Thursday, August 25, 2022

Downtown Northville streets remain closed

It's pedestrian traffic only on two downtown Northville streets.

During the Aug. 1 meeting, members of the Northville City Council permanently closed portions of both Main and Center streets to vehicular traffic. Retailers and restaurant owners have expanded their footprint onto Center Street from Main to Dunlap and on Main Street from Center to Hutton. Responsibility for the design and functionality of the area has been assigned to the Northville Downtown Development Authority (DDA). 

“They've handed us this decision. We're going to make it work,” Commented DDA Director Lori Ward. She recently posted a request for bids for design services to redo the entrances of the social district, comprising the closed sections of Center and Main streets. Bid submissions are due Aug. 31, a city spokesman noted. A separate traffic engineering study will also be conducted by the city to determine how best to reroute traffic on the narrow streets.  

Future vision

Romulus begins public survey to aid development plans

Romulus city officials are looking to the future.

Vision Romulus-Our Community, Our Future is a community-wide visioning and planning process currently under way in the community. The objective of the process, officials said, is to explore the future direction of the community and create an enduring vision for Romulus, looking forward to the year 2030.

The visioning process will hopefully result in the City of Romulus Vision Plan, officials said, and the process will include numerous opportunities for inclusive and extensive community engagement.

Officials break ground on first city dog park

City officials and members of the Rotary Club attended the official
ground breaking for the first off-leash dog park in the city last  week.
When Westland officials claimed that the city was going to the dogs last week, they intended it as a compliment.

A large crowd attended the ground breaking last week at the site of the first official dog park in the city, the Westland Rotary Canine Corral.

The new facility which will feature a dog water station and a perimeter fence to keep both furry friends and residents safe, is expected to be open to the public by the end of the year. 

Traffic stop ends in gun arrest

The Wayne County Prosecutor's office is reviewing potential charges against a 26-year-old Inkster man stopped by Michigan State Troopers at about 9:25.p.m. Aug. 19.

According to police reports, the troopers were on patrol in the city as part of the Secure Cities Patrol when they conducted a traffic stop on a red, 2008 Cadillac CTS on Inkster Road near Northwood Drive. Troopers said the stop was made after observing a vehicle equipment violation. 

HAZMAT team continues cleaning Rouge oil spill

A waste oil spill into the Rouge River in theCity of Wayne
was apparently due to a damaged 55-gallon drum at a
warehouse in the city, according to HAZMAT officials. The
visible sheen was reported to police and fire departments
by local residents.
A waste oil spill into the Rouge River in the City of Wayne was apparently due to a damaged 55-gallon drum at a warehouse in the city, officials said.

State officials said cleanup work began around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14 after there were several reports of an oily sheen on the water. Responders found an outside storm sewer covered in waste oil, and the spill trail led to a damaged drum at the business, which is also known as Steel Pro and Michigan Metal Trans Inc., at 36253 Michigan Ave, Wayne.

Cleanup of the site was under way last weekend and state officials at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said they learned about an oil sheen reported on the Rouge River in the City of Wayne around 8:40 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13.  Emergency hazardous material responders found the spilled waste oil came from the Wayne Industries warehouse and entered the river.

Digging out

City of Wayne Parks and Trails Committee hosted the final park clean-up of the season at Angelo DeMario Park last weekend. Volunteers including members of the Wayne City Council and Mayor John Rhaesa cleared the park of debris and weeds. Mayor Pro-tem Tom Porter helped with refreshments and DPW Assistant Director Ed Queen brought along some members of his team. Workers from the 29th District Court also provided some help during the morning effort.

Community project

New Fall Festival president stresses civic involvement

Pam Batcho
When Pam Batcho agreed to take on the leadership of the Plymouth Fall Festival Committee as president, she really wasn't expecting the job to be easy.

What she found however, she said, was one of the most cooperative and generous group of volunteers she could have imagined. Batcho said the board which organizes the festival comprises a representative from each non-profit group participating. “Everyone has a voice in the management of the event,” she said. “Everyone is always willing to help.” Other committee officers this year include Andrea Gerber who serves as vice president, Kathy Turnquist of the Civitans who is the secretary and Matt Studnicki, who acts as treasurer.

