Thursday, April 28, 2022

Candidates seek votes in new state districts

Area voters will find themselves voting in different districts next year with the shift in state House and Senate boundaries.

Voters in the same city may see different candidates on the November ballot for state offices, depending on their location in the changing districts. While Wayne and Westland were in the same district for decades, that has now changed and the two cities have been reassigned into separate congressional districts. Westland has been divided into both the 25th and 26th district.

That 25th District also includes the City of Wayne along with a portion of Canton Township. 


Art program provides support for disabled

Art students are taking a STEP forward as part of a Wayne County-based nonprofit program.

Services to Enhance Potential, or STEP, has developed and launched a new arts program for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in southeast Michigan. STEP provides support services for people with disabilities and mental health needs.

While the organization is largely known for employment services - linking people with employers, providing job training services, and more - the art program is new at STEP.  Dubbed the Progressive Art Studio Collective, or PASC, the arts program aims to not only provide individuals with a creative outlet but a future in the art world, too.

Road work lawn damage riles Romulus residents

Residential lawns damaged or destroyed by road construction in Romulus will be repaired by the contractor as the work is completed.

Roberto Scappaticci, director of the Romulus Department of Public Works, told members of the city council that he was well aware of the number of complaints from residents during the ongoing roadwork in the city. He appeared at the April 11 meeting to answer any questions councilmembers might have regarding Phase III of the upcoming reconstruction of Beverly Road in the city. 

Feet on the Street

Recycling counselors to inspect trash containers throughout city

Westland residents may be surprised to see inspectors taking a look in their trash bins and refuse containers beginning next month.

In an effort to help residents recycle more effectively, the city has joined the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Recycling Partnership, a nonprofit organization that works with communities, companies, and governments to transform recycling. The partnership among nearly 100 Michigan communities is an effort to help residents recycle more effectively. 

On a mission

Lighthouse Home Mission in Westland will host the annual yard sale from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily beginning tomorrow and continuing through Saturday, May 7. All proceeds from the sale of gently used furniture, small and large appliances, household décor, collectibles, electronics, sporting goods, kitchen gadgets, movies, bathroom accessories, lamps, rugs,  housewares and other items go to the mission pantry to purchase food for those in need. Donations to the sale are still being accepted.

Career move

Westland resident Don Nicholson was recently appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the Committee on the Purchase of Goods and Services from Community Rehabilitation Organizations. Nicholson, owner of Don Nicholson Enterprises, LLC,  publishes, prints, and creates graphic design materials for public and community events. Nicholson will represent members at large for a term beginning April 1 and expiring March 31, 2024.

City seeking commission, committee candidates

Appointments and reappointments to the Romulus Brownfield Redevelopment Authority prompted a request for more public involvement during the April 11 meeting of the city council members.

Mayor Robert McCraight announced his choices for appointments and re-appointments to the authority which meets on an as-needed basis and is advisory. He requested council members approve the appointments of Michael Hoffman, Emory Long and Yolana Brown Ali to the volunteer group and re-appoint Dean Trudeau and Randy Moffet to the authority with all terms to expire July 13 of 2025. 

Library board OK’s language for millage vote Aug. 2

Voters in the Belleville, Van Buren and Sumpter communities will be asked to replace an expired library operating millage on the Aug. 2 primary ballot.

Members of the library board approved the language for the ballot question during a meeting earlier this month. The requested 0.6864 millage will replace the operating tax which expired last year, officials said.  Board members opted to place the millage question on the primary ballot this year rather than call for a special election when the levy expired during the pandemic.  

New voter cards to be issued

Sumpter Township Clerk Esther Hurst will be mailing new voter identification cards to registered voters before the upcoming Aug. 2 election.

Hurst explained to the board of trustees and audience members at the April 12 meeting that the new state redistricting map eliminated Precinct 2 in the township and that polling places for some voters would change.

Candidates file for House seat

Van Buren Township Trustee Reggie Miller has announced her candidacy for the new 31st State House District covering the communities of Van Buren Township, Belleville, sections of Romulus, Sumpter Township, Exeter Township, Raisinville Township, Augusta Township, Dundee Township, Milan, Macon Township, and York Township.

She will face fellow Democrat Glenn R. Morrison, Jr., also of Van Buren Township, during the Aug. 2 primary election. Republican candidates on the primary ballot will be Dale Biniecki of Monroe and Holli Vallade of Milan   

Familiar names to appear on August primary ballot

Voters in Canton Township, Plymouth and Northville will find some familiar names on the Aug. 2 primary ballot which will reduce the number of candidates in the November election.

