Thursday, September 29, 2022

4 men face charges in gun shop thefts

Four men are now facing charges in smash and grab robberies at two separate gun shops Sept. 11 and 12. Two of the men were identified by an acquaintance seeking the $20,000 reward offered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in the incidents. Two others were reportedly arrested following a social media post displaying an array of the stolen weapons, according to authorities.

Charges are being sought against the men in connection to the theft of 76 guns from gun shops in Westland and Dearborn Heights. The first robbery occurred at about 4:31 a.m. Sept. 11 at the Freedom Holster Gun Shop on South Wayne Road in Westland.

A ‘Mazing’

Annual Corn Maze now open at Maybury Farm

Autumn has officially arrived and with it the opening of popular Maybury Farm Corn Maze.

The 10-acre maze opened to the public earlier this month and will continue to entertain and bewilder visitors until Oct. 30. This year, advance tickets will be available for the maze although, as usual, reservations are not required. 

Maybury officials said the maze this year promises to be one of the best with 10 acres of thick, lush corn that features a brand-new design created by the Ford IT Design Group.  The design will present a challenge to adults and children both, a Maybury spokesman said, and will again this year include a scavenger hunt.

Romulus wins $1.548 million in federal fire funding

The City of Romulus Fire Department has been awarded funding to hire six new firefighters from the Department of Homeland Security Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.

Romulus will receive $1,548,799 to fund the six new firefighters on the department. This is the second such grant awarded to the community, according to Romulus Director of Community Safety and Development Kevin Krause.

Goodfellows group hosts Witches Night Out

As the Halloween holiday approaches, members of the Romulus Goodfellows are thinking about Christmas.

This year the club is organizing the first Witches Night Out in the community as an effort to help fund the annual No Child Without A Christmas campaign.  

Witches Night Out is mid-week event that has exploded in popularity across the country during the past few years. The event has a huge following in several states where it has become a destination event drawing people from surrounding areas to attend the event. Attendees attend the event dressed as witches and warlocks and enjoy an evening of Halloween-themed entertainment.

Scarecrow entries are sought

Romulus residents have only until Oct. 3 to complete their entries into the downtown Romulus Scarecrow Contest.

The popular event, which began in the community in 2015, draws more entries each year, organizers said. Entries can be submitted by residents, organizations, businesses, clubs, civic groups and just about anyone interested in brightening up downtown and welcoming fall to the city. The scarecrows will be placed in the downtown Romulus corridor from Oct. 3 through Nov. 4.

New rental housing project is proposed

Neighbors near Geddes and Denton Road in Canton Township may be getting about 500 or so new neighbors over the next few years.

A 449-rental property development received preliminary plan approval from members of the township planning commission earlier this month. The plan will face several other reviews both planning commissioners and members of the township board of trustees prior to any project approval.

Guided art walk planned

Registrations are now being accepted for a special tour of the Detroit Institute of Arts Inside/Out exhibition in Canton Township.

The free tour, guided by a docent from the DIA, will begin at 10 a.m. Oct. 8 with three of the reproductions currently on exhibit in Cherry Hill Village. The tour will begin with cider and donuts at the Preservation Park Pavilion, located at 500 North Ridge Road. The docent will then lead the walking tour which will include three of the masterpiece paintings on exhibit in the township. Participants can then visit the Village Arts Factory for a short tour to learn about the multipurpose studio space where artists can collaborate, create, and display their works. 

Special day

Wayne police officers, including therapy dog Zeke, helped a young resident celebrate her 11th birthday last week. Abbigail Custer, who is battling debilitating cancer, hopes to become a police officer when she grows up. Her mother contacted the department to see if Abbigail might be able to visit headquarters on her special day. Police Sgt. Kyle Talmadge, along with family members, helped organize Abbigail's visit. She started her day with a ride to school in a police vehicle and after classes, enjoyed pizza, birthday cake and a tour of the station, including a long visit with Zeke. Police Chief Ryan Strong let Abbi know that he will be looking for her job application in about 10 years. 

Veteran police officer retires from township

Sgt. David Roberts
Northville Township Police Sgt. David Roberts retired Sept. 16, after a 27-year law enforcement career, 22 of them with Northville Township. 

Roberts' professional highlights include rescuing a lost horse walking down Ridge and Seven Mile roads, training police departments across Michigan about people with autism and winning back-to-back awards for spotting drunken drivers on the roadways. 

Roberts' stellar career with Northville Township began even before he became an officer. At age 19, he was a decoy, assisting the police department as it clamped down on underage sales of alcohol in the township. Back then, he recalled, the detective bureau was housed in a trailer parked outside public safety headquarters. 

Northville names new Senior Services leader

Lindsay Boujoulian
Lindsay Boujoulian has joined the Northville Department of Parks and Recreation, a shared service of the city and Northville Township, as the new Senior Services Supervisor. 

Boujoulian interned with the department while she completed her degree in gerontology at Western Michigan University. 

She previously served as director of marketing at Waltonwood of Cherry Hill and Carriage Park in Canton Township and as lifestyle programs director at Brookdale Living in Southfield. 

Her experience in planning events, following a budget, managing and coordinating staff and volunteers, reaching out to community resources to enrich programs and creating a trusting, caring environment for families and residents will help in her new position in Northville, officials said in a prepared statement. 

‘Murder Under The Bus’

Former newspaper publisher to sign copies of new novel

W. Edward Wendover
Former newspaper publisher W. Edward Wendover will be signing copies of his latest mystery in The Prepositional Murders series from 7 until 9 p.m. Oct. 4 at E.G. Nick's restaurant in Plymouth.

Wendover said the latest novel, Murder Under The Bus, is a satirical look back in time as homicide ruins an otherwise peaceful rock concert. Set in a Florida Airstream village, the plot twists and turns as the police beat reporter from a fictionalized Havana Herald local newspaper investigates the deaths of heirs to an oil company fortune. Much of the story is presented as news stories written by the reporter. 

