Thursday, November 25, 2021

Wayne County Lightfest celebrates holiday season

The Wayne County Lightfest, a four-mile stretch of Hines Park, displaying nearly 50 animated holiday- themed displays and more than 100,000 lights, is now open for motorists.

The Lightfest is available for viewing from 6 until 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday until Friday, Dec. 31. The display is closed Dec. 25.  Due to overwhelming response to the Lightfest, wait times may be longer than normal on weekends, county officials said. "Families all over the Metro Detroit Area are looking for safe activities to participate in this holiday season and our staff is working diligently to make the Lightfest experience as positive as possible," he added.

Long-time Northville Township Police Chief to retire

Chief Paul Tennies
Northville Township Police Chief Paul Tennies will retire from public service in December after a 19-year career with the Northville Township Police Department. 

Township Manager/Director of Public Safety Todd Mutchler made the announcement at the meeting of the board of trustees last week. 

Tennies joined the Department in 2002 as a patrol officer, later serving as Field Training Officer and department instructor. His leadership skills were evident then,  Mutchler said. 

“Throughout his career, he's led a fantastic team of officers to new heights, he's built bridges with community partners and arrested a lot of people,” he said. “He is an excellent public servant and an asset to our community. We will miss him greatly.” 

Canton Township wins second grant to study recycling effort

Earlier this year, Canton Township embarked on an eight-week “Feet on the Street” recycling cart tagging program to help eliminate contamination in curbside carts. This program was funded by a Recycling Quality Improvement Grant from The Recycling Partnership and Michigan EGLE (Environment, Great Lakes and Energy).

Residential participation in the program improved the contamination rate in the township by 28 percent, according to officials.

In an effort to expand on the success of the program, township officials applied for additional grant funding to focus on education about the contamination in carts. Recently, officials learned that Canton was selected by The Recycling Partnership and Michigan EGLE as a Recycling App to Action Grant recipient. By accepting this grant, Canton will take recycling data gathered during the previous Recycling Quality Improvement Grant, analyze it to better understand the recycling behavior of Canton Township residents and amplify the results with targeted education and outreach, officials explained.

Trustees continue to criticize published misinformation

Despite published claims, the new injection wells at Carleton Farms will pose no threat to the water quality of Sumpter Township residents.

The new wells will be used to dispose of leachate at the waste disposal facility. Leachate is groundwater that has percolated through the waste at the site and leached out some of the constituents. Currently, Carleton Farms has the collected leachate trucked off the site and disposed of elsewhere, officials explained during a Sept. 28 study session of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees. 

Representatives from Republic Services, owners of Carleton Farms, appeared before the trustees as a courtesy, they explained, as an effort to be a good neighbor. They noted that the township had no input or control regarding the installation or management of the proposed wells which would be regulated at the federal and state level.

Holiday help is available

Applications for assistance from both the Sumpter Township and 2021 Belleville/Van Buren Township Goodfellows Christmas Food and Toy Distribution programs are now available.

Van Buren application forms are available 24/7 at the Van Buren Township Police Department front desk at 46425 Tyler Road in Van Buren Township. Applications for Christmas help from the Sumpter Township Goodfellows are now available at Sumpter Ace Hardware, the Sumpter Township Police Station and Sumpter Township Hall, as well as at district schools.

Northville Township bond rating raised to AAA

Northville Township has received the coveted AAA Bond rating from S&P Global Ratings, formerly Standard & Poor's. The AAA Bond rating is the highest possible, and Northville is one of fewer than 20 communities in Michigan to receive such an honor. 

“The board of trustees and our staff have been working hard to strengthen our financial position by lowering long-term costs, building strong fund balances, and keeping taxes low,” said Mark J. Abbo, Northville Township supervisor. “These efforts have resulted in the strongest bond rating from Standard & Poor's and will benefit the township for decades to come.” 

County denies parents’ request for new crosswalk

Despite the efforts of a group of concerned citizens, Wayne County officials have denied a request for a crosswalk across Joy Road to provide easier access to Salem High School.

The parents, residents of the Westbriar Village and Trillium Woods, made a formal request to the county for the crosswalk which would have allowed pedestrians to cross to and from property adjacent to the high school, part of the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park. The request was denied by Wayne County officials, according to a Nov. 17 communication from Joshua Meier, director of school safety and security for the school district.

Giving Tuesday

Canton Leisure Services joins effort

Canton Township will join a world-wide event next Tuesday.

Canton Leisure Services will be among the global participants in GivingTuesday set for Nov. 30 this year.

Always marked on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of radical generosity. The movement was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Since then, it has grown into a year-round global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Canton Township is in good company as the co-founding organization of the effort was the United Nations.

Council approves 2 new housing developments

Developers are hoping for perfect attendance at two new residential developments at former elementary school sites in Westland.