Building commission OKs new self-storage operation plans

Jim's Oil Depot in Northville could soon have a very close new neighbor if plans for a self-storage facility receives final approval from members of the township board of trustees.

Plans for remodeling of a portion of building located on Doheny Street, the former home of the Jack Doheny Co., were recently evaluated by the township planning commission members. Owner Jon Hutto has proposed 28,000 square feet of individual rental storage units in the western part of the building. He said the renovations would create several dozen storage areas of various sizes. The oil change business on the other end of the building would remain as is, he said.

Police seek identities in arson

Northville Township Police are seeking five individuals in connection with a small fire inside one of the buildings in Legacy Park on Seven Mile Road. Images of the five people of interest, three males and two females, were captured on surveillance equipment installed at the former Northville Psychiatric Hospital site. The fire was discovered during the overnight hours of Aug. 15, police said. The surveillance photos captured the images of the group a few hours before the fire was discovered, police said. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Northville Township Police at (248) 349-9400, incident 22-23473. 

Council approves lease extension for business

Members of the Romulus City Council agreed to extend the lease on a city-owned building occupied by a local business but cautioned that they would not be in favor of granting any further extensions.

Mayor Robert McCraight presented the lease extension for Big Steve's Design to council during the Aug. 8 meeting. Councilwoman Celeste Roscoe asked about billing for utilities at the location, saying she was unsure if the lease included those costs.

Merrie Druyor from the Downtown Development Authority, explained that the utilities at the location were initially billed to the city and then billed to the renter of the space. She said that the renter was current on all the utility payments. 

Sumpter plumbing repairs OK’d by board of trustees

Sumpter Township trustees have authorized the repair of the aging bathrooms and septic field at township hall in an amount not to exceed $144,341.30, with a 5 percent contingency for overruns.

Township Manager Tony Burdick brought the emergency request to the board members during the Aug. 9 workshop preceding their regular meeting. Burdick said the problems with the lavatory facilities at township hall have been ongoing for 2 to 3 years and the plumbing system has now become inoperable. He said that currently the township is paying $1,600 weekly for temporary lavatory services. Township Clerk Esther Hurst said that even with the expensive portable equipment, employees do not have a sink in which to wash their hands.

Explosion destroys home

Fire officials in Sumpter Township are still investigating the cause of an explosion and fire that destroyed a Martinsville Road home at 4:30 p.m. last Saturday. The blast took place as the residents returned from vacation and entered the home, one with a lighted cigarette. The resident suffered burns to approximately 40-percent of his body and was transported to a nearby hospital, according to Fire Chief Rick Brown. A propane leak is suspected as a possible cause of the explosion and fire. Brown said nothing was left of the home when fire crews arrived on the scene. Photo courtesy of Sumpter Fire Department. 

Trustees hear update on township roadwork

Members of the Canton Township Board of Trustees got a look at the future during a recent study session.

Township engineers presented a plan for millage-funded road improvement projects for the next five years in the township. Next year, base repairs and resurfacing of a one-mile section of Lilley Road between Michigan Avenue and Palmer Road is planned and will include significant gaps in sidewalks, they explained. The work will include a connection to the Lilley Road bridge and is expected to cost $1.2 million.

Trolley history tour planned

A trip into the past is planned for Sept. 10 in Westland.

Westland Historic Village Park is sponsoring a Trolley Tour and participants will be driving by and discussing the historical significance of the Westland Mall, the Chief Tonquish burial site, the Malcom X house in Inkster and the former state hospital known as Eloise during the tour.

The trolley tour is a fundraising effort for the Westland Historic Village Park and will begin there. Planned discussions include the historical significance of the former Nankin Township, which was bordered by Joy Road,  Van Born Road, Hannan Road and Inkster Road. In addition, stops at historic sites including Nankin Mills, the Perrinsville schoolhouse, Ganong Cemetery and the Wayne Historic Museum where guests can learn more about the sites.

Making the grade

Westland Department of Diversity Equity and Inclusion Director C. Paschal Eze recently completed the Fostering Inclusion and Diversity program from Yale School of Management. The program was demanding, involving energy and commitment mirroring what is required in a university business school classroom, officials said. His achievement places him in the ranks of highly accomplished leaders from some of the world's greatest companies and organizations, according to a city spokesman.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

City of Wayne to request 8-mill tax hike

Perhaps the third time will be a charm for City of Wayne officials who approved a request for an additional 8-mill levy on the upcoming November ballot. 