"This modern-day example of community journalism serving an historic town typifies how American newspapers are needed to tell the news," Wendover said.

New best friends

The City of Inkster welcomed new Animal Control Officer Angie Potter last month. In her first weeks on the job Potter, with more than 20 years of rescue experience and animal education, has demonstrated her commitment to the animals in Inkster and eagerness to educate and assist pet owners, police officials said. Potter has already saved and rehomed seven stray dogs and assisted with the rescue of a baby deer, a raccoon and an injured hawk in the city. In addition, the new officer saved a dog with a bone lodged in its throat, rescued and saved a puppy with Parvo and saved a dog on the verge of death with a bucket stuck on its head. She also saved a dog trapped under a downed tree during the last storm in the city. Officials said Potter has resources available to city pet owners and is planning a low cost vaccine event next spring. 

Health workshops set

Free workshops to help residents experiencing chronic pain are planned in Inkster.

The Chronic Pain PATH (Personal Action Toward Health) workshops are returning to an in-person format beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Offered by the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) at no cost to participants, the six-week workshop features a certified facilitator working with a small group to explore skills and tools to help people become more successful at managing pain and leading healthier, more enjoyable lives. 

Township manager can add to meeting agenda

Sumpter Township Manager Anthony Burdick will now have the ability to place items on the agenda of the board of trustees meeting.

A motion to make the change was approved by the trustees during the Sept. 13 meeting with Trustee Peggy Morgan casting the lone no vote.

Burdick suggested the change, he said, in an effort to make some necessary board considerations and actions more efficient. Previously, only the board members could have an item placed on the agenda for either study sessions or regular meetings. Burdick explained that in some cases this delayed consideration of an issue until the next meeting, which in some cases could be as long as two weeks.

Charity hockey game is planned

Members of the Westland Police Department will face off against players from the Fire Department in a charity hockey game set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Mike Modano Ice Arena in the city. The charity game, dubbed Handcuffs & Hoses, is an effort to generate funds for the Westland Police community Partnership Foundation and the Westland Professional Fire Fighters Charity Foundation. The winners will be able to display the coveted Battle of the Badges trophy. Those who attend the game are asked to bring new or gently used stuffed animals to donate to the Westland Goodfellows. In addition to the game, there will be raffle baskets, Chuck a Puck, a 50/50 raffle and other entertainment. Save the date, organizers said, ticket information will be coming soon. The arena is located at 6210 Wildwood, in Westland.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

New Romulus Trade Center to bring 1,100 jobs

City of Romulus officials and department heads joined NorthPoint
Development executives last week for the official groundbreaking
of the multi-million dollar Romulus Trade Center.  Photo by Roger Kadau
After years of determined negotiations and planning, formal ceremonies celebrated the official groundbreaking of the multi-million-dollar NorthPoint development in Romulus last week.

Local officials and corporate representatives were enthusiastic about the new Romulus Trade Center, a 171-acre project that will offer a combination of retail and industrial space along Smith Road, along the east of Vining Road and the north side of Wick Road in the city. Construction of the first phase of the development is expected to be complete by next summer when the first confirmed tenant in the trade center, Royal Farms, could be open. Royal Farms is a fried chicken fast food chain, which also serves gasoline, based out of Baltimore. The development will eventually provide nearly 2 million square feet of space. 

School district provides key fobs to first responders

Emergencies require fast response, and emergencies in school buildings are no exception. 

To that end, Northville Public Schools officials have insured that first responders have immediate access to school buildings using a key fob designed to open building doors at schools throughout the district.

Last week, school officials distributed the new key fobs, which unlock all school building entry doors, to officers from the Northville Township and City of Northville police departments and the Novi Public Safety Department. The goal is for each officer to carry a key fob on their person at all times so when a situation arises, they can respond and have direct access to any district door equipped with a fob reader.


Goodfellows, Rotary plan ‘fun’draisers

There will be plenty of broom parking available at the upcoming Witches Night Out events in Plymouth and Romulus when women have a chance to help causes dedicated to helping others.

The Plymouth event, organized by members of  the Plymouth Noon Rotary Club, will feature lots of tall, pointed hats, extreme witchy wear and cauldrons brewing up spells. The event is a fundraiser for multiple civic projects in the community which primarily benefit women. Witches Night Out has exploded in popularity across the country during the past few years.

New Henry Ford Hospital open in Plymouth

Emergency medical care may be closer to home for many in the Plymouth area with the opening of the new Henry Ford Medical Center.

The new facility at the Interstate 275 and Ann Arbor Road interchange near Haggerty Road provides emergency, primary and specialty along with the emergency room staffed 24 hours a day, every day, hospital administrators explained.

The 120,000 square foot structure replaces the abandoned K-Mart building which stood empty at the site since the retailer closed the store in 2017 and the building was razed in 2019.

On the job

Romulus Police Ofc. James Paquette has been named as Officer of the Quarter by the department. A 14-month member of the force, Paquette said he finds positive interactions with the public and helping people in need are the most rewarding parts of this job. Paquette spends his spare time at the gym or with friends and family and is a sports enthusiast. He said he credits the influence of his friends and family as helping him achieve his career goals in law enforcement.

Annual Fine Arts Exhibit set to open Oct. 13

Recently created art in a variety of media will be on display during the 28th Annual Canton Fine Arts Exhibition, at The Village Theater Gallery at Cherry Hill next month. The exhibit will open with a special reception and awards presentation beginning with a reception at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13 followed by the awards presentation at 7 p.m

Bringing together works of artists throughout southeast Michigan, this popular exhibit contains works in a variety of media, including:  oil, acrylic, photography, cutwork, ink stippling, colored pencil, woodcut, watercolor, porcelain, graphite, inks, charcoal, conte/pastel, pen and ink, sculpture, silverpoint and mixed media. A total of 168 works were submitted, resulting in the selection of 35 pieces as part of the exhibition, which will continue  through Oct. 30.

