Thursday, January 27, 2022

Students’ Random Acts of Kindness recognized

City officials, educators and family members congratulated Zoey Boettcher
who attends Roosevelt-McGrath Elementary School, Faith Bland, a student
at PD Graham Elementary School and Na Talia Walmsley, a student at
Wildwood Elementary School, who were the first recipients of city awards
for their Random Acts of Kindness. The rewards were a part of the Compassionate
 City program and in partnership with the Wayne Westland Community Schools.
 The students were honored at the meeting of the Westland City Council last week.
Three Random Acts of Kindness were rewarded in Westland last week during an official presentation at the city council meeting.

City Facilities Director Vic Barra and Police School Resource Ofc. Rodney Donald presented $20 gift cards to Zoey Boettcher who attends Roosevelt-McGrath Elementary School; Faith Bland, a student at PD Graham Elementary School and Na Talia Walmsley, a student at Wildwood Elementary School. The rewards were a part of the Compassionate City program and in partnership with the Wayne Westland Community Schools district. 

Blood donation shortages threaten patient care

The American Red Cross, which provides 40 percent of the blood supplies in the country, is facing historically low blood supply levels, according to officials who sent out an emergency plea for donations recently.

Holiday schedules, breaks from school and winter weather all contributed to a drop in blood and platelets donations, officials said. Those factors, combined with the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, make it vital for donors to make an appointment to give as soon as possible. If more donors don't come forward to give blood, some patients requiring a transfusion may potentially face delays in care, according to a prepared statement from the Red Cross. 

Restored school auditorium honors memory of Jack Wilcox

The curtain is rising on a fitting memorial to an icon of the Plymouth community.

The new Jack Wilcox Theatre will host a premiere performance this spring, although the current COVID pandemic has delayed the planned Jan. 22 grand opening. The cutting-edge technology and beauty of the new performance auditorium is matched only by the respect paid to the historic tradition of the space.

The new 320-seat theater is located inside the Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex (PARC) and has been under construction for several months. The theater is named for Plymouth icon Jack Wilcox who graduated from the building when it was Plymouth High School. Mr. Wilcox, who established a charitable trust to benefit the community before his death in 2000, also performed on the school stage as a charter member of the Plymouth Players. His charitable trust, which became The Wilcox Foundation following his death, donated $1.2 million, nearly the entire cost, toward funding construction of the new, state-of-the-art auditorium.

Romulus businesses awarded $255,819 in grant funds

Seven local businesses in the City of Romulus have received Going PRO Talent Fund grants, totaling $255,819. This state funding will allow businesses to continue investing in their employees and demonstrating growth in 2021 and 2022, officials said.

The Going PRO Talent Fund assists employers with training, developing and retention of current and newly-hired employees. This helps ensure that Michigan employers attract and keep the talent they need to compete and grow, while also ensuring applicants have the skills they need for in-demand jobs, according to Romulus Mayor Robert McCraight.

Inkster ‘hero’ continues efforts to aid entire community

Najah Bassy
Najah Bazzy, founder and CEO, of Zaman International, is still a hero.

Bazzy, who operates the 501c3 nonprofit which works to help households meet their basic needs and break the cycle of poverty, was named as one of CNN's heroes in 2019. She has used the funding raised during the “Share the Love” Subaru GoFundMe campaign which accompanied the CNN designation to continue to help families in Inkster and throughout the families.

The organization works to empower households with training and vocational programs and features a workforce development kitchen to sell baked goods online. It also has an industrial sewing school and a culinary school. All are located inside a 45,000 square foot Inkster warehouse on Trowbridge Street.

Former judge takes on new role in community

Retired Judge Laura Mack
Retired 29th District Court Judge Laura Mack has taken on a new role in the Wayne community. 

Mack, long a staunch advocate for mental health care, took the helm of the Northwest Wayne County chapter of Families Against Narcotics on Jan. 1. Chapter founder and former president, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Professor Lauren Rousseau, will serve as secretary of the group this year. 

