Thursday, August 27, 2020

Million dollar makeover begins at Hatchery Park

Johnson Creek at Fish Hatchery Park in Northville.
A million dollar makeover is currently under way at Johnson Creek at Fish Hatchery Park in Northville. The project will transform the park, improving both fish habitat and visitor experience, as well as bolstering water quality within the Rouge River watershed, township officials said.
Construction crews from Anglin Civil, LLC, of Livonia, recently began tearing out the overgrowth that will expose the now-hidden Johnson Creek and allow easier access to the crumbling wall that runs the length of the creek. Workers will replace the wall with a natural earth berm and dredge Fish Hatchery Pond, two key steps to improve fish passage between the pond and creek and to create a more hospitable fish and wildlife habitat, they added.

County commissioners oppose new Census deadline

Members of the Wayne County commission have unanimously opposed the effort that moved the response date for the 2020 U.S. Census from Oct. 31 to Sept. 30.
At the same time, commissioners strongly urged those who haven't yet responded to make sure they are included in the count this year.
“With all that is going on in the world and in our country we need to keep things the way they are,” Chairman Alisha  Bell said. “Michigan is doing well in terms of its census response but some Wayne County communities are not. It is so important to have a fair and accurate count.
“The census determines how much revenue our county will receive from the federal government for the next decade.''

Wayne County Community College OKs virtual classes

Students at the Ted Scott Campus of Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) in Belleville will be attending classes virtually this fall.
Like most of the local school districts in the area, the college will also begin classes virtually in an effort to protect students and faculty from the effects of the COVID-10 pandemic.
In a letter to students last week, Chancellor Curtis Ivery said that the classes would be moved to “alternative virtual modalities.”
Ivery said there will be “a very small number” of exceptions for health science and career education courses that require hands-on learning experiences.

Friends, family celebrate life, and legacy of Mary L. Menard

Mary L. Menard
The family of Mary L Menard has asked her many  friends and acquaintances to raise a glass of Chardonnay and celebrate her life with a toast to her memory.
 Mrs. Menard, 72, died peacefully Aug. 19, surrounded by her family.
She arrived in the world on Dec. 20, 1947, part of a proud Chicago brood of six children.  Mrs. Menard originally aspired to a life in the religious community, but that changed when she met the love of her life, Walter. The couple was married in 1967 and started their family, being blessed with two daughters. 
In the early 70s, the couple moved their family to Southeast Michigan where they began their custom home construction business, now known as Menard Builders.

Canton offering multiple outdoor fitness programs

Canton Leisure Services is now offering an outdoor programming lineup which includes an assortment of fitness classes.  Participants can choose from: Yoga; Cardio & Core; Zumba; Plyometric Sculpt; Total Body; Circuit Training; Bootcamp; Cycle, and several others, organizers said.
Each 55-minute class takes place at either the Heritage Park Amphitheater, located behind the Summit on the Park at 46000 Summit Parkway or the Summit on the Park Community Court, located in the Summit west parking lot, weather permitting.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide some of our most popular fitness classes in an outdoor environment,” said Health and Wellness Specialist Jennifer Franz.  “All of these programs have been developed to allow for safe physical distancing, with smaller class sizes, and other important safety protocols which include equipment sanitizing procedures, and more.”

New traffic signal installed, work on township roads continues

Crews have been at work this week on road repairs and traffic controls in Canton Township.
A new traffic light has been installed at Beck Road and Michigan Avenue while work on  Sheldon Road between Warren and Ford roads is under way.
The Sheldon Road repair is described by Wayne County Road Commission engineers as a 2-inch mill and fill on the area of the heavily-traveling north-south road. The work was expected to be complete and the road open to traffic this week.

What's in a name?

Township chooses winning name for new park

A portion of the newly-named Legacy Park of Northville.
Northville Township has chosen a winning entry in the Name the Park contest.  Legacy Park of Northville was the unanimous choice of members of the board of trustees who approved the new name during their virtual meeting earlier this month.
The winning entry was submitted by two Northville Township residents, Sharon Hayden and Pam Norcutt, who will share the $200 prize for the winning entry.
Northville Township Clerk Marjorie Banner received more than 100 entries for the contest that began June 20.
“Many came in with explanations about why the name was suggested,” Banner said. “Some tugged at our heartstrings, while others connected history to the park. It was a difficult decision.”

