Thursday, October 27, 2022

Multiple lawsuits against Wayne continue

City of Wayne attorneys have had a bad few weeks in court recently as multiple judges continue to rule against their efforts.  Lawyers representing the city have been attempting to have lawsuits dismissed and to disallow evidence in several connected cases. 

John Peters, a Rochester Hills attorney representing Wayne Police Ofc. Abraham Hughes in his suit alleging breach of implied contract and tortious interference in the promotion of a police chief, recently issued a statement regarding decisions in multiple matters before various courts. Peters said that while he generally refrains from commenting on any of his ongoing cases, recent actions of Wayne city officials prompted him to publicly comment.

Special deliveries

New automated food warehouse now open in Romulus

Romulus city officials join Kroger Co. management to celebrate
 the opening of a new robotic food shopping facility.
The new service delivers to homes within 90 minutes
of the city and brings 700 jobs to the city.
Grocery shopping took a step into the future last Tuesday with the official opening of the Kroger Customer Fulfillment Center in Romulus.

This isn't your parents' online shopping service, for sure

The 135,000 square-foot facility will supply specific orders from shoppers who reside within 90-minutes of the site, facilitating the Kroger Co. delivery service in metro Detroit. Kroger Delivery utilizes temperature-controlled vans and machine learning algorithms that optimize delivery routes. Orders are delivered to customers' doorsteps by trained Kroger associates ensuring what the company calls “a best-in-class delivery experience.”

Business may ‘blossom’ in former Gardner White

The huge empty building on Ford Road near Home Depot may soon blossom into a children's play center next summer.

The 26,000 square-foot building, which formerly housed a Gardner White Furniture store, is being considered as a third location for a children's center that specializes in care for special needs children.

Anna Holmes, president of clinical operations for Blossom Children's Center, appeared before members of the Canton Township Planning Commission to request a special land permit use for the building. The site is currently zoned as a corporate park overlay district, so any commercial or non-residential use requires a special land use permit.

Special remembrance

Members of the Wayne City Council and Mayor John Rhaesa presented a formal photograph of the first city therapy dog, Zeke, to Police Chief Ryan Strong. The golden retriever died earlier this month after a short battle with cancer. The photo is to be displayed at police headquarters to “honor his life and service.” Strong personally funded the purchase and training of Zeke.

Westland mayor is honored for service

Mayor William R. Wild 
Westland Mayor William R. Wild was presented with the 2022 Michael A. Guido Leadership and Public Service Award from the Michigan Municipal League recently. Wild is the former president of the league.

The Guido Award celebrates a chief elected official who personifies professionalism and leadership, is an active league member, is dedicated to the citizens in their community and advocates on their behalf in Lansing and Washington, DC, a spokesman said.

“From everyone at the league, I would like to congratulate Bill on receiving this award.” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the league. “It was a pleasure to work with Bill when he served as the league's board president. He has created a great impact on Michigan's communities, we are so proud of what he helped the league accomplish. Additionally, his service to the Westland community makes this award very well-deserved and earned.”

Goodfellows help available

Getting ready for the holiday season are Plymouth
Goodfellows members (top row, at left) Treasurer Harry Stansell,
Sandy Kettenbeil, Secretary Dayna Pina and Kristen Schlott.
In the bottom, from left are President Kristen Farmer,
 Lillian Drauss, Don Hess, Barb Turnbull, Mike Lax.  Elaine Kuzma,
Denise Tetlow, Julie Johnston, and Mike Lax. Members not present
for the photo include Vice President Julie Johnston, Barrie Brown,
 Jane Gerou, Denise Tetlow, Nancy Maleki and Colleen McKeegan.
The Plymouth Goodfellows are already preparing for the holiday season and accepting applications from those who may need help at

Applications are available at the Plymouth District Library on Main Street and applications must be submitted by Oct. 31. 

Last year, the Plymouth Goodfellows helped 52 families and 113 children, a spokesman explained and the mission of the group is to provide toys and clothing to children in need, along with food for their families at Christmas. Families who live in zip code 48170 with children up to 18 who need help are eligible.  The completed application should be mailed to Plymouth Goodfellows, P.O. Box 700912 Plymouth MI 48170.

Registration under way for annual free veterans’ dinner

Local veterans and active military families have only until Wednesday, Nov. 16, to register for the 9th Annual Veterans and Active Military and Families Holiday Meal Program.

The program is sponsored annually by Westland Mayor William R. Wild, Wayne Mayor John P. Rhaesa and Wayne-Ford Civic League President Vic Barra, along with other city officials.