Monster Mash

Tickets now on sale for adult event

Participants from previous Cherry Hill Village Monster Mash
events enjoy a fun Halloween experience in costume at
The Village Theater at Cherry Hill. 
The tradition continues as the 21-and-older crowd prepare to attend the Fourth Annual Cherry Hill Village Monster Mash at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton.

This adult Halloween party, set for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15, will feature favorite top 40 hits and Halloween covers by Atomic Radio. Guests can also participate in a costume contest and trivia games, as well as enjoy a cash bar. 

In addition, participants will be treated to a unique experience as the main focus of the event will be a dance party on stage where there will be a bar and tables for seating, organizers said.

‘If Stones Could Talk’

Oakwood Cemetery Tour brings history alive

Visitors can take a step beyond the iron gates and experience the historic side of Northville as they walk among the gravestones of some of the most famous and infamous Northville figures during the Oakwood Cemetery Tour set for Oct. 22.

Dedicated tour guides will escort small groups within the Oakwood Cemetery from noon until 2 p.m. as actors share the storied pasts of those residing in the first cemetery in Northville.

The tours leave every 15 minutes and will last approximately 30 minutes and are designed to be informative, organizers from the Northville Art House, sponsors of the event, said.

At long last

Demolition of buildings at Legacy Park in Northville took place last week when building 17 was razed to make way for new construction. Building17 was the former Services Building at Northville Psychiatric Hospital and was approximately 48,000 square feet in size before it was demolished. The building was constructed in 1954 and was used for occupational therapy, dining and storage. The building was also used to prepare and store food for the hospital operations.

Sumpter enforcing campaign sign ordinance

Sumpter Township will continue to stringently enforce the  current ordinance governing the installation of political signs in the municipality.

Board Trustee Peggy Morgan questioned the provisions of the ordinance during the Sept. 13 study session preceding the regular board meeting. She contended that provisions of the ordinance had not been previously enforced and questioned recent efforts of the police and ordinance officer to require candidates to restrict political signs to the timeframe required by the ordinance

Morgan contended that it has always been the practice of candidates successful in primary elections to leave their signs up until after the general election. She insisted that this had been the practice for several years and that candidates had until five days after the general election to remove the signs.

Belleville Community Chorus rehearsing for concert

Rehearsals are now under way for the Belleville Community Chorus winter concert, Joy-Hope-Love, set for Dec. 11 at First United Methodist Church.

The group welcomes singers from 16 through 96 to join the chorus, whether new vocalists or veterans who have sung with the members in the past. Soprano, alto, tenor, bass or undetermined are welcome to join the chorus, under the direction of Mary Loring, a spokesman said. To join, arrive at the church a few minutes before 7 p.m. any Monday and expect a warm welcome, he added. 

Rotary Club marks Day of Service

Members of the Belleville Rotary Club performed a cleanup at Fireworks Island in Belleville  Sept. 17 as part of Rotary District 6400 A Day of Service. The district wide event was marked by 1,500 members in the district's 52 clubs. On the day of service, club members worked on projects simultaneously to illustrate to themselves and to their communities their far-reaching impact.

"The clubs in our district do a terrific job of taking our motto of Service Above Self  to heart," said District 6400 Governor Traci Sincock. "Sometimes we get so involved in our own projects, though, that we forget to see the big picture. By coordinating some of the projects to take place in one 24-hour period, we can step back and see just how big the impact of our entire district is."

Shooting suspect facing multiple felony charges

The 22-year-old man accused of firing shots at police officers from church windows in Westland last week was scheduled to appear at 18th District Court today for a probable cause hearing.

At his arraignment last week on nine counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of fleeing to elude, one count of carrying a concealed weapon, one count of attempting to kill a police dog and 14 counts of felony firearm violations, Judge Sandra Cicirelli set bond for Stefaun Lefebvre at $750,000. He was remanded to the Wayne County Jail and should he be released on bond, he will be required to wear an electronic tether and remain under house arrest.

Gang robs, assaults woman, 82, disabled daughter

A gang of men robbed and assaulted an 84-year-old Inkster woman and her 59-year-old disabled daughter in separate instances earlier this month.

According to Inkster police reports, the gang of four or five men took $5,000 from the home of the women at about 9:25 a.m. Aug. 8. One of the suspects approached the women as they were standing in their back yard claiming to be a utility worker. He told the women that there was an issue with the gas and water lines coming into the house. 


Members of the Wayne City Council presented an official proclamation to members of the Rotary Club of Wayne during their regular meeting last week. The city officially honored the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Wayne club, which is involved in multiple civic projects throughout the community. Among those celebrating were club members Lois and John VanStipdonk, Patricia Rice, Mayor John Rhaesa and Councilman Kevin Dowd.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Suspect surrenders after church shootout

Michigan State Police Troopers arrested a man suspected in a Detroit robbery last week, after he ran into a Westland church and exchanged gunfire with local, county and state officers.

The man was being pursued by Detroit police officers last Friday, Sept. 9, and was followed to a home near Palmer and Venoy Road in Westland at about 2:30 p.m. When confronted by officers, the suspect fled the vehicle he was driving and entered the Palmer Road Baptist Church, according to police reports. The suspect went to the second floor of the building and fired shots at police vehicles and officers from several of the upper windows of the building. 

Romulus Pumpkin Festival continues tradition in city

This is a big weekend as the 24th Annual Romulus Pumpkin Festival begins tomorrow and continues on Saturday and Sunday at Romulus Historical Park.

