Thursday, December 29, 2022


Local projects awarded federal funding

Canton Township, Northville, Northville Township and Plymouth will all receive grant money as part of a $1.7 trillion-dollar omnibus spending package approved by the House of Representatives.

The omnibus spending package will fund the federal government through fiscal year 2023 and includes $16.4 million for  15 community funding projects and $25 million for Rep. Haley Stevens' CHIPPING IN Act, to help train the advanced semiconductor workforce of the future, according to a statement from Stevens' office. 

Sounds of the season

As has become a holiday tradition, last week members of the Plymouth Canton Educational Park choir and orchestra traveled to the Plymouth Community Center to present an annual Christmas concert during the meeting of the Plymouth Noon Rotary Club. More than 70 young vocalists and musicians filled the space with traditional holiday music. The choir was under the direction of Jennifer Neumann. The young musicians were directed by Plymouth Educational Park Band Director Michael Edwards.  Photos by Helen Yancy.

Skatepark to be built in Northville Township

Dominic Duhn
A new skatepark in Northville Township will include a memorial to 21-year-old Dominic Duhn, the Michigan State student killed while skateboarding on Sheldon Road in 2020.

The new $600,000 amenity planned for Millennium Park is expected to be complete in 2023, officials said and will be named Unity Skatepark. The death of Duhn, killed by a hit and run driver Sept. 3, 2020, prompted a grass roots effort to provide a skate park in the community. The project is a partnership with the Dominic Duhn Foundation, Inc., which will provide donations toward the design and construction of the project to be designed and constructed by Select Spohn Ranch Inc. 

“We are taking strategic steps to make Northville Township a truly unique community,” said Township Supervisor Mark J. Abbo. “We have a dog agility course at Marv Gans Community Park.

Beleaguered head coach resigns from district

Jermain Crowell 
Members of the Van Buren Public Schools Board of Education approved the  resignation of Belleville High School head football coach Jermain Crowell during their Dec. 5 meeting.

His resignation, effective Dec. 1, follows weeks of controversy and allegations of improper recruiting techniques by Crowell who led the team to multiple state championships. Crowell was barred from coaching any sport at any school for the next two academic years by the Michigan High School Athletic Association following an investigation of the allegations. Crowell was found to have violated the undue influence rule of the state association. Some reports claimed he was fired from the school district.

Sumpter plans public hearing on recreation project

Members of the Sumpter Township Parks and Recreation Committee have scheduled a public hearing regarding the master plan for recreation. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Jan. 24 and will be part of a regular workshop session of the board of trustees.

Input on the plans for renovation and redesign of Banotai Park and Sherwood Pond in the township will be discussed. A current plan, now being designed by Wayde Hoppe, could include amenities previously discussed by members of the board including new parking, public pathways, multiple features and a total reconstruction of the pond.

Township Manager Anthony Burdick referred to the plan as a complete reclamation of the 81.82-acre site in the township during recent discussions of potential improvements. The plan, as described, would include the complete redredging of the pond with improved amenities for public fishing.


Romulus residents can now register for emergency notification system

Romulus residents now have another way to communicate with city departments.

The Department of Public Works provides notification of snow emergencies through local news outlets, Facebook, the city cable channel, on the city website and as part of the CodeRED emergency notification system. Residents can be notified by email or text by signing up for the alert system.

‘Drill’ draws police response

The reports of an active threat at Hawthorn Center in Northville last week posed no danger to anyone in the community or at the center.

The report was part of an unannounced safety drill at the facility but local law enforcement officials were not notified in advance of the drill which was conducted to practice intruder response protocols at the center. Officers from Northville Township, the City of Northville, Livonia and troopers from the Michigan State Police responded to multiple 911 calls from the facility on Haggerty Road, reporting an active threat incident.

Merry Christmas

Supporter funds special holiday party, gifts for B.L.O.C.K. youth and teens 

Canton Connects participants received Beats® wireless
 headphones and Squishmallows® plush toys donated
Maraschinos Pub during an early  holiday celebration this month.
Christmas came a little early for participants of The B.L.O.C.K. Youth and Teen Center Canton Connects Youth and Teen program this year.

The teens were treated to a holiday celebration, where each member received a gift donated by Maraschinos Pub of Canton earlier this month. During the celebration participants also enjoyed pizza, provided by an anonymous donor, while listening to music supplied by RC DJ and Video Productions. 

Happy shoppers

Members of the Canton Township Fire Department teamed up with Meijer again this year to host the annual Shop with a Firefighter event. This annual event is a tradition that brings holiday happiness to families throughout the township as youngsters shop for holiday gifts for family members, all funded by donations. The event, a spokesman said, "has become fulfilling and rewarding for the firefighters as it brings joy and smiles to the faces of all of those involved." The donation drive and shopping trip is organized by the Canton Firefighters Charity Foundation.

Free workshops are offered

Canton Township Leisure Services is currently offering a free series of mental health workshops to help area residents learn important self-care skills. Participants in the Family First and Social Services Workshops will receive information and be introduced to practices that support mental well-being, according to Laura Mortier, Canton recreation supervisor. 

“Our goal with these free workshops is to offer resources, as well as educational opportunities, so that individuals can find tools of support for themselves or ways to help support others,” said Mortier. “These unique opportunities are designed to show and help participants learn how to nurture themselves and develop mindful self-care plans on a variety of topics.” 

Township welcomes latest Amazon Fresh market

Shopping for groceries will be a futuristic experience at the planned Amazon Fresh grocery store in Plymouth Township.