Veterans and those in active military service and their families can register for a free holiday meal to be picked up from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Wayne Ford Civic League located at 1661 N. Wayne Road. 

Holiday Home Tour tickets now on sale

On the tour this year is this traditional home which
 features an elegant floor plan with beautiful finishes.
The home features a front yard pond and backs
up to Maybury State Park, making it truly unique. 
One of the most popular holiday season events will return to Northville this year. The traditional Holiday Home Tour organized by the Northville Community Foundation will return to a live format this year.

Five private homes, lavishly decorated for the holiday season, will be open to visitors from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Nov. 18 and 19. Tickets this year are priced at $25 if purchased in advance and $30 if purchased the day of the event.

One of the homes features an elegant floor plan with beautiful finishes, explained Carol Lehmann, the board administrator at the Northville Community Foundation and Maybury Farm.

Garden Club sets meetings

Members of the Country Garden Club of Northville have scheduled meetings through next spring at Plymouth First United Methodist Church in Plymouth.

Meetings will begin at 11 a.m., refreshments will be served and speakers will follow at 11:30 a.m. 

The scheduled speaker for Nov. 2 is Cheryl English who will discuss Birds in the Garden; on Jan. 4, Sandra Healey will speak about Floral Designs, Forcing Bulbs and Branches. The Feb. 1 program will be a workshop about terrariums with speaker Rachel Nisch from Graye's Greenhouse. There is a $10 fee for this meeting only. 

2 teens killed in house fire

A gas leak is the suspected cause of a house fire that killed two teen boys in Inkster last Friday.

The teens, 17 and 15, were alone in the home near Inkster Road and Michigan Avenue, officials said. Fire officials said that the fire had extinguished itself when they arrived at the scene but had obviously been burning for some time. Firefighters were called to the home at 27107 Florence St. about 11 p.m. Oct. 21.

Neighborhood violence feeding students’ fears

The recent report of a third student with a gun at Belleville High School may be connected to an ongoing neighborhood dispute in Ypsilanti, according to Superintendent of Van Buren Schools Pete Kudlak.

The latest incident occurred Oct. 12 when high school administrators were notified that a student had posted a social media video of himself brandishing a firearm. The video was not taken at Belleville High School, according to reports from Belleville Police Chief David Robinson, but school administrators and police located the student as he arrived at school the morning of Oct. 13. A firearm was subsequently discovered on his person and he told school administrators that he was carrying the firearm in an effort to protect himself in an ongoing neighborhood conflict. 

Graduation day

Romulus Police Lt. Eric Smith, center, proudly displays his certificate of completion from the prestigious Eastern Michigan University Staff and Command Executive Leadership Program. Smith has been in law enforcement for more than 18 years and spent nine years with the Detroit Police Department before joining the Romulus force in 2013 as a patrolman. He has steadily earned promotions to his current rank. Romulus Police Chief Robert Pfannes, left, and Deputy Chief Derran Shelby, right, were on hand to congratulate Smith on his achievement. 

Treasurer suggests club withdraw endorsement

The maelstrom surrounding Sumpter Township candidate for treasurer Sheena Barnes continued last week as current Treasurer Vincent Warren suggested members of the Southwestern Wayne Democratic Club board withdraw any endorsement of her candidacy.

Barnes has admitted to police investigators that she made a heated phone call to Township Supervisor Tim Bowman. That obscenity-laced and racially explicit recorded call has been referred by the township police to another agency following an investigation and interview with Barnes. The call contains vulgar language and a physical threat to Bowman. The obscene language and hysteria of the call could only be treated as a threat, Bowman said.


International Showcase set in Canton

Performers posed for photos during previous Canton
International Showcases at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill.
 Photos courtesy of The Village Theater at Cherry Hill. 
Visitors can experience music, dance, and drama from around the world when the International Showcase returns to The Village Theater at Cherry Hill on Saturday from 2 until 4:30 p.m. Nov. 5.

This annual cultural and educational festival celebrates the diversity of Canton and surrounding communities through song and dance on the main stage of the theater.

Featured performers this year include: Verdi Opera Theatre of Michigan, Hoaloha Polynesian Dance Group, Ann Arbor Jade Dance, Taiji Stream, Sakura Japanese Instrumental Group, Asian Indian Dance Group, Fay and Josie Zhou, Swar Mandir School of North Indian Classical Music, and Jolly Dance Team and Lavender Guzheng Team.

Holiday Artisan Market will take place Nov. 5

Previous Holiday Artisan Market vendors on display at
the Summit on the Park Banquet Center, hosted
 by the Canton Farmers Market. 
What has become a tradition for some holiday shoppers will return to the Summit on the Park in Canton Township in time for the season.