The annual three-day event, traditionally set to begin on the third Friday in September, will begin as usual with the popular Parade of Lights organized by the Romulus Rotary Club. Everything in the parade is aglow, from bicycles to cement trucks, and the event usually attracts a crowd of thousands, festival organizers said. The parade will begin at 8 p.m. tomorrow, Sept. 16. There is no entry fee for the lighted parade, but all entries must include multiple lights. Headlights do not qualify.  Questions about this event must be directed to the Romulus Rotary Facebook Page @RomulusRotary or email romulus.rotary@

Victorian Festival honors heritage of bygone age

Take a step back in time this weekend as downtown Northville celebrates the annual Victorian Heritage Festival tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.

The festival, which takes place throughout downtown Northville every September, is a celebration of the rich history and small-town charm of the community, organizers from the Northville Chamber of Commerce said. 

Incorporated as a village in 1867, the next 10 years saw the first diploma awarded from the local high school and the opening of Parmenter's Cider Mill, a community treasure that sits today on Baseline Road.

Registration for B.L.O.C.K. programs is under way

Registration is now under way for the Canton Township Lead #LikeAGirl, Be A #ModelMan, and Youth Advisory Council programs for the 2022-2023 school year. These free programs are available through The B.L.O.C.K. Youth & Teen Center for local youths who are interested in developing critical life skills, such as self-confidence, interpersonal communication skills, stress management, and leadership skills. 

Lead #LikeA Girl was developed in 2015 by The B.L.O.C.K. Youth & Teen Center. This free program enables participants to challenge themselves, discuss relevant issues that young girls face with their peers, and foster relationships with female role models within the community. This award-winning program serves a diverse group of young women ages 11-16 and is designed to change the way that these participants, and the community-at-large, think about what it means to Lead #LikeAGirl and ultimately live #LikeAGirl.

Gotta cut loose

Canton's Summer Youth Musical Theater Intensive Program presented a special production of “Footloose: Youth Edition” on the Main Stage at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill recently. This production was the culmination of a month-long intensive musical theater program for children ages 10 to 18, during which participants immersed themselves in the world of musical theater while honing their performance skills and building creativity, confidence, and collaboration through the arts. “This is the first year that Canton has offered this program that brings together kids from Canton and other metro Detroit communities. 

Theater is displaying artwork

The Village Theater at Cherry Hill will present the featured works of artist Eric Reou in a new exhibit entitled "Natural Abstractions," in The Gallery at Cherry Hill through Oct. 2. The exhibit is free and open to the public during gallery hours: 10 am until 2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; from 4 until 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; during all public performances; or by special appointment arranged via email to

The Village Theater at Cherry Hill is located at 50400 Cherry Hill Road in Canton, MI, 48187.

Chicken Sunday

For the 66th year, members of the Plymouth Rotary Club and student volunteers along with local civic group members celebrated "Chicken Sunday" last weekend with the preparation of more than 8,000 dinners in a single afternoon. Volunteers began loading the pits constructed in the parking lot behind The Gathering with charcoal in the early morning while volunteers began to load and shuck the 10,000 or so ears of corn.

Inkster resident is lottery winner

When Derrick Harrell stopped for gas in Portage on his way home to Inkster, he had no idea his life was about to change.

Harrell, 46, said he usually plays Powerball once a week, and he matched the five white balls -- 06-24-35-37-44 -- in the Aug. 24 lottery drawing to win the million-dollar prize. He purchased the ticket at the Meijer gas station, located at 8994 Shaver Road in Portage.

Carlysle is closed

Motorists in Inkster will find large detour signs on Carlysle Street from Isabelle to Hamilton.

Workers will be repairing and replacing sections using open cut construction for excavation and partial excavation during the work on Carlysle Street which requires the road closure. Work is expected to be completed by Sept. 30. The street should be open to traffic at that time, officials said.

Detour signs posted in the area will direct vehicles south to Annapolis Avenue for the section of road that will be closed for the duration of the work.

Local Comcast cable executive will retire after 40 years

Maria Holmes
Maria Holmes ended her four-decade career in the telecommunications industry last month as she announced her retirement as the director of Community Impact for the Comcast Heartland Region. 

Holmes, of Belleville, was charged with facilitating the connection of corporate and nonprofit resources to help many in the community enhance their quality of life, according to a prepared statement.

“Maria is one of the most dedicated employees I have had the pleasure of working with at Comcast,” said Craig D'Agostini, vice president of External Affairs for the Comcast Heartland Region. “Her passion for community impact has been a tremendous asset to this company and the communities we serve.”

Romulus witches are wanted

Romulus Goodfellows are hosting a Witches Night Out in the community as an effort to help fund the annual No Child Without A Christmas campaign.  

The event is set for 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27 at the Romulus VFW Post 78, 39270 West Huron River Dr. Witch attire is highly recommended.

The cost for the event is $30 per witch. For tickets or information, call (734) 322-7680 or access romulusgoodfellows

Planning commissioners OK Downs development

The proposed development includes several community amenities and
will now move on to consideration by members of the city council.
A seven-hour meeting of the members of the Northville Planning Commission resulted in the approval of the preliminary plans for redevelopment of Northville Downs Racetrack.

The plans will now move forward for consideration by the members of the city council, expected later this month.

Planning commissioners voted 7-2 during the meeting, which began Sept. 6 and stretched into Sept. 7, to recommend approval, with conditions, of the Hunter Pasteur Northville Planned Unit Development (PUD) and Preliminary Site Plan. The plan includes the entire racetrack property and sections of South Center, Cady and Griswold streets which will become a mixed-use development.

