Thursday, May 28, 2020

Westland police win 4th national accreditation

© 2020 Google
The Westland Police Department received national accreditation for the fourth consecutive year last month from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).
The Westland department was first accredited in 2016.
 Following a multi-year self-assessment phase and a meticulous site-based assessment of community engagement, policy, procedures, equipment and facilities by CALEA assessors, Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik and his Accreditation Team were reviewed by the CALEA 21-member board of commissioners which reviews all findings and determines the agency accreditation status. 

Special salute

Plymouth celebrates veterans with parade 
Plymouth offered a moving tribute to veterans Monday with a speaker and then an all-vehicle parade through the community. Residents respected social distancing while honoring those who have served in military and those who paid the ultimate price for freedom.  Photos by Dave Willett

Wayne, Inkster awarded grants to upgrade security

Both the City of Inkster and the City of Wayne were among 14 municipalities receiving grants through Financially Distressed Cities, Villages and Townships (FDCVT) Grant Program.
Michigan State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks explained that the cities facing unique financial challenges were eligible for the grant funding totaling $2.7 million.
Municipalities can participate in the FDCVT Grant Program if they are experiencing one or more conditions indicative of “probable financial stress” as defined in state law. The grants fund specific projects, services or strategies, including infrastructure and public safety enhancements, that move a city, village or township toward financial stability, Eubanks explained.

Winners of Damaris art scholarships are named

Two scholarships have been awarded through the Damaris Fine Art Scholarship fund and three merit awards were given by the Plymouth Community Arts Council to support five young artists who will represent the Plymouth-Canton community at their respective collegiate institutions in the fall.
On behalf of the family of “Dee” Damaris Schulte, the Plymouth Community Arts Council (PCAC) recognizes Plymouth-Canton School District high school seniors each year who have displayed outstanding abilities in visual arts and plan to continue their education in this field at the college or university level.

Art print aids nurses

Renown Plymouth artist Tony Roko is offering a rare, limited-edition print of one of his latest works to benefit nurses at the Henry Ford Health System.
Roko, who founded and operates the Art Foundation in Plymouth which offers art education and experience to the most underserved youth in the Metro Detroit area, is one of the best-known and honored artists in the country. His and his work is widely collected throughout the world.
While the print, titled The Nurse, is devoid of Roko's trademark vibrant colors, it is a unique example of his expressive skill.
“I wanted this to reflect the tone of the times and to match the current context,” Roko said of the original painting.

Canton Dog Park now open

The Canton Dog Park reopened this week to allow members and their four-legged friends to enjoy the weather.  Members are also asked to act responsibly and to adhere to the accepted guidelines when visiting the dog park, according to a township spokesman.
Members and pets use the park at their own risk and are expected to keep at least a 6-foot distance from others. Members are asked to wear face coverings at all times and to keep groups of people small and spread out as much as possible.

COVID-19 testing is available

Walmart has opened a new COVID-19 testing location in Canton Township.
Testing will be offered from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Any adult who meets CDC and state/local guidelines on who should be tested is eligible, including first responders, health care providers and others with symptoms of COVID-19.
Test results are expected within an average of two days.

Residents, officials thank Wayne firefighters

© 2020 Google
Wayne Fire Department employees have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a group of local elected officials, candidates, small business owners, and citizens came together recently to show their support for the first responders.
At one time, more than half the city firefighters were out of work due to the virus requiring healthy firefighters to work exceptionally long shifts while their co-workers recovered.
To demonstrate their appreciation, the local group was able to provide enough groceries to feed the firefighters at the station three meals a day for the next week. In addition, eight $100 gift cards were provided for the firefighters at home suffering from COVID-19.

Dog's best friend

Local boy helps animal shelter

Staff members at the Romulus Animal Shelter got a surprise earlier this month when 9-year-old Dylan Lowrey arrived with a pick-up truck full of pet supplies.
While his parents helped him collect the cash donations from throughout the community, the idea was all Dylan's noted his proud family. He purchased materials for 30-hand-made dog beds, cleaning supplies, animal food and even pizza for the staff at the shelter.

Suspects nabbed after gunfire

Two men arrested following a police chase in Romulus are facing felony charges in the armed robbery of an Inkster man.
According to the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Dejon Demarkus-Roland Johnson, 23, of Detroit, and Andrew Curtis Williams, also 23, of Ypsilanti, have been charged in connection with the armed robbery of the 24-year-old victim and subsequent police chase May 15.