The Fifth Annual Holiday Artisan Market will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5 in the Summit Banquet Center. Organizers said shoppers usually find unique gift items for everyone on their list, including friends, family, and even something for themselves. 

“After another incredibly successful regular season, the Canton Farmers Market staff is thrilled to be able to bring together local artists and crafters to share their talents during this special market, just in time for the holidays,” said Canton Farmers Market Coordinator Octavian Borowicz.  “This popular annual event offers shoppers a chance to shop locally and support our community's artisans, who look forward to sharing their handcrafted goods here each year.”

‘Peeper’ is charged

The man accused of spying on a fellow shopper at a used clothing shop in Canton Township is due back in court tomorrow.

Willie Eugene Davis, 40, was arrested following a report from a customer at Plato's Closet Canton on Ford Road, according to police. The incident was reported Oct. 17.

“Davis is suspected of attaching a recording device to his shoe and recording a store patron in an adjacent dressing room,” police said.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Priest found guilty of raping 7-year-old

Father Joseph “Jack” Baker
Father Joseph “Jack” Baker, 60, has been convicted of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old boy in 2004 while he was serving as the priest at St. Mary Parish in Wayne. Baker became the pastor of St. Mary Parish in Wayne in 1997 and held that position until 2008. During that time, Baker was also an administrator at Kevin and Norbert Parish in Inkster from 2003-2004 and Holy Family Parish in Inkster from 2003-2008.

Prosecutors alleged that Baker raped the boy in a church sacristy when the child was a second-grade student. Baker was found guilty of first-degree sexual conduct including sexual penetration with a person under 13 in Wayne County Circuit Court last Thursday by a Wayne County jury before Judge Bridget Hathaway. The victim, now 26, testified that he didn't tell anyone about the incident at the time because Baker told him afterward that the sexual assault was “his own sin.”

‘Reel’ deal

Local filmmaker seeks funding for feature film

Anyone who has ever wanted to be in the movie business now has the chance to help support a feature-length film set to begin shooting in March.

Lifelong Romulus resident Jesse McAnally, who has already completed more than 10 short films and won more than 30 awards for his work, is looking for help funding his latest project - his first feature-length  film. His campaign to help finance his latest project is now active on Kickstarter and will be available until Nov. 4, he said.  Kickstarter works by having the public pledge money toward the goal, but credit cards will only be charged once (and if) the campaign goal is reached. There are various rewards and extra add-ons "backers" can choose for different donation levels. Supporters might be able to get stickers or buttons, their name in the credits, access to behind-the-scenes photos and videos, or even receive a prop used in the film, McAnally explained.

Write on

The first Plymouth-Canton Bookfest at Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex last week was a tremendous success as hundreds of avid readers visited to shop and listened to some of their favorite authors. More than 100 vendors were on site and authors including Mia Odeh, author of “Mia's Odyssey,” Bill Morrison, legendary artist, author, and integral part of 'The Simpsons' franchise, Mark Clague, author of “O Say Can You Hear? A cultural biography of The Star- Spangled Banner," Ken Fischer, author of "Everybody In, Nobody Out. Inspiring Community at Michigan's University Musical Society" spoke to the crowds. The event was sponsored by Community Financial and the Plymouth Rotary Club.

Candidate’s explicit phone call is posted online

An obscenity-laden recording of a phone call made to Sumpter Township Supervisor Tim Bowman by a current candidate for treasurer has been posted on public websites.

The call, made to Bowman by Sheena Barnes, the democratic candidate for treasurer, contains highly explicit, vulgar language including multiple racial epithets. In the recording, Barnes also physically threatens Bowman and his family members. In light of the incendiary language and emotionally charged content of the recording, Bowman referred the call to the Sumpter Police Department for investigation and possible criminal action, citing harassment and intimidation along with the overt physical threat.

Chorus rehearsals continue

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 voclaists or veterans who have sung with the members in the past. Soprano, alto, tenor, bass or undetermined, the chorus, under the direction of Mary Loring, is open to all who love music and singing, 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. 

Area mourns death of activist Leanna Hicks

Mrs. Leanna Hicks
One of the most revered former residents of the Inkster community, Leanna Hicks, died Oct. 9 at the age of 102 in Westland.

The Inkster Public Library is named for Mrs. Hicks, a former journalist, community worker, youth director, historian, library activist and humanitarian. Mrs. Hicks spent more than half a century involved in the improvement of local libraries and the preservation of local history. Through her more than four decades of service of the Inkster Historical Commission, she oversaw hundreds of acquisitions and improvements in the Inkster library and historical collections. She was the founder of The Friends of the Inkster Library, a decades-old Inkster library support group. She also served with the Wayne County Federation Library and the Wayne County Library Commission during her storied career.

