Thursday, March 25, 2021

Communities to share in federal stimulus funding

Like area taxpayers watching their bank balances for the promised $1,400 stimulus checks, many local communities are anticipating the arrival of a share of the $4.4 billion in federal fiscal recovery aid allocated to Michigan. 

Federal reports released last week listed a total of $130.2 billion earmarked for distribution to local municipalities, in addition to the payments to individual taxpayers. Payments of more than $1.78 billion will be distributed to municipalities including Wayne County and local cities and townships directly from the U.S. Treasury.

Local arts groups awarded state economic impact grants

Local arts groups are celebrating the announcement last week of grants from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

In Westland, Inspire Theatre was awarded $39,009 while the Michigan Philharmonic in Plymouth was awarded $14,628 in funding to help relieve the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the arts groups. Tipping Point Theatre in Northville was awarded the highest amount of grant funding allowed at $40,000, according to the state.

The three venues were among 101 independent operators receiving $3.4 million from the state as part of the Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program. 

Northville schools pledge full return to classrooms this fall

Northville Public Schools will return to full, in-person classroom instruction in all programs this fall.

Members of the Northville district board of education unanimously adopted a resolution during the March 9 meeting to return to the full, in-person instruction beginning with the first day of school this fall.

“As a district, we want our community to be clear that we are actively planning for a full return in 2021-22. While no one can accurately forecast precisely what the circumstances will be in September, we are committed to getting our students back to in-person school 5 days per week with the necessary protocols in place,” noted a prepared statement from the school district.

City council to consider revisions to 5 ordinances

Five ordinances were presented to the Northville City Council last week by members of the city planning commission. Each of the ordinance revisions were presented for first readings by council members. The second reading, and pending official adoption, of each of the ordinances will be scheduled and take place at a future meeting of the council. No dates for the second readings or formal adoptions of the changes to city ordinances was announced. 

Among those presented was a revision to the  open front space regulations. The proposed language brings all residential areas into compliance with an ordinance that requires homeowners to keep a certain percentage of open space in the front of their home and not have disproportionate circular driveways or paved concrete areas that are too large for the space.

Haunted history

Meet and greet some of the characters from history during the Plymouth Historical Museum “Ghosts of Plymouth” walk, set for Saturday, April 24. Walkers will hear the tales of early Plymouth from the characters themselves. The walks begin at 5 p.m. and leave every 15 minutes, circling Old Village and lasting up to 90 minutes.

Police seeking suspects in Lake Pointe car burglaries

Plymouth Township Police say video doorbells and outside security cameras may be the key to identifying auto theft suspects caught on camera last week in Lake Pointe. 

Police detectives reported four vehicles were ransacked between 3 and 4 a.m. March 10. The vehicles were parked in front of homes on both Farmbrook Drive and Crabtree Lane in the subdivision.

Police Sgt. Mark Hoffman said the investigation continues as officers review security camera footage supplied by homeowners to identify the suspects. According to Hoffman, the suspects went about prowling and searching for valuables in the early morning hours - finding unlocked and unattended vehicles in the subdivision driveways.

Garden club meeting planned

Members of the Country Garden Club of Northville will be via Zoom at 11 a.m. April 7.

The speaker will be Rachel Hagen from the Living and Learning Enrichment Center. For information on participating in the meeting or the club, call (734)751-1156 or e-mail .

Reconstruction of dangerous intersection planned

Romulus Mayor LeRoy Burcroff is not a man who gives up.

It has taken Burcroff nearly seven years, but his persistent attempts to have the traffic intersection at Northline and Hannan roads reconstructed have finally paid off. Construction at the intersection, a cooperative effort between the city and Wayne County, is expected to begin April 15 and continue until Sept. 17, dependent on weather.  The reconstruction, officials said, is a continued effort to improve road safety and reduce vehicle crashes.

For decades, the site has been an area of concern for Romulus residents, who have often cited the high accident rate in the area. When Burcroff became mayor in 2014, he began to meet with Wayne County officials to bring attention to hazardous road conditions at the intersection.

Special delivery

Members of the Sumpter Township Police Department received a large envelope in the mail last week filled with thank you letters from the fourth-grade class at Keystone Academy in Belleville. Students hand-wrote the notes of support and admiration for the local police officers and thanked them for all they do in the community. Officers posted the notes on the official Facebook page with a note of thanks to the students and said it “was a great way to start the day.”

