Thursday, June 30, 2022

Township board members appoint new trustee

During a contentious session last week, members of the Plymouth Township Board of Trustees named Jennifer Buckley to fill the vacant term on the board.

The term has been vacant since May 10 when former Trustee Bob Doroshewitz was named as the new township treasurer, replacing Mark Clinton, who resigned his position due to health concerns. Since that time, board members have accepted letters of interest from potential candidates and met to discuss the appointment to Doroshewitz' incomplete term which will expire in 2024.  Three candidates, Buckley, Gail Grieger and Dan Callahan, all Republicans, each were favored by separate members of the board who previously failed to come to a majority vote on a candidate for the appointment.

Independence Day

Annual patriotic parade set to march through downtown Northville

The parade may not start until 10 a.m. July 4, but in Northville, the celebration begins much earlier in the morning as crowds line the streets waiting for the bands, floats and community groups to march past celebrating the national holiday.

The parade, organized by the Northville Chamber of Commerce, will include many of the marchers and floats residents have come to expect including Lady Liberty, the fire trucks and public safety equipment along with many public officials in special vehicles. The tooth fairy will be there, too, along with several other traditional marchers and floats. Chamber Executive Director Doug Wallace who began his new job in February said he was a bit surprised at the popularity and tradition of the event.

Foundry project is awarded Brownfield status

Developers of the former Foundry Flask building were granted brownfield status at a recent meeting of the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority in Northville.

The committee recommendation regarding the property at 456 Cady St. will now go before members of the city council to determine whether the public benefits of a greenway along the Middle Rouge River warrants interest for the developer and use of Tax Increment Financing funds to remediate the property. 

The property is located south of Cady, east of Griswold and west of S. Main, with portions in the Northville Historic District. It formerly housed the American Bell & Foundry Co., Stinson Aircraft, and Stimpson Scale and Manufacturing prior to becoming Foundry Flask. The property was sold by Douglas Brinkman, president of the former Foundry Flask & Equipment Co., to Utah Development, LLC. The representative is Jim Long, a longtime city resident and owner of Long Companies. 

MADD men

Canton Police Ofc. Scott Porter, at left, was recently honored as a nominee for the "2022 Outstanding Officer" award at the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) banquet in East Lansing. The award was based on his efforts in identifying and arresting 38 drunk drivers in Canton in 2021. Ofc. Collin McCammon was honored as a nominee for the "2022 Outstanding Rookie" award for his work with arresting drunk drivers in 2021, 17 total arrests by him from May to December. The Canton Township Police Department was nominated for the "2022 Outstanding Law Enforcement Agency" award with 411 drivers taken off the road in 2021 and  charged with operating under the influence of alcohol/drugs. Every intoxicated driver removed from the road has the potential to save someone's life, police officials said and praised the work of Porter and McCammon along with the other officers on the force.

Safety seminar is set

The Canton Police Department is partnering with Canton Leisure Services to present a Personal Safety for Your Teen and College-Bound Student seminar from 9:30 until 11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 23. This special presentation will take place at the Summit on the Park, 46000 Summit Parkway in Canton. 

This free seminar is open to participants 14 years of age and older. Participants will learn some basic life-skills that will help them make the transition into adulthood, be it in dorm life or as a high school student, officials said. 

First responders score big in charity game

The recent first responders charity basketball game allowed
several players to demonstrate the level of their skill.
Photo courtesy of the Romulus Police Department.
The scoreboard may have indicated their defeat, but the Romulus Police and Fire department players count the latest fundraising effort as a big win.

The public safety personnel, along with a few players from the Romulus High School girls' basketball team, generated $1,200 from a recent charity basketball game to help fund the annual holiday Shop With A Cop program. In addition to the game, the event included a raffle to become one of several city officials for a day, a chance to win a Nintendo Switch and several donated gift baskets.

Opponents of the police and fire teams were players from Royalty Empowerment, a program described on the group website as an effort to encourage youth to excel from poverty and help motivate others to overcome obstacles in their environment.

City arts commission seeking student art entries

Members of the Romulus Arts Council are looking for art for the annual Romulus Pumpkin Festival digital guide. Each year, the first-place student art entry is chosen for the cover of the guide and the second and third place winners and two honorable mentions included in the publication.  The first-place winners also receives $200, the second-place winner is awarded $150 and the third place winner will receive $100. The two honorable mention entries each receive $50, officials said. 

All students who are Romulus residents are eligible to enter including those from pre-school through grade 12 for the 24th anniversary pumpkin festival guide. 

Inkster city clerk is offering voter registration

Inkster City Clerk Verna Chapman is able to help city residents ensure they are registered to vote in the upcoming primary and general elections in the city. 

Chapman's office is responsible for the administration of all elections in the city along with a host of other responsibilities including the management of the city code of ordinances; agenda preparation, recording of meeting minutes, administrative support to the mayor, city council and board of ethics; maintenance of all board and commission membership rosters; legal notices required by state and local statutes; maintenance of legal files (contracts, agreements, deeds, etc.); FOIA coordinator; business license administration, including special event applications and Notary Public services.

Westland planning new city community center

Members of the Westland City Council have allocated $8 million to fund a new city community center.

Council members voted unanimously to use funding from the second American Rescue Plan Act allocation of $12,966,016 Westland received for the development of a new community center at the former Marshall school site in the city.

City officials have been working with representatives from the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit and the Wayne Metro Community Action Agency on plans to renovate the vacant 143,000 square foot building.

Murder suspect is arrested

Christopher Lewis Greer
The man accused in the Jan. 5 murder of two women in Wayne has been arrested in Arkansas, according to police.