Last week, Plymouth Township Supervisor Kurt Heise confirmed that the new retail store under construction at the corner of Ann Arbor and Haggerty roads will be an Amazon Fresh market. While the new technology may not appeal to everyone, the 40 Amazon Fresh locations in the country are flourishing.  To shop at Amazon Fresh, patrons will need the Amazon app on a phone.

Plymouth District Library awarded prestigious honor

The Plymouth District Library has joined an elite state group. 

The Main Street facility in downtown Plymouth has been named a Star Library in the 15th Edition of Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. The Index rates U.S. public libraries based on selected per capita output measures, officials noted.   The 2022 scores and ratings are based on fiscal year 20 data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Public Library Survey. For 2022-based on 2020 data-5,359 public libraries received LJ Index scores, and 258 of them received Stars. 

Young Santa

Students at Taft Galloway Elementary School in Wayne had their very own Santa this year when second-grade student Derrick Howard adopted every one of his schoolmates for the holiday. To ensure all of his peers received a gift for the holidays, Howard and his mother collected donations, shopped, selected and sorted the gifts and presented each student with an early Christmas present.

Inkster accepting recreation plan comments

City of Inkster officials want to hear what residents of the community would like to see as recreational opportunities.

Officials are currently compiling data for preparation of the Five-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan and have scheduled a public review period which will continue through Dec. 30.

The required 30-day public review and comment period began Dec. 1. Inkster officials are preparing the Five-Year Recreation Plan in accordance with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) requirements. When completed, this plan will serve as a guide for the development of community recreation facilities and programs during the next five years, officials said.

On the move

Westland police officers Derek Gomez and Kevin Smith were each sworn into their new ranks as sergeants with the department during ceremonies last week. The department also welcomed two new officers, Kailey Knoppe and Summer Dyer. The department also officially recognized retiring Sgt. Erick Rodriguez and Sgt. Tim Liess for their years of exemplary and dedicated service to the community.

9-year-old arrested in classmate stabbing

Parents in Westland received a letter from administrators in the Wayne Westland Community Schools District last week advising them of a knife attack at a school bus stop the morning of Dec. 22.

The two students involved were 9 and 10 years old, according to police reports of the incident.

The 9-year-old was arrested by police and taken to the Westland Police Department, according to reports. The 10-year-old was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of head and knee injuries inflicted by a pocketknife. 

Thursday, December 22, 2022


Township police awarded accreditation

Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police
Robert Stevenson presented the prestigious certificate of
accreditation to Police Chief James H. Knittel and members of
 the accreditation team during ceremonies last week. Photo by Dave Willett
The Plymouth Township Police Department has been awarded the prestigious Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation (MLEAC) Certificate.

The official designation was awarded to the department, the accreditation team and Police Chief James H. Knittel, Jr. by Robert Stevenson, executive director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.  To obtain the designation, the Plymouth Township department had to prove compliance with state-of-the-art standards in four areas: policy and procedures, administration, operations and support services.   

Happy shoppers

Romulus children had some special helpers during the annual Shop with A Cop event last week at the Walmart in Belleville. Officers helped the young shoppers choose Christmas gifts for members of their families, courtesy of local donors. The entire shopping excursion was paid for by fund raising events officers organized during the year along with personal contributions and donations from local businesses. Even the Grinch was on hand at the store and presented each of the young shoppers with a special gift to help celebrate the holiday. 

Canton Patriot Park to be upgraded in phases

Canton Township officials have begun the first phase of a $15 million plan to improve Ridge Road Park.

Members of the board of trustees voted in favor of matching a $1 million grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) administered Spark Grant. The program made more than $65 million in available in coronavirus recovery funds and supports public recreation facilities, according to the website.

State grant to fund purchase of fruit trees

Plans are bearing fruit for increased awareness of locally-grown crops in Canton Township.

The township was recently awarded a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) grant for the purchase of a variety of fruit trees and bushes to be planted in community gardens on township-owned and operated property.  

Members of the board of trustees accepted the grant agreement, administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, last week during their regular meeting. The Specialty Crop Block Grant funds will be used to purchase 20 fruit trees and 25 blueberry bushes next year, officials said.

Driving force

The Canton Township Fire Department welcomed three new ambulances to their fleet. Funding for the new vehicles was approved by members of the board of trustees and a Facebook post from the fire department thanked the trustees and said the firefighters appreciate the confidence the board members have in the department and are “truly honored to serve this great community.”

Lightfest display continues

A holiday tradition welcomes visitors in Canton Township as Holidays in Heritage Park continues through Dec. 31.

The seasonal light display and decorations are installed around the large pond in Heritage Park for the event which has become a popular holiday attraction. Area residents can stroll through the park with family and friends enjoying holiday light displays including reindeer, snowflakes, elves and others. 

Senior living project to include new PACE facility

The government funded PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) will soon be more accessible to seniors in the area. PACE is a Medicare/Medicaid program designed to help people meet health care needs in their local  community.

A new PACE facility is planned for Westland, officials said, and will move into the former TCF Bank. Plans for renovating and remodeling the building to fit the needs of the facility include the addition of an entrance off Merriman Road. The new facility will be about four times the size of the building currently on the site, officials said.


Help sought for teen hit and run victim

The 15-year-old student seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver Dec. 8 remains in serious condition. 

Aalyiah Rasheed-Wiley was rushed to St. Mary Hospital from the scene of the accident which took place at just before 7 a.m. The driver did not stop at the scene, but was later located and arrested in the incident. The teen remained in a coma at press time, according to family members. 

