Thursday, July 29, 2021

Tax incentive granted for ‘Eloise’ development

Plans to invest more than $12 million into the historic Wayne County General Hospital in Westland moved a step forward earlier this month when members of the city council approved Brownfield redevelopment tax credits for the site.

Developer John Hambrick paid Wayne County $1 for the so-called Eloise property in 2018 and has been in the planning stages since then. The total tax credits could reach $5.4 million although officials said the total will be about $2.7 million due to the maximum duration of 30 years and the structure of the agreement.

Flying high

Pilot Tom Shipp, 83, continues to take to the sky, and has commercial,
instrument and glider pilot's licenses. Gliders, he says, are the
most challenging. Photo by Laura Hipshire.

Octogenarian pilot is honored with Wright Brothers Award 

Laura Hipshire, Special Writer

Tom Shipp, 83, of Plymouth, has always enjoyed the thrill of a fast ride. His mom once told him, “You drive so fast, you should fly an airplane.”

Shipp took his mom's advice and then some. In July, he received the Wright Brothers Award from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Less than one percent of pilots receive the prestigious award. To qualify, candidates must have 50+ years of U.S. piloting experience, hold a US. Civilian Aviation Authority or FAA pilot certificate and be a U.S. citizen with no accidents, incidents, or suspensions. Shipp was scheduled to get the award last March, but it was postponed due to the pandemic.

Shipp got his first taste of flying in 1958 when he joined the Marine Corps and trained as a jet engine mechanic. After leaving the Marine Corps in 1962, he earned his private pilot's license, which allowed him to fly single-engine airplanes. 

Canton offering wage incentive to aid in hiring staff

Canton Township is hiring and officials are offering several incentives to new employees.

Members of the township board of trustees approved an increase of $2.50 per hour for all part-time employees during the July 13 meeting.

The wage increase is part of an ongoing effort to address recent staffing challenges for attracting new hires, as well as retaining current part-time employees, officials said and the incentive will remain in effect through Dec. 31.

The township is currently attempting to hire employees for a  variety of part-time positions, officials said, and this wage incentive is an effort to help address hiring challenges in the local market. This initiative was undertaken to encourage new hires to become township staff, as well as help retain Canton's dedicated current workforce, explained Greg Hohenberger, Canton Leisure Services director. 

Comcast service is questioned by Sumpter resident

Sumpter Township officials want to know if Comcast has provided all the services promised in the township.

During the public comment portion of the July 13 board of trustees meeting, Melinda Anderson of Sherwood Street explained the problems the lack of internet service is causing in the area. She told the board that her family has lived in the township for 12 years, and the lack of internet has now become a serious concern as she attempts to home school her children.

“It's a struggle with no internet,” she told the trustees. She said that her family was given an estimate of $11,000 to continue the cable service down the road into her area. 

Welcome back

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees recently welcomed the public to their first in-person meeting since the COVID pandemic restrictions were imposed as a health precaution. From left, seated, are Township Clerk Esther Hurst, Supervisor Tim Bowman and Treasurer Vincent Warren. Standing from left are Trustee Tim Rush, Trustee Peggy Morgan and Trustee Matt Oddy. Not pictured is Trustee Don LaPorte who was excused from the July 13 meeting.  Photo by David Willett.

Cop shop

Cpl. Byron Paisley

Capt. Damian Hull
City of Romulus Police officials recently announced the promotion of veteran officer Damian Hull, above left, to the rank of captain. Officials said that Hull “brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position.” In addition, Cpl. Byron Paisley, above right, was named as Officer of the Quarter for the department. One of his supervisors said, “Cpl. Paisley's work ethic is second to none. He is currently leading the department in crash investigations with 48, while the closest officer is at 27. Cpl. Paisley led the department in crash investigations for 2020 as well. Cpl. Paisley's leadership and willingness to step up is a daily occurrence. Whenever there is something that needs to be done, he is the first to volunteer.”

Library ‘Friends’ awarded technology grant from Bosch

A technology grant from the Bosch Community Fund will help span the digital divide in the Plymouth community.  

The Friends of the Plymouth District Library were awarded the funding for two technology resources at the library including LinkedIn Learning, a powerful online learning tool that supports high school students and adults in expanding their technology skills.  The grant will also fund a pilot program the library is developing to enable home access to the internet via loanable Chromebook computers with internet hotspots.

 “Closures and restrictions resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic starkly emphasized the need to address the digital divide in our community,” said Melanie Bell, the head of the library Information Technology Department.

All aboard

The grand opening celebration for the bay-window caboose at the Plymouth Historical Museum took place last weekend with fanfare and a performance by the Plymouth Community Band.  The caboose was donated to the museum by CSX Railroad as they downsized rolling car stock. In this bay window caboose, the crew monitoring the train sat in the middle of the car in a section that slightly protruded from the side of car to provide a better view of the side of the train. In the 1940s, the bay window caboose gained favor with many railroads because it eliminated the need for additional clearance through tunnels and under bridges.

Primary election Tuesday will eliminate office hopefuls

4 vying for mayor’s office

Voters in Westland will be asked to reduce the number of candidates seeking the office of mayor from four to two during the Aug. 3 primary election next Tuesday.

The two candidates who receive the highest vote totals will move on to the general election in November.

Incumbent Mayor William R. Wild is seeking his fourth, four-year term. Wild, 53, is the longest-serving mayor in the city  having been in his current office for 15 years. He also served on the city council before being elected as mayor. 

12 seek city council terms

Four of the 12 Westland City Council candidates hoping to move onto the general election will be eliminated by voters during the Aug. 3 primary vote next Tuesday.

Eight hopefuls will move on to the November ballot and then voters will choose four of those candidates to serve on the city council. Council members are paid $17,368 annually and choose a president from among their members who is paid $18,247 annually and a president pro tem who is paid $17,802.

Library asking voters to OK lower operating millage

Westland voters will be asked to approve a new, lower millage rate for the library during the Aug. 3 election.

