Thursday, August 11, 2022

Renovations at St. Johns golf course under way

The multi-million-dollar renovation at the Inn at St. Johns is expected to continue until the summer of 2023. 

The newly-designed golf courses and hotel are a tribute to the memory of the late William Pulte, founder of The Pulte Group, Inc. a real estate and home construction company. Mr. Pulte, who died in 2018, worked with Cardinal Adam Maida during the original conversion of the former Catholic seminary into the hotel and conference center during the 1990s. Mr. Pulte also helped finance the original remodeling of the property, owned by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Farm fun

Country Fair will mark anniversary

A Country Fair is planned at Maybury Farm on Saturday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Northville Community Foundation.

The event, planned for 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Aug. 13 will feature games, activities, music, face painting, a magician, wagon rides and visits with the farm animals, all in celebration of the foundation which operates the working farm.

When a fire gutted the farm, then owned by the state, 25 years ago, the entire community mourned the loss of the 75-year-old facility and the farm animals destroyed.

Romulus Public Library celebrates official reopening

Mayor Robert McCraight presents a resolution declaring
Library Day in Romulus to Library Director Patty Braden
during the reopening event.
The Romulus Public Library celebrated the beginning of a new chapter last week as the facility was officially re-opened to the public following a nearly two-year renovation.

Several city officials including Mayor Robert McCraight and members of the city council attended the official ribbon cutting welcoming the completion of multiple upgrades at the library. Members of the Friends of the Library and Romulus Chamber of Commerce board members were also on hand for the reopening celebration. 

The renovations included improvements to both the aesthetics and functionality of the building. 

The Accidentals will appear in Canton concert

The Accidentals along with the student orchestra,
The Kaboom Collective, will perform in Canton Aug. 12. 
The Accidentals will perform in a free concert with the Kaboom Collective at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12 at Heritage Park in Canton Township.

Featured performers will be multi-instrumentalists Sav Buist, Katie Larson, and Michael Dause, a  Nashville-based, critically-acclaimed trio currently touring with The Kaboom Collective, a 40-piece student orchestra. They are performing in concert throughout the U.S. to promote their collaborative album called "Reimagined," which was released earlier this year. 

Suspect in fatal road rage shooting arrested

Jacor Burch
A second person has been arrested and charged in a fatal road rage shooting that took place June 10 in Canton Township.

Jacor Burch, 21, of Ann Arbor, is facing charges of first-degree homicide and felony firearm possession in the shooting which police described as a road rage incident.  Police investigators believe that he fatally shot Michael Paul, 37, of Belleville, numerous times at around 5:18 in the afternoon of June 10, as a result of a traffic incident which took place on Haggerty Road between Palmer and Michigan Avenue.

The victim suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was transported from the scene by emergency personnel. He died at a local hospital as a result of the wounds, police said.

Thursday concerts continue

Canton Township continues to host free concerts in Heritage Park from 7-8:30 p.m. each Thursday. Audiences are encouraged to bring blankets or folding chairs for seating on the Amphitheater lawn.

Organizers said at least three food options will be on site weekly starting at 6:30 p.m. and there will be a Beer and Wine Tent sponsored by Maraschinos Pub of Canton. All of the proceeds from the beverage sales will benefit Second Chance At Life, a non-profit organization. Wine will be priced a $6 while beer is priced at $5.

New recreation department director named

Debra Bilbrey-Honsowetz
Debra Bilbrey-Honsowetz has been appointed as the interim director of the Northville Parks and Recreation Department. 

Bilbrey-Honsowetz has more than 33 years of experience in the parks and recreation field. Most recently, she led the Canton Township Leisure Services Department for five years before retiring in 2016. 

She is known as a leader whose strengths include fostering development of innovative recreation programs, while managing a $10 million operating budget and capital improvement projects, along with 56 full-time and 300 part-time employees, officials said. 

“I used to work with Deb,” said Northville Township Manager Todd L. Mutchler. “Her expertise in the parks and recreation arena will impact the future of our program. She is approachable, solutions oriented and has a deep network.” 