Nominations sought for Romulus Person of Year

The 36th Person of the Year will be named in Romulus next spring.

Nominations for the honor will be accepted by the Greater Romulus Chamber of Commerce until Dec. 8 by mail, email, in person or online. No nominations postmarked or received after Dec. 8 will be considered for the honor.

The criteria for the nominees are individuals that have made significant contributions to Romulus and residents of the community.

Dig in

Volunteers needed to help plant 15 trees this Saturday 

Again this year, Romulus residents are invited to make a difference in the community that can last decades.

This Saturday morning, from 8:45 a.m. until noon, volunteers are needed to help plant 15 trees in Romulus. ReLeaf Michigan, a non-profit tree organization, is partnering with the city to help plant the trees. Funding this year is being provided by the DTE Foundation. ReLeaf Michigan is the only statewide tree planting non-profit organization in the state, working with communities and organizations throughout Michigan to protect and restore urban tree canopies.

Historical society seeks new board members

The Canton Historical Society, a volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation of local historical information and resources in the township, currently has four board positions open.

Letters of interest in joining the group and serving on the board are now being accepted from township residents seeking to learn more about history, meeting other history buffs, or helping preserve the rich past of the community. The Canton Historical Society offers valuable opportunities for individuals interested in helping keep the history of Canton alive, organizers said.  Once appointed, these volunteer board members will begin a three-year term starting in 2023.  

Halloween fun

Canton plans 2 events for kids

Participants wear their Halloween costumes during a previous
Trick or Treat Story Trail organized by the Canton Leisure
Services and Canton Public Library.
Canton Township is ready for Halloween with several activities to help even the youngest members of the family celebrate the season.

The Canton Township Trick or Treat Story Trail returns Thursday, Oct. 27 as  staff members from Canton Leisure Services, the Canton Public Library, and Canton Public Safety distribute candy along story trail in Heritage Park for from 4-9 p.m. Participants of all ages will enjoy the featured story. Pre-registration is required for all children regardless of age.  Fees are $10 per child for Canton residents and $13 for non-residents. For additional information or to register, visit

Mental health workshops are set

Canton Township Leisure Services is currently offering a free series of mental health workshops to help area residents learn important self-care skills. Participants in the Family First and Social Services Workshops will receive information and be introduced to practices that support mental well-being, according to Laura Mortier, Canton recreation supervisor. 

“Our goal with these free workshops is to offer resources, as well as educational opportunities, so that individuals can find tools of support for themselves or ways to help support others,” said Mortier. “These unique opportunities are designed to show and help participants learn how to nurture themselves and develop mindful self-care plans on a variety of topics.” 

3 city council seats on Wayne ballot Nov. 8

The Nov. 8 ballot in Wayne will ask voters to choose three city council members to serve 2-year terms. 

One seat is available in Ward Six where Matthew Mulholland and incumbent Phillip Wagner each hope to garner voters' favor and win the ward seat at the city council table. In Ward Five, Eric Cleereman and Rabih Darwiche, both first-time candidates, are vying for the seat.  

Deborah Wass is the lone candidate seeking election in Ward Four. Wass was appointed last year to serve a partial term on council. Wass previously served on the city planning commission and board of review.

Inspire Theatre cast presents CLUE On Stage

Jeannette Steinhauer as The Cook, Mark Phillips as
The Motorist, and Katie Royston as The Singing Telegram
Girl rehearse for their roles in the production of CLUE
on Stage in Westland through Nov. 6. 
The 18th season of Inspire Theatre in Westland will begin with the board game turned movie turned stage play - CLUE on Stage. Based on the iconic 1985 Paramount movie which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, CLUE is a farce-meets-murder mystery. The tale begins at a remote mansion as six mysterious guests assemble for an unusual dinner party, where murder and blackmail are on the menu. When their host finally turns up, and ends up dead, they all become suspects. Led by Wadsworth, the butler, the audiences will become re-acquainted with the physical embodiment of the iconic game pieces of Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, and Colonel Mustard, who race to find the killer as the body count stacks up. 

Having experienced issues from COVID in their last two shows (one show was postponed in April, while Guys and Dolls saw replacements in the cast), Director Len Fisher, of Wayne, and his staff decided to double cast CLUE.

School district asking voters for sinking millage

Members of the Wayne-Westland Community Schools Board of Education have approved a sinking fund millage question on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The 1-mill tax request is an effort to replace the current sinking fund levy which will expire next year. If approved by voters, the requested millage will become effective in 2014 and continue for a term of 10 years, according to ballot language.