A ballot question asking for a 10-year, .85 millage to support library operations will replace the current .975 rate currently levied in the city to fund the $3.6 million library budget. That millage is set to expire this year. Library officials said the new rate would generate $1.4 million in funding the first year.

Poll workers are still needed

Westland City Clerk Richard LeBlanc is currently accepting applications for poll workers for the upcoming elections in the city.

To serve at the poll, applicants must be a registered voter in the State of Michigan, have moderate computer skills, be able to work well with others, and be able to read and follow directions. All election workers are expected to operate the election computers and voting equipment during the course of the day, LeBlanc said.

Never forgotten

Last week, Inkster residents, elected officials, police officers and family members gathered at the recreation center to commemorate officers who died serving the community. The annual remembrance for Ofc. Daniel Dubiel, Sgt. Ira Parker and Ofc. Clay Hoover who all died on July 9, 1987 after a horrific gunfight and standoff at a Michigan Avenue motel has taken place every year since their deaths. Also memorialized was Ofc. Kenneth Woodmore who died in the line of duty on June 17, 1994. Speakers reminded those in the audience of the dangers officers face every day and the level of courage and dedication required to protect and serve. Members of the Detroit Police Honor Guard, at left, saluted the fallen officers.

Inkster police host National Night Out for community

Inkster police are again preparing for National Nite Out, celebrated from 5-9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3 in the parking lot at the Inkster Police Department headquarters.

As in previous years, the police department will be hosting a family party in the parking lot of the police department with giveaways, games, face painting, food, music, and more. 

The event is free  for Inkster residents and local entrepreneurs are invited to set up a booth at the event. Police officials are encouraging  local community and youth organizations to consider applying to attend the event to have their mission  heard.

Death of pedestrian killed by train investigated by police

Police continue to investigate the death of a 26-year-old Wayne man struck and killed by a train last week  as he was walking along or crossing the tracks.

According to police reports, the man was struck by the train as he was walking on the tracks near Winifred Street and East Michigan Avenue just before midnight on Tuesday, July 20. The victim was a 26-year-old Wayne man, according to official reports. Social media comments named the victim as Cameron Ludwig and described him as "a loving father, son, brother and grandson." 

Competency exam ordered for son in death

The son of a Canton Township police officer will undergo a court-ordered psychiatric examination to determine his competency to stand trial in his father's death.

Livingston County District Court Judge Daniel Bain ordered the competency examination during a court hearing July 13 to determine whether Hayden Jagst, 18, can be found criminally responsible for the death of his father, Edward Jagst, who was found dead in his bed at the family home June 21. 

Brighton police officers responded to the Jagst home in the 300 block of Woodlake Drive in Brighton in response to a 911 call June 21  from the wife of the deceased, a veteran police officer. 

Canton teen accepts plea deal in fatal car crash

A Canton Township teen is facing up to 15 years in prison in connection to the death of a Van Buren Township resident in 2019.

Micaiah Minor admitted his guilt to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the May 2019 automobile collision that took the life of John Robert McElreath, 64. Prosecutors had originally charged the 19-year-old with second-degree homicide but in a plea deal, Minor agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge and the more serious charges was dismissed by the court July 21.

New construction site rules are being enacted in Northville

New ordinance provisions regulating procedures at construction sites in Northville could be adopted by members of the city council Aug. 2.

The new provisions include aspects such as tree protection, temporary fencing, sidewalk access and maintenance. The standards would make a violation a municipal civil infraction with a fine of up to $500, plus the costs of prosecution, rather than the current misdemeanor. 

Council members heard from Timberlane resident Jim Porterfield at the regular meeting last week. Porterfield, an arborist, told the council members he was concerned about protecting the critical root zone of trees in construction areas. He noted the damage might not be immediately visible, but if the root zone of a tree is impaired, it could be dead within a few years.

On the job

New Northville Township Police Ofc. Jumara Julie took her official oath of office last week, administered by Township Clerk Roger Lundberg in a ceremony attended by friends, family and staff at township hall. Julie, a Hamtramck resident, recently received her associate's degree in law enforcement from Macomb Community College, where she also worked as a dispatcher. She graduated from the Macomb Police Academy in May. Born in Bangladesh, Julie speaks Bangla, Hindi and English.

Night Out set

Canton Police will participate in National Night Out from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. next Thursday, Aug. 5 at Canton Heritage Park.

The event will take place around the large pond injunction with the Thursday Night LIVE Concert by Wag The Dog. 

There will also be a walk around the globe with the Canton Coalition for Inclusive Communities including a world map provided by Leisure Services,  and a Passport provided by Canton Public Library, for attendees to track their travels as they make their way around the pond stopping at each booth along the way.  

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Councilwoman criticizes campaign conduct

A complaint regarding a Facebook post prompted members of the Romulus City Council to call for more civility in political campaigns.

Byron Butler, a 59-year resident of the community, spoke to the council members during the public comment portion of the regular meeting July 12. Butler explained that he was “very upset” regarding a Facebook post which he characterized as an attack on himself and his wife. He said that the post was on a site managed by Mayor LeRoy Burcroff's wife and that the mayor had also made a comment on the post which he found offensive to himself and to his wife.

“My wife and I have never posted anything about the Burcroffs, negative or otherwise,” he said. “Who I support or vote for is my business.” He said that he could not understand how anyone could attack his wife whom he described as “the most positive, kindhearted person who likes everyone.” 

In remembrance

Library bench honors memory of beloved Sumpter resident

Members of the Belleville Rotary Club, Sumpter Township officials and community residents are all smiles at the dedication of the Peter Quenet memorial bench at the Belleville Library Satellite Media Center. 

Area residents crowded the Belleville Satellite Library Media Center last week to remember a beloved member of the community.

A bench outside the facility, tied with a huge red bow, was officially dedicated to the memory of Peter Quenet, a long time resident of Belleville who died in 2017. The tribute to Mr. Quenet was instigated by members of the Belleville Rotary Club where he had 40 years of perfect attendance.

