Thursday, March 31, 2022

Ford Road is topic of state, county public meeting

Local drivers will have a chance to learn more about the plans to rebuild Ford Road between Sheldon Road and Interstate-275 during a special meeting set for 5 until 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 26.

Current plans include the installation of boulevards along the section of roadway to eliminate left turns. The project is a partnership of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Wayne County and Canton Township. Representatives from all the entities will be on hand at the meeting to provide information along with elected officials, according to a prepared statement from the MDOT office.

Leading the way…

Attorney General lauds Northville Township Police work

Members of the Northville Township administration
and public safety department greet State Attorney General
Dana Nessel during her visit to the township last week.
The Northville Township Police Department is leading by example.

Michigan State Attorney General Dana Nessel said she is using the township department as a model, encouraging law enforcement departments across the state to follow the township example in seeking state accreditation as her own department also seeks the prestigious designation.

Nessel visited Northville Township last week to learn more about the accreditation process through the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) currently under way. Her office also currently undergoing the accreditation process and she expressed her admiration for the Northville policies and procedures.

Marijuana sales generate $225,600 in fees for Wayne

The City of Wayne will receive a total of $225,600 in state regulatory funding for marijuana businesses licensed in the community.

Currently, Wayne has four licensed retail marijuana businesses and will receive $56,400 for each of the facilities as provided in the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act. Cities, villages, townships, and counties will get $56,400 for every licensed retail store and microbusiness in its jurisdiction. This means 62 cities, 15 villages, 33 townships, and 53 counties will receive funds as part of the state regulation.

Superintendent search includes interviews and 3 public input meetings

Members of the Northville Public Schools Board of Education have scheduled interviews with four candidates to replace retiring Superintendent of Schools Mary Kay Gallagher.

The public interviews will take place beginning at 5 p.m. April 4 at Hillside Middle School. A second round of interviews will take place beginning at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 5 at the same location. In addition, the board members have scheduled three community forums to hear from the public regarding qualifications for the new superintendent.

Slick sticks

Community luncheon planned

The annual State of the Community Luncheon hosted by the Northville Chamber of Commerce is planned for 11:45 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. April 13 at the Schoolcraft College VisTaTech Center.

The event will also honor the 2022 Citizen of the Year officials said.

Scheduled speakers include Superintendent of Northville Public Schools Mary Kay Gallagher, Northville Township Supervisor Mark Abbo and City of Northville Mayor Brian Turnbull.

Plymouth plans uses of federal rescue funding

The anticipated $2.83 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in Plymouth Township will be used following some basic guidelines detailed by Supervisor Kurt Heise during a recent public hearing regarding priorities for the funding.

Heise said he was making recommendations for the use of the federal funds based on specific criteria including:  projects that benefit the largest number of residents; projects that are supported by an identifiable need, plan, survey or study; projects that promote public recreation, wellness, safety and quality of life; projects that could be matched or leveraged with additional funds and projects that can be justified to the federal government in the event of a future audit.

Cocoa with a cop

The Canton Public Library recently hosted Cocoa with a Cop as part of March is Reading Month. Canton Township Police Ofc. Patty Esselink read her favorite book to a group of young admirers during family story time. The audience then enjoyed some interaction with Esselink and some hot cocoa in the library.

Canton Easter celebrations set

The Easter Bunny has planned several appearances in Canton Township this year.

He will make his first visit from 6 until 8 p.m. Thursday, April 7 during The Bunny Hop at the Summit on the Park Banquet Center. The bunny will only be available for photos for the first hour of the event, saving the last hour to shake his cottontail on the dance floor with those in attendance.

All family members will need a ticket to attend the event, regardless of age. Fees are $8 for Canton residents and $10 for non-residents. 

Trustees continue to discuss sale of township land

The sale of township-owned property was again the topic of discussion during the meeting of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees March 22.

In the workshop session prior to the board meeting, Supervisor Tim Bowman again suggested that the township employ the services of Braun and Helmer professional auction services to sell several pieces of property. He said the services of the auctioneer included the necessary paperwork, the title work and advertising.

“This is a better way to go about selling township properties,” he told the board members.

Administrator hiring procedure prompts board questions

Sumpter Township Clerk Esther Hurst repeated her concerns regarding the hiring of Darwin McClary as the new township administrator during the regular meeting of the board of trustees Feb. 22. 

A motion to accept the formal recommendation of the hiring committee drew some criticism from Hurst who questioned the failure to schedule a second interview with the job candidate. She read from the official minutes of the hiring committee meeting stating that a second interview would take place. “I want to know who decided not to have the second interview. The minutes say second there would be a second interview,” she said.

Trustee and Interim Deputy Supervisor Tim Rush explained that a second interview “was on the table” but was not scheduled following the vote of the committee members selecting McClary.

Police welcome new officers, promote 2 veterans

Westland officials welcomed four new officers and
celebrated the promotion of two veterans to the rank of
sergeant during the promotional ceremony.
The Westland Police Department celebrated several new hires and promotions last week during a promotional ceremony at city hall.

Department and city officials welcomed four new officers to the ranks and celebrated the promotions of two veteran officers to the rank of sergeant.

Chaim Kozak is now a sergeant with the department. Kozak rgrew up in Westland and enlisted in the Marine Corps following high school. He served four years as an infantrymen and deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan, he was awarded letter of achievement for combat actions, Meritorious Unit Citation and the Combat Action Ribbon. He was then deployed to Iraq where he earned the Navy Unit citation, Combat Action Ribbon with a gold star and Purple Heart for combat actions.

Parade marchers sought

Registrations are already being accepted for the Westland-Wayne Veterans Memorial Day Parade set for 1 p.m.  Sunday, May 29. The parade will travel from John Glenn High School to the William Faust Public Library of Westland this year.