Volunteers are sought for new Citizens District Council

Applications from qualified volunteers interested in serving on the Citizen's District Council (CDC) are being accepted by the Northville City Council. A CDC is required when a community plans to modify the boundaries of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and there are 100 or residents within the district.

A proposal for the redevelopment of the Northville Downs site is being reviewed by the Northville Planning Commission members and will then go to the city council members for review. The project may or may not require changes to the DDA boundaries or a text amendment to the DDA development plan, officials said.  

Mayor's ‘One Romulus’ meeting set for Aug. 17.

Romulus city officials will be hosting “One Romulus” community meetings, a listening tour that provides residents the opportunity to speak with Mayor Robert McCraight, elected officials, public safety leaders and neighbors. 

Launched as part of a continuing effort to foster collaboration among residents and city leaders, the “One Romulus” community meetings will occur throughout the summer at 6 p.m. in selected locations including Wednesday, Aug.17 at Romulus City Hall, 11111 Wayne Road 

“When I was campaigning across Romulus, I repeatedly heard community members express a desire to meet face-to-face with their elected officials,” McCraight said.

No action is taken on demand for trustees’ resignations

Sumpter Township trustees took no action on a demand to resign their positions immediately during the July 26 meeting by an “elected precinct delegate.” 

Ronald Barrington told the board members that during the meeting July 12, they had violated his rights guaranteed under the First Amendment to the constitution by refusing to allow him to make comments during the proceedings.

“Consequently, I am demanding this whole board resign, including the township attorney and the township police chief immediately,” Barrington said.

Board members laud reduction of overdue water bills

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees took time to acknowledge the performance of Township Treasurer Vincent Warren during their meeting July 26.

Trustee Don La Porte told the board that he felt that recent board meetings had failed to acknowledge many of the positive things taking place in the township  rather than many things “not relevant to the business that needs to take place when we come in here each week.” LaPorte said he wanted to take the opportunity to focus on the accomplishments of Warren who was appointed to the treasurer's position in 2021. 

Metro Airport is awarded grant

Metro Airport in Romulus has been awarded $6,578,145 in federal grant funding for improvements at the facility. The funds are from the Federal Aviation Administration grant program, explained Sen. Debbie Stabenow and  Sen. Gary Peters.

Metro airport will receive $5,405,409 to purchase 40 pre-conditioned air units and $1,172,736 to repair taxiways.  

“Having reliable and safe air service is crucial for economic development, commerce, and tourism,” said Stabenow. 

First responders

Wayne residents who filled a police patrol car recently were not under arrest but participating in the Wayne Police Department First Responder Food Drive.  Residents demonstrated their community spirit by 'stuffing' a police patrol car with non-perishable food to be donated to those in need in the community. Wayne officers Raquel Ogarek and Joshua Priebe were on hand to help donors load the food into the police car parked at the Kroger store at West Michigan Avenue. The effort took place for two Saturdays, July 30 and Aug. 6 and the donations not only stuffed the patrol car, but exceeded the goal the department set for the effort. Kroger employees will deliver the collected food to local families, officials said. 

Plymouth Kellogg Park concerts continue tomorrow

The popular Music in the Air free weekly concert series will continue at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Aug. 12,  and continue through Sept. 2 at the Kellogg Park stage in downtown Plymouth, officials from the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) office said.

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

Winner of Philharmonic cruise raffle to be announced

The winner of the Michigan Philharmonic raffle of  a cruise of the Pacific Northwest for two will be announced during a concert this Saturday, Aug. 13.

The trip raffle is the largest fundraiser for the Michigan Philharmonic, officials said, and the winner will receive 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. 

Annual Inkster Police Memorial set for tomorrow

Tomorrow the City of Inkster will mark the 35th anniversary of the death of three officers gunned down during a daylight ambush and the death of an officer who was killed in 1994 during a drug arrest. 