Belleville Library Director Mary Jo Suchy welcomed the public to the official dedication and urged residents to use the media center where several computer stations are available for use. The bench is outside the front door of the facility, which is located at 23465 Sumpter Road, directly across the street from Sumpter Township Hall, and includes a small brass plaque. Members of Mr. Quenet's family, including his wife of 21 years, Debbie Juchartz, were present for the dedication.

Court decision stalls Salem Springs development plan

It may not be the end, but a years-in-the-planning development which abuts Plymouth Township has hit another snag in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court.

In a rural area on the northeast edge of Washtenaw County in an area of Salem Township known as the Urban Service District (USD), a battle continues about the need for sewer lines crucial to a proposed planned community. 

Lawsuits and controversy continue to surround the project dubbed Salem Springs, the brainchild of Livonia-based developer Schostek Brothers and Company, Inc. and  plans to begin construction of Salem Springs South - a retail and residential development in a 200-acre triangle of mostly vacant land bordered by M-14, Gotfredson, North Territorial and Napier roads. According to those knowledgeable about the details, the 588-unit high-density development reportedly will include townhouses, detached condominiums and single-family homes. To the south of M-14 will be Salem Springs North, a mixed-use development that will include retail, residential and possible big box stores.

Organization assessment is considered by trustees

Julie Brown, Special Writer

Recommendations of a recent study of Canton Township government which included focus groups and employee interviews, were presented to the members of the township board of trustees last week.

Details of the study prompted officials to request another meeting this week for more discussion of the organizational assessment. 

The study results were presented by Michelle Ferguson and Mark Olson of the Novak Consulting Group during a regular meeting of the trustees on July 13.  The $47,125 study was funded through the general fund of the township budget.

Official dedication of newest park pavilion is planned

The new open-air pavilion at Preservation Park in Canton Township will officially open during a ribbon cutting set for 5:30 p.m. Aug. 3.

Township officials including Supervisor Ann Marie Graham-Hudak will attend the event along with members of the board of trustees and area elected officials.

The Preservation Park pavilion features a large under-roof seating capacity, electrical service, a concession service window, and three individual restrooms. The 70-feet by 32-feet structure was designed to provide much-needed shade and seating in the park, as well as a covered lunch area for the Canton Farmers Market visitors, officials said.  

Marijuana proposal ‘flames out’ in Sumpter

After much discussion and comment from audience members, a meeting agenda item to opt in and allow medical and/or recreational marijuana facilities in Sumpter Township failed when none of the trustees made a formal motion on the question.

The item was placed on the agenda by Trustee Peggy Morgan who then failed to make a formal motion for approval after hearing comments from members of the public during the July 12 meeting of the board of trustees. The previous board of trustees voted against opting into allowing marijuana facilities three years ago and that status quo was praised by Richard Harrison, who spoke during the public comment portion of teh agenda. He told the trustees that he was concerned that the administrative expenses for allowing the facilities exceeded or matched any revenue the township might realize. He also expressed his concern about crime that might ensue at the facilities and the increased cost to the police department.

Staffing shortages stalling Romulus trash pick-ups

Members of the Romulus City Council addressed the numerous complaints regarding residential trash pick up during their July 12 meeting.

Romulus Department of Public Works Director Roberto Scappaticci spoke to the council members and acknowledged the high volume of complaints regarding late or missed trash pick up in the city. He explained that the city trash hauler, Republic Waste Management, was experiencing a labor shortage and was impacted by the amount of rubbish and trash taken to curbs for pickup as a result of the recent flooding throughout the area.

Scappaticci introduced Republic Management official Keith Pine to the council members for a more comprehensive explanation of the difficulties residents have been experiencing.

Northville, Plymouth projects receive federal funding

Northville and Plymouth were among the communities awarded a portion of nearly $18 million in federal funding Rep. Haley Stevens secured for areas in the 11th Congressional District.

“I am thrilled to announce that so many community projects ranging from infrastructure, to funding for police departments to the construction of new public spaces for seniors and families to use in Michigan's 11th District will now be fully funded,” said Stevens in a prepared statement. “My staff and I have been working for months with mayors, township supervisors, local and statewide elected officials from both parties to determine the greatest needs in our communities. Every community project that was identified and submitted to the House Appropriations Committee was funded. When we invest in our communities, they thrive, and this funding will impact countless lives throughout our district.” 

Police officers’ service honored with department awards

Prior to the Independence Day Parade in Northville July 5, the Northville Police Department congratulated 15 police personnel, both current and former, with a total of 31 awards for their service during 2020, which occurred during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Thomas Barber received the highest honor with the Police Officer of the Year Award.

The new award of COVID-19 Pandemic Service was presented to Chief Alan Maciag, Cpt. Gregory Hannewald, Sgt. Ken DeLano, Sgt. Andrew Kirby, Det. Brian Dognowski, Officers Peter Davis, Matt Duggins, Scott Groff, Tomas Barber, Melissa Vernon, Erin Larkin, Francis Cerulla and Michael Petri, retired Cpt. Dustin Krueger, and Records Clerk Nichole Hunt.

Hello, Tokyo

Anavia Battle, a native of Inkster and 2017 graduate of Wayne Memorial High School, has qualified for the U.S. Olympic team after running a personal best 21.95 in the 200m qualifying meet June 26. Battle, 22, is a senior at Ohio State University majoring in human development and family sciences. Battle lettered all four years in track and field in high school under the direction of Jamal Jonson and amassed 21 state titles before enrolling at Ohio.  She is the daughter of Antoinette Booze-Battle of Inkster and has three siblings, Mintoria, Antoine, and Monte. While she hopes to become a professional athlete following her Olympic appearance, she said her favorite hobbies are watching movies. She finished third in the Olympic trials Eugene, Oregon and is expected to excel during her first Olympic performance.

Community Block Grant to fund trail light installation

Funds from a federal Community Development Block Grant will be used for improvements along Mill Trail in the City of Wayne.

The 1-mile trail, which travels along the edge of the Rouge River parallel to Michigan Avenue, is accessed from Second Street between Glenwrood Road and Sims Street. 