Local clubs and groups are urged to join the parade to celebrate and remember the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, along with veterans who have courageously served the country. 

Neighborhood road work causes local detours

Inkster officials have reminded local motorists that Phase I of construction on Avondale Street is under way in the city.

Currently, only east bound local traffic is permitted on Avondale as workers continue the road reconstruction and repair.  Avondale is closed from Henry Ruff to Inkster Road. Suggested detour routes include using Inkster Road to bypass Avondale, accessing it from either Henry Ruff or Cherry Hill in the city.

Emergency vehicles will have access to the work zone as necessary, officials said.

Path to success

Westland Mayor William R. Wild and Wayne Mayor John Rhaesa joined Superintendent of Wayne-Westland Community Schools John Dignan, many district officials and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to celebrate the securing of $850,000 in federal funding received on behalf of SEMCA Michigan Works Wayne American Job Center. The funding will allow Wayne-Westland Community Schools to provide paid work-based internships and job shadowing opportunities for students. The Wayne-Westland Pathways to the Workforce will launch this summer, officials said.

Wayne council OK’s Ford Motor Co. expansion plan

Members of the Wayne City Council have unanimously approved a site plan for additions to the Ford Motor Co. Michigan Assembly Plant in the city.

During a regular meeting of the city council earlier this month, Dave Shoemaker from Ford Motor Co. Land Development presented the site plan for the expansion of two areas of the existing plant to the city council members. He explained that the additions, one to the south of the paint shop and one to the final assembly building, were necessitated by the launch of the new Ford Ranger which require, he said, added components as the vehicles go through the assembly line.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Developer Hunter Pasteur presented architectural
and landscapedesigns of the proposed 48- acre
Northville Downs development.
More than 300 individuals attended the public hearing regarding the planned development at the 48-acre Northville Downs site.

The March 15 public hearing, scheduled by members of the Northville Planning Commission, took place at the Northville Community Center and was available online using Zoom. The developer, Hunter Pasteur, plans mixed use development of single and multi-family housing, commercial property including town homes and condominiums, along with public parks and green space at the site. 

Meeting chairman Donna Tinberg explained that the hearing was an effort to determine the viability of the plans submitted to the commission and compliance with the zoning ordinance and the 2018 master plan.  When, and if, commissioners determine the acceptability of the site plan and planned urban development, the project plans must undergo a final site plan review. Tinberg noted that there will be negotiations between commissioners and the developer during the ongoing review process.   

Lesson in dedication

Missing photo of Sept. 11 victim is located by councilwoman 

Albert Ogletree
He's a young man with a shy smile and quiet eyes looking at the camera with just a hint of reservation in his 1966 Romulus High School yearbook photo. 

That image of freshman Albert Ogletree is now installed on the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, thanks to the dedicated efforts of retired educator and current Romulus City Councilwoman Kathy Abdo.

Mr. Ogletree was among the nearly 3,000 people who perished in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. 

His was one of only two photos of victims not installed on the wall, instead marked with an oak leaf. This week, Mr. Ogletree's image was placed alongside the other victims, giving faces to those who lost their lives in the terrorist attack.

School traffic prompts increased police patrol

 In response to numerous complaints about heavy traffic, Canton police are increasing enforcement around several school building areas.

According to a prepared statement from Deputy Chief of Police Craig Wilsher, complaints have been received regarding heavy traffic at various schools, specifically motorists disregarding traffic controls in the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park area near Canton, Plymouth and Salem high schools. Complaints have increased during the past week, according to Wilsher.

Winning ways

Three East Middle School students short-handedly won the State of Michigan Chess Championship last week.  The Michigan School State Chess Championship Tournament involves teams of four students from middle schools across the state.  On the night before the competition, one of the team members from East Middle School was unexpectedly forced to withdraw from the tournament. The remaining competitors, Dron Das (grade 8)  Anthony Chen (grade 8) and Druheen Das (grade 6), went on to  post an undefeated 4.5 score in five games.  This made up for the zero score the team received on the fourth board in each round for the missing player. Despite the enormous disadvantage, the students swept the remaining matches to take the championship and bring the huge trophy back to Canton.

Start your engines

Road Rally to benefit Canton foundation

Who knows what participants may be asked to find or where they will have to go during the special Road Rally Scavenger Hunt set for Saturday, April 23, in Canton Township.

The event is being hosted by the Canton Community Foundation of the Local Community Alliance and will benefit the Canton Cares Fund, organizers said.

Area residents are encouraged to assemble a team and join the fun from 4:30-7:30 p.m. for a special afternoon of solving puzzles and navigating throughout the local area which will start and end at the Summit on the Park, located at 46000 Summit Parkway in Canton.

Trustees reject all bids, re-offer 3 township sites

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees rejected the original bids on three properties owned by the township following professional appraisals of the sites.

Trustees approved a seven-day deadline from the March 8 meeting for bidders on the sites on Arkona Road and Martinsville Road to submit revised bids on the properties.

Township Trustee Matt Oddy, a member of the Bid Committee, explained that while 10 bids were received for the land on Arkona Road and five bids were submitted for the property on Martinsville Road, recently received appraisals of the sites were considerably higher than the bids received. Bidders offered $86,000 while the appraisals valued the land at $140,000 and $160,000. 

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss

March has been dedicated as National Reading Month and members of the Wayne Police Department have been visiting local elementary schools to encourage students of all ages to read and enjoy books. Reading month was originally dedicated to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the author of multiple children's classics and winner of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for his contribution to the education of America's children and parents. Early this month, Wayne Ofc. Matthew Whalen and Ofc. James Serma visited students at Roosevelt-McGrath Elementary and each read to them from a classic tale. Wayne officers, and Chief Ryan Strong, will be visiting schools and reading to students all month to help encourage reading.