Chamber names director

Kiersten Beckwith
Kiersten Beckwith has been named the new President/CEO of the Westland Chamber of Commerce.

Beckwith, who has been with the chamber only a few months, working in membership and marketing, according to Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Don Nicholson. He said during her time with the organization she has proven to be a leader and an organizer who has surpassed the goals set for her. She brought 18 new members into the organization and she and the board members have ideas for member retention, he added. 

Maybury Farm Corn Maze open until Oct. 30

Intrepid fall enthusiasts only have two more weekends to enjoy the 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.

Northville Foundation Holiday Home Tour returns

One of the most popular holiday season events will return to Northville this year. The traditional Holiday Home Tour organized by the Northville Community Foundation will return to a live format this year.

Five private homes, lavishly decorated for the holiday season, will be open to visitors from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Nov. 18 and 19. Tickets this year are priced at $25 if purchased in advance and $30 if purchased the day of the event.

Organizers stressed that participation in the tour supports animal care at Maybury Farm, along with grants to local non-profit groups and scholarships. 

Plymouth Pumpkin Palooza is set Sunday

The annual Pumpkin Palooza is planned from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 23 throughout downtown Plymouth.

The downtown streets will be closed so that costumed trick or treaters can enjoy games, music, face painting and live entertainment celebrating the Halloween season. There will be a pet costume contest at 11:30 and a children's costume contest at 12:30 while entertainment is provided by Redline Percussion, Synergy Dance and Prelude Music at Ann Arbor Trail and Main Street. 

The Plymouth Fife & Drum Corps will perform on the Forest Street stage near Wing Street at 11:45 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.  Ventriloquist Richard Paul will be onstage at 12:15.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Northville expands downtown social district

Downtown Northville may become an even more popular entertainment venue as members of the city council agreed to expand the social district.

In addition, council members agreed to provide letters of support for efforts of six local establishments seeking special state licensing to sell alcoholic beverages that can be consumed in the social district. 

If approved by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, the expanded social district would extend west along Main Street to the Garage Grill and Fuel Bar, south of Main on the east side of Wing Street to Cady, east on Cady to Center, and north from Cady to Main - essentially enclosing the block that contains Northville Square and MainCentre. 

Fired up

Local stations host visitors this week 

Throughout the area this week, local fire stations are welcoming visitors in an effort to promote fire safety and celebrate national Fire Prevention Week set for Oct. 9 through 15.

The theme of the event this year is Fire Won't Wait. Plan Your Escape, a effort to reinforce the importance of developing a home escape plan with all members of the household and practicing it regularly. The year marks the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week, the longest-running public health observance on record.

“This year's Fire Prevention Week campaign capitalizes on its milestone anniversary, celebrating all we've accomplished in reducing the public's risk to fire over the past hundred years,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Outreach and Advocacy division.

Westland man is accused of child pornography

Federal investigators have filed a criminal complaint alleging a Westland man produced, received, and possessed child pornography.

Christopher Emond Curtis, 25, was named in the Sept. 29 complaint which claims he paid another Twitter user for nude photos of teenage boys and asked the user to trick other underage boys into sending similar sexually explicit or nude pictures. The complaint details an investigation which included the April 21, 2021 search of a home in Baltimore, Maryland occupied by a man who admitted to possessing and distributing sexually explicit photos of children over Twitter. The man told agents from the FBI that he negotiated photo prices and sent links for payments using CashApps.

Investigators executed a search warrant of the suspect's Twitter account in July, 2021 and discovered messages from other users regarding the sale of nude or explicit photos of boys. One of those accounts was traced back to Curtis, according to the court filings.

Safety first

Trustees move Halloween event into township hall

Halloween will be a bit different in Sumpter Township this year.

In response to information from Township Public Safety Director Eric Luke, members of the board of trustees have agreed to change the usual procedure for trick or treaters this year. Rather than the traditional Halloween Party at the township fire hall, this year youngsters of all ages will be invited to celebrate the spooky season at township hall where they can visit each office seeking special treats.

New video system OK’d

Sumpter Township residents will soon have access to a clearer picture of board of trustee meetings and other township functions.

Trustees agreed during the Sept. 27 meeting to accept a proposal from vendor CTI to replace and/ or upgrade the current video system utilized in the township.

Shooting suspect in custody

Allen Marion
Police have arrested a man described as an “armed and dangerous” fugitive suspected in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old Inkster resident in August.