Improvements on the pathwill continue up to Dynamite Park in the city, officials said.

Walkers along the path can view the river although the area is in need of repair, officials said. Grant funds totaling $76,677.13 will be used to install new lights, trash receptacles and even some benches along the popular walking trail.

Financial help is available for flood damaged homes, property

Area residents affected by the heavy storms and recent flooding on June 25 and 26 have some resources to help mitigate damages the severe weather caused. Wayne County has been granted a Major Disaster Declaration as a result of the mass flooding and assistance for individuals and households is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

Residents who experienced losses due to the rainstorm can apply for the federal assistance by going to or calling 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).  The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week, officials said.

This federal assistance could include grants for home repairs, low interest loans, and programs for home and business owners, according to an announcement from federal authorities. Residents who may have already filed claims for losses with their local community should also file a claim for federal assistance, officials said, as city claims are separate from the federal relief being offered. 

City hosts open house at Marshall school building

It's sort of an early back to school event for Westland residents.

City officials are hoping the public will visit Marshall Upper Elementary School from 9 a.m. until noon this Saturday, July 24, to take a look at what may become a new community recreation center.

The 120,000 square-foot building, now owned by the Wayne Westland Community Schools district, was closed last year and is slated for demolition, officials said. In February, however, members of the city council approved an agreement with the school district for a potential purchase of the site, following due diligence. Since then, the city has been exploring a potential partnership with the Detroit Metro YMCA to provide services at the building, if it is determined to be suitable.

Community-wide garage sale rescheduled for July 31--Aug. 1.

The Community Wide Garage Sale in Westland has been rescheduled for July 31 and Aug. 1.

Officials said that the recent major storm event which caused property damage and power outages in the city made the postponement of the annual garage sale necessary. The sale was originally scheduled for July 10 and 11 and residents can now register their sale for free on the city website. 

As an added incentive to participate, the city will help promote individual residential locations for free on the city website. Individuals will be able to view an interactive map to locate all of the garage sales in the area as well as search for particular items of interest. Visit to register a sale or to search for garage sales near you. 

Family business

It was the passing of the baton last week as veteran police Sgt. Robert Kenyon marked his retirement from the force as he watched his son, Trevor Kenyon, take the official oath of office as he joined the Westland Police Department. The department also celebrated the promotion of officers Jennifer Schurig and Thomas Rogers to the rank of sergeant and welcomed new officers as Sebastian Iavasile, James Serman, Joseph Taylor and Kenyon were officially sworn into office by  City Clerk Richard LeBlanc. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

New businesses bring 2,000 jobs to Romulus

Four new logistics businesses bringing nearly $440,000 in tax revenue to Romulus celebrated official ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the Ecorse Commons Industrial Park last week. LaserShip, Pitney Bowes, Hearn Industrial Services and DHL were welcomed to the city by Romulus Mayor LeRoy Burcroff, Assistant Wayne County Executive Khalil Rahal and Chief Marketing Officer of Northpoint Development Brent Miles. 

“We're thrilled to welcome LaserShip, Pitney Bowes, Hearn Industrial services and DHL to the Ecorse Commons Industrial Park and we look forward to continuing to see the positive impact these new businesses have already had on our community's local economy and workforce,” said Burcroff. “We strive to be a business-friendly community because we know developments such as the ones announced today will not only have a tremendous impact on Romulus' economy, but on the region and state's economy as well.”

Graduation day

Participants mark completion of 29th District Court program

Nobody said it would be easy, but for more than 30 participants in the Western Wayne County Regional Behavioral Treatment Court (RBTC), graduating was worth the effort.

Judge Breeda O'Leary of the 29th District Court in Wayne presided at a virtual graduation ceremony last month honoring the graduates of the program.  

The students completed the program started by former 29th District Court Judge Laura Mack and many were excited to attend and share their thoughts about life after successfully graduating. One graduate, Lance Kennard, explained that he had been involved with the court system previously, but that this program was different, mainly because he was treated as an equal and with respect; he said he truly felt that the RBTC programs team members were his support system and cared deeply about his success.

Cities of Northville, Plymouth name new fire chief

Matt Samhat
Matt Samhat has been named as the new chief of the Northville City Fire Department (NCFD).

The Northville Department also provides all emergency fire services to the City of Plymouth and operates from two stations, one at Plymouth City Hall and one in Old Village. 

Samhat has risen through the ranks of the Northville department after joining the force in 2012 as a firefighter and later becoming an emergency medical technician (EMT). He then advanced to serve sequentially as lieutenant, captain, and fire marshal in 2020. He fills the post that opened with the retirement of former Fire Chief Steven Ott July 2.

The Northville City Fire Department provides fire suppression, basic life support, EMS, fire prevention and inspection services and public education for the cities of Northville and Plymouth.

7th Annual Rally on Ridge Road set July 24

A long line of food trucks is expected along Ridge Road July 24 during the Seventh Annual Rally on Ridge in Canton Township.

The event is a benefit to help support the Canton Farmers Market and will include live entertainment in addition to the food trucks lined along Ridge Road between Uptown Avenue and Cherry Hill Road from 4 until 9 p.m. 

Cherry Hill School, located at 50440 Cherry Hill Road, will play host to the food trucks featuring gourmet menus, as well as live music from local artists. Event-goers who plan to stay for the music are encouraged to bring along a lawn chair or picnic blanket, organizers said.


Rick Brown was named as Sumpter Township Fire Chief by members of the Township Board of Trustees during a meeting last month. Brown, a 36-year veteran of the department, was unanimously appointed to the top job in the department. Brown served as deputy fire chief in the township for many years and served as interim fire chief for two months prior to accepting the promotion. He will be the first-ever, full-time fire chief in the history of the township noted Public Safety Director/Police Chief Eric Luke in congratulating Brown on the promotion. 

Museum exhibit traces history of Canton farms

Ever wonder “Whose Farm Do You Live On?”

The history of Canton Township, dating back to the 1800s, shows that land many now call home was once farmland for crops and cattle. Local residents can discover the history of the land on which their home sits at a new exhibit which will continue through the month of September.