Hiring committee expected to recommend new administrator

Members of the Sumpter Township Hiring Committee are expected to recommend Darwin McClary for the open township administrator position.

McClary, who claims more than 30 years of experience as a city and village manager, holds a master's degree in public administration. He is currently the president and chief executive officer of MuniciPRO LLC, an independent consulting firm working with municipal clients. He founded the firm in 2018, according to the business website. 

The other two candidates interviewed for the position were former long-time Deputy Township Supervisor Karen Armatis and Ken D. Marten, currently Bingham Farms village administrator. Members of the hiring committee eliminated Marten during an earlier meeting March 7 based on his salary requirements.

Mayor welcomes new businesses to community

Recently, Westland Mayor William R. Wild commented on the number of new businesses opening in the city.

“Despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, the City of Westland continues to attract a number of unique dining and entertainment businesses representing new commercial investment, not only in Westland's Shop and Dine District, but across the city. Throughout the first quarter of 2022 a number of new establishments and have opened their doors and many more are slated to open in March,” Wild said. 

Among those new to the city are Egyptian Kitchen, located at 2717 S. Wayne Road which officially hosted a “soft opening” earlier this year. Egyptian Kitchen serves distinctive authentic Egyptian and Mediterranean dishes. They are currently offering a limited menu with a full menu expected to launch later this month, Wild said. 

Council approves appointments to city appeals boards

Four volunteer appointments and reappointments to city boards were recently confirmed by members of the Westland City Council.

Former Westland City Clerk Eileen DeHart-Schoof has been reappointed to the city Zoning Board of Appeals for a three-year term to expire in May of 2025. DeHart-Schoof also previously served on the Westland City Council and served as a State Representative. She was nominated for reappointment by the members of the city council. 

John Sullivan Esq. was appointed by Mayor William R. Wild to the Westland Board of Review as an alternate to complete an unexpired term. His appointment was made immediately effective and will expire in September of 2023. Sullivan is a local attorney as served as a Wayne County Commissioner from 1999 until 2007. He has also served on the Youth Assistance Advisory Board since March of 2021 and the Local Development Finance authority since April of 2021.

Request for ride in police car ends with felony arrest

Derrick Horne
One Westland resident got a bit more than he planned when he flagged down a police car seeking a ride home.

According to police reports, Derrick Horne, 39, was walking though the Norwayne district March 11 when he waved down Ofc. Reed Zielinski and asked for a ride. The officer, mindful of both the Compassionate City and Protect and Serve mandates in the city, explained that while he would be glad to help a resident in need, police procedures required that he search Horne for weapons before allowing him to ride in the patrol car.

According to Zielinski's report of the incident, the interaction led to the discovery of Horne's criminal record as a convicted felon and a concealed firearm in his possession.

Rep. Jewell Jones
State Representative Jewell Jones, D-Inkster, was sentenced to two-years of probation for the misdemeanor and felony charges incurred during a drunk-driving arrest last April.

Livingston County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hatty sentenced Jones to the probation period with 61 days of time served and 100 hours of community service as part of a plea agreement. The judge said the sentence would allow Jones time to “grow up and move past the incident.”

Prosecutors in the case had continued to lobby for more jail time for the 26-year-old state legislator whose blood alcohol level at the time of his arrest was 0.19, more than three times that allowed under Michigan State Law.

Police department seeking state accreditation

Captain Greg Hannewald and Detective Brian Dogonski (seated)
look at data on the police dashboard. Photo by Liz Cezat.
A team of assessors from the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (MLEAC) will arrive at the City of Northville Police Department on April 7 to examine all aspects of the department's policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services. It's all part of the department's voluntary process to achieve accreditation - a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence. 

The team will verify that the Northville police department meets MLEAC best practice standards by complying with 105 standards, a goal set by Police Chief Alan Maciag. 

Funding for Community Center upgrades is OK’d

The Plymouth Cultural Center is a step closer to more than $400,000 in renovations and improvements as part of a federal funding program.

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance Project at the Plymouth Cultural Center will include updating of the four main public restrooms at the city facility to ensure full ADA compliance, according to a statement from State Rep. Haley Stevens who secured nearly $18 million for projects in the 11th District.

According to the grant documents, The Plymouth Cultural Center is the only voting location in the city and accommodates all four precincts. In addition, the building hosts multiple senior citizen classes, events and health clinics. 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

State settles lawsuit against Arbor Hills landfill

Northville Township Supervisor Mark Abbo
and State Attorney General Dana Nessel welcome the
results of the state lawsuit against Arbor Hills settled last week.
Area residents can expect the air in Northville Township to improve soon. 

Michigan Attorney General Nessel and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) representatives met with Northville Township officials last week to explain that a settlement had been reached with Arbor Hills landfill in Salem Township.  The settlement came in response to complaints raised in a lawsuit filed by Nessel on behalf of EGLE in October of 2020. Under the terms of the consent judgment, landfill owners have agreed to make 17 key improvements including using a drone to measure surface emissions to lower the odor-emission problems that have plagued nearby residents for years. 

Local communities united in fight against water debt

Great Lakes Water Authority facilities in Detroit.
During a meeting in the City of Wayne last week, members of the Conference of Western Wayne approved a formal resolution demanding that their respective communities be held harmless for nearly $60 million in unpaid water bills by Highland Park.

Sixteen of 18 local communities have unanimously agreed to a formal protest of a both a recently proposed water and sewer rate increase from the Great Lakes Water Authority and the payments toward the unpaid Highland Park debt that have been ongoing since 2017. Affected communities would include, among others, the cities of Belleville; Inkster; Northville; Plymouth; Romulus; Wayne and Westland along with the townships of Canton; Northville; Plymouth and Sumpter. Representatives from the cities of Northville and Westland were absent from the meeting.