Quarter Moon

Romulus Police Ofc. Bryce Moon has been named as the Officer of the Quarter by the department. His selection was based, officials said, on his exemplary performance in taking weapons and dangerous narcotics, including fentanyl, off the streets. Moon was also instrumental in apprehending a catalytic converter thief, among his other accomplishments. Officials said his professional accomplishments along with his service activities and investigative work earned him the recognition and congratulated him on the recognition.

Wayne Police Department seeking accreditation

The Wayne Police Department is seeking accreditation from the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, a prestigious designation currently held by only about 50 percent of police departments in the state.

A team of assessors from the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) which certifies the accreditation visited the city earlier this month. The investigators examined all aspects of the Wayne Police Department policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services, explained Wayne Chief of Police Ryan Strong. 

Welcome to Northville

Members of the Northville Township Police Department welcomed new officer Andrew Prieskorn to the force last week. Prieskorn was born and raised in Westland and is a graduate of Wayne Memorial High School.  Prieskorn first joined the Dallas Police Department, where he worked for a year and later joined the City of Burleson Police Department where he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and served as a member of the SWAT team and bike unit. He was also a Field Training Officer and an SFST instructor. He and his wife, Jennifer, above, returned to Michigan to be closer to family and raise their 14-year-old and 11-year-old daughters and 6-year-old son.  Prieskorn was welcomed by Police Chief Scott Hilden, at right, and Township Clerk Roger Lundberg.

Art House exhibits printmaking

The Northville Art House will present First Impressions: A Collaboration of Artists from Jan. 7 - Feb. 4. This exhibition features the printmaking artwork of Michigan artists Rosemary Lee of Howell and Celeste Roe of Livonia. The artists have been working together for more than two decades. Their experiences as friends and printmakers have brought them many productive achievements. In addition to the work, they have formed social bonds that have proven especially enriching in the past few years, they said in a prepared statement. 

Plymouth Township to fund school safety officer

Students in Plymouth Township schools will be joined by a new schoolmate next fall, following approval of a $74,000 expense in the township budget by the board of trustees.

Township Police Chief James Knittel presented a plan to assign a school resource officer next fall available to all the district schools located in the township. He said the resource officer would also be available to private schools in the township once he or she is in place.

The plan includes the hiring of one new officer for the department and then taking applicants for the school resource position from any officer interested.

Church celebrates winter solstice

The Friends of Unity Annual Solstice Service is planned for 7 until 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21. The service is for people of any faith, or no faith, a spokesman said and emphasizes the coexistence and interdependence of all people as a global family. The service encourages the power of love found in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Native American wisdom teachings through music, candle lighting and readings, he added.

On the day of the winter solstice, the Earth is tilted as far away from the sun as possible, which means that the path of the sun across the sky is as low in the sky as it can be. Winter solstice, which is not on the same day each year, has the shortest daylight hours of the year. In some cultures, the solstice marks the symbolic death and rebirth of the sun; the gradual waning of daylight hours is reversed and begins to grow again. 

Warm wishes

Representatives of the Plymouth Township Firefighters Charity Fund recently presented  a check for $2,500 to  Plymouth Community United Way leaders. Plymouth Community United Way consistently assists the community year after year, a spokesman said, and the township firefighters “look forward to partnering with this great organization in the future.” Fire Chief Pat Conley and Township Supervisor Kurt Heise participated in the check presentation.

Parking deck bridge still unsafe

The Central Parking Deck in downtown Plymouth has been reopened for several weeks although a portion of the removed stairway has not been completed. The eastern pedestrian bridge has been reopened to the public but pedestrians need to avoid the boarded up section of the bridge, which blocks the currently removed stairway. 

Officials said pedestrians should avoid the area. Work will resume on the deck when weather and supply issues permit. 

What a blast

Members of the Sumpter Township Fire Department went back to class last week when experts from the Michigan State Police Bomb Squad were on hand at the fire station. Members of the bomb squad spent the day at the station, training both police and fire personnel in subjects include bomb threat awareness and safety, along with explosive device identification. 

Routine traffic stop ends in charges of human trafficking

A routine traffic stop in Inkster resulted in charges of sexually trafficking a young girl from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.

According to police reports, a vehicle was stopped for a traffic violation in May of this year by Michigan State Police troopers. Officers interviewed the two adult males in the car, along with a young girl. The girl was identified by troopers as a member of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe who had been reported as missing and endangered by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police Department.

Sumpter bridge closed

Travelers in Sumpter Township will need to find another route as the bridge on Elwell Road has been deemed as unsafe and closed by officials.

Engineers from the Wayne County Road Commission examined the bridge, on Elwell Road south of Arkona in the township, last week. Following their report, county officials closed the bridge and have labeled it as unsafe for any traffic.

Avondale project nears end

Trash collection resumed the regular schedule on Avondale Road in Inkster last week as Phase One of the reconstruction of the road continues.

Dumpsters placed along side streets for the collection of trash during the construction were also scheduled to be removed, according to city officials. The project includes the reconstruction of Avondale between Henry Ruff and Eastern. Completion of the project, which began in March is expected this month.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Sumpter moving ahead on recreational project plans

Plans for the renovation and redesign of Banotai Park in Sumpter Township are moving forward following a 5-2 vote of the members of the board of trustees.

During the regular meeting of the board Nov. 22, the trustees approved an agreement with Hoppe Design to prepare a design and master plan for the 81.92 acre Banotai Park/Sherwood Pond at a fee of $28,000.  Plans for the park and pond include a complete draining and construction at the pond, multiple amenities for public use, new entry and exit paths and several public recreational features. Members of the board heard preliminary suggestions and proposals for inclusion into the project at a meeting last fall.