Warm gratitude

Neighbors, officials prepare special
BBQ dinners for area first responders  

Award-winning barbeque team member Jeff Georgic enlisted the aid of  Ed Willhite from Hoa Backyard BBQ, Buddy Hammett from Shiggin Ain't Easy, Sumpter Township Trustees Tim Rush and Matt Oddy along with Teresa LaFramboise, among many others,  to help bring his idea for  BBQ Relief meals for township first responders earlier this month. The volunteers helped package and serve more than 90 BBQ meals prepared by Georgic to first responders and their families earlier this month. Public Safety Director /Police Chief Eric Luke helped coordinate the event and volunteers, including Rush and Oddy, distributed the dinners at a drive-through window set up at the township fire station. Sumpter Township Board of Trustees members donated more than $300 to help fund Operation BBQ Relief.

Millage renewal on ballot

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees in attendance at the May 5 meeting unanimously approved ballot language for a renewal of the current 1-mill tax to support the fire department.
Trustee Don LaPorte was excused from the meeting and Treasurer Ken Bednark was not in attendance at the meeting. There was little discussion regarding the placing of the question on the Aug. 4 primary election ballot.

Neighborhood road work continues in city

Work is under way on road sand streets throughout the City of Northville.
Currently, work is being completed on North Rogers and West Cady where reconstruction of the water main and sanitary sewer is being completed. Residents in the area were notified of the construction with door hangers, officials said. In addition, Nagel Paving workers will mill and overlay Baseline Road from North Center to Novi Street, Coldspring from Coldspring Drive to McDonald Drive  and shrrie Lane, from Jeffery Drive to Hillridge Street.

Art House virtual ‘Chalk Festival’ is under way

The Northville Art House will host the virtual 2020 Chalk Festival until 4 p.m. June 19. Artists of all ages are encouraged to transform their neighborhood sidewalks and driveways into chalk art filled with color and imagination using dry, wet, and/or spray chalk. More than $350 in prizes will be awarded to four winners through juried and public selections in each division, Children ages up to 12 and Teen and Adult, ages 13 and older.

School district offers 5 Schools of Choice openings

Applications for the Northville Public Schools of Choice for the 2020-21 school will be accepted through 4 p.m. June 5.
Availability of the school of choice classes, under Section 105 and 105c of the Michigan School Aid Act, is limited to five incoming juniors applying for the full diploma program, according to a prepared statement from the district.

Light up

Applications for marijuana sales
now being accepted in Westland 

Applications for a license to open a marijuana business in the City of Westland will be available next week.
Members of the city council unanimously approved the application timeline during their meeting May 18 despite the concerns addressed by some residents during the meeting. Audience members expressed concern about the nature of the businesses and urged council members to give approval preference to local owners. Applications will be accepted from June 1 through July 16.

Investigation continuing

Westland police are continuing to investigate a hit and run accident that claimed the life of a Taylor woman.
The incident that took the life of the 56-year-old Taylor woman occurred at about 9:30 p.m. April 29 on Van Born Road west of Farnum Road.
According to police reports, the victim was riding her bicycle on Van Born Road when a vehicle struck her but did not stop. The driver fled the scene and the vehicle turned northbound onto Marshall Drive and was not seen again.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Day of remembrance

American Legion offers special tribute 
for quiet Memorial Day celebration

While Memorial Day celebrations, set for May 25 this year, have  been canceled or limited throughout the region, The American Legion issued an official statement honoring those who have served and given their lives while in the United States Armed Services.
As we pause, privately this year, to respect and acknowledge their service next Monday, these acts of heroism symbolize the true meaning of service by so many:
Every crisis has new heroes. During the 9/11 attacks, they were the first responders running into burning and crumbling buildings as others ran out.  Now, during the Coronavirus pandemic, the most visible heroes are the health care professionals, who are saving others and risking their own lives while doing so.

Northville hosts first responder virus testing

Four hundred first responders, police officers and firefighters of Northville Township and 16 surrounding area communities participated in an all-day testing initiative last Thursday at Ward Memorial Presbyterian Church under the direction of human services non-profit ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services) of Dearborn. 
Northville Township officials and board of trustees members sponsored the serology testing at the church facility to identify first responders who had COVID-19 and now have developed antibodies against the disease.