Best friends

Meijer employees, vaccine clinic help fund Romulus Animal Shelter

The recent vaccination and health clinic for pets draws smiles
from pet owners at the reduced rates offered for
professional veterinary care at the Romulus Animal Clinic.
Photos by Roger Kadau
While the residents of the Romulus Animal Shelter usually don't compete for anything other than Milk-Bones and dog treats, they were big winners in a recent contest at the Belleville Meijer store.

The local store was given $10,000 from corporate headquarters to donate to local organizations and Belleville store employees were asked to choose  facilities to receive a portion of the gift. While there were several ideas for the funds, former Romulus Councilman Barry Baumann, who works part time at the store, suggested $5,000 for the Romulus Animal Shelter. Baumann, who is retired, said he simply asked his fellow employees to vote for the city shelter and they did the rest. 

Leisure Services wins state programming honor

Canton Township Leisure Services has been recognized by mParks, formerly the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association, with a 2021-2022 Innovative Programming Award, which was presented March 9, at the mParks annual Conference and Trade Show in Traverse City. 

mParks, a statewide professional association for the Michigan parks and recreation industry, honored Canton Leisure Services with special recognition of the Canton Pride OUTside and Diwali Festival of Lights community events. These award-winning Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs both debuted in 2021 and were well received within the Canton Community, officials said. The Canton Pride OUTside event was designed to increase awareness, build community, and support the LGBTQ+ community.

25-year Canton police veteran retires

Ofc. Andrew Curry
Canton Township Police Ofc. Andrew Curry has resigned after 25-years on the job.

Curry began his career in Canton as a road patrol officer in March, 1997. His initial duties included responding to calls for service, initiating contact with individuals and participating in the department community policing and engagement practices. In addition to his patrol duties, Curry was also a long-standing instructor of the TEAM (Teaching Education and Mentoring) program in Canton elementary and middle schools. As an instructor he provided age-appropriate curriculum to thousands of students, promoting responsible citizenship and positive character traits. 

Indoor Farmers Markets planned at Summit on the Park

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;

$2.5 million senior center grant OK’d by House

The City of Inkster may soon receive a $2.5 million federal grant for the construction of a Senior Wellness Center in the community.

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-13th District) revealed the possible grant to Inkster as part of $15.3 million which may soon be awarded to organizations, nonprofits, and municipalities in her district. The funding was approved by the House, but still needs Senate approval before it can be officially released.  

The proposed senior wellness center in Inkster was initially proposed in early 2006 when an advocacy group made up of citizens and Inkster Senior Services representatives began working with Inkster administration to examine the possibility of establishing a Senior Center. 

Lee’s Chicken winging way to Michigan Avenue site

Wayne officials recently announced that two new businesses are expected to be winging their way into the city soon.

Wing Stop representatives have announced that a new location of the restaurant will open in the Rite Aid Plaza on Michigan Avenue and Wayne Road. Currently, the closest Wing Stop is on Ford Road in Canton near Ford Road and Lotz, officials said.

In addition, Lee's Chicken is expected to renovate and open in the former Brownie's Diner on Michigan Avenue near downtown Wayne. The closest current location for the popular facility is on Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth.

Ripple Effect, Rotary Club sponsoring city-wide clean up

Wayne Ripple Effect is partnering with the Rotary Club of Wayne to conduct a city-wide cleanup of the roads and paths bordering the Rouge River.

The Rotary Club of Wayne is celebrating its 100-year anniversary by performing one service project per month. The project this month is the Annual Downtown Wayne Clean-Up set for 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, April 23.

A morning snack bar will be provided and pizza will be served to volunteers at noon.

Westland offering grant funding for neighborhood projects

Community project organizers in Westland have until April 1 to apply for grant money to help fund their project.

The Neighborhood Grant Program was established by the Westland City Council to encourage residents to work collaboratively to foster a sense of community and actively participate in making improvements to their neighborhoods. 

Coin sales will help fund Police Honor Guard appearance in capital

Challenge Coins to help fund the appearance of the Westland Police Honor Guard during National Police Week in Washington D.C. are still available.

Many teams of highly dedicated law enforcement officers attend police week to represent organizations from across the United States and Canada. The teams meet in the national capital every year for National Police Week, where peace officers are honored for their dedicated service.  May 15 is designated as National Peace Officers' Memorial Day when the nation honors those officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. This event is the tribute that these teams give to honor fallen officers and their families.

Marijuana business is OK’d

Members of the Westland Planning Commission approved the plans for a marijuana retail business and cultivation center during the March 2 meeting.

The business will be a new construction at 37501 and 36505 Cherry Hill Road and will require the demolition of a house currently on the property. Plans submitted include a 6,080-square-foot retail center called Kinship and a separate 21,313-square-foot cultivation center at the site.

Her Honor

As Westland continues to celebrate Women's History Month, the achievements of the only individual in the history of the city to serve and lead all three branches of the local governing bodies, legislative, executive, and judicial, has been honored by the municipality. Current 18th District Court Judge Sandra Ference Cicirelli was first elected to Westland City Council in 1990, where she served as council president for 6 years. She was elected as Westland mayor in 2002 and then elected as 18th District judge in 2007, where she continues to serve the community. In addition to her prestigious elected offices, Cicirelli has supported her hometown of more than 40 years with her participation in Relay For Life of Westland-Wayne, MI, the Westland Youth Assistance Program, the Westland Chamber of Commerce, the Westland Area Jaycees, the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, the Westland Goodfellows and many others. 

Plymouth library offers multi-lingual storytime for children

Plymouth District Library has introduced a new multi-lingual storytime resource called LOTE Online for Kids.  

LOTE is a database of digital books in world languages, created for children to enjoy books and learn languages through storytelling, a library spokesperson said.  

The platform provides more than 1400 digital books in 45 languages, together with English translations.  New books and languages are released each month, she said.  

