Thursday, February 27, 2020

School board suspends acting superintendent

Dr. Flinnoia Hall
Members of the Romulus Board of Education unanimously voted Feb. 20 to suspend Acting Superintendent of Schools Flinnoia Hall for 10 days without pay. 
The board action came following a verbal exchange between Hall and a district employee during the regular meeting Feb. 10. Members of the board scheduled the special meeting last week to consider the disciplinary action against Hall.
School officials have refused comment on the action, issuing an official statement with few details of the incident.
 “The Romulus Community School District expects a standard of behavior from its employees that consists of professionalism, respect, and civility.

Cut short

Art installation honors all U.S. veterans

Cut Short Veterans Memorial Garden is located on the
grounds of the Village Arts Factory and located directly
next to the Veterans Dormitory on Ridge Road in Canton.
Photo courtesy of Jill Engel
The Partnership for the Arts and Humanities in Canton has established a permanent outdoor memorial garden to honor all veterans, living and deceased, who have served in the nation's armed forces, especially those whose lives were 'Cut Short.'
The installation, situated on the grounds of the Village Arts Factory and located directly next to the Veterans Dormitory at 250 Ridge Road South in Canton, consists of twenty-one 6-inch by 6-foot white posts placed in lines like the white crosses at Arlington National Cemetery. The posts are cut into various lengths representing those who served a full career and those whose lives were “cut short.”
The memorial was designed by Top20 ArtPrize Artist Pamela Alderman who has become known for creating situational art that focuses on various social issues. Many of Alderman's works include participatory art projects that invite individuals into healing processes as they engage in art-making. Her latest design project has created a sacred place to honor veterans.
“Cut Short provides a special place for families and friends to honor any veteran, who is living or deceased,” stated Jill Engel, executive director of the Partnership for the Arts and Humanities.  “The installation offers a unique opportunity to honor a life of service by adding a silver plate with a loved one's name and image permanently in this outdoor garden.  This memorial is a powerful representation of the dedication and sacrifice of all our veterans have made.  It's an especially poignant memorial for those who made the ultimate sacrifice and whose lives were cut short.”
Engraved plaques measuring 3.5 inches x 5 inches can be purchased for $100 by visiting www.partnershipfor
The Partnership for the Arts and Humanities is a 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to encouraging the development of cultural arts in the Canton community by providing arts advocacy and education.
For additional information about the Cut Short memorial garden at the Village Arts Factory, visit or email 

Hilltop golf scores on upswing

ADM Ventures has teed up Hilltop Golf Course in Plymouth Township for a great shot according to Tony Moscone who owns the management company.
Moscone presented a report about progress at the municipal course during the first year of a five-year contract with his company. The golf course had been a source of controversy and was reportedly losing money for several years, ADM Ventures assumed the management from the previous operator, Billy Casper Golf Management. 
Moscone said that the course is now generating about $23 per hole compared to the $16-hole average fee in 2018.
“The raised revenue is a result of improvements on the golf course, we feel,” Moscone said. “People are willing to pay more for a better product.”

Future of Belleville Strawberry Festival questioned

The fate of a decades-old tradition in the City of Belleville is in the hands of the new interim city manager as members of the city council questioned the viability of the National Strawberry Festival at a recent meeting..
Belleville City Councilman Ken Voight suggested that the city may not reap any benefit from the annual National Strawberry Festival in the city and inquired as to the reason the city continues the 44-year-old event.

Keeping their cool

Curling Royale winners celebrate

First-place Curling Royale Tournament team members
join the second-place team members from team Roger roger. 
Team Hollywood took home the first place trophy in the third annual Curling Royale tournament in Romulus earlier this month.
The event, organized by Romulus Director of Public Services Robert McCraight, generated $500 in funding to help Romulus High School students who have family members who have served in the military.  McCraight said that all the players had a great time despite ice conditions being “less than perfect.”
While Team Hollywood took home the trophy, the last minute “pick up team”, Roger roger came in a close second.
The event had to be rescheduled for a week again this year due to warmer temperatures at Mary Ann Banks Park on Goddard Road.

Teachers, school district ratify new contract terms

The Van Buren Public Schools and the Van Buren Education Association have agreed to a new contract.
Members of the board of education unanimously ratified the new 2-year contract which will invest about $2 million into teaching in the district during the Feb. 10 meeting. According to district Human Resources Director Abdul Madyun, the contract will increase salary levels by $600 the first year and an additional $400 the second year.
President of the Van Buren Education Association Marcus Hosman said he was pleased with the contract.

