Thursday, February 24, 2022

Cop’s lawsuit against city dismissed by court

A federal court has dismissed the lawsuit filed by Wayne Police Sgt. Abraham Hughes against the city, City Manager Lisa Nocerini, Mayor John Rhaesa and Personnel Director Alyse Leslie.

Hughes' lawsuit claimed that Nocerini unfairly interfered in the agreed-upon testing and evaluation procedure in naming a new police chief in 2018. He claimed in his filing that he had video evidence confirming that he obtained the highest score on testing performed by EMCO, the outside company employed by the city. He also asserted that both he and the other candidate for the job, current Chief Ryan Strong, were assured by Nocerini and EMCO officials that the promotion would be based on those independent test scores. He claimed in his filings that despite his higher test score, Nocerini exerted undue influence on EMCO officials to ensure that Strong was promoted.

Wild Wings

Loss to Red Wings is win for Westland ice arena programs

Their streak remains unbroken.

The Red Wings Alumni, led by legendary player Joe Kocur and comic Dave Coulier, who portrayed Joey Gladstone on the hit TV series Full House, pulled out a hard-fought 7-3 victory last week over Mayor William R. Wild's Westland Wild Wings. The former professional players were helped to their 11th straight victory by hockey legends Al Iafrate, Dennis Hextall, Brent Fedyk,  John Ogrodnick and Larry Murphy. The 11th annual game was a community event to raise funds for improvements at the Mike Modano Ice Arena and, as usual, drew a standing room only crowd of enthusiastic supporters. Wild's team, which included Pulitzer Prize winning reporter M.L. Elrick and WRIF rock DJ “Meltdown,” was coached by Tony Award winning actor and co-star of the CBS series Blue Bloods, Greg Jbara.

Plans for Northville Downs development move ahead

Despite a slight delay, members of the City of Northville Planning Commission unanimously approved a Planned Unit Development (PUD) preliminary application for development at the Northville Downs site.

The project was determined to be “generally complete” by commissioners during the Feb. 15 meeting attended by about 170 individuals both in person and on Zoom. The next step in the process is the scheduling of a public hearing so community members can comment on the merits of the preliminary site plan itself. That meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, at the Community Center with a Zoom (online) option available to the public. 

Finance director presents budget overview

Sumpter Township Finance Director Scott Holtz gave members of the board of trustees a quick overview of the municipalbudget situation during the regular meeting Feb. 8.

Holtz said his purpose was an effort to give the trustees a quick summary of the finances of the township as they approach the end of the fiscal year. He said that as the township had been through 75 percent of the fiscal year by Dec. 31, 2021, there should be 25 percent of the budgeted amounts left in the various categories.

“The General Fund is in pretty good shape,” he told the board members. He said that the fire fund had spent about 60 to 70 percent of the allotted budget but that only about 45 percent of collections have come in. He said the police budget had only collected about 6 percent but that almost all of the funds have been expended. “Again, that is because of collections,”he told the board members.


Trustee Peggy Morgan voted in favor of the proposal to pursue information regarding a potential pedestrian/bike path in Sumpter Township and the hiring of a new employee in the clerk's department during the Feb. 8 meeting of the board.

Last week, The Eagle incorrectly reported that she voted against the suggested $6.5 million federally funded bike path project to be administered by Wayne County and the hiring of a full-time employee to work in Clerk Esther Hurst's office.

The vote of the board members was unanimous on both issues with Township Supervisor Tim Bowman excused from the meeting.

The Eagle regrets the error and any confusion or inconvenience it may have caused.

Students win honors for community service

The members of the John Glenn High School DECA in Westland were recently awarded the Thrive Level Recognition for Community Service for the 2021-2022 school year.

DECA is a career and technical student organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs interested in careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. DECA provides co-curricular school programs that integrate into classroom instruction, apply learning, connect to business and promote competition. 

Warm wishes

Paul Sposite, Grand Knight, Knights of Columbus (Wayne) Notre Dame Council #3021, presented members of the Wayne City Council an official resolution of gratitude for their help during the annual Coats for Kids program this year. Presented during the Feb. 15 meeting, the official resolution from the group read, "A Certificate of Appreciation Awarded to the City of Wayne as an expression of grateful appreciation for outstanding participation in the 2021 Coats for Kids Program." Wayne council members and officials thanked the lodge members for their community outreach and continued partnership in city efforts.