Members of the Westland City Council unanimously approved the two home developments proposed by Lombardo Homes during a regular meeting Nov. 15. At the 12.16 acre former site of James Madison Elementary School, on the east side of Carlson south of Avondale, the developer plans to construct 45 homes. At the former 9.06 acre site of Kettering Elementary School between Venoy Road and Hubbard Street, 35 new homes will be built.  Both schools were closed in 2011 by the Wayne-Westland Community Schools Board of Education due to declining enrollment.

Driver in fatal hit-and-run is sentenced to prison

A 21-year-old Westland man has been sentenced to 2-5 years in prison for leaving the scene of an accident that took the life of a Northville college student.

Gustavo Godinez was driving on Sheldon Road between Five and Six Mile Road at about 11:30 p.m. Sept. 3, 2020 when he struck Dominic Duhn, 20, who was skateboarding in the road. Duhn, a student at Michigan State University and a former Eagle Scout was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics called by his companion after the impact. The pair had reportedly activated their cell phone strobe lights to warn oncoming motorists they were skateboarding down the 100-foot incline in the area. 

Tickets for annual Holiday Taste Fest now available

Tickets for the Westland Holiday Taste Fest are now on sale but are limited.

The annual charity event will take place from 6 until 8:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Hellenic Cultural Center.

The $25 admission ticket includes food from area restaurants and culinary artists featuring special treats and holiday displays. The traditional auction and raffles will also take place featuring prizes in the live auction, the You Pick raffle, a 50/50 drawing and Bucket of Cheer raffles.

Live music will be provided by the Marsha Gayle Band and emcees for the event will be Ralph and Kim Cabildo.

Police shooting of dog remains under investigation

The internal investigation by Inkster police into the shooting of dog by an officer is ongoing, according to an official statement from the department.

A 4-year-old mastiff, owned by Inkster resident Brad Brock, was shot and killed by an Inkster officer earlier this month. According to Brock, the dog was shot as it approached the officer, attempting, Brock said, to greet him. 

Brock said the incident occurred after he made a 911 call to the police to report an altercation at a nearby gas station on Michigan Avenue.  His dog, Moose, was not on a leash at the time and was approaching Brock  when the officer fired four times, striking the animal.

Official holiday events scheduled in City of Romulus

Last year, Santa Claus was virtually welcomed to Romulus by
city officials and grade student Ezabella Brewer. This year,
residents are invited to the free event at Romulus Historical Park. 
The traditional tree lighting ceremony in Romulus will begin with hot cocoa and snacks before newly-elected Mayor Robert McCraight officially welcomes Santa to the city.

The official dedication and presentation of the key to the city to Santa is set to take place at 6:30 p.m. and this year will include a holiday performance by the Romulus High School Choir. Residents will be encouraged to join in singing carols and there will be holiday vendors on site for gift shopping. Photos with Santa will be available after the dedication for $10 each.

This year, the family-friendly, free event will also attempt to "Stuff the Bus" with non-perishable food donations to help the Romulus Helping Hand facility in the city.

Philharmonic conductor’s contract is renewed

Nan Harrison Washburn
Longtime conductor and music director of the Michigan Philharmonic, Nan Harrison Washburn, has renewed her contract for three years through the Philharmonic 2024-2025 season. 

As the second longest-running conductor of the Philharmonic, Washburn has already led the regional symphony for 23 of the organization's 76-year history.  

In her role, Washburn has steadfastly focused on an innovative approach to performances, a deep dedication to engaging with audiences of all ages and interests and a true devotion to educating young musicians in the joys and intricacies of all forms of classical and even pop music, according to a statement from the Philharmonic board of directors. 

Earlier this year she was honored for her timeless efforts to promote the Philharmonic as the face of music culture in the community, being named one of Crain's Notable LGBTQ in Business leaders for 2021, which recognized her devotion to enriching all of the cultural community not only in and around metro Detroit but across the country. 

Wayne welcomes Santa next week

Santa will make his official visit to Wayne during Holiday Night at the Museum set for 6 until 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4.

The traditional Christmas Parade will begin at 6 p.m. and at 6:30 the official welcome of Santa to the city will take place as he is presented the key to the city by Mayor John Rhaesa and members of the Wayne City Council. The official tree lighting ceremony will follow. From 7 until 8:30 the Wayne Historical Museum will open for children to meet both Santa and Mrs. Claus. A warming fire pit with Kurt and Angie Jarman of Kurt's Caps of Wayne will also be available. 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Northville Township files lawsuit against landfill

Northville Township has filed a lawsuit against the Arbor Hills Landfill in an effort, officials said, to hold the facility accountable for past violations and prevent future harm to township residents. 

The eight-count lawsuit which seeks to stop noxious odors, prevent intrusion of excess pollutants and protect Johnson Creek was filed Nov. 10.

After unsuccessfully working with lanfill owners GFL towards a resolution since their ownership began in October 2020, Northville Township Supervisor Mark J. Abbo has taken steps necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of township residents, according to a statement from the township.