New police chief is named

David Robinson, the former City of Dearborn Deputy Chief of Police, has been named as the new part-time chief in Belleville.
Robinson retired from Dearborn in July, 2019, after 30 years with the police department. His new position with Belleville will become official following a background check and the finalization of the contract details.   

Wayne officials address media ‘misinformation’

Misinformation regarding the consolidation of the local court and upcoming ballot issues was a concern addressed by officials in the City of Wayne during their regular meeting last week.
During the citizens' comments portion of the agenda, former council member Christopher Sanders posed questions about the closing the 29th District Court, an issue discussed at the last meeting. The council approved a resolution at that time to explore the possibility of closing and consolidating the Wayne 29th District Court with a neighboring court.
Sanders' main concern, he said, was a statement by Mayor John Rhaesa denying that any talks with neighboring communities about combining the court had taken place within 30 days of the proposed resolution.

Northville Art House will exhibit works of student artists

The Northville Art House will present the 4th annual Young Artist Juried Art Fair showcasing young artists in grades 2 through 12 in March. More than 30 young entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to show their creativity and sell original art while learning about self-promotion and understanding art as a business.
The Northville Art House has teamed up with the First Presbyterian Church of Northville and event sponsor, Community Financial, to provide the young entrepreneurs a space to show off their talents and artwork that includes acrylic, watercolor, illustrations, jewelry, mixed media, fiber art, photography and much more.

Police receive Rotary grant

The Northville Police Department has received a $1,000 grant from the Northville Rotary Foundation. Funds will be used to purchase community relations items - such as flashlights, bike helmets, glow necklaces and toy badges -for officers to distribute to youth and school-aged children.
“These items will assist us in continuing to build strong, positive relationships with the community we serve,” said Police Chief Alan Maciag.

First Step awarded $15,000 DTE Energy grant

First Step, a domestic violence shelter headquartered in Plymouth, will be a recipient of a $15,000 gift from the DTE Energy Foundation,
First Step has been serving the local community since it was established in 1978. Funds will be used to provide free services for survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault such as shelter, counseling, crisis support, legal information and children's programs. Last year, First Step served more than  7,000 survivors of violence.
DTE Regional Manager Barbara Rykwalder presented the check to First Step during a meeting last week.

Help Wanted

Historical Society seeks volunteer director

Housed in a one-room schoolhouse, the
Canton Historical Museum is located at
1022 S. Canton Center Road.
Photo courtesy of the Canton Historical Museum 
The Canton Historical Society, a volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation of local historical information and resources, is currently accepting cover letters, resumes and contact information from Canton residents who are interested in filling the volunteer position of Canton Historical Museum director.   
The Canton Historical Museum director is responsible for the general leadership and management of the Historical Museum.  Duties include working with the entire staff to ensure efficient and effective museum operations and representing the museum to the public. This individual will work closely with the Historical Society in developing and articulating the strategic direction of the museum and in implementing the resulting strategies and initiatives.

Off-season Farmers Markets are planned at Summit

It may still be February, but the Farmers Market in Canton will soon be open for business.
The Farmers Market will open with special off-season markets on Sunday, March 22 and April 26. The markets will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m in the Banquet Center at the Summit on the Park, located at 46000 Summit Parkway.
A variety of local food growers and producers have signed on to participate in the off-season markets, including: Pick Michigan - featuring produce, eggs, and tortillas; Kapnick Orchards - featuring apples, apple cider, and baked goods; Simply Gourmet Fresh - featuring salsa, chips, and gourmet butter;

Community mourns death of Richard McKnight, 75

Richard “Dick” McKnight
Well-known attorney Richard C. McKnight passed away at home in the early morning hours of Feb. 16, at the age of 75, after a 25-year battle with Parkinson's Disease.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 53 years, former 18th District Cort Judge Gail McKnight; his mother, Marion McKnight of Kalamazoo; his brother, Brian and sister-in-law Linda of Greenville; his brother, Daniel and sister-in-law Linda of Sun City, AZ.; his brother, John and his wife Lourelle of Caledonia, and his brother William of Reno, NV. He is also survived by his grandchildren Sam Taylor, Gena Taylor, Jessica Taylor, Kimberly Taylor, Emily McKnight and Christian Feliks, and his great-grandchildren, Bobby Taylor, Jordan Taylor, and Mollie Rose Temple.

