Thursday, January 26, 2023

Harness racetrack is proposed in Plymouth

A new harness racing track in Plymouth Township is apparently at the starting gate as plans were expected to be submitted to the planning commission this week.

According to township records, representatives of Northville Downs submitted a check for $5,600 for four application fees and another check for $9,100 to be placed in escrow as plans for the $25 million project are reviewed by members of the planning commission. Approval by the planning commission would send the project to the township board of trustees for consideration.

41st Annual Ice Festival set to begin next week

The “coolest” festival in Plymouth will begin with a very special event this year.

Just ahead of the official opening of the 41st Annual Plymouth Ice Festival, Miracle League of Plymouth will host a Preview Party in Kellogg Park for special needs families. The sensory-friendly event will take place from 6:30 until 8 p.m. Feb. 2, the evening before the official opening of the event set for Feb. 3.

Michigan Magician Jeff Wawrzaszek will be performing magic tricks as he walks between the ice sculptures open for viewing and One Spot Theater will perform. Also planned are winter-themed arts and crafts along with games offering prizes for participants. Ice blocks will be available to touch and other ice-related fun is planned, organizers said, along with warm refreshments.

Councilmembers choose Londeau as new mayor

Mayor Michael Londeau
Michael P. Londeau has been chosen as the ninth mayor of the City of Westland.

Londeau, the president pro tem of the Westland City Council, was selected by his fellow council members to serve as mayor until November, when voters will choose a candidate to complete the remaining two years of former Mayor William R. Wild's term of office.

Westland resident and current State Rep. Kevin Coleman has announced that he will seek the mayoral term for a second time. He was defeated in his last bid for the office which pays $126,281 annually by Wild. 

Driver who injured teen arrested, faces felony charge

An Ypsilanti woman is facing a felony charge in the hit-and-run incident that critically injured a 15-year-old Westland girl.

Gianna Mariah Harris was arraigned on a felony count of failure to stop at the scene of a serious injury accident on Dec. 9 in Wayne County Circuit Court. A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf.  

The incident took place at about 6:45 a.m. Dec. 8 near Newburgh and Marquette. According to a witness statement, a truck had passed through a red light at the intersection when an SUV also drove through the red light. The witness, stopped at the light in the northbound lane, told police she heard a thud and then saw the child laying in the street. The witness said she attempted to help the girl as did the driver of a Wayne Westland district school bus who was stopped on Marquette.

New chief named

Darrell Stamper has been named Chief of the Westland Fire Department. Stamper began his career in 2000 as a firefighter and was promoted to battalion chief, deputy chief and was promoted to the position of fire chief last week. City officials said that Stamper has gained the knowledge and experience to lead the department through his rise through the ranks and congratulated him on his promotion.

Retiring firefighter earns thanks

Westland Fire Department Sgt./Engineer Anthony Pizzini has officially retired from the department, serving his final shift last week. 

Members of Firefighters Local 1279 posted congratulations and best wishes for a “long, healthy and happy retirement” to Pizzini on the official department Facebook page. 

“Local 1279 appreciates your hard work and dedication to our local and the citizens of Westland. 

“Now go enjoy that retirement,” the union members posted.

Town Hall meeting set to discuss plate readers

Public safety vs. personal privacy is expected to be the topic of discussion at a Town Hall meeting in Canton Township.

Members of the board of trustees have scheduled the discussion for 7 p.m. Feb. 7 at township hall when police officials will explain the benefits and resources of installing license plate readers at Michigan Avenue and Beck Road, a high traffic retail location in the township. The Canton Police Department received a $40,710 grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance which would cover the cost and installation of the four devices proposed.

Mating season

Residents warned of dangerous coyotes

Local veterinarians and animal experts have issued a warning to area pet owners regarding coyotes.

According to a recent bulletin from one local veterinarian, the next four to six weeks is mating season for coyotes who are prevalent in the area.

The animal experts cautioned local owners that there is a danger in allowing pets, particularly smaller dogs, outside alone. A usual scenario is the coyote tempting a dog to chase him as the pack of awaits out of sight to attack.

Library offering free COVID-19 testing kits

The Plymouth District Library is offering a lot more than books these days.

Community residents can reserve a free COVID-19 antigen self-test kit by simply calling the library at (734) 453-750 and selecting option four. Once reserved, library officials said, the kits must be picked up the same day from the library hold shelf.

Shooting death suspect may have taken own life

Michael Anthony Elinski
The man suspected in the shooting death of a Plymouth woman last week has been found dead of a self- inflicted gunshot wound, according to a police report.