Police had been searching for Christopher Lewis Greer since the fatal shooting of 30-year-old Dominque Parchman and her sister, 18-year-old Shyanna Hall at the Lara Apartments on Niagara Street in January. Police responding to the scene found Parchman dead of her wounds  while Hall was transported to a nearby hospital where she later died. She identified Greer as her assailant before her death.

Police said that Greer, 32, had dated Parchman for several years. Neighbors told police that they had previously heard several loud arguments from the apartment.

City garage sale is set

Westland will host a citywide garage sale the weekend of July 9 and 10. 

The city will promote individual garage sales during the weekend on the city website at no cost. A An interactive map with locations of all garage sales in the city during the weekend will be posted on the website and accessible to the public. Potential customers can also search for particular items of interest, a city spokesman said. To register a sale location, visit or to search for garage sale locations. 

Happy 101

Resident celebrates special birthday

Bill Brown celebrates his 101st birthday with
friends at Independence Village.
Bill Brown of Plymouth turned 101 years old June 13 and celebrated his very special day with a party at Independence Village of Plymouth.

Brown was born in Syracuse, NY, and served in the Army from 1944 to 1946 in a special service engineer group during World War II. Brown is a multi-rating pilot, which qualifies him to fly as pilot-in-command on any aircraft with more than one engine. Having owned his own plane for 34 years, Brown continues to pilot and has traveled extensively in the U.S. and surrounding territories. His favorite place to fly is Maine, he said. Along with flying, Brown enjoys building model airplanes in his apartment at Independence Village.

Family tradition

Plymouth Noon Rotary Club members welcomed Rotary Super District 6400 President Elect Traci Sincock, far left, to the meeting last week to preside at the induction of new club President Penny Joy. Sincock's husband, Plymouth City Manager Paul Sincock, is a former district governor of the club and Joy's husband, Tim, along with her son, Eric, each served as president of the noon club. The family tradition of service continued as Joy presented his wife with the gavel signifying her new office. During the meeting, Joy thanked past president Dale Yagiela for his year of service to the group, where members are already planning the annual Rotary Chicken BarBeQue set to take place during the Plymouth Fall Festival this year.

Cruise raffle tickets on sale

Tickets for the Michigan Philharmonic raffle of a a cruise of the Pacific Northwest for two are now available.

The trip raffle is the largest fundraiser for the Michigan Philharmonic, officials said, and will be a wine cruise along the Columbia and Snake rivers from Oct. 30 through Nov. 7. The prize includes the nine-day cruise aboard the American Empress and roundtrip airfare for two. 

Travelers will experience the serenity of the wilderness in the Pacific Northwest with scenery and waterways leading to wine country, tasting vintages and experiencing the feel of a paddleboat-style cruise ship,officials said. 

Kiwanis Club to host 4th of July parade in downtown Plymouth

The Kiwanis Club of Colonial Plymouth will sponsor the 4th of July parade down Main Street in downtown Plymouth this year.

The parade will begin at 9 a.m. July 4 and march down Main Street, organizers said, and the celebration of Independence Day will continue with an Ice Cream Social at Kellogg Park which is open to the public.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Romulus Fire Department awarded $15,000 grant

City officials and fire department personnel were on hand last week to
accept a $15,000 donation from Energy Transfer to be used for a new
 software response system and both Romulus fire stations.
Representatives from Energy Transfer, one of the largest and most diversified energy logistics companies in the country, received a warm welcome in Romulus last week.

Kevin Krause, director of fire services and emergency management, accepted a $15,000 donation from the company to be used for dispatching enhancements in the city. The donation, Krause explained, will be used to implement a Bryx system which will reduce emergency intake time and fire department and equipment turn out time. 

Bryx system is newly-developed software used to alert firefighters and speed response time. Those faster times will reduce overall response times in the city, Krause said as he thanked Robin Tilley Hull, senior specialist in public affairs for Energy Transfer.  The Bryx system will be installed at both Romulus fire stations, Krause said.

Update to Canton Township Master Plan under way

The comprehensive Master Plan for Canton Township is being updated by the staff of the Planning Services Division. 

The master plan is a long-range policy document designed to guide the community for the next 10 - 20 years on a variety of topics such as, land use, development, housing and neighborhoods, infrastructure, transportation and corridors, environmental preservation, and others. 

As part of the update process, a variety of public engagement events and activities have been scheduled throughout the 12-18 month process. Events scheduled this month include comment boards set up at township facilities including the administration building, library, The  Summit, BLOCK and Cherry Hill Theater among others. Residents and business owners are encouraged to visit these facilities and leave comments.

$2 million awarded to Wayne-Westland school program

The Wayne-Westland Community Schools district has been awarded a federal Upward Bound grant of $2,116,145 from the U.S. Department of Education. 

The grant will help more low-income students who would be the first members of their families to earn degrees to prepare for and enroll in college, a district spokesperson said. The Wayne-Westland Community Schools Upward Bound program has been in continuous operation for 40 years.

Upward Bound, is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses. At least two-thirds of the students in each local Upward Bound program are from low-income economic backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor's degree.

Burning rubber

Sumpter Township Firefighters responded to a fire at 2:35 a.m. June 15 at Insurance Auto Auction following 911 reports of a blaze near the rear of the building. When firefighters arrived on the scene, officials said, as many as 14 vehicles were fully involved in flames. Firefighters from the Augusta Township Fire Department arrived to aid in controlling the blaze and provided both water and personnel in the battle to extinguish the fire. Personnel from Insurance Auto Auction used the company heavy equipment to create a fire break, fire officials said, and firefighters managed to extinguish the fire in approximately three hours.