Wayne man facing murder charges in stabbing

Michael Steven Hicks
A Wayne man is facing charges of first-degree murder and felony murder in the stabbing death of a Dearborn  resident.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Michael Steven Hicks, 31, of Wayne, in connection with the homicide of Daniel Willard Sweeney, 78, of Dearborn.  

According to the prosecutor, Dearborn police officers responded to 911 call at house in the 7510 block of Indiana at about 8:53 p.m. Feb. 11.  A man, later identified as Hicks, was described by officers at the scene as disheveled, underdressed and without shoes in very cold weather. After speaking with Hicks, the responding officers entered the home to complete a well-being check on occupants of the house. 

Romulus library reopens with new carpeting

Visitors at the Romulus Public Library this week will see new carpeting throughout a completely renovated adult services area.

The latest renovations to the computer area, circulation desk and meeting room will conclude the updates to those spaces in the library, a spokesman noted.

 The library closed for a week to accomplish the installation and reopened yesterday, Feb. 23.

Be-Bop Spartans will perform in Canton Saturday

Jazz xylophonist Stefon Harris
The Michigan State University Be-Bop Spartans, a 25-member student jazz orchestra under the direction of Conductor Rodney Whitaker, will perform selections from their repertoire of jazz, soul, swing, and blues at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26.  Joining the MSU performers will be special guest Stefon Harris, one of the premier jazz xylophonists, along with the Plymouth High School Jazz Band.  

Harris belongs to the grand lineage of vibraphonists in jazz and is a master player and true virtuoso. Recognized as “the real deal” at a young age, Harris performed with Joe Henderson, Wynton Marsalis, Buster Williams, Kenny Barron, Cassandra Wilson, and many other legends - and made his recording debut as a leader on Blue Note Records in 1998, when he was only 25. Winner of “best vibraphonist” awards in DownBeat and JazzTimes polls, Harris has gone on to become a mentor to a new generation of players.

Canton hosting indoor Farmers’ Markets at Summit

The Canton Farmers Market will return with special Off-Season Markets at the Summit on the Park community recreation center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 20, and April 24.

 A variety of local food growers and producers have signed on to participate in these Off-Season Farmers Markets, including: Baubles by Barb, featuring handmade jewelry; Bittersweet Garden & Bakery, featuring a variety of baked goods; Blue Lilac Skincare, featuring skincare items; Boblin Honey - featuring honey; Deliteacious, featuring loose leaf teas and tea gift sets; Jessica's Confectionery, featuring chocolates and baked treats; Kapnick Orchards, featuring cold storage produce and baked goods; Kapolnek Farms, featuring a variety of meat;

Legislator enters guilty plea on multiple charges

Rep. Jewell Jones
After months of court appearances and legal wrangling, State Rep. Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) pleaded guilty in a Feb. 15 court appearance to four misdemeanors and two felony charges stemming from his arrest on April 6, 2021. 

As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Jones pleaded guilty to charges including possession of a firearm while under the influence; operating a vehicle while intoxicated; escape of lawful custody and reckless driving. He also entered a guilty plea to two felony counts of resisting and obstructing police officers. 

He will be sentenced on all the charges on March 17 before Judge Michael Hatty of the Livingston County Circuit Court.

Inkster OKs purchasing partnership for electric cars

A new contract will allow the City of Inkster to purchase electric vehicles at the same price as gas-powered cars and includes the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at no cost to taxpayers.  

Members of the Inkster City Council unanimously approved a partnership with Royal Oak-based AAW Infrastructure Partners, L3C to launch a new Inkster EV-Mobility and Economic Stimulus program.

Plymouth library Creative Lab reopens to public

The creative lab at the Plymouth District Library has reopened for visitors.

The lab currently features two 3D printers, a large format printer, a Cricut cutter and six computers with the Adobe Creative Suite. Additional tools will follow on a rotating basis, said Library Director Shauna Anderson. The library envisions this space as an ever-changing place of exploration and creation, with new tools and experiences being featured at different times, she added. 

Commission considers paid parking, new bumpouts

In addition to a plan for paid parking throughout downtown, the installation of permanent bumpout 'parklets' is also being considered by members of the Plymouth City Commission.

During a meeting earlier this month, the commissioners instructed the administration to proceed with a study which would require paid parking throughout city streets and last week, joined members of the Downtown Development Authority, Planning Commission and the Historic District Commission for an informational presentation regarding increasing outdoor seating capacity at restaurants with more bumpouts into city streets.