Canton 2020 census response reaches 75.4 percent

The rate of response to the 2020 census in Canton Township has reached 75.4 percent, according to Amy Hughesdon, the township operations coordinator.
Hughesdon said that the self-response level in 2010 was 77.8 percent, although the total response rate in Canton in 2010 was 90 percent. Hughesdon explained that total was due to the field work done by census workers following the self-response effort.
She said she is hoping that the township will exceed that 90 percent compliance this year. Field work is expected to begin in October, she said, although she was unsure of the exact specifications of the effort this year.

Candidate for state representative has criminal record

The man identified as candidate for
Michigan House of Representatives
James Chapman of Van Buren Township
was seen in this widely circulated photo
of a protest demonstration in Lansing recently.
Photo reprinted from the M-LIVE website. 
The man in widely publicized photographs brandishing a doll hanging from a noose around the neck during a protest at the Michigan Capitol last week has been identified as a candidate for state office.
The man, identified by various media as James Chapman, filed a petition and paid a $100 fee on April 21 to appear on the November ballot as one of five Republicans and two Democrats seeking to replace term-limited State Rep. Kristy Pagan, D-Canton Township. Pagan currently represents House District 21 which includes Belleville and the townships of Canton and Van Buren.
During the much-publicized protest against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Stay Home-Stay Safe order, Chapman was photographed carrying a fishing rod adorned with an American flag and a naked female doll hanging from a noose. The man identified as Chapman told a reporter the dark-haired doll was a representation of Whitmer. The protest, organized by the Michigan United for Liberty group, erupted into a physical altercation when another protester attempted to take the doll.
According to Lt. Brian Oleksyk, public information officer for the Michigan State Police, no one was injured or arrested in the protest. Oleksyk declined to identify Chapman as part of the demonstration. Chapman was, however, identified displaying the hanging doll in photographs of an April 15 protest published in The Detroit Free Press.
Chapman who is seeking the $71,685 salaried position which includes an additional $10,800 expense allowance, also has a widely-publicized criminal history according to court and police records.
According to Michigan Department of Corrections records, in 2018 Chapman allegedly argued with and attempted to stab an acquaintance at a house in Van Buren Township and dove into Belleville Lake while fleeing and evading police attempting to arrest him. The incident was summarized in a Michigan Court of Appeals opinion. In that incident, Chapman was sentenced to six months in jail in 2018 following his conviction on charges of resisting a police officer.
In 1990, Chapman was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison after being convicted of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and a firearms charge. He was also sentenced to probation in a 2015 charge of stalking, court records show.
Attempts to reach Chapman were unsuccessful.

Court budget costs prompt council questions

Members of the Romulus City Council approved the 2020-2021 budget as presented by Mayor Leroy Burcroff by a 5-2 vote.
The dissenting votes were cast by councilwomen Virginia Williams and Kathy Abdo who both expressed their dissatisfaction with the portion of the budget presented by the 34th District Court.
During discussion of the motion to approve the $19,744,870 general fund budget at the May 11 electronic meeting,, Williams said that the court budget showed a deficit of more than $70,000 and that she did not agree with approval of that portion of the budget motion.
Williams said that the lack of a fund balance at the court along with the deficit of $71,000 prompted her concerns.

On the job

Officers from the Inkster Police Department partnered with Life for Relief & Development, Detroit Rescue Mission and Wayne County Sheriffs Office May 5 to distribute 120 food boxes to several of the senior living complexes in the City of Inkster. “A very big thank you to everyone involved for making sure our seniors have access to food,” officers posted on their Facebook page. “In times like these we must come together and we are proud to serve the citizens of Inkster.”