LOTE Online can be accessed through the Research and Learn or Youth tabs on the library website at and is available to Plymouth District Library cardholders.  Anyone who lives or works in Plymouth, or goes to school in the Plymouth-Canton Community School district is eligible for a card.

Balanced budget requires decisions by trustees

Sumpter Township Finance Director Scott Holtz presented an overview of the 2022-2023 budget to members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees during a March 8 public hearing.

Holtz told the board that while the budget is balanced, he needed direction from them regarding two issues.

The first “item of concern” he addressed was the projected spending of the entire $2.5 million in royalty funds as part of the budget. 

“This is the first time we are spending everything we are taking in on royalties and it raises questioned regarding funding going forward,” he said.

Eggstravaganza returns to Northville Maybury Farm

Spring will bring Eggstrava-ganza back to Maybury Farm April 9.

Following a 2-year hiatus, the popular egg hunt for children ages 2 to 10 years old will return to the farm this year. Eggstravaganza will feature egg hunts for children in three different age groups: 2 to 3-year-olds can participate in multiple hunts between 10 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.; egg hunts for 4 to 6-year-olds will take place at  11 a.m. and egg hunts for 7 to 10-year-olds are set for 11:45 a.m.  Each group will have their own egg hunt area and children in the two older groups will be tasked with finding a specific number of eggs. Children will redeem their eggs for a prize bag filled with candy and treats from supporters in the community. 

State of Community luncheon is planned

The annual State of the Community Luncheon hosted by the Northville Chamber of Commerce is planned for 11:45 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. April 13 at the Schoolcraft College VisTaTech Center.

The event will also honor the 2022 Citizen of the Year, officials said.

Scheduled speakers include Superintendent of Northville Public Schools Mary Kay Gallagher, Northville Township Supervisor Mark Abbo and City of Northville Mayor Brian Turnbull.

The deadline for registration for the event is April 4. Tickets are priced at $45 each for chamber of commerce members and $50 each for non-members. Registration and networking will begin at 11:30 a.m. and the buffet luncheon and program will begin at 11:45 a.m., organizers said.

Nominations for the John Genitti Citizen of the Year Award are still being accepted. The Northville chamber annually celebrates the dedication and commitment of community members who donate their time, energy, and talent to make Northville a special place to live, work and play. In 2014, the award was designated the "John Genitti Citizen of the Year Award", in honor of local resident and businessman John Genitti. The Citizen of the Year receives a place of honor in the 2022 Independence Day Parade, the Heritage Festival Parade, and the Holiday Lighted Parade.

Nominees for the award must be involved in actively supporting (through time, talent, or financial support) an organization that improves the Northville community; live or work in the Northville community; show concern for community, environment, and family and be a role model for community youth and citizens. 

A brief outline of the reasons a nominee qualifies for the award is required with the nomination. The deadline to nominate a candidate for the award is March 28.

To register for the luncheon visit: https://www.northville. org/events/details/state-of-the-community-luncheon-04-13-2022-2336. 

The direct link to nominate a candidate for Citizens of the Year is: https://www.northville. org/ form/view/25784.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Aerostar to invest $8.6 million in Romulus plant

Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined officials from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) last week to announce that Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining provider Aerostar Manufacturing is expanding operations in the city of Romulus, where it will create up to 62 jobs.

 The expansion is expected to generate a total capital investment of $8.6 million, supported by a $200,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Romulus was chosen for the project over competing sites in Georgia and Indiana, the governor said. 

Sweet stuff

Maple Syrup Tours will begin at Maybury Farm

A sweet rite of spring is under way at Maybury Farm in Northville.

The annual Maple Syrup Tours at the farm demonstrate the gathering of sap from the trees and the processing of maple syrup in hands-on experiences. As an added attraction to the authenticity of the process, tours begin 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.

Ford Road boulevard plans are discussed in Canton

Artist's rendering of the proposed panels on Ford Road.
A whole new look is planned for a section of Ford Road in Canton Township.

Michigan Department of Transportation Project Manager Adam Penzenstadler revealed plans for the 1.6 section of the road from I-275 to Sheldon Road during a recent township board of trustees study session.

While Penzenstadler stressed that the main objective of revamping the boulevard was safety and the reduction of vehicle crashes in the area, OHM representative Ben Weaver described the plans as an effort to create a destination rather than just a pass-through for drivers.

Court hearing set tomorrow for son accused of killing father

Hayden Jagst
The teen son of a Canton Township police officer is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow on charges he shot and killed his father.

Hayden Jagst, 18, of Brighton, is charged with open murder, two counts of felony firearm, carrying with unlawful intent, and carrying a concealed weapon in connection with the fatal shooting of his farther on June 21, 2021. Edward Jagst, 48, a Canton Township Police officer was pronounced dead at the scene when police officers were called to the home on Woodlake Drive in Brighton by the defendant's sister. She identified her brother as the shooter to police and told officers that he had threatened to kill himself before he fled the home.

Year of the Tiger to be celebrated

Canton Township will celebrate the Year of the Tiger and Chinese history and culture through music, song and dance at the Village Theater and Cherry Hill on March 26.

Audience members of all ages will enjoy this evening of unique performances presented by: J.Z. Dance Studio; Ann Hua & Canton Chinese Schools; Ann Arbor Senior Group; Yangtze Melody Group; Inner Action Dance School; Taiji Stream; Blooming Blossoms Dance Group; Qing Qing Guzheng; MNCCS (Michigan New Century Chinese School); Westland Senior Apartment Dancing Team and Ann Arbor Jade Dance Studio.  

$12,000 lost by victim of phone scam

Do not pass go, do not send $200, there is no warrant out for your arrest.

That's the message from Canton Township police after a local woman was duped out of $12,000 by a phone scammer threatening her with arrest. The victim told police that the caller told her there was a warrant out for her arrest and that she needed to post a bond or be apprehended by police. 