Investigators were actively seeking Michael Anthony Elinski, 59, in connection to the shooting and described him as armed and dangerous. He was found Jan. 20 deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Clare, police said.

Elinski was suspected in the death of Andrea Grant, 50, whose body was discovered by police in her car at about  9:10 a.m. Jan 19. Officers from the Pittsfield Township Police Department discovered Grant's body riddled with multiple gunshot wounds in a parked car in the 3700 block of Plaza Drive, according to police reports of the incident.

Defeated candidate faces charge for obscene call

Sheena Barnes, also known as Sheena Devina Green, 62, appeared for arraignment before Judge Brian Oakley in 34th District Court Jan. 12 on charges of malicious use of the telephone.

Barnes, of Sumpter Township, was required by the court to provide a $1,000 personal bond and another court hearing on the charges was to be scheduled. Barnes who posted the bond, appeared in person for the arraignment although she refused to speak with an MIDC (Michigan Indigent Defense Commission) attorney, according to court records.

Search for new director of Inkster library continues

Area library professionals are asked to check out the open position at the Leanna Hicks Public Library in Inkster.

With the departure of former library director Betty Smith for a job in West Fargo, ND last April, the library board of directors is continuing to search for a new library leader. 

The new Leanna Hicks Public Library building opened in March 2021 and serves a population of approximately 25,000 funded primarily through a dedicated 2 mill tax levy.  

Grief center awarded $50,000 Dunning grant

New Hope Center for Grief Support received a grant of $50,000 from The Margaret Dunning Foundation. The grant, to be paid over two years. will be used to support New Hope's First Steps program for those in the early stages of grief following the loss of a loved one. 

“We couldn't accomplish all we want to do in our community without the generosity of The Margaret Dunning Foundation,” said New Hope Executive Director Jennifer Frush.

First Steps provides the first in-person contact for grievers offering them a safe place to share their story and understand more about grief, Frush explained. “The program provides an opportunity for grievers to connect with one of our facilitators that is close in age and has experienced a similar loss, learn about all New Hope's bereavement services; find their place at one of the New Hope workshops and get connected to one of New Hope's age- and loss-specific peer support groups,” she said.

Curling Royale tournament registration now open

Former Curling Royale players enjoy the game at
Mary Ann Banks Park. The event this year is set for Feb. 11.
Romulus Mayor Robert McCraight is hoping for a “sweeping success” during the Sixth Annual Curling Royale Tournament this year.

This year the event is a charity fundraiser for the Great Lakes Burn Camp For Kids and team registration is already under way for the event which will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 at Mary Ann Banks Park in the city.

There has to be ice at the park pond for the event and if Mother Nature hasn't provided cold enough temperatures, the event will be moved to Feb. 18 at the same time and location, organizers said. Because of the growing popularity of the sport, there are limited spots available and pre-registration is strongly suggested, organizers said. Sign up is available at (734) 942-7571 and no experience is necessary. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Fond farewell

Westland event celebrates longest serving mayor’s departure

Mayor William R. Wild addresses the crowd during his final
State of the City address last week. Wild was lauded with state
and county awards including congratulations from County
Commissioner Al Haidous, and support from his wife, Sherri.
Mayor William R. Wild's final State of the City address last week was also a tribute to his 16 years as mayor of his home town.

Congresswoman Debbie Stabenow and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer were among the elected officials, dignitaries, friends and family members who offered best wishes and congratulations during the event, praising Wild for the many accomplishments and successes during his mayoral tenure. Wild was the guiding hand in the construction of the award-winning new city hall, reclaiming and renovating a former big-box store. Wild helped create the city police transparency website and during his terms of office oversaw more than $60 million in road reconstruction and repair in the community. During his address, he also proudly mentioned the Westland Shop and Dine district and the popular farmers market. Wild said that thousands of Westland residents were vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of a city effort. He also proudly displayed images of the new playscape and splash pad at Tattan Park in the city.

Celebration of a century

Canton Township resident marks 100th birthday with family

Jean Hayward
Jean Hayward had something very special to write about in her personal journal last week when she marked her 100th birthday.

Hayward, the former owner of Hayward's Party Store in Belleville where she and her husband lived for many years, celebrated the milestone at Waltonwood Cherry Hill in Canton Township where she currently resides. The party included a dessert bar and a special reading about her life by Logan Winston, her assisted living life enrichment manager. Her daughter, Connee Morris, was among the four generations of family members on hand to help her and her many friends celebrate.

Born in Denton, she and her husband sold the party store they had owned where, she said, she loved doing the books. Following a divorce, she moved to Carleton in 1984 and worked in the oil/gas station business. She moved to Waltonwood Cherry Hill about 4.5 years ago, she said.