Township Hall remains closed

Van Buren Township Hall will remain open by appointment only through March 31, according to officials. 

Appointment hours are from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and some same day appointments are available.

“We're encouraging residents to use the dropbox in front of township hall or in the police lobby, to pay bills online or do business over the phone,” said township Supervisor Kevin McNamara.

Easter celebration set Saturday

The annual Easter celebration in Romulus is set for 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. this Saturday, March 27 at the Romulus City Hall Complex parking lot.

This year, the traditional holiday event will include strolling social distancing stations, a safe photo opportunity with the Easter Bunny, story tellers, goodie bags with special eggs that may contain giveaway item, stuffed animals and coloring sheets, while supplies last. 

Plymouth community mourns loss of Steve Harper

Stephen Harper
The Plymouth District Library and Plymouth community lost a champion earlier this month when library board member Stephen Harper passed away.  Mr. Harper was a dedicated and passionate volunteer and served the Plymouth community through his leadership in several organizations.  

“The Plymouth District Library has become an anchor institution in the Plymouth community greatly due to Steve's impact,” recalled Library Director Carol Souchock.

She said that a few years ago, Mr. Harper reflected on his role in the creation of the Plymouth District Library.

Indoor Farmers’ Market is planned

The Canton Farmers Market will return with a special off-season market at the Summit on the Park community recreation center next month.

COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place at the market which will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 18, in the Banquet Center.

A variety of local food growers and producers have signed on to participate in the market including: Pick Michigan - featuring produce, eggs, and tortillas; Kapnick Orchards - featuring apples, apple cider, and baked goods; Simply Gourmet Fresh - featuring salsa, chips, and gourmet butter;

Warm welcome

Canton Township officials took part in a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the new Fire Station #2, located on Warren Road, west of Haggerty Road. The new $6.5 million station is expected to be fully operational by the end of the month and fire officials are hoping to be able to host an open house for the public later this year.

A matter of balance

Canton Club 55+ sponsors virtual senior workshop

The Canton Club 55+ will sponsor A Matter of Balance workshop from 1 until 3 p.m. for eight Fridays. An information session about the workshop is set for 1 until 2 p.m. Friday April 9. 

The National Institutes of Health say that falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in people 65 and older. The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) is hosting the workshops online to help older adults reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of those who have concerns about falls.

Swing season

Dust off those golf clubs.  Pheasant Run Golf Club in Canton Township is now open for the 2021 golf season. The first tee time was set for 8:30 a.m. last Monday. In addition, the Pro Shop will be open at 8 a.m. If Mother Nature allows, the township course will remain open on a day-to-day basis. Masks must be worn inside the facility. To book a tee time, visit at! #GolfPRGC #GolfCantonMI #PheasantRunCantonMI.

First lady

During March, designated as Women's History Month set aside to honor women's contributions in American history, the City of Westland paid tribute to Justine Barns, a trailblazer who rose from a school activist to become a State Representative. “Justine Barns was a remarkable State Representative, councilwoman, philanthropist, leader and friend. Our community is a better place because of her countless contributions,” said Mayor William R. Wild. The late Mrs. Barns served on the original Westland Charter Committee when Nankin Township was converted to the City of Westland. She dedicated many years to the city before going on to serve in the House of Representatives. After spending 12- years at the Capitol, she served another four years on Westland City Council before retiring. “With a large list of firsts, Westland is proud to call her our “First” Westland Councilmember on the “First' City Council as well as the “First” woman president to serve the council, Wild added.

Wayne Main Street plans annual clean-up effort

Wayne Main Street is partnering with members of the Rotary Club of Wayne and the Friends of the Rouge to conduct a city-wide cleanup of the roads and paths bordering the Rouge River.

The clean up event, Community and Rouge River Clean-Up Day, is planned for 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, April 24. 

Volunteers can as much or as little as time and energy permit. Help is needed to pick up trash along the roads or trails or many other general clean-up tasks. The project is an effort to make the city more walkable and beautiful, a Wayne Main Street spokesman said.

Inkster man faces murder charge in fatal shooting of brother

Roderick Phillips, 50, of Inkster was due in court yesterday for a probable cause conference on charges he shot and killed his 57-year-old brother during an argument.

Prosecutors allege that Roderick Phillips fatally shot Michael Phillips, also of Inkster, during a disagreement just before 11:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 13.

Police dispatchers sent officers and an ambulance to a home in the 2600 block of Ross Street after receiving the emergency 911 call at 11:47 p.m.

