Thursday, July 30, 2020

Tuesday Primary election will determine Nov. 3 ballot

Those who plan to vote in November will have only the candidates chosen by those who vote next Tuesday from which to choose.
A very small percentage of voters throughout all the communities will make the crucial decisions next week and severely limit the choices of those who plan to vote in November. This election will also determine the fate of local millage and tax votes in some communities and a millage renewal for property owners throughout Wayne County.
The vote Tuesday is crucial to the democratic process and a vital step in the privilege and responsibility still endowed on citizens of this country.

Wayne OK's sale of recreational marijuana in city

The second and final reading of the recreational marijuana ordinance in Wayne was approved by a 5-2 vote of the city council members last week.
Facilities in the city can now legally sell marijuana for recreational use. Medical marijuana facilities have been open in Wayne for some time.
The approval did not come without some discussion and opposition by Council member Kelly Skiff who suggested that the lack of input from the public on the issue was a basis to postpone the vote until the council could again meet face-to-face in chambers rather than the virtual meetings that have been taking place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We're not hearing from anybody, for or against. This is an injustice to the residents of the city,” Skiff said. “We have not heard enough from the public.”
Mayor John Rhaesa strongly disagreed with Skiff and said that a recent issue with the planning commission brought multiple comments and “people heard and responded.” He said that the issue was on various Facebook and social media pages and “this is not fair to the business owners.”

Romulus chamber is planning annual golf outing in August

The annual Romulus Chamber of Commerce Golf outing will take place Aug. 27 at Links at Gateway Golf Course.
Registrations are now being accepted for the popular event which is a fundraiser for the chamber. Fees for the event are $110 for each golfer or $440 for a foursome.
Organizers are also looking for sponsors for the event willing to donate items for the golfer goodie bags presented at the event. Those interested in having merchandise placed in the bags can email the chamber office at to make arrangements to have the donation picked up.

Wayne Historical Society to welcome speakers at museum

The Wayne Historic Museum has reopened and talks have resumed, according to the latest newsletter from the Wayne Historical Society.
The museum has reopened for tours and research from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. Masks will be required and hand sanitizer will be provided visitors. Talks at the museum will resume outside on the lawn to provide social distancing. Masks will also be required at talks during the foreseeable future to provide a safe environment, a spokesman said.

Back in action

Following a long hiatus because of COVID-19, the Parking Enforcement Team is back enforcing parking regulations throughout downtown Plymouth, according to a prepared statement from the Downtown Development Authority (DDA). For the past several weeks, parking enforcement officers have been handing out reminder cards instead of tickets to those who have gone past the time limits, as a reminder the time limits are still in force in the city. 

Voters will choose Plymouth candidates in Tuesday primary

Don Howard, Staff Writer
Voters in Plymouth Township will choose the names to appear on the Nov. 3 ballot during the primary election set for Aug. 4 from a field including only one Democrat.
Incumbent Township Supervisor Kurt Heise will serve another four-year term as he is unopposed for the office on the primary ballot. 
Also unopposed on the ballot is incumbent Treasurer Mark Clinton, who like Heise, has served in his respective office for four years. 
Township Clerk Jerry Vorva, however, who has also served one term, will be challenged by another Republican candidate, long-time resident and former Deputy Clerk Sandy Groth who abruptly resigned her position last year. 

Rivian to move most of engineering staff from Plymouth

Rivian, the electric vehicle manufacturer, is planning to transfer most of the company engineering and product development staff from Plymouth to Irvine, CA. Several other employees will be transferred to the Normal, Ill plant, according to a statement from the automaker. Rivian currently employs about 750 workers in the Plymouth Township operation and Rivian spokeswoman Amy Mast confirmed some product development staff will be moving out of Michigan, but she said the company plans to keep some functions in the Plymouth facility.

Friends of the Rouge is awarded a $400,000 state grant

Friends of the Rouge, a non-profit environmental group, has received a $400,000 state grant to fund the development of rain gardens near the Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Nonpoint Source Program (EGLE), awarded the grant for the development of about 31,500 square feet of rain gardens, which are included in a parking lot renovation plan at the Main Street complex where the Friends of the Rouge (FOTR) have offices.

Canton ‘tree ordinance’ is struck down by court

The lawsuit filed by attorneys for Canton Township seeking to collect nearly half a million dollars in fines accrued as a violation of the township tree ordinance was dismissed by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Susan Hubbard last week.
The township had filed suit against brothers Gary and Matt Percy who had clear-cut 1,500 trees from 16-acres of land they owned near Belleville and Yost roads in the township. According to filings by the township attorneys, the clearing was in violation of the township ordinance which requires a permit for the clearing of trees. The Percys were attempting to start a Christmas tree farm on the cleared land, according to court papers.

34th District Court candidates vying for 6-year judicial term

Candidates for election to the judicial position at the 34th District District Court will be on the ballot in Belleville, Romulus, Sumpter and Van Buren Tuesday. The names of the top two vote getters will then appear on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot. 
Vying for the position at the court is incumbent David M. Parrott who is being challenged by Alexandria Taylor, Robet P. Coutts, John R. Day and Lisa Martin, The 34th District Court handles cases from Belleville, Van Buren, Romulus and Sumpter Township along with out-county arraignments from Wayne County.