Beautification commission chooses 2020 winners

Members of the Northville Beautification Commission did not let the coronavirus stop them from choosing the award winners in the community this year.
For the 31st consecutive year, local businesses were honored for displays of flowers and plants in the city, adding to the character of the community. This year, members of the commission received flowers and plants for the city efforts on June 2, just after nurseries were allowed to reopen by the governor. The plants were installed in containers and distributed at key sites in the city by commission volunteers who worked as a group, but took recommended safety precautions, working at safe distances and wearing masks.

Shooting suspect faces first-degree murder charges

Raymond Lee Bailey 
Raymond Lee Bailey was arraigned last Wednesday in 34th District Court on four counts of first degree murder and four counts of felony firearm.
Bailey, 37, of Kinross, faces the felony murder charges in connection with four homicides that occurred Aug. 15 in Sumpter Township.  Sumpter Township police officers responded to a 911 call at about 12:30 p.m. reporting gunshots at a home in the 24900 block of Martinsville Road.  When officers arrived at the home, they discovered four victims, two men and two women, who had apparently died of gunshot wounds.
The deceased were subsequently identified by police as Laura Tanner, 35 and her sister, Sarah Grupa, 38 of Detroit, and brothers, Forrest Sampson, 28 and Neal Sampson, 30, both of Van Buren Township. Prosecutors allege that at the time of the shooting, Laura Tanner was having ongoing problems with Bailey, her former boyfriend.

Back to the future

Romulus Movies in the Park 
set in old-fashioned drive-in venue

The City of Romulus has gone back to the future with the showing of the annual summer Movies in the Park in an old-fashioned drive-in style venue.
The drive-in movies are an effort to protect the community amid the COVID-19 pandemic and still provide the evening movies which have become a tradition in the city. The films will be shown beginning at dusk on the last Fridays in August and September in a field on Olive Street between Grant and Bibbins streets.
The movie for Friday, Aug. 28 will be Trolls World Tour while the film for Friday, Sept. 25 has not yet been announced, city officials said.

Business to Business workshop goes to virtual format

The City of Romulus launched a virtual Business-to-Business Networking Series last week in an effort to promote economic development and provide support for local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Representatives from Wayne County, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Detroit Regional Aerotropolis joined the conversation to provide updates on grants and other available business resources.
“I see the city of Romulus as a business-friendly municipality, and I think the future looks good for businesses in Romulus,” said Wayne County District 11 Commissioner Al Haidous during the meeting. “The city of Romulus is a hotspot for economic development.”

Westland rededicates park to honor civic leader

Virgil Gagnon, bottom right, was a member
of the original Nankin Township Charter. 
City of Westland officials celebrated the official re-dedication of the Virgil Gagnon Jaycee Park last week.
Mr. Gagnon and his family are among the earliest civic leaders in Westland, officials said and he and his wife, Harriet, were very active in the community with the PTA, Scouting, and many other civic organizations. In 1946, The Gagnons opened the Hamburger House on Michigan Avenue and in the 1950s they opened the Gagnon & Son's Gulf Gas Station at the corner of Wayne and Warren roads.  In 1962, the couple organized the Nankin Township Chamber of Commerce.

Upgrades to Wayne Atwood Park playscape are delayed

Wayne officials are promising that the upgrades to Atwood Park will be worth the long wait.
Despite an official announcement earlier this year that the park would see a new play structure in early spring or summer, no work has been done at the site, prompting questions from several residents in the area. In a response on the city Facebook page, officials said COVID-19 “created some significant delays with this project.” 
The play structure removal and new installation is being funding using a grant from Wayne County which includes strict guidelines regarding the process, officials said.
“In order to follow the grant guidelines, the city and the county have to go through a formal bid process. Once a bid is accepted, the city and county will work with the selected contractor to schedule the project timeline,” officials said.