In the 6th District which includes Plymouth Township, the City of Plymouth, Canton Township and areas south and west including all of Washtenaw County, Republicans Whittney Williams of Canton and Hima Kolanagireddy of Northville will be hoping to win voters' favor. Democrats on the primary ballot for the congressional term in Washington D.C. will be incumbent Debbie Dingell of Ann Arbor and Shanelle Jackson of Detroit. 

School district negotiates technology building purchase

A $2 to $3 million savings has prompted members of the Plymouth Canton Community Schools Board of Education to re-consider budgeted construction of a technology building.

The construction of a $6.9 million building to house the information technology and maintenance departments was one of the projects included in the 2020 bond plan. The current economy and construction supply chain issues have prompted the board members to consider the purchase of a 37,000-square-foot building in Plymouth Township at a price of $3.6 million to house the two departments. The purchase could generate hefty savings, school officials said.

Canton man is convicted in brutal saw assault on wife, daughter

The Canton Township man accused of attacking his wife with a large circular saw and harming his young daughter has been found guilty of assault with intent to murder, torture and child abuse charges.

Third Circuit Court Judge Paul Cusick ruled against Oswald Tallent, 48, during a bench trial last week, finding him guilty of the charges. Defense attorneys claimed that Tallent was legally insane at the time of the March 30, 2021 attack in the driveway of the Canton family home.

Residents urged to complete road closure survey

The City of Northville and members of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) are requesting public opinion on whether to reopen two downtown streets - block-long sections of Main and North Center - to vehicular traffic. The two streets have been closed from North Center to Hutton and from Main to Dunlap, respectively, since June 2020. 

Initially, the streets were closed due to on-and-off pandemic restrictions that limited the number of people allowed inside businesses - both retailers and restaurants. The closed streets resulted in a greater surface area for social distancing and downtown restaurants and retailers were permitted to expand their outdoor dining and retail presence to help maintain sales during a difficult time. The street closures were well received by most business owners, customers and residents, DDA officials said. 

‘Gala’ event to help fund New Hope Center for Grief

The Angels of Hope Charity Gala benefiting New Hope Center for Grief Support is planned for 6 p.m. May 20, at St. Mary's Cultural Center, 18100 Merriman Road in Livonia. 

The event is an effort to generate funding for New Hope and continue to serve the mission of bringing hope, healing, and new beginnings to children, families, and adults impacted by the death of a loved one. All New Hope programming and support groups are free of charge and open to all grievers. New Hope is a 501 (c3) nonprofit organization.

Philharmonic Youth Orchestra to present Spring Concert

Nearly 100 musicians from the Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) will take to the stage on Tuesday, May 3 at the Wilcox Theater at the Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex (PARC). 

The annual MPYO Spring Concert will begin at 7 p.m. and feature five youth ensembles: Strings, made up of elementary school string players; Sinfonia, a middle school strings group; Flute Choir; Wind Ensemble and the Youth Symphony, a full orchestra of mainly high school musicians. 

Council considering new 8 mill property tax levy

Wayne residents could see an extra $200 to $300 on their tax bills next year if language for a new levy is authorized by members of the city council and then approved by voters in November.

The 8 mills proposed for five years would fund the police and fire department retirement plans. Wayne has been in a deficit position for contributions to the retirement plan for several years and was ordered by the court to levy 13.13999 mills on the city winter tax collection. The court order came after the Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan (MERS) sued the city for the arrearage in contributions.

Police seeking slaying suspect

Troopers with the Michigan State Police are currently investigating the homicide of a young woman after her body was found in an Inkster apartment with apparent gunshot wounds.

State police authorities said detectives are piecing together what happened to the victim, a 23-year-old female, who was discovered around 6:30 p.m. in a residence at Hamlin Place Estates off Hamlin Drive in Inkster on April 20.

The name of the victim was not released and police did not provide any further information regarding the situation.

Candidates for city council seats file for 2-year terms

Wayne voters will be asked to choose city council members from three wards in the city during the November election.

Each of the terms is for two years ending in 2024 when all seven city elected positions will be on the ballot. Voters opted to terminate the current ward system during the last election, prompting the two-year ward terms on the ballot this year. 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Racist video prompts swift school district action

Social media posts by at least one Plymouth-Canton district student include a racially biased video apparently created by the teen. The video shows a white student threatening to shoot and lynch black classmates and was posted to various social media sites in early March.