Families Against Narcotics (FAN) was instigated from a town hall meeting in 2007--a result of two teen heroin overdoses just weeks apart in the suburban community of Fraser. All told, that community suffered 30 overdoses that year, all due to heroin. Feeling the need to take action to help prevent needless deaths, organizers set out to recruit members and educate the public. 

River restoration task force presents report

Northville River Restoration Task Force members, led by former council member Nancy Darga, presented their framework report to members of the city council, during a recent meeting.

The group is preparing a plan to restore the health of the Rouge River in the area.

Darga noted the plan is a living document that will grow and evolve over time, such as with new opportunities. Some of these opportunities are the redevelopment of the Foundry Flask site and the Northville Downs property. She noted the entire project - local and regional - will need to be a public-private partnership. She said, “The future is bright. We couldn't do it without volunteers.” 

Success story

Members of the Knanaya Catholic Youth League recently presented the Northville Township Police Department with a plaque to recognize the successful police programs and initiatives during 2021. These programs were developed to embody community policing and engagement, highlight the agency and its members, and continue to bridge the gap between law enforcement and community members, while providing excellent service and resources to Northville Township residents, officials said.

Death of Jack Tornga,100, is mourned

Jack Tornga
The death of Jack G. Tornga, 100, who died last Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022 is being mourned by members of the Plymouth Noon Rotary Club where he was one of the longest serving members. 

Mr. Tornga was a beloved member of the community and the club and his bright smile and ready wit were his trademark, friends said. Mr. Tornga retired from Ford Motor Credit Co. and was a past president of the Rotary Club where he also served in many capacities and on several committees during his decades of membership in the club.

Mr. Tornga was also a long-time member of Plymouth First United Methodist Church.

He attributed his longevity, when asked by friends, to his positive attitude and the philosophies by which he said he attempted to live his life.

Sumpter offers warming center for residents

Sumpter Township Public Safety Director/Police Chief Eric Luke recently reminded members of the board of trustees and residents that the township continues to offer a 24-hour warming center, available during the recent inclement weather.

Luke's comments came during the regular meeting of the township board last week. He explained that during dangerously cold weather the Sumpter Township Community Center at 23501 Sumpter Road is open as a warming station whenever needed by any resident of the township. He said the regular hours are 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday but that extended weekday hours and arrangements for weekend hours are available during extreme situations such as the recent intemperate temperatures.

Recycling center safety measures remain in effect

The Sumpter Township Recycling Center remains open for residents' use, but township officials  enacted safety precautions to ensure the safety of both volunteers staffing and those visiting the center. The precautions continue in effect as increased cases of the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus are reported in the state.

While the anticipated long wait times at the center have abated during the past few months, the no-contact procedures for dropping off items at the recycling center continue. Residents should remain in their vehicles unless otherwise directed by center volunteers. Vehicle windows should remain closed and visitors should have identification proving township residence should be available to display. Volunteers have adjusted operations to include 6-feet of physical distancing and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting at the center.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

‘N’Ice move…

40th annual Plymouth Ice Festival set to return Feb. 11, 12 and 13

Better late than never and in the case of the upcoming Plymouth Ice Festival, even better a little later in the year.

The 40th annual event is set for Feb. 11, 12 and 13 this year rather than the traditional mid-January celebration of all things winter. Organizer James Geitzen of JAG Entertainment which produces the event said a number of factors prompted the schedule move, the most important being the weather and the current COVID epidemic. In his decade of producing the festival, he said he has seen years with temperatures too cold for crowds and years it was too warm for the ice carvings which prompted consideration of the move to February. The current COVID Omicron statistics, too, may have lessened within the next weeks, something Geitzen and his crew are hoping happens.

Plymouth community mourns death of Jim Jabara, 93

Jim Jabara
The Plymouth area is mourning the death of one of the most beloved and dedicated city activists in the community.

Jamiel (Jim) Jabara, 93, died Sunday, Jan. 16, at St. Mary Hospital in Livonia where he had been battling several health problems.