Public hearing about Downs project is set

A rendering from the Downs preliminary site plan of the corner
of Cady and Griswold. Concepts by Presley Architect/M Architects.
Members of the Northville Planning Commission have scheduled a public hearing regarding the site plan for the Northville Downs project for 6 p.m. next Tuesday, March 15. Commissioners stated that there would be more sessions for public discussion as the project moves forward.

The public hearing will take place at the Northville Community Center and as a large audience is expected, will be a hybrid meeting with online guests also able to voice comments. Letters and emails can be sent to the Planning Commission via City Clerk Dianne Massa prior to the meeting to be included in public comments. While the commissioners won't express their opinions on comments or debate the merits of them, they will consider the public comments as they review the site plan and discuss the project with the developer, Hunter Pasteur Northville, and associates at future meetings, according to a city spokesman.

Hot stuff

The winner of the heated Chili in the Ville Cook Off in downtown Northville last week was the Northville Township Fire Department. The secret recipe prepared by the firefighters won out over all competitors to take home year-long bragging rights, which will be especially painful for rival cooks from the Northville City Fire Department who also vied for the honor.  Browndog Barlor & Restaurant was the winner among professional entries including; The Lava Grill; Lucy & The Wolf; Northville Sports Den; Sweet Brew n' Spice; Toria and the Tuscan Café. The afternoon event sponsored by the Downtown Development Authority also included ice sculptures sponsored by Dancing Eye Gallery; Center Street Grille; KB Jewelers; Orin Jewelers and Table 5.

Young artists exhibit is planned

The Northville Art House will present the sixth annual Young Artist Juried Art Fair, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, March 19 at Mill Race Village, 215 Griswold St, Northville.

More than 30 young artists, ranging in grades 2 - 12, will showcase their diverse artistic talents and be selling their original artwork during this one-day indoor fair. Featured work will include acrylic, watercolor, illustrations, jewelry, mixed media, fiber art, photography and much more.  A family friendly community activity is planned in the school building where guests create their own artwork to be transformed into a full-size flag raised at the Northville Art House.

Old Glory

Clerk’s office dedicates 48-star flag to Sumpter Township Hall

The 62-year-old American flag is now
displayed at Sumpter Township Hall.
There is a piece of history now on display at Sumpter Township Hall.

A 62-year-old American flag is now encased in a display frame and mounted carefully on the wall of the building after spending decades stuffed in a plastic bag in a township storage area. The 48-star flag was discovered by Dawn Hadyniak of Township Clerk Esther Hurst's office in the storage garage almost four years ago. 

Hadyniak, who suspected the historic significance of the flag, safeguarded it until time permitted research into the provenance of the American symbol. In 2021, during the pandemic, Hadyniak and others discovered that flags with 48 stars served as the official banner of the country from July 4, 1912 until July 3, 1959 when they were retired and replaced with the 50-star flags flown today. The 48 stars represented the American states and with the inclusion of Hawaii and Alaska, a new design incorporated 50 stars to represent all 50 states.

School consultant sets first public ‘listening session’

During the Feb. 28 meeting of the Romulus City Council, Mayor Robert McCraight introduced Dr. Kari Krantz and explained that she was working as a consultant during the Romulus District Schools search for a new superintendent.

Krantz, of KSK Consulting, told the council members that she was a third-party consultant working with the school district to evaluate the needs of the community. She said she would be working in the city during the next few weeks spending half a day in each elementary school.

“I am impressed with the warmth of the community,” she told the members of the council.

Jones loses drivers license, takes radio host job

Rep. Jewell Jones
State Rep. Jewell Jones from Inkster will have his drivers license suspended for six months as part of his sentencing on multiple charges following a drunk driving arrest last April.

In a social media post this week, Jones claims he was notified by mail of the suspension as part of his plea deal on felony and misdemeanor charges including resisting and obstructing police, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, possessing a weapon while intoxicated, reckless driving, and escape of lawful custody. As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Jones was allowed to take advantage of a youth sentencing program called the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which will expunge the felony convictions from his record if he successfully completes the program.

Volunteers are sought for annual city clean-up day

Wayne Ripple Effect is partnering with the Rotary Club of Wayne to conduct a city-wide cleanup of the roads and paths bordering the Rouge River.

The Rotary Club of Wayne is celebrating its 100-year anniversary by performing one service project per month. The project this month is the Annual Downtown Wayne Clean-Up set for 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, April 23.

A morning snack bar will be provided and pizza will be served to volunteers at noon.

Volunteers are needed for the event, a spokesperson noted. Volunteers are encouraged to wear old clothes, masks, and bring gloves.

First among many

As part of national Women's History Month, Westland officials recently paid tribute to the late Justine Barns. Mrs. Barns, who started her political career as a PTA member, was elected as a Michigan State House Representative after careers on the Westland City Council and multiple volunteer roles in the community. Mrs. Barns was a trailblazer and a “remarkable State Representative, Councilwoman, philanthropist, leader and friend. Our community is a better place because of her countless contributions,” officials said. Mrs. Barns served on the original Charter Committee when Nankin Township was converted to the City of Westland. She dedicated many years of service to the city before going on to serve in the House of Representatives and after spending 12 years at the State Capitol, returned to serve another four years on Westland City Council before her retirement. “With a large list of firsts, Westland is proud to call her our “First” Westland councilmember on the “First' city council as well as the “First” woman president to serve the council. She was also memorialized with the naming of the Jefferson Barns Community Vitality Center in the community she loved.” March is designated as Women's History Month, set aside to honor women's contributions in American history. 

Reward offered in search for suspect in fatal shootings

Christopher Greer
Crime Stoppers of Michigan is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of a man suspected of fatally shooting two women in the City of Wayne on Jan. 5.