While the racist video was created and posted outside of school, the negative impact was felt by other students, staff members and families, explained Superintendent of Plymouth-Canton Community Schools Monica Merritt in a letter to families. Merritt said the racial and threatening content of the video disrupts learning in the schools and, “We do not condone or tolerate reprehensible acts of this nature.”

Class act

Community lauds achievements of retiring school superintendent

Northville Mayor Brian Turnbull reads a proclamation that states
April 17, 2022 is Mary Kay Gallagher Day in the City of Northville.
Gallagher started her career at Northville schools in 1985 as the
early childhood program coordinator,became the principal of
Moraine Elementary, was promoted to assistant superintendentand later
 was named to the top job as superintendent of Northville Public Schools. 
There was no question as to the guest of honor at the recent State of the Community meeting in Northville.

During the event, retiring Northville Public Schools Superintendent Mary Kay Gallagher was honored for her 38 years of dedication to education. She was presented with numerous honors, awards and proclamations at the close of the event at the Schoolcraft College Vis Ta Tec Center attended by more than 200 guests. 

 Gallagher was lauded for her decades of service to the school district and to the community. She received the John Genitti Citizen of the Year Award by the Northville Chamber of Commerce, presented by Northville Mayor Bryan Turnbull. She also received the Northville Citizen of the Year award from Northville Township.

Wayne County Commissioner Terry Marecki presented Gallagher with an official county proclamation in gratitude for her service. While State Sen. Dana Polehanki couldn't attend the official presentation, she sent a state proclamation to Gallagher. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, and several other dignitaries and officials were also in attendance to honor Gallagher and praised her success in the district. 

The retiring superintendent expressed her heartfelt thanks to the presenters and the community who attended the event and was further honored with several standing ovations from the crowd.

“To all of you whose lives have crossed my path, you've entered into who I am as a person,” Gallagher said. “I'm blessed to have spent my career and life's work here in Northville.”

Westland city budget includes federal rescue funding

The three-year balanced budget Westland Mayor William R. Wild presented to members of the city council earlier this month includes his proposal for use of $13 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding. A second allocation of $13 million to the city is expected to arrive in May,  officials said.

As part of the budget Wild presented, he included $5 million for general fund support spread over three years as recovery of lost revenue associated with the pandemic; $3.5 million for public safety and public services vehicles and equipment; $1.5 million for affordable housing and senior care through a collaboration with Presbyterian Village of Michigan; $1.25 million for building and property improvements at the police department, golf course and ice arena; $450,000 for Central City Park pond improvements;

Northville Public Schools district names new superintendent

Northville Superintendent of Schools Mary KayGallagher,
Mayor Brian Turnbull and Township Supervisor Mark Abbo speak
to the crowd during the State of the Community event. leaders. 
Members of the Northville Board of Education have selected Dr. R.J. (Ronald) Webber as the new district superintendent of schools.

Board members voted unanimously to offer an employment contract to Webber following final candidate interviews April 12. Four candidates were initially interviewed for the position.

“This board has taken seriously an intense amount of feedback from students, families, instructional and non-instructional staff, building leaders, and central office. We are grateful for the many forms of feedback offered, often with very detailed and heartfelt messaging. 

Final indoor Farmers Market set for Sunday

The Canton Farmers Market will host the final Off-Season Market at the Summit on the Park community recreation center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Sunday, April 24.

 A variety of local food growers and producers have signed on to participate in the Off-Season Farmers Market, 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;

Road Rally will benefit community 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 this 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.

Police body cameras OK’d

The Plymouth Police Department will soon outfit all officers with body-worn cameras, according to a statement from city officials.

While the police department has had in-car video/audio systems for nearly 19 years, the new Bodyworn by Utility platform will link both the in-car and body camera video and audio, officials said. The department reviewed equipment from many manufacturers before choosing Bodyworn by Utility based on several factors, the said.

Composting service under way

Compost/yard waste collection began Monday, April 4 in the City of Plymouth.

Officials reminded residents that all compost must be placed in a brown Kraft lawn refuse bag or a can marked for compost.  Compost can may be marked with an “X” or identified with a “compost” sticker available at the Plymouth Municipal Services office, located at 1231 Goldsmith. Compost includes grass clippings, leaves, branches, and yard debris.  Compost does not include sod, dirt, rocks, dog excrement, or potted plants. 