League of Women Voters offers election information

The League of Women Voters of Dearborn-Dearborn Heights is urging voters to prepare for the upcoming Aug. 4 primary election and the Nov. 3 general election by visiting
The website, which the national League of Women Voters launched in 2006, serves as a “one-stop-shop” for nonpartisan election related information and responses to relevant questions for federal and state races and ballot proposals. Candidate information for some local races and proposals are also included. also assists voters in finding their polling places, hours and learning about candidate forums.

Westland names local businessman to vacant commission seat

Matthew Tyranski 
Matthew Tyranski has been appointed to the Westland Economic Development Corporation/Tax Increment Finance Authority/Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Board. He will complete a term which expires Nov. 15, 2020.
Tyranski was named to the board by Westland Mayor William R. Wild and his appointment confirmed by members of the city council.
Tyranski is the owner of  Olympic Coney Island in the city and has been in the community for 22 years.  He is married with three children and is a graduate of  Western Michigan University where he earned a business degree.   
The EDC is governed by a nine-member board appointed by the mayor and subject to confirmation of the city council. Members are appointed to six-year terms. 

City council approves $1,000 bonus for first responders

Members of the Westland City Council approved a $1,000 bonus for both police and fire officers during the July 20 meeting.
The funds will be paid to the first responders and public safety personnel in August as a hazardous-duty pay in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The bonus will be a single addition to the normal salaries paid to the emergency personnel. The hazard pay is expected to cost the city about $141,000.

School board president stripped of office

Matthew Wilk 
Matthew Wilk is no longer the president of the Northville Public Schools Board of Education.
Members of the board voted last week to remove him from that office and to censure him in response to Facebook posts he made downplaying the coronavirus and claiming the COVID-10 pandemic is a hoax. In one of those posts, Wilk said the coronavirus “only exists in falsified statistics shouted on the news without context.” That post was removed when rampant criticism of Wilk and correction of the misinformation was posted by numerous Northville school district parents. In another post, Wilk said, “Why don't we allow schools to reopen and grandma can take the extreme precautions? She can wear a spacesuit when she 'need' to go out and shop and the rest of the world can go on about the lives…”

Northville voters asked to approve a public safety millage

Voters in Northville Township will be asked to approve a millage to fund police, EMS, fire, parks, recreation, senior and youth services on the Aug. 4 ballot.
While the millage is an increase of ½ mill, that amount will be offset by a decrease of approximately ½ mill in the millage used for the Seven Mile Road property purchase.
Therefore, according to officials, approval of the Aug. 4 millage will result in no increase in the amount taxpayers in the township are assessed. 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Plymouth Fall Festival 2020 is cancelled

Photo by Helen Yancy
One of the oldest and most revered traditions in the area has been cancelled due to the COVID19 pandemic.
The Plymouth Fall Festival, the 64-year-old event that filled the entire Plymouth downtown for three days each year, will not take place in 2020, in an effort to protect the public from the threat of the corona virus epidemic.
The cancellation was “obviously for safety reasons. We have to keep the public safe,” noted James Gietzen of JAG Entertainment, the company that produces the event and books the live bands that attract huge crowds to Kellogg Park during the weekend.

Wayne hopes to merge 29th District Court

Facing a looming $3.8 million dollar deficit budget for 2020-2021, City of Wayne officials are again considering the possible merger of their court into that of a neighboring community.
This issue, which has been discussed by various city officials for more than a decade, was once again the agenda topic at a special study session in Wayne last week. Newly-appointed 29th District Court Judge Breeda O'Leary joined the members of the city council and financial consultant Brian Camiller during the meeting. Camiller explained to the officials in attendance that the current city finances will no longer support the costs at the court.
“The city has a severe structural deficit,” he said. “The expenses exceed the ability of the city to generate revenue and this is before the expenses of COVID. It could be even worse,” he said. He said that while the court is a source of revenue, that is in decline. “Costs keep going up,” he said.
He said that financial situation prompted the city to explore the possibility of merging the court with another community. He said the city needed to determine if such an action might be a burden or a savings.
O'Leary responded immediately that while she realized that the members of the council perceive the court as a revenue generator, “the role of the court is to administer justice, not to generate money for the city.”
Mayor John Rhaesa explained that while he understood O'Leary's comments, “We can't afford the court. We are trying to make everything work. We don't have the money.” Rhaesa said that when Judge Laura Mack announced she would retire from the Wayne Court, he had some preliminary, casual conversation with the then mayor of Inkster about merging the courts.
“He said they had an empty courtroom,” Rhaesa said, “I went over and looked at it. I did talk to him but did not pursue negotiations.”
Members of the Wayne City Council approved a resolution in February to explore a possible court merger. Rhasea said it was his understanding that Westland was not interested as it “was not financially sound” and that Romulus had also rejected the suggestion as not financially beneficial. Romulus officials, Rhaesa said, had provided a copy of the host agreement the city has with Belleville, Sumpter and Van Buren for consideration. Rhaesa and O'Leary agreed that both were informed that a merger with the Romulus Court was now “off the table,” as was any further negotiation with the 18th District Court in Westland, where judges have consistently rejected merger overtures from Wayne for more than a decade.
In discussing any potential merger with the Inkster court, Rhaesa, along with several members of the council, questioned the rumored state regulation which requires any merger of district courts be in contiguous communities. O'Leary said she had not done any research personally on the question but offered suggestions as to court authorities and agencies the city could ask in writing for any such ruling. City Manager Lisa Nocerini said that she had attempted to research the law, but could not find any determining statute which would require the communities to be contiguous.
O'Leary explained that the merging of courts would need some legislative action at the state level as it would create a new voting base for election of judges. O'Leary reiterated her concern with the financial information presented to the council and detailed numerous cost-saving items which were not included in the numbers. “That is not reliable information,” she said.
Camiller explained that the numbers and totals were simply examples and not intended as the final calculations.
“Any such agreement is still the object of negotiation,” he said. He reminded the members of the council that the Romulus court wanted to assume the workload but did not want another judge. Officials commented that preliminary talks with Westland had included adding a judge to that court which currently has two full-time judges and a magistrate.
O'Leary explained that the courts were now using zoom and other methods for many court procedures and that this is also a cost savings measure, both for the courts and for the respective police departments. She suggested that perhaps, in light of these new procedures, the opinions about a merger with the Westland or Romulus courts may have changed.