Trustee Don LaPorte suggested that exact numbers be associated with each phase of the plan which includes major  and reconstruction. Wayde Hoppe, who will prepare the plan, agreed that each phase would include the associated costs.

Plymouth commissioners consider paid parking

Visiting downtown Plymouth may soon come with a parking fee.

Members of the Plymouth City Commission voted 5-2 to pursue a plan to implement a paid parking system during their regular meeting Nov. 21.

Commissioners Alanna Maguire and Linda Filipczak cast the no votes on the proposal and voiced their concerns regarding the impact of paid parking on businesses in the community. 

Community mourns death of beloved area veterinarian

Dr. John Hermann
The death of Dr. John Hermann in a vehicle accident changed the lives of many area residents who continue to mourn his loss.

Dr. Hermann, 53, an Inkster resident, was killed in Van Buren Township Dec. 4 when his vehicle crossed the center line and struck another car. Dr. Hermann owned a mobile vet clinic based in Westland. He traveled throughout the area making "house calls" providing care to beloved pets and animals. A 1993 graduate of the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, he often said the mobile clinic helped him reach and help as many people as possible. 

Dr. Hermann was born in Royal Oak on June 14,1969 and his family moved to Pennsylvania in 1981. After his graduation with honors from Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem, PA he entered the veterinary school of medicine at Michigan State as a junior where he completed the eight-year course in six years.

Northville library discontinues charges for late returns

The Northville District Library no longer charges late or overdue fees for nearly the entire collection of items.

Members of the board of trustees voted in favor of a fine-free service model at their October meeting and the no fee policy began last month. All previously accrued overdue fines will also be waived, library officials said.

“By taking this step, the Northville District Library will remain in line with trends in modern public library service and become even more welcoming and convenient for all members of the community to use,” said Library Director Laura Mancini. “Anyone who has stopped visiting the library due to an accumulation of overdue fines, or who has been holding on to overdue items for a very long time, is encouraged to return to the Northville District Library.” 

Holidays in Heritage Park light display continues

A holiday tradition welcomes visitors in Canton Township as Holidays in Heritage Park continues through Dec. 31.

The seasonal light display and decorations are installed around the large pond in Heritage Park for the event which has become a popular holiday attraction. Area residents can stroll through the park with family and friends enjoying holiday light displays including reindeer, snowflakes, elves and others. 

Happy shoppers

Members of the Canton Township Fire Department teamed up with Meijer again this year to host the annual Shop with a Firefighter event. This annual event is a tradition that brings holiday happiness to families throughout the township as youngsters shop for holiday gifts for family members, all funded by donations. The event, a spokesman said, “has become fulfilling and rewarding for the firefighters as it brings joy and smiles to the faces of all of those involved.” The donation drive and shopping trip is organized by the Canton Firefighters Charity Foundation.

Free mental health workshops scheduled in Canton

Canton Township Leisure Services is currently offering a free series of mental health workshops to help area residents learn important self-care skills. Participants in the Family First and Social Services Workshops will receive information and be introduced to practices that support mental well-being, according to Laura Mortier, Canton recreation supervisor. 

“Our goal with these free workshops is to offer resources, as well as educational opportunities, so that individuals can find tools of support for themselves or ways to help support others,” said Mortier. “These unique opportunities are designed to show and help participants learn how to nurture themselves and develop mindful self-care plans on a variety of topics. 

Day of infamy

Plymouth veterans’ groups host remembrance of Pearl Harbor deaths

The annual remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Dec. 7 attack at Pearl Harbor took place in Plymouth Township last week.  During the 1941 attack, 2,000 American servicemen were killed, four battleships sunk and four others damaged, forcing the U.S. into World War II. Last week, members of Plymouth VFW Post 6695, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 528 and American Legion Post 391, along with elected officials and community members gathered at the Plymouth Veterans Memorial Park on Main Street for the remembrance ceremony.

City water department plans random testing

Roberto Scappaticci
Several Romulus homes will receive a visit from city employees during the next few weeks in an effort to determine the quality of residential water.

City Department of Public Service Director Roberto Scappaticci explained that this testing is a partnership with property owners to inspect water service lines in front of and inside their homes. The proactive measure is part of a Drinking Water Asset Management (DWAM) grant received by the city to inventory materials used in the water service lines to homes and businesses, Scappaticci explained.

The work will help identify, account for, and eventually eliminate any potential lead service lines at homes and businesses, he added. The DWAM grant is offered by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), and requires a certain number of randomly selected properties to be inspected.

Newly elected school board members seated

Voters selected four candidate to serve on the controversy plagued Romulus Community School District during voting Nov. 8.

One incumbent, Ursula L. Wester, was returned to office by voters garnering 3,022 or 15 percent of the votes cast on the school board portion of the ballot.

The top voter getter was Paris McCarthy, a girls basketball coach and educator, who received 3,289 or 16 percent of the votes. Porsche Laster won the favor of 3,058 or 15 percent of votes while Darcel C. Davis was the choice of 2,6711 or 13 percent of voters.

Santa's helpers

The Romulus Police Officers Association and The Romulus Command Officers Association donated $1,000 and 10 bicycles to Grindline Training & Fitness (GTF) this month. GTF has adopted 60 local families for Christmas and business owners, Mark and Lisa Cox, Romulus residents, will be distributing meals and toys to local families this holiday season. A department spokesman said the donation was a gesture of thanks to residents who support the police officers during the year.

Holiday contest under way

The twinkling lights, the blow-up Santa or even the Grinch can all be nominated this year during the Romulus Holiday Home Decorating Contest, organized by the Romulus Recreation Department.

