Thursday, April 29, 2021

Sumpter treasurer now denies claiming ‘missing funds’

The author of a political letter to the editor published in a Belleville newspaper remains in question despite the best efforts of Sumpter Township attorney Rob Young.

The matter was referred to Young by the township board of trustees for investigation following the Aug. 28, 2020 publication of the letter which alleged financial mismanagement in the township. 

Young told the board members during the April 13 meeting that he had interviewed every department head and spoken extensively with the financial director regarding  the claims. 

“There is zero point zero chance there is or was any money missing ,” he said. “I'll say it again, there is zero point zero chance there are any problems. This was all made up, there is no missing money.”

The published letter was signed by then candidate for Township Treasurer Jim Clark who repeatedly denied writing the letter during the meeting.

Pandemic concerns cancel Canton Liberty Fest

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another casualty with the cancellation of the largest community celebration in Canton Township for the second consecutive year.

Township officials said that the cancellation of the three-day Canton Liberty Fest which typically attracts thousands of individuals was necessary in light of the latest guidelines from State of Michigan public health experts. The cancellation is the second year the township has been forced to cancel the popular community event in an effort to mitigate the spread of the corona virus. Liberty Fest usually included carnival rides and midway games, live entertainment on two stages, a car and truck show, a marketplace and a variety of festival food. Traditionally, the festival concluded with a large fireworks display.

Volunteers sought to aid at COVID vaccination clinics

Volunteers to help in the fight against the pandemic are needed in Canton Township.

Canton has scheduled vaccination clinics each week through the end of June, and the effort is in need of volunteer assistants.

Currently, township officials are utilizing adult volunteers who have a current volunteer application on file with Canton Leisure Services or Canton CERT team members. Anyone who is currently a volunteer with Canton Township and would like to help out at the clinics, should review the available time slots and sign up at   

Volunteers are asked to work a four-hour shift and will have an opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, if desired. For more information, email

Local construction prompts caution from officials

Orange seems to be the color of the season in Canton Township as large barrels warn motorists of narrowed roadways and road signs advise of detours.

Canton officials recently advised motorists to pay attention and adhere to all the posted detour routes and to exercise caution through the construction areas like the current  rehabilitation and repair work on Canton Center Road from Cherry Hill to Ford Road which began last week. Lane closures are currently in effect to prepare for pavement removal next week, officials said. During the first phase of this project, all north and southbound traffic on Canton Center Road will be moved to the outside lanes while the middle three lanes are under construction. Traffic will be maintained in both directions for the duration of the project, however motorists should expect heavy delays, they advised.

Canton teen is accused of assaulting father with car

A 17-year-old girl has been charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm following an argument with her father.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Jenna Shi of Canton Township with assaulting her father, Guangjie Shi, 50, with a moving vehicle during an argument Tuesday, April 19.

Canton Township police were called to the intersection of Liberty and Stanton at approximately 4:44 p.m. in response to a report of a man injured after being thrown from the hood of a moving vehicle. Emergency medical personnel rushed Guangjie Shi to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries. 

Trustees hear state update from Lansing lobbying firm

Julie Brown, Special Writer

Members of the Canton Board of Trustees received an update from the township lobbying firm representative during the regular meeting earlier this month.

COVID relief funds have arrived in Michigan from the federal government, but disagreements between the Legislature and executive branch at the Michigan Capitol have delayed plans for spending the money explained Stephanie Johnson of Khoury Johnson Leavitt, the firm which represents Canton in Lansing. 

“That we're going to have to figure out how to spend. There are a lot of disagreements going on,” said Johnson during her report to the board members during the April 13 meeting.

Arts commission is sponsoring ‘Spell CANTON’ contest

Members of the Canton Commission for Culture, Arts, and Heritage are welcoming unique interpretations of the name using photos of objects in the community to spell out Canton. The letter art photography will continue to accept original artwork entries through Sept. 6.

Canton residents or groups with at least one Canton resident are asked to take pictures in the Canton community to create a unique sign spelling out C.A.N.T.O.N. for a chance to win a gift basket featuring a variety of gift cards valued at more than $100.  

Mayor opts not to seek reelection in November

Mayor LeRoy Burcroff
There will be no primary election necessary in the City of Romulus although voters will have several choices to make on the Nov. 2 General Election ballot.

Current Mayor LeRoy Burcroff has opted not to seek reelection. Seeking the top job in the city will be two familiar candidates, former Mayor Alan Lambert and current Romulus Director of Public Services Robert McCraight.

Long-time City Clerk Ellen Craig-Bragg will be unopposed as will incumbent Treasurer Stacy Paige.

Seeking terms on the seven-member city council will be incumbents Kathy Abdo; John Barden; Celeste Roscoe; Tina Talley; Eva Webb; William Wadsworth and Virginia Williams.

Senior Alliance plans free food distribution in Wayne

An emergency food distribution is planned for 10 a.m. until noon May 21 at The Senior Alliance, 5454 Venoy Road in Wayne.

Seniors ages 60 and older who reside in southern and western Wayne County communities are eligible for the food boxes which will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Also eligible are adults living with a disability residing with an individual 60 and older and individuals currently enrolled in the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver Program.

Traffic should  enter the parking lot from Venoy Road and follow the signs to enter the line. Food boxes are limited but participants are asked not to arrive before 9:30 a.m.

Help sought in finding junior high school time capsule

When a group of Romulus Middle School students buried a time capsule back in 1995, they did a really good job.

So good, in fact, that as the same Romulus High School Class of 2020 class members get ready to celebrate their delayed 20th class reunion, they can't find it. 