Top marks

Local teacher wins state Lottery Excellence in Education award

Educator Chris Kozaczynski displays his
Excellence in Education award presented
 to him last week by the Michigan State
Lottery honoring his teaching efforts
 at Walker Winter Elementary School
in Canton Township.

A Wayne Westland Community School District educator known for creating an engaging environment for students has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Chris Kozaczynski, is a second grade gifted and talented teacher at Walker-Winter Elementary School which is part of the Wayne-Westland school district.

The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education awards in 2014 to recognize outstanding public-school educators across the state during the school year.

Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a $1,500 cash prize, and a $500 grant to be used for their classroom, school, or school district. One of the weekly winners will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Kozaczynski said a senior service project drew him to a career as an educator.

Plymouth community mourns death of Fred Hill, 79

The Plymouth community is mourning the death of Frederick W. Hill, 79, who died at his home Nov. 15 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Hill was known throughout the area for his long-involvement and community activism. He was most widely known for his founding and direction of the Fred Hill Briefcase Drill Team which performed in the American Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Fiesta Bowl Parade in Tempe Arizona and at the Indianapolis 500.  Mr. Hill was a 50-year member of the Plymouth Kiwanis Club and the owner of Fred Hill Real Estate in Plymouth. He formerly owned a men's clothing store in Main Street in downtown Plymouth.

Planning commissioners OK new development

Members of the Canton township Planning Commission have approved plans for a 62-acre, mixed use development on Michigan Avenue.

The new development, named Redwood Marketplace, includes plans for several hundred single-story apartment units and commercial buildings. It would be the first of this type in the southern end of the township. Commissioners approved the plan and recommended final approval for the planned development district during the Nov. 1 meeting.

Social worker program under way

The Canton Township Police Department embedded social worker pilot program, a partnership with Hegira Health, is already under way.

Social worker Renee Glass, LMSW, BCTP, is working with officers to assist citizens in need of counseling, referrals and resources related to a variety of issues such as criminal violence, geriatric issues, mental health concerns, addiction, homeless and indigent assistance. The program supplements the efforts of the 18 Canton Township officers who are trained in crisis response and intervention through the Detroit-Wayne Integrated Health Network, to assist with mental health response and to reduce the stigma of mental health issues and the need for further involvement with the criminal justice system. 

Councilwoman protests appointment procedure

Virginia Williams
Following the 20th official inauguration ceremony Nov. 8, members of the Romulus City Council met to establish the meeting calendar and make official appointments for the current terms of office. Voters chose to reelect all seven incumbents during balloting Nov. 2, and elected Robert McCraight as the new mayor. McCraight, the former director of public services and economic development for the city, was the choice of 2,483 or 59 percent of the voters.

Controversy erupted during the meeting regarding the naming of the council chairman pro tem, a position traditionally filled by the second-highest vote getter in the council race. This month, incumbent Virginia Williams with 2,344 votes, received the second highest vote total, with current council Chairman John Barden receiving the highest number of votes at 2,530.

Newly-elected mayor promises to ‘exceed expectations’

Mayor Robert McCraight 
The 20th inauguration ceremony for newly-elected Romulus officials drew a large crowd of supporters and well wishers to city hall Nov. 8.

After opening remarks from several local dignitaries, 34th District Court Judge Lisa Martin administered the oath of office to city council members John Barden; Virginia Williams; Tina M. Talley; William J. Wadsworth; Celeste Roscoe; Kathy Abdo and Eva Webb. All are incumbents. Judge Tina Brooks-Green officiated at the swearing in of incumbent City Clerk Ellen Craig-Bragg who was unopposed in her bid for a fourth term in office, and incumbent city Treasurer Stacy Paige.

Newly-elected Mayor Robert McCraight was sworn into office by Brian Oakley, chief judge at the 34th District Court in Romulus.

Judge reinstates bond for state legislator

Jewell Jones
State Rep. Jewell Jones was expected to leave the Livingston County Jail Friday after posting reinstated bond and has until Dec. 10 to consider a plea deal offered by the prosecution.

Jones, who had been incarcerated for 60 days, was to be released on a $100,000 personal recognizance bond and on a second $100,000 or 10-percent bond with multiple conditions. Judge Michael Hatty reinstated Jones original bond based on his arrest on drunk driving and resisting arrest charges from an April 6 incident. He was ordered to jail on those charges after repeated bond violations including alcohol consumption, tampering with the alcohol monitor, misleading the court regarding his whereabouts and failure to pay the fee for the court-ordered monitor. The second bond was imposed in connection to charges filed after a handcuff key was discovered taped to the bottom of Jones' foot during jail intake processing in September.

Inkster man charged in Hamtramck shooting deaths

RayQuan Young, 24, of Inkster, has been arrested and charged with six felony offenses in connection with the death of two people in Hamtramck.

According to police reports, Young was charged Nov. 13 in the deaths Khalileo Anderson and his girlfriend, De'Angelique Thomas. The case had been under investigation since Hamtramck police were called to Anderson's apartment in the 3500 block of Caniff Street in the city at about 2:45 p.m. Oct. 28. When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered the two victims dead from multiple gunshot wounds, according to police reports.

