxpayers with low/middle income with special preference for appointments will be given to those 60 and older.

Northville police to serve coffee

Northville Township officers will serve Coffee With A Cop at Cassel's Family Restaurant 43003 W. Seven Mile Road  from 10 a.m. until noon Feb. 10.
Coffee with a Cop brings police officers and the community members they serve together-over coffee-to discuss issues and learn more about each other. Residents are urged to stop by for a complimentary coffee and have a conversation with an officer from the Northville Township Police Department.

Customer returns cash canister to credit union

Surveillance cameras caught the image of
George Condash returning the cash canister to the credit union. 
George Condash seems to define the term “honest man”
Last week, Condash, a Westland resident, noticed a plastic container in the drive through lane near the Wayne Westland Credit Union on Wayne Road.
He said he thought that the rectangular, dark-colored box was probably trash and that somebody should pick it up so that everyone using the ATM or drive through wouldn't have to swerve around it. He stopped his car, got out and picked up the plastic cassette, only to discover that it was full of cash.

Owner of storage project offers site to city for $1

Metro Storage owner Tim Judge has offered to sell the East Michigan Avenue property where a $3 million project was planned to the City of Wayne for $1.
Wayne Economic Development Director Lori Gouin presented a project update and Judge's offer to members of the city council at their regular meeting last week.
Gouin explained that she had several conversations with Judge and had reviewed his financial records of the plan to construct a 95,000-square-foot project on the 2.3 acre parcel. Judge purchased the land from the city in 2016 for $1, although Gouin explained that his cost was actually $10,001.

City council chooses president pro-tem

While the upcoming presidential election in Washington D.C. remains an issue in the headlines, the balloting for a city council president pro tem in Westland is complete.
Mike Londeau, elected to his second term on the council in the November, 2019 election, garnered enough support among his fellow council members for election to the post.

Valentines for Veterans effort under way

As Valentine's Day approaches, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) invites local students to participate in the “Valentines for Veterans” project by making handmade Valentine cards for local veterans. Since 2015, students across the region created hundreds of cards to show veterans how much they are loved and appreciated. This is the sixth year that Dingell has organized the “Valentines for Veterans” project.

Donations to fund new run at animal shelter

While members of the Romulus City Council recently approved the installation of a $13,000 dog run at the Romulus Animal Shelter, the cost will not be paid by taxpayers.
The cost for the new amenity described as “needed” at the facility “is not an expense being put on taxpayers” commented Mayor LeRoy Burcroff during the Jan. 13 regular council meeting.

Van Buren school board members elect officers

Members of the Van Buren Public Schools Board of Education unanimously selected Amy Pearce to serve as the president of the group during their regular meeting earlier this month.
Voters chose Pearce to serve in her first elected office on the board about a year ago.
She was nominated for the leadership position by former board president Keith Johnston who declined to seek reelection to the post saying it was time for new leadership.

Rotary scholarships available

The Rotary Club of Belleville and the Charles B. Cozaad Foundation are, once again, offering scholarship awards for Belleville area students. The scholarships are typically one-time $5000 awards.
For more information, visit where the criteria for the specific awards and the application forms are available for download.

Public invited to meet with candidates for city manager

Candidates to become the new Belleville City Manager are expected to attend a public meeting beginning at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3 at the Moving the Mitten office, 337 Main St. in Belleville.
The meeting has been scheduled to introduce the potential city leaders to the public during a 'meet and greet' session.

Township clerk seeking election poll workers

Plymouth Township Clerk Jerry Vorva is already making preparations for what clerk's anticipate will be huge voter turnouts the 2020 elections.
Vorva said his office also anticipates a much larger absentee voter turnout due to the new changes in the law which allow for “no reason” absentee voting.
Workers for the election are currently being recruited to meet the increased voter turnout. Vorva said the team is looking for individuals with leadership and/or computer skills and a desire to be a part of the 2020 election process. The pay is set at $18 to $25 per hour depending on the assignment. For further information, contact Vorva at (734) 354-3224, or Paula Jefferson at (734) 354-3229.

‘Life is a Cabaret’ show will benefit Relay for Life

Participants in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of
Canton and Plymouth community event pose for a photo at
The Village Theater at Cherry Hill.  Photo courtesy of Denise Staffeld 
Those who love the music of  Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Doris Day, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne, Bobby Darin and Nat King Cole can take a trip to the nightclub scene where every musical era is represented during a special musical performance set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5.
“Life is a Cabaret - LIVE from the Starlight Lounge” is a special musical fundraiser for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Canton and Plymouth.

Canton property ordered demolished

Julie Brown, Staff Writer

Members of the Canton Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously Jan. 14 to give the owner of the property at 870 Lotz Road 28 days to demolish the structure.
Two neighboring properties also owned by Jeanne and Willie Wyatt of Detroit in Canton Township will come before the Canton Board of Trustees in coming months for action, officials said.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Romulus receives ‘tremendous’ financial audit

Mayor LeRoy Burcroff
City of Romulus officials received some good news and high praise with the annual financial audit report last week.
Stacy Reeves of Plante Moran explained the details of the audit findings to the members of the city council during a special session just prior to the regular meeting last week. During the regular meeting, Reeves told the assembled audience that the city had a “tremendous result” on the audit “as a result of several years of sustained efforts to rebuild the fund balance lost during the economic downturn.”
Reeves said that the pro-active approach that Romulus officials took to find new sources of revenue without sacrificing city services had increased the fund balance in the city to $4.9 million, the state financial model of 25 percent.