‘Eggs’cellent adventure

Annual city Easter Egg Hunt draws crowd

The Easter Bunny hopped into downtown Romulus last week for the annual Easter Egg Hunt in the city. The event, organized by the Romulus Parks and Recreation Department and the Downtown Development Authority, took place in the field behind the Romulus Senior Center on April 9. Youngsters searched the field for eggs to be exchanged for prizes. Mayor Robert McCraight was on hand to help organize the age divisions of collectors, along with members of the city council and other officials.  

Hometown Heroes nominations sought by Romulus

Nominations for the City of Romulus' annual Hometown Hero Awards are officially open and residents have until April 30 to submit the name of an individual who goes above and beyond for their community. A celebratory event will be held on May 26 at Romulus High School to recognize the winners. 

Nominees in each category must have lived or worked in Romulus for two years and display community leadership, improve quality of life and demonstrate commitment to the community. Further details and requirements are included in each nomination form. Individuals can be submitted in the following categories: Outstanding Business Sector; Outstanding Educator; Outstanding Good Neighbor; Outstanding Public Service and Outstanding Veteran.

Cloudy tap water presents no health concerns for residents

There is no health concern with residential tap water in Romulus, city officials recently said.

Officials in Romulus recently noted that while some residents have been experiencing “cloudy water” or what appears to be a white look to their freshly poured water, testing has revealed that there is no health concern or problem with the water from the city system. 

Some residents reported the cloudy appearance of tap water to the Department of Public Works (DPW) earlier this month, officials reported.

Trustees reject township administrator's contract

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees unanimously rejected a proposed contract for recently selected township administrator Darwin McClary.

Township attorney Rob Young explained to the board members that he had followed their directives and prepared an employment contract for McClary consistent with the previous employment contracts for other department heads in the township including the police chief, fire chief and finance director. He said the contract he prepared and submitted to McClary for his approval was also consistent with contracts for previous township administrators.

Miracle workers

Forgotten Harvest distribution site provides hams for holiday

Womack Temple on Cherry Street in Inkster is the largest
Forgotten Harvest pantry distribution in the area.
 In addition to the regular distribution last week, clients
received a Dearborn ham to help celebrate the Easter
holiday explained temple Program Director Jai Simon. 
Area residents who arrived for the Forgotten Harvest food distribution in Inkster last Thursday received quite a welcome holiday surprise.

In addition to the usual distribution of food staples at Womack Temple on Cherry Street, each client also received a Dearborn Sausage Co. ham to help with their Easter celebration, along with bottled water from Absopure.

Hundreds of families visit the church weekly for the largest Forgotten Harvest pantry distribution, explained Jai Simon, the program director at the temple. This was the second year the church was able to provide hams, he said, and he is hoping to do it again next year. While last year the church distributed 450 certificates for hams, this year clients received the actual ham, Simon said.

Coming soon

Blues, Brews & BBQ returning in July

Westland officials are already making plans for one of the most anticipated and popular events in the community.

Blues, Brews & Barbecue will return Aug. 5 and Aug. 6, officials said, with live music, fireworks and the drone light show. Top barbecue pitmasters have already signed on for the event, they said, and there will be several craft brews available at the event.  

The event will take place at the Thomas H. Brown Central City Park, and will also feature Country Night on Friday with performances by Corey Dakota, Whiskey Fixx, and Levi Bootcut and The Straight Legs.

Planning commissioners approve marijuana retail shop

Members of the Westland Planning Commission approved the plans for a retail marijuana shop on Inkster Road during their April 6 meeting.

The proposed business will be located at 8475 Inkster Road between Ann Arbor Trail and Joy Road and would include a lot to the south of the address where a vacant building now sits. Plans for the retail facility include a 3,000 square foot building as allowed under current Westland city ordinances.

Checking in

Earlier this month, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib made a special presentation to City of Wayne officials, bringing along a display check for the $550,000 in federal funding she helped secure to be used for upgrades and improvements to the Goudy Park Amphitheater. The federal funds, added to state funds secured by State Sen. Dayna Polehanki and State Rep. Kevin Coleman, brings the project funding to a total of $1,050,000 earmarked for work at the city facility.