Motorists welcome reopening of Harvey Street

Plymouth motorists celebrated last week when the intersection of Harvey Street and Penniman opened to traffic.

The intersection officially opened last Friday after three months of construction during which new utilities were installed, including a new water main installed under the Tonquish Creek, new wider, ADA sidewalks constructed, additional lighting  was connected, a new mid-block crossing installed connecting the Tonquish Creek Nature Trail to downtown, and the foundations for the new mast arm signals and pedestrian crossing signals were prepped for installation next spring. 

Officials said there will be some on-going restoration work taking place during the next few weeks. 

Northville district receives top rating from auditors

Mary Kay Gallagher
Northville Public Schools continues to meet the highest standards for accuracy of financial statements, accountability for use of federal and state funds, and overall financial stability, according to the report presented by Plante & Moran auditors at the Oct. 26 board of education meeting. 

The auditors awarded Northville Public Schools the highest possible audit rating in rendering an “unmodified” opinion for the district financial statements and federal awards, while noting no material weaknesses or deficiencies, and qualifying the district as a low-risk auditee. 

The most recent S & P bond rating review of the district in May, 2020 cited Northville Public Schools' strong financial position, and held the District's AA-, long-term rating, despite the challenging economic environment shaped by the pandemic. 

Rezoning of marijuana growing sites is proposed

Sumpter Township may soon restrict marijuana growers to industrial-zoned property, rather than allowing caregivers to utilize their primary residences to produce the plants.

Trustee Matt Oddy first brought the issue to the attention of the board of trustees during a regular meeting, explaining that there have been changes and challenges to the current state law and that this effort could be superceded by changes under discussion in the state Legislature. Nevertheless, Oddy said, he felt the township should impose restrictions moving the growing of the plants to an industrially zoned area. 

Trustees delay purchase of pump station air cleaning system

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees opted to table the purchase of a new air cleaning system for the Sumpter Road pump station until next spring.

Trustees agreed that the 14-16-week lead time necessary for the installation of the $85,100 BioAir system would be better authorized next spring. The machine would be installed in an effort to remediate the odor at the pump station, located at the corner of Willis and Sumpter roads. 

Residents in the area have been complaining for months about the odors emitting from the facility, and a recent survey indicated that 26 or 27 of neighboring residents found the smell emanating from the station to be “intolerable.”

Wayne marks Veterans Day at city memorial

The Veterans Memorial next to Wayne City Hall was the site of a Veterans' Day ceremony last Thursday, Nov. 11. 

Wayne Community Development Director Lori Gouin acted as the emcee of the event and the ceremony officially began with the pledge of allegiance let by Wayne Councilman Kevin Dowd,  Wayne Councilwoman Kelly Skiff and Wayne Councilman Phil Wagner.  

Pastor Seth McDonald of Hillcrest Bible Church led the opening prayer while Wayne Mayor John Rhaesa offered opening remarks. Wayne Fire Department Captain Dave Wylie and veterans Kathy Baker, Dan Valdez and Ed Queen along with Chris Miller placed commemorative wreaths next to the memorials.

Westland Police Honor Guard fundraiser is set

Members of the Westland Police Honor Guard are selling Challenge Coins to fund their trip to Washington D.C. to represent the city during National Police Week. To help them achieve what they describe as a “significant goal,” they are selling the commemorative coins online.

Many teams of highly dedicated law enforcement officers attend the national police week ceremonies to represent organizations from across the United States and Canada. The teams converge in Washington every year for National Police Week, where peace officers are honored for their dedicated service to the protection of local communities.

On May 15, known as National Peace Officers' Memorial Day, the nation honors those officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. 

Happy birthday

Last Saturday, the William P. Faust Public Library of Westland celebrated 25 years of excellence that included a look back of at all the advances the library has been part of during the past quarter century, as well as a look at all the services and technology the library currently offers. Past and present employees, board members, volunteers, city, state and county leaders and residents were treated to a celebration of the 25 years of service the library has provided to the community.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

A day to remember

Holiday pays tribute to those who have served our country

Veterans Day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans. However, most Americans confuse this holiday with Memorial Day, which specifically commemorates those who died while in service of their country and made the ultimate sacrifice.

What's more, some Americans don't know why veterans are commemorated  on Nov. 11, although in recent years it has become "politically correct" to say to veterans, as well as to frontline workers, "thank you for your service.'

Canton tree ordinance is ruled ‘unconstitutional’

Canton Township efforts to protect trees in the community have been sharply curtailed by a decision of the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals. The decision, handed down last month, affirms the early ruling of the U.S. District Court which determined that the township demand that a private company replace 160 felled trees or remit $48,000 to the township tree fund was unconstitutional.