Photography exhibit continues

The Gallery at Westland City Hall in August is hosting an exhibit of the fine art photography of Allen Brooks. 
Brooks, a former Westland portrait studio owner turned his talents to fine art photography upon retiring several years ago. 
His award-winning style of photography has been displayed throughout Southeast Michigan.  The exhibit is free and open during regular hours at Westland City Hall.

Police investigate 2 shooting deaths in Inkster

Two incidents of gun violence resulting in deaths remain under investigation by police in the City of Inkster.
The most recent incident took place last Friday night when a 14-year-old died after he was shot in the head, apparently by another teen.
Inkster police and Michigan State Police responded to the incident at about 10:35 p.m. Aug. 21 at Dearborn View Apartments where they discovered the body of the teen, dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
Emergency responded transported the victim to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Annual Romulus Pumpkin Festival is cancelled for 2020

The Romulus Pumpkin Festival has, like so many other community events throughout the country, been cancelled for 2020.
A statement from the city noted that the cancellation was, “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and at the recommendation of the Pumpkin Festival Planning Committee and the Romulus Rotary Club.”
Officials said that the decision to cancel the festival and the annual Parade of Lights which traditionally begins the event, was made after careful consideration of all options.

Lawsuit claims racial discrimination at truck trailer plant

Three former employees at a Romulus truck trailer company claim they faced racist treatment while working at the business, including a display of nooses.
Three African-American men have sued Benlee, Inc., claiming in court filings that a noose was hung at the company twice while they worked there as part of a series of racial incidents aimed at intimidating them.
Jermaine Ware, a Detroit resident, filed his lawsuit In March in Wayne County Circuit Court. Last week, Marcus Gray of Westland and JaJuan Jones of Detroit, also filed lawsuits, alleging they were called the N-word and “boy” while working at Benlee Inc. In their court filings, Gray and Jones also allege white co-workers threatened them and other African American workers saying they were going to “hand them” while in full view of a  13-coil “hangman's noose,” visibly displayed on company premises. Gray's legal filing alleges that a white co-worker tried to put a wire around his neck and threatened to hang him.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Futuristic driverless route set for Michigan Avenue

A Cavnue concept rendering of the new
Michigan Connected Corridor vehicles.
It will take several years to complete, but if all goes as planned, there will be driverless vehicles traveling in a dedicated lane down Michigan Avenue connecting Ann Arbor to downtown Detroit.
The proposed route will travel through Canton Township, the City of Wayne and Inkster, with proposed stops along the route at the University of Michigan Dearborn and Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus. Developers said that plans would allow passengers to summon connected or autonomous vehicles and know their pickup and arrival time on the route. Speakers said the project has the potential to make transit more accessible and equitable.
The plan was announced last week during a joint press conference with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer; Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Co.; Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Jonathan Winer, co-CEO of Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, the lead developer of the project.

Skydive to save lives

Rotary Club members take a 14,000-foot 
leap of faith to eradicate polio

Jan Eisen, left, Rotary District Governor Noel Jackson and Chuck Bares
enthusiastically prepare for their 14,000-foot skydive
to earn funds to fight polio. Photo by Dave Willett
They took a leap of faith last Saturday when several members of both the Plymouth Noon and Wayne Rotary clubs jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet.
The courageous club members followed the lead of District 6400 Governor Noel Jackson who organized the flight to fight polio and urged club members to secure pledges from friends, family members and strangers to ensure they actually jumped from the aircraft. To date, the Skydive for Police effort has generated more than $123,036 to the Rotary effort to immunize children and eradicate polio world wide. That total includes a two to one grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, whose interest was piqued by the unusual fundraising effort.

Butterfly Gardens taking root in Plymouth area parks

Kellogg Park
The City of Plymouth has some new residents and neighbors have welcomed them to the community.
Butterfly gardens have been installed in Kellogg Park, Lion's Club Park and the Knights of Columbus Park in the city. The plants and flowers blooming add color to the park and create a habitat for butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators. Each of the gardens includes host plants and pollinator perennials including Coneflowers, Black Eyed Susans, Daisies, Bee Balm, Phlox, Swamp Week, butterfly Weed, Wildflowers, Dill and Fennel, officials said. The garden projects were led by Department of Municipal Services Operations Technician Dave Cirilli.