Communities seek state legal action at landfill

Don Howard, Staff Writer
Years of complaints from Northville Township residents about odors and rancid smells emanating from the 337-acre neighboring Arbor Hills landfill owned by Advance Disposal Services (ADS) have reached the top state legal authority.
In a joint letter addressed to Michigan State Attorney General Dana Nessel signed by Northville Township Supervisor Robert Nix, Plymouth Township Supervisor Kurt Heise, and Northville Mayor Brian Turnbull, the three area municipal executives implored the chief legal officer to immediately file suit against ADS.
The landfill, operating since 1970, processes solid waste from Washtenaw and Wayne counties into one of the largest and tallest dump sites in the state.

Veteran firefighter set to retire

Captain Kevin Henderson
A 28-year veteran of the Canton Fire Department will retire this month.
Captain Kevin Henderson, who started his career in Canton as a firefighter in 1992 will retire at the end of July, according to a prepared statement from the township.
Henderson earned his paramedic license in 2000, when the department converted from basic to an Advanced Life Support medical provider. As a Firefighter/Paramedic, Henderson provided emergency medical treatment to thousands of patients with varying injuries and illnesses. He was later trained as an operator, running the multi-faceted fire engines and pumper trucks on fire scenes.

Sumpter primary ballot has 17 candidates for office

The upcoming Aug. 4 primary election in Sumpter Township includes a raft of candidates seeking voters' favor. To date, the primary campaign has also included politically-motivated rhetoric, counter charges of wrongdoing and published corrections of erroneous statements, all in a township of fewer than 10,000 residents.
The seven available positions in the township are being sought by a total of 17 candidates, a large field from which voters will choose nine candidates for the November General Election ballot.

Rezoning for new apartment complex OK’d

Canton Township Planning Commissioners have approved a proposal to build several hundred apartments and new commercial property along Michigan Avenue between Lilley and Sheldon roads.
The proposed development will now go before the members of the township board of trustees for final consideration after a final review by the planning commission.
Commissioners considered the plan by Redwood Apartment Neighborhoods which had requested a rezoning of the land from commercial to combined residential and commercial, last year.

Canton to welcome Slows To Go barbeque truck

History of a sort will be made in Canton Township tomorrow when the first-ever food truck brings a renown seller of barbeque ribs to Cherry Hill Village.
The famous Slows Bar-B-Q restaurant will park the Slows to Go food truck just west of the fountain in Cherry Hill Village during specific hours including noon until 9 p.m. Saturdays and noon until 6 p.m. Sundays. Other hours have not yet been announced but Slows managers said the hours could be expanded as demand grows. The truck will be fulfilling cravings for smoky sweet barbeque ribs in Canton for about a month.

Suspect facing multiple charges in mall shooting

Gregory Travis Jones
A Detroit man is facing 15 criminal charges in connection with a non-fatal shooting reported at Westland Mall July 9.
According to the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Gregory Travis Jones, 24, is facing charges including two counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, two counts of felonious assault, discharge of a firearm in a building, carrying a concealed weapon and seven counts of felony firearm.
The charges stem from an incident reported at 5:38 p.m. July 9 when Westland police officers, as well as officers from other law enforcement agencies, responded to a call about shots fired inside Westland Mall.  Witnesses told officers the shooter met with some acquaintances while in a store in the mall. 

Nominations sought for AARP senior service awards

Active seniors in the area are due for some honors from AARP (American Association of Retired People) Michigan.
The group is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Michigan Andrus Award for Community Service, which honors 50-and-older Michiganders who are sharing their experience, talent, and skills to enrich the lives of their community members.
“AARP Michigan is excited to shine a light on volunteers who are using what they've learned in life to make a difference in the lives around them,” said AARP Michigan State Director Paula D. Cunningham.

Landfill seeks to dump wastewater in Johnson Creek

Arbor Hills landfill.  © 2020 Google
Northville Mayor Bryan Turnbull and Northville Township Supervisor Robert Nix have reportedly both expressed their support for the efforts of an environmental group attempting to prevent the disposal of waste water from Arbor Hills landfill into a tributary of Johnson Creek.
Advanced Disposal Services, which owns the landfill, has submitted two permit requests to Great Lakes and Energy Nonpoint Source Program (EGLE) , to allow the discharge of leachate, or liquids present in the waste at the landfill, and rainwater, into the nearby tributary of Johnson Creek. A Northville environmental activist group, The Conservancy Initiative, apparently learned of the permit applications through a series of Freedom of Information Act requests.