Police seek identity of suspect in phone store robbery

Inkster Police Det. Andrea Lebo is hoping a member of the public will give her a call with information about the person who robbed a Cricket Wireless store last week.

According to police reports, the clerk at the store was held at gunpoint and robbed by a man at about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 16 at the store located at 27360 Michigan Ave. in Inkster.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

5 departments respond to raging brush fire

Last week, members of the Romulus Fire Department, along with  firefighters from four other area departments, fought a significant wind-driven field  brush fire. According to reports, the fire stretched about a half a mile by about 75 yards wide, challenging firefighters to control the blaze.  Some minor property damage was reported but there were no injuries or life loss, according to reports.

Communities mourn death of Sam Messina, 80

Salvatore “Sam” Messina
The death of Salvatore Antonio “Sam” Messina, the former long-time owner of The Courthouse Grill restaurant in Plymouth, is being mourned throughout the community.

Mr. Messina, 80, of Northville, died March 5, 2021 following a stroke.

He was born in Detroit on Feb. 21, 1941, to parents Antonino and Carrie (Yannello) Messina

Mr. Messina was renown throughout the area for his gentle charm and hospitality at The Courthouse Grille, formerly known as Ernesto's, where for more than 30 years he delighted in welcoming patrons to enjoy a fine meal and celebrate the special occasions in their lives. Concurrent to his proprietorship and until his retirement in 2001, Mr. Messina served as director of investor relations for Chrysler Corp. and Daimler Chrysler.

Westland joins national water conservation challenge

Mayor William R. Wild
Westland Mayor William R. Wild is not a man to back away from a challenge and he enthusiastically joined a national effort last week.

Wild officially agreed to join other mayors and communities across the nation in asking residents to make a long-term commitment to manage water resources more wisely. Municipal leaders were asked to urge their residents to take part in the annual Wyland National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation. 

This annual challenge takes place from April 1 through April 30 and is a non-profit national community service campaign that encourages leaders to inspire their residents to make a series of simple pledges at Pledges include commitments to use water more efficiently, reduce pollution and save energy. 

Residents oppose township sidewalk program

Julie Brown, Special Writer

Homeowners in Canton Township are calling the upcoming sidewalk repair/maintenance program set to begin April 1 a cruel joke.

Despite complaints from 10 or 11 residents during a March 9 public hearing which took place using Zoom, members of the board of trustees approved the project.

“Many homeowners are barely hanging on. This project needs to be suspended,” wrote one in comments read aloud that evening by township Clerk Michael Siegrist.

Summit to be site of 2 spring Indoor Farmers’ Markets

The Canton Farmers Market will return with special Off-Season Markets in March and April at the Summit on the Park community recreation center, with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. The markets will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 21, and April 18, in the Banquet Center at the Summit on the Park, located on 46000 Summit Parkway.

A variety of local food growers and producers have signed on to participate in these Off-Season Farmers Markets, including: Pick Michigan - featuring produce, eggs, and tortillas; Kapnick Orchards - featuring apples, apple cider, and baked goods; Simply Gourmet Fresh - featuring salsa, chips, and gourmet butter;

School trustee resigns post

Leonardo Savage has resigned his position with the Plymouth-Canton Schools Board of Education due to "continuing health challenges."

The resignation was announced by board president Patti McCoin during the March 9 meeting of the board members. 

"We thank him for his service to the school community and send our best wishes to Mr. Savage and his family," she said.

Northville Public Library welcomes new director

Maria Williams has been named as assistant director at the Northville District Library. In her new role, Williams will help to continue the mission of the library to providing a welcoming, user-friendly space, exceptional customer service, and innovative programming for patrons of all ages.

Williams previously worked at Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham  where she was the head of Adult Services, a job she held since 2014.  During her eight years at Baldwin, she significantly increased adult and teen program engagement and attendance, led the adult services department through a multi-million dollar renovation project, launched one of the best library makerspaces in the state, facilitated staff training through a catalog system migration, and - together with the administration - guided the library safely through the first year of the COVID-19. 

A little horse play

Maybury Farm in Northville is opening on weekends from noon until 5 p.m. While the Maple Syrup making tours are already sold out, the animals are  ready for guests. Masks and social distancing is required. Lavatory facilities are not open yet due to the weather, but there are portable facilities available. 