City traffic stop ends with officer’s generous deed

Westland resident LaVonte Dell got quite a surprise when he was recently stopped by a police officer who noticed the heavy tint on his car windows. Dell posted his experience on his social media page and explained that after the police officer checked his license and registration he walked back to the vehicle when he noticed Dell's daughter in the back seat without a car seat.
Ofc. Joshua Scaglione asked why the toddler was not in a mandated car seat and Dell said he explained that it had been a rough year financially for the family. “I told him I was barely making it,” Dell said in his post.

Police seeking suspects in shooting of 10-year-old

According to police reports, a 10-year-old girl was shot in the head when several shots were fired into a home on Dartmouth Street.
The incident took place at about 10:35 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, police said.
Several gunshots were fired into the home in the 26000 block of Dartmouth Street.  The child was struck in the head by at least one of the bullets fired.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Criminal charges prompt judge to take leave

Judge David Parrott
Judge David Parrott of the 34th District Court in Romulus has taken a leave from his duties as he faces charges filed last week of domestic violence assault and a drunk driving offense from Dec. 25, 2018.
Both charges are misdemeanors.
Parrott, 59, notified the court of his voluntary leave of absence last Thursday in a letter to Chief Judge Brian Oakley.
“I am deeply disappointed in myself for being in the position of even responding to these embarrassing situations,” Parrott stated in the letter. “I have always strived to hold myself to the highest standards my position demands. Because we as judges are held to a higher standard, my ability to fairly and impartially adjudicate their cases may be called into question. I believe, therefore, that this action is necessary to preserve the public integrity and reputation of the judiciary.”

Love story

Couple celebrates 72 years of marriage

George and Lucille England celebrate their
72nd Valentines Day as a married couple.
Photo by Kristi Fitzgerald
Don Howard, Staff Writer
Valentine's Day was very special for George and Lucille England who have been married for 72 years.
The couple, both now residents of American House Westland-Hunter, were honored last .week during a residents' party at the senior facility, where the special couple celebrated more than seven decades of marriage.
Their love story began in the early 1940s when George England, now 96, first met Lucille, 95, as the two were playing in their church orchestra. He played the saxophone and she the cello.
When George first saw Lucille, he told his best friend, “Watch, I am going to marry that girl.” At the time, he didn't even know her name.
“She didn't know how much she meant to me before she even knew who I was. I just thought so much of her,” George recalled.

Van Buren forced to pay back overtime

The Charter Township of Van Buren has been required to pay $54,945 in back wages to 48 current and former employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.
The township was found to be in violation of the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act by investigators who determined that the township failed to pay employees required overtime wages specifically for time spent working before their shifts officially began.

Students injured riding in coach's car

Administrators at Wayne Memorial High School sent a letter to parents last week in response to news reports of an unreported auto accident involving a coach and three students.
According to reports, a coach was driving three members of the wrestling team to a tournament in Howell on Saturday, Feb. 8 when they were involved in a rollover accident which left the vehicle upside down near the I-96 Howell exit.

Diabetes treatment workshops are planned

During African American History Month in February, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) is raising awareness about the increased risk of diabetes and kidney disease in African Americans, and the importance of lifestyle changes to prevent or manage these health issues. Diabetes is high blood sugar and is because, over time, it can damage a patient's heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.

Annual Soul Food Dinner is set for next Wednesday

One of the oldest and most anticipated traditions in the City of Romulus is set for next week.
The 19th Annual Soul Food Dinner in the city is set for 5-7:30 p.m. next Wednesday, Feb. 26. The dinner is unique to the City of Romulus and is a celebration of the heritage of the community and part of Black History Month each year.  Dinner will be served promptly at 5 and the program will follow at 6 p.m.

Black History Bus Tour set

A unique look at the history of the city is being offered in Romulus this weekend.
The annual Black History Bus Tour is set this Saturday and will feature stops along the Underground Railroad.
The tour is organized annually in the city as part of Black History Month celebrations.
Check in for the tour is set for 10 a.m. in the Romulus City Hall parking lot. Boarding of the bus will begin at 10:20 a.m. and the tour will return at 12:30 p.m.  There is no cost for the tour although reservations are suggested. To confirm a seat, call the Romulus Community Development office at (734) 942 7545 to reserve space. Organizers said the tour often fills up.
The Romulus City Hall parking lot is located at 11111 Wayne Road.