29-year veteran of Canton Township Police Department retires

Lieutenant James Harrison has retired from the Canton Township Police Department after a 29-year career with the law enforcement agency.
Harrison, or “Turtle” as he's affectionately known around the department, was hired as a police officer in 1991; he was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2008 and to lieutenant in 2017.
Early in his career, Harrison participated in numerous special units including assignments as a range/firearms instructor, bicycle unit officer, and a field training officer. Most notably, he served 13 years on the elite Western-Wayne Special Operations Team as an assistant team leader.

Ethics, racism commissioners to be named

Westland officials are seeking a group of residents to serve on two separate commissions charged with ensuring integrity and non-discrimination in city government.
Mayor William R. Wild is currently accepting applications to reestablish an ethics commission in the city. Members of the ethics commission would evaluate and submit written opinions about any ethical concerns or complaints filed by residents or city employees. That written opinion would be forwarded to the mayor and the departments involved in the complaint for a response or action.
Applications for the committee can be submitted online by accessing the city website, but candidates will be held to some high standards according to Wild, Council President Jim Hart and Councilman Jim Godbout. All have expressed concerns about applicants seeking an appointment for political reasons and a concern that there is a danger of “weaponizing” such a commission.

Suspect in Sumpter shooting deaths surrenders

Raymond Lee Bailey
The Sumpter Township man sought in connection with the shooting and killing of four people in a Martinsville Road last week surrendered to police Sunday evening.
According to Sumpter Township Police Chief Eric Luke, Raymond Lee Bailey, 37, the subject of a state-wide manhunt, entered the Bay County Sheriff's office and turned himself over to authorities at about 10 p.m. Aug. 16.  Luke said that officers from Sumpter Township were already en route to the Bay City area as part of the investigation and took Bailey into custody and transported him to Sumpter Township where he is incarcerated awaiting a charge determination from the office of the Wayne County prosecutor's office.

In memoriam

Members of the Inkster Police Department joined for the annual memorial service to honor the four department officers who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the citizens of Inkster; Ofc. Kenneth Woodmore, Sgt. Ira Parker, Ofc. Clay Hoover and Ofc. Daniel Dubiel. Ofc. Kenneth Woodmore was shot and killed after stopping a man on a bicycle who had just completed a drug transaction at the intersection of Pine and Henry Streets. Ofc. Woodmore had served with the Inkster Police Department for five years. He is survived by his two sons and two daughters.

First class

Northville Firefighter Training Academy
celebrates the graduation of 18 students

Firefighters in the academy practice putting out
a car fire during field training. Photo by Matt Zmuda. 
There are 18 new qualified firefighters available for work in the area.
The group graduated from the Northville City Fire Department Firefighter Training Academy in July and each became qualified to now seek Firefighter 1 and II certification through the State of Michigan.  The students enrolled in the academy last November but classes stretched four months past the anticipated graduation date due to the requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The instructors had to work diligently with the State to figure out how to continue when the pandemic broke out. They could do classroom sessions by remote conferencing but it had to be live and interactive,” said Fire Chief Steve Ott.

Romulus Chamber of Commerce sets annual golf outing

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.

Son is charged in stabbing death of father

A 25-year-old Westland man is facing first-degree murder charges in the death of his father.
Prosecutors claim that Flem Stiltner IV killed his father, 48-year-old Flem Stiltner III of Wayne, and then attempted to hide the victim's body near Belleville Lake.
According to police reports, Michigan State Police were notified at about 10:12 a.m. Aug. 2 by Van Buren Township Police that a body had been found in the bed of a pickup truck.
According to police, the Wayne man was killed at a home on the 4400 block of John Hix Road in Wayne and his body then placed in the bed of a pickup truck and driven to the area of Belleville Road and Quirk Road by the suspect.