Patrol Ofc. Clay Hoover, Sgt. Ira Parker, and Ofc. Daniel Dubiel were shot and killed while attempting to serve a warrant for a bad check from a rental car agency on a 68-year-old woman and her three sons at a motel at 28525 Michigan Ave. on July 10, 1994. 

On a roll

The Wildwood Bikeway is the first project to be implemented from the Westland Walk & Roll plan. The bikeway is 3.5 miles of path along Wildwood Road, on both sides, northbound and southbound, between Warren Road to Glenwood Road. The bikeway involves two types of bicycle facilities both with varied signs and pavement markings, officials said. The first is a 5-foot-wide dedicated bike lane, located in the areas where there is no on-street parking. The second consists of Sharrow markings and signage to alert motorists that bicyclists can use the entire lane. This pathway is located in the areas where on-street parking exists. In these Sharrow marked areas, motorists are required to drive behind bikers or pass them with at least 3-feet of space. For more information about Bike Safety or the Walk & Roll plan, visit the Westland Bicycle Safety Campaign webpage at:

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Voters decide local millage questions

Voters throughout the area made their choices at the polls on Tuesday during the Primary Election.

In addition to limiting the candidates to move on to the Nov. 8 General Election, voters were asked to approved public safety and library millages in several communities.


Voters in these three communities approved the levy of 0.6864 on taxable property in geographic boundaries of the Belleville Area District Library. The millage request is for 15 years, 2022 until 2036 and will provide funds for library operating purposes. In Sumpter, 991 voters said NO while 864 said YES. In Belleville, 4,846 voters cast YES votes while 3,385 said NO. This millage restores the levy that expired in 2021. 


In both the City and Township of Northville, voters approved a renewal of a 0.18955 against taxable property to fund the library. The renewal is for 10 years, 2023 until 2032 and will be used for general library operating purposes. The millage will generate an estimated $524,519 in 2023. Northville Township voters approved the millage by 6,526 YES votes opposed to 1,450 NO votes. In the City of Northville, voters cast 535 YES votes and 78 NO votes. An estimated $11,195 will be disbursed to the Northville Township Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, which is revenue from properties located with the district of that authority. 


The levy not to exceed 4 mills for 5 years to fund public safety services including police and fire protection in the community was approved by voters who cast 2989 YES votes. There were 1,069 NO votes. The continued levy will be effective from 2024 through 2028.


Voters were asked to approve a 2-mill levy to fund the township police department and renew an expired 1 mill public safety millage. The 2-mill levy will continue for 4 years, starting this year and in effect through 2025. Voters approved the millage by a total of 1,274 YES votes and 695 NO votes.The 2-mill tax will generate an estimated $765,000 the first year. 

The 1-mill renewal of an expired millage also dedicated to funding the Sumpter Township Police Department was also approved by a total of 1,132 YES votes opposed to 831 NO votes. The millage had been reduced to .98044 mills.

Voters also chose Sheena Barnes as the Democratic candidate for township treasurer with 446 votes. Opponent Vincent Warren received 376 votes. Barnes will face Republican candidate Bart Patterson in November.


 The Wayne County request to continue a 2021 millage, first authorized by voters in 2012 of .9358 mill, or about 94 cents per thousand dollars of taxable valuation for another 10 years was approved by voters. YES votes were reported as 116,528 while NO votes were 77,487. The revenue from the renewal of the millage will be used to operate the Wayne County juvenile jail or detention facilities and adult penalty options. At least one tenth of the revenue from the millage must be used to acquire, build and operated a juvenile offender work/training institution. 

Good deeds

Annual Whipple award presented to Malcolms

Mark and Patty Malcolm were
honored with the prestigious
Ruth Huston-Whipple
Award by Mayor Nick Marosz,
right, Monday. 
The prestigious Ruth Huston-Whipple Award for Civic Engagement was awarded this year to Mark and Patty Malcolm.
The couple, longtime Plymouth residents, have been unstinting community supporters and historic preservationists in the city of Plymouth, officials said. The award is presented annually by the city commission and is recognition of exceptional civic and/or philanthropic engagement within the City of Plymouth
“The Malcolms truly exemplify putting both time and talents to work for their community and creating the best version of Plymouth for future generations to enjoy,” officials said. To be considered for the award, individuals must demonstrate the impact of service to the community, delivered with leadership, integrity and perseverance, and should have contributed to the economic vitality and/or residential quality of life in Plymouth above and beyond reasonable expectations.