‘When There Are Nine’

Women’s art exhibit set at Village Theater

Nine featured artists from “When There Are Nine,” 
a multi-media Women's Art Exhibition on display 
during March 2020 at The Village Theater at 
Cherry Hill features works by Alga Washington, 
from left, front row, Valerie Mann, Sharlene Welton, 
Charlene Uresy, and Jeni Wheeler. 
In the back row, from left,  Sylvia Ford, Patricia Izzo, 
Martine MacDonald and Rose Lewandowski. 
Photo by Sylvia Ford. 
The Village Theater at Cherry Hill will present “When There Are Nine”, a multi-media women's art exhibit, which will feature nine female artists showcasing their 2D and 3D artwork as a beacon of women's causes and issues during National Women's History Month. 
Approximately 50 works of art will be on display and available for sale in the Gallery@VT from Feb. 28 - March 30. These works will address women's issues and roles, highlighting historical perspectives, politics, family, diversity, immigration, violence, dementia, strength, beauty, bullying, and others. Works by:  Sylvia Ford, Patricia Izzo, Rose Lewandowski, Martine MacDonald, Valerie Mann, Charlene Ursey, Alga Washington, Sharlene Welton, and Jeni Wheeler will be featured.

Chili Cook Off will benefit public safety department

The best chili in Canton Township will be chosen this month during a Chili Cook Off at the Summit on the Park Banquet Center.
Women's Life Society, Chapter 827 and Chicks 4 Charity will host the special Chili Cook Off fundraiser to benefit the Canton Cares Fund from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23.
Area residents can sample and vote for their favorite chili during the event that will benefit the Canton police and fire departments through the Canton Cares Fund, which is overseen by the Canton Community Foundation. 

Belleville High School names 3 to Hall of Fame

The Belleville High School Athletic Hall of Fame inducted five new members earlier this month. The Athletic Hall of Fame was organized and continues to recognize and honor student athletes, teams, and coaches for their achievements and or contributions to Belleville High School.
A posthumous induction was awarded to Karen (Kotlarczyk) Fowler from the class of 1987. She led the Women's Swim Team at Belleville High School to four Western Wayne Invitational first-place championships, four league first-place swimming championships, as well as being a four-time state qualifier in the sprint freestyle events where she placed in the top 10 each time.

City hires interim manager, still seeks police chief

Tracy Schultz Kobylarz will be responsible for the operations of two communities for the next six months.
Kobylarz, who is currently the supervisor of Redford Township, was hired as interim city manager by members of the Belleville City Council during a special meeting Feb. 10. She will continue her responsibilities with Redford Township while serving as the interim Belleville manager. She replaces Diana Kollmeyer who retired from the city Feb. 3.
Her responsibilities in her elected position as Redford Township supervisor are part-time, allowing her to also work in Belleville, officials said.

Calendars on sale at museum

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. 

Incorrect statements prompt apology from city manager, mayor

Results of a controversial survey conducted by Eastern Michigan University in the City of Plymouth may have been slanted by city officials.
Questions on the survey prompted a public apology from City Manager Paul Sincock who last week admitted to false statements about the questionnaire to members of the Downtown Development Authority board. Sincock had earlier denied that the city framed the questions on the survey and also falsely stated that the city did not fund the project.
Sincock admitted that both those statements made at a Nov. 11 meeting were false and apologized to the DDA board members for his conduct last week at their regular meeting. Plymouth Mayor Oliver Wolcott also apologized for the erroneous information.

Plymouth Rides the Rails

The Plymouth Historical Museum is exhibiting Plymouth Rides the Rails, a special display highlighting the Plymouth connection to the rich railroad history of Michigan. Featured  is a unique 1949 Fairmont M19-F2 Speeder "motor car," a motorized hand car, on loan from George Dines of Lansing. Also on display is an original wood non-motorized hand car loaned by the Steam Railroading Institute. The collection includes railroad equipment and artifacts from working lights, to dining car dishes from the Pere Marquette Passenger and Ferry services.

Chamber honors local businesses

The Plymouth Community Chamber of Commerce has selected the recipients of the 2020 Business Awards. The winners will be honored at the Sixth Annual Business Awards Dinner set for 5:30-8 p.m. March 11 at Fox Hill Golf and Banquet Center.