Homes can be nominated until Friday, Jan. 6 and there will be prizes for the first, second and third place winners who will be chosen by voting on the City of Romulus Facebook page. 

Wayne recount is completed

Mathew Mulholland remains the winner of the Wayne City Council seat for Ward Six in the city.

A recount of votes requested by losing candidate Phillip Wagner was completed last week. Wagner lost his seat to Mulholland during balloting Nov. 8. Wagner had served on the council since 2018.

Township firefighters train for ‘forced’ entry emergencies

Northville Township firefighters took time to review
emergency entry techniques last week to ensure
rapid access to blocked or locked buildings.
They weren't “forced” into the training, but both the newest members of  the Northville Township Fire Department, along with a few of the oldest, attended special training recently.

The firefighters completed forcible entry (FE) training, the technique used by emergency responders to gain access to a structure where normal means of access is locked, blocked or nonexistent.  Entry could be a door, window or wall, officials said, and depending on the urgency and other factors in a response call, firefighters' often have to determine the level of destruction required. If more time is available, some techniques known as “through the lock” can be used to limit damage to property, officials added.

Children’s Market set at Art House

Children can find something special for everyone on their holiday gift list at the special Children's Holiday Shopping Day at the Northville Art House.

The popular event will take place from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Art House located at 215 W .Cady St. in Northville. During the free event, children can purchase unique artwork and handcrafted gifts created by professional artists for their family and friends. 

Suspect is arrested in hit and run incident

Westland police have arrested the driver who is suspected of seriously injuring a 15-year-old John Glenn High School student in a hit and run accident.

Gianna Mariah Harris, 28, of Ypsilanti was arraigned before Judge Mark McConnell in 18th District Court on a charge of failure to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident. McConnell ordered a $1,000 bond and that Harris wear an electronic monitor.

Inkster seeks public input on recreation plan

City of Inkster officials want to hear what residents of the community would like to see as recreational opportunities.

Officials are currently compiling data for preparation of the Five-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan and have scheduled a public review period which will continue through Dec. 30.

The required 30-day public review and comment period began Dec. 1. Inkster officials are preparing the Five-Year Recreation Plan in accordance with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) requirements.

Library services available

They are turning over a new leaf at the William Faust Public Library in Westland.

A planned $5.3 million renovation and expansion of the facility is now under way and will include the addition of 7,000 square feet to the building. The current location will remain closed to the public until a potential reopening of the remodeled facility next fall. While the library will remain closed at the current Central City Parkway location, services will be available beginning in late January at the former Marshall Upper Elementary School building on Bayview Street as construction continues.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Canton considering license plate cameras

There will be more public and board of trustee discussion regarding privacy concerns before proposed license plate reader cameras are installed in Canton Township, noted Canton Township Supervisor Anne Marie Graham Hudak.

The devices, proposed by Canton police officials, would be funded by a $40,710 grant from the Bureau of Justice, were described as an investigative tool in instances of retail fraud. Police have proposed installing the LPRs as the cameras are called, at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Beck Road where several big box stores are located. The devices photograph vehicles and record license plate numbers along with the date, time and the make, model and color of the vehicle as it passes, officials said.

Hometown heroes

For more than two decades, the Plymouth Noon Rotary Club has honored members of the city and township public safety departments with Officer of the Year awards. Last Friday, before a large audience of friends and local officials, award winners received their official plaques recognizing the exemplary service. For the first time this year, members of the Department of Public Service were also honored for their contributions to the community.

Community mourns death of Andrew Spisak, Jr.

Andrew Spisak, Jr.
The death of former Deputy Mayor Andrew J. Spisak, Jr. was mourned last week by members of the Westland community where he had served as a longtime planning commissioner, member of the Wayne-Westland Board of Education, a member of the Wayne Westland Credit Union Board of Directors and one of the first police officers in the city.

Mr. Spisak died Nov. 25 just prior to his 88th birthday. He was born Dec. 13, 1934 to the late Andrew Senior and Agnes Spisak. He served as deputy mayor during the terms of two former mayors of the city. 

Mr. Spisak served as a police officer for more than 25 years working in both Wayne and Westland, before becoming an officer of the 18th District Court where he served for more than 10 years. Mr. Spisak retired several times, his family said, only to return to another position serving the community.

Crowds welcome Holiday Train, Santa to Romulus

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train passed through Romulus
last week during the annual tree lighting ceremony in the city.
The crowd who waited for the special appearance of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train in Romulus last week weren't disappointed.

The appearance of the lighted train was part of the annual city Tree Lighting Ceremony when Mayor Robert McCraight and officials welcomed Santa to the community. The city constructed bleachers and set up fire pits along the train tracks, awaiting the special appearance.  The Romulus High School band and the Girl Scouts entertained the crowds awaiting the arrival of the special railway sight. Stops along the tracks by the elaborately decorated train which collects funds for multiple charities, had been postponed during the pandemic making the brief sighting in Romulus even more special.

Inkster fails to submit Giglio list to county prosecutor

Inkster was one of the two police departments that did not comply with a request from the office of the Wayne County Prosecutor for an updated Giglio list of officers.

The Giglio or Brady list is a compilation of names and details of any law enforcement officers who have had sustained incidents of untruthfulness, criminal convictions, candor issue or some other type of issue placing their credibility into question.

A Giglio letter is a document written by a prosecutor when he or she finds out about a law enforcement officer who may not be credible on the stand. With this documented lack of credibility, the law enforcement officer is very unlikely to be used as a witness in a trial.