The court agreed with an early ruling that the efforts of the township to control and protect trees on private property, “went too far.” The original ruling by U.S. District Court Judge George Caram Steeh in 2020 found, “Here, the character of the government action is to require a private property owner to maintain the trees on its property for the benefit of the community at large. This is a burden that should be shared by the community as a whole.

“The court finds that as applied to this plaintiff, the tree ordinance goes too far and is an unconstitutional regulatory taking.”

Council OK’s use permit at NorthPoint project

Romulus Councilwoman Virginia Williams cast the lone no vote on a rezoning request from NorthPoint Development during the Oct. 25 meeting.

NorthPoint, presently in the development stage of the 171-acre, multi-million-dollar Romulus Trade Center along the south side of Smith Road, the east side of Vining Road and north of Wick Road in the city, requested the special land use approval to allow a fueling station and convenience store, restaurant and car wash at the northeast corner of Wick and Vining roads.

Members of the Romulus Planning Commission approved the request at an earlier meeting and recommended approval of the Royal Farms convenience store and fueling station. During the Oct. 25 meeting, NorthPoint Economic Development Manager John Sweeney told the council that the developers were excited that the contract with Royal Point had been finalized and the facility would offer 24-hour services. He explained that the car wash and fueling station were included in the original plans for the development also approved by members of both the city council and the planning commission. 

Trucking company leases township hall parking spots

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new contract with Davey Trucking for parking in the lot adjacent to Township Hall.

According to officials, the new month-to-month contract will require the company to pay $1,500 each month to park up to six trucks in the township lot. 

Trustee Tim Rush noted that the arrangement might have a benefit other than financial for the township as Davey is a subcontractor with DTE and having the trucks in the township “is going to help facilitate repair or maintenance of our infrastructure.”

Rush said he felt this could be a major “positive” for the township.

Applications for Goodfellows holiday help now available

Applications for assistance from the 2021 Belleville / Van Buren Township Goodfellows Christmas Food and Toy Distribution Program are now available.

 Application forms are available 24/7 at the Van Buren Township Police Department front desk at 46425 Tyler Road in Van Buren Township.

Printable forms are also available online on the Van Buren Township website at

The program is open to City of Belleville and Van Buren Township residents only. Sumpter Township has a separate Goodfellows program.

Sumpter police sergeant completes command school

Sgt. Joseph Balowski 
Sumpter Township Police Sgt. Joseph Balowski recently graduated from the prestigious Eastern Michigan University School of Police Staff and Command Leadership Program.

The intensive program consists of 350 hours of classroom instruction that requires out-of-class study, preparation of papers, projects, and examinations. 

Balowski is an 11-year law enforcement veteran who joined the Sumpter department in 2013 and he was promoted to road patrol shift sergeant in 2019. In addition to his responsibilities as a sergeant, he is a Field Training Officer, taser instructor, firearms instructor and member of the Western Wayne Mobile Field Force team. 

Township to host annual International Festival

The Canton International Festival 2021, hosted by The Village Theater at
 Cherry Hill, will feature cultural performances from India, Japan,Italy, China,
 Polynesia, and more! (photos provided courtesy of Canton Village Theater).
Experience music, dance, and drama from around the world when the International Festival returns to Canton Township from 2 until 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13.

This annual cultural and educational festival which celebrates the diversity of Canton and surrounding communities through song and dance will take place on the main stage of The Village Theater, located at 50400 Cherry Hill Road in Canton.

Search for ‘Bigfoot’ to take place Saturday

 Area residents who are looking to explore the great outdoors  are invited to participate in a "Search for Bigfoot Hike" on the Lower Rouge Trail from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov.13. 

There have been more than 200 supposed Bigfoot sightings in Michigan, and this free hike will be guided by a naturalist and noted "Bigfoot Expert" from the Huron-Clinton Metroparks. This will be a search for the 'World Hide-N-Seek Champion,' also known as Sasquatch.

"With fall in full swing, it's a great time to take a hike and take in the outdoor scenery," said Jennifer Girard, recreation specialist.  "We're excited to offer this free, fun opportunity for participants to come and learn about Bigfoot and how these rumored creatures are able to remain so elusive by practicing 'Leave No Trace' outdoor tactics."

Art show continues at Village Theatre

The Village Theater at Cherry Hill will display the works of artist Ilham Badreddine Mahfouz in an exhibit, entitled “Inception”, in the Gallery@VT through Nov. 29. 

Mahfouz's current exhibit incorporates selections of work that address contrasts in relationship to colors, lines, and textures to achieve harmony in the final direction of her paintings. 

“A color is a reflection of life; happy colors, sad colors, etc., which state emotions and feelings reflecting human conditions such as war, peace, tragedy, hope success, spirituality, harmony, love, hate, anger - a journey of life in composition, colors, and brush strokes,” stated Mahouz. “I explored and charted on a space that conveys my subliminal human emotions which then transcends towards the viewer to interpret his or her own views through subconscious dialogue in colors.”