Sweet stuff

Maple syrup tours set at Maybury

Area residents have a unique opportunity every weekend in March at Maybury Farm.
The farm will offer Making Maple Syrup tours every Saturday and Sunday which include a wagon ride to the Sugar Bush in the woods where the maple trees will be tapped for sap The wagon will then take visitors back to the Sugar Shack where the sap will be converted into maple syrup.
Tours are set to begin every half hour from 1 until 4:30 p.m. and tastes of the syrup will be offered.  After the tour, visitors can make Smores and warm up by the bonfire or shop at the General Store where hot drinks and snacks are available to enjoy next to the toasty wood stove.

City council approves purchase of police equipment

Members of the Northville City Council met a new police officer and approved purchases for the department among other business during the Feb. 3 regular meeting.
Police Chief Alan Maciag introduced new officer Erin Larkin to the mayor and council members, noting that she has 17 years of experience with the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department.

Distinguished Young Women scholarship program planned

The nine hopefuls competing for scholarship in the
Distinguished Young Women of Wayne-Westland
Class of 2021 prepare for the March 6 event.
The 53rd Distinguished Young Women of Wayne-Westland Scholarship Program will take place beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 6 at Wayne Memorial High School. Nine contestants from Wayne, Westland and Inkster will compete for thousands of dollars in college scholarships and the chance to represent our communities at local events and at the state finals in July 2020. This scholarship program is based on academic scholastics, leadership, physical fitness and talent.
At the local program on March 6, contestants will perform an opening number and compete in a performing arts talent routine, a physical fitness routine and self expression. Contestants are also evaluated based on academic scholastics and an interview.

Wayne receives ‘unmodified’ audit, but still faces $1.5 million deficit

Officials in the City of Wayne received an “unmodified opinion” of their financial audit for last year which shows the city facing an upcoming $1.5 million budget deficit in 2020-21.
Brian Camillier of the Plant Moran auditing firm presented the financial report at the regular meeting of the city council earlier this month.
Camillier told the council members that the contents of the financial report was accurate with a minor deficiency on a grant report which he said was a compliance issue, not a financial issue. He told the council members that the city department heads had all managed within their respective budgets and said the efforts of the city to cut expenses by not filling employment positions had helped improve the financial condition of the city.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Judge criticizes court consolidation effort

An effort to explore the consolidation of the local 29th District Court with another municipality by members of the Wayne City Council has drawn harsh criticism from retiring Judge Laura Mack.
A resolution directing the city administration to “engage with other local communities regarding the potential for court consolidation as soon as practicable” was adopted at the Feb. 4 meeting with Councilman Anthony Miller casting the only dissenting vote. The resolution also directs the administration to determine, with the assistance of Plante Moran, the fiscal impact of the consolidation on the city general fund budget.
The results of the study are to be reported to the council and the public as soon as “practicable.”

Westland receives unmodified audit report

Westland city officials received the highest available “unmodified opinion” of the annual financial report last week presented by Plante Moran auditors. The audit states that the June 30, 2019 financial statements are fairly presented and accurately reflect the financial position of the city.
Westland increased the general fund rainy day fund balance by approximately $200,000, according to the report and the city also complied with the requirements issued by the State of Michigan and received $1.4 million through the state revenue sharing program.

School renovations are planned

An artist's rendering of the planned digital
monument signage planned at Romulus High School
Romulus Community School District officials have revealed plans for upgrades and repairs to four district buildings, funded by the millage approved by voters last August.
Renovations will take place during the next two years, officials said.
Voters approved a sinking millage to fund the repairs by 2,525 to 2,074 votes last August.
According to Dawn Jamison, the chief communications officer for the district, the renovations and improvements are necessary to provide adequate educational experiences for the students in buildings that are about 50-years-old.
“We have several renovation projects in store for our schools,” she said. “We recognize that our buildings are aging and these slated projects and improvements will breathe new life into our district.”

Northville Downs development plan falters at gate

Racing will continue at Northville Downs through 2024 it was announced last week when racetrack Operations Manager Mike Carlo confirmed the signing of a long-term lease. Carlo is quoted as saying he had signed a long-term land lease option with the owners of the property to continue races at the downtown Northville site after a $200 million development project apparently faltered.
“We're just excited to be staying here longer and working harder and harder to keep horse racing alive in Michigan,” Carlo said. Carlo owns the race track parking lot but the track is owned by an investment group, Northville Driving Club Corp.