Funding for veterans memorial nears goal

The Veterans Memorial project in Wayne had nearly reached the goal of $20,000 last week, although final totals were unavailable with three days left on the campaign.
The effort saw more than $1,500 donated for the new memorial during the last few days of the campaign. In reaching the $20,000 goal, the donations will be matched by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. for a total of $40,000 to complete the tribute to honor veterans throughout the Wayne area.
The project began in 2016 when veterans met with city officials requesting a lasting tribute for the many who served their country, including those who gave their lives, were missing in action or taken as prisoners of war.
The Wayne Memorial Veterans Committee members are hoping the $20,000 goal for the project was reached last week. At the proposed site of the project, next to Wayne City Hall are: Mike Smith (UAW Local 900); Allison Hug (UAW Local 845); Wayne Community Development Director Lori Gouin; Mayor John Rhaesa; Mayor Pro tem  Tom Porter; Faye Williams (UAW Local 845) and Director of Wayne Building and Engineering Department Michael Buiten. Not pictured are: Alfred Brock; Chris Miller (UAW Local 900); Bill Johnson (UAW Local 900);Assistant Director of the Wayne Department of Public Works Ed Queen; Wayne City Manager Lisa Nocerini and the late Lloyd Allen (UAW Local 900).            

Food distribution set for tomorrow in Westland

The City of Westland will be distributing surplus federal food from 10 a.m. until noon tomorrow at the Jefferson Barns Community Vitality Center.
All residents north of Michigan Avenue can pick up commodities during this distribution. Residents of Westland living south of Michigan Avenue should pick up their commodities from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the second Monday of each month at St. James United Methodist Church, which is located at 30055 Annapolis, between Henry Ruff and Middlebelt Roads. The phone number is (734) 729-1737.

City events cancelled due to threats of coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed several more community events in Westland. Last week, city officials announced that several upcoming city-organized and sponsored events would not take place this year in accordance with Gov, Gretchen Whitmer's executive order restricting gatherings
“Governor Whitmer's six-phase plan to reopen Michigan's economy shows that restrictions on gathering size will not be lifted until Michigan enters the final phase, 'post pandemic',” commented Mayor William R. Wild.

Current chiefs to continue to lead public safety department

Will Hayes
Canton Township will continue with the current public safety department management team. Last week, members of the board of trustees opted not to fill the public safety director position recently vacated by Joshua Meier who retired last month.
The Public Safety Department will move forward under the current leadership of Deputy Director of Police Chad Baugh, and Deputy Director of Fire Christopher Stoecklein, noted officials.  Additionally, Canton Emergency Management Coordinator Will Hayes, who has been actively leading the Canton Emergency Response Team and its efforts to keep the Canton community safe and informed during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue those efforts.
“Canton is fortunate to be one of only a handful of communities in the region to have an emergency management coordinator, “ noted Township Supervisor Pat Williams in a prepared statement.

Master Plan for downtown Kellogg Park is being developed

There will be a plan for Kellogg Park in downtown Plymouth.
Members of the Plymouth Downtown Development Authority Board have contracted with Wade Trim, the city engineering firm, to develop a master plan for the park, according to a prepared statement from the group.
The idea, according to a spokesman, is to keep the changes minimal, with a select number of enhancements added to the park.

Local students are each awarded $2,500 National Merit scholarships

National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has named the students who have been awarded $2500 scholarship winners. The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were
chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.
National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state percentage of the national graduating high school seniors.

Northville banners honor servicemen

The City of Northville is participating in a national mission this year to honor and pay tribute to local U.S. Armed Forces veterans and active duty military personnel by lining the downtown streets with military tribute banners during the months of May and November.
The banners display a photo of the service person with their name, dates of service and branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. Banner honorees have served from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Office building plan OK'd

Owners of the CNC machine shop in Plymouth have gone above and beyond for the health and welfare of one employee.
The company is planning to build a 3,000 square-foot office building to accommodate the extreme allergies suffered by their Certified Public Accountant (CPA). 
According to Peter Tzilos, the architect on the CNC building project, the new building will serve as an office for the company. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Sumpter trustees OK extra pay structure for workers

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees met May 5 to address several items of business, including approval of $5 per hour “duty pay” to employees currently classified as essential and working during the pandemic.
Trustee Don LaPorte was excused from the meeting and Treasurer Ken Bednark was not in attendance during the discussion or vote on the proposal, which was first questioned by Township Clerk Esther Hurst who suggested the language clarify that the extra duty pay was for 2020 employees only.
Hurst's change was seconded by a concern of Deputy Supervisor Karen Armatis who suggested the language as presented did not clearly define that hazard pay was approved for union members only.  Township attorney RobYoung offered alternate language that eliminated non-union employees and made clear that the extra pay was intended for AFSCME members and workers.