Romulus mayor named to policy task force

Mayor LeRoy Burcroff
Romulus Mayor LeRoy Burcroff has been appointed to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) Legislative Policy Platform Task Force.
The Legislative Policy Platform Task Force will create the SEMCOG 2021-2022 Legislative Policy Platform, outlining the principle policy issues affecting local governments and schools in Southeast Michigan. Prior to each new session of Congress and the Michigan Legislature, SEMCOG forms a task force to guide the development of a new policy platform. The task force will recommend the platform to the executive committee for approval in December.

Library continues curbside pickup service for patrons

The Romulus Public Library remains in phase two of reopening to the public and is continuing curbside pickup for patrons.
The library will remain in the curbside pickup phase of the reopening plan while the building is being prepared for reopening to the public, a spokesman said.
“We are applying for grants to help us with social distancing signage, deep cleaning, and other supplies to make the library as safe as possible for you. Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our staff and patrons, so we are closely following protocols from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and MiOSHA,” he noted in a posting on the library website.

City warns residents of toxic hand sanitizer poisoning

Inkster city officials offered a warning to residents last week regarding the use of certain hand sanitizers.
The warning, prompted by the Federal Drug Administration, was posted on the official city website on July 2 advising residents that some sanitizers have tested positive for methanol contamination. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin and can be life-threatening if ingested. Labels on the harmful products list ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) as an ingredient.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

City clerk offers absentee ballot assistance

Romulus City Clerk Ellen Craig-Bragg made it very clear at the last regular meeting of the members of the council, the law allows one ballot for each voter.
Craig-Bragg explained to the council members that her office had received several calls from area residents who were somewhat confused about the number of forms they had received to request an absentee ballot for the upcoming primary election Aug. 4.
“Some residents have received two or three of the requests and are understandably confused and frustrated,” Craig-Bragg explained. 
“There is one ballot per voter. If anyone has already tuned in a request for an absentee ballot, another one is not needed,” she said. Craig-Bragg explained that the Secretary of State sent out requests to registered voters so they could apply for absentee ballots in light of the pandemic and that several candidates had also sent out the requests which have confused some voters.

Warm welcome

Village project greets visitors to Northville

Helping dedicate the new Village at Northville last week
were, from left, Scott Schwanke from MI Homes, developer
of the project, Northville Township Supervisor Robert Nix, II,
Township Treasurer Fred Shadko, Township Clerk Marjorie Banner,
Township Trustee Symantha Heath and Howard Fingeroot,
of Northville Five. Photo by Dave Willett
The $175 million southern gateway into Northville Township was officially dedicated last week.
Township Supervisor Robert Nix and members of the board of trustees, representatives of the developer and project manager along with the artists who created the park sculptures were on hand to celebrate the project which incorporates the history of the area into the futuristic design.
Nix noted that the new Village at Northville is “one of the jewels” of the long-awaited, 53-acre, mixed-use development that is constructed on the site of the former Scott Correctional Facility at the northwest corner of Five Mile and Beck roads.

Canton Farmers’ Market open on Sundays

The Canton Farmers Market is now open for the regular season at Preservation Park, located at 500 N. Ridge Road, with COVID-19 safety guidelines in place, organizers said.
The market will provide a safe and stress-free environment, where shoppers can take advantage of fresh food and local merchandise this market season,” they added.
The market will take place rain or shine from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. each Sunday through Oct. 25, and will feature a variety of local produce. Expected items for the first market include: beets, berries, broccoli, apples, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, eggplant and other produce.

Plymouth primary ballot includes familiar names

Don Howard, Staff Writer
Voters in Plymouth Township will choose the names to appear on the Nov. 3 ballot during the primary election set for Aug. 4 from a field including only one Democrat.
Incumbent Township Supervisor Kurt Heise will serve another four-year term as he is unopposed for the office on the primary ballot. 
Also unopposed on the ballot is incumbent Treasurer Mark Clinton, who like Heise, has served in his respective office for four years. 

Saxton's site project OK’d

Members of the Plymouth City Commission have approved a plan for the construction of a 10-unit group of single-family condominiums and the redevelopment of the building that formerly housed Saxton's.
The project, at 587 Ann Arbor Trail, has been rezoned and a Planned Unit Development agreement approved by city commissioners.

Council returns to city hall for meetings

It was a homecoming, of sorts, for the members of the Romulus City Council this week when they attended a meeting in the council chambers at Romulus City Hall.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, council members have been attending virtual Zoom meetings for several months but planned to be back in chambers this week.
Mayor LeRoy Burcroff explained that the city administration had determined the safety of moving back to the chambers for meetings and that the city would be abiding by all the current safety protocols.

Romulus interim police chief explains policies

The recent social unrest and marches across the country and throughout the area, Interim Romulus Police Chief Robert Pfannes recently sent a letter to the mayor and members of the city council addressing the philosophy and performance expectations of police officers in the city.
In his letter, Pfannes said he wanted to reach out to the members of the council “during this tumultuous time in our history to let you know my stance on the killing of George Floyd.”

Investigation into airport hotel stabbing death continues

Romulus police are continuing to investigate a fatal stabbing which occurred July 6 at a local hotel.
According to police reports, Romulus police received a 911 call at about 4:12 a.m. July 6 reporting that a man had been stabbed at the Howard Johnson Hotel located in the 31000 block of Flynn Drive.
When responding officers arrived on the scene, they found the body of a 39-year-old Wyandotte man in a second floor room. Officers reported that the man had apparently succumbed to a stab wound.