Northville City Clerk prepares for elections

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).
The March ballot selection does not affect voting in the Aug. 4 primary, which is an open primary. At that election, voters will be issued ballots containing all political parties and their candidates, and will select one of the parties in the privacy of the voting station, according to an advisory from the City of Northville.

Grant will fund restorations at Fish Hatchery Park

Fish Hatchery Park in the City of Northville will see construction along the banks of Johnson Creek this spring funded by a state grant.
During the regular meeting of the city council members Feb. 3, Mark Gasche, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, reported that the Alliance of Rouge Communities (ARC) has received a grant for $855,915 from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restore the banks of the Johnson Creek at Fish Hatchery Park.

Double Your Donation drive now under way at PARC

A Double Your Donation gift matching program is under way until the end of this month at the Plymouth Arts & Recreation Complex (PARC).
The program was introduced last year as an opportunity for supporters to make a donation and have the financial contribution matched. The donations and the increased benefit from the matching funds will be instrumental in the ability of the complex to continue the mission of enriching the lives of everyone in the community by providing a destination in Plymouth for quality arts, education and recreation programs.

Former editor accepts Washington job

Ray Day
Long-time area resident Ray Day has been named as vice chair of the marketing and communications agencies of Stagwell Group based in the D.C. area.
Day, a former editor at Associated Newspapers, has more than three decades of experience as a chief communications as a chief communications officer leading global communications teams, brands and agencies, including at Ford Motor Co. and IBM.  He is well-known for expertise in reputation building, content creation, data and analytics, crisis readiness and recovery, and communications team development.
“Communications and PR are changing at warp speed, and the successful companies, brands and leaders will be the ones that quickly shift their focus to the future of communications. 

Judge is arrested

Judge David Parrott
Judge David Parrott of the 34th District Court has been arrested and charged with an alleged domestic assault.
According to the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Parrott, 59, was arrested by Van Buren Township Police at about 7:10 p.m. last Saturday, Feb. 8 in his Van Buren home. 
When police arrived, the 55-year old victim alleged that Parrott had assaulted her causing a bump on her head, a laceration on her right hand, and pain to her tailbone, according to reports. After an investigation at the scene, officers arrested Parrott who spent the weekend in the Canton Township lock up.
Parrott was arraigned on a charge of domestic assault before Judge James Plakas Monday at 35th District Court. He was given a $2500 personal bond; ordered to wear an alcohol tether; have no contact with the complainant; cannot return to the condo they share and cannot possess any firearms.

Prehistoric Aquarium adventure comes to Canton

Erth's Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure cast in action. 
Witness the underwater world come to life at 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, when Erth's “Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure” appears on the Main Stage at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton.
Erth have built an Australian-wide and increasingly international reputation, based on exceptional work and a distinctive visual aesthetic.
Erth's Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure is an immersive experience that invites audience members to jump in and explore unknown ocean depths where prehistoric marine reptiles lived eons ago - and maybe live still today.  Erth shows are at the forefront of family entertainment, using actors, technology, puppets, science and imagination to create an amazing visual experience that connects young audiences to the real science of paleontology.

College chancellor is named to Metro Airport board

Chancellor Dr. Curtis L. Ivery
Wayne County Community College District Chancellor Dr. Curtis L. Ivery has been appointed chairperson of the Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA) Board. Ivery was appointed to the seven-member independent board by Wayne County Executive Warren Evans.
The WCAA is tasked with the strategic operation and management of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Willow Run Airport.
Detroit Metro Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, and last year ranked first in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates.

Romulus High School alumni being sought to join new group

Graduates of Romulus High School of all decades are being invited to participate in a newly-organized alumni group.
Romulus High School administrators Floretta McNeil-Marino and Nicole Crockett have launched a campaign to alumni to become more active in events at the school. Their first event is the Alumni/Business Social and Basketball Game set to begin with a networking event at 5 p.m. Feb. 20 in the high school cafeteria.

Grief recovery support group set to begin tonight at 5 Points Church

A grief-recovery seminar and support group will meet at 5 Points Church in Romulus at 6 p.m. each Thursday starting today, Feb.13. The church is located at 37300 Goddard at Huron River Dr.
GriefShare offers help and encouragement after the death of a family member or friend, according to organizers. Participants will find it to be a warm, caring environment and will come to see the group as an “oasis” on the long journey through grief, she added.