The exhibit details the history of the thriving farming community from the 1800s and well into the 1900s before the transformation by land developers began during the 1930s.  Visitors can discover who originally purchased the land and the names of families who lived there. Historic maps of the township are on display to show what current property looked like during various eras along with tools used by these families for farming, personal care, cooking, play, and education. 

MADD man

Canton Township Police Ofc. Joseph Doll has been nominated for the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Michigan Lifesavers award. Doll, with the department since 2016, made 32 operating under the influence of alcohol/drug arrests in Canton during the 2020 calendar year. The MADD Lifesavers Awards are presented annually and highlight officers and law enforcement agencies who embrace the mission to eliminate drunk driving, support victims, and prevent underage drinking. Individuals and organizations can be nominated by their peers, commanding officers, or community members. 

New councilwoman is named

Deborah Wass
Members of the Wayne City Council officially appointed Deborah Wass to the vacant Ward 4 council term during the June 29 meeting.

She will complete the term of former Councilman Anthony Miller who retired and moved out of state in early June.

Wass, 52, is a lifelong Wayne resident and has previously served on the city planning commission and the board of review.

She and her husband, Curt, whom she met while both were members of the Wayne Memorial High School Marching Band, have been married since 1992 and are the parents of two adult daughters.

Meet the champions

Champions of Wayne, the educational incentive program at Wayne Memorial High School, presented 38 students with $200 checks and gift cards for dinner at a local Wayne restaurant. Each of the student “champions” successfully achieved their academic goals for the semester in the midst of a very challenging year, school officials noted.

Concours d’Elegance to leave Plymouth St. John’s

Don Howard, Staff Writer

When the anticipated crowd of nearly 15,000 arrives at St. John’s Golf Course in Plymouth on Sunday, July 23, to view millions of dollars worth of classic automobiles from around the world, they may not realize this is the final Concours d'Elegance of America in this venue.  

Big changes are in store for the ultimate classic car show that is considered to be one of the most prestigious automotive displays in the world when next year it moves to the inner city of Detroit.

Inkster youth is charged in drive-by shooting of 13-year-old

A 16-year-old Inkster youth has been adult-designated and charged in the non-fatal wounding of a 13-year-old boy in a drive-by shooting during which the accused allegedly sprayed gunfire at five other youths.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said that the teen has not been charged as an adult, but if convicted, the judge has the option to sentence him as an adult or a juvenile, or even order a blended sentence if it is determined that the teen has not been rehabilitated. 

The charges stem from an incident reported to Inkster police at about 9:23 p.m. June 18. The young victim was reportedly in the front yard of a home in the 250 block of Brentwood, standing next to a parked SUV.

Former firefighter charged with Plymouth home arson

Patrick Michael Nolan
A former Northville firefighter is facing up to life in prison and multiple fines if convicted of arson in a 2019 Plymouth Township house fire.

Patrick Michael Nolan, 40, faces one count of arson of an insured dwelling and one count of second-degree arson in the burning of a home he owned on the 50000 block of Sheffield Court in Plymouth Township on Jan. 1, 2019.  The home was insured for $1 million due to fire losses, according to court documents. Michigan State Police investigators determined the fire started in the master bedroom, a basement storage room and a common hall at the top of the basement stairs. The investigators determined that an accelerant was used in all three separate areas and that the fire was caused by an individual.

Digging in

Members of the Northville Rotary Club spent part of the hot and humid July 4th weekend spreading new mulch, weeding, and planting at Rotary Well Park. Rotary volunteers expressed their gratitude to Gerry Burke and Scott Warren for hauling the loaded wheelbarrow back and forth and to favorite club guest Vicky Bardsley for her hard work. Northville Beautification Commission member Diane Pittaway helped guide the project while the Northville DPW provided the mulch and use of the wheelbarrow. Not pictured is volunteer David Jerome.

Good neighbors

Westland police department slates series of community meetings

The Westland Police Department has developed a new community policing initiative called the Westland Police Neighborhood Safety Program.  

Working in partnership with neighborhood residents, the Westland Police Department will identify and resolve specific quality of life problems or concerns, police officials said.

“Our police department kicked off the Neighborhood Safety Program in June at Stottlemyer Park and we had a lot of great discussion and engagement from residents in the surrounding area,” commented Mayor William R. Wild. “Recognizing that every neighborhood has different concerns and public safety needs, we now move to tackle the concerns in other areas of the community.” 

Romulus reinstates delinquent water shut-off penalties

Those with late water bills in Romulus could be subject to a shut off of service, city officials cautioned.

The delinquent water policy in the city, deferred during the COVID pandemic, was reinstated effective July 2 and includes the former provisions which include water shut off for delinquencies of $300 or more.

There is also a 10-percent penalty fee assessed to water bills beginning in July. The 10-percent only applies to the current charges if the balance is not paid in full by the due date, officials said. 

Candidate appeals removal from mayoral primary ballot

Whether William Asper's name appears on the Aug. 3 primary election ballot in Westland will be determined by Michigan Secretary of State.

Asper's name was removed from the list of viable mayoral candidates by Westland City Clerk Richard LeBlanc following a meeting of the city election commission where it was determined that Asper is actually a Canton Township resident. 

Mayor William R. Wild and City Council President Jim Hart serve on the commission and made the unanimous decision to remove Asper's name from the ballot based on his residency status.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Police sergeant sues City of Wayne officials

Abraham Hughes
A City of Wayne police officer has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court seeking a jury trial and damages in excess of $75,000 for alleged breach of duty by Wayne City Manager Lisa Nocerini.

The suit also names Mayor John Rhaesa, members of the Wayne City Council and Personnel Director Alyse Leslie as defendants in depriving Hughes of his rights under the 14th Constitutional Amendment. 

In his lawsuit, Police Sgt. Abraham Hughes, who joined the Wayne department in February of 2002, alleges that Nocerini interfered with and corrupted the process conducted in the hiring a replacement for retiring Police Chief Alan Maciag who retired in December of 2018.