Inside/Out brings reproductions to Northville

  Leisure Hours by John Everett Millais
Four reproductions from the Detroit Institute of Arts have been installed in Northville as part of the Inside/Out program. All four of the masterpieces are located with walking distance of the Northville Art House in downtown Northville and will remain on display through October. 
The works on exhibit include the Self Portrait of Vincent van Gogh from 1887. “For want of a better model,” Van Gogh often chose to paint his own portrait. While in Paris between 1886 and 1888, Van Gogh lightened his palette under the influence of the brilliant colors of the impressionists, but he soon reserved the use of such light colors to express particular moods.

On-line live betting from Northville Downs is now available

While the pandemic is keeping people quarantined, they will now be able to watch and wager on live horse racing at Northville Downs without leaving home.
Events at Northville Downs will now be available through TVG, an affiliate of the FanDuel Group, and the largest Advance Deposit Wagering platform in the US and America's horse racing network.
TVG launched the service last week after being conditionally approved in June by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Marijuana sales ordinance is modified by council

The first reading of the ordinance governing the sale of recreational marijuana in the City of Wayne did not go as smoothly as it might have.
Councilman Jeremiah Webster noted during the meeting earlier this month that the new ordinance restricted the hours of Sunday sales of the recreational drug to noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays, which did not coincide with the hours allowed at other nearby license holders.
He suggested a change in the language allowing the sales in Wayne to be from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., which are the hours allowed in other cities.

Murder-suicide, mall shooting investigations continue

Westland police are continuing to investigate two shootings, including an apparent murder-suicide, that both took place in the city July 5.
Officers were dispatched to Westland Mall July 5 after receiving reports of shots having been fired.
Witnesses told the responding officers that two or three Black men began arguing inside a perfume store in the mall.
One of the men pulled a handgun and fired two shots at one of the others, witnesses said.

Council OK's $7,000 repair to DPW tree trimming truck

Tree trimming will continue in the City of Wayne following the repair of the truck necessary for the work.
Department of Public Works Director Ed Queen told members of the Wayne City Council that the 23-year-old truck needed a $7,000 repair recently but was now back in service, after leaving an employee “up in the air” when the transmission on the lift device failed.
“This is a 1997 High Ranger tree trimmer truck,” he told members of the city council at a recent meeting.

Making it official

The newest officers and directors of the Rotary Club of Belleville were officially installed July 7 at Quirk Park Pavilion in Van Buren Township. Rotary District Governor 2020-2021 Dr. Noel Jackson, also known as “Captain Rotary,” at left, administered the oath of office to President Debra Green, Vice president Jerry Richardson, Treasurer Brain Pearcy, Second Vice president Rachel Kozlowski and directors Pattie Monroe, Keith Bruder and Dennis Davidson.

City hall now open

Inkster City Hall began reopening to the public last week.
The opening of the building, closed for several weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be gradual, officials said, in an effort to ensure the safety of employees and the public.
Some departments will be open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to allow for additional cleaning at the end of each day as part of an ongoing effort to keep staff and visitors safe.

Single car crash kills Inkster man

Michigan State Police troopers are continuing the investigation into a vehicle crash June 19 which killed a 21-year-old Inkster man.
Dhundre Gillum was killed in the crash which took place at about 7:45 p.m. on Carlysle Street west of Burton Street just blocks from Gillum's home. According to police reports, troopers driving in the area observed a vehicle coming from the opposite direction traveling at a high rate of speed in the neighborhood.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Westland awards $280,000 in business grants

More than 45 Westland businesses will be awarded a total of $280,000 in grants under the Westland CARES Small Business Relief Program.  The average grant award totaled $5,000.  Funds will be dispersed in the upcoming weeks upon execution of grant agreements between the City of Westland and the grantees.  A list of businesses who receive funds will be available upon completion of the agreements. There is no obligation for businesses to repay funds unless information provided through the application process is deemed to be fraudulent. 

Former fire chief mourned

After a private service last Thursday for former Plymouth
Township Fire Chief Larry Groth, the funeral procession
passes by Township Fire Station 1 on Haggerty Road.
A restored 1936 Seagrave Safety Sedan fire wagon
owned by the Detroit Fire Department led the procession.
The antique vehicle reserved for fallen firefighter
comrades and other dignitaries was retired in
1967 and later converted for use as a hearse.
Former Plymouth Township Fire Chief Larry F. Groth, Sr. was conveyed to his final resting place in Mount Hope Memorial Gardens last week in a 1936 fire wagon reserved for  fire department dignitaries.
Chief Groth, 78, died on June 27, 2020. He moved to Plymouth with his family in 1950 and graduated from Plymouth High School in 1960 and immediately joined the City of Plymouth Fire Department. In 1965, he joined the Plymouth Township Fire Department where he was steadily promoted, becoming chief in 1979. He served as Plymouth Township Fire Chief until his retirement in 2003.

League of Women Voters is offering election information

The League of Women Voters of Dearborn-Dearborn Heights is urging voters to prepare for the upcoming Aug. 4 primary election and the Nov. 3 general election by visiting
The website, which the national League of Women Voters launched in 2006, serves as a “one-stop-shop” for nonpartisan election related information and responses to relevant questions for federal and state races and ballot proposals.

Work set to begin at Fish Hatchery Park in Northville

The strip of land shows the close proximity of the
pond to Johnson Creek. File photo by Liz Cezat. 
Work is expected to begin within the next few weeks on the rebuilding of the Johnson Creek riverbank and pond at Fish Hatchery Park in Northville.
The work has been in planning stages for several years and is an effort to improve the park area and the Rouge watershed, officials said.
Anglin Civil, LLC, of Livonia, was awarded a contract in the amount of $963,090 to perform the earth-moving and restoration work. The project will bring to life a design created last year by Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. (ECT) of Ann Arbor, with engineering support from Soil Materials and Engineers (SME). SME designed the wall replacement that keeps the pond separate from the creek.