Romulus Councilwoman Kathy Abdo asked the members of the council during a recent meeting to use their personal resources to see if they might know of anyone who might remember where the time capsule was buried.

“They had to cancel the 20th reunion last year due to COVID,” Abdo told the board members, “but are planning to have it July 31 this year.”

5 file for mayor’s office, 13 seek council terms

Mayor William R. Wild
Westland voters will have the opportunity to winnow an extensive field of candidates for mayor and city council during an August primary election this year.

Westland City Clerk Richard LeBlanc received 18 nominating petitions from candidates last week, four hoping to unseat incumbent Mayor William R. Wild and 13 wanting to serve on the city council

The top two candidates for mayor chosen by voters during the Aug. 3 primary will move on to the Nov. 2 general election ballot. The top eight vote getters during the primary will appear on the November ballot seeking terms on the city council.

Candidates had until last Friday to withdraw from any of the races. 

Help wanted

Volunteers are needed for the annual Lighthouse Home Mission yard sale set for Friday April 30 through Saturday, May 8. All proceeds from the sale go to stock the food pantry at the facility. Volunteers are needed from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. each day of the sale and donations of gently used items of any type are being accepted.

Local man now serving on Navy Guided Missile Cruiser

Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach

A Westland man is serving aboard USS Philippine Sea, a U.S. Navy Flight II Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, homeported in Mayport, FLA.

Petty Ofc. 2nd Class Brian Williams is a 2014 Wayne Memorial High School graduate and 2019 graduate of Washtenaw Community College. Today, Williams serves as a damage controlman.

“I'm responsible for being a fire systems technician and firefighter aboard the ship,” said Williams. “I've also enjoyed the relationship I have built with my brothers.” 

On air

Megan Kirk is the new communications specialist with the WLND/Community Media team. Kirk’s duties will include coordinating Westland social media platforms, communications efforts, assisting with WLND programming and  hosting “On-Air” projects at the city cable channel.  Kirk has been a writer and content creator for many highly regarded content providers, officials said. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and loves to read and enjoys writing, news and being a dog mom to her 4-year-old poodle, Tucker, they added.

Be a ‘Buddy’

Church begins new reading program

Inkster children now have a buddy to help them develop strong reading skills.

Smith Chapel AME Church in Inkster has instituted a Reading Buddy Program which is designed to help children in grades K-4 improve reading and comprehension skills.  After consulting with a parent, each child is matched with a Reading Buddy who will read a book with the child.

Books are chosen from a curated reading list with a focus on cultural awareness, history and dream building.  Brand new books are mailed to the child free of charge and each time a child completes a certain number of books (two, five, 10) the child receives an incentive award. Children can keep the books to add to, or create, their personal library.   Pastor Katrese Kirk McKenzie said she believes the Reading Buddy Program can make a difference in a child's ability to be on pace, or possibly exceed, their grade level for reading and comprehension.  

Spring cleaning

Members of the Belleville Rotary Club, personnel from David C. Brown Funeral Home, Higgerson & Neal Funeral Home, and several local community volunteers braved the unexpected wintery-mix of springtime weather April 20 and picked up 25 bags of refuse, leaves, and other yard waste at Hillside Cemetery in Belleville. The volunteers cleaned about 750 pounds of debris from the cemetery while earlier in the day a group of Rotarians and friends also cleared storm drain blockages on Potter and Edgemont streets in Belleville.

Apartment unit wait lists now open

Wait lists for apartment units at Twin Towers, Demby Terrace and Parkside Estates in Inkster opened to applicants Tuesday.

The Inkster Housing and Redevelopment Commission (IHRC) opened the lists for those hoping to lease the units pursuant to HUD regulations. The Inkster Housing Commission will accept public housing applications from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at the administrative office, 4500 Inkster Road in Inkster.

City schedules public hearing on budget

A public hearing on the City of Northville 2022 budget is set for 7 p.m. May 17.

Members of the city council have been reviewing the budget during recent meetings with City Manager Pat Sullivan who detailed anticipated revenue and several larger expenses. Among those, he said during an overview of the budget, are street construction and parking repaving, and the renovation of the fire station. Unfunded pensions continue to be a large expense but that liability is being paid down steadily over time, Sullivan told the council members. He said the liability for retiree healthcare benefits (OPEB) is now fully funded. 

Finance Director Sandi Wiktorowski also responded to questions by council members with added input from department directors. 

Plymouth City Commission has only 4 candidates

The outcome of the Nov. 2 general election for the four expiring terms on the Plymouth City Commission is pretty much already determined.  

Only four candidates filed the necessary nominating petitions last week for the seats leaving voters to decide only which three candidates will serve four-year terms and who will serve the lone two-year term on the municipal body, unless write-in candidates appear later in the election cycle. 

Search and destroy

Garlic mustard, an invasive, destructive weed, is taking over the Coldwater Springs Nature Area off Ridge Road, north of Five Mile Road. The growth is detrimental to the greenery, since native plants have difficulty thriving in the presence of garlic mustard, officials said. To stop the spread, Northville Township, Northville Parks & Recreation and Friends of the Rouge are urging community members to join them in a garlic mustard removal event May 15, rain date May 22.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

State legislator facing multiple charges after crash

State Rep. Jewell Jones
State Rep. Jewell Jones, D-Inkster, 26, was arraigned Friday on multiple charges stemming from a single-car accident last week when he crashed his Chevy Tahoe into a ditch.

Jones is charged with four counts of resisting and obstructing a police officer which is punishable by up to two years in prison. Jones is separately charged with resisting and obstructing two Michigan State Police troopers, one Fowlerville police officer and one paramedic, according to the court complaint.