Mr. Jabara, a civil engineer, moved to the Plymouth community in 1960 with his late wife, Jean, and two sons. Mr. Jabara subsequently served on nearly every city committee, advisory board, civic and business group and commission in addition to his eight-year term as mayor of the city. His list of accomplishments and contributions to the community was acknowledged last year when he was honored with the Ruth Huston-Whipple Award for Civic Engagement.

Councilwoman questions police department promotions

Recently named Deputy Police Chief Capt. Derran
 Shelby, left, receives congratulations from Romulus
 Police Chief Robert Pfannes and newly-promoted
Sgt. Jason Otter, at right.  Named as assistant
to the police chief was Monique Talley. 
Recent promotions in the Romulus Police Department prompted some criticism and questions from Councilwoman Virginia Williams during the regular meeting of the council Jan. 10.

Mayor Robert McCraight and Police Chief Robert Pfannes announced the promotion of Capt.  Derran Shelby to deputy chief last week.  Jason Otter was promoted from corporal to the rank of sergeant and Monique Talley was named as the new assistant to the chief. McCraight's Chief of Staff Julie Wojtylko mentioned the promotions during the Jan. 10 council meeting as the as the mayor was absent.

Former councilman is mourned

Richard Yeramian
Members of the Romulus City Council unanimously approved a resolution honoring Richard Yeramian who died Jan. 8 at his Romulus home.

Mr. Yeramian, 77, served as a member of the Romulus City Council from 1979 until 1981 and was one of the first members of the Romulus Township Police Department, according to his long-time friend, Councilman William Wadsworth.

Wadsworth requested the memorial resolution and told the members of the council that he and Mr. Yeramian had been friends since 1968 and were partners at the Wayne County Sheriff's department where they were both employed for many years. 

Nominations for Plymouth Whipple award are sought

Nominations are now being accepted in Plymouth for the Ruth Huston-Whipple Award for Civic Engagement.

The award is named in honor of Ruth Huston-Whipple, the first female elected Plymouth City Commissioner (1934-1949), first female mayor of Plymouth (1940- 1942) and first female Wayne County Board of Supervisors member. She was a 1913 graduate of Plymouth High School and later worked as a teacher and debate coach at the school.

Mrs. Whipple fought against school policies that discriminated against married women and eventually left the district in protest. She remained, however, a leader in the Plymouth community, championing the improvement of inhumane conditions at a local juvenile detention center and addressing environmental and beautification concerns in the city.

Bingo and Brunch event returns to The Summit in Canton

Bingo and brunch in pajamas is being offered from 9 until 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 29 at the Summit on the Park in Canton Township.

The family event will include at least 10 games of bingo, a pre-boxed continental breakfast, as well as have a chance to win prizes. Brunch will feature pancakes, eggs, and sausage from Maraschinos Pub of Canton, with coffee provided by Sweetwater's Coffee & Tea, also of Canton. 

There will be an additional outdoor session from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the parking lot for those who want to play bingo using the car radio.

Library now offers automatic renewal of borrowed material

The new year should bring a lot less stress to many patrons of the Plymouth District Library with the new auto renewal program.

Starting this month, any Plymouth District Library item that is due and eligible for renewal will be automatically renewed one day prior to the due date, library officials said. Patrons will receive an email notice with details on which checkouts were automatically renewed.

Library officials said the auto-renewal program will allow patrons additional time to enjoy their materials if no one else is waiting for them; reduce the burden of fines for late return of renewable items and facilitate an easier renewal process on the majority of items for both patrons and staff.

Former finance director returns to Sumpter

The newest face at Sumpter Township Hall is a familiar one to residents and officials.

During the Jan. 11 meeting of the board of trustees, Scott Holtz was confirmed as the finance director for the township, a job he previously held for about two years. Holtz left the finance director position in the township for in 2019 for a job with Lenawee County.