The Malcolms have been dedicated to historic preservation of some of the most iconic and treasured buildings in the city.  They have given countless hours, sweat equity, and millions of dollars to this passion  and respect for history. In 2007, the couple saved a severely dilapidated home, one of the oldest in Plymouth, from the wrecking ball.

Canton awarded $750,000 sidewalk grant

Celebrating the award of $750,000 to close sidewalk gaps
in the township are, from left,  Supervisor Anne Marie
Graham-Hudak, Treasurer Dian Slavens, State Sen. Dayna Polhanki,
Trustee Tania Ganguly, Clerk Michael Siegrist, Trustee Sommer Foster,
Trustee Steve Sneideman, Trustee Kate Borninski and State Rep. Ranjeev Puri.
Canton Township has been awarded $750,000 in State of Michigan funding to help close more than 53.8 miles of sidewalk gaps in the community. 
The funds were included in the state 2022-2023 budget bill, recently signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. State Sen. Dayna Polehanki and State Rep. Ranjeev Puri argued for the funding in Lansing, township officials said.

Trustees to hear proposed plans for park

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees are expected to hear a preliminary plan for improvements at Banotai Park at their next meeting.

During the July 26 meeting, Township Manager Anthony Burdick told the trustees that he had expected a guest to discuss a proposed plan to revamp the township parks. He said that conceptual ideas for improvements to Sherwood Park included a suggested 5-acre expansion of the facility. 

Burdick stressed that any plans or proposals for the park were in the planning stages and that no cost consideration or estimate was ready to present to the board. He did add that the plan would include the filling and resloping of the pond at the park as well as a restructuring of the roads and access points around the park.

“Reclamation is my input,” Burdick said. He added that the park was one of townships greatest assets. “I don't know of another park that brings in people from surrounding area,” he said. 

Burdick said that he expected a presentation from the scheduled speaker at the next board meeting, but did not announce the name of the individual. “This person worked on a number of projects and can present a plan,” Burdick added.

‘Doggone’ hero

Canton Police Canine Hank was honored last week by the members of the township board of trustees and officials with an official resolution on his retirement. Hank, a German Shepherd, was born in Jessen Germany and came to the Canton department in 2017. He completed his training to be service dog in 2018. The officials honored Hank for his years of dedicated service to the Canton Public Safety Department. Now officially retired from the canine unit, Hank will spend his retirement with his partner Ofc. Kenneth Robinson. 

Kellogg Park concerts continue

The popular Music in the Air free weekly concert series will continue at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Aug. 5,  and continue through Sept. 2 at the Kellogg Park stage in downtown Plymouth, officials from the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) office said.

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

Buyers bring builder complaints to council

Romulus Mayor Robert McCraight expressed his sympathy and explained the limits of city authority as two residents of the Creekside neighborhood of homes detailed continued problems with the builder of the project.

Resident Lolita Wills told the council during their regular meeting that her front yard “looks like a jungle” because the site hasn't been properly graded. She said she has lived in the home for more than six months and is still waiting for the builder to take action and correct a number of incomplete items. She said the builder did finally install the concrete driveway into her garage, but she still has no walkway to her front door and no front porch.

City purchases new emergency access program

Members of the Romulus City Council approved the purchase of a KNOX Rapid Access System during their regular meeting July 25.

The KNOX rapid entry system is a secure emergency access program developed for property owners and fire departments to allow immediate access without forced entry, damage or delay. Property owners store entrance keys and cards in special devices which are used exclusively by the fire department during emergencies, officials explained.

The price for the new system is $14,502.96 according to Mayor Robert McCraight who presented the purchase to the council members for approval.