He is also charged with operating a motor vehicle with a high blood alcohol content, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, possession of a weapon while under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving. Jones had a blood alcohol content of at least 0.17 percent, according to the prosecutor, which is more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Talking trash

Residential recycling education is planned

Canton Township residents are about to get schooled in the art of recycling.

Canton Township launched Feet on the Street, a cart-tagging recycling campaign last week, with awareness and outreach activities to continue through the spring across the township. 

It's a new effort by Canton Township to improve the quality of recycling in single-stream curbside carts by providing the approximately 28,000 township households with personalized and real-time curbside recycling education and feedback.

Westland reports success with educational outreach program

Westland has experienced a massive reduction of contaminated recycling loads following education efforts in the city.

Mayor William R. Wild said the increased recycling quality is due to the comprehensive efforts to educate residents about the correct items that qualify for the recycling bins.

“As part of the city's strategy to improve recycling quality, the City of Westland has also established an interactive map which will allow the sanitation department to identify the routes of contaminated loads in order to identify which neighborhoods may require additional outreach,” commented Wild.

Former Belleville Mayor Dennis Fassett is mourned

Dennis G. Fassett
Dennis G. Fassett, 85, who was a former Mayor of Belleville, the first Westland Community Relations Consultant and a Managing Editor of Associated Newspapers, died peacefully at his home in Pennsylvania April 8.

Mr. Fassett was born July 25, 1935 at his parents' Dearborn home. He graduated from Fordson High School in 1954 and joined the U.S. Army where he served with the military police in Germany. Following his service in the army, he returned home in 1956 and began to attend college on the G.I. Bill. He moved to California to attend Los Angeles Community College and then transferred to the University of Southern California where he earned his bachelors degree in electrical engineering. 

He returned to Michigan for a job with Bendix Corp where he was employed for 17 years, working on the Apollo space mission launches.

Annual City of Wayne Clean Up effort is set for this Saturday

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 Rive Clean-Up Day, is planned for 9 a.m. until noon this 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.

Plans for state, federal voting redistricting discussed

Members of the Plymouth City Commission heard plans for the redrawing of national and state voting districts recently.

Sue Hammersmith, director of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC), attended a recent meeting of the commissioners to update them on the procedures. She noted that the group will begin scheduling public hearings in May throughout the state to inform residents and seek input from area citizens regarding the redistricting process.

She said a planned public hearing set for June 8 in Novi will be the nearest to Plymouth although the time and venue have not yet been finalized.

Help wanted

Vaccination clinic volunteers needed

Volunteers to help in the fight against the pandemic are needed in Canton Township.

Canton has scheduled vaccination clinics each week through the end of June, and the effort is in  need of volunteer assistants.

Currently, township officials are utilizing adult volunteers who have a current volunteer application on file with Canton Leisure Services or Canton CERT team members. Anyone who is currently a volunteer with Canton Township and would like to help out at the clinics, should  review the available time slots and sign up at EAFAC23A1FC1- vaccine.   

Canton has summer job openings

The Canton Leisure Services Department is currently seeking part-time and seasonal employees to work this spring and summer. 

Applications are currently being accepted for:  Day Camp Counselor; Pheasant Run Golf Club Grill Cook and Operator; Summit on the Park Member Services Attendant, Facility Assistant, and Lifeguards; Teen Services staff; Therapeutic Recreation Program Leader; Special Events Coordinator; Part-Time Custodial Maintenance Position; and Park Ranger. 

Applicants will find an assortment of different work environments with Canton Leisure Services, a spokesman said, include working outdoors, interacting with the public or assisting behind the scenes in one of the many township facilities, a spokesman said.  

Northville schools will continue current learning plan

Northville Public Schools will continue in-session classes at Northville High School as scheduled, despite a recommendation from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer suggesting schools utilize virtual instruction for a two-week period as COVID cases continue to spike.

In a communication to parents, Superintendent of Schools Mary Kay Gallagher explained that the district would “continue to carefully monitor COVID-19 cases and follow safety protocols.”

“This is not a decision we take lightly.  Throughout the pandemic, we have carefully considered the recommendations of our public health officials, including the CDC and MDHHS, in implementing safety protocols, mitigation measures, and learning plan options,” she explained.

Police autism program adopted statewide

Northville Township Community
Service Ofc. Andrew Domzalski
A program created by Northville Township Community Service Ofc. Andrew Domzalski to help emergency personnel respond more effectively with those with autism has been adopted across the state.

Each emergency vehicle in Northville Township carries the innovative “calming bags” that contain earmuffs, sunglasses and sensory toys to make police and citizen interactions more comfortable for those with autism. 

Domzalski's idea caught the attention of the Michigan State Police and they have recreated these bags to put in patrol vehicles across the state. This extra touch shows the dedication of the Northville Police Department to provide ongoing support for every member of the community, officials said.

Spring cleaning should include expired, unused medications

The Northville Township Police Department has a tip for spring cleaning: Do not forget the medicine cabinet.

Police recommend disposal of all expired or unused medications and have partnered with the Drug Enforcement Agency for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 24.  

Too often unwanted prescription drugs are misused in the wrong hands, officials advised and urged residents to bring expired, unused prescription pills - safely and anonymously - for disposal to Public Safety Headquarters, 41600 Six Mile Road.  Liquids, needles or sharps, however, cannot be accepted, only pills or patches. 

Firefighter terminated for taking double pay

Following lengthy and heated discussion, members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees last week terminated firefighter Colleen Armatis in connection with payroll irregularities.

Armatis, through her representative Jim Steffes of the Michigan Association of Firefighters, waived her right to a closed session and employee confidentiality during a hearing on the matter which was part of the board Zoom meeting March 13.