Safety first

Northville Township Fire Marshal Tom Hughes was recently appointed by the Michigan Fire Inspectors Society Foundation (MFIS) as their representative on the Michigan Firefighters Training Council (MFFTC) Curriculum Committee. The MFIS is an organization of approximately 600 fire service professionals, both public and private, that collaborate to improve fire and life safety across the State of Michigan. The MFFTC was established to provide policy and direction to the Fire Fighter Training Division to facilitate the effective implementation of Michigan Fire Fighters Training Council approved programs and standards to enhance the safety and performance of Michigan's fire fighters. Hughes’ children were on hand to offer congratulations.

Celebrating safety

Members of  the Knights of Columbus #3021 Notre Dame Council hosted a special remembrance ceremony last Saturday, marking 9-11. This was the second annual Patriots Day celebration honoring the local First Responders from the Wayne- Westland communities. Grand Knight Paul Sposite delivered the keynote address and Cpt. Bill Thomas from the Wayne Fire Department, and Lt. Robert Amore from the Wayne Police Department accepted the honors on behalf of all of the men and women who serve the Wayne-Westland communities. Westland Mayor William R. Wild and Wayne Mayor John Rhaesa attended the ceremony honoring the public safety responders in both communities. Live entertainment included the  HarmonyTown Barbershop Chorus , Neil Lawrence Experience, Plymouth Fife and Drum Corps, and TC and the Katz. Sponsors of the event included Jack Demmer Ford, City of Wayne-Administration and the City of Wayne-Downtown Development Authority

Park project includes survey of Norwayne residents

Residents of the Norwayne community are being asked their opinions about improvements to Venoy-Dorsey Park.

The Friends of the Rouge group, in partnership with the Norwayne Community Citizens Council, the City of Westland, and the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan secured a grant to solicit community input and engagement in the planning process for the park. The effort is part of a Wayne County effort to fill gaps and build new greenway trails and water access infrastructure between parks and the Rouge River. Currently, plans include the installation of two universally accessible kayak launches on the lower Rouge River in the park. 

Westland police planning ‘A Day For You’ at station

It will be a big day for several Westland residents Saturday as members of the police department host "A Day for You" event for children and young adults with disabilities.  The event will include several activities including interaction with police vehicles, canine demonstrations, meeting tactical officers and viewing their equipment, and a tour of the police department.  There are two sessions of the event set, one beginning at 10 a.m. which is by appointment only. This earlier tour is designed for individuals who are sensitive to sensory stimulation and will have no lights or sirens activated and tour groups will be limited to a maximum of 20 at a time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Public ‘Think Tank’ session planned next week

The next step into the future of Romulus will begin with a think tank workshop for the public next Wednesday and Thursday.

The Think-Tank process will help define a broad vision, values, goals and potential directions for Romulus looking out to 2030. It is a highly participatory process that will produce a preferred future scenario for Romulus, validated by the Think-Tank participants, officials said.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Future visioning process continues in Romulus

The recently launched community visioning process - “Vision Romulus - Our Community, Our Future” - will conclude Sept. 12.  

Officials said that participation in the survey has been extensive and that there is still time to complete the survey at Printed copies are available at Romulus City Hall and can be completed at home and returned before the deadline. The survey, however, was only the first of many opportunities for community input, according to city officials.  

The next step in the visioning process is the “Think-Tank” workshop, one of the key engagement events for the overall visioning process.  This scenario-planning workshop will take place from 5:30 until 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21 and Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Romulus Senior Center, 36525 Bibbins St. in Romulus. Refreshments and registration will take place between 5 and 5:30 p.m.

Community readies for Fall Festival

One of the most popular events in the community is set to begin tomorrow with the return of the Plymouth Fall Festival to downtown streets.

The weekend event will feature carnival rides, hometown booths, a craft show, the popular car show, entertainment on the Main Stage in Kellogg Park, a huge Bingo game, the traditional Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, the Party Tent and much more along with the Sunday Rotary Chicken Barbeque.  Attractions and events differ each day, organizers said, and there is a complete schedule available on the website and a printed Fall Festival guide available at no cost throughout the community.

Each and every vendor or attraction at the event must be sponsored by a non-profit community entity, ensuring that the event is charity driven and a proven boost to civic contributions to various community efforts. Several of the service clubs involved provide scholarships to local students and all fund local charitable and civic efforts.

Canton celebrates completion of road reconstruction

Area officials along with Wayne County Executive Warren Evans celebrated
the reconstruction section of a section of Canton Center Road last week.
The area between Ford and Warren roads is set to open to traffic Sept. 12.
 Photo by David Willett
Canton Township and Wayne County officials were on hand last week to ceremoniously open a reconstructed section of Canton Center Road.

The object of near constant complaints, the section of Canton Center from Ford to Warren Road has been under construction for more than four months. While officials cut an opening ribbon and spoke briefly about the importance of the project, the road is not expected to open until next week when road striping is complete. A grinding of the road surface will also be completed before it is open to traffic to ensure that the roadway is completely smooth.

Death of Plymouth celebrity mourned

Bernese Mountain Dog Stella was a celebrity throughout
Plymouth,earning funds for several charities and and the
subject of a popular book. A registered service dog, she spent
hours at the Veterans’ Hospital in Ann Arbor visiting patients.
Stella, a Bernese Mountain Dog who became one of the iconic figures in Plymouth, died Sept. 1, according to her owner and best friend Bob Ostendorf.

Stella, who was immensely popular,  was the mascot and namesake of Stella's Black Dog Tavern and was the subject of a children's book. She and Ostendorf were a familiar sight walking throughout the community. Stella was 12, exceeding the usual life span of her breed, her owner said, and died of cancer.

Stella and Ostendorf were well known for their altruistic efforts in the community. They  raised tens of thousands of dollars during Stella's birthday parties for Humane Society of Huron Valley.