Hughes claims that Nocerini changed the scoring criteria for the job after he attained the highest marks on testing performed by EMPCO, an independent consulting agency hired to test applicants for the chief's job.

Art In The Park returns to downtown Plymouth

A 40-year tradition will return to the downtown streets of Plymouth tomorrow as Art In The Park, the second largest art fair in the state, welcomes visitors to downtown Plymouth. This year, the massive art sale will take place beginning Friday, July 9 and continue through Sunday, July 11.

The staple of Plymouth Art in the Park remains the 400 plus artists from around the United States and Canada. Thousands of pieces of original artwork will be available for purchase including; paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, fiber, fine glass, woodwork, mixed media, photography, and folk art, according to organizers. Young visitors can participate in the painting of the children's mural and young artists will have booths around Kellogg Park selling their artwork. 

Romulus Fire Department wins ALS designation

City of Romulus Fire Department officials were proud to announce to members of the City Council recently that the prestigious and coveted Advanced Life Support (ALS) certification has been awarded to the department.

Chief Kevin Krause, director of Fire Services and Emergency Management said that the new designation is part of a continued effort to enhance the city public service model and ensure the safety and well being of residents. The nearly two-year process included Emergency Medical Services (EMS) training for staff, a shift in recruitment and hiring policies and a rigorous inspection carried out by the State of Michigan and Health Emergency Medical Services, or HEMS, the local medical control board.  

Officials urge residents to document flood damage

While most of the water from the torrential storms which took place last week has receded, the damage inflicted by Mother Nature remains.

Piles of damaged furniture and belongings remain piled in front of homes throughout the area as residents attempt to cope with the loss of property and damage the monumental rains inflicted.

Inkster residents, like those in neighboring communities, have been urged by city officials to document any damage suffered during the flooding last week.

In a letter to residents, officials said that the focus is the “protection of the health and well-being of our residents, workers, and visitors.”

Happy 50th

Community events continue in park Community events continue in park

While the official celebration of the 50th birthday of the City of Romulus was delayed due to the pandemic, city officials have announced a variety of upcoming free summer community events to help celebrate the half-century mark.

The events, all scheduled to take place in Historical Park, include a performance by Mob Opera from 7 until 9:30 p.m. tomorrow, July 9. Raya and the Last Dragon will be the Movie in the Park planned for July 16. The outdoor movie will begin at dusk. 

On July 23, Infinity & Beyond will perform from 7 until 9:30 p.m.

Romulus library returns to full hours, renovations are planned

The Romulus Public Library has moved to full service and is now open to the public. 

Study tables are available for use and time limits in the building have been lifted, and masks are no longer required, library officials said.

Members of the Library Board have approved a major capital improvement project for the facility, Library Director Patty Braden explained.  Based on feedback from the residents as part of the strategic plan for the library, three areas of the building will be renovated beginning this summer. 

Taking the oath

The new members of the Rotary Club of Belleville Board of Directors were officially sworn into office last week by 2022-2023 Rotary District 6400 District Governor Elect Traci Sincock, far right.  New officers for the 2021-2022 year include, right to left, returning President Debra Green, Mary Jo Suchy, Brian Pearcy, Rachel Kozlowski, Keith Bruder, Corrine Flynn and Patti Monroe. 

Northville police now wearing body cameras

Northville Township Police officers are now equipped with body cameras that record interactions with the public and increase transparency.

The technology protects both residents and officers by providing a new means of accountability, police officials said.

“Digital evidence is a priority in policing in this social media-savvy world,” Police Chief Paul Tennies said. “Our employees asked for this and our residents did, too. It's another way we are working for a safer community.” 

Northville Township officials planned to add these cameras in 2023, but after use of force incidents across the country received nationwide attention in 2020, members of the Northville Township Board of Trustees approved the accelerated purchase at a cost of $300,000 using drug forfeiture funds and grant money.

Van Buren hosts park concerts

Back by popular demand, the Van Buren Township Parks and Recreation department will be hosting concerts in the park. In partnership with Wayne County Community College (WCCC) Ted Scott Campus, all events will take place from 7 until 8:30 p.m. outdoors on Wednesdays and are free to the public, rain or shine.

“This is one of my favorite events,” commented Van Buren Township Treasurer Sharry Budd. “I remember picking up dinner and heading to the park with my husband. I'm so glad we've continued the tradition for our residents.”

The summer concert series line up and locations include: July 14 - Concert at Quirk Park: Your Generation In Concert behind Township Hall at 46425 Tyler Road. 

Cleaning up

Local communities continue to battle effects of major storms

Westland DPS crews continued picking up storm related trash
 from curbs throughout the holiday weekend. The damaged
 items are being taken to the city DPS facility, bottom two
photos, and the Hawthorne Valley transfer site for removal.
Officials said that DPS personnel have been working 12-hour shifts
since the storm struck last Saturday morning. Several areas of
 Wayne continued to report power outages this week. 
During an emergency meeting last Friday, members of the Westland City Council agreed to allocate up to $1 million in funding to clean up damage caused by recent storms.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared Wayne County a disaster area due to the property damage experienced in the area. The declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate state efforts above and beyond what MSP/EMHSD has already been doing in conjunction with local agencies.

Many residents throughout the area experienced severe basement flooding following the heavy rainfall which was estimated at 6-inches in the area. Residents in Wayne and Inkster are also facing severe damage and loss of property ruined in the flooding.

Westland councilman Peter Herzberg and mayoral candidate Tasha Green cast the only dissenting votes on the relief funding. Herzberg complained that the meeting was not scheduled earlier in the week while Green said the $1 million was too much to immediately dedicate to the effort. That amount was proposed by city Finance Director Steve Smith. 

First Bites for the Barn event set for next week

Local chefs and food trucks will be offering Bites for the Barn at Preservation Park in Canton this summer.

During these special outdoor events, participants will be able to gather around the table with friends and neighbors to enjoy small plate servings prepared by local chefs and food trucks. There will be beer and wine options available for purchase and entertainment by various performers.