Cold-case murder investigation to be reopened

Egypt Covington
A new investigation is under way into the death of Egypt Covington, a 27-year-old singer who was found shot and killed inside her Van Buren Township home in June of 2017.
On the third anniversary of her death, Ms. Covington's family organized a rally urging Michigan State Police to get involved in the investigation.  Their efforts were apparently successful as the state agency has now confirmed that investigators will be assisting Van Buren Township police in reopening the probe into Ms. Covington's death.
Dwayne Turner, Ms. Covington's brother, is not satisfied with the assistance of the state investigators, however, and wants the state to assume the entire investigation. 

Main Street sets annual city-wide clean-up in Wayne

Wayne Main Street, in conjunction with several community partners, will host the annual Clean-Up Day in downtown Wayne from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, Aug. 29. Community members of all ages are expected to participate in the effort to clean the downtown area of the city. Registration for the event will open at 9 a.m. at the Wayne Historical Museum located at 1 Towne Square in Wayne.
Last year, the event was an overwhelming success, with more than 150 volunteers participating, noted a spokesman.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Back to school?

School districts, families, educators 
facing difficult decisions this year

Back to school preparations this year have been put on hold for K-12 schools in Michigan since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit in March. As COVID-19 cases in the state increased at a rapid pace again in July and into August, members of local boards of education and district administrators are deciding how -- and if -- they will resume in-person classes in the fall. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials issued new coronavirus guidelines for schools on July 23, but as administrators agree, the situation remains fluid and changing every day.
The process for reopening schools amid the pandemic has been widely debated, and currently, the responsibility is with individual school districts to determine what the upcoming school year will look like.

Democratic voters double Republicans in Canton

Voters in Canton Township will choose between current incumbent Supervisor Pat Williams and his Democratic challenger AnneMarie Graham-Hudak on the Nov. 3 ballot.
During the primary election balloting last week, Republican Williams 7,293 of the 7,308 Republican primary ballots cast. Graham-Hudak received 14,467 of those voting on the Democratic side of the ballot where 14,524 votes for supervisor were cast.
In the race for township clerk, incumbent Michael Siegrist received 99.63 percent of the votes cast on the Democratic side of the ballot as there was no Republican challenger.

New Heritage Park playground equipment reopens to public

Canton Township celebrated the grand re-opening of the playscape at the North Pavilion of Heritage Park last Tuesday.
Canton Supervisor Pat Williams and members of the Canton Board of Trustees were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the recently remodeled playground, located adjacent to the Canton Administrative Building at 1150 S. Canton Center Road. 
Recent playground upgrades included the installation of a “We-Go-Round,” which is a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round where children of all abilities can spin together.  This amenity can be spun from the inside or outside, allowing everyone to participate in the fun. Funding for this project was made possible by a federal Community Development Block Grant.

Grant will fund masks for Inkster and other area schoolchildren

Inkster students are among those who will receive protective face masks through a $200,000 donation to Wayne County from Ballmer Giving, LLC of Bellevue, WA.
Wayne County commissioners unanimously approved the donation last week.
“This is a wonderful gift and we are very grateful to receive it,” Commission Chair Alisha Bell said.
The grant will provide $100,000 to be used to acquire face masks for children in grades K-8 who live in low income areas including Inkster, Romulus and Westland, among others in Wayne County. Masks will be distributed at designated sites in each community.

Developer presents plan for former Eloise property

Kay Beard building 
John Hambrick has some big plans for the former Wayne County General Hospital property in Westland.
Hambrick, who purchased the 16-acres of property from Wayne County for $1 in 2018 received approval last week from the Westland Planning Commission members to split the land into five parcels. While Hambrick said he plans to demolish the buildings that formerly housed a power plant and bakery, he said he may renovate the firehouse into a facility serving coffee and ice cream. Other buildings at the site would be retained, he said. He told the commissioners that he has no plans to change the look of the Kay Beard building or the firehouse at this time.
He told the members of the planning commission that a hotel and event venue, although he did not elaborate on or present plans for those projects.

2 are reappointed to Westland Planning Commission

Ken Sharp                   David Rappaport 
Two long-time residents have been re-appointed to the Westland Planning Commission by Mayor William R. Wild.
Ken Sharp was confirmed by members of the city council to a 3-year term expiring Aug. 20, 2023. 
Sharp has served on the planning commission for nearly 25 years and is currently chairman of the group. He is a retired Westland firefighter and he and his wife, Carol, are been long time residents of Westland.
Sharp is also active with the local Lions Club.
David Rappaport was also confirmed to a 3-year term on the planning commission expiring Aug. 5, 2023. 