Sisters Dominique Parchmon, 30, and Shyanna Hall, 18, were killed at about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5 in an apartment on the 3300 block of Niagara Street in Wayne. The suspect in the shooting deaths was identified as 32-year-old Christopher Greer, a former long-time boyfriend of Parchmon.  

Before her death at a nearby hospital, Hall identified Greer as the man who shot her and her sister. She told police that an argument between Parchmon and Greer escalated into the shooting. Parchmon died at the scene, according to police reports.

St. John’s expansion approved

Members of the Plymouth Township Planning Commission unanimously recommended massive expansion plans at The Inn at St. Johns. The plans  include the addition of a new 14,000 square-foot ballroom, a ceremony pavilion and an expansion of the golf pro shop. The plans will now to the members of the township board of trustees for consideration. 

"The Pulte family's commitment to doing things right, I don't think that's a question," commented Francis Resendes of the Resendes Design Group which has done much of the previous work at the St. John's site. He said the expansion would take about 12-16 months once begun. 

Inspire auditions planned

Inspire Theatre in Westland has scheduled auditions for a performance of Guys and Dolls from 6 until 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, April 11 and 12.

Guys and Dolls is an award-winning classic with a plot featuring New York's most infamous crap game organizer Nathan Detroit.  He challenges notorious gambler Sky Masterson to a bet he's sure he'll win: take mission girl Sarah Brown to dinner in Havana, Cuba.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Canton approves employee wage increases

Members of the Canton Township Board of Trustees approved a wage increase for part-time seasonal employees during their regular meeting last week.

The new wage scale for all current and newly hired part-time positions will become effective April 1 and will increase the minimum wage from $10 to $13 per hour and puts each township employee on a path to $15 per hour, according to a statement from township officials. 

“We're proud to increase our minimum wage to $13 an hour and be putting every employee in Canton Township on a path to $15 an hour,” said Township Supervisor Anne Marie Graham-Hudak. “This wage increase is necessary to not only remain competitive in employee attraction, but also to retain our current part-time staff.

‘Royale’ treatment

Leftovers sweep to win 5th annual city curling tournament

The Leftovers, back row, bottom photo, a last-minute filler
team, took home top honors during the5th Annual
Tournament Royale in Romulus. Photos by Roger Kadau. 
While the Super Bowl may have attracted more publicity, the real sporting event of the year took place in Romulus Feb. 13. 

The 5th Annual Curling Royale tournament in Romulus attracted more than 50 players, many from outside the city, to Mary Ann Banks Park on Sunday. The event, always scheduled for the second Saturday in February, had to be moved to Sunday this year due to the condition of the ice.

March on

First Women’s and Girls’ March set for Heritage Park

Area residents are invited to celebrate Women's History Month with their mothers, grandmothers, daughters, aunts, and nieces during the first Canton Women's and Girls' March, which will take place from 10 a.m. until noon Saturday, March 12 in Heritage Park, located behind the Canton Administration Building.  

Designed for the entire family, the free event will feature speakers, music, activity stations, merchandise, a story trail showcasing powerhouse women throughout history, and a girl power fitness program. 

Township fire department recruiting job candidates

Canton Township officials are currently encouraging qualified applicants to apply for the open position as a firefighter/medic.

The salary range for the position is $51,430 to $85,244 annually. According to officials, a newly-hired employee may be placed above the starting wage up to the third year rate in the wage scale  commensurate with previous firefighting experience with a full-time department.

Duties of a firefighter/medic in the township include the protection of life and property through combating, extinguishing, and preventing fires, and providing emergency medical service (EMS) activities often performed under conditions which require strenuous physical exertion.

Art exhibitors are sought

The Village Theatre at Cherry Hill is now accepting proposals for solo or group exhibitions for the 2023 exhibition season at The Gallery@VT. Both local and regional artists are eligible to apply and all mediums will be considered.  The deadline for submissions is April 29. 

Artists can now apply online for a solo or group exhibition.  Submissions must include: artist's statement; no more than nine high-quality JPEG digital images; list of representative images submitted; document artwork including the artist's name, title, medium, dimensions and completion date of the work and a current resume/biography.

Township amends marijuana growing rules

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved changes to local ordinances governing zoning for the growing of marijuana.

The changes to the local ordinances were recommended to the board of trustees by members of the township planning commission in an effort to reconcile the local ordinances with state regulations, explained Trustee Matt Oddy, who also serves on the planning commission. He explained that the recommendation was “in the spirit of matching the current marijuana licensing with current township zoning.”

The changes will restrict the growing of marijuana in the township for commercial purposes to areas zoned as light industrial.

Call home

Wayne police collect used cell phones for servicemen

Wayne police are collecting used or broken cellular telephones to help those serving in the armed forces stay in contact with their families. The phone collection is a partnership with a non-profit organization called Cell Phones for Soldiers.

Cell Phones for Soldiers representatives sends the broken or used cellular phones to ReCellular which recycles them. 

Welcome to Wayne

Wayne Police Chief Ryan Strong, right, was on hand to welcome new Ofc. Raquel Ogarek to the department during the Feb. 15 meeting of the city council when she took her official oath of service. Ogarek joined the Wayne force after serving for three years with the Westland Police Department where she was also an advisor to the police Explorers program in the city. 

Township employee earns association certification

Dawn Hadyniak, an election specialist in Sumpter Township Clerk Esther Hurst's office, was recently awarded the Michigan Professional Municipal Clerk designation by the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks.

Hadyniak, who has been with the township for 5 years, began studying for the certification in 2018, but the COVID pandemic extended the usual 3-year program for all candidates.  She earned her official designation from the state association last year after completing all the requirements including 120 hours of educational programming. She must now continue to obtain education points to maintain her certification.  