Armatis, who has been with the department about 5 years, is accused of taking double payments from the fire department for fire runs and while completing her firefighter one video training which occurred while she was also being paid for hourly work. According to the union contract which became effective in January 2020, firefighters are paid a base fee per run or response to a fire alert tone and then hourly.  If the individual is already being paid by the township for other work, the run fee is to be deducted from the hourly rate they are already being paid.  

City infrastructure construction continues in Romulus

Romulus Mayor Leroy Burcroff has a very nice problem.

Burcroff recently asked residents to “pardon the dust” in the city as various community infrastructure projects continue construction.

Burcroff said than many of the projects are in response to requests or concerns expressed by residents and that the city had responded.

Currently under construction, he said is the new Ozga Sanitary Sewer. a  new sewer line from The Progressive Hall to St. Aloysius Church to service the residents along the West side of Ozga who have failing sewers.

Former teacher facing sex abuse charges

Ted Mark Anderson
A former teacher at the Thomas Gist Academy in Inkster has been charged with the three-year-long sexual assault of a student during his employment at the school.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Ted Mark Anderson, 61, of Detroit, in connection with the sexual assault of a minor. It is alleged the sexual assaults began in the fall of 2007 when Anderson was the middle school science teacher of the sixth-grade student at the school located in the 29850 block of Rosewood in Inkster. 

The victim is now an adult and her name and age are not being released by authorities. 

Housing Commission awarded $227,860 federal grant

Inkster residents are about to get some help from Washington, D.C.

The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded the Inkster Housing Commission $227,860 under the Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) Grant program. Ross Grant funds will help the agency hire a service coordinator for a 3-year period who will assist public housing families with financial literacy, employment and job readiness, and post-secondary education opportunities.

The program is intended to serve the entire 751 households within the Inkster Housing Commission portfolio.

Inkster man accused of shooting Wayne resident in knee

A verbal argument last week led to the arrest of an Inkster man who now faces multiple felony charges in the wounding of a man from Wayne.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged James Lauther Moore, 76, of Inkster, in connection with the non-fatal shooting of Elisha Parker, 27, of Wayne. 

According to police reports, Parker went to Moore's home in the 1620 block of Helen Street at about 2:21 p.m. April 13 in an attempt to secure information regarding life insurance. Prosecutors allege that the defendant became verbally aggressive with the victim and that an argument ensued.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

$27 million awarded to Detroit Metro Airport

Detroit Metro Airport, located in Romulus, will receive $27,639,316 in federal funding to pay for infrastructure improvements.

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters said that the U.S. Department of Transportation will be awarding the funding, along with $116,859 to Willow Run Airport, to be used toward costs related to operations, personnel, cleaning, sanitization, janitorial services, and combating the spread of pathogens at the airports.

Oh, ‘Deer’

Fishermen rescue doe stranded in freezing river

Don Howard, Staff Writer

Plymouth Township resident Mike Kafila with the
doe he and Steve Rauser saved from drowning.
Plymouth Township resident Mike Kafila and his long-time friend and fishing buddy Steve Rauser experienced a real spiritual uplifting Easter weekend. 

While Walleye fishing in the Detroit River they encountered what they at first thought was a log. As Kafila motored their boat closer it became apparent that the “log with two eyes” was a yearling doe struggling for her life in the frigid 39-degree waters off  Horse Island.

Horse Island is a small peninsular island in the downriver area of the Detroit River, south of Gibraltar, a mile west of the southern tip of Grosse Ile.

After starting their day at sun-up, Kalila and Rauser, who love to fish for Walleye at what they claim is one of the best spots for miles around, had finished lunch and were ready to turn back in their 17-foot rig at about noon when they spotted the deer.

Canton man pleads guilty to child sexual abuse charges

Shailesh Patel
The Canton Township man facing both federal and state charges of sexual abuse of minors entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court last week. He has previously entered a guilty plea in Wayne County Circuit Court to charges of sexual abuse of minors.

Shailesh Patel, 53, is accused of abusing children from the ages of 5 through 12, who were known to him, according to court pleadings, from the temple they all attended. Two female victims, now both in their 20s, described the abuse during interviews with agents of the FBI and local police during the investigation of the allegations.

Patel owned a Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins franchise and would drive children from the temple to the businesses to buy them treats.

Mayor submits $70 million balanced budget to council

Westland Mayor William R. Wild presented a $70 million balanced budget proposal for fiscal year 2021-22 to members of the city council last week for approval.

The proposed budget adds approximately $157,000 to the General Fund unassigned balance, preserving a “rainy day” fund balance at approximately $6.6 million. 

Highlights of proposed budget include an overall taxable value increase of 3.30 percent; a provision to continue the city match for 13 federally-funded SAFER grant firefighters; an addition of a full-time Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) director as well as funding to research converting the vacant Marshall Middle School into a community recreation center. Funds are also allocated to create the first dog park and Pickle Ball courts in the city. 

Doggone it

City K-9 officers don donated vests

Westland Ofc. Odin
Two Westland police officers will be a lot safer following the donation of customized body armor, designed to protect them in emergency situations.

Canine officers Odin and Rio of the Westland Police Department K9 unit will receive bullet and stab protective vests funded by a donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

The vests for the German shepherd officers are being funded by Sharon Peters of Grosse Pointe Shores, and will be embroidered with the sentiment "In memory of Det. Lt. Richard J. Scott." Delivery of the safety equipment is expected within 6 to 8 weeks, officials said.

Birthday wishes

Also celebrating in Westland last week was Bella the certified fire dog who marked her fifth birthday with a canine-pleasing cake. Bella's handler, Capt. Jeff Stobbe, was on hand to help the Labrador Retriever mark the occasion.