Allen Marion, 18, was taken into custody without incident Sept. 25 by Michigan State Police. He is suspected in connection to the shooting of Elijah Steward at the 25 Hour Liquor store on Aug. 6. Witnesses told police that Steward was shot as he walked out of the store into the parking lot at around 11 p.m. Witnesses said the two appeared to have words before the shooting incident. Steward was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting on Michigan Avenue in Inkster.

Romulus GM plant donates $30,000 to charities

Dave Cavotta, Romulus plant director, was joined by
GM colleagues, local UAW leadership members and
representatives from Starfish Family Service, Big Brothers Big
Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit and Ozone House Youth &
Family Services during the announcement of GM grants
to the nonprofit organizations.
Three area nonprofit organizations will have something extra to be thankful at the holiday this year.

General Motors Romulus Propulsion Systems recently donated $30,000 in Community Impact Grants to the groups to help support programming for residents in their communities. The GM Community Impact Grant program aims to address local issues in communities across the company footprint, specifically supporting focus areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education, vehicle and road safety, community development and climate equity, according to a statement from plant managers.

City is now officially named as ‘Redevelopment Ready’

Romulus city officials celebrate the achievement of the designation
as a Redevelopment Ready Community by the
Michigan Educational Development Corporation.
Romulus officials celebrated a milestone achievement recently when the city was certified as a Redevelopment Ready Community by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

Mayor Robert McCraight noted that city representatives have worked closely with MEDC for several years to create a vision for the future and make sure the fundamental practices are in place to achieve the certification.

Witches’ tickets available

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

Voters to choose 4 members of school board

Voters will choose four members of the Plymouth Canton Community Schools Board of Education during the Nov. 8 balloting.

Two candidates are vying for the single, 2-year term of office while six others hope to fill one of the three, 6-year terms on the board.

Incumbent board member Patricia McCoin and Sebastien Ostertag are seeking the two-year term. McCoin earned her bachelor's degree in business administration at Eastern Michigan University and her master's degree at Wayne State University. She also has a graduate certificate  from Western Michigan University and works as a middle school math, social studies and ESL teacher with the Detroit Public Schools. 

Canton planning plenty of Halloween happenings

Various participants having some Halloween
fun during Canton Leisure Services' events of the season.
Canton Township is ready for Halloween with several activities for every member of the family to celebrate the season.

There are still a few openings for the popular Pumpkin Patch in the Pool set for Friday, Oct. 14, at the Summit on the Park Aquatic Center, which offers a fun twist on the tradition of pumpkin picking. Additional fun activities will also be available during the two timeslots: 5 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., where participants can hunt for the perfect pumpkin and then decorate it at one of the many decorating stations. Those registered and their families can enjoy apple cider, and doughnuts and the pool will be open immediately following the event. Participation fees are $15 for Summit members, $18 for Canton residents and $23 for non-residents.  Registration is only required for those planning on taking home a pumpkin. For more information, call (734) 394-5460 or visit 

‘Max’ officially joins police force

Max, the new Northville Township
Police therapy dog, meets a very
young admirer under the
watchful eye of his new
handler, Community Service
Officer Andrew Domzalski. 
After receiving nearly 600 name suggestions in four days, the new Northville Township Police Department support dog will be named…Max.

It's a fitting name for the 19-week-old male Goldendoodle. Max, of Latin origin, means “the greatest,” officials said.

“We have had less than a week together but he's already the greatest little buddy our community could have,” said Community Service Officer Andrew Domzalski, who is now Max's handler. The puppy accompanies him to work daily and heads home with him after hours. Name suggestions, which came in via email and social media were narrowed down to the top 10 favorites. After much discussion, police department members reduced the list to their top five favorites. That list was given to Domzalski who had the responsibility of choosing the new 'officer's” name, since he would be living with and training the puppy. Max became part of his family Sept. 27.

Possibilities on the short list included: Kevin, Max, Chase, Fozzy, Buddy and Teddy. 

Maybury Farm Corn Maze is now open for fall season

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

The 10-acre maze opened to the public last 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.

Wayne voters asked for 8-mill tax hike

In addition to choosing three city council members, Wayne voters will be asked to approve a new 8-mill tax hike on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The new tax levy will be used to help fund the pension obligations of the city toward retired public safety employees, according to city officials. The new tax, which is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed valuation, usually half the market value of a home, would cost the owner of a $100,000 home in the city about $400 annually. 

New officers join Westland

Patricia Harris
 Joshua Cardenas
Last week, new officers Patricia Harris and Joshua Cardenas officially joined the Westland Police Department. Harris, who grew up in Brownstown Township, said she always wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement and finally decided to chase her dream in 2020 when she joined the Detroit Police Department where she served for two years before joining Westland. Cardenas was born and raised in the small west Michigan town of Dorr, and obtained an associate's degree in applied sciences from Grand Rapids Community College, and is a graduate of the Grand Valley State University Police Academy.