Township officials have been aggressively attempting to fill the position for about 3 months, according to Interim Township Deputy Supervisor/Trustee Tim Rush. Holtz' employment contract was approved by a 6-1 vote of the board members with Trustee Peggy Morgan casting the lone no vote.

Community Chorus begins spring concert rehearsals

The award-winning Belleville Community Chorus members will continue their 15th  season with rehearsals for the Spring Concert  at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31, at First United Methodist Church, 417 Charles St. in Belleville. 

All singers are invited to join the chorus, whether new to the group or those who have sung with them in the past.  The group welcomes those who sing soprano, alto, tenor, bass, or those who are not really sure. One caveat - all unvaccinated individuals are requested to wear masks until the pandemic issues are resolved, a spokesman said. 

SMART bus service routes reduced by staffing shortages

Officials at SMART, have been forced to reduce service due to the spread of the omicron variant and COVID, according to a recent statement from the organization.

Officials said that about 20 to 25 percent of current  service has been cancelled or delayed due to the lack of bus operators.  While SMART staff members are updating daily service cuts/changes to  real time arrival system they are also working to make changes to the existing bus schedule, officials said. “By scaling back service levels, riders will be assured of more reliable service to get to work or to other important destinations,” according to a prepared statement from SMART.  

Residents urged to check water pipe connections for lead

While results of later testing are pending, Inkster residents are being cautioned about the lead levels in drinking water.

In 2019 when 30 samples were studied as required by state law, four of the samples exceeded the action levels required and the city replaced the water lines in the area with new copper lines. In December of 2020, eight of 62 samples exceeded action levels and new copper water lines were installed in those areas. Results of 2021 required testing are still pending, officials said, although residents are warned of the possibility of excessive lead on all residential water bills.

The Play That Goes Wrong set to open Tipping Point season

The Play That Goes Wrong will take a series of mishaps, miscues and mayhem to the stage at Tipping Point Theatre next month. 

The Play That Goes Wrong grasps on to the phrase “the show must go on” for dear life and refuses to release it from its death grip until the actors' final bow. People are knocked out, lines are forgotten and it seems the set is being held together by hot glue and wishful thinking. It's an actor's worst nightmare that just won't end - and audiences can watch it all happen from the comfort of ticketed seats.

Mayor names 5 to city Parks and Recreation Council

Five residents have been reappointed to the volunteer Parks and Recreation Advisory Council in Westland.  Members of the advisory council are appointed by the mayor to serve two-year terms.

John Albrecht has been reappointed to the advisory council. He has served on the council since November, 2019. 

Also reappointed to the council by Mayor William R. Wild was Jessica West. Her term will expire Dec. 3, 2023. She, too, has served on the council since November, 2019.

Big time

Michigan State Representative Kevin Coleman, left, presents a mockup of a state check for $500,000 for improvements to the Goudy Amphitheater in the City of Wayne. Mayor John Rhaesa accepted the grant payment and also thanked State Senator Dayna Polehanki for her help in securing the funds to improve and renovate the city facility. 

Accident witnesses are sought

Wayne police investigators are requesting help from the public in connection with a vehicle crash that took place in the early hours of Jan. 13.

According to police reports, officers responded to a report of a single-vehicle accident at about 3:16 a.m. Jan. 13 on Venoy Road near Parkhill, between West Michigan Avenue and Glenwood.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Romulus school superintendent terminated by board

Following months of contentious meetings and public outcry, four members of the Romulus Board of Education voted to fire Superintendent of Schools Dr. Benjamin Edmondson on Dec. 29, 2021.

The vote came following a raucous meeting which began on Dec. 27 and continued Dec. 29. The four votes to terminate Edmondson's contract were cast by the same four board members named in a lawsuit filed on his behalf in U.S. District Court last month. That suit names board President Debi Pyles; Vice President Judy Kennard;, Secretary Susan Evitts and Trustee Nichole German along with the school district. Those four board members also voted to suspend Edmondson in September prompting weeks of public criticism of their actions during board meetings.

Marching on...

Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to be celebrated next Monday

On Monday, the nation will mark the 27th anniversary of the National Day of Service, established as a federal holiday to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

Americans celebrated the first official Martin Luther King Day, which is the only federal holiday commemorating an African-American, in 1986. In 1994, Congress designated the holiday as a National Day of Service and designated the third Monday in January every year as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service - a “Day On, Not a Day Off.”

Dr. King advocated nonviolent resistance to overcome injustice as a means of lifting racial oppression. He organized sit-ins, marches, and peaceful demonstrations that highlighted issues of inequality and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the youngest person to ever receive the honor.

Farewell to friends

Greater Romulus Chamber of Commerce Treasurer Marjie McAnally, photo above, far left, congratulates outgoing board of directors member Julie Allison (second from right) on her award for years of service as board member Arianna LeSure and board President Jeff Lowrey look on. Outgoing board member Harley Fisher, second from left in the above photo, receives his award presented by McAnally as Lawrey, LeSure and chamber member Grey Tyler look on.

Meeting safety concerns Sumpter Township board

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees will decide at the end of the month whether to return to in-person meetings.

The decision, according to the trustees, will depend on the advice and action of Wayne County Health Department and state health officials in regard to the epidemic COVID omicron variant.

While Trustee Peggy Morgan pushed for a return to in-person meetings last month, suggesting that residents attending could “wear masks,” others on the board were more cautious regarding the safety of residents and board members.

“The residents want regular meetings. If they come here and are not vaccinated, they can wear masks,” Morgan said. “We can leave it up to them.”

Romulus man faces second-degree murder charge in crash

The driver in a crash that killed a 17-year-old Allen Park woman in September has been charged with second degree murder, operating while intoxicated causing death and reckless driving causing death.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Robert Merritt, 56, of Romulus in connection with the Sept. 22, 2021 high-speed vehicle crash that killed Mia Howard, 17, and injured a 15-year-old girl, also of Allen Park.  

Romulus police officers were dispatched to the intersection of Middlebelt and Goddard roads at about 8:36 p.m. Sept. 22 in response to a reported vehicle crash, according to a prepared statement from Worthy's office.

Sworn to serve

Mayor, councilmembers take oaths of office during inauguration event

William R. Wild was officially inaugurated for his fourth term as mayor of the City of Westland Jan. 3.

Four members of the Westland City Council also took their oaths of office administered by 18th District Court Chief Judge Mark McConnell. 

The ceremony took place in the Gene McKinney Ballroom located inside Westland City Hall. 

Westland opens warming centers during extreme cold

Warming centers are available throughout Westland in response to the extreme cold temperatures in the area.

Residents will find warming centers at Westland City Hall, 36300 Warren Road from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Westland Public Library, 6123 Central City Parkway will be open to residents to stay warm from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 

Holiday home winners revealed

Winners of the 2021 All American Holiday Decorating Contest were announced at the first official meeting of the Westland City Council Jan. 3. 

Mayor William Wild awarded top honors for Best Traditional Display to Raymond Roark, “even though his wife did all the setting up.” Matt Sutela's home won for Most Creative Display and the Over the Top Display honors went to Randy and Kim Krause. 

City officials thanked all those who entered and wished them the best of luck for next year. 

Mother arrested in knife attack on toddlers

An Inkster woman with a history of mental instability has been charged in the physical abuse and attempted murder of her 1- and 3-year-old children on New Year's Day.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Sara Vae Boles, 36, with two counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of first-degree child abuse, and one count of resisting and obstructing police officers. The charges are in connection with the discovery of the two injured children in a home on the 29520 block of Grandview Street by police officers called to the scene to check on the welfare of the family at about 9 a.m. Jan. 1.

When officers arrived at the home, according to police reports, there was no response to their repeated knocks. As the officers walked around the home, they heard a child crying in distress and forced their way into the home through the front door.

Suspect in double homicide remains at large

Christopher Greer
Wayne Police are actively seeking the boyfriend of a woman killed in a double homicide last week.