The newest voice to be heard answering calls for emergency service in Romulus is that of new  Romulus Police Department 911 dispatcher Charisma Miller. The department welcomed Miller to the facility recently and noted that her four years of experience with the Detroit 911 dispatch center would serve residents in Romulus needing emergency service with efficiency and professionalism.

Helping out

The Romulus police Thanksgiving Food Drive received a generous contribution from the Candyland Academy Learning Center recently. Romulus Cpl. Byron Paisley and Ofc. Bryce Moon visited the center to pick up the donations and offer personal thanks to Candace Walynn Dukes-Bragg (Ms. Candace) for her generosity and meet with some of the students.

Planners reveal downtown design proposal

The concept plan for the Northville downtown pedestrian area received a positive response from audience members during a meeting Nov. 29 at city hall.

The plan presented by representatives from Grissim, Metz and Andriese (GMA) was welcomed as a positive step forward in transforming the closed sections of Main and Center streets into a promenade with interactive zones that would attract people to shops, restaurants and new seating areas. 

The plan includes linear bands of activity. The center of the street at 24-feet wide would be the promenade for pedestrians to use, with plenty of room for strollers, walkers and wheelchairs. Sixteen feet within that 24-foot space can be used for emergency access for police, fire and EMT and would  not have any tables, chairs, structures or displays. Within the promenade, there will be zones of 8-foot-wide sections for varied seating arrangements. 

Trustee’s false statements prompt board criticism

In what appears to be an ongoing battle against misinformation, members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees again corrected and disputed information published by Trustee Peggy Morgan in a local newspaper.

Township Supervisor Tim Bowman noted that Morgan had claimed in a letter that an investigation into a lewd and threatening phone call made to him by losing candidate for treasurer Sheena Barnes had been closed and no charges filed. Bowman was noticeably upset by the false claim that no charges were being filed and Morgan's suggestion that he should be charged with filing a false police report.

“That is all lies. Me and my family are the victims. You wrote these lies. Just lies,” Bowman said.

Special appreciation


Mayor William R. Wild is all smiles during the Employee Appreciation Day Luncheon last week. The event was designed to thank each employee's commitment and dedication to Westland residents. Certificates were presented to every employee, and plaques were given to more than 35 dedicated staff members who have served the community for 20 years and more including Deputy Mayor Michael J. Reddy, above at right, and Director of Community Media Craig Welkenbach, above, at left of Wild. 

Cherry Hill gallery to exhibit artworks

The Village Theater at Cherry Hill will exhibit the featured works of artist Janet L. Kondziela in an entitled "The World of Janet," in The Gallery at Cherry Hill through Jan. 3.

Kondziela said she is inspired by the world around her and her exhibition displays this through portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. Kondziela believes "these days, my interest is in capturing the essence of a moment, the play of light on a surface, the beauty of an ordinary object or the character of a person."


Return of soldier scarecrow is sought by National Guard

This authentically uniformed Michigan
National Guard scarecrow is still
missing after being taken from
the scarecrow display in Kellogg Park.
Michigan National Guard officers continue to search for a soldier who went AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave) in October.

The soldier, not known for intelligence or courage, was last seen tightly zip tied to a post in Kellogg Park in downtown Plymouth as part of the annual Halloween scarecrow display. Dressed in an authentic National Guard uniform and sporting his bulletproof vest, the soldier went missing over a weekend, according to Michigan Army National Guard recruiter Sgt. Gabrielle Lynne, who led the design and construction of the straw-filled creation. 

Lynne said wearing the National Guard uniform is a “big deal” and that she was excited to bring her sons to downtown Plymouth to see the quasi-soldier on display.  She said she was sure the authentic uniform and vest would draw a lot of attention from crowds, but she was very disappointed that it had been taken. 

Lynne wants the uniform returned, with or without the scarecrow stuffing. She said if whoever took the creation wants to wear a uniform, they should join the National Guard and get a uniform with their own name on it.

Elder fraud prevention will be Lunch and Learn topic

Pam Sargent
Preventing Elder Fraud will be the topic of a Lunch and Learn discussion in Canton Township.

The one-hour event will begin at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 14.

Organizers said statistics demonstrate that an increasing number of individuals are falling victim to scams. One factor is the ability of scammers to be highly adaptable and who can mimic legitimate communications from romantic partners, family members, tech support staff and government employees. One group particularly affected by this issue is the elderly. 

Law enforcement officials said homeowners with healthy financial savings, good credit scores and a trusting nature often prove to be attractive targets for scammers.

Students are ‘engineering’ future careers

Several young women in the Wayne-Westland schools are engineering their futures.

The students, 15 in sixth grade and two in seventh grade, are part of the Engineering Society of Detroit Girls in Engineering Academy, created to improve academic achievement and increase interest in engineering among girls.  The goal of the program, a spokesman noted, is to close the gender gap in engineering. The first three years of the program are for middle school students to help prepare them academically for high school with a focus on mathematics and engineering courses. 

The 17 Wayne Westland students are enrolled in classes that provide math and science enrichment, engineering and computer science concepts, English/language arts comprehension, hands-on project-based STEM activities, mentoring, field trips to industry, and engineering career exploration. 


Wayne welcomes Santa, Mrs. Claus with parade, music and fireworks

Santa was welcomed with a parade, fireworks, hot chocolate and
cookies during the official tree lighting in the City of Wayne last week.
Santa and Mrs. Claus were the stars of the show last week when the City of Wayne officially welcomed the holiday visitors to the community during the annual tree lighting festivities.