Team spirit

The members of the Westland Police Department Recruitment Team are currently available for questions from applicants interested in joining the force. The team consists of officers and sergeants with experience including field training officers, union representatives and members of specialized bureaus. The goal of the team members is to attract and recruit future officers to join the Westland department which is currently hiring qualified candidates. Recruitment Team members are accessible via email at and are available to assist with inquiries regarding wages/contract, job qualifications, and any other department-specific questions candidates may have. The recruitment team is a resource for applicants throughout the application/hiring process. 

County closing roads, detouring traffic for bridge work

Motorists in the Westland area have been detoured around two bridge structures as Wayne County makes improvements to the Merriman Road bridges in both Westland and Garden City.

Wayne County road crews plan to replace the bridges at Merriman Road over the Middle Rouge River and Merriman Road over Hines Drive, along with installation of new guardrails, pavement resurfacing, storm sewer installation, sidewalks, pavement markings, and traffic signal modernization on Merriman Road from south of Warren Road to Hawthorne Drive.

Library closure is temporary

The William Faust Public Library of Westland is closed as materials are moved into temporary housing during renovation of the Central City Parkway building.

Beginning next month, during the ongoing renovation project, the library will offer services from the former Marshall Upper Elementary school building.

Eloise to be lecture subject

Eloise and Other Things will be the topic during a limited presentation by Jeff Koslowski at the Westland Historic Village Park Jan. 26.

The lecture includes an in-depth history of Eloise, organizers said, and will present rare information about the former psychiatric hospital during the 6 until 9 p.m. presentation.

Seating for the event is limited to 100 and tickets for the free event are required to ensure space for everyone.

Student radio station sets annual record sale

Thousands of vinyl records, CDs, import only releases, t-shirts, posters, and other collectibles will be on display with the return of the 14th annual 88.1 Record Show on Saturday, Feb. 11. 

The show will continue from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Salem High School Cafeteria, and proceeds will benefit the nationally recognized student radio station operated by the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools. 

The show will feature special giveaways and door prizes in addition to a wide variety of vendors.  88.1 The Park expects to build on the success of the show last year which had a record attendance of more than 450 people. Much of the success of the show can be tied to the resurgence of interest in vinyl records, organizers said.   

Welcome home

Members of the Canton Township Police Department along with elected officials recently welcomed former Canton Police Explorer Raj Garcha back home. Garcha, who recently completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, attended a recent township meeting along with many members of his proud family.

Police aide careers available

Those interested in a career in law enforcement can begin with visit to the Canton Township Career Page at

The township is currently accepting application for Public Safety Aide (PSA) candidates. 

The position works variable house and is a non-sworn, non-certified position designed to provide professional work experiences to individuals interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement.  Candidates hired as a PSA who meet established criteria may qualify for education and training reimbursement as outlined in department policy, according to a prepared announcement from the township.

On schedule

Demolition at Legacy Park site under way

Northville Township officials recently noted that the remediation of the 11 remaining state psychiatric buildings at Legacy Park is progressing on schedule. 

Since starting in June, the asbestos and hazardous material materials were removed from eight buildings. Six of those buildings were demolished, officials said, while one building will be repurposed for future use. Only four buildings remain to be demolished this year. 

While the cold weather temperatures have impacted the remediation process,  contractors will begin work when temperatures allow, according to a prepared report from the township offices. Demolition of the standing buildings that have been abated may continue through the winter.

High note

Wayne band to play at Tigers’ game

Wayne Memorial High School students have hit a high note with the recent announcement that the Zebra Marching Band will perform the National Anthem at Comerica Park this spring.

The band will take to the baseball diamond at 6:45 p.m. to perform the anthem just before the game begins and the first pitch is thrown.

Help is sought for park clean up this Saturday

Volunteers are needed for a clean-up of Mill Trail in Wayne set for 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21.

Organizers urged volunteer workers to dress warmly as weather conditions could make the trail wet or muddy. All COVID-19 health precautions will be followed during the clean-up effort. Entrance to the clean-up site will be on Second Street just south of the 29th District Court building.

Let it slide

6th Annual Curling Royale Tournament registration set

Former Curling Royale players enjoy the game at
Mary Ann Banks Park. The event this year is set for Feb. 11.
Get your brooms ready, curlers.

The Sixth Annual Curling Royale Tournament has been scheduled in Romulus.

This year, the charity event will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 at Mary Ann Banks Park.

While only in the sixth year, the event continues to grow in popularity. Last year, Mayor Robert McCraight, who first brought the sport to the city five years ago, said he was gratified to see the number of teams registered for the event continue to increase. This year, there are limited spots available and pre-registration is strongly suggested before spots fill up, organizers said. Registration is available at (734) 942-7571 and no experience is necessary. 