Westland police promotions are announced

Newly promoted Westland police officers include
Sgt. Eric Rodriguez, left, Lt. Robert Wilkie,
Lt. Jon Torolski and Sgt. Bryan Jachym.
The Westland Police Department marked several changes during official ceremonies last week when four veteran officers were promoted, a new officer sworn in and a new police academy recruit welcomed.
New Ofc. Timothy Sumpter has joined the Westland Police Department from the Detroit police force.  Sumpter grew up in Canton Township and, during his high school years, became interested in law enforcement.  He joined the Westland Police Explorers for a firsthand look into the job and attended Schoolcraft College for Criminal Justice. In 2009 he was hired by Detroit Police where he served in the uniformed division, special operations, fugitive apprehension, and surveillance.  In 2016, Sumpter was awarded the highest department decoration in the Detroit Police Department, the Medal of Valor, for actions above and beyond the call of duty and exhibiting exceptional courage when he came under attack during an ambushed shooting.

Real good fellows

City of Wayne Mayor John Rhaesa presented the Wayne Goodfellows with a certificate of thanks for their service to families in the Wayne community on behalf of the members of the city council during the regular meeting Feb. 4. Beverly Campbell, left, Jennifer Geitzen,  Rhaesa, Susan Schaaf and William Schaaf are all smiles after the presentation which honored the contribution of the Goodfellows during the holiday season.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Plymouth-Canton school millage on March ballot

Voters in the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools district will be asked to approve a bond proposal during the March 10 election.
The bond funding will be used for facility and site improvements at several buildings, 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 facilities.
Approval of the $275 million bond issue will mean no increase in the current tax rate paid by property owners, district officials have stressed. Currently, the school debt levy in the district is 4.02 mills.

Yellow Brick Road

The Munchkins (from left) Shirley Zaetta,
Ann Marie McCarthy, Erica Marcos, Dawn Parker,
and Marie Mack, are thrilled that
the Wicked Witch of the East is dead.  
University women present

Wizard of Oz this weekend 

Julie Brown, Staff Writer
Members of the Plymouth-Canton Branch, American Association of University Women, know a thing or two about children's theater.
Since 1959, the branch members have presented an annual children's play, with proceeds supporting scholarships. This year, “The Wizard of Oz” will be performed Feb. 6-8 at the auditorium of Garden City High School, on Middlebelt north of Ford Road in Garden City.
Kay Paupore of Canton Township, play co-director, noted the 1939 movie starring Judy Garland was among early films showcasing female lead characters. “The rest of the productions had focused on male” actors, said Paupore. “This fits with our mission, empowering women. That's what we're all about.”
Showtimes are: 7 tonight,  Feb. 6; 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7; and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8. The evening Feb. 6 and morning Feb. 8 shows will also have, 45 minutes prior to the show, a Girl Scout/Boy Scout session teaching about theater with a participation badge given.
Jason William Dean
A teacher at Northville High School was arrested last week and now faces five charges of sexual misconduct with a middle school student at his former job in Springfield Township.
The alleged misconduct took place in 2010 at Cedar Crest Academy in Springfield where Jason William Dean, 36, of Livonia, also coached soccer and basketball. He also formerly worked as a girls' soccer coach for the Michigan Hawks, and at both Wayne Memorial and Garden City high schools.
According to Oakland County Sheriff's reports, the student was14-years-old at the time of the sexual relationship. She came forward in January and reported the conduct and deputies were able to corroborate her allegations. She said the sexual assaults took place on the school grounds, at after-school events and in other locations including her home in White Lake Township, in a van parked outside a dance, in the school classroom, at a hotel, on an airplane and at the teacher's apartment.  Dean was her eighth-grade teacher, according to authorities, when he became fixated on the student.

Romulus State of the City outlines goals and progress

Mayor LeRoy Burcroff
Romulus Mayor LeRoy Burcroff delivered his seventh State of the City Address last week and stressed both the accomplishments of the year and the goals for the upcoming months.
His presentation was augmented by moving video testimonials about the city from Chad Newton, CEO, Wayne County Airport Authority; Anthony Minghine, deputy director, Michigan Municipal League; Neal MacLean, industrial developer; the Rev. Hiram McBurrows Jr., pastor at Romulus Community Baptist Church; Jordyn Selleck, executive Director at Conference of Western Wayne and David Glaab, supervisor in Huron Township. Each spoke of a different element of progress and growth in the City of Romulus.