Veterans sought for annual holiday meal program

Local veterans have until noon Nov. 17 to register for the 8th Annual Holiday Meals for Wayne Westland Veterans and Active Duty Families program.

The effort is led by Westland Mayor William R. Wild, Wayne Mayor John P. Rhaesa, Wayne-Ford Civic League President Vic Barra, and local elected officials. The program is for veterans and families of active-duty service members.  Once registered, recipients will receive a 12-16 pound turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, and heat and serve rolls for a family of six to eight people.

Applications to join Westland Police Department accepted

The Westland Police Department is seeking a few good men and women interested in a career in law enforcement.

The department recently exhausted the most recent police officer eligibility list with hirings this month and will be starting the process to establish the next hiring eligibility list, police officials said in a prepared statement.

As part of the process, applicants will be required to take the written portion of their testing through EMPCO ( Applicants should ensure that they meet all the requirements for the Westland position before paying for and taking the written test.

Help wanted

The investigation into an arson that occurred at a shopping complex at Cherry Hill and Inkster roads last month is continuing, according to police. Detectives are seeking help from the public information or an identification of a person of interest seen on surveillance cameras. The fire, determined to have been deliberately set, took place at about 10:40 p.m. Oct. 17. Those providing information can remain anonymous, police said. Those with information can contact Detective Sgt. Shawn Vargo at (313) 819-2866 or crime stoppers of Michigan at 1-800-773-2587.

School district holiday help program is seeking donors

The annual SHH! Program at the Family Resource Center is seeking holiday sponsors for students facing extreme circumstances.  

Shh! volunteers match sponsors with students who are currently experiencing homelessness, are in foster care placements or are in other disadvantaged situations. Students in the program will receive items that are new to them, which will help them fit in with their peers. 

Volunteers at the center said they focus on getting the student a few nice items that are tailored to their tastes and likes, and hopefully lift their spirits in this upcoming holiday season. 

Waste vouchers available

The City of Wayne Department of Public Works has been provided with 100 vouchers for residents seeking to dispose of certain hazardous waste material. 

Vouchers are available up at the Wayne Department of Public Works located at 35200 Forest Ave. Wayne from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. while supplies last. Only one voucher per household will be provided.

Planning commission OK’s Northville Downs plan

Photo provided by developer. The illustration depicts a diverse mix
of homes on one of the residential streets being proposed for the
Downs site as part of the PUD.
Members of the Northville Planning Commission approved the Planned Unit Development plan for the Northville Downs property by a 7-1 vote Nov. 2.

Representatives of developer Hunter Pasteur Northville, LLC can now submit a preliminary site plan illustrating the proposal to convert the 48-acre Northville Downs racetrack property into residential, commercial and public use. The plans include a total of 481 residential units with 170 townhomes, 56 single-family homes, 53 condominiums, 174 high-end apartments and 28 row houses.

On the job

Jason Lawson is the newest member of the Northville Township Police Department. Lawson took his oath of o last week witnessed by friends, family and staff at Northville Township Hall.

Lawson joins the department after eight years with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, where he was a member of the Tether Unit and the Wayne County Sheriff's Honor Guard. He also is an expert on crisis intervention and has trained law enforcement members from around the state as a member of the Detroit Wayne integrated Health Network. Lawson earned his bachelor's degree from Eastern Michigan University where he studied Interracial Communication and Law, as well as Politics in African American Culture.

Surveyors now assessing former hospital buildings

A professional assessment of the asbestos and hazardous materials at the 11 remaining buildings of the former state psychiatric hospital in Northville Township is now under way.

Employees from Fleis & Vandenbrink Consulting were scheduled to begin the work at the Seven Mile Road site Nov. 4 following contract approval by the members of the board of trustees.

The surveys and assessment are being complete in preparation of bidding the demolition to the remaining buildings, township officials said. Demolition is scheduled to being next summer.

Tentative plan for former Courthouse Grill discussed

A developer has submitted tentative plans for a 120-unit housing development at the site of the former Courthouse Grill on Plymouth Road.

Tentative plans for the four-story development were discussed during the recent Plymouth Township economic development meeting. The plan which would see the demolition of the 86-year-old building is being proposed by District Capital Detroit. Plans include condominium units, an on-site car wash, a dog park and a dog wash. Founder of District Capital Detroit, Kevin Kovachevich, is a Canton High School graduate and resident of Plymouth.

15-year-old arrested in sex assault

Plymouth police have identified and charged a 15-year-old in an attempted sexual assault in downtown Plymouth.

Police reported that surveillance cameras showed that at about 7 p.m. Oct. 30, a male suspect entered the women's lavatory near The Gathering. When a woman entered the building about 20 minutes later, she used a second, unlocked stall in the facility. As she exited the stall, she was attacked, according to police reports, and the assailant attempted to sexually assault her. She fought the attacker off and he fled from the building heading toward Kellogg Park and then toward Union Street. 

Police said the victim was physically unharmed in the incident.