Chili in the Ville served

Things are bound to heat up in downtown Northville during the Chili in the Ville competition set for 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26.

Members of both the city and township fire departments along with several local restaurants will face off in the heated chili competition. Characters from Frozen and ice sculptures will also be on site during the event, organizers said.

Salem to host show

An evening of entertainment is being planned at Salem High School and tickets are now available.

The annual Salem Variety Show will have two performances, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., on  Saturday, March 5. The Variety Show is hosted by the Salem Rockettes Pom team and will showcase a variety of performances including Salem Pom, music, cheer, dance, guy-girl performance, Junior Rockettes performance, School of Rock, and the much-anticipated parents' performance.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

School board recall petitions are circulated

Voters in the Romulus Community Schools district are being asked to reconsider their choices for members of the board of education.

Petitions seeking a recall of board President Debi Pyles, Vice-president Judy Kennard and Secretary Susan Evitts are being circulated throughout the community and have already gathered 1,000 of the needed 3,000 or so signatures, according to organizer Rita Hampton. The number of signatures required is based by state law on the number of voters in the last school election. Valid signatures of 25 percent of the number of voters in the last election for each petition are required to schedule a recall election. Hampton is hoping to collect the signatures within the 60-day state mandated time limit to force the issue onto the November ballot.

Cabin comfort

Karl’s marks 50 years of history in community

The log building opened for the first time on
Jan. 31, 1947 as Rusceak's Rustic Tavern
 and included an attached market for meats and groceries
The shotgun is no longer nestled behind the bar and the illegal gambling has long been a thing of the past. The tradition of great food served in a rustic atmosphere remains, however, as one of the oldest dining establishments in the Plymouth area marks more than a half century of operations.

The abandoned, rustic log cabin that transformed into the polished structure than now houses Karl's Cabin on Gottfredson Road first caught the eye of Karl Poulos in 1981. Built on the corner of a farm in Salem Township, the craftsmanship of the authentic log structure intrigued Poulos, as did the somewhat checkered history of the various businesses once housed there. 

Sumpter agrees to consider $6.5 million bicycle path

Sumpter Township Trustees have agreed to entertain the concept of a $6.5 million bicycle/pedestrian path in the community.

Trustee Don LaPorte told his fellow board members that he had suggested the idea of a bike bath connecting Sumpter Township to other paths eventually leading to Lower Huron Metro Park to Wayne County officials “sometime last winter.” He said he received a response recently from the county stating that the Sumpter proposal is on the “top of the county's list.”

Township to continue battle for tree ordinance

Despite a recent court defeat, Canton Township officials will continue to pursue enforcement of the municipal tree ordinance.

In a prepared statement last week, Township Supervisor Anne Marie Graham-Hudak and attorney Kristin Kolb said a recent decision in the federal court system will not halt the township battle to enforce the ordinance while other litigation is pending. The township tree ordinance regulates the removal of trees from property within the township boundaries and requires the replacement or financial equivalent of trees removed. The township will continue to pursue the battle in the Michigan Court of Appeals, according to the statement.

Children’s magician set to perform at Village Theatre

Photo of Mario the Maker Magician
provided courtesy of the artist. 
As seen on Sesame Street and Sprout Network, Mario “the Maker Magician” Marchese is set to appear on the Main Stage at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton 1t 3 p.m Saturday, March 19.

Touted as “the best kids' magician in the world” by David Blaine, Mario is more than just a performer, he is also an inventor who creates his own props. He is known for his dedication to the Maker Movement and STEAM initiatives and his integration of DIY electronics and robotics into his performance. 

Paid parking plan proposed

Paid parking in downtown Plymouth is under consideration, again.

City administrators were directed to revive and rework a plan to gather information regarding implementing paid parking during the Feb. 7 meeting of the members of the Plymouth City Commission.

A proposal for paid parking in the downtown area was under consideration in both 2019 and 2020 but was adjourned by commissioners due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hall of Fame nominations sought in Northville

Nominations for induction into the Northville High School Hall of Fame will be accepted until March 30.

The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to honor the top student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and teams who have made a positive impact on the local community, who have  earned success on and off the field and who provide role models for current student-athletes. The Hall of Fame will create an increased awareness and pride in Northville High School, according to a statement from school officials.