Pheasant Run hosts state-wide golf tournament

Continuing a decade long tradition, Pheasant Run Golf Club in Canton Township was the site of the Michigan Publinx Medal Play tournament last month.

The annual tournament drew 82 contestants this year to the 54-hole event which is presented by the Michigan Publinx Golf Association (MPGA). 

Contestants competed in a 2-day tournament within two divisions.  The winner this year of the Championship division was Grant Haefner of Bloomfield Hills, who finished at six under par at 210.  Sean Friel of Rochester Hills, was second with two under par at 214 and Austin Kreger of Harrison Township, finished third with one under par at 215. 

Search for road rage shooting suspect continues

Canton Township police continue to search for a suspect in the road-rage fatal shooting of a Belleville man June 10.

According to police reports, Canton officers responded to reports of a shooting along Haggerty Road between Palmer and Michigan Avenue at approximately 5:18 p.m. Friday, June 10. When officers arrived at the scene they observed the 37-year-old Belleville man in his stopped vehicle who had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Canton Fire Department EMTs transported the critically wounded driver to a local hospital where he died from the wounds the same day.

Veteran firefighter to retire from Canton department

Maureen Stoecklein
Canton Township Firefighter Maureen Stoecklein has retired from the department.

Stoecklein started with the department in 2000, as a Public Safety Service Officer. The following year she was sworn in as a Firefighter/Paramedic and in that role, she was assigned to an ambulance, providing emergency medical treatment to thousands of patients with varying injuries and illnesses. She was later trained as an operator, running the multi-faceted fire engines and pumper trucks on fire scenes, fire officials said. 

In addition to bringing compassion to the job, Stoecklein has been instrumental in bringing awareness to the benefits of firefighters' physical fitness, health and well-being.

Township welcomes new police chief

James Knittel
The new Plymouth Township police chief brings three decades of law enforcement experience to the job.

James Harrington Knittel was named to the chief's position last month to replace long-time Police Chief Tom Tiderington who retired. 

Knittel, who was raised in Detroit where his father was a police officer, is a graduate of St. Agatha High School in Redford Township, He attended Henry Ford College and earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Madonna University. Currently, he is working to complete his master's degree in criminal justice and public administration.

Knittel began his law enforcement career as a cadet with the Farmington Hills Police Department, where he spent the next 30 years.

Yankee Air Museum offering rare helicopter rides

Flying in a Huey helicopter with the doors wide open and the wind rushing around is an opportunity rarely offered but this Saturday, June 25, the Yankee Air Museum will take eager passengers into the machines for a unique experience.

The 10-minute rides in the Huey helicopter will begin at 10 a.m. and will be available for $99. The doors will remain open during the flight, weather permitting, officials said. Flights can be booked at and click Fly With Us. Scroll down on the page to find the UH-1 Huey.  


Westland police mark promotions, welcome new officers to department

The Westland Police Department recently celebrated several promotions and new hires during a promotion ceremony. Seven veteran officers were promoted to the ranks of lieutenant and sergeant and two former Police Service Aides were sworn in as police officers. Michael Little and Kameron Sleep were promoted to the rank of lieutenant, Jason Soulliere, Kevin Yudt, Brandon Pettit, Rodney Donald were promoted to the rank of sergeant and  Mohammed Alzayadi and Jackson Allison were sworn in as new officers. 

Business donates needed new roof to Veterans’ Haven

Participants in the roofing project at Veterans Haven donated
by Kroll construction demonstrate their thanks for the work at the facility.
When the 4th of July arrives this year, a group of local veterans will have something extra to celebrate.

Veteran's Haven, a volunteer group dedicated to helping veterans with food, shelter, clothing, counseling, and other needs, will have a new roof on the Wayne Road building. The non-profit group has been housed in the Wayne building for about 16 years, and time has taken a toll on the roof of the modest structure.

The roof was leaking and was simply worn out, explained Veteran Haven Acting Director Judy Berna who founded the effort in her home in 1997. In an average week, the organization will feed and/or supply 100 veterans with items purchased using donations. 

Living a dream

Northville Township Police Ofc. Megan Cromie has gone from a reassuring voice heard on the phone as residents called for services, to offering in-person aid to those in emergency situations. Cromie fulfilled a childhood dream recently when she was sworn in as a member of the department in front of her family and friends, including her fiancé, who also is a police officer. Cromie, a native of Livonia, said she has been dreaming of being a police officer since she was a child, following the identical career path her grandfather chose.

28th Annual Northville Garden Walk is scheduled for July 13

The 28th Annual Northville Garden Walk, sponsored by the Country Garden Club of Northville, a branch of the Woman's National Farm & Garden Association will return next month.

The event, which is featuring six private gardens, vendors, and Gleehead bakery goods is planned for 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 13. Tickets, priced at $12 are now available at Gardenviews, 117 E. Main and Tickets purchased the day of the walk are priced at $15.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Westland approves 3-year balanced budget

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

Highlights of proposed $72.4 million 2022-23 budget include: an overall taxable value increase of 6.15 percent derived from new development and rising real estate values in the city; $5.5 million for improvements to 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 and $2.8 million for the establishment of a brand new, all-inclusive playscape at Tattan Park,

Death of Louis ‘Lou’ LaRiche is mourned

Louis “Lou” LaRiche
One of the most revered local businessmen and community supporters in the Plymouth community, Louis Henry LaRiche, 90, died June 9, in Northville. 

Mr. LaRiche, the owner of Lou LaRiche Chevrolet in Plymouth, was known throughout the community for his generosity and community involvement. The car business, his family said, was his passion, surpassed only by his devotion to his beloved wife of 60 years, Gail, who died in 2014. 