Westland to offer financial pandemic aid

Westland residents will soon have some additional resources to help with the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Members of the Westland City Council approved a funding allocation plan to utilize $657,944 in special Community Development Block Grant-CV funding for a range of actions to help prevent and respond to both the spread of the coronavirus and the economic impact in the wake of the pandemic.
Councilwoman Tasha Green cast the only no vote on the plans to help local residents adversely affected by COVID-19.

All in the family

Niece donates kidney to Canton woman

Marcileen Pruitt
Muslin Pruitt of Canton Township had a very special Mother's Day this year and expects to celebrate more, thanks to some help from her extended family.
Pruitt, 48, is living with renewed vigor after receiving a kidney from her niece last October. She said she feels better than she had in years.
“My energy level started to increase. I noticed then that I really must have been dragging before,” said Pruitt, an attorney for the City of Southfield. “I have lots of energy now to do different things - to walk and ride my bike and things like that. That has been great.”
Pruitt was diagnosed with Lupus in 2010, but the condition didn't affect her kidneys right away. She had to go on emergency dialysis in 2014 because her creatinine levels were so high. Her kidneys responded to the treatment but were damaged.

Death of area icon Theola Jones is mourned

Theola Jones  
An icon in the City of Inkster, Theola McKay Jones, 91, died May 1.
Mrs. Jones was born Feb. 2, 1929 in the home of her paternal grandmother, Sophie Jackson, in Hot Springs, ALA, the daughter of Velma Vandalia Rickmon and Theodore Shaw Jackson.
The family moved to Inkster in 1938 and Mrs. Jones graduated fourth in her class from Inkster High School in 1947 and was a member of the first Inkster High School cheerleaders squad, was the editor of the 1947 yearbook and was voted as the “most popular girl” by her classmates.

Theola Jones’ memberships

Benefactor and Tree of Life Committee
Junior Choir
Junior Usher Board
Junior Missionary Group
Cathedral Choir
Inspirational Choir
Action Committee
Steward Board Emeritus
Pastor's Steward
Blood Donor's Club
Courtesy Club
Public Relations Chair
Finance Committee Chair
Organizer Senior Citizen's Circle
2nd Generation Lifetime Member
Charter Member Mother's Club
Mother of the Year Club
Inkster Literacy Council (Tutor)
Inkster Charter Commission Inkster Summerfest Committee
Inkster Friends of the Library
Inkster Committee for Literacy (Tutor)
Inkster Election Board
Inkster Goodfellows
Inkster Construction Board of Appeals
Inkster Head Start-Community Rep.
Inkster Democratic Club
Inkster RSVP
Inkster Pioneers
Inkster Missionary Group
Inkster Festival Commission
Inkster Commission On Aging
Inkster Advisory Board
Inkster 50th Anniversary Committee
Because Inkster Cares
Inkster Citizens Who Care
Multi-Cultural Society Madonna University
Detroit Black Writer's Guild
YWCA Board of Directors
Regional Advisory Board-Wayne County
Flora & Booker Dozier Scholarship Fund
Mayor Hilliard L. Hampton Jr. Youth Foundation
Wayne Metropolitan Community Service Agency
Out-Wayne County Head Start
Program-Community Rep.
Top Ladies of Distinction, Michigan Metro Chapter
Khamalaw White Scholarship Fund
Charmettes Social Club
Fred Hart Genealogical Society
Wayne County Retirees Club
Local 38 AFSCME

Death of former Van Buren Fire Chief is mourned

Retired Van Buren Fire Chief David Cameron McInally, 77, died May 1 at St. Joseph's Hospital due to complications from COVID-19 impacted by other health conditions.
Mr. Cameron was born March 13, 1943 to Aubrey and Esther McInally.
He graduated from Mandeville High School in 1961 and went on to attend Alma College. He lived in Rankin from his birth until the age of 45. During that time he worked in the family business (McInally's Hardware and Gift Shop), at MetLife, and for Mundy Township as a building inspector.
Mr. McInally was a volunteer firefighter on the Mundy Township Fire Department for more than 25 years, serving as the fire chief for a majority of those years. In 1988, he relocated with his family to Van Buren Township, when he accepted a dual fire chief and building director position with Van Buren Township, becoming the first full-time fire chief in the township.. He retired from fire service in 1991 after 29 years, but continued on as the Van Buren Township Director of Developmental Services until retiring from Van Buren in 1997.