Savings in store

Presbyterian Thrift Shop funds Christian missions

Julie Brown, Staff Writer

Husband and wife Ted and Lynne Porter of Plymouth
Township enjoy overseeing the Presbyterian Thrift
Shop. The shop is marking its 70th anniversary
and supports a plethora of missions.
Items from the Presbyterian Thrift Shop of Plymouth have been known to travel a bit.
“Our suits found their way to the White House”  explained volunteer Ted Porter who, along with his wife, Lynne, manages the shop at 331 North Main St.
The two suits were purchased by a visitor to the shop who bought them for his son explaining the young man got an internship. He wore the suits to his new job in the White House, Porter said.
“We got in a handmade Elvis quilt,” recalled Porter. A raffle of the “King's” quilt was arranged as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society through the owner of Richard's restaurant, located a few miles down Plymouth Road. 
The couple, Plymouth Township residents, have managed the shop, run via the First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth, since 2007, helped by fellow church member Linda Luke and others.
Volunteers don't come exclusively from that church, noted Lynne Porter, although church members make many donations. The shop, which is turning 70 this year, boasts 10,000 square feet. 
It's open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and from March through December 6-8 p.m. Wednesday.
On the main floor, glassware, jewelry, decorative plates and more are shown. The front of that floor houses a lot of clothing on racks, the quality of which Lynne Porter displayed. A Coach scarf had just come in, and some donations still carry their original tags.
Clothing and knickknacks sell well, Ted Porter said, and the upstairs Game Room shelves with board games draw children in as parents shop.
Proceeds support missions, overseas as well as closer to home, including First Step and Northville Civic Concern. Rising profits from sales, some 17 percent a year recently, cover rent and utilities, meaning missions work gets more help.
Ted Porter worked in purchasing at Ford Motor Co. while his wife was employed at the TRW automotive supplier, and Linda Luke worked in food service at the former Northville Regional Psychiatric Hospital.
The 75 some volunteers have varied backgrounds, and include National Honor Society students seeking service hours as well as court-mandated volunteers.
“They're very dedicated and hardworking, and they care about their customers,” Porter said of the volunteers. 
“This is our entrance into Holiday Heaven,” said Porter of holiday collectibles and linens. “The stuff just flies out of here starting in September.”
In addition to Christmas, some St. Patrick's Day and Valentine's Day items sell. Books and artwork are nearby, as well as electronics.
“Vinyl records are coming back. They're very popular,” explained Lynne Porter. Store volunteers, some of whom work limited hours, may adopt a section, such as purses and shoes.
The donated display cases as well as store cabinets came from Montgomery Ward, noted Lynne Porter, although she said that was not documented.  Store volunteers give items like pet supplies to appropriate organizations, and keep an area for weekly pickup from the Disabled American Veterans.
“I really like displaying things. I enjoy meeting people,” she said. 
Her husband does too, and both note the socializing of regular visitors is also a mission.
Plans are being discussed for the 70th anniversary observance, which will be in addition to the annual tool sale in May. 

Canton Township honors college shooting heroine

Julie Brown, Staff Writer

Tabitha Hardy receives Canton Department of Public
Safety recognition at the Jan. 14 Board of Trustees meeting.
Praising her heroism is township Trustee John Anthony.
Canton Township officials lauded a real hero during the Jan. 14 board of trustees meeting.
Officials praised the actions of Tabitha Hardy who was honored with special recognition from the Canton Township Department of Public Safety..
Hardy, who was in class at a technical college in Canton in January of 2019, heard a classmate threaten actions that could have caused great harm or death to himself and other students and instructors. Hardy spoke to her classmate urging him to return home and collect his thoughts and calming him. She also called 9-1-1 to report the threat and Canton police responded to the scene.

Westland man is now charged with murder

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Anthony Kesteloot, 25, with murder in the death of Olivia Rossi, 23, of Westland.
Rossi's body was found Aug. 23, 2019 in a creek at Hines Park after officers were directed to the site by Kesteloot. The defendant was reportedly the last person to see Rossi, having picked her up in his truck at her home at about 10 p.m. Aug. 18, 2019.

Welcome back

Members of Eta Iota Omega Chapter from Inkster hosted the Second annual Pick Carpet Affair Aug. 26 at Daly Elementary School in Inkster and celebrated the first day of school by greeting 200 students with a round of applause and high fives. The students received educational materials about historically Black colleges and universities and Black Greek letter organizations.  Healthy snacks were donated to each classroom and the staff members received care packages as tokens of appreciation from the sorority members.

