Thursday, October 28, 2021

Voting in local elections is crucial to democracy

If there's one thing Americans have learned in the past couple of years - or should have - it's that voting is one of a responsible citizen's highest priorities - or should be.

Let us hope that no American qualified to vote ever shrugs off the responsibility, or the opportunity, thinking a lone vote won't matter.

Every vote matters in every election, whether the contest is local, state or national.

If you have an interest in any particular issue, wouldn't you feel more "entitled" to express your view on it if you have, at the very least, voted for or against the person who will eventually oversee it?

We put quote marks around "entitled" because, as Americans we are of course entitled to express an opinion, regardless of the depth of our commitment. But having voted shows without a doubt that we care about our system and how it settles questions of public concern.

Credit card skimmers found at local gas stations

State officials recently found credit card skimmers in pumps at eight gas stations across Michigan, including one in Belleville and another in Canton Township.

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) weights and measures inspectors discovered the skimmers, which are inside pumps, during a routine inspection blitz, according to a prepared release from state officials.

The skimmers make copies of customers' credit card information which can then be sold or used to make fraudulent purchases.

Skimmers were found at: FlexxMart, 496 Main St. Belleville and at the Sunoco gas station at 40200 Michigan Ave. in Canton Township.

Hours are changed at police department records bureau

The Records Bureau of the Canton Public Safety Department has officially changed hours for services to the public.

Following a year-long pilot program, hours of operation will be four, 10-hour days each week. Hours will now be 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The bureau will be closed on Fridays. 

Officials said the schedule will allow for extended-day access as a convenience to the public. The records bureau is available for processing requests for copies of police reports, Freedom of Information Act requests, applicant fingerprinting, and notarizing of handgun purchase permits.

At long last

Reopening of intersection is celebrated

Helping celebrate the long-sought reconstructionof the
Northline and Hannan Road intersection are, from left,
Romulus Director of Public Works Roberto Scappaticci,
Romulus Councilwoman Tina Talley, Romulus Director of
 Public Services and Economic Development Robert McCraight,
Romulus Mayor LeRoy Burcroff and Van Buren Township
Supervisor Kevin McNamara. 
Following seven years of negotiation, and six months of construction, the intersection at Northline and Hannan roads in Romulus was officially opened during a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week.

Construction for the project launched April 15 after nearly seven years of effort by Mayor LeRoy Burcroff who made the intersection a priority when he took office in 2014. After hearing residents cite the high accident rate at the location while he served on the city council prior to becoming mayor,  Burcroff made the issue a priority. He organized multiple and frequent meetings with Wayne County officials to call attention to the hazardous road conditions at the intersection which had been an area of concern for Romulus residents for decades.

Sumpter trustees discuss return to in-person meetings

Sumpter Township Board of Trustee meetings will remain electronic, at least until Wayne County health officials are confident there is no threat to the public or officials.

Trustee Don LaPorte called the issue to the attention of his fellow board members during the regular meeting Oct. 12 explaining that he had received several calls from residents asking when the board meetings would again be in-person.

“I told them I would bring it up,” LaPorte said. “I know we have had a COVID issue this week but when can we go back in person?”

“When it is safe to go back,” responded Township Supervisor Tim Bowman. “We had police officers exposed just last week.”

Police retirement and promotions celebrated

Members of the Westland Police Department are all
smiles as they help Deputy Chief Brian Miller celebrate his
retirement and ce;ebrate the promotions and the hiring of
new officers at an official ceremony last week.
Members of the Westland Police Department had a great deal to celebrate recently as they marked the retirement of a veteran deputy chief and the promotion of several officers.

Deputy Police Chief Brian Miller recently began his retirement from the city where he  served on the police force for 25 years. Miller, who joined the Westland department in 1997, began his career in law enforcement in 1996 with the Wayne County Sheriff's Department. During his years with the Westland police he served as a field training officer, motorcycle operator, and handgun instructor. During his time as a sergeant with the department he oversaw the field training program and also served with the special victim crimes unit and as a forensic computer examiner.

Police seek information in fatal pedestrian hit-and-run

Inkster police continue to investigate the death of a pedestrian stuck in the early morning hours of Sept. 7.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident which took place just after 2 a.m. Sept. 7 on Michigan Avenue. According to police reports, Jacob Fountain was crossing East Michigan Avenue when a driver turning onto the road from northbound Middlebelt Road struck and killed him.