Mr. LaRiche was the son of Michael and Maria LaRiche who immigrated to America from Matrice, Italy in the Abruzzo region in 1913. The couple settled in Cleveland, Ohio to raise their family. Mr. LaRiche, their fourth son, was born Dec.12, 1931. Following his graduation from high school, he attended John Carroll University, where he met the love of his life, and future bride, Gail. 

Man charged in 2 Metro Airport rapes

Raymond Anthony
Johnson, Jr.
A Southfield man is facing multiple charges in two separate sexual assaults of women just days apart at Detroit Metro Airport.

In the latest incident, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Raymond Anthony Jackson, Jr., 32, with one count of assault with intent to commit great bodily harm, two counts of criminal sexual conduct second degree and two counts of criminal sexual conduct 4th degree in connection with the assault of a 34-year-old Westland woman.

Jackson was also arrested and charged with attempting to sexually assault a 45-year-old woman at about 8:40 a.m. May 14 at the Blue Deck Parking Garage. In this instance, he is accused of leading the victim to a vacant area where he attempted to sexually assault her. He is facing a charge of kidnapping and aggravated indecent exposure in connection to that incident.

Good clean fun

Volunteers from Wayne worked in Soroptimist Park last Saturday cleaning and refreshing the area for residents to enjoy. The makeover volunteers included Ryan Sanders, Rob Darwiche, Wayne City Councilman Alfred Brock, Wayne Fire Chief Mike Stradtner, Wayne Building and Engineering Director Mike Buiten, Wayne Department of Public Works Assistant Director Ed Queen, the DPW crew, City Manager Lisa Nocerini, Kronk Boxing Coach Erskine Wade and his  group of young boxers.

Condo development in former church is OK’d

Members of the Westland City Council recently gave their blessing to a proposed 64-unit development at the corner of Ann Arbor Trail and Merriman Road.

Fadiy Salameh of Snow Realty told council members that he plans a two-phase development at the site which contains a former church. He said the project will include the renovating of the current church building into 30 apartment units and then the construction of 34 condominium units at the site. He said the plans include adding a second story to the current church building and that the condominium units will form a U shape around the building.

Mayor delivers first State of the City address

Mayor Robert McCraight
“We're going to find a way,” was the message Romulus Mayor Robert McCraight emphasized during his first State of the City address to an enthusiastic audience June 7 at Romulus High School.

McCraight, who said he is often inspired by quotes from history, repeated Abraham Lincoln's remark. “Determine a thing can and should be done and we shall find a way,” in his address explaining his goals for the city.  

Since taking office, McCraight reported that within the first 60 days as mayor, he attended more than 30 meetings with community partners and local, regional and state elected officials. The meetings were all in an effort to promote Romulus and establish a working and comfortable relationship with other communities. He said many of the meetings, including several at the Mackinac Policy Conference helped promote the regional significance of the city.

Inkster to mark Juneteenth with city celebrations

The federal holiday on Monday, June 20, will mark Juneteenth, a day commemorating the emancipation of enslaved black Americans. It is also often observed for celebrating African-American culture. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it has been celebrated annually on June 19 in various parts of the United States since 1865.

The Emancipation Proclamation took place Jan. 1, 1863 when at the stroke of midnight, all enslaved people in confederate states were declared legally free. Union soldiers, many of whom were Black, marched onto plantations and across cities in the south reading small copies of the proclamation spreading news of freedom.

Canton Liberty Fest lights up this weekend

After a two-year COVID hiatus, Canton Liberty Fest will celebrate its 29th anniversary with three family-friendly days from beginning today, June 16 through Saturday, June 18 in Heritage Park, adjacent to the Canton Administration Building.

While the traditional events have returned along with some new attractions, organizers have changed the Liberty Fest fireworks display to dusk tomorrow, June 17. This will provide a “rain date” of Saturday should weather interfere with the event.

Resident arrested in threats to business, city manager

Plymouth police arrested a man who sent threatening emails to a local concrete company last Friday afternoon after hearing gunshots from his Karmada Street residence.

According to police reports,  reports of the email threats were received from personnel at the Messina Concrete Inc. on Junction Street. The emails allegedly threatened both the owner of the business, Vince Messina, and Plymouth City Manager Paul Sincock. In the emails the suspect reportedly threatened to use a shotgun and an ArmaLite rifle as he took his complaints about noise from the concrete trucks and factory “in my own hands.”   

Family Fun Night

Plymouth District Library will present Family Fun Night with author/illustrator team Karen Bell-Brege and Darrin Brege from 7 until 8 p.m.  Tuesday, June 28.  The comedic author/illustrator duo of the bestselling monster children’s' books will entertain with an interactive celebration of reading, writing, art, and humor. The authors are recipients of the Gwen Frostic Award from the Michigan Reading Association, given for inspiring literacy in the state of Michigan. Their presentation is a mix of reading, writing and art, books, and includes comedy improv and voice impersonations. Their books will be available for purchase after the event. This 'screen free' program will be free to the general public and will take place at the Penn Theatre at 760 Penniman Ave. in Plymouth.  The library and Penn Theatre are collaborating on the presentation which allows for a larger audience.  Attendees should register on the event calendar at

Former city commissioner Ed Kroll, 80, is mourned

Former Plymouth City Commissioner Ed Krol, 80, died June 6, 2022.

Mr. Krol was a key member of the city commission from 2017 - 2021 and colleagues said his efforts and contributions led to updated strategic plans and a new master plan for the city. Mr. Krol was a leader in advocating for and ultimately passing the 2019 street improvement millage which led to bike lanes and countless pedestrian improvements. His contributions to four detailed and award-winning city budgets kept Plymouth secure and moving forward even though a pandemic, officials added.