Northville council considers programs to help businesses

During a recent virtual meeting of the Northville City Council, officials took action on several issues.
The council members approved a contract for $193,171 with Ram Construction of Livonia for improvements on the parking deck at MainCentre. The contract includes a 10-percent contingency budget of $19,317 for a not-to-exceed project total of $212,488. This is the second deck to undergo major work in the last year, officials noted. In fall 2019, Ram repaired and renovated the parking deck at the northeast corner of Cady and Center, coming in under budget and finishing sooner than planned, officials said. 
The council members also reduced fees for restaurant/café outdoor dining by 50 percent.

Mother faces murder charges in stabbing of son

Atiya Nina Muhammed
The mother of a 3-year-old child has been arrested and is facing first-degree murder charges in connection with the stabbing death of the boy.
Atiya Nina Muhammed, 26, was arrested May 6 after the child's decomposing body was discovered inside an Inkster home on Lehigh Street between Inkster and Beech Daly, south of Michigan Avenue. Officers and medics were called to the home at about 2:44 p.m. by concerned relatives who requested a welfare check on the mother and child. Officers discovered the deceased body of Muhammed's son, Zion Reid, in a back bedroom in a state of decomposition, according to a report from the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

Fish & Loaves serves Romulus families during crisis

Romulus families are among the residents being helped
by Fish & Loaves with food during the ongoing
Coronaviris pandemic which has devastated the country.
Fish & Loaves, a non-profit community food pantry that helps serve the nutritional needs of seven Southeastern Michigan communities, remains open.  The agency, formed in 2008 at 25670 Northline Road, began drive-up service this month for thousands of clients.
“We can remain open because of the many passionate and committed volunteers answering each and every call to secure a basic necessity food,” said Mary Hollens, executive director of Fish & Loaves. “Fish & Loaves moved forward successfully providing drive-up only services for food distribution to our clients.”

Police discover weapons during traffic stop

Michigan State Police reported finding four handguns, ammunition and a suppressor during a traffic stop in Canton Township earlier this month.
Michigan State Troopers executed a traffic stop along southbound Interstate-275 in Canton Wednesday morning, May 6.
The stop was part of an increased traffic patrol in the area where excessive speed has been seen in the Metro North Post of the Michigan State Police during the pandemic, police said. The Metro South Post is also addressing the issue in Wayne County where speeding motorists have also been a problem.

School superintendent reassures parents, students

Superintendent of the Plymouth Canton Community Schools Monica Merritt recently addressed area families and staff members regarding the impact of the coronaviris pandemic on the local schools.
Merritt said, “This has been a difficult time for all of us.
“Since the beginning of this unprecedented crisis, our goal has been to provide you with the most timely and important communication in a variety of formats, including these calls on Friday evenings. With our Continuity of Learning Plan now being implemented, and with our educators working hard every day to meet the needs of our students, you will continue to receive your Sunday calls from your building principals, but we will relax the weekly robocalls from me.

School district to refund fees for cancelled activities

Families hoping to participate in several pay-to-play activities in the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools district will receive refunds for the fees, according to a district spokesman.
District finance administrators have asked parents not to dispute charges for the fees that may have been paid by credit card, as this complicates the refund process.
The City of Plymouth Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has decided to postpone the first four Music in the Air concerts scheduled for May 29, June 5, June 12 and June 19.
The cancellations are due to the  COVID-19 pandemic and the threat to the health and safety of the audience that usually attends the community events.

Ward voting may be on November ballot in Wayne

Members of the Wayne City Council are scheduled to discuss ballot language to eliminate or change the ward voting system during their May 19 meeting.
Discussion of the ward voting system was discussed at length during the May 5 electronic meeting of the council members. The current six-ward system, established by a 68-percent majority vote of the public in 2014, allows one city council member from each ward.  The original intent of the ballot proposal was to have only the members of each ward vote for the council candidate from their area.

Westland approves union agreement with police union

The city of Westland and members of the Westland Police Officers Association have reached an agreement on a new 4-year union contract.
Members of the Westland City Council approved the collective bargaining agreement with the union during the regular council meeting May 4. Some conditions in the new contract will be retroactive to July 1, 2019 and continue through June 30, 2023.