Wayne man killed, body abandoned near Belleville Lake

Michigan State Police are continuing to investigate the death of a Wayne man following the discovery of his body in Van Buren Township last Sunday.
According to police, the 48-year-old Wayne man was killed at a home on the 4400 block of John Hix Road in Wayne and his body then placed in the bed of a pickup truck and driven to the area of Belleville Road and Quirk Road in Van Buren Township. Troopers were called to the scene at about 10 when the body was discovered by a passerby who noticed the truck stuck in the mud early Sunday morning. Van Buren Police notified Michigan State Police at about 10:15 a.m. Van Buren officers determined that the death had taken place at another location.

Wayne Historical Society planning several new programs

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.

Township voters favor incumbents

Supervisor Kurt Heise, Clerk Jerry Vorva, Treasurer Mark Clinton
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. 

Local VFW Post falling victim to pandemic effects

Don Howard, Staff Writer
They have survived gunfire, bombings and hand-to-hand combat in Vietnam, and as long ago as Korea and even World War II. They have survived helicopter flights into enemy territory under extreme conditions and been willing to sacrifice their lives for their country.
But they could soon suffer the effects of a silent, unseen killer which threatens one of the facilities that has provided them with comfort, fellowship and solace for more than six decades.
The COVID 19 pandemic may soon claim another victim as VFW Post 6695 in Plymouth is facing the financial peril that the pandemic has caused throughout the area. The post has served community veterans since the 1930s and has been a traditional and honored presence throughout the area. The appearance of the veterans at each national military holiday celebration is always welcomed with loud applause as they proudly march and conduct heartfelt memorials for those who have served.

Northville voters approve operating millage, edge out current office holders

Northville Township voters approved the request for an operating renewal and increase by a 2-1 margin during the primary election last week. Voters cast 6,472 yes votes on the question or 64.60 percent of the votes and 3,546 no votes or 35.40 percent of the total.
In the race for supervisor of the township, Republican voters cast 2,447 or 50.38 percent of the votes in favor of Mark J. Abbo, a former supervisor. Incumbent Robert R. Nix received 2,408 votes or 49.58 percent of the total.

Martin, Taylor will vie for 34th court seat

Alexandria Taylor
Lisa Martin 
Attorneys Lisa Martin and Alexandria Taylor will vie for the 6-year term at the 34th District Court on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot.
The two were the top vote getters in the primary election last week which saw six candidates vying for voters' approval. Martin received a total of 4,213 votes, or 27.4 percent of the votes cast while Taylor received 3,800 or 24.7 percent of the votes. The 34th District Court in Romulus handles cases from Belleville, Romulus, Sumpter and Van Buren and candidates were on the primary ballots in those communities.
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.

New district superintendent chosen for Romulus schools

Dr. Benjamin Edmondson 
Dr. Benjamin Edmondson has been selected as the new superintendent of the Romulus Community Schools.
Members of the Romulus Board of Education agreed during their Aug. 2 meeting to enter into contract negotiations with Edmondson following weeks of surveys, community feedback and candidate interviews.
The search was facilitated, according to officials, by the Michigan Association of School Boards, a service organization that supports the work of school boards throughout the state.
Edmondson is the former superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools and has an impressive record of establishing community partnerships, raising academic standards and achievement, and increasing enrollment in declining districts, according to a district spokesman.
School board president Edward Martell said he was pleased with the choice for the district.
“Dr. Edmondson has presented an extensive 100-Day plan. I believe he is going to be a great fit for our district and I look forward to working with him to realign, reshape, and re-imagine Romulus Community Schools.”
Edmondson was selected from a field of seven candidates. He has nearly 30 years educational experience as a former teacher, principal, and superintendent. Most recently he served as Superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS), where he was known for his abilities to empower students, mobilize community members, and impact the culture and climate of the Ypsilanti school district and the surrounding community. Prior to his role as superintendent, Edmondson was a principal in Ann Arbor and a teacher in New Jersey.
Edmondson earned a doctorate in educational leadership from Eastern Michigan University.
He holds a master's degree in educational theory and practice from Ohio State University, and a bachelor's degree in sociology from The University of Virginia.
His selection included community input on the qualities, experiences, and skills needed in the new superintendent. All interested parties were encouraged to participate in the process. An online survey was administered by the MASB Executive Search Service and individual responses were combined with those from the virtual meetings with stakeholders to provide important community input to the Romulus Community Schools Board of Education in developing the  superintendent selection criteria, according to a statement from the district.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Romulus council OK's $56 million project