Bella, who came to Westland fully trained from Texas, is a certified arson detection canine and the first arson dog in Western Wayne County. For more than three years, she and Stobbe have helped area fire investigators locate trace evidence that reduces the time and duration of fire investigations and minimizes the potential for oversights.

Bella received multiple good wishes on the Facebook post celebrating her special day.

City wide clean-up is now under way

A joint effort of the Westland Public Service and Neighborhood Services Department has been launched with Operation: Clean Sweep program to address the trash which has accumulated in the city during the winter months.

Mayor William R. Wild said the city would be divided into five sections and employees from both departments will pick up trash along the major and local roads, city parks and any vacant commercial properties.

Canton Indoor Farmers’ Market set for Sunday

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

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; The Cheese People of Grand Rapids - featuring cheese; Boblin Honey- featuring honey;

Special guest

State Rep. Matt Koleszar, vice-chair of the House Elections and Ethics Committee, right, visited the office of Northville Township Clerk Roger Lundberg last week to discuss the election process with Lundberg and Deputy Clerk Katie Anderson.

Teen B.L.O.C.K. program receives $5,000 donation

The Transpire Nights program at the B.L.O.C.K. Youth and Teen Center in Canton recently received a $5,000 donation from the Masco Corp.

Transpire Nights, which takes place monthly at the center, provides support, education, and advocacy for area LBGTQ+ and ally students, and provide them with a place to engage in discussions, plan activities, and build community with their peers. Funds donated by Masco will be used to provide certified therapists as discussion leaders for upcoming sessions. 

Reappointment is announced

Canton Township Director of Police Services Chadwick Baugh has been reappointed to the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 

Baugh's reappointment is for a term expiring March 1, 2023. He will represent the interests of law enforcement and his nomination was submitted by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.

Area legislator arrested following vehicle crash

Jewell Jones
State Rep. Jewell Jones has been released from the Livingston County Jail following his arrest last week following a traffic accident.

He was arrested by Michigan State Police last Tuesday, April 6, and released on Wednesday afternoon, officials said, “pending further investigation” while lab tests are completed, they said.

Jones represents the 11th District which includes Garden City and Inkster, and portions of Dearborn Heights, Livonia and Westland.

According to Michigan State Police, a 25-year-old Inkster man was arrested following a crash on I-96 late Tuesday night in Livingston County. While state police did not identify Jones, a video recording of a Chevrolet Tahoe driving on the shoulder of I-96 and then erratically swerving while traveling at about 50 to 55 mph was submitted by a witness to police.

Sumpter Township board OKs $55,000 ADP contract

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees agreed to enter into a contract for Human Resources and Payroll Services through ADP during their regular meeting earlier this month.

The $55,000 annual services contract is expected to save the township about $68,000 annually, according to estimates from officials. In addition to the $55,000 fee, the township will pay a one-time implementation fee to Foster Thomas, a contractor used by ADP to help install and set up the computerized system.

City of Wayne seeking police force applicants

Those looking for a career in law enforcement have an opportunity with the City of Wayne where applications to join the police department are now being accepted.

The department has posted a job opening and distributed flyers seeking candidates to join the 21 sworn officers, 10 police service aides and six support staff department.

"Our police department has earned a reputation of excellence among the law enforcement community and the respect of the city we serve. All of our officers are highly trained professionals that are committed to the core values of integrity, fairness, respect, honesty, courage and compassion," said Chief Ryan Strong on the official Wayne Police Department web page.

Lost 1985 time capsule sought by class of 2020

When a group of Romulus Middle School students buried a time capsule back in 1995, they did a really good job.

So good, in fact, that as the same Romulus High School Class of 2000 class members get ready to celebrate their delayed 20th class reunion, they can't find it. 

Romulus Councilwoman Kathy Abdo asked the members of the council during a recent meeting to use their personal resources to see if they might know of anyone who might remember where the time capsule was buried.

Wise move

Romulus will save $16,000 in cost to move court equipment

Equipment and furniture will be moved into
the new 34th District Court building in Romulus.
City of Romulus officials are among the few who have found a silver lining amidst the current health concerns of the COVID-19 health restrictions.

That silver lining is going to save the city about $16,000 in costs to relocate the 34th District Court equipment from the former building into the new courthouse, located in the city hall and library complex. 

During a recent Zoom meeting, Mayor LeRoy Burcroff asked members of the council to approve the waiving of the bidding process and award a contract in the amount of $15,964 for the moving of furniture, files and other items from one court building to the other.

Rosie’s Reply

Yankee Air Museum names restored B-25 bomber plane

The historic B-25 Bomber at Yankee Air Museum has officially been christened Rosie's Reply and the new name is now painted on the nose of the refurbished World War II fighter plane.

Officials from the museum said the new name is part of the continuing mission to inspire America through honoring the accomplishments of the women collectively known as Rosie the Riveter. The World War II B-25, formerly known as Yankee Warrior, was repainted in December courtesy of Kalitta Air to the exact color specifications it wore flying eight combat missions from Corsica in 1944.

“After the attack on Pearl Harbor, American men left industry in huge numbers to enter the military, creating a severe labor shortage,” said Museum President Kevin Walsh. “To answer this aggression and arm the military, manufacturing in all sectors had to increase. A call for workers went out and women answered that call.”   

Plymouth District Library reopens 3rd floor to public

All three floors of the Plymouth District Library are now open for browsing, including the youth floor. The area was opened last week to coincide with the first day of National Library Week.  The theme of the week-long celebration this year “Welcome to Your Library” celebrates both the ways in which libraries extend far beyond the walls of the building and that all are welcome to use their services.  