Sweet stuff

Maybury Farm Maple Syrup tours set to begin next month

The Maple Syrup Tours are a popular
spring attraction at Maybury Farm.
Ever wonder how maple syrup gets made? 

Maybury Farm in Northville has the answer with the Maple Syrup Tours that begin next month. Each tour begins with a tractor-drawn wagon to the Sugar Bush where visitors walk into the woods (sugarbush) and learn about maple trees, how to tap and how to collect the sap. Next stop is the Sugar Shack to watch the sap converted into maple syrup. Visitors will have an opportunity to taste the finished syrup.

Chamber director is named

Douglas Wallace has been named as the Executive Director of the Northville Chamber of Commerce. "Doug brings a wealth of knowledge and years of leadership experience to the chamber," said Chairman of the Board Aaron Cozart. Wallace recently served as the president of the Mt. Pleasant Chamber of Commerce and served as the vice president of membership services for the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce. "We are excited to welcome Doug back to the community he calls home and extremely eager for him to begin his role as executive director," Cozart said. Wallace began his new position Feb. 14. 

Court rejects plan for Chippewa casino in city

A recent decision by a federal appellate panel is not the end of a battle to build a casino in Romulus.

The Feb. 4 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed with the U.S. Department of Interior that the Romulus property could not be considered an enhancement of  existing tribal lands and thus couldn't be held in trust by the Department of Interior.

Back to school

Romulus officer takes Detroit School District position

After 15 years with the
Romulus Police Department,
Lt. Labrit Jackson has
decided to take his
passion for service to
Detroit Public Schools
Community District.
After 15 years with the Romulus Police Department, Lt. Labrit Jackson has decided to take his passion for service to Detroit Public Schools Community District, where he will serve as deputy chief of police. 

“While Jackson remains a Romulus resident, the community will miss his dependability, passion and commitment to our police department and public safety,” commented Police Chief Robert Pfannes.

“I believe one of the highest forms of service an individual can perform is choosing to protect his neighborhood in the capacity of law enforcement,” Jackson said. “Helping people has always been a goal of mine, and Romulus seemed like a good place to do just that.”

Jackson applied to the department and was hired as an officer in January 2006.

Random acts

Students rewarded for kindness

Students, along with their parents and teachers,
were honored at the recent city council meeting.
A second group of students has been honored for acts of kindness by members of the Westland City Council.

During the regular council meeting last week, four students from the 17 Wayne-Westland school were awarded a $20 gift card in recognition of their Random Acts of Kindness. The program is a partnership of the Westland Compassionate City Committee and the Wayne-Westland Community Schools. Honored were Jalon Lewis of Edison Elementary, Mohammad Akbari of Elliott Elementary, Quincy Choice of Hicks Elementary, and Aiden Stanfield of Hamilton Elementary. 

Safety measures

Members of the City of Wayne Police Department are offering free, high-quality KN95 masks to the public. The masks are the quality recommended by the Center for Disease Control to help control the spread of the Corona virus and the variants currently affecting the public. While the infection numbers are decreasing, health officials recommend that masks be worn in indoor situations where there may be contact with others. The masks are available at the Wayne Police Station, 33701 Michigan Ave. For more information, call (734) 721 01414.

Mayor reappoints 5 in city

Several reappointments to boards and commissions in Westland were recently approved by members of the city council. 

 Gretchen Heinicke has been reappointed to serve on the Economic Development Corporation (EDC)/Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA)/Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) for a new 6-year term set to expire in February 2028. Heinicke is the current President and CEO of the Westland Chamber of Commerce.

Inkster dedicates sign to 80s ‘Funkateers’ group

Three members of the 80s Funkateers group were on hand
for the dedication of an Inkster city sign honoring their achievements.
A raging blizzard and freezing temperatures didn't impact the warm welcome received by The  Funkateers in Inkster earlier this month.

The official sign welcoming motorists to the community now includes the designation as Home of the Funkateers which members of the 80s dance group helped dedicate during the snowstorm two weeks ago.

Trustees OK added employee for clerk’s office

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees approved the posting of a clerical job in the clerk's office by a 5-1 vote during the Feb. 8 meeting.

The approval came after extensive discussion of the exact duties of the proposed employee and the hours of work necessary to provide the relief needed in Township Clerk Esther Hurst's office. Hurst told the board members that she felt she was being “held hostage” in the current situation with one full-time employee off on long-term disability leave and upcoming election duties responsibilities.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Sumpter officials urged to re-open tri-county museum

The Belleville Area Museum
Members of the Sumpter township Board of Trustees were treated to a history lesson during the Jan. 25 meeting.