City officially reopens renovated solar-powered recycling center

Westland residents had something to celebrate last week with the official ribbon cutting at the renovated recycling center in the city.

The facility features a solar-powered compactor for single stream recycling and is a one-stop option for residents in condominiums and apartments who may not have access to the city curbside recycling program. Upgrades, funded by a $50,000 grant from the Environmental Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) included new pavement, new lighting, new signs, trees and landscaping.

Hot topic

Area firefighters unite in training exercises

Shipping containers became hazardous basement fires and Barbie's dollhouses helped demonstrate several new safety techniques during a multi-state fire training exercise at Schoolcraft College in Livonia last week.

The training exercise, organized by Northville Township Fire Department Training Coordinator Jesse Marcotte was funded by a federal grant program that allows firefighters to practice scenarios they could encounter in the field.

“Mistakes provide a good learning opportunity but we want those mistakes to be made on the training ground, not in real life,” Marcotte, a nationally-known fire training expert, said. He explained that since January there have 86 fires which took lives in Michigan and of those, Marcotte said, only 45 percent had working smoke detectors in the homes.

School district hires new communications specialist

Katie Rork has been named as the new district communications specialist for the Northville Public Schools.

Rork's hiring was unanimously approved by the members of the Northville Board of Education during the Oct. 12 meeting. Rork succeeds Sarah Jacobs who left the district in 2019.

 Rork has several years of experience in multimedia and digital content creation including 10 years of television broadcasting. Those who frequently travel to Northern Michigan may remember Rork (formerly Boomgaard) as a news reporter and anchor for 9 & 10 news, “Northern Michigan's News Leader,” district officials noted. 

City limits outdoor dining to sidewalks

Diners seeking to enjoy the outdoor street seating at downtown Plymouth restaurants can enjoy the al fresco ambiance through the holiday season.

Members of the Plymouth City Commission approved a temporary extension of sidewalk patio season through Dec. 31, at their regular meeting Oct. 18. The temporary extension applies only to outdoor patios located on public sidewalk areas and does not include the extended patios located in on-street parking areas or areas on private property. 

Businesses with on-street patios and extended patio areas on private property will be required to vacate their space on or before Nov. 1, according to the new ordinance approved by the commission members.

Living memory

Members of the Wayne Police Department gathered outside the police station last week to plant a tree in memory of Police Service Aide Vanessa Oary who was killed in an auto accident earlier this year. Police officers said Ms. Oary was a valued member of the department and "we miss her."

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Wayne issues city water advisory for residents

Wayne residents are being warned not to drink the water from residential taps in the city and avoid using it for cooking, preparing food or preparing baby formula.

City officials issued the warning last Tuesday noting that testing for lead and copper in tap water in Wayne showed an elevated level of lead. The testing, according to officials, was routine and included tap water collected from 30 homes in the city. Elevated levels of lead at 16 parts per billion were found in five of the water samples tested. According to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) any level of lead in drinking water is unsafe as “drinking water can make up to 20 percent or more of a person's potential exposure to lead.”

World-wide warriors

Local Rotary clubs celebrate global effort to eradicate polio

Rotary members from across the globe have spent
decades in the battle to inoculate the children
of the world against polio.
They don't look like warriors, but for more than 40 years, they have been doing battle with an enemy that has threatened the lives and well-being of children around the world.

Members of local Rotary clubs throughout this area and across the United States have been on a mission since 1979 to eradicate polio, a disease responsible for the crippling paralysis or death of thousands of children in this country and even more victims across the globe. 

In 1952-an epidemic year for polio-there were 58,000 new cases reported in the United States, and more than 3,000 Americans died from the disease.  On March 26, 1953, American medical researcher Dr. Jonas Salk announced that he had successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis, the virus that causes polio.

Residents protest suspension of school superintendent

Dr. Benjamin Edmondson
At least four members of the Romulus Community Schools Board of Education disagree with several outspoken voters who elected them.

During a second contentious meeting last week, the four board members voted to continue the administrative leave of Superintendent Dr. Benjamin Edmondson despite the protests of several audience members including residents, students, a teachers’ union representative and district employees who packed the meeting.   

Edmonson was placed on paid administrative leave two weeks ago pending a “financial audit” of business practices and credit card charges. That decision was approved by the same 4-3 vote of the board members. Board President Debi Pyles confirmed at the meeting that Edmonson “is not a target of the investigation,” prompting more audience questions about the reasons for placing him on leave. 