Choir hits high note

Members of the combined choirs of Wayne Memorial High School recently attended Michigan School Vocal Music Association Choral Festival for the first time in almost a decade. At the choral festival, students are scored by three judges using a rubric that assesses tone quality, pitch elements, rhythm elements, diction elements, interpretation and presentation. A fourth judge assesses the choir on the singers' ability to sight read new musical examples. A combined score from all four judges gave the Wayne Memorial High School Choir a First Division (I) Excellent Rating.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Westland mayor presents 3-year budget

Mayor William R. Wild presented members of the Westland City Council with a 3-year balanced budget proposal for fiscal years 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25. The 3-year budget proposal preserves a “rainy day” fund balance of approximately $6.7 million. 

Highlights of proposed $72.4 million 2023-23 budget include: An overall taxable value increase of 6.15 percent; $5.5 million for improvements to the major and local roads throughout the city in 25 neighborhoods including 51 major and local roads; $4.7 million for an expansion to the William P. Faust Westland Public Library; $4.38 million for planned water and sewer capital projects in six neighborhoods and 41 roads throughout the 611 miles of water and sewer systems in the city.

Court date

34th District judges to host Community Day

Area residents have been summoned for a court date at the 34th District Court in Romulus.

Judges at the facility have invited the public to "Community Day at the Court" from noon until 5 p.m. Friday, May 6.

Community Day is open to the public, though is targeted at residents of the five communities serviced by the 34th District Court: Belleville, Huron Township, Romulus, Sumpter Township and Van Buren Township. 

Canton welcomes new technology director

Victor Ibegbu
Victor Ibegbu has been named as Canton Township Director of the Information Technology and innovation (ITI) Department. Ibegbu comes to Canton from the Detroit Public Library, where he served as assistant director for Information Systems for the last 10 years.

During Ibegbu's tenure at the Detroit library, he implemented, managed and led in diverse Information Technology initiatives including: cloud migration; establishment of a Digital Asset Management System; introduction of high capacity bandwidth and introduction of rent-to-go technology devices, among others. 

Ibegbu holds a master's degree in library and information science with a concentration in digital librarianship; a bachelor of arts in computer information systems, and an associate degree in computer applications technology. He said he is passionate about technology services for communities, specifically technology utilization as instruments for advancing the goal of service delivery and broader needs of the community. 

American Pickers seeking Michigan ‘treasures’

Mike Wolfe
That large collection of old junk auto parts, accumulation of furniture from great-grandma's basement or other “treasures” might have a chance at TV stardom.

The American Pickers TV show will return to Michigan this spring and producers said episodes of the popular History Channel show will be taped in this area during May.

American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the world of antique “picking” and  show follows skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America's most valuable antiques. The  Pickers are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them, executives noted in a prepared announcement.

Friday Night Concerts in the Park resume

The popular Music in the Air free weekly concert series is set to begin May 27 and continue through Sept. 3 at the Kellogg Park stage in downtown Plymouth, officials from the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) office said.

The ever-popular Friday night outdoor music series for 2022 features a wide variety of entertainment to suit every musical taste, added DDA Director Tony Bruscato.

The concerts are sponsored by the DDA; the Bank of Ann Arbor; the Plymouth Noon Rotary Club and Hines Park Lincoln.

Hip hop

The Easter Bunny made an early appearance recently in Canton Township bringing special gifts to a local neighborhood. Canton Leisure Services in cooperation with St. Thomas a'Becket Catholic Church organized the Easter Bunny Express during which 60 Easter baskets were distributed. The event also included a pizza party featuring music provided by a DJ. In addition, St. Thomas a'Becket Church distributed more than $3,000 in field trip vouchers for area businesses, including: Sky Zone, movie theaters, water parks, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, art lessons, and more. Children were able to have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny, as well as enjoy Easter candy. "These types of special events help strengthen our community while providing a fun and supportive experience for the participating families," said Chelsea Straub, recreation specialist. "Canton Leisure Services' partnership with St. Thomas a'Becket is an indispensable part of the equation which helps us meet an important community need that would be difficult to achieve without their support." 

Ford Road meeting set

Area residents and motorists can voice their opinions regarding the planned installation of a boulevard along Ford Road between Lotz and Sheldon during a public meeting set for 5 until 7 p.m. April 26.

The meeting, hosted by state road officials, will take place at the Summit on the Park in Canton and is an effort to gauge public opinion regarding the plans to change the configuration of both sides of Ford Road along the 2.5 mile section of roadway. Current plans include the elimination of left turns between Interstate 275 and Sheldon Road and install “Michigan left” crossovers.