Members of the Romulus City Council approved four motions to clear the way for a $56 million redevelopment on Ecorse Road.
The development, to be called Ecorse Commons, will be located at 37530 Ecorse Road on property now owned by North Point Romulus Industrial, LLC.  The site includes more than 70 acres of land formerly owned by General Motors and includes two industrial condominium buildings totaling about 655,000 square feet, according to plans presented to the council members.
To accommodate the redevelopment plans, Romulus council members approved the termination and reliance of conditional zoning agreement which expired in 2019; an ordinance map amendment, the approval of an industrial condominium plan for the site and the request for concurrence of the Brownfield plan the developers submitted to Wayne County.

Road improvements continue throughout Plymouth

City of Plymouth officials are celebrating nearly 30 years of continuous street and infrastructure improvements marked most recently by the Main Street project through downtown.
The latest improvements were funded by the 2019 Street Improvement Bond approved by voters last November. Officials said that infrastructure improvements to Dewey Street that included the replacement of the water main, a sanitary sewer repair and a complete rebuild of the road surface were completed in June.
This project was the final phase of a multiyear program of rebuilding the infrastructure in the southeast portion of Plymouth, officials said.
The latest downtown project included the repaving of Main Street from Church to Wing streets. The roadway surface was milled and repaved and curbs were repaired in this phase of the 2020 improvements.

Romulus chamber planning annual golf fundraiser

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.

City police are seeking accreditation from state law commission

The Romulus Police Department may soon join the elite ranks of those accredited by the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (MLEAC).
The department is currently in the process of attaining the accreditation, according to police officials, “as a commitment to continued improvement and to further protect and serve the residents of Romulus.”
The accreditation process, facilitated by the Michigan Association Chiefs of Police (MACP) and the Michigan Sheriffs' Association (MSA), is a voluntary accreditation program which requires the adoption of rigorous professional standards and a thorough review of all policies, procedures and practices to ensure compliance.

Romulus Public Library continues curbside service

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.

Police investigate drowning death at apartment complex pond

Van Buren Township Police are continuing to investigate the drowning of a 30-year-old man last week in an apartment pond.
The man was attempting to swim across a large pond at the Southport Apartments in Belleville last Thursday evening, according to police reports. The late-night swimming attempt was in response to a bet, according to the initial police investigation of the incident. Officers were called to the scene at about 9 p.m. when witnesses reported that Cedric Collins of Ypsilanti slipped under the water in the pond behind building 14 at the apartment complex and did not resurface.

City adopts new rules for ‘bigfoot’ homes

Don Howard, Staff Writer
After years of complaints and protests about the invasion of monstrous new houses and radical remodeling, a zoning ordinance amendment to limit the size of homes by a ratio of square footage to lot sizes has been approbed by members of the Northville City Council. 
The construction of giant-sized homes on small lots has become all too familiar in Northville and Plymouth in recent years, along with accusations that builders are over-building and over-selling to boost revenue, while Realtors cash-in on high-priced luxury homes on small, neighborhood lots.
Northville residents have complained to officials that the so-called big-foot homes are changing the complexion of the community, ruining the quaint tree-lined streets with well-manicured lawns that have made the city a serene picturesque community for more than a century.