Romulus Police Department wins prestigious state accreditation

Romulus Police Chief Robert Pfannes, right, and
 Accreditation Manager Capt. Damian Hull show
off the prestigious certificate of accreditation
earned by the department.
The Romulus Police Department had joined an elite group accredited by the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission.  

The accreditation demonstrates the departmental commitment to continue improvement and its mission to protect and serve the residents of the city, noted Mayor LeRoy Burcroff. The Romulus department is one of only 38 Michigan police agencies or 7 percent in the state to win the prestigious accreditation.  

Facilitated by the Michigan Association Chiefs of Police (MACP) and the Michigan Sheriffs' Association (MSA), this voluntary accreditation program requires the adoption of more than 100 rigorous professional standards and a thorough review of all policies, procedures and practices to ensure compliance. Assessments are conducted by third-party assessors and require proof that the police department meets or exceeds those standards in order to earn and keep its accreditation.   

City Halloween contests continue

Halloween contests will continue throughout the City of Romulus until Oct. 27.

Winners in the contest will be announced Oct. 29 in categories including Best Pumpkin Carving, Best Halloween Costume and Spookiest Yard.

All entries must be digital photos taken with either a camera or phone. The photo entries should be direct messaged to the city Facebook Page @DowntownRomulus or emailed to entries should include the full name and phone number of the entrant. Winners will be announced on the Facebook page and contacted separately for the award of prizes and ribbons.

For more information about the contests, call (734) 942-7545.

2 deep water waste wells planned at landfill

Like a good neighbor, Republic Services explained a planned construction project to members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees.

During a study session before the regular meeting Sept. 28, representatives from Carleton Farms, a waste disposal facility located in the township, detailed plans to construct two new deep injection wells to treat and dispose of leachate. Leachate is groundwater that that has percolated through the waste at the facility and leached out some of the constituents.

Currently, the leachate from Carleton Farms is hauled away in trucks and disposed of off-site, an expense managers hope to curtail with the installation of the two wells. Gary McCuistion, director of market planning and development for Republic and Scott Cabauatan spoke to the board members about the planned wells.

Annual Halloween Candy Loop set in Van Buren

The annual Van Buren Township Parks & Recreation Department Candy Loop event is back by popular demand. This family-friendly trick-or-treating experience will take place from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23 at Quirk Park.

Costumed children can take a stroll around the Candy Loop and stop at different Halloween-themed stations providing treats from local businesses and organizations. This event is free and open to the public, but participants need to register for a specific timeslot at No pets will be allowed with the exception of service animals.

"We cannot wait to see everyone all dressed up and ready to celebrate Halloween," said Director of Recreation Jennifer Zaenglein. "We're asking people to register, so we can properly distance everyone and if we have to cancel due to weather, we can notify everyone right away via email."

Making a splash

New $1.2 million Kellogg Park fountain is officially dedicated 

The legacy of a beloved Plymouth resident lives on with the new fountain unveiled last Saturday in Kellogg Park.

The majority of the cost of the new $1.2 million fountain was paid by the Wilcox Foundation, established by Jack Wilcox, one of the mainstays of the Plymouth community. Mr. Wilcox, who died at 83 in June of 2000, bequeathed his estate to be invested in the Plymouth community as seed money to create lasting improvements. Mr. Wilcox, a retired Navy captain, was tireless in his devotion to the community and had been involved in nearly every committee, civic and historic group in the city. He was named to the Plymouth Hall of Fame just prior to his death. Mr. Wilcox lived in the historic white home that faces Kellogg Park, originally built by Phillip Markham, the inventor of the air rifle.

Last weekend for annual Maybury Farm Corn Maze

One of the most popular attractions of autumn will end this weekend at Maybury Farm in Northville.

The annual Corn Maze at the farm will welcome the last visitors of the season this Sunday. This year, the 9-acre maze, newly-designed by the Ford Volunteer Corp., also includes a scavenger hunt, and there is a 1-acre Mini Maze for those less adventurous members of the family.

Walking the entire 10-acre maze should take about an hour, Maybury officials said, while the mini maze can be completed in about 20 minutes.

Firemen selling pumpkins

Plymouth Township firefighters from Local 1496 are selling pumpkins to generate funds for their local charity. Each year the firefighters work with charities like the Salvation Army and local schools to pinpoint area families in need. One hundred percent of the proceeds are used for charity donations.