$2.6 million upgrades planned at city park

A sample graphic of the type to be installed at the new
prehistoric-themed attraction at Tattan Park in Westland.
Westland officials are preparing for the arrival of dinosaurs and alien creatures in the city.

The creatures are part of recently approved renovations and improvements at Tattan Park in the community. Members of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) have approved funding renovations and redesign at two projects to enhance the existing amenities at the park.

Dinosaurs will flourish at the complete rebranding of the popular H20 Zone Splash Pad. The new prehistoric-themed upgrades are being replaced and designed by Rain Drop, based in Ashland, Ohio. The total cost for the splash pad update is $332,636.17.

Inkster councilman will seek state office

Steven Chisholm 
Inkster City Councilman Steven Chisholm will be a candidate for House Representative from the 26th District representing Garden City, Inkster, portions of Romulus and Westland.

Chisholm, 34, is a life-long Inkster resident and served on the Inkster Planning Commission since 2016, the Inkster City Council since 2017, and has worked at the Michigan House of Representatives from 2019 to 2022 for a Democratic State Representative. He is presently a Building Substitute/Intervention-ist where he assists in educating students at Summit Academy Middle School in Romulus. In January 2022, Chisholm filed to run for the term-limited seat and is now formally announcing his candidacy. The district is presently known as House District 11, but after redistricting it will become House District 26.

Scholarship winners

Five young women from Wayne Memorial High School were recently selected as Joyce Ivy Scholars, including Teya Adham, Emily Buison, Emily Lemus, Kyshawn Carr, and Yasmin Munoz-Mejia. The Joyce Ivy Foundation presented scholarships to 78 young women to participate in summer pre-college academic programs at the Foundation partner colleges and universities, including Barnard College, Brown University, Cornell University, Emory University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Smith College, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Chicago and Yale University. Four of the Wayne Memorial students are members of the Upward Bound Program.  Yvette Jonna-Moore and Wayne Memorial alumni Khushi Patel and Morgan Butler were instrumental in helping  the students receive the prestigious honor as they prepared their applications for the scholarship, district officials said.

Nankin Transit reduced-fare vouchers available in Wayne

The City of Wayne is offering vouchers for $1 off the $3 ticket price of a one-way ride ticket on a Nankin Transit bus. 

Nankin Transit is a transportation option for seniors and the disabled who reside in Canton Township, Wayne, Westland, Inkster and Garden City.

Passengers can travel within the five communities and 1 mile outside the communities for  medical and work appointments. 

Sumpter Township to host Red Cross Blood Drive

The American Red Cross is facing a national blood crisis - the worst blood shortage in more than a decade, according to officials. The need for blood to be used in life-saving medical procedures is posing a concerning risk to patient car and subsequently doctors have been forced to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available.

Blood and platelet donations are critically needed to help prevent further delays in vital medical treatments. "While some types of medical care can wait, others can't," said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer of the Red Cross.

New chapter

Renovated library spaces are officially open to public

The Romulus Public Library has officially opened the newly-renovated space to the public.

As part of ongoing efforts to improve library aesthetics and functionality, the Romulus Public Library began major renovations last October. New carpeting was installed throughout the renovated spaces and adult services area, concluding updates to the public computer area, service desk, and meeting room. With renovations complete, library officials recently celebrated the reopening of the renovated spaces to the public.

City accepting nominations for ‘Hometown Hero’

Belleville High School will honor five “Distinguished Graduates” during ceremonies set for 7 p.m. Friday, April 29 in the school auditorium. The program will include the induction of current students into the prestigious National Honor Society. 

Prior to the ceremony, there will be a recognition dinner at 5 p.m. at the Belleville Yacht Club celebrating the induction of Bettina Caldwell, class of 1938; Walter and Joyce Rochowiak, class of 1963; Katherine Weather, class of 1982 and Alan Summer, class of 1968, posthumously. For more information or dinner reservations, call Falisadoll Green (734) 697-9133; Randy Brown (734) 697-1820 or Tom Fielder (734) 740-7464.

Library offering help in naturalization process

The Northville District Library is now offering help to those seeking to become naturalized U.S citizens. 

Appointments are now being scheduled to provide information to anyone who has questions about beginning the naturalization process. The library also has resources available to help individuals prepare for the naturalization process.

The 30-minute appointments are managed and conducted by Adult Services Librarian Samantha Loree. 