Mr. Krol was a strong proponent of strategic development in the city, and his votes helped breathe new life into the old Saxton's site and the new Pulte development on Mill Street. 

Wordle champ

After achieving top scores for completing the popular Wordle puzzle each day, Jan Lucchetti, 87, was crowned the first Weekly Wordle Master, and  received a plaque to place outside of her apartment door at Independence Village of Plymouth. Lucchetti, who has lived in Plymouth for 60 years, taught preschool and elementary school in the Plymouth-Canton district before her retirement. She said she became interested in Wordle when her children were completing the puzzle and couldn't wait to show them that she was the first ever Wordle Master at the senior living facility. “The great thing about Wordle is that it keeps your mind going,” she said.

Northville downtown streets to remain closed

Members of the Northville City Council voted unanimously at their June 6 meeting to continue the closure of two downtown streets through Nov. 7.

The vote came following a recommendation from members of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to reopen North Center Street from Main to Dunlap as soon as possible but keep East Main Street closed from Center to Hutton streets.

The streets were closed in mid-2020 in response to the hardships COVID restrictions placed on downtown businesses. The closures have been extended by officials several times to provide wider access to restaurants and businesses downtown. Officials also approved a social district which permitted individuals walk through the area with alcoholic beverages as part of the effort to help local businesses.

Arts and Acts event begins in downtown tomorrow

The Northville Art House Chalk Festival, set for this Saturday between
Main and S. Center streets, features artists transforming the pavement
into a checkered pattern of color and imagination.
Arts and Acts, presented by the Northville Art House, will take place this weekend, June 17-19, throughout downtown Northville. 

The Northville Art House, a 501(c)3 comprehensive art facility, is hosting the fundraiser which includes Art in the Sun Juried Art Fair, an outdoor gallery of more than 75 local and national artists who have been selected from a pool of more than 150 applicants to display their work. 

 Arts and Acts will be staged along Main, Center, and Wing streets, adjacent to the downtown Northville Social District. Families can enjoy several events including the interactive chalk wall, the Chalk Festival, and musical acts as well as festival food and drink at mobile trucks, food pods, and local restaurants. There will also be readings and music at the Short on Words event that will take place at the Northville Art House on nearby Cady Street. 

Sumpter committee to review job descriptions

Sumpter Township Trustees have approved the formation of a committee to review the job descriptions of some officials.

Deputy Supervisor/Trustee Tim Rush told the trustees during the May 25 study session preceding the regular meeting that he and Trustee Matt Oddy proposed a committee to review the job descriptions, wages and benefits of the deputy treasurer and clerk. He said the deputy supervisor position would not be reviewed as it was a part-time assignment.

City budget is approved

Members of the Northville City Council approved the 2023 fiscal budget during a recent meeting. The general operating millage in the city will be reduced to 13.0182 mills. The street, drainage, and sidewalk improvement millage will decrease to 1.6216 mills. Both reductions are in compliance with the Headlee amendment, officials said. The street bond millage will be set at 0.7862 mills.  

Council members also agreed to reallocate $110,000 in funds from the Public Improvement Fund from racetrack breakage revenue toward police and fire equipment. The city will purchase a used bucket truck at a cost of $50,000 and $60,000 will be dedicated to police and fire equipment reserves. Uncommitted racetrack breakage revenue in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 amounted to $319,313. In addition, reallocation of non-breakage revenue from the fund will be used to pay a portion of the cost of a new play structure at Ford Field. 

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Northville school board chooses new trustee

Dr. Kimberly Campbell-Voytal has been named to fill the open seat on the Northville Community Schools Board of Education.

Current board members voted unanimously to name Campbell-Voytal to the seat following a final round of interviews with three finalists on May 25. The term became vacant with the recent resignation of Suzanne Lynn. 

Each of the six trustees commented on the caliber of the candidates under consideration.

Fitting tribute

Canton veterans’ clinic may be named for first Black War College graduate 

Major General
Oliver Dillard
Congresswomen Haley Stevens and Debbie Dingell have introduced legislation to rename the new veterans outpatient clinic in Canton Township after Major General Oliver W. Dillard, the first black officer to graduate from the National War College. 

Mr. Dillard, a resident of Canton Township, began his career of service in 1945 when he was first drafted during World War II. He was selected to serve as company clerk and began to work his way through the ranks. In 1965, Mr. Dillard graduated from the National War College, becoming the first black officer to do so. Throughout Mr. Dillard's distinguished service career, he held various esteemed positions and received nine military awards and two civilian medals, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, and the Combat Infantryman's Badge with Star, according to official army documents. 

Mr. Dillard retired in 1980 from military service as a major general after 34 years of service and remained a Canton resident until his death.

School custodial service fired following senior ‘prank’

A group of graduating Romulus High School seniors are facing some disciplinary actions after they took their “senior prank” too far.

School officials said that at about 9:30 p.m. on May 25 a group of high school students entered the high school and did significant damage to several classrooms. The students were allowed into the school by custodians, according to the social media account, which describes the custodians as “complicit with the plan.” 

According to district officials, “School security cameras clearly show one of the custodians letting the students into the building, custodial staff interacting with the students and custodians meeting as a group before they exited the building.” The vandalism has been referred to the Romulus police for investigation, officials said, and the contract custodial staff have been fired, according to the Facebook post.

Inkster man facing murder charge in stabbing death

An Inkster man is facing first-degree murder charges in the stabbing death of a man and the victim's dog.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Jason Edward Barnes, 47, of Inkster, in connection with the fatal stabbing of Carles Randall Tye, 60, also of Inkster. 