Mary Ban used the public comment portion of the meeting agenda to remind the board members and the public of the importance of Sumpter Township in the history of the area. She displayed copies of several historic artifacts, including a Rosie the Riveter poster, and books detailing the history of the area as she explained the importance to the community of the Belleville Area Museum and the artifacts there.

She explained that the Rosie poster was symbolic of the many, many local women who worked long hours at the Willow Run airport to help make parts and planes to help with the World War II effort. 

Commissioners table Northville Downs project

Artist's rendering of Northville Downs project 
Members of the City of Northville Planning Commission will hear more about the updated site plan for the Northville Downs property at a meeting Feb. 15 despite objections from the developer.

Commission Chair Donna Tinberg told those in attendance at the meeting that a vote on the site plan for the 48-acre Northville Downs property would have to be tabled due to time constraints at the Senior Center where the meeting took place. Her announcement prompted a strong response from Hunter Pasteur CEO Randy Wertheimer who suggested that his company would pay any extra fees incurred at the Senior Center to move the meeting to a vote. Tinberg explained that the commission was allocated the space until 10:30 p.m. and the 3 ½ hour meeting had nearly exceeded that time.

Snow day

Romulus Police Ofc. Rodney Cofield, above, was the department representative in the impromptu sled race for charity that drew officers from 15 downriver law enforcement organizations to a sledding hill in Civic Center Park in Woodhaven during the blizzard last week. Officers from various area departments slid down the embankment on "doughnut" sleds provided by Motor City Canoe Rental in Flat Rock in concentrated efforts to reach the bottom of the hill before their fellow lawmen.


Annual Plymouth Ice Festival includes game prizes to visitors

In addition to the artistic attraction of the 100 or so sculptures filling the downtown streets during the Plymouth Ice Festival this weekend, visitors will have another reason to visit downtown shops and restaurants.

Sponsored by the Downtown Development Authority and the Plymouth Rotary Club, the festival will include a Bingo game designed to bring visitors into local businesses. Last year, during the event, thousands of visitors enjoyed the game and the multiple prizes and gift certificates offered by local merchants. 

Centuries-old family lumber businesses combine

Two of the oldest, family-owned building suppliers in the state recently joined forces as Mans Lumber and Millwork partnered with Dillman & Upton, the premier home improvement center in Oakland County.

Mans, located in Canton Township, also has operations in Ann Arbor and Trenton. Mans began as shipbuilders in 1900. While evolving to meet the changing needs of customers during the last century, Mans remains a family-owned and operated business.

The sale ensured the 110-year-old Dillman & Upton will also remain a family business, which was important to both partners, said Doug Mans, the president of Mans Lumber and Millwork. 

Sumpter Township to increase testing of water quality

Sumpter Township residents interested in having their water tested for lead contamination can register with the Department of Public Works (DPW) for the service.

Township DPW Director John Danci told members of the township board of trustees that increased testing for lead and contaminants in the township water supply would be required this year. He explained that the national census showed that the population of Sumpter Township had increased to more than 10,000 residents which would require the increase in water testing. He said the federal requirements would necessitate the testing of residential water quality at 30 sites in the township rather than the previous 20 sites as dictated by the regulations.

Coffee with a Cop served

The Canton Township Police Department will host Coffee with a Cop from 9-11 a.m. Feb. 12 at St. Michael Lutheran Church.

The informal gathering is a chance to "pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and get to know your local police and ordinance officers," officials said.  Visitors are urged to ask questions, tell officers about individual neighborhoods, or share concerns. 

The coffee is free and the conversation is informal and informative, they added. St. Michael Lutheran Church is located at 7000 Sheldon Road Canton, MI 48187.

Contamination from landfill to be meeting topic

Arbor Hill Landfill 
More expert information regarding the per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFS) contamination near the Arbor Hills Landfill in Salem Township will be available during a virtual update from 6 until 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24 by the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART). 

Representatives from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will host the online meeting. After the presentations and updates, attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions.

“This is a terrific opportunity to learn the latest information about the Arbor Hills Landfill from our partners in state government,” said Northville Township Supervisor Mark J. Abbo. 

City, schools join to recognize students’ kindness

Educators and students throughout the Wayne-Westland Community Schools District are watching for random acts of kindness.