Writing contest entries sought

Aspiring writers have only until April 22 to submit their entries into Short on Words- the short story, poetry writing contest celebrating its 10th anniversary- ninth edition. Submissions into the contest are now being accepted from across Michigan and around the country with a new online submission tool.

The competition is calling on aspiring authors of all ages to create unique prose about one of 10 photographs taken by Dr. William Demray, founder of Preservation Dental in Northville.  

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Liberty Fest will return to Canton in June

The Liberty Fest will return to Canton Township June 16, 17 and 18 this year. The annual community event, established in 1991, typically welcomes thousands of individuals each summer, who participate in the largest Canton community celebration during the three-day festival.  

This year, organizers said, the spectacular fireworks display is planned for Friday, June 17, at dusk rather than the traditional Saturday night event. In the event of inclement weather, Liberty Fest fireworks will take place on Saturday, June 18, at dusk, officials added. 

Grant will fund Community Center upgrades

A complete renovation of the original 1972 restrooms in the Plymouth Cultural Center began last month in an effort to bring the facilities into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The federal legislation requires all newly-constructed public facilities to be accessible to all members of the population. 

City administration officials noted, however, that most of the Plymouth city-owned facilities were constructed prior to the enactment of the act, and retrofitting the older “grandfathered” public structures is usually very costly and not achievable within the annual city budget. Recently, however, with the help of State Rep. Matt Koleszar and Congresswoman Haley Stevens, the city  received State of Michigan and federal funding to tackle some of the non-ADA compliant projects. The renovation at the Cultural Center requires rotating the restroom 90 degrees to accommodate all required ADA standards.

Marshmallow Drop events set in Wayne, Westland

The Wayne County Annual Marshmallow Drop draws hundreds of
youngsters from throughout the area who
 gather the sweets to exchange for prizes. 
The Easter Bunny is taking to the sky next week as two popular Marshmallow Drop events return after a 2-year hiatus.

Wayne County and HYPE Athletics in Wayne will each treat children to the traditional Easter fun in separate events on April 15.

The Wayne County event will begin at 11 a.m. at Nankin Mills Park in Westland. Children can gather the marshmallows dropped from a low-flying helicopter to exchange for a prize. There will be three age-appropriate areas for children including one for those 4 and younger, an area for those 5 to 7 years of age and one for children 8 and older.

Westland accepting police candidate applications

The Westland Police Department is now accepting applications to join the force.

The department recently exhausted the most recent police officer eligibility list and the next list of viable candidates for hire is now in the process, officials said.

As part of that process, applicants will be required to take the written portion of their testing through EMPCO ( Applicants must also meet several other requirements before paying for and taking the mandatory written test. Those qualifications include U.S. citizenship and a high school diploma or GED along with a valid drivers license and reaching 21 years of age. Candidates must also be a graduate of a police academy and  MCOLES (Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards) certified, or certifiable at time of hire, or a law enforcement academy attendee at time of application. 

Wayne council election petitions due by April 19

Individuals wishing to be considered for the city council ballot for the Nov. 8 election in Wayne have only until 4 p.m. April 19 to submit their paperwork and nominating petitions to the office of the city clerk at Wayne City Hall.
Council terms in Wards 4, 5 and 6 will expire. While voters agreed to vacate the ward system during the November 2020 election, registered electors in every ward are eligible to vote for every candidate on the ballot. Adoption of a single voting district system is under way and will be finalized during the election in 2024, officials said.
The November election will seat three council members, each with a 2-year term, and the positions will be on the ballot again as 4-year terms in 2024. 

Hero’s welcome

Police honor actions of young lifesaver

Romulus police presented gifts and accolades to
7-year-old Dawon Johnson last week for his actions
in saving his mother's life during a medical emergency.
The newest, and shortest, Romulus police officer has already proven he is enough of a hero to serve alongside the 77-officers in the department.

Dawon Johnson, 7, was officially named as a Junior Police Officer and inducted into the Romulus Police Department last Thursday in a special ceremony at city hall. As members of the police and fire department applauded, Mayor Robert McCraight officially declared March 31 as Dawon Johnson Day in Romulus, in response to the youngster's heroism in helping to save his mother's life recently.

See How They Run at Inspire Theatre

Inspire Theatre will present See How They Run April 8, 9, 10, 15, 22 and 23 at the Westland Center for the Arts.