“All of us are still saddened that we won't be able to host Canton's newest outdoor community dinners at the Cady-Boyer Barn, which burned down over Memorial Day weekend,” stated Laura Mortier, Canton recreation specialist.  “Instead of hosting Bites at the Barn, we're now holding Bites for the Barn, which will make special events even more memorable.”  

Canton students win gold medals

Two Canton Township students were among the winners in the recent 2021 SkillsUSA Championships, held virtually from June 14-24. More than 3,700 students competed at the national showcase of career and technical education. The SkillsUSA Championships is the largest skill competition in the world. 

Audrey G. Hall, a student at Plymouth Canton Educational Park, was awarded the high school gold medal in restaurants and Mitchell Zmikly, also a student at Plymouth Canton Education Park, was awarded the high school gold medal in job skill demonstration A.

Happy birthdays

Plymouth seniors celebrate centennials

Independence Village residents and their families
enjoy the centennial birthday celebration.
It was quite a party last month when six Plymouth residents celebrated more than 600 years of life experience.

The six were the guests of honor at a birthday party at Independence Village in Plymouth celebrating the centennial birthdays of five and the 103rd birthday of another.

The event included a visit from Plymouth Mayor Oliver Wolcott who presented official city proclamations to each of the guests of honor who also enjoyed lunch, birthday cake and live music during the afternoon. 

Among those celebrating was Jalileh Mansour who was born Aug. 15, 1921 in Ramallah, Palestine.

Mansour, who has five brothers and four sisters, remained single and dedicated her life to education and world exploration.  She started her studies in Lebanon in math and science, before traveling to places like Jordan, Paris, and South America. Mansour decided to finish her bachelor's degree in 1956 in Alabama before a career teaching middle school.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

A quiet celebration

U.S. veterans could experience trauma during holiday fireworks displays

Everyone doesn't enjoy the traditional fireworks displays that usually accompany Fourth of July celebrations throughout the area.

As Americans prepare for barbecues and fireworks on Sunday, it's also important to remember that some veterans might be uncomfortable in large crowds or have a difficult time around loud noises, especially the explosive sounds that accompany blasting fireworks. 

Representatives from Swords to Plowshares, a nonprofit organization nationally recognized for decades of experience and leadership in building comprehensive programs and resources for low-income, homeless, and at-risk veterans, reminded everyone to be supportive of veterans during Fourth of July activities.

Traditional Northville Parade set for July 5

The Northville Independence Day Parade may be a little short on marchers this year, but it is sure to be long on enthusiasm.

The annual event, a tradition in the community, was cancelled last year due to the pandemic. A smaller, scaled-down version of one of the largest and most popular parades in the state is planned to step off at 10 a.m. July 5 from the parking lot at Northville Downs. As usual, the parade will include floats, appearances from various club and sports mascots, antique cars and many other traditional entries.

The theme this year is America the Beautiful and organizers have limited participation to only 50 entries.

Pet experts suggest special holiday precautions

Veterans are not the only family members who may not enjoy traditional Fourth of July fireworks.

More dogs run away or are lost on the 4th than any other day of the year and veterinarians report adverse reactions to fireworks are not uncommon following the celebration.

Animal experts advise owners to think ahead about the holiday activities, develop a plan, and act early.

“Do not take your pet to a fireworks show, but walk them earlier in the day,” they advised and then have a safe space indoors for your pet during fireworks. Outdoor pets are likely to take extreme measures to try to escape the loud noise, and may attempt to flee from the perceived danger. Owners are encouraged to have pets microchipped and should ensure that information on the registry is up to date. 

Canton Township receives ‘strong’ financial audit

Canton Township received a good financial report from auditors Plante Moran for 2020. 

The strong financial report from auditors was presented to the members of the board of trustees at the June 22 meeting.  

Alisha Watkins from Plante Moran, joined by colleague Keith Szymanski, noted township recreation funds were down in the 2020 fiscal year, the second year for which Plante Moran worked virtually on the audit. Much of the budget is earmarked for projects and for legacy costs, pensions and retiree health care costs, she said.

“They're not all going to come due in one year,” said Watkins. She noted that audits without significant findings during the past several years are a positive sign for the township.

Master Plan will determine future recreational amenities

The opinions and input of Canton Township residents will be used to help guide decisions for future planning of programs, services and amenities in the community. 

Canton Leisure Services is currently seeking community input as a key part of the strategic process of updating its Master Plan.

McKenna, a community planning, design, and building services firm, will host a series of Open Houses as a key part of updating Canton Leisure Services Five Year Master Plan, which was previously adopted in 2016. 

Pride OUTside

First-ever Canton LGBTQ event set at amphitheater July 9

Canton Pride OUTside will take place from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 9, at the Heritage Park Amphitheater, located behind the Canton Administration Building at 1150 S. Canton Center Road.

The community event is open to all area residents, hosted by Canton Township and organized by the Leisure Services Department, to support and celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning community at large. Sponsors of the event include Sweetwater Coffee and Tea and The Red Head Salon. 

“We are excited to host this special event, where Canton will join with its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) community members, to applaud their strength, courage, and perseverance,” stated Laura Mortier, Canton recreation specialist. “This special event will celebrate the impact LGBTQ+ people have made not only in our community but also regionally and globally.” 

Movie Camp Out will be July 16

 Continuing a popular annual Canton Township summer tradition, Independence Park will be transformed into a campground during the Canton Leisure Services Annual Family Movie Camp Out, which is planned for Friday, July 16. 

Area residents can celebrate the great outdoors and 'camp out' during the summer event and enjoy fun activities as well as the featured animated movie “The Croods: A New Age” (Rated PG), under the stars in Independence Park, located at 1898 Denton Road in Canton.  

Activities or the entire family are planned beginning at 6 p.m. including family games. Dinner options and concession items will also be available on-site for a nominal fee.  

Changes to Plymouth Township tree ordinance proposed

Supervisor Kurt Heise
A new tree ordinance in Plymouth Township may have roots in the City of Plymouth, but will need to be pruned to accommodate the needs of township residents, according to Supervisor Kurt Heise.