Shamrock on the Shelf is hiding in Plymouth

Visitors to Plymouth are hoping for the luck of the Irish this month as they participate in the Shamrock on the Shelf scavenger hunt. 

The Rotary Club of Plymouth and the Plymouth Downtown Development Authority scavenger hunt began last week and will continue through March 28.  Participants can use the time frame to complete one, or up to four, routes through downtown Plymouth to receive a $25 gift card from participating merchants.  The clues also have information about the Rotary Club of Plymouth and Rotary International.

Northville buildings are reopened

Township Hall and the Northville Community Center reopened March 15. The move is consistent with the lifting of restrictions through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, township officials explained. 

Township Hall hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and the Community Center doors will be open from 9 a.m. until noon Monday-Friday for walk-in traffic. Public safety headquarters will remain closed to the public except by appointment only.

‘Grab and Go’

Plymouth Library offers limited access

The Plymouth District Library re-opened to limited foot traffic on Monday, as part of the phase four of returning to public access.

The library is now featuring Grab and Go from noon until 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The public will be allowed visits of one hour or less. Also available will be computer use by appointment, copying, faxing and staff assistance.  

“Limited building access means that we will be opening the floors in stages, beginning with the main floor.  The upper floor and then the lower floor will follow as soon as safe staffing allows.  Staff is available and eager to bring materials for patrons from floors that are not yet accessible,” explained Library Director Carol Souchock.  

Unfunded pension liability reduced in Westland

Despite additional challenges for municipalities working through the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Westland has continued to find solutions to tackle some of the biggest city issues, including the unfunded pension liability. 

The City of Westland has issued $82,470,000 in bonds to pay for a majority of the costs of the unfunded pension liability for the defined benefit pension plan for government employees administered by the Michigan Employees Retirement System of Michigan (MERS), according to Mayor William R. Wild. 

Wayne chamber presents annual business awards

New Wayne Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Zachery Burskey welcomed the 2021 board of directors for the organization recently and presented the annual awards to local businesses.

Burskey, who has been with the chamber since December, said his goals were to provide benefit opportunities like health care options, business discounts and other digital events for the 80 or so chamber members.

HYPE Recreation Center and Wayne Main Street were each recognized by the chamber for non-profit work in the community. 

Sunshine Week prompts launch of new dashboard

The City of Westland has launched a new financial and community performance dashboard available at 

The new dashboard, powered by Michigan-based Munetrix, provides an insider's look at the financial health of the city by providing a convenient and easy-to-navigate portal for multi-year data regarding where city money comes from and where it is spent. Also included on the dashboard are other relevant financial reports and community data insights, according to a city spokesman. 

School trustees consider sinking fund millage

Members of the Van Buren Public Schools Board of Education are expected to decide next Monday whether to place a sinking fund millage on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The current sinking fund millage, set at .4917 of a mill, generates about $873,000 in tax revenue annually which can only be used for site improvements and building renovations. It will expire in 2022. 

While the district currently has building repair and improvement plans for the next three years, the anticipated sinking fund millage will fall short of the funding needed for the third year, explained Rob Kakoczki of Plante Moran CRESA during the meeting of the board members last week. He added that there is currently no funding balance for any emergency repairs included in those plans. The board members have approved a plan which includes projects costing $356,000 this year, $1,321,500 in 2022, and $2,020,000 in 2023.

Sumpter fire officials warn against outside burning

Sumpter Township fire officials have cautioned residents that outside burning of any kind is a serious risk in present weather conditions.

“Due to dry ground conditions across Southeast Michigan, the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) has upgraded the wildfire risk for our area to ‘Very High.’ Avoid outside burning of any kind,” is a message posted on the official police department Facebook page.

Van Buren Township now has new website

Van Buren Township has a new government website which members of the board of trustees hope will better serve the residents and employees of Van Buren Township. 

“This has been a long collaborative process involving every department and includes outside studies,” said Supervisor Kevin McNamara. 

“Every department has been working with the communications team to build a user-friendly searchable website. I am very proud of the spirit of shared intelligence and community that was put into building out this website.” 

‘COPE’ing skills

Inkster police offer mental health emergency service 

The Inkster Police Department has another new partner in responding to calls involving mental health incidents. 

In addition to the partnership with Growth Works, a non-profit organization in Plymouth serving youth and families, Inkster police also work in partnership with Hegira Programs, Inc. for assistance in calls that involve psychiatric emergencies. 