The pumpkin sale will continue through Halloween. Pumpkin Patches are located at Fire Station 1, located at 9911 N. Haggerty Road and Fire Station 3 at 13600 Beck Road in Plymouth. Firefighters ask visitors to park in the rear of Station 3 and in Township Hall lot behind Fire Station 1.

Pumpkin Palooza, museum tour set

The 10th Annual Pumpkin Palooza is set for noon until 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24 in downtown Plymouth.

The free event, sponsored by the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, usually attracts more than 6,000 visitors including costumed children, fur babies, parents and grandparents to enjoy trick or treating at area merchants where goodies are usually plentiful.

In addition to the trick or treating, the event also features live entertainment, costume contests for children of all ages, music, dancing and other entertainment.

‘Malloween’ and ghost hunt set in Westland

The City of Westland Halloween Decorating Contest will continue through Nov. 1.

Residents can visit the city website to nominate themselves or a friend in one or each of the three categories: Best Autumn Display, Best Spooky Display and Most Over the Top Display. Nominees will be asked to enter a picture along with their submission.

"The Department of Neighborhood Services team will be out and about in neighborhoods in search of those residents who have showcased their creativity and helped to bring the autumn/Halloween aesthetic to the community," commented Mayor William R. Wild. 

"As our Neighborhood Services team spends their days throughout our Westland neighborhoods, they will once again be the judges for the contest and will make the final decision on who wins."  

Program champions

Members of the Wayne Rotary club presented a $5,000 donation to the Champions of Wayne program last week. The program, open to all students at Wayne Memorial High School, combines adult mentoring, academic and life goal setting and achievement recognition that results in individualized prescriptions for success and financial rewards. Rotary President Charlotte Tarwacki, left, Principal Dr. James Anderson, Wayne Mayor John Rhaesa, retired 29th District Court Judge Laura Mack, Richard Helppie, founder of Champions of Wayne and major funder of the program, Kari D. Walker, president and CEO of The Guidance Center, where Champions of Wayne now is one of the 26 agency programs and The Honorable Milton L. Mack Jr., chief judge at Wayne County Probate Court, help celebrate the presentation of the donation.

Legislator’s bond request is denied by court

Rep. Jewell Jones
A Livingston County District Court Judge denied a request to reinstate the $100,000 bond of Michigan State Rep. Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) who is currently facing multiple felony charges.

Jones' attorney, former Inkster Mayor Byron Nolen, asked Livingston County Circuit Judge Michael Hatty to reinstate Jones' bond during a hearing last Friday. Nolen said that Jones needed to seek outpatient treatment for alcohol abuse. The original charges against Jones were filed following his April 6 arrest on charges of drunk driving and resisting arrest. During that arrest, his blood alcohol level was 0.19, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, according to police reports. Officers claimed he was belligerent and abusive forcing them to use pepper spray to subdue him during the encounter, according to police reports of the incident. 

‘Ghostly’ Revenge on Ridge event set for Oct. 29

Amateur detectives will have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills during Revenge on Ridge, a unique Halloween event at Preservation Park in Canton Township.

Canton Leisure Services will present the mysterious event in 45-minute time slots from 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 29. This who-done-it event will have participants traveling along an outdoor path to learn about Canton's ghostly past as they solve riddles and find clues.  

State suspends license of home day care facility in Canton

The Mithu Home Day Care business has been closed by state officials following a "high risk investigation."

According to reports from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), a complaint was filed Oct. 6, about conditions at the home day care, located at 45027 Thornhill Court in the township. The business was shut down the next day, Oct. 7, following an investigation of the complaint. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Canton theater awarded 2nd federal grant

The Village Theater at Cherry Hill was recently awarded a second grant in the amount of $93,756 from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program, which provides emergency assistance for eligible cultural institutions and organizations affected by COVID-19.

The grant was awarded by the U.S Small Business Administration to enable recipients to recoup expenses and recover from the period when they were unable to earn revenue. Funds must be expensed by June 30, 2022, to repay eligible expenses, including but not limited to payroll, utilities, maintenance, and repairs, as well as contracted performances. 

“The Village Theater at Cherry Hill is so grateful for these additional funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration, which will help mitigate the impact of lost revenue due to the pandemic,” said Ben Frick, Canton performing arts coordinator. 