Schools board members select new superintendent

John Dignan
The Wayne Westland Community Schools district now has a new superintendent.
Members of the Wayne-Westland Board of Education took advantage of current technology to choose John Dignan for the job during another electronic meeting May 4. Dignan was the unanimous choice of the board members who selected him by a 7-0 vote.
Dignan, Ed.S. is currently the director of post secondary options and community partnerships in the Southfield Public Schools district. He will leave that post and join Wayne-Westland in July in preparation for the reopening of schools in September following the negotiation and finalization of his employment contract with the district.

Senior meals being served

Michigan recently received additional federal funding to help provide meals to older adults as the state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs enable Michigan residents 60 years and older to obtain meals through home delivery and pick-up services.
The need for these services has increased as measures to slow transmission of COVID-19 have left many family caregivers unable to assist older loved ones.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Westland, Canton furlough, lay off employees

Canton Township Hall
Both Canton Township and the City of Westland have been forced to furlough employees as the financial impact of the coronavirus wreaks havoc with municipal revenues.
Canton Township has officially laid off 350 part-time employees and put full-time township workers on a partial furlough last week. The decision was made during an online meeting of the board of trustees early this month.
Revenue from building permits and anticipated state revenue sharing of state sales tax have sharply declined as people stay home and nonessential businesses remain closed in response to the Stay Home Stay Safe executive order of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Beaumont plans to reopen shuttered Wayne hospital

Beaumont Hospital, Wayne may resume operations as early as this week according to an official statement from the largest health care system in the state. The hospital will serve both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients after receiving required regulatory approvals and reopening, according to officials who said the campus will reopen in phases as the health system brings staff back.
 “Beaumont Health has cared for more COVID-19 patients than any other health system in the state. We've proudly responded to the community's needs during this pandemic and reconfigured our hospitals and redeployed staff to provide high quality and safe care. With the number of COVID-19 patients seeking care at Beaumont decreasing a bit recently, it is now appropriate to begin re-opening the Wayne campus in phases as we carefully prepare for another potential COVID-19 surge,” Beaumont Health Chief Operating Officer Carolyn Wilson said.

The Eagle to suspend print editions, publish online

Editions of The Eagle, the award-winning local newspapers serving 12 area communities, will now be online only.
The electronic editions can be accessed at
The move is necessary due to the economic impact the coronavirus has inflicted on local businesses, which support the newspaper by advertising their individual goods and services.
“This decision was more than difficult. These papers have been in my family for more than 75 years, and in 150 years, we have never missed a publication. We will continue online and resume publication as soon as feasible,”  said David J. Willett, owner and president of Associated Newspapers, publishers of The Eagle.

Helping hands

Nearly 200 residents in need received dry and canned goods last Thursday during a commodities distribution organized by the City of Romulus outside of the Romulus Senior Center. To protect volunteers and those picking up supplies, residents were asked to stay in their vehicles and have their trunk empty and open when approaching the pick-up location.  The event was part of the commitment of the city to ensure residents have the resources they need during COVID-19 pandemic, a city spokesperson noted. 

Business continues while township hall remains closed

In response to the extension of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive order, Van Buren township offices will remain closed through Friday, May 15.
The temporary closure includes all township administration offices, the parks and recreation department and the senior center.
Emergency services including police, fire department and emergency dispatch will remain open and provide service to township resident.
Van Buren Township officials and staff members will continue to work remotely, according to a prepared statement from the administration. For emergencies, such as a water main break, residents can contact Van Buren Township dispatch at (734) 699-8930.


Championship Pheasant Run course is now open

Pheasant Run Golf Club opened for business with the first tee time on the 27-hole championship course set for 9 a.m. last Monday.
Golf carts will not be available, so golfers must walk the course and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Pull-carts are allowed on the course and players are encouraged to bring their own. Tee times are required and can be booked online at
To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, temporary measures will be implemented that align with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

Student charity race goes digital

This year, participants will have eight days to complete the Super Jess 5K charity race.
The 10th annual event, which provides help for local families in medical crisis, will take place virtually, to comply with social distancing required by the coronaviris pandemic.
The virtual event will allow participants to run, walk or bike the trail at their leisure through May 10.
The charity event, organized by students in the Plymouth Canton Community Schools district, is named for former Canton High School sophomore Jesse Lindbauer who suffered a sinus infection which became an infected brain abscess in 2011. The Plymouth Canton community created the Super Jess 5K race to help the teen's family with medical expenses during his recovery.