While the Growth Works partnership is designed to work with those experiencing opioid abuse, the new partnership with Hegira Programs, Inc. called C.O.P.E. (Community Outreach for Psychiatric Emergencies) is designed to help those experiencing a mental-health incident. COPE has a “hotline” available to officers who respond to calls at Adult Foster Care (AFC) and private homes in the city where mental health crises may be involved.

Oscar Hamilton, Sr. remembered, mourned in Romulus

Members of the Romulus City Council acknowledged the contributions of the late Oscar Curtis Hamilton Sr. during their regular meeting March 8.

They also offered condolences and sympathy to his family members who were involved in a serious automobile accident while mourning their loved one. During the meeting, Councilwoman Eva Webb explained that while Mr. Curtis was being mourned at the funeral home, members of his family were involved in an auto accident and one of his granddaughters seriously injured.

Mr. Hamilton, 94, died March 1, 2021.  A long-time Romulus resident, he was recently honored with a formal resolution acknowledging his contributions to the community by the city. Webb noted that the loss of Mr. Hamilton would be felt throughout the city due to his continued contributions and service.

Cemetery clean-up under way

Romulus City Clerk Ellen Craig-Bragg reminded residents during the meeting of the city council members last week that clean up of the Romulus Cemetery is under way.

“We are conducting the annual cemetery cleaning,” she said, “and I want to remind residents that floral arrangements, including wreaths and grave blankets and other items must be removed.”

Craig-Bragg said that flowers placed on graves at the cemetery must be in unbreakable vases and that cemetery officials are hoping to have the grounds cleaned and “looking nice for Palm Sunday.”

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Area clinics providing senior COVID vaccinations

Members of the Westland Fire Department
helped administer COVID vaccinations last week.
Members of the Westland Fire Department were “on call” for two days at the Vista Tech Center at Schoolcraft College last week.

City fire personnel worked side by side with soldiers from the Michigan National Guard to administer more than 2,000 doses of the COVID 19 Moderna vaccine to seniors on Monday and Wednesday.

Seniors from both the Plymouth and Canton communities were also scheduled for vaccinations against the pandemic-level virus this week and more than 550 Romulus residents 65 and older were vaccinated at the Romulus Athletic Center last month.

Sumpter study may connect township to state bike path

Sumpter Township officials have agreed to the first step in joining the Michigan state bike path program.

Trustee Don LaPorte suggested the township authorize a preliminary study during the Feb. 23 meeting of the board members. 

LaPorte said he had discussed the bike program previously and suggested the trustees approve a study to determine where bike paths in Sumpter might connect with the State of Michigan pedestrian bike trail. He said that on the state website, a map of bike paths did not include any of those in Sumpter Township.

Canton clerk’s office wins honors for election innovations

Clerk Michael Siegrist
Election services in Canton Township were recently honored with a Clearinghouse Award for “Outstanding Innovations in Election Cybersecurity and Technology.” 

The award was specifically for the development of Four Tools to Enhance Election Services program developed in the office of Township Clerk Michael Siegrist.

The four-pronged program was developed in an effort to enhance election services, Siegrist explained. The program included a restaurant waitlist management software system to reduce voter lines and increase efficiency; an online election inspector training video series featuring knowledge-based forms; a campaign to combat misinformation by partnering with the media to produce educational video interviews on mail voting and election audits and leveraging FEMA resources such as the National Incident Management Systems training to better serve voters. 

Deputy supervisor’s pay rate remains board topic

Finance Director Michelle Cole accepted the appointment as deputy supervisor in Sumpter Township last month, following the abrupt resignation of Kenneth Bednark.

Bednark reportedly resigned due to a pay dispute and a public disagreement with Supervisor Tim Bowman during a meeting of the board of trustees. The dispute regarding the hourly wage for the position was the topic of discussion by board members again during the Feb. 26 meeting when Trustee Peggy Morgan continued to advocate for a higher hourly wage for the position.

Food bank may soon open at Sumpter Township site

Sumpter Township Trustee Peggy Morgan asked her fellow board members to approve a request from Habitat for Humanity during the Feb. 23 meeting.

Morgan said she had been contacted by representatives of the non-profit organization about operating a Forgotten Harvest food distribution center in the township.

“This is all done and managed though the county,” she said, “The township needs only to provide a location.” Morgan said the township Community Center or the Parks and Recreation building would be possible locations for such a food distribution effort. She said that both the buildings have double driveways which would allow cars to pull up and pull out smoothly.