The district and the city have partnered on a project to identify and recognize students who have demonstrated random acts of kindness as part of the Compassion Project. 

Westland Mayor William R. Wild and Wayne-Westland Community Schools Superintendent Dr. John Dignan are both supporting the project which will be in cooperation with the district current Positive Behavior Interventions and other programs in all school buildings.  Currently, there is a mailbox installed at all school building to collect student and teacher suggestions for recognition of compassionate acts.

Wayne Westland district receives $3 million technology grant

Remote learning will become far more efficient in the Wayne-Westland Community Schools following the announcement of a $3 million grant to fund technology.

The school district was awarded the Emergency Connectivity Fund Grant through the Federal Communications Commission last month. The grant is part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to help schools and libraries support remote learning, officials noted.

“Wayne-Westland received the biggest award in Michigan. We would like to thank our technology department for targeting this grant to address the device and connectivity shortcomings experienced by our students,” said Dr. John Dignan, superintendent of the Wayne-Westland Community Schools. 

Safety first

City of Westland Planning Director Moe Ayoub has been appointed to serve on the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) Traffic Safety Task Force. The goal of this task force is to develop a Southeast Michigan Traffic Safety Plan. The plan will be an update and expansion upon the current plan adopted by SEMCOG in 2015. The plan will identify key safety needs in the region and guide investment decisions to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on Southeast Michigan roadways, officials said.

Dog park survey seeking on-line input from owners

Dog owners in Westland are being encouraged to “speak” up about a proposed new park in the city. 

Westland officials have proposed a new dog park to be installed in the city this spring under the control of the city Department of Parks and Recreation. Funding for the proposed project will be provided through the parks and recreation budget, allocating $150,000 for fiscal year 2021-2022.

Spring Tea Party planned

The Wayne Historical Society members are hosting a Spring Tea Party:1922 from 1-3 p.m. March 2.

The event will take place in the Wayne Historical Museum and will be professionally catered by Victoria's Tea Salon. The theme is 1920s, so guests are urged to find a vintage costume or wear a fancy hat. 

Malcolm X home placed on historic register

The Inkster home where Malcolm X once lived has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The home was placed on the national register, officials said, on Nov. 29 and was announced in a formal statement from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation last week.. The Williams Street home is being renovated and restored by a non-profit group funded by donations and a $380,000 grant from the National Park Service African American Civil Rights program.  

Project organizers are planning the construction of a museum at the home which will highlight the legacy of Malcolm X who lived there with his brother, Wilfred Little. He moved to the home following his incarceration on burglary charges in Boston in 1952.

Hospital donates $15,000 unit to fire department

Romulus officials and fire personnel admire the new LUCAS
 (Lund University Cardiac Assist System) donated to
the fire department by Beaumont Hospital Wayne.
The $15,0000 device provides steady chest compression
for patients during transport.
Life saving efforts in the Romulus Fire Department have been pumped up with the addition of a mechanized chest compression unit for use in resuscitation attempts.

The device, a LUCAS - an acronym for Lund University Cardiac Assist System-was donated to the department by Beaumont Hospital, Wayne, and includes the chest compression unit, with accompanying charger, battery and power supply, valued at about $15,000. Officials said the new equipment will allow the Romulus Fire Department to provide consistent, quality chest compressions during resuscitation attempts, improving patient outcome as much as possible before arriving to the emergency room.

Former Plymouth Township treasurer is mourned

Ronald A. Edwards, who served five terms as treasurer of Plymouth Township, died Feb. 2, 2022.

Mr. Edwards, 66, who was a sometimes-controversial figure in township government, left public office in 2016. During his time in office he founded and oversaw the Fourth of July fireworks display and the “Good Old Fashioned Fourth of July Family Picnic.”

Family members described Mr. Edwards as “gregarious, awkward, chronically late, and a deal-seeking shopaholic.” They said he was also extremely generous and giving of his time. Mr. Edwards, they said, was prone to long drives in search of locally-owned hardware stores and could point out the location of every wastewater treatment plant in existence. Mr. Edwards and his family often spent vacations in Hawaii and those with him were required to join him on the beach at 6:15 every evening to watch the sunset. 

Ice Festival organizer credits sponsors for event success

Thousands of visitors are expected to stroll through downtown Plymouth during the 40th Annual Ice Festival this weekend, enjoying the free family event.

The “free” event, however, is a very expensive and time-consuming production which takes months of planning and a hefty budget to produce. 