Death of Wayne police therapy dog is mourned

Zeke, the first accredited therapy dog of the Wayne Police Department, died last week following a battle with cancer.

Members of the department and the community are mourning the loss of Zeke who had become a popular figure in the community, attending multiple city events and welcoming visitors to the police station. Police officials said that the positive impact Zeke had in the community and the department inspired several other local departments to invest in therapy dogs.

Zeke joined the department in December of 2019 and quickly became an asset to the community and to officers who face stressful situations on a daily basis, officials said. All expenses for Zeke, including all training, dog supplies, veterinarian checks, membership to the therapy dog association, and other costs were paid personally by Wayne Police Chief Ryan Strong. 

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Absentee ballots available from area clerks

Area residents can apply now for an absentee ballot for the upcoming Nov. 8 general election. Anyone opting to vote by mail should submit an application to the local municipal clerk's office as soon as possible to avoid postal delays, advised Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

 “Every successful election we have held in Michigan over the last three years, voters have made it clear they want options for how and when to cast their ballot by choosing to do so absentee in record numbers,” Benson said. 

Recent recruit

Northville Township welcomes new police therapy dog

Northville Community Service Ofc. Andrew Domzalski
gets acquaintedwith his new partner, a Goldendoodle puppy.
After training, the puppy will join the
police department as a therapy dog.
The name of the newest 'officer' at the Northville Township Police Department is expected to be announced this week.

The force is expanding with the addition of 16-week-old male Goldendoodle puppy, as yet unnamed, who will undergo training to join the department as a police support dog. Police officers sought community input through social media to help find a new name for the recruit. Suggestions were being accepted until last Friday, but no decision had been announced at press time. 

The new member of the department is among support dogs joining police departments across the country. Research has proven support dogs are effective in providing comfort and aid for people during times of crisis, particularly violent or traumatic events. The dogs also reduce anxiety and increase communication between witnesses and investigators, whether they are adults or children, according to national studies. 

Repairs under way at Plymouth city parking deck

One of the most popular parking spots in the City of Plymouth is undergoing a much-needed facelift this month.

According to city officials, work on the Central Parking Deck in downtown Plymouth was expected to begin this week with initial survey work and equipment staging. Construction, officials said, will follow the preparatory work and was expected to begin late this week. Exact schedules were dependent on the weather, officials said. 

Repairs will be made to areas of the deck drainage system, the pedestrian bridge to Main Street and the steel stairwell on the east side of the structure. Repairs will continue through early November, officials from the Downtown Development Authority said.

Plymouth library adopts new ‘Fine Free’ policy

The Plymouth District Library has entered a new chapter since first opening to serve the public in 1923.  Book lovers will no longer pay a fine for the late return of items borrowed from the facility located on Main Street in downtown Plymouth.

Members of the library board of trustees unanimously approved making the library “Fine Free” effective Oct. 1. Now, library patrons will no longer be charged fees for late return of Plymouth Library books, movies and other materials.  Existing late fees on borrower accounts will also be cleared, in an effort to make the library more accessible to the entire community explained Library Director Shauna Anderson. Patrons will, however, still be responsible for replacement fees for items lost or damaged. 

A warm welcome

Members of the Sumpter Township Fire Department will be marking Fire Prevention Week with an open house at the fire station from noon until 3 p.m. Oct. 15. Visitors can tour the station, meet and greet fire department personnel and enjoy refreshments to mark the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week, the longest running public health observance on record. The theme of the week-long observance across the country, Fire Won't Wait. Plan Your Escape, will be marked from Oct. 9 through 15 with fire station open house events throughout the area. The Sumpter Township Fire Station is located at 20550 Sumpter Road in Belleville. 

City, township present beautification awards

From left, Steve Ott, Diane Pittaway, Nachiko Hirato, Liliana Miyahara,
Carol Pankow and Gary Haas were among the BC members who
attended the presentation of the beautification awards. Photo by Liz Cezat
A bit of tradition returned to Northville last month during the 33rd Annual Northville Community Beautification Award Luncheon.

The award presentation took place as part of the Sept. 27 meeting of the Northville Rotary Club before an audience of about 50, officials said. The awards had been postponed for the past two years due to the health restrictions imposed by COVID-19.

"We're always getting better," said Diane Pittaway, chair of the Northville Beautification Commission. She noted that the help and support of many make it possible for commission members to work on maintaining and improving the beauty and vitality of the Northville community.