Inkster church offering online cancer program

Surviving Cancer is the topic of a YouTube program presented by Adventist Community Service of the Sharon SDA Church in Inkster.

The program became available for viewing this week on the Sharon Church website;

Presenters include Dr. Poala Hall, M.D. of the Henry Ford Health Systems and Elder Rita Parrish of the church. The program will explore cancer prevention, common forms of cancer and what to do if diagnosed with cancer.

The church website will also include the Karmanos C

Money man

Vijay Virupannavar has been named as treasurer for the City of Inkster. A 2018 Crain's 40 Under 40 selection, Virupannavar holds Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant designations. Virupannavar earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 2005 and completed a masters of accountancy from Western Michigan University in 2008. Virupannavar has performed public accounting services, S-1 consulting services, technical accounting consulting services, and just prior to his current role worked with Olympia Entertainment Inc. and 313 Presents LLC. Virupannavar is a co-founder and president of Let's Go Detroit (a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization, serves as the treasurer of the board of directors for One Detroit Credit Union, is an officer on the executive board of the Michigan Democratic Party where he is also a state central delegate alternate. He is vice chair of the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization, vice chair of the Western Michigan University Haworth College of the Business Young Alumni Advisory Board, and owns a passive real estate investing business.

Michigan Avenue building may be Amazon facility

The worst kept secret in Canton Township may be the planned Amazon warehouse facility on Michigan Avenue.

The site of the proposed building, described only as a warehouse and delivery station, is between Beck and Denton roads and will be 183,000 square feet in size. Plans for the structure were considered by the township planning commission during a recent meeting and recommended for approval. Members of the Canton Board of Trustees were expected to approve the plans during their meeting Tuesday. 

In discussing the proposed site plan at the commission me

Township Leisure Services deputy earns state honors

Jon LaFever, Canton Leisure
Services Deputy Director
Canton Leisure Services Deputy Director Jon LaFever was recently honored with the mParks 2021 Recreation Leadership Award that recognizes outstanding contributions in the area of leadership and recreation programming and seeks to inspire other parks and recreation professionals to achieve excellence throughout Michigan.

This prestigious award was presented to LaFever during the 2021 Virtual mParks Conference and Trade Show, which took place online last month. mParks, formerly known as the Michigan Recreation and Park Association, honors exemplary park and recreation professionals and citizen advocates across the state during the annual awards ceremony. Recipients of the Recreation Leadership Award embody the core values of their profession, demonstrate the highest level of performance in their job duties, and maintain a tremendous commitment to mParks and its membership, according to a spokesperson.  In addition, this award is the result of peer nomination from within the state community of parks and recreation agencies. 

Police chief hosts first virtual community meeting

Chief Ryan Strong
Wayne Police Chief Ryan Strong hosted the first of what he said he hoped were quarterly community meetings with residents last week.

Strong said he wanted to take the opportunity to communicate with the public and let them know what was happening in the Wayne department and answer any questions that residents might have. He began the Zoom meeting by noting that more than 400 Wayne seniors received a COVID vaccination during an event earlier in the month at the HYPE recreation center. 

He urged those who were unable to register for the inoculations to do so at or by calling (313)923-7531. 

Pet project

Dr. John Herman, DVM, left, and Romulus City Councilman William Wadsworth were on hand at the recent animal vaccination clinic and city licensing event which took place at the Romulus DPW building.  More than 125 pets were inoculated at the Feb. 27 event and a portion of the vaccination and testing fees were donated by Herman to help fund the city shelter. This was the 10th year for the event, which Wadsworth said was a great success. “People really appreciate it,” he noted.

Letters to veterans being sought

The City of Romulus Community Development Department is collecting letters for veterans during the month of March in celebration of Hug a G.I. Day.  Letters will be sent to veterans, both active and non-active.

Letters will be collected through the entire month of March and there is no age limit for writers.

Letters to be sent on to servicemen and women can be dropped off or mailed to the Community Development Office at 11111 Wayne Road, Romulus, MI 48174. For more information, call (734) 955-4535.

Second downtown survey of residents is completed

A second survey conducted by members of the Northville Planning Commission received 515 responses regarding three areas in the downtown area of the community.