“The Plymouth District Library is proud of the ways we continued to serve our community during the recent lockdown, and we are so happy to be welcoming back our youngest patrons to the unique pleasure of browsing,” said Library Director Carol Souchock.

City compost pick-up is under way

Compost/yard waste curbside pickup began April 5 in the City of Plymouth.

Compost must be placed in a brown Kraft lawn refuse bag or a can marked for compost, officials said.  Compost can may be marked with an “X” or identified with a “compost” sticker available at the Municipal Services office, located at 1231 Goldsmith. Compost includes grass clippings, leaves, branches, and yard debris but does not include sod, dirt, rocks, dog excrement, or potted plants. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Sumpter adopts new Community Risk Reduction Program

A Community Risk Reduction Program was unanimously approved by members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees during their meeting March 23.

In addition to offering free smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, along with assistance in installing the devices for all residents, the program is designed to prepare and educate both public safety first responders and families with special needs members in advance of an emergency situation. 

The program, a product of research Fire Department Lt. Jaime Goode completed during his classes at Fire Staff and Command School, has received widespread attention and acclaim for being pro-active with special needs families in the community. It is being adopted in multiple communities throughout the state and at the federal level.

Marijuana licensing system prompts multiple lawsuits

The awarding last month of the first marijuana licenses in Westland has already been challenged in court by several business owners who were not granted the conditional licenses.

One of the lawsuits, filed by attorney Anthony Bologna representing MHS Westland, resulted in the issuance of a temporary restraining order by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge John Gilllis, preventing the licensing process from proceeding. Bologna also filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of another client seeking a marijuana license in the city,  Harper Ventures, LLC.

The 5-2 vote of council members took place during the March 15 meeting and granted licenses to seven retail marijuana operations in the city. Council members determined which applicants would receive permission to proceed using a scoring system which awarded points for various aspects of the proposed businesses, including the remediation and or clean up of sites in disrepair in the city.

Boogie Nights

Dads and daughters got their “boogie” on in Romulus recently and didn't let the pandemic interfere with the annual Daddy-Daughter dance in the area. Recreation planners in the city moved the event to the city parking lot where the couples could show off their dance moves during the Daddy-Daughter Parking Lot Disco event.

‘Shamrock’ hunt proves successful

Members of the Noon Rotary Club in Plymouth demonstrated their commitment to the well being of the community recently with a donation of up to $10,000 to help local businesses survive during the ongoing pandemic.

The club, in partnership with the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), sponsored the successful Shamrock on the Shelf scavenger hunt through downtown Plymouth last month. The Rotary club bought $25 gift cards from participating businesses that posted the colorful Shamrocks for the scavenger hunt.  With more than 350 participants, the result was the purchase of $300 in gift cards purchased directly from 30 participating businesses that were given away.

Wayne Main Street faces funding crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening yet another entity in the City of Wayne.

Wayne Main Street, a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization which works to improve the retail and environment of the downtown area, is feeling the impact of the lack of donations during the past year.

“All of our operating costs, including the required salary of our director, are raised through donations from the public, corporate sponsorships and fundraising events,” noted Juan Bradford, president of Wayne Main Street in a recent communication to members and the general public. 

Area mourns death of attorney Don Morgan

Donald Morgan
Well-known Plymouth attorney Donald “Don” Crane Morgan, 80, passed away peacefully at Angela Hospice on March 26, 2021. A long-time resident of Plymouth, he was a pillar of his church and community for more than 55 years. 

Mr. Morgan was born in Detroit to Nancy Crane Morgan on Sept. 17, 1940.  He attended Lakewood High School, and after becoming president of the senior class, finally got a date with Judy Munro, his wife of 58 years. 

Like his mother, Mr. Morgan attended Ohio Wesleyan University, where he joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), and made many lifelong friends. After graduating in 1962, he often returned there with his wife,  most recently for his 55th graduating class reunion. 

Hop on board

The Easter Bunny Express recently traveled to St. Thomas a'Becket Church and two other neighborhoods as Canton Leisure Services and the Canton Public Safety Department helped residents celebrate Easter and spring cheer. About 150 residents were able to have their photo taken with the Easter Bunny and enjoy Easter candy.  In addition, participants were able to choose from donated items collected by St. Thomas a'Becket Church, including: reusable bags, raincoats, rain boots, hats, gloves, sports equipment, arts and crafts kits, toys, as well as personal care items such as shampoo, toothpaste, bath gels and more. “These types of special events help strengthen our community while providing a fun and supportive experience for the participating families,” said Laura Mortier, Canton recreation specialist. “Canton Leisure Services and Canton Public Safety's partnership with St. Thomas a'Becket is an indispensable part of the equation which helps us meet a critical community need that would be difficult to fulfill without their support.”

Westland sidewalk renewal program wins national honor

Another Westland project has been honored as an outstanding civic improvement.

Last week, the Shuman Sidewalk project in the city was named as the winner of the American Public Works Association (APWA) 2020 Michigan Project of the Year Award in the category of “Quality of Life Projects less than $1 Million.” Construction for the project was completed in August 2020 at a cost of $208,000. Funding for the project was provided by a SEMCOG grant through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), which aims to support intermodal forms of transportation, according to City of Westland officials. 

City-wide clean-up day is set

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 Rive Clean-Up Day, is planned for 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, April 24. 

Public safety director’s contract is renewed

Chief Eric Luke 
A 3-year employment contract for Sumpter Township Public Safety Director/Police Chief Eric Luke was approved by members of the township board of trustees by a 5-2 vote last month.