According to the prosecutor, Inkster police officers were dispatched at about 9:17 p.m. May 14 to a residence in the 30050 block of Annapolis Circle in response to a reported stabbing. Upon their arrival, officers located the victim in the kitchen with a kitchen knife in his upper left abdomen. Medics arrived on scene and pronounced the victim deceased. 

County jail millage to be on August primary ballot

Wayne County Commissioners have approved placing a millage renewal request for county jail operations on the Aug. 2 primary ballot. 

Voters will be asked to renew .9358 mills for 10 years, expiring at the end of 2031. The millage rate is based on the current rate, which was rolled back in 2021. If approved by voters, the millage is expected to generate about $45 million annually for jail operations, with a minimum one-tenth of the millage to be set aside for a new juvenile offender work and training institution.

The millage translates to roughly $70 a year for those living in homes valued at $150,000, according to county officials.

Township police sponsor ‘Partner Up’ program

Police Chief Scott Hilden
Northville Township Police Department officials are asking all residents to join together to reduce crime, promote problem solving and create safer neighborhoods.

The department is launching Partners in Your Safety, a new program to empower residents to make Northville Township an even safer community. The initial meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday, June 13 at township hall in the Assembly Room. The meeting is open to the public.

Partners in Your Safety is an educational program which involves individuals and entire neighborhoods completing a series of program requirements to achieve accreditation status like that which law enforcement agencies undergo. Accreditation ensures officers are performing best practices while serving the community.

Northville wins state environmental progress award

Northville Township was recently awarded a silver designation from the 2021 Michigan Green Communities Challenge (MGC). 

This achievement nods to the advancement in energy efficiency, recycling and a commitment to sustainability of the township, officials said. 

"We have incorporated sustainability into the capital improvement process (CIP), installed LED lighting throughout all township facilities and are introducing weekly recycling after negotiating our rubbish collection contract," said Northville Township Facilities Manager Brandon McCullough, who spearheaded the community sustainability efforts.  

Township recognizes Village Arts Factory

The Village Arts Factory houses multiple artisans in Canton.
Canton Township has a new partner in the art world following the official recognition of The Village Arts Factory complex by the Canton Township Board of Trustees. 

The Partnership for the Arts & Humanities acquired the historic Henry Ford property in the township in 2012. The complex, consisting of three buildings, the Factory, The Warehouse and the Dorm, has been steadily renovated and transformed into inclusive spaces for resident artists and business owners. The complex has also become gallery space for historically underrepresented voices and perspectives and has played host to important holiday and cultural events, according to Ann Conklin, vice chairperson of the organization.

Resident sentenced in power saw attack on wife

Oswald John Tallent
The Canton Township man accused of assaulting his wife with an electric table saw and physically abusing his 8-year-old daughter has been sentenced to 28 to 50 years in prison.

Oswald John Tallent, 47, was found guilty of assault to intent to murder, torture and assault with intent to do great bodily harm. Tallent was also convicted of third-degree child abuse in connection with an assault on his 8-year-old daughter.

According to court documents, Canton Township police were dispatched to the 7300 block of Stonebrook Drive at 1:14 p.m. March 30, 2020 in response to a domestic violence incident. Upon arrival, the officers discovered Tallent's wife in the driveway of the residence with lacerations to her face and body. The 8-year-old victim was also found to have a bump on her head and scrapes on her body.

Hometown heroes

Romulus officials including Mayor Robert McCraight and members of the city council honored six “Hometown Heroes” during ceremonies May 26 at Romulus High School. Each of the winners was nominated by a resident for their contributions to the community and chosen by a committee. Winners this year included Rosalie Berlin who was presented with the Outstanding Public Service Award from the city. Charles Stanhouse was honored with the Senior Good Neighbor Award while David Jones was named as the honoree in the adult category of the Good Neighbor Award. David Paszkowski was chosen as the Outstanding Veteran this year and the Outstanding Educator award was presented to Becky Montroy. Frank Escobedo was honored with the Outstanding Business Sector Award.

New district boundaries may confuse voters

Area voters will find themselves voting in different districts  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. 


Members of the Wayne County Raccoon Hunters Association (WCRHA) recently donated a ballistic shield to the Romulus Police Department. The shield adds a factor of safety for officers engaged in a volatile situation such as an active shooter, officers said. Police Chief Robert Pfannes displays the new shield flanked by WCRHA board members, from left, Roy Neal, Paul Riddell from Armor Express and Jason Pearson.

In memoriam

Wayne honors fallen servicemen with Veteran’s Memorial ceremony

Nearly 100 people gathered at the Wayne Veterans Memorial last week to memorialize the servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The keynote speaker was United States Navy veteran and City of Wayne Police Ofc., Joshua Priebe who reminded those in attendance about the importance of Memorial Day and spoke about what the day means to him both as a citizen and a veteran. Also participating in the event were: Mayor John Rhaesa, Councilman Phillip Wagner, Wayne Police Chief Ryan Strong, Crossepoint Community Church Lead Pastor Bobby Kelly, Hill Crest Bible Church Pastor Seth McDonald, Wayne Memorial High School Director of Bands and

2 are reappointed to Westland zoning appeals board

Benny McGough 
Mary Vellardita
The Westland City Council has announced the reappointment of Benny McGough and Mary Vellardita to the city zoning board of appeals. 

The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is governed by a seven-member board that is appointed by members of the city council. Members serve three-year terms and must reside in the City of Westland. 

McGough first expressed his desire to be a member of the ZBA in January 2010 and has since been reappointed each term. No stranger to serving the city, McGough also served for 10 years on the city planning commission. This term will expire May 2025. 

Blues, Brews, & BBQ is set for Aug. 5, 6

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. Saturday night will feature the blues with Big Smooth and The Hellraisers, the Chris Canas Band and headliner, Queen of The Blues Thornetta Davis. 