Church break in

Wayne police continue to seek the man who broke into St. Mary School in the early morning of Wednesday, Sept. 1. Video surveillance cameras recorded the incident at about 2 a.m. according to a church spokesman. The man gained entry into the school after throwing a brick through one of the doors facing Michigan Avenue, shattering the glass. Church officials are asking the public for help in identifying the man whom, they said, was in the building for only about two minutes. Anyone with information regarding the incident or who recognizes the man is asked to contact the Wayne Police Department at (734) 721-1414.

Community prepares for annual Pumpkin Festival

The 24th Annual Romulus Pumpkin Festival is planned for Sept. 16, 17 and 18 this year at the Romulus Historical Park located at 11147 Hunt St. in the city.

The annual Pumpkin Festival is a three-day event that starts on the third Friday in September and begins with the Parade of Lights, where everything is aglow, from bicycles to cement trucks. The Parade of Lights, sponsored and organized by members of the Romulus Rotary Club, attracts a crowd of thousands, festival organizers said. The parade will begin at 8 p.m. Sept. 16. There is no entry fee for the lighted parade, but all entries must include multiple lights.  Applications are available at the Community Development Office in Romulus City Hall, where the completed form should also be returned. All questions about this event must be directed to the Romulus Rotary Facebook Page @RomulusRotary or email

Goodfellows host Witches Night Out

As the Halloween holiday approaches, the Romulus Goodfellows are already thinking about Christmas.

This year the club is organizing the first Witches Night Out in the community as an effort to help fund the annual No Child Without A Christmas campaign.  

Witches Night Out is mid-week event that has exploded in popularity across the country during the past few years. 

The event has a huge following in several states where it has become a destination event drawing people from surrounding areas to attend the good-natured evening of Halloween celebration. 

B.L.O.C.K. program registrations now under way

Registration is now under way for the Canton Township Lead #LikeAGirl, Be A #ModelMan, and Youth Advisory Council programs for the 2022-2023 school year. These free programs are available through The B.L.O.C.K. Youth & Teen Center for local youths who are interested in developing critical life skills, such as self-confidence, interpersonal communication skills, stress management, and leadership skills. 

Lead #LikeA Girl was developed in 2015 by The B.L.O.C.K. Youth & Teen Center. This free program enables participants to challenge themselves, discuss relevant issues that young girls face with their peers, and foster relationships with female role models within the community. This award-winning program serves a diverse group of young women ages 11-16 and is designed to change the way that these participants, and the community-at-large, think about what it means to Lead #LikeAGirl and ultimately live #LikeAGirl.

Traditional Victorian Festival returns to Northville

Northville will take a step back in time next weekend with the return of the Victorian Heritage Festival Sept. 16, 17 and 18.

The festival, which takes place in downtown Northville every September, is a celebration of the rich history and small-town charm of the community, organizers from the Northville Chamber of Commerce said. 

Incorporated as a village in 1867, the next 10 years saw the founding of the local newspaper, The Northville Record, as well as the first diploma awarded from the local high school and the opening of Parmenter's Cider Mill, a community treasure that sits today on Baseline Road.

Township forum planned

Northville Township officials are hosting a Master Plan Forum open to all residents.  The forum will  provide introductory information and allow community members to provide key input on how the township can develop moving forward. Organizers are hoping to learn which features and amenities are most popular with residents and issues residents consider challenges facing the township. 

The forum is an effort to coordinate a vision for the future to help guide the Northville Township Master Plan effort.

Park reclamation plans moving forward

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees are moving ahead with the reclamation and improvement plans for Banotai Park.

During the Aug. 23 meeting, trustees approved the appointment of Township Supervisor Tim Bowman, Township Manager Tony Burdick and attorney Rob Young as representatives to review the plans and design of the park and Sherwood Pond. All plans and designs would be presented to the board members for consideration.

The board members also approved a contract with Wade Hoppe, an architect from Davenport Brothers Construction, to prepare a design and master plan along with four associated designs for the new Sumpter Township Fairgrounds at a cost of $11,500.

Manager responds to questions about fencing bid

Sumpter Township Manager Anthony Burdick put questions about a recent bid award for work at the township fairgrounds to rest during the Aug. 23 meeting.

While there may have been some confusion regarding the bid specifications, Burdick said each bidder was offered an opportunity to reexamine the bid documents to “confirm their bids” prior to the awarding of the contract to Davenport Fence.

During the audience comment portion of the agenda, Eric Partridge expressed his disappointment and concern that the contract for fencing at the fairground was awarded to the highest bidder and noted that Allied, the low bidder was, $18,000 less. He said it was a serious concern that township taxpayers were being asked “to pay double” for fencing at the fairgrounds.

Parks administrator named

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees have named Township Manager Anthony Burdick as interim parks director.

Burdick will now be the main source of communication with the board members regarding park grants and other matters. Trustee Matthew Oddy noted that the new designation would not change or interfere with the work of the Parks and Recreation Commission or Park Grants Administrator Sharon Pokerwinski.

Free internet program offered by Comcast

Inkster residents can now learn more about enrolling in the new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to get Internet service for free. Any Xfinity customer across all Comcast markets who qualifies for ACP can apply their $30 credit toward their monthly Internet and/or Xfinity Mobile bill. Customers can also sign up for Internet Essentials Plus, a service that includes 100 Mbps speed, a cable modem, access to millions of WiFi hotspots, and unlimited data for $29.95 per month. The Inkster Verizon store offering the enrollment help is located at 27195 Cherry Hill Road. 

 In addition, through Project UP, Comcast's $1B commitment to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities, the company is partnering with its network of thousands of non-profit organizations in communities across the country to increase awareness of, and participation in, ACP.

Safety first

Westland provides training for school crossing guards

Crossing guards in Westland went 'back to school' recently to learn new safety
techniques from members of the Westland Police Department as part of a new
safety program in the community.
School crossing guards in Westland went back to classrooms themselves recently as police conducted training sessions to help keep children safe.