The dissenting votes were cast by Trustee Peggy Morgan and Treasurer James Clark. Morgan had expressed her concerns about the contract during the study session which preceded the March 23 meeting.

“I do not feel the police chief should oversee the fire department nor the fire department oversee the police,” she said during the discussion of the contract.

Trustee Matt Oddy responded that he had seen only positive reaction to the current structure in the public safety department and had not heard any negative comments regarding the situation.

Romulus city council extends state of emergency

Mayor LeRoy Burcroff
Members of the Romulus City Council voted unanimously in a special meeting last week to extend the state of emergency in the city and continue the COVID-19 health precautions currently in place.

Mayor LeRoy Burcroff said that the meeting was recommended by city attorney Steve Hitchcock to allow the city to conduct meetings electronically through June 30. Hitchcock explained that Elizabeth Hertel, director of the state department of Health and Human Services recently suggested that due to the increase in the number of daily cases of COVID-19 in the state, health precautions be continued through April 29. Hitchcock said that Hertel had also cited the number of hospitalizations that were increasing throughout the state and that she had recommended keeping the 25-person limit on public gatherings in place.

“Well obviously, we can't have a public meeting limited to 25 people. We have no idea how many people might want to attend,” Hitchcock said.

School district will not request millage on upcoming ballot

Members of the Van Buren Public Schools Board of Education have decided against placing a Sinking Fund millage on the Nov. 2 ballot. Despite a previous request from Superintendent of Schools Pete Kudlack, the issue did not come to a vote of board members following a discussion of the proposal.

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 revenue 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 month.

Northville man faces charges in restaurant break-ins

Mark Tulik
A Northville man is facing nine charges following his arrest for breaking into restaurants in Livonia and Redford Township, all on March 15.

Mark Tulik, 49, was arraigned in 16th District Court last week on charges related to the March 15 break-in of a Livonia restaurant, according to court records. He was charged with breaking and entering a building with intent to commit a crime, two counts of fleeing and eluding police, two counts of resisting arrest and a count of possessing a burglar's tools. 

He is also facing charges in 17th District Court in relation to break-ins at two Redford Township restaurants, including two counts of breaking and entering, two counts of fleeing police, two counts of resisting arrest and count of possessing a burglar's tools.

Spring cleaning

Inkster officials detail rules for pick-up of residential trash, compost

As residents throughout the area begin traditional spring cleaning, the Inkster Department of Public Service has a few cautions for those preparing to dispose of debris accumulated during the winter months. 

Trash pick-up will continue on the regular weekly schedule, officials said, although specific holidays usually delay pick-up by one day. Those changes are clearly marked on the city calendar, available of the City of Inkster website.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Social worker embedded with Canton police

Hegira Health, Inc. is placing an embedded social worker with the Canton Police Department, a one-year pilot program. 

Members of the township board of trustees discussed the program during their March 23 meeting, with Canton Township Director of Public Safety Chad Baugh who explained that many calls to police involve mental health issues, including substance abuse.

“I see it more navigating this world we live in,” Baugh said in response to a question from Trustee Sommer Foster.

Proposals came from Hegira Health, Growth Works, and Services to Enhance Potential. Baugh noted his department doesn't have a relationship with the latter, but has worked for years with Growth Works on the youth diversion program.

3 facing murder charges in 2017 shooting death

Timothy Eugene Moore       Shandon Ray Groom       Shane Lamar Evans
Three men will face trial on multiple charges in the death of 27-year-old Egypt Covington who was killed in her Van Buren Township home on June 22, 2017.

Timothy Eugene Moore, 34, of Toledo, OH, Shandon Ray Groom, 28, also of Toledo, OH, and Shane Lamar Evans, 31, of Sumpter Township were bound over for trial last Thursday by 34th District Court Judge Tina Brooks Green.

Moore is charged with one count each of first degree murder, felony murder, home invasion first degree, and four counts of felony firearm. Groom was bound over on one count each of first degree murder, felony murder, home invasion first degree, and three counts of felony firearm. 

Ex-councilman rejects plea deal; city manager settles

Christopher Sanders
Criminal charges against former Wayne City Councilman Christopher Sanders will be decided in a jury trial following his rejection of a plea deal from the Wayne County prosecutor.

Sanders is charged with filing a false report of a felony, conspiracy to commit false report of a felony and attempted false report of a felony in connection wtih a 911 call concerning a road rage incident on Oct. 17 of 2017. Through his attorney, John Cahalan, Sanders  rejected both proposed plea deals which offered him two years of probation, no jail time, and no personal or third-party contact with Wayne City Manager Lisa Nocerini, the alleged victim in the incident. 

The rejected plea deals required Sanders, 52, to plead guilty to conspiring in a false felony report or pleading guilty to attempting a false felony report along with one count of false report of a misdemeanor. 

Schools to seek non-homestead millage renewal

Voters in the City of Northville and Northville Township will be asked to renew a non-homestead operating millage for the Northville Public Schools on a May 4 ballot.

The ballot question would renew the current millage rate of 19.2383 mills on all non-homestead property for five years, from 2022 to 2026. This millage applies only to non-homestead property such as businesses, rental properties, and second homes. Even though owners of primary residences are not affected, state law requires a district-wide election to approve the operating millage, district officials said.

Northville Art House exhibits work of local students

The Northville Art House is celebrating the spirit of creativity in Northville Public Schools through two exhibitions, the Northville High School International Baccalaureate (IB) Art Exhibition and the Northville Public Schools Virtual Art Exhibition, on view until April 14.