Happy Fourth of July

Inkster veteran’s military 
service rewarded with new roof

Lloyd G. Lockett, a U.S. Army veteran, had a very special Fourth of July last week.
Inkster Mayor Patrick Wimberly and representatives from Habitat for Humanity visited his Sylvia Street home to help him celebrate a brand new roof being installed as part of the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project. Owens Corning donated the roofing material which was installed by Tittle Brothers Construction, a local family owned business which donated the labor for the installation.

Inkster sailor completes 7-month carrier deployment

A 2011 Inkster High School graduate returned home June 16, marking the end of a seven-month deployment aboard USS Harry S. Truman. Since departing its homeport of Norfolk, VA in November 2019, the aircraft carrier sailed in the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Lorenzo H. Bonner is a personnel specialist aboard the carrier. As a personnel specialist, Bonner is responsible for supporting overall command readiness.
“My job on many occasions consist of emergency travel,” said Bonner. “Whether a member is injured or a loved one is hurt or worst case, passes away, I love the fact that I know the job well enough to confidently accomplish my job to get my fellow sailors back home.”

On the job

Police chief retires, signs 
contract to remain with city

Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik has announced his retirement but he isn't going anywhere soon and will continue to serve the community.
In an employment strategy that is expected to save the city about $280,000 during the 5-year contract Jedrusik signed with the city, he will retire and collect some of the benefits he has accrued during his 25 years with the Westland Police Department while continuing to work as the police chief under the terms of the new employment contract.

Police seeking identification of trailer theft suspects

Westland police are attempting to identify two persons of interest in a theft of a black dual axle “PJ” trailer.
Two men were seen at the site of the new Cleavers Meat/Deli, which is not yet open, located at 28762 Warren Road at about 10 p.m. June 22, police said.  The subjects were seen at the location and shortly thereafter one of the men leaves the location with the stolen trailer.
One man is described as white, in his late 20s or early 30s. He is about 5-feet, 6-inches to 5-feet, 8-inches tall and has an average build.

Village Arts Factory project awarded honor by state preservation network

What is now known as the Village Arts Factory 
started as a dilapidated industrial warehouse.
The Partnership for Arts & Humanities in Canton Township recently received the 2020 Government/Institution Award from the Michigan Historic Preservation Network.
The award was granted for the work of the group on the rehabilitation and revitalization of the Cherry Hill Ford Factory complex, located in Cherry Hill Village.
The Partnership for the Arts & Humanities is a small nonprofit that took on a very big challenge in the Cherry Hill Village. What is now known as the Village Arts Factory started as a dilapidated industrial warehouse.
The ramshackle building was once the site of Henry Ford's final, most unique and least publicized industry. Unlike other village-based industries Ford operated, he dedicated this one to providing employment and residence opportunities to disabled veterans of World War II.

One more time

Belleville resident wins 2nd
Lottery Powerball jackpot 

Thomas McIntyre of Belleville won his second Powerball
prize in April, the day before his birthday and the
day before he planned to retire. 
Luck struck a second time for a Belleville man who won $250,000 from the Michigan Lottery playing Powerball online.
Thomas McIntyre, 65, matched four of the white balls and the Powerball - 01-33-35-40-69 and PB: 24 - in the April 22 drawing to win a $50,000 prize. Thanks to the Powerplay, his prize was multiplied by five for a $250,000 prize. He bought his winning ticket online at
The is McIntyre's second big Powerball win. In October 2019, McIntyre won a $100,000 prize playing Powerball online.
“You never really expect to win a huge Lottery prize, winning for a second time is truly unbelievable,” said McIntyre. “Just like when I won in October, the first person I shared the news with was my mom.

County confirms 13 cases of COVID-19 in Romulus businesses

Thirteen cases of COVID-19 in two Romulus businesses have been confirmed by the Wayne County Public Health Division.
The department announced Sunday that 12 cases of the virus are connected to the Playhouse Club employees or patrons and another positive case is an employee of Checkers restaurant in Romulus.
The Wayne County communicable disease team recently completed a case investigation and tracing for the confirmed cases in Romulus. Those testing positive have been instructed to self-isolate for 14 days and until their next COVID-19 test shows no sign of the disease.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Wayne police chief’s performance commended by council

Members of the Wayne City Council unanimously agreed to a letter of commendation for Police Chief Ryan Strong during their meeting last month.
The request for the commendation was presented to the council members by City Manger Lisa Nocerini who said she had received the letter recommending the honor from police Lt. Finley Carter.
“I could not agree more,” Nocerini said of the praise Carter directed at Strong's leadership and decision making particularly during the pandemic in the City of Wayne.
“I strongly support these accolades.”

Wayne Public Library Plaza Pickup service is now available

The new Plaza Pickup program at the library is
available at the Veteran's Plaza doorway to the facility.
Wayne Public Library Director Jody Wolak had some good news for city officials and residents recently.
Wolak told members of the Wayne City Council that the library would begin opening again for public use in phases, ensuring the safety of users and staff members with each service returned for public use.
“We're going to follow all safety recommendations,” Wolak  told members of the Wayne City Council at their June 16 virtual meeting.