It's Scary Season

Scarecrows and skeletons help celebrate Halloween holiday

Where but downtown Northville can a skeleton be seen proposing to his lady-love, playing his guitar or skateboarding down the sidewalk? In downtown Plymouth or Wayne, visitors can view scarecrows fixing broken sinks, riding skeleton horses and training puppies among the straw-based creations on display. These annual displays of creativity draw crowds to the communities to admire, and maybe shiver a little, at the imaginations and artistry of their neighbors and local businesses.

In the pink

Canton Township firefighters have donned pink shirts under their turn-out gear this month to draw attention to October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Members of the Canton Fire Department have traded their uniform shirts for the pink t-shirts they will wear for the entire month of October, part of a nationwide effort to raise breast cancer support and awareness.

Farmers’ Market hosts Chili Cook Off Saturday

Area residents can spice up the weekend with samples from the Chili Cook-Off set for 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 17.

Visitors can taste several creations and then cast a vote for Canton's Best Chili at this special fundraiser set to take place during the final Canton Farmers Market of the season.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Canton Cares Fund, a 501(c)(3) that supports the Canton community by providing financial assistance to disaster relief, therapeutic recreation, youth and senior programs, employee recognition, and scholarships. The Canton Cares Fund, part of the Canton Community Foundation has distributed thousands of dollars to those in need since it was started in 2018. Funds are raised exclusively from individuals and business donations. 

Diwali Festival of Lights to be celebrated next week

Canton Township will light up during a special celebration next week. 

The Canton Diwali Festival of Lights Community Celebration will take place from 6-8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22 at the Heritage Park Amphitheater, located behind the Canton Administration Building. The special event is planned in the festive tradition of India that celebrates the triumph of good over evil. 

Canton Leisure Services is partnering with several community groups to host the event, which is an Indian cultural celebration of lights that symbolizes the “victory of light over darkness.”  This event, primarily sponsored by, is free and open to all community members to learn and celebrate together. 

Proposed property sale prompts residents’ protest

The proposed sale of two parcels of township-owned property prompted objections from neighboring residents during the Sept. 28 meeting of the Sumpter board of trustees.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, resident Corey Blue told the board members that he lives next door to one of the properties being sold. He said that he agrees the township shouldn't be in the business of owning property but having his house next door to one of the sites would seem to indicate that the area should not be zoned as commercial. Blue said he objected to the property being sold to a developer rumored to be planning a 24-hour self-storage rental facility at the site.

He told the board members that he believed the township motto “Country Living at its Finest” which was a motivating factor in choosing to move to Sumpter. He said he would “jump at the chance” to purchase the neighboring property but has been told that it was not for sale three times.

‘Saddle’ to Iron Belle Trail now open in Van Buren

Van Buren Township officials have “saddled up.”

A new road and walking path, known as the saddle was constructed in the township this summer and officially opened last week. The path provides easier accessibility to the  portion of the Iron Belle Trail which runs through Van Buren along with 48 other counties in the state.

“We're excited to have the Iron Belle Trail go right through Van Buren Township,” stated Public Services Director Matthew Best. “We've been working on this project for six years and couldn't have completed it without the support of Wayne County.

Township officials opened the new path during a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week.

Board approves re-keying parks and recreation building

Accessing the Sumpter Township Parks and Recreation Building will be limited to those who have new keys to the structure.

Members of the township board of trustees agreed unanimously at the Sept. 28 meeting to have new locks installed at the building and keys distributed by Township Clerk Esther Hurst's office.

The proposal for the new security measure came from Trustee Tim Rush who is also the board representative on the Parks and Recreation Commission in the township. He said that the locks had not been changed for several years and that the commission members and the township officials no longer have an accurate record of who is in possession of keys to the building where equipment is stored.

Van Buren hosts Candy Loop

The Van Buren Township Parks & Recreation Department annual Candy Loop event is back by popular demand. This family-friendly trick-or-treating experience will be take place from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23 at Quirk Park.

Costumed children can take a stroll around the Candy Loop and stop at different Halloween-themed stations providing treats from local businesses and organizations. This event is free and open to the public, but participants need to register for a specific timeslot at No pets will be allowed with the exception of service animals.

Harvey Street reconstruction work continues

The reconstruction of a portion of Harvey Street in downtown Plymouth is expected to meet the initial November completion deadline, according to city officials.

Recent and predicted rain should not delay the work, officials noted in a prepared statement, and it should be complete and the heavily traveled intersection of Harvey and Penniman be reopened to traffic next month.