Planning for essential services complex begins

Northville Township officials are taking the advice of professionals in their plans for a future essential services complex for the community.

The new complex will be located in Legacy Park and will include a second fire station, a new Public Safety Headquarters, new headquarters for the Public Works Department and provide storage for  Parks and Recreation Department equipment.

Officials stressed that the new building would be constructed without any new tax burden on resident or businesses in the township. 

New sergeant is named

Daniel MacArthur has been promoted to the rank of sergeant with the Northville Township Police Department. MacArthur has worked in the public safety field since 1999. During his career with the Northville Township department, he has been involved in multiple assignments including serving as a field training officer; traffic crash reconstructionist; special weapons and tactics/breacher team leader/ rappel master; firearms instructor and time with the police motorcycle unit. MacArthur is an honor guard member and has also worked as an undercover narcotics detective and Western Wayne Community Response Team detective. He received the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police Medal of Valor and a Police Officers Association of Michigan Distinguished Service Award.

Annual Festival of Lights set for next week

The triumph of good over evil will be celebrated during the Second Annual Festival of Lights from 6 until 8 p.m.  Friday, Oct. 14 in Canton Township.

Several community groups along with Canton Leisure Services have partnered to host a special celebration of lights that symbolizes the “victory of light over darkness,” a spokesman noted.  The free event which is open to all community members, will culminate with a smaller-scale firework display in Heritage Park.  

Deputy police chief retires from township

Craig Wilsher
Deputy Police Chief Craig Wilsher is leaving the Canton Township Police Department after a 24-year career with the agency.

Wilsher started his career in Canton in 1998, following several years of law enforcement service with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office and the Detroit Police Department. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2008, lieutenant in 2013, and became deputy chief in 2017. Wilsher earned a bachelor's degree from Wayne State University, and Master's Degrees from both Madonna University and Eastern Michigan University. He is also a graduate of the Eastern Michigan University Police Staff & Command School, and a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy Session 265.

Early in his career with the Canton department, Wilsher served as a road patrol officer, simultaneously taking on several special assignments including that of investigator in the detective bureau.

Into the future

The recent Vision Romulus-Our Community, Our Future think tank workshop drew a large crowd of participants at the Romulus Senior Center to learn about the future plans for the city and offer suggestions. The think-tank process helped to define a broad vision, values, goals and directions. It was conducted as two highly participatory 3-hour workshops that used scenario-planning to produce plausible futures for Romulus looking out to 2030. The scenario-based think-tank is among the efforts of city officials to gain better understanding of community priorities and goals that contribute to the creation of effective strategies and actions for program and resource allocation.

Witches wanted

Goodfellows planning ‘spooky’ event

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. Attendees attend the celebration dressed as witches and warlocks and enjoy an evening of Halloween-themed entertainment.

Graduation day

City of Wayne Police Chief Ryan Strong, at left, was on hand to congratulate Jared Grembowski, who graduated from the Washtenaw Community College Police Academy last week. Grembowski successfully completed 18 weeks of rigorous training and will now join the Wayne department as a new patrol officer, Strong said.

Handcuffs vs. Hoses

Charity hockey game pits police against firefighters

It will be Handcuffs against Hoses at the Mike Modano Ice Arena in Westland on Oct. 15.

Westland police will face off against members of the Westland Fire Department in a charity hockey game.

Members of the two city public safety departments are hoping their department can take home the prestigious Battle of the Badges trophy from the game. 

While the first puck will be dropped at 7:30, many other activities are also scheduled including views of police and fire vehicles, the K9 dogs, raffles, a 50/50 raffle, Chuck a Puck and a Teddy Bear Drive.  

Smooth move

While it may officially be fall, the “Summer of Progress” effort in the City of Westland is still under way. One of the latest projects managed by the Westland Department of Public Service through the Capital Improvement Program included the removal of old asphalt pavement and resurfacing with new asphalt of Palmer Road, from Treadwell to Harvey. Workers were on site and finishing up work last week on the section of road.

Free chronic pain workshops to be offered in Inkster

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 this week. 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. 


Inkster Police Sgt. Brian Shafer officially retired Sept. 17 after 25 years with the department. During his service with the Inkster Police Department, Shafer served as a patrolman, motor officer and detective. His commitment to the department extended beyond the day-to-day operations, police officials said.  Shafer was the Special Response Team Leader and a member of the agency training staff. He was the lead firearms instructor, a field training officer responsible for training many of the current police officers, and he assisted with the auxiliary police academy. "His knowledge and expertise helped to guide all of those that he led and is sure to live on in every person he trained," noted a media announcement. City and police officials thanked Shafer for his years of service and his dedication to the Inkster community.