Schools of Choice enrollment now open in Plymouth-Canton

Members of the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools Board of Education recently approved new deadlines for Schools of Choice applications.
The Schools of Choice program allows students from outside the school district to attend Plymouth Canton schools. The new resolution will allow a maximum enrollment of 200 students in kindergarten through 10th grade for the 2020-21 school year, according to a prepared statement from the district.

Help wanted

Jo Ann Gardner, above,  is looking for some volunteers to help install the Butterfly Garden that is being added at Banatoi Park/Sherwood Pond in Sumpter Township this week. Today and tomorrow, July 9 and 10, volunteers are need to spread soil to start a pathway around the garden area. On Saturday, July 11, various foliage and plants will be put in the ground and donations of plantings are welcome.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Local communities limit use of consumer fireworks

There will be plenty of reason to celebrate on Independence Day this Saturday, but residents are advised to remember there are new restrictions in many communities regarding the use of consumer fireworks.
“Consumer fireworks are now readily available for purchase and have become a popular way to celebrate holidays, but use of them should not be taken lightly,” said Canton Township Deputy Police Chief Craig Wilsher. “Consumers need to stay vigilant in strictly adhering to safety precaution recommendations, protecting themselves and those observing nearby,” he added. Unlawful use of fireworks in Canton can be reported to the Public Safety Department non-emergency line at (734) 394-5400, at the auto attendant dial 2, then 1. Emergency situations should be called in to 911. Violators are subject to a civil infraction, punishable by a fine of $1,000, Wilsher said.

Northville adopts new Ford Field rental rules

The City of Northville has a new policy for the rental of Ford Field.
Members of the city council approved the new fee system which will allow rental of the field for “high impact” events for one weekend in June, July and August, respectively.
Each of those three weekends, the field will be available to rent without the usual closure fee to make up for lost revenue at Mill Race Village. The new plan was the product of three months of meetings regarding fees to rent the area which is one block north of downtown. The high impact rental events are those which attract large crowds to the city along with increased consumer spending at local restaurants and retail stores.

Spirit of Independence

Special drive-by flag display set for Saturday in Canton

A special Fourth of July drive-by community celebration is set for Saturday in Canton Township. A patriotic flag display will be erected in Heritage Park, allowing participants to drive by and show their Independence Day spirit any time from 10 a.m. to noon on Veterans Way, located directly behind the Canton Administration Building at 1150 S. Canton Center Road.
Participants are encouraged to proudly display their patriotism by decorating their cars and wearing red, white, and blue as they drive along Veterans Way through Heritage Park.  Area residents are encouraged to just drive by and honk their horns to show community pride, even if their vehicles are not decorated.
The Canton July 4th display, which will take place held weather permitting, will include a large U.S. flag and several public safety vehicles positioned along Veterans Way, while recorded patriotic music plays.  Car parade participants are asked to enter on Heritage Park Drive, off of Canton Center Road, and remain in their cars as they drive by the flag display.
 “We would love to be able to physically come together for a July 4th community celebration but this year, as we work to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we've been forced to come up with a unique way to celebrate,” said Greg Hohenberger, CPRP, Canton Leisure Services director.  “In lieu of a traditional parade, we've switched things up and will have participants in their cars become temporary parade floats in this drive-by parade. Instead of folks gathering to watch on the sidelines, they have a chance to become the parade.”
For additional information on the Canton July 4th Drive-By Flag Display community celebration, visit www.canton .

Council considers appointment to zoning board

Adding a member of the city council to the Zoning Board of Appeals in Romulus isn't as simple as it might seem.
During the electronic regular meeting of the council last week, several elected officials were in favor of adding Councilwoman Kathy Abdo to the five-member board, but after a great deal of discussion, settled for taking the action when the next regular term on the board expires. That date will be reported to the council at their next meeting, according to City Clerk Ellen Craig-Bragg who explained to the council members that she did not have that exact date readily at hand.
Abdo explained at the meeting that she had brought this issue up eight months ago and there has still been no action regarding her request to have a council member be appointed to the board. She told the board members repeatedly that someone from the elected body should be on the Zoning Board of Appeals which regulates zoning within the Romulus boundaries and has the power to authorize exceptions to the zoning regulations by a majority vote.
“I realize it is not required by the charter,” Abdo said, “but it is necessary to have a member of the council on the ZBA for transparency.”  She noted that while the charter “does not speak to it, it is not prohibited. We need someone from the council,” she said.
Councilwoman Eva Webb was strongly in favor of taking the action and placing Abdo on the board and encouraged her colleagues to make the appointment despite the caution from city attorney Steve Hitchcock who reminded the council that the charter provides for five voting members of the Zoning Board of Appeals and while it does not prohibit the appointment of a councilperson, it does not allow for six voting members.
Webb suggested that Abdo be appointed to the board as a non-voting member, but Abdo explained that a non-voting member “sitting and observing and not voting isn't going to be effective in representing the people of Romulus.”

Weed cutting regulations in effect in Romulus

Now that summer has apparently arrived, property owners and occupants in Romulus had until June 21 to ensure that any weeds, grass or underbrush at the site was cut to required heights.
Romulus is one of many local communities with a Noxious Weed Ordinance that requires the trimming of weeds, brush or underbrush by owners of land. The ordinance was designed, officials said, to ensure that the weeds and growth did not become a detriment to public health.