The intersection of Penniman and Harvey is the biggest challenge of the project, officials said, due to the vast number of underground utilities as well as the difficulty in detouring traffic from the intersection. Officials said the crews were making every effort to allow limited access to traffic and pedestrians while making safety for both the motorists and the crews a priority. They suggested alternate routes to help ensure safety and avoid long delays at the intersection. 

Good partners

Northville Township Community Services Ofc. Andrew Domzalski, left, Public Safety Ofc. Jacqui Whitthoff, Hegira Health Clinical Director Jaime White and Lt. Chris Rowley celebrate the Outstanding Community Partner Award presented to the Northville Township Police Department recently during the Hegira Health, Inc. 40 Years in Crisis Services Celebration. Hegira Health officials recognized the Northville Township Police Department mental health wellness partnership and the efforts the department made to support behavioral health needs in the community and the region. “This has required efforts from every member of our agency and an outward focus on how we serve,” said Northville Township Police Chief Paul Tennies. “This growth has come from the team's commitment to adaptive change without concern for individual success.”

Fountain dedication is Saturday

After years of planning, considerable community input and approval by both members of the Historic District Commission and the City Commission, the new fountain at Kellogg Park has become a reality. 

The $1 million fountain, funded by the Wilcox Foundation, is crafted of granite and cobblestone and has extensive new underground plumbing.  

The official dedication ceremony is scheduled 11 a.m. this Saturday, Oct. 16. Entries in  the Plymouth Community Arts Council 2D fountain art contest for children will be on display and one of the young artists will win the opportunity to help turn on the new fountain at the ceremony.

Rolling right along

Romulus Huron River Pathway officially opens to public

Eager bikers were on hand to be among the first to travel
along the new Huron River Pathway officially
opened in Romulus last week.   
Things are rolling along in the City of Romulus with the opening of the Huron River Pathway.

Last week, the new pathway was officially opened to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by city officials and the public. The path allows bike or foot travel from the I-275 Metro Trail into downtown Romulus. The Huron River Drive Pathway was constructed in partnership with the Michigan Department of Transportation with support from a $297,600 federal grant. The Romulus Downtown Development Authority provided another $100,000 toward funding of the project. 

Fall Family Fun Festival set for tomorrow

While the Halloween contests continue throughout the City of Romulus, the Fall Family Fun Festival is set for 5 until 8 p.m. tomorrow, Oct. 15.

The free event will include downtown hayrides, the scarecrow contest voting, stories, tours and treats from members of the Romulus Historical Society.

Walking tacos, hot dogs and other concessions will be available for purchase.

There will be face painting and costumes are encouraged. Visitors should bring their own bag for treats.

Fatal shooting suspect sought

A 21-year-old Detroit man died after being shot by unknown suspects in Inkster Oct. 2, according to reports from the Michigan State Police.

Inkster police officers responded to a shots fired report at 11:50 p.m., Oct. 2 in the area of Hazelwood Street and Center Drive, said Michigan State Police Metro Detroit Post Troopers in a statement.

Upon arrival, officers discovered the Detroit man on the ground near a black Jeep Cherokee, which was running. The victim had suffered obvious bullet wounds, officers reported. Inkster paramedics transported the man to a local hospital, police said, where he died from his injuries.

District judge to oversee truancy hearings

Judge Breeda O'Leary
Students in Wayne can go to class or go to court.

In response to a rise in chronic absenteeism among local students, Judge Breeda O'Leary of the 29th District Court has agreed to oversee informal truancy hearings in her courtroom. 

The effort to keep students in school is a partnership with the court, Wayne Memorial High School and Wayne Youth Assistance.

The truancy hearings, designed to be troubleshooting sessions with at-risk students will include the student's parents, school officials and Wayne Youth Services personnel. The student's record of attendance and academic performance will be reviewed, along with any disciplinary history. Explanations for chronic absenteeism vary widely and include such issues as lack of transportation, homelessness, substance abuse, untreated mental health problems and lack of medical insurance. Community agencies will be utilized to provide support services to families as needed, O'Leary noted in a prepared statement.

Festival funds 16 civic groups

It was a good day for 16 Westland organizations last week when Mayor William R. Wild presented checks to representatives of the various civic groups. 

Wild distributed $10,750 in funding to the local community organizations generated at the 2021 Blues, Brews and BBQ event. 

The annual event has distributed more than $250,000 to local civic groups during the 10-year history of the community festival. 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Romulus school superintendent is suspended

Romulus Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Benjamin Edmonson has been placed on paid administrative leave by members of the board of education.