Sweet so long

Veteran police officer retires

Cpt. Dustin Krueger holds a shadowbox of his police
badges and honors as he celebrates his retirement
 from the Northville Police Department. Photo by Liz Cezat
Northville Police Capt. Dustin Krueger worked his last day in nearly 27 years at the department on Friday, July 21. An informal party for staff members and friends helped him celebrate his retirement under the awning of the police department entrance. Krueger's wife, Claudia, who was on the Northville police force for 11 years, and former Police Chiefs Mike Carlson and Jim Petres were among the guests.
Police Chief Alan Maciag commended Krueger for his service, his contributions to the department, and for his work with the people of Northville. He thanked him for staying beyond his planned retirement in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Westland police save driver from burning car

Westland police officers are being credited with saving the life of a 43-year-old Livonia resident, believed to have been driving his vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance.
Police were called to the intersection of Ford and Venoy roads at about 12:45 a.m.  June 21 following a report of a vehicle “doing donuts” in the roadway. When officers arrived on the scene, they reported observing a blue Chevrolet Traverse on Ford Road circling in reverse in the middle of the road.. Officers initially thought that the driver was unconscious, but after closer inspection were able to observe the subject was awake, holding the steering wheel, and smiling at them as the vehicle continued to circle, according to police reports of the incident.

Man is charged in shooting death of Wayne teen

Robert Shoats
Wayne police have arrested a suspect in connection with a
fatal shooting that took place in the city last Wednesday,
According to police, officers were called to the area of Richard and Fourth streets at about 6 p.m. July 29 following reports of a man suffering a gunshot wound. Upon arrival at the scene, officers discovered Kaleb Parish, 18, suffering from a gunshot wound to his face. He was immediately transported by Wayne paramedics to a local hospital for treatment but did not survive his injuries and died on Sunday, Aug. 2, according to official reports.
Police have arrested Robert Shoats, 19, of Wayne who was initially charged with discharge of a weapon in a building causing serious impairment and felony firearm.

Community mourns death of Sally Repeck

Sally Anne Repeck
Sally Anne Repeck, a well-known community activist in Plymouth, died July 19, 2020 following a four-year battle with cancer.
Ms. Repeck was the former chair of the Wayne County Department of Social Services and also chaired the Plymouth Downtown Development Authority during the streetscape revitalization in the city. She also served as the executive director of OASIS (a domestic violence agency for Cadillac, Wexford and Missaukee counties). Ms. Repeck was both a major community-supporter of the The Detroit Sunday Journal during the Detroit newspaper strike and a leading opponent of the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ms. Repeck was born March 1, 1956 to a “large and fiercely loving Polish Catholic family” in Detroit.

Plymouth Public Library opens building to patrons

Area residents received some very good news with the reopening of the Plymouth District Library last week.
The building reopened to the public last Wednesday with limited capacity due to state restrictions, noted Library Director Carol Souchock. The library will be open from 1 until 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and will remain closed for extra cleaning procedures on Sundays, Souchock said. Capacity will be limited to 25 percent in public areas, she said and the upper and lower levels will not be open at the time. Material requests from these areas will be located for patrons by library staff members, Souchock said.

Canton restructures public safety department

Chadwick           Christopher
Baugh               Stoecklein
Members of the Canton Township Board of Trustees have approved the restructuring of the township public safety department, naming two deputy directors following the retirement of the former public safety director earlier this year.
As part of the revamping of the department, trustees approved the appointment of Chadwick Baugh as the new director of police services - police chief and Christopher Stoecklein as the director of fire services - fire chief.
Baugh, who began his career with the township in 1996, will oversee all operations of the Canton Township Police Department. He has served in a leadership role with the department for the past 12 years.

Inkster resident wins $200,000 lottery drawing

Trying a new Michigan Lottery machine paid off for an Inkster woman.
Allison Quinland, of Inkster, matched four of the white balls and the Powerball - 02-08-18-21-23 PB: 16 - in the May 23 drawing to win a $50,000 prize. Thanks to the Powerplay, her prize was multiplied by four for a $200,000 prize. She bought her winning ticket at the CVS Pharmacy, located at 27365 Cherry Hill Road in Inkster.
“I stopped at the CVS and they had gotten a new Lottery machine,” said the 52-year-old Quinland. “Something in my gut told me to give it a try.”