City fire hydrant flushing continues

Employees from the City of Plymouth Department of Municipal Services will be performing annual, routine hydrant flushing and testing for approximately one month, according to a prepared statement from the city.

During that time, residents could experience lower than normal water pressure and/or discolored water for a brief time. If either of these conditions occurs, residents should run cold water through the tap for several minutes to flush out the plumbing pipes.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

William Wild
Voters throughout the area made their choices Tuesday.

While there were no surprises in some communities where candidates were unopposed for  offices, voters made it offical at the polls. 

In Belleville, where Steve Jones was the sole candidate for two open seats on city council, he received a total of 258  votes according to unofficial reports from the office of the Wayne County Clerk.  

Inkster voters in the Taylor School District helped approve the sale of $130 million in tax bonds by a district-wide vote of 5,617 to 4,550. Local totals were not available at press time. 

Voters in the City of Northville returned unopposed Mayor Brian Turnbull to office with 719 votes while choosing John Carter and Andrew Krenz to serve on the two available city council terms. Carter received 602 votes, Andrew Krenz received 505 votes. Patrick L. Giesa received a total of 317 votes. 

Canton adds 8 hybrid vehicles to police fleet

Canton Township Supervisor Anne Marie Graham-Hudak, Director of Police
Services Chad Baugh and officers welcome the newest Ford Hybrid Explorer
 Police Interceptors to the township police force.
Canton officials are charged up about the latest additions to the fleet of vehicles in the police department.

Canton has increased the number of hybrid patrol vehicles in the police department to a total of eight this year. This year, seven new Ford Hybrid Explorer Police Interceptor vehicles were added to the department, rather than the tradition Ford version. Ford Motor Co. representatives said the hybrid vehicle provides police agencies with improved power and performance, with no trade-offs when it comes to safety or interior passenger/cargo space when compared to the previous-generation vehicle. 

Bond sale to fund demolition of former hospital

The Northville Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $12 million bond sale to continue demolition of the former state psychiatric hospital buildings at Legacy Park. 

Board members voted on the resolution at a recent special meeting. 

“This action will bring over 96 percent of the property to a natural state,” said Township Supervisor Mark J. Abbo. “Once these buildings have been removed, we can begin implementing plans for public use of the land.” 

History lesson

Wayne State joining effort to preserve Malcolm X house

Anthropology students at both Henry Ford College and Wayne State University are looking forward to a planned “dig” in Inkster next spring.

The students will be among those professionals searching the area surrounding the home at 4336 Williams St., hoping to find artifacts and relics of the time civil rights leader Malcolm X lived in the home.  The renovation and preservation project will be funded by a $380,850 African American Civil Rights Grant  awarded by the Historic Preservation Fund as administered by the National Park Service (NPS), Department of Interior. 

Local Inkster activist Aaron Sims, executive director of the non-profit organization Project: We Hope, Dream, and Believe (WHDAB), worked for more than 13 years to preserve the home where Malcolm X lived in 1952 and 1953 with his brother, Wilfred Little. 

Officer completes command school

Romulus Police Sgt. Eric Harris recently celebrated his graduation from the Eastern Michigan Staff and Command School of Executive Leadership. Harris, who has 18-years of experience in law enforcement, first joined the Ecorse Police Department before coming to Romulus 16 years ago. While with the Romulus Police Department, Harris has worked as the juvenile officer in the schools and as an undercover detective in narcotics investigations for the Downriver Area Narcotics Organization (DRANO).

Welcome to Romulus

Recently, the City of Romulus welcomed three new officers to the police department, each with previous professional law enforcement experience. Ofc. Michael Cardenas, left, Ofc.  Timothy Murray, and Ofc. Luis Sandoval were all welcomed to the department last week.

25-year police veteran retires

Ofc. Jeffrey Bessesen
Canton Township Police Ofc. Jeffrey Bessesen marked his final patrol shift last week as he began his retirement from the department. 

Bessesen began his 25-year career with the department in 1996. During his service with the Canton police, Bessesen was assigned to road patrol, responding to calls for service, initiating contact with individuals and participating in the department Community Policing practices. In addition to his patrol duties, he spent time on the Rapid Response Unit and as a bicycle officer. 

For a decade, Bessesen served in the Evidence Technician Unit consisting of a limited number of officers who are specially-trained to collect and process evidence from crime scenes. During his time on the unit, officials said,  he was methodical in his collection procedures, producing evidence which oftentimes assisted the prosecution with obtaining successful felony convictions. 

Annual Salute to Service is set for Nov. 11

Canton will pay tribute to area service men and women at the Annual Salute to Service event next week.

The ceremony, which honors area servicemen and women, will begin with a 6 p.m. reception followed by a 7 p.m. program Nov. 11 at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill.