According to police reports, sisters Dominique Parchmon, 30 and Shyanna Hall, 18 were killed by multiple gunshot wounds reported just after 9 p.m. last Wednesday, Jan. 5. The shooting took place at the Lara Apartments on Niagara Street near Michigan Avenue and Merriman Road where Wayne police were dispatched following a report of gunshots fired.

 Parchmon was pronounced dead at the scene Hall succumbed to her injuries after being transported to a local hospital, according to police reports. 

Police have identified 32-year-old Christopher Greer, the boyfriend of Parchmon, as a suspect in the shootings.

Inkster Legends of Basketball founder, director thanks 2021 holiday donors

Legends of Inkster Basketball founder Freddie Smiley recently sent a message of thanks to all who contributed and supported the program this year.

He noted that despite the struggles this year in light of the COVID-19 restrictions and health threats, the group has managed to continue to help local families during the holidays for 23 years.

Grateful resident donates new car to township police

 Crime may not pay, but once in awhile, law enforcement does get rewarded.

In Northville Township, that reward came in the form of a new Chevrolet Blazer donated by Tom Close who won the vehicle at a charity golf tournament last year when he sank a nearly impossible hole in one.

“This never happens. Nobody ever wins the car,” Close told reporters. He said he talked with his wife and they agreed to donate it to the Northville Township Police Department in a gesture of appreciation for the way officers handled an event last August. 

Close explained that while on his way home from, what else, playing golf last summer, his wife called telling him that she, their daughter and their young granddaughter had been the victims of an armed robbery in the CVS parking lot in downtown Northville.  She told him that the gunman snuck up on them in the lot, aimed the gun at them individually, and demanded their jewelry and wallets. After grabbing the jewelry and wallets, the man ran off, she said.

Township survey seeks public input into Legacy Park use

Members of the Legacy Park Development sub-committee in Northville Township are seeking public input into amenities at the site.

The 332-acre park, formerly known as the Seven Mile Property, was the former site of the state psychiatric hospital. Northville Township recently secured funding to proceed with the demolition of most of the remaining 11 hospital buildings on site. 

The demolition work is scheduled to begin next spring with completion anticipated later in the year, officials said, and will allow the township to safely open the site to residents. One of the first steps in opening the site to the public will be to implement hiking, walking and biking trails.  

Student radio station to host annual record sale

The past may help the future of the student radio station operated by the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.

The 13th Annual 88.1 Record Show will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19 in the Salem High School cafeteria. All proceeds from the sale of thousands of vinyl records available, along with CDs, import-only releases, t-shirts, posters and other collectibles will benefit the nationally-recognized and award-winning student radio station.

The show will also feature special giveaways and door prizes in addition to a wide variety of vendors. 

More than 400 people attended the show in 2020 and organizers hope to build on that success this year, based on the resurgence of interest in vinyl records.

Plymouth Library returns to curbside service for patrons

Due to the high local COVID positivity numbers and COVID-related staffing challenges, Plymouth District Library has returned to curbside-only service. Curbside pickup on the south side of the building will be on-demand with no appointment necessary.  Patrons are asked to wait until they receive notice that their holds are ready, however, before coming to the library.

Curbside pickup will be available during regular library hours of 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and 1until 5 p.m. on Sunday.  Also available during these hours will be remote printing with printouts available for curbside pickup and reference assistance by phone.  As always, digital collections and resources will be available 24/7 at

Canton Township woman wins ‘Lucky for Life’ lottery prize

Canton Township resident Brenda Walker, 77, will soon be driving a brand-new car and some special family dates helped fund her new ride.

For years, Walker said, she has been playing a special set of numbers in the Michigan Lottery and finally those birthdays and special dates paid off. Her numbers matched the five white balls drawn in the Lucky For Life game on Nov. 27. Her persistence rewarded Walker with $25,000 a year for life or the cash option of $390,000, which she chose.

Walker purchased her winning ticket at the Canton Mini Mart on Cherry Hill Road, she said, and when the winning numbers were announced, was stunned to realize her numbers, 02-06-07-11-19, were the winning combination.  