Westland police sergeant retires, officer promoted

Sgt. Patrick Boucher
While the recent changes in the Westland Police Department will not be announced at the regular meeting of the city council members due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials have offered their congratulations online to Sgt. Patrick Boucher and newly-promoted Sgt. Cale Furney.
Boucher has had a long and respected 29-year police career, including working 3 years with the Detroit Police Department, 3 years with the Huron Police Department and then 23 years with the Westland Police Department.
Boucher's retirement, provided the opportunity for a department promotion and Ofc. Cale Furney was sworn in as the newest sergeant of Westland Police Department.

Planning commissioners OK ordinance language

Members of the City of Northville Planning Commission met online last week and discussed three issues that impact residents and businesses in the city.
Commissioners approved new outdoor storage space for Northville Lumber, consented to a public survey for the Master Plan public input process, and asked the city planning consultant to incorporate changes to the draft Floor Area Ratio (FAR) ordinance.
The Planning Commission approved the Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan requested by Northville Lumber for outdoor storage at 777 Baseline Road, with some conditions. The business must limit the use of the southern portion of the site to storage of building materials only, provide six truck parking spaces and maintain storage within the boundaries as indicated on the plan. The commissioners also required only loading and unloading on the south side of the building as a secondary use to storage.

Northville Township extends water bill payment date

While residents in Northville Township have received their April water bills in the mail, officials have agreed to allow a little extra time to make the payments.
According to Assistant Township Manager/Finance Director Marina Neumaier, township officials have extended the due date for the April water and sewer bills from May 4 to June 5. The payment due date extension is due, Neumaier said in a prepared statement, to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and Stay Home Stay Safe executive order of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Community effort

The Northville Township Firefighters Charity Fund, Northville Township Police Officers Association, and Northville Township Command Officers Association partnered to donate $5,000 dollars to the Wayne State First Responder Mobile Testing Program. The donation will be used to help offset costs incurred by the program to provide free COVID-19 testing to first responders in the area. These tests are vital to keep our police officers and firefighters on duty to continue to provide the best service possible, a spokesperson said.

Rocky road

Work started last week on one of the worst roads in Plymouth Township, General Drive between Ann Arbor Road and Joy Road, officials said. The $1.5 million rebuild project is funded by a $500,000 State of Michigan grant matched by a Special Assessment District paid by property owners along the road.

Annual Art In The Park event cancelled this year

Raychel Rork
There will be no Art In The Park event in Plymouth this year.
Raychel Rork, president of the event, announced the cancellation on the event Facebook page noting that the organizers have already begun working on the event for next year.
The annual event, which would have marked the 41st festival from July 10 through 12 this year, has been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the Facebook post on says.
“For the past seven weeks our team has explored all options and if there were any assurances that there was a safe way forward we would take it, but at this point we believe this is the right choice,” the post on Facebook reads. “We feel it is no longer practical to continue with an event this size at this time. The health and safety of artists, attendees, our community, and crew always comes first.”

Plymouth library continues to offer on-line services

While the Plymouth Library has been forced to cancel all community meetings set for the facility through the month of May in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, there are still plenty of services being offered to the community.
“ We are in close contact with neighboring libraries and exploring ways to reopen, to safely make returned items for the next check-out, to assess meeting room capabilities, and to sanitize equipment and the building for our patrons and staff.  So many factors come into play - rest assured that we will make all of these decisions with safety in mind,” explained Susan Stoney, community relations specialist. 

Shooting suspect arrested following foot chase

Michigan State Police have arrested one man in connection with a shooting in Inkster last Tuesday, April 28.
The arrest came in connection with a shooting incident which left a local man wounded several times, according to police reports. Officers from the Inkster Police Department and the Michigan State Police responded to calls from the area of New York Street and Princess, reporting shots fired and a man injured.

Graphic winners

Graphic design students at the William D. Ford Career-Technical Center swept the recent contest to design the cover page for the Third Judicial Circuit Court Annual Report. The Wayne Westland students won the top three prizes. First place was awarded to the design of graphic student Daytona Irwin, above left, who won a laptop computer. Second place honors went to Hayla Thurmand, center, who won a $100 gift card and third place went to Lance Church, above right, who won a $50 gift card.