Wayne seeking donations for city Veterans’ Memorial

Donations to the Wayne Veterans Memorial project in Wayne are still being accepted.
The memorial will specifically honor veterans and will be installed on the south side of Wayne City Hall as part of the UAW Local 845 relocation to the city.
While $26,000 in donations was collected by the city last year for repairs to the Peace Memorial located in the Michigan Avenue median near the city library, donors sought a project specific to honoring veterans who served in the military. When the UAW opted to relocate to the Wayne Road building, union officials sought a location to relocate the veterans memorial currently at their Canton Township union offices.

Well wishes

Canton begins year-long health and wellness programs at Summit facility

Canton Township will present Live Well Canton 2020, a year-long fitness program to help area residents live longer, more active lives.
Canton Leisure Services will present a year filled with mini-fitness challenges, opportunities to walk and swim at the Summit on the Park, educational programs, winter walking and hiking tips, and much more.
Recognizing the challenges of the sedentary lifestyle that so many Americans often fall victim to, especially during the darker, colder months, January 2020 featured activities will focus on increasing physical activity for all ages. 

Student’s safety video is awarded $1,500 2nd prize

Janet Sutherland, Plymouth-Canton Community
Schools video production teacher left,
 Jillian Plant, the student/2nd prize winner
accept their awards from Dan Fuoco, of The
Suburban Collection.Jillian Plant knew her 35-second
 video regarding distracted driving had been chosen
as one of the winners in The Suburban Collection
Focus On The Road video contest.
It wasn't until the official ceremony at Plymouth High School Jan. 10,  however,  that she learned she had been awarded second place and was presented with a check for $1,500 by Dan Fuoco, social media manager for The Suburban Collection.
Plant is a student in the Plymouth High School video class taught by Janet Sutherland although she is a student at Canton High School.

“Most of the submissions we see show the end result (of distracted driving),” noted Fuoco, who served as one of the contest judges. “A lot of students create videos with death or the extreme circumstances that often result from distracted driving.
“The thing about Jillian's video was that, along with it being thoughtfully prepared, was that everything in the video happens before the car was theoretically put into drive. We thought that was a great message.”

Romulus council votes to accept 2% salary hike

Despite the strong objections of the longest serving city council member, elected officials in Romulus will receive a 2-percent pay raise.
During the Jan. 6 regular meeting, Councilman William Wadsworth asked to speak regarding the recommendation of the Romulus Compensation Board, which is a volunteer group that meets every two years to recommend salary changes for elected officials. Wadsworth said that he was concerned to learn that other members of the council had requested a meeting with the compensation board to suggest a $1,000 bonus in addition to the 2-percent increase for the council members.

Neighbors oppose plan for Van Buren senior living facility

Members of the Van Buren Township Planning Commission postponed any decision on a special land use request for a proposed senior living project until more information was provided.
The proposed 64,000-square-foot Hampton Manor development was discussed at a Jan. 8 meeting of the commission members, The senior living complex is proposed for construction on the southeast corner of Tyler and Morton Taylor roads and will include 80 units, with 24 designated for memory care and 36 dedicated for assisted living for seniors. The developer listed with the township is Zohaib Syed of Van Buren Investors Land Holdings LLC.  Construction of the two sections of the planned facility would be on six parcels of land totaling 7.11 acres which is zoned for local business.

Animal abuse charges dismissed, then immediately refiled

Javon Pherras Stacks
The animal abandonment and cruelty charges against Javon Stacks were dismissed and refilled by prosecutors within 24 hours last week. 
Javon Pherras Stacks, 36, owner of Exotic Zoo, a business that brings exotic animals to school and organization events, was originally charged with one felony count of abandoning/cruelty of animals and two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals on Nov. 5. Romulus police, following what was described as an anonymous tip, discovered about 500 animals in an  Ecorse Road storefront last August. The animals, including exotic reptiles, hundreds of hedgehogs, iguanas, a peacock, a tortoise and a 16-foot python, were seized by police and the criminal charges filed by the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

School district plans millage informational meetings

Property owners in the Northville Public Schools district will be asked to approve a new Sinking Fund millage on the March 10 ballot.
Voters will be asked to extend the current .9519-mill levy from 2021 to 2025 and provide for broader uses of the proceeds, including instructional technology and security equipment.
The current levy expires Dec. 31, 2020.
The .9519-mill, five-year request is a replacement of the existing sinking fund millage and would not result in an increase over the current millage rate, school officials stressed in a press release regarding the issue.

Free tax preparation service available for Northville senior residents

The Michigan Philharmonic has received a grant of $65,000 from the Margaret Dunning Foundation to support technology and data system upgrades for the organization as well as support for the orchestra educational programming in the Plymouth Canton Community Schools.
The Michigan Philharmonic serves audiences including students and numerous multi-cultural groups, throughout Southeast Michigan with programs that are innovative and educational, according to Beth Stewart, executive director of the group. The Michigan Philharmonic contributes to the quality of life in the region by serving as a cultural anchor in the community, employing numerous professional musicians and providing programming to a wide range of audiences from children to adults, she said.

Annual student radio station record show and sale is set

The annual 88.1 record show will bring thousands of vinyl records, CDs, import only releases, t-shirts, posters and other collectibles 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.

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

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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.