The program is new and innovative, a police spokesman said. This remodeled approach includes a much broader and more expansive outlook on child safety, he added. The new school crossing guard program has a much more inclusive response to child safety including training in CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) and first aid certification.

Tree brought down by storm

The storm last week caused damage and fires throughout the area as high winds took down power lines causing multiple fires throughout the area. In Westland, a huge tree was apparently struck by lightning and fell, nearly missing one home and landing on two cars parked on Markey Street. 

The 50-foot tree crashed into the vehicles parked near the home of Steven Novak last Monday, Aug. 29. Novak said he heard a loud cracking noise which rousted him from his living room along with his wife and young son. He said he felt "very lucky" that his family avoided injury. 

In addition to the damage to the two parked cars, large branches of the falling tree damaged the home of Stephan Rodwell, scraping the corner of the roof of the house. No estimate of damage was available at press time. 

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Former mayor pleads guilty to wire fraud

Leroy Burcroff
Former Romulus Mayor LeRoy Burcroff entered a plea of guilty last Thursday to federal wire fraud charges, a 20-year felony. Burcroff was charged with spending more than $15,000 of campaign-designated funds on personal expenses. 

Federal prosecutors alleged that Burcroff, 58, defrauded campaign donors who believed the money would be spent on a re-election effort. Burcroff was elected as mayor in 2013 and reelected in 2017 after serving several terms on the Romulus City Council. He opted not to seek reelection in 2021 as allegations of misappropriation of campaign funds were reported by the media.

Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges in July, alleging that Burcroff spent the money on personal and family expenses. Burcroff's attorney Walter Piszczatowski continued to defend the former mayor noting that he had repaid the campaign fund.

Bright lights

Historic State Wayne Theatre celebrates 75th anniversary 

The new marquee at the 75-year-old State Wayne Theater was
completed last week with the final lighting in place and the new
lettering proudly displayed. The renovation was funded, in part,
by a facade improvement grant from the Wayne Downtown
Development Authority.
The 75th anniversary of the State-Wayne Theatre, which opened on Dec. 29, 1946 includes a reunion party for the theater staff from the past seven decades and an update of the grand Marquee.

The State-Wayne remains the oldest operational business in downtown Wayne. Being a part of the city history, the special anniversary and reunion party for former employees of the theater is planned for 6 p.m. Sept. 7.  

“If you were a former employee of the theatre at any time over the past seven decades, I am personally inviting you to attend our reunion party,” said Phoenix Theatres State-Wayne President and owner Cory Jacobson. “I meet people every week that have the fondest memories of having worked at the State-Wayne, and as someone who grew up in the theatre business, I have a personal nostalgia for the unique family theatre working experience.

Sumpter receives top marks on financial audit

Sumpter Township is in excellent financial condition, according to Rana Emmons, a Certified Public Accountant with Post Smythe Lutz and Zeal, the independent auditing firm of the township.

Emmons told the board members during the Aug. 23 meeting that she would rate the township 10, 10 and 9.5 on a 10-point scale in three areas: financial health, reporting and efficiency. Emmons, a specialist in municipal accounting, praised the work of Financial Director Scott Holtz, Township Manager Tony Burdick and Treasurer Vincent Warren, and their respective staff members. Emmons' highly favorable rating came in response to a question from Deputy Supervisor/Trustee Tim Rush who said he wanted to be sure that residents could understand the audit report.

Vietnam veterans’ group welcomes Fall Festival

For the past several years, one of the major fundraisers for the Plymouth
Canton Vietnam Veterans’ group has been the Fall Festival Party Tent
behind E.G. Nick's on Forest Street. The tent features live music and beverage
service on both Friday and Saturday night and 100 percent of the $5 cover
charge is donated to the veterans’ group.
There are about 300 Vietnam veterans who are looking forward to the arrival of the Plymouth Fall Festival again this year.

For the past several years, one of the major fundraisers for the veterans' group which formed in 1978, “To promote and support the full range of issues important to Vietnam era veterans,” is the popular Party Tent behind E.G. Nick's on Forest Avenue. Owners Tony Belli and Frank Agostini began donating the entire cover charge of $5 per person to the group about five years ago. Since then, word has spread and contributions at the entrance to the huge, air-conditioned tent in the parking lot have become a tradition among the over 21 crowd.

Canton adopts new emergency notification system

Canton Township residents will soon have a new alert system from the local public safety department.

Canton has launched a new CodeRED mass notification system to send alerts and time-sensitive messages to residents and staff members. In addition to emergency and critical messages, the CodeRED notification system will also enhance community engagement through the release of other important but non-emergency community messages to those who wish to subscribe, a police official said in a prepared statement. The new system became operable today, Sept. 1, and will replace the existing Nixle mass notification system the township has been using.

Crossing repair is scheduled

Drivers in downtown Plymouth found North Main Street closed Monday morning as work began on the cratered railroad crossing.

According to CSX railroad, the work could take as long as two weeks to complete, which should see the crossing reopen to traffic just before the Plymouth Fall Festival which brings about 20,000 visitors to the community. The reopening of the crossing could be delayed by the Labor Day holiday, officials said, which would present some problems.

City prepares for annual Pumpkin Festival

The 24th Annual Romulus Pumpkin Festival is planned for Sept. 16, 17 and 18 this year at the Romulus Historical Park located at 11147 Hunt St. in the city.

The annual Pumpkin Festival is a three-day event that starts on the third Friday in September and begins with the Parade of Lights, where everything is aglow, from bicycles to cement trucks. The Parade of Lights, sponsored and organized by members of the Romulus Rotary Club, attracts a crowd of thousands, festival organizers said.