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Myth busters

Medical experts debunk COVID-19 vaccine misinformation

Michigan reported 61,235 new cases of COVID-19 and 298 virus-related deaths last Wednesday -- an average of 12,929 cases over a two-day period, a new state record for daily cases, in the final data update of 2021. The total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 1,568,573, including 27,286 deaths. These numbers are up from 1,481,480 cases and 26,650 deaths.

As Michigan continues to record high numbers of COVID-19 cases, new data from the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) proves that the majority of Michigan residents severely sick with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and MHA are pleading with residents to get vaccinated for their own health, the safety of local health care personnel, and to avoid additional strain on health care systems already struggling to respond.

Trustees OK purchase of odor remediation system

The new year should be much more pleasant for residents and visitors near Sumpter and Willis roads in Sumpter Township where the main pump house for the sewer system is located.

Members of the board of trustees approved the recommendation of DPW Director John Danci to purchase a Bio Air System for odor remediation at the site at a cost not to exceed $98,552.73, during the Dec. 14 meeting. Trustees wanted to be sure that the expense would provide the odor and corrosion control needed in the area which has been the subject of complaints from residents for years.

Council members recognize, thank local good Samaritans

Mayor Robert McCraight
Members of the Romulus City Council used the last meeting of 2021 to thank members of the community for their generosity during the holidays.

Council member Tina Talley publicly thanked John Osbourne of Osbourne Concrete in the city for his “generous holiday bundles” which were donated to area residents. Talley said the bundles were “amazing”  and that Osbourne and his staff were “truly a blessing” in the community. She said that Osbourne also donated gift bundles to the Romulus Ministerial Alliance for donation to local families during the holiday season and that this year, Osbourne doubled the number of gifts  provided.

“They are a true blessing,” Talley said and urged residents who might encounter Osbourne to thank him for his generosity.

Trustee, clerk question contract

Members of Sumpter Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a final payment of $16,720.30 to former Township Administrator Michelle Cole who resigned last month to take another job.

The final payment was for accrued vacation and personal time Cole had earned until her last day on the job at the rate of $45.19 per hour. That amount is about half what Cole negotiated with the trustees to provide help as an independent contractor until a replacement is hired.  Cole and the trustees agreed to a rate of $95 per hour for her services not to exceed eight hours a week, although Trustee Don LaPorte and Clerk Esther Hurst voted no on the agreement. 

Northville officials mark year-long progress

In a recent report to residents, Northville city officials detailed the improvements made in the community during 2021.

“From new roads and water mains to LED lighting and expanded EV charging stations, there were impressive improvements made to the city infrastructure in 2021. Pair that with operational advances - such as a tree inventory, resetting water rates with GLWA for cost savings, and a crime dashboard for greater police transparency - and you can see that this city of 6,000 residents is riding a wave of progress,” the published report state.

Civilian Life Saving Award presented by township

Northville Township Fire Chief Brent Siegel honored Heather Brown with a Civilian Life Saving Award at the regular meeting of the board of trustees last month.

Brown was honored for her life-saving actions while participating in a race recently at Maybury State Park when she witnessed another runner collapse in front of her. Brown, an oncology nurse with Michigan Medicine, determined the man was in cardiac arrest and while another runner dialed 911, began CPR. 

Garden Club meetings set

Members of the Country Garden Club of Northville will resume meetings beginning at 11 a.m. at Plymouth First United Methodist Church. 

Speakers begin at 11:30 a.m. following a short business meeting and refreshments.

The next meeting is set for March 2. 5 with speaker Carolyn Paten who will discuss Dow Gardens, a 110- acre botanical garden founded in 1899 in Midland, which features nature trails, a children’s garden, and many flowering plant beds. It features the longest canopy walk in the country.

Honorable goal

Members of the City of Westland Police Honor Guard are hoping to represent the city in Washington, DC during National Police Week. The group will march and perform details in honor of fallen officers across the nation and will be part of the official Wreath Laying Ceremony. In an effort to fund their appearance, the group is currently making Westland Police Department Honor Guard Challenge Coins available for a small donation.