Heise, who brought the ordinance provisions before the township board of trustees during a May 25 study session, repeatedly stressed that the ordinance was under discussion and that provisions would be tailored to the needs of the township. The current 74-year-old tree ordinance needs revamping, Heise said, and suggested that township attorney Kevin Bennett could use the City of Plymouth ordinance as a starting point for updating the township rules.

Heise said, during the meeting, that the city ordinance was only a starting point and that it was one of the “most restrictive-depending on your point of view”and detailed ordinances from a comparable community. He added that the city ordinance had already been thoroughly vetted, allowing Bennett to alter and edit the ordinance as township officials found necessary. He added that using the city ordinance would also save the township time and money. “It's a starting point,” he told the board of trustees.

Art In The Park set to return to Plymouth next weekend

Next week, a 40 year tradition will return to the downtown streets of Plymouth with Art In The Park, the second largest art fair in the state. This year, the massive art sale will take place beginning Friday, July 9 through Sunday, July 11.

The staple of Plymouth Art in the Park remains the 400 plus artists from around the United States and Canada. Thousands of pieces of original artwork will be available for purchase including; paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, fiber, fine glass, woodwork, mixed media, photography, and folk art. Young visitors can participate in the painting of the children's mural and young artists will have booths around Kellogg Park displaying their artwork for sale. There will be musical entertanment and performers all weekend.

Autistic man wins $2.5 million settlement from city

While a 24-year-old autistic man injured during a police chase and arrest will receive a $2.5 million settlement from the City of Westland, no criminal charges will be filed against former Westland Police Ofc. Kristopher Landis accused of causing the injuries that resulted in Blair losing his eye.

The settlement with Blair was approved by members of the city council during a regular meeting in May. Blair sued the city citing injuries he sustained Jan. 16, 2020 when he was identified by several witnesses as the man who had robbed the Wayne Road Arby's at about 7:20 p.m. A restaurant employee told police that Blair grabbed cash from the drawer after telling him, “I'm gonna need all that.” Blair kept his hand in his jacket pocket but raised his covered arm implying he had a weapon, the employee told police. Two men in the restaurant witnessed Blair taking the money from the cash drawer and the restaurant manager observed the incident and called 911.

Legislator accused of violating criminal bond provisions

 Jewell Jones
State Rep. Jewell Jones, D-Inkster, currently awaiting trial on drunk driving and gun possession charges, narrowly avoided jail time last week as he was accused of contempt of court for violating his bond provisions.

Jones was accused by Livingston County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Christina Richards of contempt of court, alleging that he had provided less than honest information to the court to avoid required random drug and alcohol testing. The court-ordered testing was a condition of Jones' bond as he awaits a court date on charges of drunk driving, resisting police, possession of a weapon while under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving stemming from his April 6 arrest. 

Jones, 26, had obtained permission to forgo testing during June 12-26 claiming he would be at National Guard training and required to be at Camp Grayling during that time.

High grass deemed safety hazard by Sumpter trustees

A solution to the safety hazard posed by high weeds and grass interfering with traffic intersection visibility and obscuring fire hydrants was discussed by members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees during their most recent study session.

Trustees agreed that the situation is a “safety issue” in the township. 

Trustee Tim Rush noted that the township was receiving no help from Wayne County in cutting the growth as county departments are currently understaffed.

Trustee Don LaPorte reminded the members of the board that there are currently 1,300 fire hydrants in the city and that the fire department needs to know exactly where each of them is located. He said that Van Buren Township was having the same situation according to Supervisor Kevin McNamara and there was little or no prospect of any shared services with Van Buren. 

Local dentist will exhibit photos at Northville Art House

The Tri-Motor with Aviator Taylor B. McNeill
(Aviation World Record Holder)
An exhibit of photographs by local dentist and world traveler William S. Demray will be on display at the Northville Art House from July 9 through 24.

The exhibit is the premiere exhibition in the Hometown Artist

Series showcasing artists from Northville and neighboring communities. Demray, a family dentist who has lived and worked in downtown Northville for more than 40 years, will share 50 photographs taken on his journeys around the world. 

Demray, a general family dentist at Preservation Dental in downtown Northville, received his bachelor of science degree from Wayne State University and his doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Detroit. His support for nonprofit organizations, including Northville Art House and the Northville Historical Society, has been recognized throughout the community as well as featured on an episode of a PBS series.

Performance of police, fire department earns praise

Residents, neighboring community officials and city council members took the opportunity to commend both the Romulus Fire Department and Police Department at a meeting earlier this month.

During the public comment portion of the meeting June 14, a resident of Gloria Street in the city addressed members of the city council regarding a fire which took place near her home. She explained that because of a serious crash on I-94 at the same time that day, when two small children were seriously injured, only a single firefighter was available to respond to the scene.

She said he arrived by himself and fought the blaze alone while awaiting aide from the Metro Airport and Westland fire departments. 

Special events

Free concerts mark city birthday

While the official celebration of the 50th birthday of the city of Romulus was delayed one year due to the pandemic, city officials have announced a variety of upcoming free summer community events to help celebrate the half-century mark.

The events, all scheduled to take place in Historical Park include Juggler Tim from 5 until 8 p.m. tomorrow, July 2.

From 5 until 8 and on July 9, Mob Opera will entertain from 7 until 9:30 p.m.. Raya and the Last Dragon will be the Movie in the Park planned for July 16. The outdoor movie will begin at dusk. 

Fond farewell

Sgt. Brent Cahill retired from the Wayne Police Department last month and was honored with a small ceremony at police headquarters. Cahill was a highly respected member of the Wayne Police Department who, in addition to his rank as sergeant, served  as a field training sergeant, evidence technician, background investigator, and detective during his 12-year career with the department. Police Chief Ryan Strong praised Cahill's professionalism and dedication noting, "I've worked with Brent in several capacities over my career, and I have always been deeply impressed with his strong work ethic, insistence on doing the right thing every time, and deep respect for his co-workers and the community he serves."