The play, set in the idyllic English countryside, includes madcap mayhem and mischief as the minister's new actress wife gets a surprise visit from a handsome actor, a former theater co-star. Mistaken identities cause the spinster church lady to believe that her beloved vicar's wife is having an affair which she attempts to expose. Added to the complications are a cockney maid who has seen too many American movies, an escaped German prisoner of war, the visiting Bishop, a novice cleric and four men in clergyman suits.


Romulus police officers attended a Recognition Ceremony last Friday to welcome new members of the department and honor newly-promoted officers. One of the highlights of the event, officials said, was the recognition of Lt. Anthony Norman's 34-year law enforcement career. Norman recently announced his retirement from the department. During his law enforcement career, Norman worked for the Wayne County Sheriff's Department, served as a member of the DEA Task Force, as a K-9 handler, a community policing officer, and a school resource officer.

Trustees review, OK township insurance plan

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees approved the new township liability insurance contract during the March 22 meeting following a detailed presentation by John Johnson of Burnham Flower Insurance.

The annual premium of $118,041 includes multiple provisions for damage and loss of township property along with liability coverage. Johnson explained that as the township has been a member of the Michigan Township Participation Plan or PAR "for quite a few years," there are several benefits and grants available as part of the policy. He explained that the township has received a total of $37,000 as dividend returns and that a return is expected again this year although the amount has not yet been calculated.

B.L.O.C.K. youth programs receive $15,000 donation

The B.L.O.C.K. Youth and Teen Center Lead #LikeAGirl and Transpire Nights programs recently received a $15,000 donation from Masco Corp., a global leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of branded home improvement and building products.

Lead #LikeAGirl is an award-winning program that serves a diverse group of young women between the ages of 11-15 and is designed to change the way that these participants think about what it means to Lead #LikeAGirl. Developed in 2016 by The B.L.O.C.K. Youth & Teen Center, this 9-month program enables participants to challenge themselves through workshops, activities, and conversations that are centered around self-esteem, healthy living and relationships, women in the media, service learning, women who wow and more. Participants who complete the 9-month commitment graduate from the program in front of family and friends, celebrating their new understanding of what it really means to Lead #LikeAGirl.

Assault suspect sought

Canton police are seeking information about a man suspected in the assault of two people at the Michigan Avenue Wal-Mart parking lot Feb. 12. Police provided a surveillance photo of the suspect who is wanted in connection with the assaults which took place at about 12:30 p.m. He is described by police as about 30-years of age, 6-feet tall with a heavy build. He is believed to have been driving a silver SUV at the time of the incidents. Police have asked any individual with information about the identity of the man or his whereabouts to call the Canton Police Department at (734)394-5400 and at the auto attendant press 2, then 1.

Michigan Philharmonic begins matching fund drive

The Michigan Philharmonic is hoping that “April showers bring May dollars” as the annual matching fundraiser is under way through April and May. The orchestra is hoping to match the $20,000 donation of a major donor earlier this year. 

According to Beth Stewart, executive director of the Philharmonic, the campaign is a reminder that “all size donations can make a difference in supporting a cultural jewel like the symphony, based for its entire history in Plymouth but with concerts and programs throughout southeast Michigan.” 

Easter ‘Eggstravaganza’ returns to Maybury Farm

Spring will bring Eggstravaganza back to Maybury Farm this Saturday, 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.  

Legislator sponsors new state auto insurance bill

State Rep. Jewell Jones (D-Inkster), along with fellow members of the Michigan House of Representatives Democratic Caucus introduced a package of bills last week with bipartisan support to address concerns related to transparency and accountability with the state auto no-fault law and auto insurance system.  

“Insurance companies are experiencing record profits while hard-working Michiganders are struggling with rising prices and reduced coverage,” Jones said. “We need an insurance system that works for us, not just insurance companies. My bill would tackle the practice of redlining by banning auto insurance companies from using ZIP codes to charge certain communities, usually those that are Black or brown, higher prices. It's time we fix this and get auto accident survivors the care they need.”  

Whipple Award nominations accepted until April 30

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.

‘Eggcellent’ fun

The Plymouth Community Easter Egg Hunt organized and sponsored by the members of the Plymouth Lions Club is set to begin at 10 a.m. April 16 at the baseball fields at Plymouth Township Park, also known as McClumpha Park. Children ages 1 through 10 are welcome to participate in the fun when Lions Club volunteers hide approximately 9000 eggs, 100 of which will be stuffed with special prizes for the lucky children who find them.