School board members voted 4-3 to place Edmonson on leave during a contentious public meeting last week while financial improprieties reported by an independent consultant are being investigated. Much of the meeting, including many comments from board members and the public, remained confusing and unintelligible due to some technical issues and the outspoken disapproval of many audience members.

Following a lengthy and detailed report, off camera, by Mike Dixon, a management consultant hired by the board members, the motion to suspend Edmonson, with pay, pending an investigation was approved. Some board members appeared surprised by the motion which was added to the agenda by the district finance committee. 

Centennial and counting

Canton resident marks 106th birthday with family and friends

Virginia Bett

Staying social and engaging with others, having a support system and passion for life - plus some good genes might be key to living to be 106 for Virginia Bett of Canton Township who celebrated her birthday recently at Waltonwood Cherry Hill Senior Living.

Dressed in her favorite color - red - and with red velvet cupcakes, rose gold balloons and with friends and members of her family, the entire day was a celebration for Bett. The 106-year-old mother of two, who is also an avid painter, credits great care and her love for art as part of her positive attitude for living a happy life. 

“And perhaps a bit of wine at dinner while we were growing up,” her son Bruce Bett added with a smile. Bett was there to celebrate his mom's landmark celebration - while her other son living in the U.P. will visit later this month.

Sumpter receives highest possible financial audit rating

Sumpter Township received the highest possible rating on the recent financial audit of the municipal finances and practices.

Rana Emmons, from outside accounting firm Post, Smythe, Lutz and Zeal, told the board members during the Sept. 28 meeting that the “clean” audit found no exceptions or disclosures by the financial professionals.

She said that while state shared revenue was flat and there was a decrease in income from building permits, the township managed to increase the fund balance by $419,000. There was, she said, a 2-percent overall increase in property values in the township which added to revenue received without any millage rate increase.  

Emmons also noted that the township was able to pay $500,000 in water bond debt with $2.5 million remaining on those bonds. 

2 veteran police officers to retire this month

Two veteran officers of the Canton Township Police Department will retire this month.

Police Ofc. James Marinelli who began his career with the department on Sept. 16,1996 will leave the department. 

Marinelli was assigned as a road patrol officer responding to calls for service, initiating contact with individuals and participating in the community policing practices of the department. During his career, in addition to his patrol duties, Marinelli was active on numerous special units including Evidence Technician, Range Officer, Field Training Officer, Fire Investigation Unit, Special Enforcement Unit, and as an investigator in the Canton Detective Bureau and on a multi-jurisdictional Narcotics Interdiction Team. 

Monster Mash will return Oct. 16

There will be ghosts, vampires and probably a celebrity or two at the 3rd annual Cherry Hill Village Monster Mash in Canton.

The event, strictly for the 21 and older crowd will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16 at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill.

The adult Halloween party will feature favorite top 40 hits and Halloween covers by Atomic Radio. Guests can also participate in a costume contest and enjoy a cash bar. In addition, participants will be treated to a unique experience as the main focus of the event will be a dance party on stage where there will be a bar and tables for seating in between dancing.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring back our Monster Mash this year, since community members are eager for this type of adult event, featuring costumes and cocktails, as well as great dance music,” said Ben Frick, Canton performing arts coordinator.

Police chief corrects erroneous response report

It did not take Sumpter Police officers 2 ½ hours to respond to a traffic accident last week, despite published reports.

Sumpter Township Director of Public Safety Eric Luke corrected the erroneous information during the Sept. 28 meeting of the trustees. He said that a local newspaper had printed an account of a Sept. 12 traffic accident on Judd Road claiming that police did not respond until 11 p.m. to an 8:30 p.m. accident.

Luke said that the dispatcher received a report of the vehicle crash and was informed there were no injured parties at the scene.

“At that time, we were responding to two higher priority calls,” Luke said. “One was a suicidal juvenile and the other was a drunk driving arrest.”

Trustees approve employment contract for fire chief

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees approved the employment contract for Fire Chief Rick Brown during the Sept. 28 meeting.

The approval came following a request from Township Clerk Esther Hurst who requested a change in the contract language. Hurst requested a change that would give the township director of public safety the authority to suspend rather than terminate the fire chief pending approval of the township board.

“My thought is that the board hires and the board fires. That is my reason for suggesting the change,” she said.