Voters have twice rejected the request to approve an additional 5-year, 8-mill levy, which would increase tax rates on property in the city by $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property valuation, usually about half the market value. The owner of a home with a State Equalized Value of $100,000 would see an $800 tax increase. 

Clean up crew

The annual scrubbing and sanitizing of all equipment used in the upcoming Rotary Club Chicken Barbeque set for Sept. 11 during the 66th Annual Plymouth Fall Festival took place last weekend. Rotary club members spent the morning power washing, scrubbing and scouring the racks and other equipment and utensils that will be used in the preparation of about 8,500 chicken dinners to be served on 'Chicken Sunday.' Presale tickets for the dinners are available from any Rotary Club member and will include the traditional half barbequed chicken, chips, an ear of corn, a roll, a beverage and a cookie.

Trustees discuss possibilities for Banotai Park

Sumpter Township trustees recently heard conceptual ideas for a total renovation and remodeling of Banotai Park in the community.

Township Supervisor Tim Bowman discussed the preliminary plans during the Aug. 9 workshop session of the board members, stressing that the plans were conceptual and that no funding mechanism had been discussed or even estimated for the project.

The entire 80 acres of the park needs to be cleared during a first phase of the reclamation, Bowman said, and in another phase the entire 5-acre pond area should be re-dredged allowing for a larger pond of about 15 to 18 feet.

Brews, Brats and Bands event is planned

Preparations are under way for the annual Brews, Brats, & Bands at the Barn fundraising event planned for 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept.10, in Preservation Park.

Despite the lack of the historic barn which was destroyed by fire last year, organizers said they are confident the scenic location at Preservation Park on Ridge Road will remain the perfect backdrop for the popular fall event.

Proceeds from the unique beer tasting event will once again support the Canton Historical Society. 

“This event will always be affectionately known as B4 because it was 'Brews, Brats and Bands at the Barn' and it will remain so even without the physical barn,” said Gregg King, Canton Historical Society member and fundraiser organizer. “Each September it is an honor to host this annual fall tradition at a park that perseveres and celebrates historical buildings.” 

Theater Art exhibit continues

The Village Theater at Cherry Hill will display works of artist John Middlestead in a new exhibit entitled "Black & White and a Splash of Color", in The Gallery at Cherry Hill through Aug. 29. 

Middlestead's selection of works includes photography of subject matters from grand landscapes of national parks to intricate designs of flowers on the kitchen counter. 

Middlestead has lived the majority of his life in Canton and currently resides with his wife, Joan, in South Lyon. He earned his bachelor of fine arts majoring in industrial design, with a minor in photography, from Michigan State University and a master in business administration from Wayne State University.

Spray away

Members of the Canton Township Fire Department teamed up with Canton Leisure Services personnel last week for to host Spray Day in the community. Children from the entire neighborhood appeared to take advantage of the cool water spraying from the fire equipment during the afternoon event. Organizers said it was difficult to determine if the firefighters or the children had the most fun during the afternoon.

Dirty tricks

Officials in Plymouth are continuing to search for the perpetrator of a “tide” of damage to the $1.5 million fountain in the center of Kellogg Park. Nearly every day last week, according to officials, Tide laundry soap pods were inserted into the fountain causing mounds of white suds to overflow and fill the surrounding area of the park. Officials ordered the fountain turned off after the first incident to prevent further damage to the mechanics as the machinery was cleaned and repaired. City officials said that while teens were suspected in the incidents, this was not “good clean fun” as the damage to the fountain plumbing and components is serious and expensive to repair.

Rotary Club readies for 66th Annual Fall Festival

Members of the Plymouth Noon Rotary Club began making preparations for the traditional Fall Festival Chicken Barbeque back in March.

Gary Stoltz, chairman of the club barbeque committee, said they began organizational meetings months ago to ensure that the event will meet the expectations of the 8,500 or so guests who will purchase one of the dinners. As always, the dinners will include a half barbequed chicken, chips, a roll, an ear of corn, a cookie and a bottle of water. This year, due to supply chain and cost increases, the dinners will be priced at $13 if purchased in advance from any Rotary Club member and are now available. Tickets purchased on 'Chicken Sunday' will be $15.  