Canton once again honors area servicemen and women who have served or who are currently serving in the Armed Forces. This free event will feature memorabilia displays presented in the vestibule of The Village Theater, followed by the program that will take place on the theater main stage. Speakers will include Herb Scott from the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund and Navy Petty Ofc,. 2nd Class Keenan Lumpkin from the Veterans Administration Ann Arbor Health Care System.  In addition, the Canton Concert Band will perform. 

Township to host Holiday Artisan Market at Summit

Holiday shoppers are looking forward to the Fourth Annual Holiday Artisan Market planned for 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Summit on the Park in Canton Township. Organizers said the annual market of handmade and unique items offers a wide range of gifts for everyone on shoppers' lists.

Presented by the Canton Farmers Market, the event will feature handmade gifts created by top artisans and crafters. Participating vendors include: Alora Rose Candles - Scented Candles; Art by Audet - Wooden Signs; Baubles by Barb - Jewelry, Decorative Candles, and Cookie Jars; Belleville Lake Marketplace - Candles, Signs, and Wood Products; Bittersweet Garden and Bakery - Artisan Bakery Items, Hand Beaded Jewelry,

School emergency radio system is upgraded

 An upgrade of emergency radio equipment has ensured that Northville students are safer in their classrooms.The upgrades, a partnership between the Northville Public Schools and the Northville Township Fire Department, were installed in seven Northville school buildings. The upgrades improved the hardware inside the school buildings that allows communication between emergency radios, the key tool used by fire, medical and policy emergency teams. The enhancements were made to the Emergency Responder Radio Communication Systems (ERRC), according to school officials.

New radio systems were installed at Northville High School, Meads Mill Middle School, Moraine Elementary and Ridge Wood Elementary in Northville Township along with Thornton Creek Elementary in Novi and Hillside Middle School and Old Village School in the City of Northville. The other school buildings were field tested by fire officials and found to be within emergency radio signal guidelines. 

Welcome home

Northville native and Miss Michigan 2021 Vivian Zhong visited the township board of trustees meeting last week to accept a resolution congratulating her on her success while simultaneously attending medical school and supporting pediatric cancer research.

Proposed development prompts neighbors’ concerns

Several Plymouth Township residents do not want new neighbors in their Ann Arbor Road enclave.

A proposal for a 373-unit development at the site of the former Elks Lodge was presented to the Plymouth Township Planning Commission members earlier this month by representatives of Toll Brothers Development and Pomeroy Living. The proposal included 270 rental apartment units and 103 owner occupied townhomes on the site. In addition, the development would include a multi-purpose clubhouse. The property is off Ann Arbor Road just west of Haggerty and near the Waverly Village subdivision.

Rental units would be priced at $1,400 to $2,200 a month, developers estimated.

Several residents spoke to the commissioners during the public hearing on the plan, criticizing the potential density of the plan and the loss of 34-acres of green space. Nearby residents questioned the potential disruption of the peaceful environment now enjoyed and the impact on the wildlife prevalent in the area. A neighbor said that deer, foxes, owls and other wildlife would be displaced by the development.

Bids for 3 township-owned sites accepted until Dec. 3

Sumpter Township Supervisor Tim Bowman planned to place “For Sale” signs at three properties yesterday, hoping to find bidders for the sites.

The three properties, two sites on Arcona and Martinsville roads and a parcel located behind the medical center on Sumpter Road, have been the subject of discussion by township officials for several weeks. 

At a meeting last month, some neighboring residents protested the proposed sale of the commercially-zoned sites, claiming development would interfere with their enjoyment of the adjacent property. Trustees, while sympathetic, explained that the sites were commercially zoned and in a commercial area and that the sale of the properties in question was necessary in an effort to bring growth and development to the township.

New scholarship program offered in district

Lawrence Technological University will offer $80,000 scholarships
 to 50 Wayne-Westland students as part of a new program.
Students in Wayne-Westland schools will have the opportunity to apply for an $80,000 scholarship at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) among several other benefits offered as part of a new partnership between the district and the university.

The partnership, called the Blue Devil Wayne-Westland Scholars Program, includes the opportunity to earn a college degree in science, technology, engineering, arts, or math (STEAM). The Blue Devil Wayne-Westland Scholars program will provide scholarships to 50 Wayne-Westland students from John Glenn and Wayne Memorial High School and the William D. Ford Career-Technical Center. Each scholarship is worth $80,000.

8th annual veterans’ holiday meal program available

Local veterans have until noon Nov. 17 to register for the 8th Annual Holiday Meals for Wayne Westland Veterans and Active Duty Families program.

The effort is led by Westland Mayor William R. Wild, Wayne Mayor John P. Rhaesa, Wayne-Ford Civic League President Vic Barra, and local elected officials. The program is for veterans and families of active-duty service members.  Once registered, recipients will receive a 12-16 pound turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, and heat and serve rolls for a family of six to eight people.

To take advantage of this donation, military veterans or active duty members and families must register by noon on Wednesday, Nov. 17. Register using our online form at or call Wild's office at (734) 467-3200 or Rhaesa's office at (734) 722-2000.