Rotary Club presents student scholarships

Rotary Scholarship Committee chair and incoming club president
Mary Jo Suchy, far right, congratulates recent scholarship winners
Kylie Satterfield, left,  Laura Montgomery, Kennedy Plummer, Avery Fields
and Isaac Davis. 
Members of the Rotary Club of Belleville awarded five, $5,000 scholarships to area high school graduates during the 77th Annual Scholarship Program of the club. The event took place May 24 at Belleville High School and was attended by school administrators, parents and  family members along with the club members. Three Academic Scholarships went to Isaac Davis, Avery Fields and Kylie Satterfield.  The Charles B. Cozadd Community Service Award for service to school and other students was awarded to Laura Montgomery and the Donald Juchartz Award for community service was presented to Kennedy Plummer.    


Plymouth library is awarded Bosch Community Fund grant

The Friends of the Plymouth District Library have been awarded a technology funding grant from the Bosch Community Fund. The grant will support exciting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning tools, and hands-on STEAM experiences for the Plymouth community.

The first category of funding covers three online resources including: Continued funding for LinkedIn Learning, an online learning tool that supports high school students and adults in expanding their technology skills.  Courses cover Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Suite, operating systems, coding languages, business skills, data analysis, cloud computing, server management and much more; the Creativebug database,

Sumpter trustee reminds board of Roberts’ Rules

A heated exchange between Sumpter Township Supervisor Tim Bowman and a resident during the May 25 meeting prompted Deputy Supervisor/Trustee Tim Rush to call for more order at meetings.

Rush told the board members and the audience that he felt the meeting were getting “sloppy.”

“This board, like many others, adopted Robert's Rules of order,” he said. “Those rules dictate that you ask the chair for permission to speak.” 

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Sumpter trustees OK ‘critical response’ insurance

While Sumpter Township officials stood for a moment of silence in respect for the victims of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas May 25, they wasted no time in responding to the psychological effect such a critical event might have on first responders in their community.

The trustees approved an added insurance policy for both Sumpter Township first responders, and other employees, who might be involved in a critical incident, whether an outside event or a personal crisis.

Deputy Clerk Anthony Burdick spoke to the trustees during a study session preceding the regular May 25 meeting about the need for an added employee assistance policy. 

Canton Liberty Festival returns

After a two-year COVID hiatus, Canton Liberty Fest will celebrate the 29th anniversary of the event with a special three-day family event June 16 through 18.

While the nearly three-decade community tradition will include events that have become standard attractions, including the lineup of carnival rides, games, and special attractions, this year the event will offer some changes, organizers said. The most significant change is the day of the fireworks display which has been moved to Friday, June 17 just after dark. The fireworks display previously closed the festival on Saturday, but organizers said the Friday night schedule allowed them to move the display to Saturday in case of inclement weather. This year, too, the event will feature sensory hours from 1 until 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 16 when lights and music from the carnival rides and midway games will be turned for festival visitors who may be sensitive to large crowds and certain stimuli.

Northville Psychiatric Hospital buildings to be razed

Northville Township is another step closer to making Legacy Park a reality. Within the next few weeks, crews will begin the demolition of all remaining buildings at the former state psychiatric hospital.

“We started the project to transform the former psychiatric hospital property several years ago, and with the demolition of the buildings starting this summer, the dream of Legacy Park truly comes into focus,” said Supervisor Mark J. Abbo. “Our residents have been patient, but the time for action is now.” 

On the market

Student-built home now for sale

Students proudly show off their completed home
renovation as part of the Building Tradespartnership
between the City of Westland and the Wayne Westland
Community Schools district.ome on Beatrice Street is
the latest project in the award-winning joint effort of the
 City of Westland and the Wayne Westland Community Schools
Building Trades initiative. 
The City of Westland and the Wayne Westland Community Schools District are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their joint initiative, the Building Trades partnership. Originally launched in 2010, the Building Trades program allows for the removal of vacant, blighted properties and transforms them into new homes. 

Under this partnership, Westland provides the building materials, with funds from the HOME Partnership Program and the Wayne Westland Community Schools District (WWCSD) provides labor through the William D. Ford Career Technical Center Construction Technology Program.  

In 2019, the city and school district marked 10th anniversary celebration with the wall raising of a house on Schuman Street. Despite challenges due to COVID, students in the Construction Technology Program were able to complete the house during the 2020-21 school year and it sold to a first-time homebuyer.  

Acts of Kindness by students rewarded at council meeting

Members of the Westland City Council along with the Compassionate City Committee and  Wayne-Westland Community Schools administrators acknowledged the recipients of the April Random Acts of Kindness awards. The program recognizes four of the many students nominated from the 17 schools in the district who have demonstrated random acts of kindness.

The four winners were Tessa Przybyla of Schweitzer Elementary, Kadence Lindsey of Taft-Galloway Elementary, Yuritzi Antonio-Olmos of Walker-Winter Elementary, and Chloe Falis of Stottlemyer Early Childhood and Family Development Center.

Juneteenth is marked at library

The William Faust Public Library of Westland will host a Junteenth celebration from 3 until 3 p.m. June 4.

Drs. Micala Evans and Imelda Hunt of the Eastern Michigan University Department of Africology and African American Studies will share the reason for the recognition of Juneteenth as a federal holiday, and the importance for people of every background to celebrate Juneteenth. 

Romulus honored for entrepreneurial climate

The City of Romulus has again been recognized for its dedication to entrepreneurial growth and economic development by the annual eCities study, conducted by researchers at University of Michigan-Dearborn Center for Innovation Research. This marks the fourth consecutive year that Romulus has received the highest five-star rating.