Sunflower contest entries are still being accepted

Romulus Pumpkin Festival organizers are searching for the largest sunflower in the city.

To enter the annual festival Sunflower Contest, residents can take a clear video of the sunflower in its entirety in the frame of the picture as someone is holding a measuring tape from the bottom of the stem to the center of the flower face. One the flower is within the frame, step closer to the measuring tape which should reveal the height of the plant in inches. This should be done in one video, organizers said.

To enter a photo, take a picture of the plant with the entirety in the frames as someone is holding a measuring tape from the bottom of the stem to the center of the flower face. Entrants should take a second photo stepping closer to the measuring tape which should reveal the height of the plant in inches. 

Pumpkin Fest artwork sought

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 winner 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. 

New security system in place at Legacy Park

A new suite of security equipment is preventing trespassers from being exposed to asbestos and other hazardous materials from the building demolition project at Legacy Park, the former state psychiatric hospital property on Seven Mile Road in Northville Township. 

Motion-detecting video cameras, sirens, strobe lights, signs, a public address system and a person monitoring the site 24 hours a day are there to ensure that uninvited guests do not violate the law by entering the demolition zone. Trespassers may trigger a phone call to the Northville Township Police Department and officers respond to the property to apprehend any violators. 

3 men charged with arson at former hospital site

Three suspects have been arrested and are facing criminal charges in May 11 fires at the former state psychiatric hospital site in Northville Township. 

Roland Green, 20, of Riley, was charged with two counts of arson in the third-degree and two counts of preparation to burn real property while Cameron Purcell, 19, from Marine City, and Jakob Aquilina, 20, from Saginaw were each charged with two counts of third-degree arson, according to reports from the Northville Township police.

Each charge carries a maximum 10-year prison term or a fine of up $20,000 according to the Wayne County prosecutor's office.

Buy Michigan Now arrives in downtown tomorrow

The 12th Buy Michigan Now Festival is planned for downtown Northville this weekend.

The event presents an opportunity to support small businesses from around the area and the state, organizers said. Every participating business will  be Michigan-based and many will be selling products made locally, they added.

Heating up

Blues, Brews & Barbecue begins tomorrow

Queen of The Blues Thornetta Davis
One of the most anticipated and popular events in the community will begin this weekend in Westland. 
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 signed on for the event, they said, and there will be several craft brews available both Friday and Saturday.  


Wayne Police Sgt. Matthew Whalen was honored recently at the Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network Annual Luncheon and Awards Ceremony.  Whalen was honored for saving lives during the past year by using Narcan. All Wayne Police Department officers are trained to carry and use Narcan, which can save the life of an individual experiencing a drug overdose. Whalen successfully used Narcan four times over the past year. Police Chief Ryan Strong expressed his congratulations to Whalen. "I am deeply thankful that Wayne Police officers are able to carry this lifesaving tool in their patrol cars. I would like to congratulate Sgt. Whalen on his accomplishment and commitment to the community."

Traffic stop results in drug, firearm charges for driver

An Inkster man is facing drug and weapons charges following a routine traffic stop by Dearborn Heights police.

Derun Edward Wright, 26, of Inkster was arraigned on narcotics and weapons offenses before Magistrate Lawrence Elassal of the 20th District Court following his arrest. Elassal set his bond at $15,000/ 10-percent cash or surety.

New hospital director is appointed

Kristine Donahue, RN
Kristine Donahue, RN, has been promoted to president of the Beaumont Hospitals in Taylor, Trenton and the City of Wayne. 
"Kristine has a proven track record of collaborating with clinical care teams and she has extensive experience with these three campuses. Her dedication to the Taylor, Trenton and Wayne region shines through in every conversation I have had with her," Beaumont Health president Dr. Benjamin Schwartz said.  
Donahue's Beaumont career began more than a decade ago when she was a staff nurse at Beaumont, Dearborn. She later became a chief nursing officer and helped oversee the Magnet journey and application at Beaumont, Taylor.