Off duty

Capt. Damian “Shrek” Hull retired after 25 years of service with the Romulus Police Department last week. During his career with the department he served as a field training officer; crime prevention officer; evidence technician and firearms / taser / defensive tactics instructor. Hull was a member of the CHIEF Task Force and established the department honor guard and was instrumental in the Romulus Citizens' Academy. He served as the department accreditation manager and as operations captain.”Hull was also a master at creating pdf and excel forms. He was definitely a man of many talents, and he will be missed. More than anything, we will miss the delicious donuts that he would bring ‘almost’ every Thursday,” a fellow officer said.The department also recently promoted several officers including Sgt. Matthew Reese, Sgt. Andrew Carriger, Lt. Eric Smith, and Lt. Roger Salwa.

‘Miss Amazing’ is honored

Members of the Romulus City Council unanimously approved a formal recognition for local resident Lucy Taylor who was recently crowned Miss Amazing Pre-Teen in a pageant in Nashville, TN. 

Taylor, a student at Barth Elementary School, brought home the crown to Romulus noted City Councilwoman Celeste Roscoe who proposed the resolution during the Aug. 8 meeting. Miss Amazing is a non-profit organization supporting girls and women with disabilities.

Westland council OKs third marijuana site

Westland will have more than $35 million in marijuana facilities in the city following approval of the site plan for a third outlet by members of the city council last week. 

LJA has submitted plans to construct an 11,600 square footbuilding for cultivation and a 4,950 square foot building provisioning center for sales. The new $8.5 million project will be located near Cherry Hill and Newburgh Road and is allowed under the city cannabis ordinance, noted Westland Mayor William R. Wild.

Plans for two other cannabis facilities were approved by city officials earlier this year. Korval/Kinship will be located at 37435 and 37601 Cherry Hill Road and will include two separate buildings, one of 21,313 square feet to be used for growing and cultivation and a second of 6,080 square feet intended as a retail outlet. The total investment approved for the buildings totaled $4.3 million, according to city officials.

Movie time

Members of the Wayne Police Department joined the crowds at Goudy Park in Wayne last weekend for movie night. The community event is organized and sponsored by the Downtown Development Authority. On hand to enjoy the showing of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 were Police chief Ryan Strong along with Zeke, the department therapy dog, Sgt. Jordan Arndt, Ofc. Keith Williams and Ofc. James Serman. A free backpack for the first 50 students donated by the Michigan Railroad Association was planned, and the Smoke House Fire Trailer was on hand offering fire safety and training. Food trucks provided refreshments and there was free popcorn for all.

Son is sentenced in murder

Flem Stiltner IV
A 27-year-old Westland man has been sentenced to 29 to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of his father nearly two years ago.

Flem Stiltner, IV, was charged with first-degree murder after stabbing his 48-year-old father, Flem Stiltner, III, nearly 100 times in the victim's Wayne home in August of 2020. The victim's body was then placed in the bed of a  pickup truck and taken toward Belleville Lake in Van Buren Township where the truck became mired in mud.

Investigators found the vehicle and a journal entry with the alleged murder plot. 

Planning commission considers Downs plan

Artist's rendering of proposed Northville Downs development.
Members of the Northville Planning Commission are expected to finalize their recommendations and list of conditions regarding the proposed development of the Northville Downs racetrack property.

Under consideration are the preliminary site plans for the Hunter Pasteur mixed use development at the downtown site. During a meeting Aug. 16, commissioners discussed infrastructure, financials, and phasing and traffic concerns along Seven Mile Road. Members of the commission have addressed the question of sufficient, accessible parking and asked the developer about the shape of the retention pond in River Park. Hunter Pasteur Homes CEO Randy Wertheimer noted if the pond can be designed to allow for an additional pathway along the back of the carriage homes, they would present that option. 

Art House exhibit to feature works of 40 artists

The Northville Art House will present the 14th annual West of Center: Art That Pushes Boundaries all-media exhibition through Sept. 24. The exhibition, juried by Detroit sculptor and instructor Sergio de Giusti, features 52 works created by 40 artists from Michigan and around the country. The theme this year centers on pushing beyond what is comfortable to create the unexpected. Artists were encouraged to use tools, processes, and skills in unconventional ways; to take risks with style by experimenting with color, media, detail, and technique; to consider scale, materials, ideas, and subject matter; and to release expectations, be playful, and have fun, explained Creative Director Ryan Kaltenbach.

Threats to Sumpter supervisor investigated

An obscenity-laced threat of violence sent to Sumpter Township Supervisor Tim Bowman by a political candidate has been referred to the police department for investigation.

Sheena Barnes, 62, the democratic candidate for township treasurer, sent the explicit and racial epithet filled threat to Bowman last week and it was automatically recorded. 

After hearing the recording, which includes physical threats against Bowman and his wife, he referred the recording to the police department, citing harassment, intimidation and the stated physical threat. 

3-year-old killed in wrong-way collision

A 29-year-old Inkster woman could face drunk driving charges in the crash that killed her 3-year-old son and injured her five other children.

Farmington Hills police responded to a two-vehicle crash at about 2.34 a.m. Aug. 8. According to police reports, the Inkster woman was driving northbound in the southbound lane on Inkster Road. Passengers in her vehicle included her six children, ages 10, 7, 5, 3, 18-months and 8- months of age. The 3-year-old was not in a child seat or restrained and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

Bank robber admits guilt

An Inkster man who was arrested hiding in a Porta Potty following a Dearborn bank robbery has entered a guilty plea to federal bank robbery charges.

Charles William Woolery, 52, admitted that he was the man who robbed the Dearborn Federal Savings Bank on March 22, according to a news release. During the robbery, Woolery handed a bank teller a note that demanded she “smile” and put money in a bag or he would “kill everyone,” the release said. He implied he had a weapon with a gesture to his hip, according to investigators.