Track repairs promised

Drivers traveling through Plymouth will see some relief at the jaw rocking, suspension testing railroad tracks in the community.

According to city officials, four railway tracks were set to undergo construction starting last week. The work will be performed and funded by CXS Railroad which is completely responsible for maintenance at the crossings.

Set for school

Members of the Norwayne Community Citizens Council hosted the Back to School Extravaganza and Outdoor Movie last week at the Lincoln-Johnson Field. The popular event included mad science festivities and the distribution of more than 200 backpacks to students in kindergarten through grade 12. Guests were also treated to dinner and refreshments and an outdoor movie presentation of Jumanji. The event was sponsored by Jefferson Barns Community Vitality Center, National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, Community Financial Credit Union, Westland Free Methodist Church and Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency. 

Hazmat team called to deal with mystery substance

City of Wayne public safety officials called for help from the Western Wayne Hazmat team last weekend as they battled an unknown substance in the section of the Rouge River that flows through the city.

According to an official posting from the Wayne Police Department, the unknown substance floating on the area of the Rouge which travels through Wayne was reported to them by both City Councilman Alfred Brock and city resident Bill Schmidt last Friday.

Pickup truck stolen in Westland crashes during escape

Both drivers of two pickup trucks involved in a crash last Wednesday night fled the scene of the accident in Detroit, according to police reports.

One of the pickup trucks was stolen from a Westland home where the thief was confronted by the vehicle owner in the act of driving off with the white 2021 Ford F-150 truck. The owner of the truck was struck by the vehicle as the suspect drove the stolen truck away from the Westland home, according to police. The collision occurred, police said, when the suspect drove through a red light in Detroit during his escape.

Downs development to relocate Farmers Market

Members of the City of Northville Planning Commission have supported a recommendation from the Farmers Market Task Force to establish the amenity outside the proposed Northville Downs development.

Planning commissioners continued their deliberations on the topic of parks, open spaces, and the Farmers' Market during the meeting last week. The current plan allocates space for a temporary Farmers' Market location until the market can be moved to a permanent location. The Farmers' Market Task Force recommended an off-site location as preferred over a permanent location on the Downs project site. 

Magic man

A large and enthusiastic crowd welcomed ‘Magician to the World’ Gordon Russ to the Leanna Hicks Public Library in Inkster last Saturday.Russ and his comedy magic show featuring his trusty sidekick, George the Raccoon, entertained the audience with routines perfected in performances in China, England, Israel and Australia. Several youngsters remembered their “Pick me” signs hoping to be called on stage to help Russ with his illusions.

Fatal shooting under investigation

Michigan State Police continue to investigate the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old man in Inkster.

According to police reports, Elijah Steward was shot and killed as he left the 25 Hour Party Store in Inkster at about 11 p.m. Aug. 6. Witnesses told police that the victim had just left the store on foot when he exchanged words with someone in another vehicle that had just driven into the parking lot on Michigan Avenue near Beech Daly. Some conversation ensued just before witnesses heard gunshots coming from the vehicle and saw Steward fall.

Steward was with a friend when he was fatally wounded, police said.  

Deadline for student art contest is tomorrow

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 are 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. 

Festival For Friends supports shelter

Blue Sky Ice Cream and Hamburgers hosted a three-day festival last weekend to support women and children in crisis. The Festival for Friends was an opportunity for community members to come together for a good cause and have fun, organizers said. Featured activities included a cornhole tournament,  rides in the Jurassic Park Jeep, a movie, fun, games and food. The charity Classic Car Show took place on Sunday.

Murder suspect is found dead

Raymond Bailey
Sumpter Township Police Chief Eric Luke told members of the township board of trustees that the man accused of a quadruple homicide in the community had been found dead in his cell at the Wayne County Jail.

Luke informed the trustees of the suspect's death during the Aug. 9 regular meeting. He said that Raymond Bailey, 39, was awaiting trial in the deaths of four people in a home in the 24000 block of Martinsville Road on Aug. 15, 2020.

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.