Hundreds of children and parents were on hand to welcome Santa and whisper their wishes for Christmas morning into his interested ears. Each child who met with the jolly elf received a gift, courtesy of the city. Making the festivities more special were members of the All Star Patriots Dance Team under the direction of Chelsea Crawford who participated in the parade along with members of the Wayne Memorial High School Zebra Marching Band under the direction of Dave Mety.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Bells are ringing…

Annual Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign is now under way

Bells will soon be ringing throughout the area as the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign begins the annual drive for funding to help the less fortunate.

Christmas is an especially important time for The Salvation Army, which distributes Christmas food boxes to families in need, gift cards for food for senior citizens and toys to families in need for wrapping under the Christmas tree. The Red Kettle bell-ringing campaign is a major component of the fund raising effort, officials said.

14-year-old arrested in threat against high school

A 14-year-old Inkster resident is facing criminal charges following an on-line threat against John Glenn High School last week.

According to police reports, administrators at the school district learned of the social media threat Sunday, Nov. 20. In response to the situation, the high school was closed to students Monday, Nov. 21 and transitioned to virtual learning on Tuesday, Nov. 22 while the police investigation was under way.

Recruitment violations bench Belleville head football coach

Jermain Crowell
Belleville High School Football Coach Jermain Crowell has been prohibited from coaching any sport at any school for the next two academic years.

The ruling, handed down last week by officials from the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA), followed an investigation of charges that Crowell violated the undue influence rule, approaching potential players inappropriately in attempts to recruit them for the Belleville team.

Crowell, who has coached the Tigers for eight seasons, was immediately suspended by school officials when the ruling was revealed in a letter of inquiry from MHSAA last month. He was prohibited from coaching the state championship Belleville team during the ongoing playoffs. The team is being coached by interim head coach DeJuan Rogers, according to school officials.

Best friends…

Donations, adoptions continue to operate Romulus Animal Shelter

Employees from the Van Buren FedEx office present donations
of animal food and supplies to the Romulus Animal Shelter
on Wayne Road. Shelter officials were grateful,
they said, for the much-needed supplies.
Romulus City Councilman William Wadsworth urged support for some “best friends” during the regular meeting of the council earlier this month.

Wadsworth reminded the audience and those viewing the meeting remotely that Christmas was a time when many people thought about a new pet as a gift or addition to the family. 

“Think about the Romulus Animal Shelter,” he said. “If you are thinking of a dog or cat, go the Romulus shelter to look first. If you adopt a pet, have it neutered, you will get money back,” he said. 

Holiday train will highlight tree lighting event tonight

Tonight is the night for the Holiday Train and official tree lighting in Romulus.

Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. in Romulus Historical Park on Goddard Road to coincide with the arrival of  the Canadian Pacific Holiday train, which will travel east west on the nearby tracks.

The train is expected between 8 and 10 p.m., officials said. The local Girl Scouts will lead the crowd in Christmas carols and the Romulus High School band will perform.  There will also be concessions and vendors on hand during the event. While the event is free, audiences are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the Stuff the Bus event to benefit the Romulus Helping Hands facility.  

New Sumpter Township treasurer thanks voters

Newly-elected Sumpter Township Treasurer Bart Patterson
is officially sworn into office by Township Clerk Esther Hurst.
Newly-elected Sumpter Township Treasurer Bart Patterson was officially sworn into office recently by Township Clerk Esther Hurst.

Patterson took the opportunity to thank those who voted for him Nov. 8 and said he welcomed the opportunity to meet so many residents at the fire station and the community center during the day. He said he was looking forward to his first official township board meeting which took place last Tuesday.

“I'm reminded of the importance of not only the week-to-week affairs in the business management of Sumpter Township, but also the responsibility of planning for the future, not just for ourselves, but for generations to come. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve you as treasurer and I do not take the responsibility lightly,” he said in a prepared statement. 

Wrong way driver results in 2 fatalities

Police said a preliminary investigation indicates that alcohol may have been a factor in an early morning Thanksgiving Day crash that killed two area residents.

A 28-year-old man from Belleville reportedly entered M-14 near Beck Road at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 24 going the wrong way on the highway. Michigan State Police reports said that as  troopers responded to the wrong way driver complaints, witnesses in the area reported a head-on crash.

Canton offers mental health workshops

Canton Township Leisure Services is currently offering a free series of mental health workshops to help area residents learn important self-care skills. Participants in the Family First and Social Services Workshops will receive information and be introduced to practices that support mental well-being, according to Laura Mortier, Canton recreation supervisor. 

“Our goal with these free workshops is to offer resources, as well as educational opportunities, so that individuals can find tools of support for themselves or ways to help support others,” said Mortier. “These unique opportunities are designed to show and help participants learn how to nurture themselves and develop mindful self-care plans on a variety of topics.” 

Concert set

The 16th annual Belleville Community Chorus holiday concert, JOY-HOPE-LOVE will begin at 3 p.m. Dec. 11 at Belleville United Methodist Church. The concert will be directed by Mary Butler-Loring, accompanied by Judith Weed, and will feature traditional songs of the season. As always, the concert is free, though donations are welcome. 

Interim city manager starts in Northville this week

Mark Wollenweber
Members of the Northville City Council have approved the hiring of Mark Wollenweber, former city manager of Grosse Pointe Shores, as interim city manager. Current City Manager Pat Sullivan will retire on Jan. 6, 2023. 

Council members interviewed three candidates for the position before awarding the job to Wollenweber during a special meeting Nov. 17. 

Wollenweber said he is committed to providing high quality leadership through his experience, education and involvement in the public sector. He serves on the boards of the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce and the Detroit Area Agency on Aging. 