Trustee Peggy Morgan said that “nobody should have the power to dictate to the fire chief.” 

Skill set

Seniors show off talents at expo

Residents at Independence Village of Plymouth were offered a unique look at the skill and artistry of their neighbors recently during a Resident Expo. Residents, with decades of experience and proven talent, set up displays in the lobby of the residence and invited their neighbors to view their craftsmanship and artistry. Displays included quilting, woodworking, musical instruments, and baskets. One resident shared stories of her travel experiences around the world while Joanne Schwendenmann offered samples of her culinary skill with cookies and other treats.

Northville Art House to host ‘Halloween Art Crawl’

In keeping with the season, the Northville Art House will host the  Live @ 5 Halloween Art Crawl from 5 until 8 p.m.  Saturday, Oct. 23  in downtown Northville. While costumes are optional at the event, guests can meet and mingle with artists, listen to live music, enjoy refreshments, participate in creative art experiences, win prizes and purchase works of art by Metro Detroit artists. 

Northville Art House Executive Director Erin Maten said she is looking forward to the event.

“The art crawl brings together local artists, businesses, and nonprofits to celebrate and support creativity, collaboration, and commerce in the community,” she said. 

Halloween costumes are not mandatory, but guests are encouraged to get into the holiday spirit as they begin their art crawl at one of the following venues and go from there, she added.

Lawsuits target conduct of Wayne city manager

Lisa Nocerini
The conduct of Wayne City Manager Lisa Nocerini is the basis of two separate lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court seeking monetary damages from the city and city officials.

Attorneys for the city last week filed responses to both lawsuits denying all the assertions of the plaintiffs who each single out Nocerini's conduct as the basis for the award of monetary compensation.

Criminal charges filed against Wayne resident Mark Blackwell are central to the lawsuits filed by both Blackwell and Wayne Police Sgt. Abraham Hughes.

Blackwell is seeking damages for the harm and violation of his civil rights when misdemeanor charges of stalking and disturbing the peace were filed against him. He contends that Nocerini influenced those charges against him in retribution for his criticisms of her job performance at public meetings.

High school Homecoming ‘royalty’ to be crowned Friday

There will be no Homecoming King or Queen at Wayne Memorial or John Glenn High School this year.

There will, however, be royalty and some crowns bestowed. Both high schools decided to do away with the gender-specific titles and announce the victors as homecoming “royalty” instead, which can be students of any gender.

Last school year, Wayne Memorial High School brought the idea to change the homecoming gender-specific titles to the attention of the student council. The leadership students at John Glenn High School learned of the concept this summer and the concept was presented to students at both schools. Students agreed and the change in the conventional terminology was adopted. The change is also an effort to be more inclusive for those who do not conform to traditional gender identities and to ensure all students have the opportunity to feel included, a spokesman for the district said in a prepared statement.

Council members OK Romulus Trade Center project

Members of the Romulus City Council approved the plan for the171-acre multi-million dollar Romulus Trade Center by a 6-1 vote last week.

Councilwoman Virginia Williams cast the lone vote and repeatedly voiced her opposition and objections to the project. Williams began her criticisms of the Trade Center, expected to bring 1,180 jobs to the city and $55 million in real property tax revenue to the school district, during a motion to rezone the property to conform to the needs of the developer, NorthPoint Development.

Williams questioned the procedures of the rezoning and the unanimous recommendation of the city property disposition committee to sell two parcels of land owned by the city to the developer.  She also said she was opposed to the plan for a Royal Farms facility in the project. 

Flood assistance is still available

Federal assistance for area homeowners and survivors of the June 25 - 26 severe storms and flooding is still available. Residents who suffered damage can still register with FEMA for individual disaster assistance. The deadline for assistance has been extended to Friday, Nov. 12, and applies to survivors living in Wayne County. 

The $5.5 million flood assistance program is available to assist homeowners recovering from the historic rainfall that resulted in flood and sewer damages to thousands of households.  Eligible residents can receive grants to help cover the cost of replacing goods, labor, and insurance deductibles related to flood damage, but not covered by FEMA or property insurance.

Michigan State Police seek suspect in shooting of woman

Michigan State Police are asking for information regarding a shooting Sept. 24 which left an Inkster woman hospitalized.

According to police reports, very little is known about the incident when a 22-year-old woman was shot several times when she answered her door.  Police were called to the Lovett Avenue residence when the shooting was reported at about 10 p.m. that Friday.