SKYWARN training is set

Training sessions for the SKYWARN volunteer severe weather spotter program have been scheduled for 6 p.m. April 6 at Sumpter Township Hall, noted Assistant Supervisor/Trustee Tim Rush during a recent meeting.

Sumpter Township is certified under the SKYWARN criteria and the training sessions are open to the public. He explained that this year, Huron Township officials have inquired about joining Sumpter training in an effort to qualify for SKYWARN certification for early warning of weather-related emergencies. 

There is no cost for the training.

Caribbean concerts planned by Philharmonic

Josanne Francis is an internationally
known steelpan performer and music educator.
It may still be winter in Michigan but music lovers everywhere can enjoy a warm evening of Caribbean sounds on Friday, March 11 as the Michigan Philharmonic presents a tropical adventure featuring the pulsating rhythms of dynamic steelpan soloist Josanne Francis. 

Led by Conductor and Music Director Nan Washburn, now in her 23rd season, the orchestra will perform a number of pieces featuring Francis and the steelpan, including Jan Bach's unique “Concerto for Steelpan and Orchestra.”  

Sure to be a vibrant and joyous evening, this concert mixes all of the cultural sounds of Latin America and the Caribbean, including sultry themes galore, from Louis Moreau Gottschalk's “Symphony No. 1: A Night in the Tropics” to Morton Gould's “Tropical.” Other pieces include George Gershwin's “Cuban Overture” and Arturo Márquez's “Conga del Fuego Nuevo.” 

Whipple Award nominations 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.

Warm results

Ice Festival helps city business

According to survey results, the 40th Annual Ice Festival in Plymouth was a great success.

The survey, sent out to local merchants and businesses by the Downtown Development Authority, asked local business owners and operators to answer five questions about the festival which took place throughout the downtown area Feb. 11 through 13.

According to the survey, nearly 65 percent of the respondents saw an in crease in foot traffic in their business during the event this year, while 17.65 did not and 17.65 percent said the foot traffic was about the same.

Bond funding to save school district $140,000

A bond refunding by the Northville Public Schools is expected to save district taxpayers $140,000 in interest costs during the next two years.

In a prepared announcement, district officials said the savings will be generated by selling bonds at a low interest rate and using the proceeds to pay down bonds with a higher interest rate. “The savings are net of all bond issuance costs and directly benefit district taxpayers,” the statement noted. 

Superintendent of Northville Schools Mary K. Gallagher explained the decision to pursue this transaction was financial.

Task force chooses new location for Farmers Market

The Northville Farmers Market is shopping for a new location.  

The proposed development of the Northville Downs property will necessitate the move of the market from the current Seven Mile Road and Center Street location by 2024. Representatives from Hunter Pasteur Northville, LLC, developer of the Downs property said plans for the development will force the market to move.

10 charging stations for electric vehicles now available

The last of 10 new EV charging stations were installed in downtown Northville recently as part of a contract between the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and Red E Charging, LLC, of Detroit. 

Four level 2 charging stations are located at the lower level of the Cady Street parking deck and at the Northville Square parking lot near the parking deck ramp, and two units have replaced those installed in 2018 at the surface parking lot at Wing and Main. 

“We're really excited to have these new charging stations,” said Lori Ward, DDA director. “As part of the city's enhanced EV infrastructure, they will fill a growing need in the region to be able to charge electric vehicles faster.”

Grand reopening

City officials and members of the community helped celebrate the reopening of a beloved business in Romulus last month. Romulus Flowers & Gifts celebrated the business reopening Feb. 9 following a devastating fire in an adjacent building which forced the business to close last August. The remodeled  shop includes an upgraded showroom floor and new flooring, ceiling tiles, insulation and HVAC system at the Merriman Road location. 

Marijuana information meeting is scheduled

The City of Inkster will host a free cannabis workshop and conference on Saturday.

The workshop, hosted by attorney Soujoud Hamade and the City of Inkster, is for educational purposes only and will not offer legal advice and will not create an attorney-client relationship, officials said.

Hamade is the Founder of HNH Law Group, a Dearborn Heights law firm with a focus on assisting businesses, start-ups, and non-profits, ranging from their formation to their long-term compliance needs and strategic planning. The firm specializes in cannabis law, business law, property and real estate law, contract law, and laws affecting nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations.

Boots vs.Badges

The City of Westland recently hosted an American Red Cross Blood Drive during which officials hoped to collect 24 units of desperately needed blood donations. Currently, according to officials, there is a severe blood crisis in the state and across the country due to the COVID pandemic and multiple weather disasters. The annual Boots vs. Badges competition in Westland resulted in the collection of 32 units of blood which will help 96 patients in need. This year, Westland Fire and Rescue personnel put the flame out on the Westland Police Department 2-year hot streak of recruiting the most donors. Representatives of each department were on hand recently to accept the thanks of the community.

Inkster teen charged with shooting at car

Kallen Larenz Careathers
An Inkster man is facing multiple counts, including fleeing and eluding officers, malicious destruction of police property and reckless driving.

Kallen Larenz Careathers, 19, was arrested Feb. 15 by Southfield police in connection with the shooting that took place in Detroit.  

A caller reported to Southfield police around 11:20 a.m. that they had just been shot at in Detroit. The caller, who had a 1-month-old infant in their vehicle, said they were following the suspect car on the freeway near the Southfield freeway. Police reports indicate that officers responded immediately and attempted to stop the suspect vehicle, driven by the defendant. 

Patient stabs employee at Reuther psychiatric facility

Michigan State Police were called to the Walter Reuther Psychiatric Hospital on Palmer Road in Westland last week in response to the stabbing of an employee by a patient.

Troopers were called to the facility at 1:55 p.m. Feb. 8, according to police reports of the incident. 

The patient allegedly retrieved a piece of metal from the ceiling in his room and hid it in the waistband of his pants.