Downs development preliminary plan is ‘almost’ approved

Members of the Northville City Council approved the preliminary Planned Urban Development (PUD) site plan for The Downs development last week.

Council members imposed 10 conditions on the approval, however, adhering to contingencies set by members of the Northville Planning Commission. Council members also acknowledgement that approval of several items by city officials and the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is necessary.

It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at Tipping Point

It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
is onstage at The Tipping Point Theater.
Tipping Point Theatre launched the 15th theatrical season this month with a production of Joe Landry's adaptation of It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. 

“We begin our 15th season with a classic,” said Co-Producing Artistic Director Julia Glander. “This story within a story…within a story about love and redemption holds up remarkably well in our present, pandemic world. 

“How do we find joy in these unsettled times? We look to the people around us. Our family, friends, colleagues, neighbors and even the strangers we meet. This story reminds us to take care of each other. Let's celebrate and cherish our people this holiday season, the 'true angels on earth,” she added. 


Mayors, community thank veterans and families for service to country

Westland Mayor William R. Wild, Wayne Mayor John P. Rhaesa, Wayne Ford Civic League President Vic Barra, and several elected officials handed out holiday meals last week to during the Ninth Annual Meals for Wayne-Westland Veterans, Surviving Spouses, and Families of Active-Duty Service Members program.

Recipients received a 12-16 pound turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, and rolls for a family of six to eight people. The holiday meals were a token of appreciation for service from area residents, official organizers said.

Warm wishes

Knights of Columbus #3021 Notre Dame Council  member John Albrecht is all smiles at the 36 cases of new warm winter coats which were donated to the less fortunate in the community. Donations to the 2022 Coats for Kids campaign included contributions from Albrecht, Victoria's Tea Salon, Wild Bills Cigar Bar and City of Wayne-Downtown Development Authority. The annual coat giveaway of the group took place Nov. 15 and all the donated coats and jackets were presented to local youngsters and their families.

‘Deck City Hall’

Santa arrives in Westland Wednesday

Santa will officially arrive in Westland next week.

One of the most popular events in the city is planned for 5:30 p.m. next Wednesday, Dec. 7 in front of Westland City Hall. Santa will arrive to Deck the City Hall and help light the official city holiday tree.

The event will take place outdoor, organizers cautioned, so those attending should dress for the weather. Attendees will gather in front of city hall on Warren Road to sing Christmas Carols and welcome Santa and Mrs. Clause. This year, the event will include sing-a-longs, holiday music by saxophonist Steven Thomas, cookies and cocoa and goodie bags for the children, provided by the Westland Fire Department.

Reward being offered in hit and run death

Warren Flagg, who was killed Oct. 30,
left several beloved grandchildren.
Plymouth Township Police investigators are not the only ones searching for information about the death of a man killed by a hit and run driver last month.

Warren Flagg, 79, was hit and killed Oct. 30 as he raked leaves outside his home on Beck Road in Plymouth Township. According to the Plymouth Township Police Department, preliminary investigation indicated the vehicle that struck and killed Flagg may be a 2007-2010 Pontiac Solstice (unknown color) with damage to the front passenger side.

There is currently a $1,000 reward for information regarding the identity of the driver of the vehicle offered by Sure Conveyors. 

Church continuing charitable clothing collection

With winter temperatures already here, Friends of Unity Church representatives are seeking clothing for children 3 to 14 years old, like socks, underwear and warm pajamas. The clothing will go to God's Storehouse, a Detroit charity that assists people who are homeless or living in poverty. 

Donors can drop off clothing through Dec. 4 at the Plymouth Community Arts Council building at 774 N, Sheldon Road, Plymouth. Clothing can be placed in a labeled drop box in the lobby from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. until noon Sundays.

Donations sought to help Inkster Goodfellows effort

Again this year, the Inkster Goodfellows will be providing meals and gifts to those in need in the community. Originally founded as the old newsboys organization more than 80 years ago in Detroit, the effort now reaches across the country to help the less fortunate during the holiday season.

To help the effort this year, volunteers will assist in collecting donations at intersections throughout Inkster during the annual “No Child Without A Christmas” Goodfellows campaign. Recently, the organization sent letters to local companies, churches, and individuals who might be able to assist in raising funds to help the children in the Inkster community. 

Thursday, November 24, 2022


County to disburse federal funds for area projects

Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding will be distributed to several local communities for local projects following approval by members of the Wayne County Commission earlier this month.

The commission is charged with distributing the federal funding and approved 14 local projects during the Nov. 3 meeting. The commissioners approved the report of the Committee of the Whole members recommending the use of the federal funds.

The agreements will continue through Oct. 31, 2025 and each community awarded funds is required to spend no less that 70 percent of the project award money provided through ARPA before Oct. 31, 2024. 

Changing lives

Therapeutic Recreation program success celebrated by community

Canton Township Supervisor Anne Marie Graham-Hudak (above)
speaks to the audience celebrating the success of the Western
Wayne County Therapeutic Recreation program
at the Summit on the Park last week. 
Canton Township celebrated success last week during a special recognition program honoring the achievements of the Western Wayne County Therapeutic Recreation Program at the Summit on the Park.

Canton Township Supervisor Anne Marie Graham-Hudak explained that the program had achieved a positive impact on hundreds of program recipients whose lives had been improved with numerous opportunities to learn and reinforce life skills. These skills helped break down barriers for individuals with disabling conditions, she added.  Several representatives from local communities served by the program along with Wayne County officials and other dignitaries were on hand to help recognize the positive impact of the program.