Police investigation continues

A shooting that took place in Romulus June 6 remains under investigation.
According to police reports, officers were called to the 2800 block of Zellmer Street at about 9 a.m. Saturday, June 6.  When officers arrived they found two male subjects suffering apparent gunshot wounds. The men were transported by emergency responders to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Police officer fired following brutality probe

A Westland police officer has been fired following an internal department investigation including the review of body camera video of the violent arrest of an autistic man last January.
Officer Kristopher Landis was terminated by Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik when allegations of the beating of a man with developmental disabilities were validated by the body camera video. According to reports, Landis struck the man about the head multiple times with his retractable baton. The video shows the man with his face covered in blood during the altercation which took place Jan. 16 near the Woodcrest Apartment complex. The man reportedly suffered a severe injury to his eye during the arrest.

Primary election will reduce field of candidates

Several communities will vote for local municipal officials on the upcoming Aug. 4 ballot.
In Van Buren Township, filing for seats on the township board of trustees by the April 21 deadline were incumbent Supervisor Kevin McNamara; incumbent clerk Leon Wright, and incumbent treasurer Sharry Budd, all Democrats, seeking four-year terms.
Filing nominating petitions for the office of township trustee were incumbents Sherry Frazier, Kevin Martin, Reggie Miller and Paul White. Also filing for election to a trustee term were Don Boynton, Jr. and Walter Rochowiak.

Furloughed city employees are returning to work this week

All furloughed employees were called back to work at the City of Westland last Tuesday, June 30.
In response to the pandemic and associated closures, Westland officials placed two thirds of non-public safety employees on temporary furlough.  After reopening city hall and other municipal buildings on June 1, the administration has been phasing employees back from furlough as demand for city services has increased.

Westland curbside recycling program is available

Curbside recycling officially began yesterday in the City of Westland.
Members of the city council approved a 2-year contract with Republic Services to process recyclables in the city during their regular June 1 meeting.
Westland suspended curbside recycling program in 2019 due to rising costs associated with a change in the global recycling market, according to officials.  In March, Westland voters approved a sanitation millage to help fund the popular program that serves 25,000 single-family homes in the city. 

City council approves easing of permits for outside dining

Members of the Westland City Council have increased the seating for al fresco dining in the city.
During the June 15 meeting, council members approved a resolution to allow temporary waivers for outdoor dining establishments.  The resolution will exempt temporary outdoor dining areas from the temporary use requirements and procedures governed by city ordinances. 

Library offering curb service

While the Plymouth District Library prepares for a safe reopening in phases, there is a new curbside service available to library patrons set to begin next Monday.
The library will provide the opportunity to go online, check the library catalog for available items, request them and then schedule a curbside pick-up time.
Those who had items on hold in March should  check their records and if the items are no longer wanted, delete them, library officials said.  Those who still want the items can leave them on their respective records and a library staff member will schedule a pick up time.

Wheel station

Bicycle riders who find their wheels in need of repair can always stop at the Plymouth District Library where there is a public Bike Fix-It Station.  All the necessary tools for repair and maintenance are available next to the bike racks near the front entrance of the facility. The library Bike Fix-It Station was made possible by members of the Plymouth Lions Club and Serene Landscape Group. Ride solo or stay 6-feet from other riders, and wear protective gear to avoid injury, library officials said, “but get out there and enjoy these beautiful days on your bike.”

Future of proposed township park dependant on county funding

A wedge-shaped plot of township-owned property could soon be a recreation facility in Plymouth. Or not.
Members of the township board of trustees heard a plan to transform the 9-acre site east of Beck Road and north of Ann Arbor Trail into an area with a walking path, places for public art and a small parking lot next to the one that serves Hilltop Golf Course. The Golfview Park plan was devised with the input of McKenna Associates, and was discussed by members of the board at a June 9 meeting.  Township planner Laura Haw explained that the proposed Golview Park would be a passive rather than an active park.

Development plan for former Saxton’s property is approved

Members of the Plymouth City Commission approved the first reading of a Planned Unit Development (PUD) agreement with the Jewell Maple development team during their online Zoom meeting June 15.
The planned development is set for the area commonly known as the Saxton's property. Commissioners also approved a month-to-month lease agreement with the Jewell Maple development team on the Jewell Blaich building located on the property at Ann Arbor Trail across from Kellogg Park.


Art Institute program comes to Inkster 

Annucitory Angel by Fra Angelico will be on display
in Inkster as part of the Detriot Institute
of Arts Inside/Outside program.
Inkster residents and visitors can enjoy some very special sights next month as the  Detroit Institute of Arts' popular program Inside/Out visits the city through October.
The 10th year of the Inside Out program will include eight reproductions of artworks installed in the city. Inside/Out is a component of the DIA community engagement efforts. During the past decade, the museum has partnered with more than 100 communities and engaged tens of thousands of residents with art in places where they live, work and play.
A reproduction of Savoy Ballroom by Reginald Marsh will be on display at Inkster City Hall, 2621 Trowbridge and a Portrait of a Collagist by Benny Andrews will be featured at the Booker T. Dozier Recreation Center, 2025 Middlebelt Road.

Beaumont Wayne hospital reduces patient capacity

While all clinical services have been reinstated at Beaumont Hospital, Wayne, patient beds have been reduced by 32, limiting capacity to 99 patients at the facility.
According to a prepared statement from the health care provider, “Beaumont regularly evaluates operations and licensed beds at all hospital campuses and reports compliance with Certificate of Need (CON) guidelines to the State of Michigan. For the past six years, on average, more than half of the licensed beds at Beaumont, Wayne have not been utilized.