The second survey sought public opinion and insight into the look and feel of new development, green space and physical attributes in the community. City Planner Sally Elmiger presented the survey report to members of the planning commission during their March 2 meeting. Elmiger described overall findings, areas of consensus and data on priorities for new development, traffic, walkability, parking, along with other factors. She said she had discussed the survey results with City Manager Pat Sullivan and members of the Master Plan Public Input Process Subcommittee, and their analysis was the basis of the report.

City to sell land to Poole's tavern

Members of the Northville City Council approved the preparation of a purchase agreement for the sale of some city property at the corner of Main and Hutton to facilitate the renovation and expansion of Poole's Tavern.

Current plans include adding a second floor and rooftop dining at the corner restaurant. Poole's owners will pay $45 per square foot of the 218 square foot of land being purchased.

Seniors may soon have teen pen pals

During the pandemic required time of social distancing and isolation, senior citizens are especially affected by the separation from their friends and families. 

North Youth Network (NYN) Youth Action Board members are developing a Pen Pal program between Northville youth and area senior citizens to help alleviate the feelings of isolation that many are experiencing due to the pandemic.

Westland man sentenced to prison in woman’s death

Anthony Kesteloot
Third Circuit Judge Donald Knapp sentenced Anthony Kesteloot, 27, of West-land to 5-15 years in prison in connection to the death of Westland resident Olivia Rossi.

Kesteloot had entered a plea of no contest to a charge of manslaughter, reduced from a charge of open murder. He had previously been charged with disinterment of a dead body, obstruction of justice, removing a dead body without proper permission, failure to report a dead body and tampering with evidence in a criminal case.

No contest is usually treated as a guilty plea by the court.

City may convert school into community center

Members of the Westland City Council have approved a conditional purchase of Marshall Upper Elementary School from the Wayne Westland school district.

The approval for the purchase of the 120,000 square foot building is dependent on a 120-day due diligence period during which city professionals will evaluate the Bayview Street building closed by the school district last year.

The building is being considered as a potential recreation, senior and community center. 

If the purchase meets the needs of the city, and a sale of the building is approved by the members of the Wayne Westland Board of Education, a purchase price will be negotiated, officials said. The abandoned school already has a gymnasium and track along with baseball, football and tennis facilities.

Greek Islands license suspended for COVID violations

The owners of Greek Islands Eatery on Main Street in downtown Plymouth were scheduled to appear at a hearing yesterday before an Administrative Law Judge to determine if the suspension of the liquor license should continue.

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) issued an emergency suspension of the liquor licenses and permits for G.I. Poros, Inc., d/b/a Greek Islands Eatery in Plymouth on March 2. Investigators said that the restaurant violated the gatherings and face mask order that was in effect, including allowing non-residential, indoor gatherings without requiring patrons to be seated; exceeding 25 percent of normal seating capacity; allowing prohibited intermingling; failing to require face coverings for staff and patrons and a lack of social distancing.  

Thursday, March 4, 2021

14-year-old accused of murdering grandmother

A 14-year-old girl has been charged with first-degree murder in the brutal stabbing of her grandmother last week.

Prosecutors allege that the teen, who was in the legal custody of her grandmother, planned the assault and have also charged her with second-degree murder in the death. A competency hearing was set for the girl during court proceedings Saturday before a magistrate at the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility in Detroit.

The victim, Cynthia Mosby, 65, was discovered by her son Feb. 22 when he arrived at her home in the 4150 block of Kimberly Drive in Canton to check on her welfare.  He is the father of the suspect. 

No ‘Rush’

Woman-owned Wayne trucking business sold

Rush Trucking has been in Wayne for nearly 37 years.
One of the celebrated success stories in the state came to an end last week with the sale of Rush Trucking Corp.

Andra Rush founded the Wayne business in 1984 using about $3,000 she had in savings, borrowing $5,000 from her parents and leveraging the limits on her credit cards. She grew the business to include the Rush Group, a holding company that includes Dakkota Integrated Systems and Rush Supply Chain Management. 

Her business grew to include more than 1,000 trucks transporting automotive parts across the U.S. and Canada. The company employed about 374 drivers and was one of the largest woman-owned businesses in the state. 

Romulus Animal Shelter is awarded grant from state

The Romulus Animal Shelter is located
at 12300 Wayne Road.
The Romulus Animal Shelter has been awarded a $4,376 grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Romulus was one of only 24 state shelters to receive a portion of the total $137,144 in grant funding, state officials said, which is designed to support various animal welfare projects.