"The City of Romulus continues to be a prime location for entrepreneurs and developers around the country to start and grow their businesses," said Romulus Mayor Robert McCraight. "Receiving five stars in the eCities report for a fourth consecutive year further emphasizes our commitment to growing our local economy and investing resources in our residents-whether they are looking to start a business or find a good-paying job in the community. We look forward to another prosperous year."

Sale of township owned property is again delayed

The long-discussed process of selling land owned by Sumpter Township was delayed by another two weeks during the regular meeting of the board of trustees April 25.

During the study session preceding the meeting, Supervisor Tim Bowman suggested the township move forward with sending the various properties to auction following a review of the various sites by Trustee Matt Oddy, Deputy Supervisor/Trustee Tim Rush and himself. The review was an effort, Rush said, to ensure that the properties being sold were as close to compliant with township building regulations as possible. To accomplish that, the legal descriptions of some properties were altered, and some properties conjoined to ensure building was possible at the site, he added.

Canton River Day celebration is set for Saturday

River Day in Canton Township will take place from 9 a.m. until noon this Saturday, June 4 at the Lower Rouge River Trailhead.

The annual celebration will be combined this year with National Trails Day and will be sponsored by the township municipal services and leisure services departments. Officials said the trailhead event, located off Morton Taylor Road and Michigan Avenue, “will take place rain or shine.”   

The free event includes scheduled activities for all ages, including birdhouse building, log jam openings, and self-guided hiking along the Rouge River.  Educational exhibits will also be on display provided by local environmental and conservation organizations. In addition, informational resources will also be available on the 'Leave No Trace' outdoor principles, trail biking, recycling, and more.  Local vendors will also set up booths for participants to browse. Light refreshments will also be served on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Township honored by state for environmental leadership

Canton Township was recently recognized by the statewide Michigan Green Communities program for environmental leadership. As part of the 2021 Michigan Green Communities (MGC) Challenge, 44 participating local governments were awarded gold, silver, or bronze seals of achievement reflecting community leadership in areas such as energy efficiency, climate adaptation and resilience, recycling, environmental justice, and more. Ten communities received bronze certification, 12 received silver certification, and 22 received gold certification.

Canton achieved gold status for exemplary action in multiple categories, including: planning, economic development, land use, climate resilience, climate adaptation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, materials management (AKA recycling, composting, waste diversion), water conservation and protection, clean mobility, and community engagement.  

Help wanted

Liberty Festival volunteers sought

Organizers of the Canton Liberty Fest are seeking volunteers to help with the event. The festival will return June 16, 17 and 18 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic.

The festival usually brings more than 50,000 visitors to Heritage Park and it takes a large cadre of volunteers to help ensure the smooth running of the event. Organizers said the success of the event is due to volunteers who support Canton. 

“Now more than ever we need volunteer support for this year's community festival. Plenty of exciting opportunities are available including: Welcome and Information Booth Greeters, Bike Corral assistants, Adult Beer and Wine Garden helpers, and many others,” organizers said.

Arts & Acts event returns to downtown streets

Arts and Acts, presented by the Northville Art House, will take place June 17-19 this year throughout downtown Northville. 

The Northville Art House, a 501(c)3 comprehensive art facility, is hosting the fundraiser which includes Art in the Sun Juried Art Fair, an outdoor gallery of more than 75 local and national artists who have been selected from a pool of more than 150 applicants to display their work. 

Arts and Acts, staged along Main, Center, and Wing streets, adjacent to the downtown Northville Social District, offers visitors the chance to buy, learn, and socialize with a like-minded crowd.

Reception for retiring school superintendent planned

It will be the last day of school for both students and outgoing Superintendent of Northville Public Schools Mary Kay Gallagher June 16.

Gallagher, who has been with the school district for 37 years, announced her retirement plans last year. The district is hosting an open house retirement party for her from 4 until 4:50 p.m. June 16 in the cafeteria of Northville High School. There will be a recognition program beginning at 5 p.m. in the school auditorium and the entire afternoon event is open to the public.

The district is collecting RSPVs to help with planning, but it is not required to attend the event. 

Happy birthday

Street to be renamed for centenarian resident

Street to be renamed for centenarian resident
The City of Inkster will honor one of the most distinguished and revered members of the community tomorrow with the dedication of a street in her name.

Lillie R. Lester, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday, with a crowd of family members and friends, will be honored by the renaming of Weithoff Street to Lillie R. Lester Drive. Lester has resided on the Inkster Street for decades.

Plymouth commissioners OK new downtown beacons

Members of the Plymouth City Commission approved the installation of five Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons during their regular meeting earlier this month at Plymouth City Hall.

The authorization includes concrete work and installation of the pedestrian safety signals at the intersections of Ann Arbor Trail and Evergreen;  Evergreen and Penniman;  Ann Arbor Trail and Forest;  Starkweather and Liberty, and the Main Street mid-block crosswalk between Penniman and Ann Arbor Trail. Work on these intersections is expected to be completed this spring and summer, officials said.

Outdoor concerts continue at Kellogg Park tomorrow night

Von Zippers will perform tomorrow in Kellogg Park.
The popular Music in the Air free weekly concert series will continue at 7 p.m. tomorrow, June 3, 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 officials.

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


Wayne Police Sgt. Robert Amore was recently promoted to the rank of lieutenant with the department. Amore is a 17-year veteran of the Wayne Police Department, a traffic crash reconstructionist, the Western Wayne Crash Response Team Commander, and a Taser and Speed Measurement instructor. Wayne Police Chief Ryan Strong congratulated Amore on his promotion as he made the official announcement last week.