Those costs, for insurance, tons of ice, city permits and artists and general labor are completely funded by corporate and business sponsorships and by local merchants who purchase the 350-pound ice carvings displayed in front of the various businesses.

Neither the city or the township contributes financially to the event, which like all others in the community, is required to pay permit fees to the city to fund any extra trash disposal and fire and police personnel fees. No tax or municipal funds are spent in producing the event, organizers stressed.

Student record sale set

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.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

School cleaning service criticized by board

In addition to preparing lesson plans and grading papers, some teachers in the Plymouth Canton Community Schools are now cleaning their classrooms before students arrive.

Members of the Plymouth Canton board of education expressed their dissatisfaction with that situation and the performance of current janitorial provider, ABM Industry Group. Currently, board members said, there is an unsatisfactory level of cleanliness in the 15 elementary, five middle and four high schools in the district.  Six schools had not been formally inspected by ABM employees during the first quarter, a statistic board members said was unacceptable.

35 and out…

Veteran officer leaves Northville after 3 decades of service

Northville Township Police Officer James Beamish has
retired from the department after 34 years of service.
Beamish, the first certified computer forensic
investigator in the department. said he is looking
forward to his “next chapter.” 
Northville Township Police Officer James Beamish, who once wrestled a deer while on patrol, was on duty for the last time Jan. 25. He officially retired from the department after 35 years of service Jan. 30. 

Beamish has been a constant fixture in the department since joining as a dispatcher in September 1987, when Northville Township still had an active Angus cattle farm and Beck Road was unpaved dirt from Five Mile to Eight Mile. After seven years as a police dispatcher, Beamish enrolled at Schoolcraft College Police Academy, fulfilling his dream to become a sworn police officer, following in his father's footsteps.

“My father, who worked for 32 years for the Wixom Police Department, is the person who has been the most influential of my career,” Beamish said. 

Annual Vietnam Veterans event set for Feb. 11, 12

The largest annual fundraiser for the Vietnam Veterans of Plymouth-Canton is set for Feb. 11, and 12 in downtown Plymouth this year during the 40th Annual Ice Festival.

Members of the Plymouth-Canton Vietnam Veterans, a Congressionally chartered group exclusively dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families, will be on hand at the traditional Party Tent erected in the parking lot behind E.G. Nick's restaurant. The tent, which this year is a 4,000 square-foot structure with doors and windows, will be the site of live entertainment both Friday and Saturday nights. Veterans from the group will be checking identification at the door and collecting the $5 per person cover charge, which is one of the largest annual fundraisers for the group.  

Temporary employee for clerk's office OK’d

Concerns regarding staffing in the office of the clerk prompted Sumpter Township trustees to revisit their earlier approval of a temporary employee in the office.

During the Jan. 25 meeting of the members of the board, Trustee Matt Oddy suggested that the board approve the hiring of a temporary employee to handle payroll and payable duties in the clerk's office. Those duties had been added to the responsibilities of Township Clerk Esther Hurst when former Township Administrator Michelle Cole abruptly resigned in November.  Oddy expressed his concern about the staffing levels and the current workload in the clerk's office.

“We definitely need to hire somebody,” Oddy explained. “I would like to hire a full-time temporary employee to handle this work and bring some relief to the clerk's office.”

Board members approve early purchase of 2 police patrol cars

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees approved the $81,212.80 purchase of two Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles during the Jan. 25 meeting.

It may take some time, however, for the new patrol cars to appear on township roads. Public Safety Director/Police Chief Eric Luke explained that he was requesting the approval of the budgeted purchase now in an effort to get in line when the vehicles are once again being produced by Ford Motor Co.

He said that production of the cars was stopped last spring due to the shortage of computer chips necessary to operate the vehicles. Luke explained that the standard law enforcement practice is to double the mileage shown on the vehicle odometer. "We double the mileage on the vehicle due to wear and tear and that's before you bring in Sumpter Township roads."

Team effort

Firefighters from the City of Romulus were dispatched to a major blaze at a commercial building early Saturday morning, Jan. 29. Firefighters said the alarm came just at shift change at the department requiring an off duty crew to respond to the man the fire station. Firefighters and equipment from the Metro Airport, Taylor and Wayne fire departments arrived at the scene near Inkster Road and Beverly in case extra help was needed battling the blaze in the 13-degree temperatures. Firefighters said the cold temperatures and intensity of the blaze required "constant rotation" of firefighters.