The Animal Welfare Fund is supported by Michigan residents during tax season when they check the box on Form 4642, Voluntary Contributions Schedule on their state tax returns, designating the Animal Welfare fund.

Inkster police offer new drug intervention help

The Inkster Police Station is offering a drug intervention program
in an effort to avoid the serious increase in deaths from addiction.
Inkster police can now offer help rather than handcuffs to those suffering from drug addiction and related issues in the community.

The department has entered into a partnership with Growth Works to combat opioid and other drug addiction utilizing an approach of rescue, recovery and peer support. Growth Works, based in Plymouth, is a non-profit organization serving youth and families in western Wayne County since 1971. 

If an individual comes to the Inkster Police Department and asks an officer for assistance and is willing to detox and follow through with treatment, the officer will contact Growth Works and begin to triage the individual to determine the need for help, explained Inkster Police Lt. Jeffrey Twardzik.

Northville assessment appeals to take place on Zoom

Appointments for property owners planning to appeal tax assessments in the City of Northville can now be scheduled with the board of review.

The appeals will be heard on March 9 and 10 by Zoom. Property owners can also send a letter seeking appeal to the address listed on the assessment notice before 4 p.m. March 10.

Assessor Mitchell Elrod presented the assessment roll to the members of the board of review during an organizational meeting last Tuesday although no appeals were heard at that time.  

Sweeping success

4th Annual Curling Royale
generates funds for charity

The fourth annual Curling Royale tournament in Romulus brought out several four-person teams to participate in the charity event.

This year, the event earned $2,300 for the Great Lakes Burn Camp for Kids. First place honors for the day went to Team Newman who defeated the rest of the hopefuls with their sweeping skills during the Feb. 20 event.

Curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice toward a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. It is related to shuffleboard. Two teams, each with four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called rocks, across the ice curling sheet toward the house, a circular target marked on the ice. 

1 million calls seek Canton vaccine appointments

Julie Brown, Special Writer

As the phones opened Feb. 22 for the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations in Canton Township, some one million calls came in within six hours.

“It's really important that we acknowledge all the people” helping, said Christopher Stoecklein, Canton director of fire services. For those who made appointments, all now at least age 65, he urged them to show up no more than 10 minutes before their appointment, and for those without appointments to stay home.

‘Pal’entine party

Seniors celebrate holiday with visits from man’s best friend

There was a lot of love at the Valentine's celebration at Independence Village of Plymouth last month.

Residents and staff enjoyed visits from canine ambassadors who either live in the community or belong to staff members. Residents had the opportunity to sign up in small groups and watch as the visiting dogs performed tricks, paraded around in costumes, showed off their obedience training and “looked adorable.”

Trustees blast incorrect warming center claims

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees stressed the availability of the warming center in the community during inclement weather.

Supervisor Tim Bowman commented during the Feb. 23 meeting of the board members that he had received a phone call from Wayne County questioning the availability of the center following a letter to the editor printed in a local newspaper claiming that the center were not available or open to the public. He said it was disturbing to realize that such misinformation was circulated in the township.

Former councilman agrees to ‘discuss’ criminal plea

Prosecutors in the criminal case against former Wayne City Councilman Christopher Sanders have offered him a plea deal in lieu of a jury trial.

During a court hearing last Wednesday, prosecutors said they would extend an official offer of a plea deal this week in the case which charges Sanders with filing a false report of a felony, conspiracy to commit a false report of a felony and attempted false report of a felony. The charges, all felonies, stem from an Oct. 16, 2017 incident when Wayne City Manager Lisa Nocerini claims to have found a starter pistol and “fake drugs” planted in her car.

She reported finding the items to Wayne police and the investigation was referred to the Michigan State Police. When Jimmie Lee Chandler, 29, was arrested on a separate warrant two years later, he implicated Sanders, saying he had been paid to plant the items in the city manager's vehicle and then make the false 911 call.

4,500 call mayor’s office to schedule virus vaccinations

While all the appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations in Westland have been filled, those who were unsuccessful in scheduling inoculations this week will be put on the list for the next Wayne County clinic in the city.

Officials said more than 4,500 calls were handled in Westland from those older than 65 attempting to secure an appointment either Monday or yesterday at the VistaTech Center at Schoolcraft College. The calls for appointments were directed to the office of Mayor William R. Wild who praised his staff for handling the 4,500 calls.

Following registration for a vaccination, seniors were called to set an appointment until all the available slots were filled.