The Northville High School IB Art Exhibition is a culmination of the annual International Baccalaureate Art program at Northville High School. In the program, students explore skills, techniques, processes, and vocabulary which they use to pursue an in-depth investigation of art and this self-curated group exhibition, an art house spokesman said. In the exhibition, 19 students are displaying their best work along with a written rationale at the Northville Art House.

Garden Club meeting is planned

Members of the Country Garden Club of Northville will be meeting 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

Hot idea

Romulus Fire Department teams up 

with high school, college for training

Aspiring fire fighters can expect some hands-on training while still in high school at the Schoolcraft College Fire Training Institute where the Romulus Fire Department is a partner in their professional education.

Romulus Fire Chief Kevin Krause said the city and the department recognized the need for more firefighters and alternative trade options for high school students some time ago. The Romulus Fire Department  partnered with the college and local high schools to dual enroll students in the college Fire Training Institute. 

In Michigan, individuals under 18 can only start firefighter training if they are sponsored as a cadet by a fire department. Krause and the Romulus Fire Department stepped up to bring students on board.

School board president resigns, applicants sought

Edward Martell, who served as a Romulus Community Schools Board of Education Trustee since 2018, announced his immediate resignation due to a change of residency, effective Monday, March 22.

Superintendent of Romulus Community Schools Dr. Benjamin P. Edmondson said that Martell, who served as president of the school board, was “the epitome of what our board president needed to be” since taking over six months ago. 

“He shielded us from nonsense at the board table; he emphasized order; he worked collaboratively with me and the board members; he led with efficiency and not once micromanaged.” 

Federal grant will help fund local health clinic

Western Wayne Family Health Centers located in Inkster was recently awarded federal funding to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Inkster center, located on Hamlin Boulevard, will share in the $3,109,250 grant announced by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow  and Gary Peters. The funding can be used by health centers for staffing, personal protective equipment, screening, testing, or other needs for fighting the coronavirus pandemic. This funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and was included in the American Rescue Plan that was signed into law on March 11, according to a prepared statement from the congress members. 

Station identification

Last week Canton Township firefighters began operating from the new Fire Station No. 2, located on Warren Road, just west of Haggerty Road. The new $6.5 million building replaces the original Station No. 2 built in the early 1970s, and will continue to serve the northeast section of Canton. The new, larger facility is expected to improve service levels in the area with the capability of housing two additional firefighters who will staff a second ambulance providing service from the new location, officials said.  Other features of the new station include a decontamination area for firefighters to wash up before entering the station after potentially harmful exposures;

Police chief may become Belleville city manager

One candidate to become the new city manager in Belleville stood out above the other 20 hopefuls who applied for the job.

Police Chief Dave Robinson who assumed the city manager role as an interim position when Tracey Schultz-Kobylarz left the job about a month ago, is expected to be offered the job while continuing to lead the police department. 

Schultz-Kobylarz was hired when former long-time City Manager Diana Kollmeyer retired in February of 2020. During a Zoom meeting earlier this month, members of the city council agreed to establish a committee to explore the possibility of having Robinson, also hired in February of 2020, continue in the city manager position while continuing his current responsibilities as police chief.

Going green

Employees at the Materials Recovery Facility sorted truckloads of refuse dumped into recycling bins in Canton Township and delivered to the facility. Multiple contaminants were found, officials said, including wall paneling, food, plastic bags, construction materials and metal tools. Officials cautioned that these items should not be placed in recycling carts and recyclable materials include: cardboard, paperboard, junk mail, office paper, plastics #1-8, steel cans, tin cans, aluminum cans, pots and pans, clear glass, phone books, plastic bags, newspapers, magazines, and catalogs. A recycling bin can be purchased from the Canton Township Clerk's office for $10. 

Hope Not Handcuffs

Drug counseling program now available through Wayne police

The Wayne Police Department will soon offer the Hope Not Handcuffs program to those who struggle with a substance use disorder and want to find recovery.

Members of Families Against Narcotics (FAN), a nonprofit organization founded in 2007, are teaming up with the Wayne and Garden City police departments to offer the  Hope Not Handcuffs” program, which has compassionately assisted nearly 5,400 people statewide since its launch in February of 2017,

Hope Not Handcuffs-which has more than 100 participating police departments statewide-brings law enforcement and community organizations together in an effort to find viable treatment options for individuals seeking help to reduce their dependency on prescription medications, heroin, alcohol, and other drugs. 

New library director named

Jennifer Roth
The William P. Faust Public Library in Westland has a permanent new director.

Members of the Westland Library Board approved the appointment of Jennifer Roth to the position at their March 17 meeting.

Roth had been serving as the interim library director since September of last year and was named as the new director following an interview with the board members March 16. Her new, permanent title, became effective immediately.

Prior to her appointment, Roth served for three years as the head of information services for the Westland library. She has more than 17 years of experience in library services, having formerly worked in libraries in Flint and Hartland. Roth graduated from Wayne State University with a masters degree in Library Information Science (MILS) in 2003. She is a member of the American Library Association as well as the Michigan Library Association, where she serves on the planning committee. 

Her Honor

During Women's History Month which ended yesterday,  the City of Westland celebrated the achievements of the only individual in the history of the city to lead all three branches of the governing bodies in the community; legislative, executive, and judicial. Current 18th District Judge Sandra Ference Cicirelli was first elected to the Westland City Council in 1990, where she served as council president for 6 years. She was elected mayor of Westland in 2002 and then elected as 18th District Judge in 2007, where she currently continues to serve the community. Called "a true trailblazer," Cicirelli has served the community for four decades including participation with the Westland Youth Assistance Program, the Westland Chamber of Commerce, the Westland Jaycees, the Westland Goodfellows and several other local community groups. Cicirelli is the mother of two and grandmother of two.