Chamber to host showcase for Black-owned businesses

The Greater Romulus Chamber of Commerce will host the  Black-Owned Business and Vendor Showcase Feb. 26.

The free event will take place at the City Event Centre, 37451 Ecorse Road and is open to the public.

The Black-Owned Business and Vendor Showcase is the newest offering from the chamber Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. The Task Force sponsored an “Intro to DEI” event last fall and is also working on a Women in Business Panel Discussion for March.

Jazmine Danci, executive director of the Romulus chamber, said that about 10 percent of the current chamber members are Black-owned businesses, something officials hope to see increase.

Missing girl has may have connections to Inkster

Te'Onna Lashey Tolliver 
A teen missing since the day after Christmas has been reported seen in the Inkster and Romulus area.

The disappearance of Te'Onna Lashay Tolliver, 15, remains an open investigation with the Ann Arbor Police. She was last seen at her family home Dec. 26, 2021. The teen has connections to Inkster, according to police reports, and someone matching her description was seen in the area of Van Born and Middlebelt Road in Romulus. She was also reportedly seen on the 7000 block of Michigan Avenue in Detroit.

Tolliver often wears a black bonnet over her hair, her family told police, and is known to wear a honey-blonde colored, shoulder-length wig over her natural black hair. 

Police release sketch of suspect in attempted child abduction

Sketch of the suspect
The Canton Police Department has released a composite sketch of the suspect in an attempted abduction of a 12-year-old boy recently. 

According to the initial report, at 7:20 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, the student was at his school bus stop in the 51074 block of Mott Road near College Park Mobile Homes, when a male suspect physically attempted to grab him. The student was able to fight the man off and run back to his home, according to police reports. According to reports, this was only the second day the student's parents had allowed him to walk to the bus stop alone.

The boy told police that he observed the man driving slowly and apparently watching him as he was nearing the bus stop. He said the man left the car and attempted to grab him. 

Service Above Self

Supporting the Rotary Club motto, a group of 12 Plymouth Rotarians,  spouses and friends gathered at Focus Hope Jan. 13 to help pack food boxes to be distributed to area seniors in need. The intrepid band packed 12 pallets, more than 600 boxes for distribution. Among those on hand for the project were Mary Lu Stone, Christina Vega, John and Denise King, Tim and Kevin Joy, Kirk Kohn, Brian Vincent, Andy Savage, Pam Yagiela, and Tammy Cole. The group is planning another trip to Focus Hope trip in February.

Nominations for Whipple Award sought in Plymouth

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.

Signs of the times

Northville Library installs signage to help non-verbal

Northville Youth Services Librarian Cathrine Trautman, left, Speech
Pathologist Lia Gargaro and Speech Pathologist Susan Oleson display one
of the new core boards designed to include non-verbal visitors at the library.
Visitors to the Northville District Library will notice some bright new signage in the building, designed specifically to aid visual communication about library services.

The core board installation includes specific vocabulary for a given activity. The boards feature a small collection of words that make up the majority of what is communicated daily in that particular setting. Youth Services Librarian Cathrine Trautman prompted the installation of the boards after being inspired by her niece, who is nonverbal. She collaborated with two local speech pathologists, Susan Oleson and Lia Gargaro, to design the boards. The new signage is another means for the library to include anyone in the community who is neurodivergent and or non-verbal to feel included, she said.

Tipping Point to present ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

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

“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,” commented  Producing Artistic Director James Kuhl.

Westland offers warming stations for residents

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. 

Scholarships to Eastern now available to district students

Students at Wayne Memorial and John Glenn high schools have a chance to further their educations at Eastern Michigan University without debt.

Eastern officials have partnered with the school district to offer students from the high schools and the William D. Ford Career-Technical Center the opportunity to earn the Education First Opportunity Scholarship. Education First Opportunity Scholarship (EFOS) will help eligible students receive free tuition through a combination of federal Pell Grants and EMU  funds. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must have a 3.0 GPA and a minimum ACT composite of 20. The scholarship offers full tuition minus the Federal Pell Grant money a student receives.

Century of service

Members of the Wayne Rotary Club are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the club by performing one service project per month. The January project was distributing a dictionary to every 3rd and 4th grader in the City of Wayne. Because of the pandemic, the teachers will distribute the books this year. Next year, Rotary members said they hope to be back in person presenting each child a personalized dictionary.