Featured speaker

State Rep. Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) was the featured speaker at the NAACP 30th annual Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon in Kentucky. The event takes place each year as a way of honoring the legacy and work of the civil rights activist. "As the economic and social landscape of our country continues to shift, we must continue to fight to have a seat at the table to influence positive change, and continue the work that Dr. King started so many years ago," said Jones. "If it were not for leaders like Dr. King, I would not be in the position I am in today, and I was honored to be able to honor him by speaking at this important event." The luncheon was one of several events in Paducah, KY in celebration of MLK Day.

Citizens Police Academy set to begin in Canton

Canton Township residents can get a first-hand look at law enforcement procedures during the popular Citizens Police Academy.
The Canton Public Safety Department will be accepting applications for the eight-week program during the month of February. This year, the program will take place from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, beginning April 23.
The program is designed for residents interested in acquiring insight and knowledge about how the police department works to serve the Canton community. Individuals attending the academy will be educated on the policies and operational procedures of the department through presentations, demonstrations and hands-on activities.


Motivational speaker to visit the library

Mikhaella Norwood
Blossom. That's what an upcoming speaker at Canton Public Library wants her audiences to do. While growing, take the limits off of dreams and simply blossom.
Mikhaella Norwood, founder and CEO of Freelife Productions, will be at the Canton Public Library at 7 p.m.  Tuesday, Feb. 18. Her company “aims to inspire people to live the life that they have always wanted,” a similar message to the Canton Public Library  strategic goal to help patrons live their best lives.

City clerk sending absentee ballot requests next week

The City of Plymouth will be mailing absentee ballots to voters next week, according to a statement from the office of the city clerk. Anyone who submitted a request to receive an absentee ballot for the March 10 Presidential Primary should receive a ballot soon, according to the statement.
Those on the Plymouth city permanent absent voter ballot application list who have not yet received an application for a ballot should contact the office of the clerk for a replacement. Anyone who was on the list prior to Dec. 13 was mailed an application on that date. Requests for applications after that date have all been mailed, the statement claimed.

City of Northville seeking election poll workers

The City of Northville needs poll workers for the 2020 election cycle, which includes the March 10 - Presidential Primary; the May 5 - potential election date; the Aug. 4 - Primary and the Nov. 3 - General Election.
Poll workers will complete duties including opening the polling location, checking in voters, issuing ballots, monitoring the voting equipment and closing the polling location. Hours are from 6 a.m. to approximately 9:30 p.m. on election days and poll workers are paid $175 per election worked, with dinner provided.

Belleville DPW director is named as interim city manager

The scheduled public meeting of candidates to become the new Belleville city manager last week was cancelled as there were no candidates to meet.
Interviews for four potential candidates by the city council members were also cancelled and officials named Department of Public Works Director Rick Rutherford to serve in an interim capacity while the search continues.

Fire department upgrades OK’d

Members of the Northville City Council approved the second phase of upgrades to equipment for the fire department during their regular meeting earlier this month.
The department will purchase turn-out gear including 60 helmets with the fire department shield painted on them and 80 pairs of gloves. The items are being purchased for a total cost of $22,307 from Dinges Fire Co. The expense for the helmets was $14,037, Detroit Shields will be paid $30 each for painted metal helmet shields and Phoenix Safety Outfitters will charge $74 per pair of gloves.

Wild named Municipal League vice president

Mayor William R. Wild
Westland Mayor William R. Wild has been named as vice president of the Michigan Municipal League (MML).
Wild was named vice president by the 18-member board last Friday during the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees meeting in Lansing. He will help lead the organization with Board President Brenda F. Moore, Saginaw mayor pro tem. As vice president, Wild is in line to become league president in 2020-21.
The MML is dedicated to making Michigan communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan's greatest centers of potential: its communities, according to the website. The league advocates on behalf of member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through league programs and services, an official said.

Wayne to be site of state meeting on needs of aging

The Senior Alliance in Wayne will be the site of one of the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging and the Aging & Adult Services Agency public conversations to discuss the needs of older adult residents.
Every three years the Aging & Adult Services Agency, which is part of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, develops a state plan and seeks input regarding the needs and gaps in programs and services.