‘Rumors’ to be presented at Westland Inspire Theatre

Inspire Theatre in Westland is lunging into the new year with a redux of master playwright Neil Simon's Rumors. Set in an upscale New York suburb, Rumors is a  romp through a farcical evening of mayhem, mischief, and mistaken identities, according to Inspire Theatre Managing Director Len Fisher.

Ken and Chris Gorman, played by Inspire Theatre first-timers Steve Sedore and Leanne Young of Plymouth and South Lyon, respectively, arrive first at the home of Deputy New York City Mayor Charlie Brock and his wife, Myra, to attend their 10th wedding anniversary celebration. They soon discover, however, that there is no household staff, the hostess is missing, and the deputy mayor has shot himself in the head (it's only a flesh wound).

McConnell named as Chief Judge at 18th District Court

Judge Mark McConnell
Judge Mark A. McConnell has been appointed Chief Judge of the 18th District Court in Westland for a two-year term. The announcement of McConnell's promotion came from the Michigan Supreme Court offices.

McConnell was first elected to the bench in 2008, and reelected in 2014 and 2020.  Prior to his election to the court, he was an associate attorney with Angelo A. Plakas and Associates, P.C., from 1995.  He was a research attorney with the Michigan Court of Appeals for two years after graduating with honors from the University of Detroit School of Law in 1993.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Bowling Green State University.

Attack leaves 2 Inkster toddlers in critical condition

Two young children remain in critical condition following a New Years Day attack in a home of Grandview Street in Inkster.

Police were called to the home at about 7:30 a.m. Jan. 1 by a 911 caller who requested a well-being check on two children known to be in the home. When responding officers arrived at the home, which is near Middlebelt Road and Avondale, they received no response to repeated knocks and calls requesting response. While walking around outside the home, the officers reported hearing a child crying, and used force to enter the house.


12 houses at former Kiwanis Park site are already purchased

Twelve of the 22 homes planned at the former Kiwanis Park in Wayne have already been sold, according to a recent social media post from officials.

Infinity Homes, developer of the project, is currently constructing houses on John Street, near the intersection of Annapolis and Howe in the city. According to Rino Soave, owner of Infinity Homes, this is the first project in the City of Wayne. He said his company “does a fair amount of work right across the road in Romulus-we've probably built well over 350 homes in Romulus in the last seven or eight years,” he said during a Wayne City Council meeting last fall. 

Wayne District Court is awarded grant for kiosk

Making payments to the 29th District Court in the City of Wayne will soon become much more convenient.

The court was recently awarded a grant from the Michigan State Police which will fund the construction and installation of a kiosk outside the court building on Sims Street. The grant, was awarded in the amount of $18,016, according to a prepared statement from the court and the kiosk will allow contactless and after-hours payments due the court.

Condo project at Courthouse Grill site OK’d

A futuristic design at the site of a beloved tradition in Plymouth will include a monument to the long history of the property.

The Hillside Inn, which started as a farmhouse barbeque on Plymouth Road before evolving into the premier area restaurant, became Ernesto's and then The Courthouse Grille where rites of passage and family celebrations took place for decades. The property was sold about two years ago and last month members of the Plymouth Township Board of Trustees approved plans for a new apartment complex at the site. The current structure, which is filled with family memories of special events which took place there, will be demolished to make way for the new 120-unit apartment building. 

Community spirit

Members of the Canton Township Public Safety Department have been busy this holiday season giving back to the community. The police department partnered with Target for the annual Heroes and Helpers event. Officers shopped for several families around the community to bring a bit more joy to their holiday season. Canton police officers also participated in the Salvation Army annual Red Kettle Campaign and K9 Ofc. Tino helped fellow officers ring the bell for this great cause. Officers and Police Explorers collected winter clothing and distributed coats, hats and loves at Open Door Ministries.