Family drug distribution ring operators sentenced to prison

An Inkster man was among 10 people sentenced last week for their roles in family-led drug trafficking violations.

Jason Ledesma, of Inkster and his brother, Jamilie Ledesma of Detroit, led a major drug trafficking organization in Metro Detroit, federal authorities claimed. They were sentenced respectively to 120 months and 155 months in prison for conspiring to distribute cocaine.

Curtis Wood, of Detroit, was sentenced to 150 months in prison for his leadership role in a related drug trafficking conspiracy that involved his brother, Kevin Wood, also of Detroit, who was sentenced to 120 months in prison.

City snowflake contest continues

Romulus residents have until Feb. 6 to find at least half of the 12 snowflakes hidden at downtown locations to be registered in a city-sponsored raffle.

Clues are available to help find the snowflakes and write down the identifying number in the box on corresponding entry form to prove they have been found.

Local legislator named chair of education committee

Matt Koleszar 
State Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth) was named chair of the House Committee on Education earlier this month. Koleszar served as president of his local Michigan Education Association chapter at Airport Community Schools where he taught social studies and English for 12 years before joining the Legislature in 2019. 

“As a teacher, I worked through an ever-changing and increasingly challenging landscape that the Legislature created for our public schools,” said Koleszar.  “From the budget cuts during the Snyder administration to counterproductive standardized testing requirements to the security risks our students face within the classroom, I chose to run for state representative to end the downward spiral non-educators created. There is a lot of work ahead of us, and it is an honor and a privilege to be entrusted with this great responsibility.

State police announce increased speeding enforcement

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began more than two years ago, law enforcement agencies across Michigan have reported an alarming rise in speeding and fatal crashes.

To combat this trend, dozens of municipal, county and Michigan State Police law enforcement agencies across Michigan will conduct overtime speed enforcement through Feb. 28.

In 2021, there were 237 speed-related fatalities on Michigan roads, an increase of 18.5 percent from 2020, when 200 people died. Nationally in 2020, 11,258 fatalities involved crashes in which one or more drivers were speeding, an 18 percent increase from the 9,478 fatalities in 2019, according to state police reports.

Driver is killed by fast train

 An 89-year-old Sumpter Township man was killed last Wednesday, Jan. 11, when a train struck the vehicle which he was driving. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police reports.

The accident took place as the man was driving on Rawsonville Road south of Bemis, according to official reports of the incident.

Emergency siren is now operational

That loud, piercing shriek now being blasted from Sumpter Township emergency siren number nine is music to the ears of many local residents.

The siren had been inoperable since last August, caused primarily by supply chain delays in receiving replacement parts necessary for repair of the alarm. The siren, located at Sherwood and Arkona, is now repaired and back online, officials said.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Dr. Martin Luther King Day celebrations set

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers “I Have a Dream”
speech at the March on Washington, Aug. 28, 1963.
Next Monday is the annual celebration of the influential life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The federal holiday is scheduled each year on the Monday closest to Dr. King's birthday, Jan. 15.  

The idea of Martin Luther King Day 2023 as a holiday was promoted soon after his assassination in 1968. Following Dr. King's death, United States Representative, John Conyers, a democrat,  and United State Senator Edward Brooke, a republican, introduced a bill in Congress to make Dr. King's birthday a national holiday.

The bill first came to a vote in the United States House of Representatives in 1979 and fell five votes short of the number needed. There were two main arguments mentioned by opponents, the first being that a paid holiday for federal employees would be too expensive and, secondly, that a holiday to honor the birth of a private citizen who had never held public office) would be contrary to the longstanding tradition.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

In addition to the traditional celebration and remembrance of civil right leader and activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. set for next Monday, Romulus residents are being asked to help those less fortunate in the community keep warm this winter.

Winter coats, gloves, socks, hats and cold weather accessories will be collected from participants following the march to Romulus High School Jan. 16.

Items will be collected and provided to the less fortunate in the community, noted Rachel Funderburg. For more information, contact her at 


Library will mark century of service to community

Things have certainly changed at the Romulus Library during the past century of service to the community.

The library will mark 100 years in the community this year and multiple celebrations and programs are planning to mark the anniversary, according to Library Director Patty Braden. 

The Romulus Library Center opened on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 1923 and was initially housed inside O.H. Raether's Confectionery store in downtown Romulus. The library opened with a collection of only 204 books, Braden said. 

Snowflake hunt is under way

Romulus residents have until Feb. 6 to find at least half of the 12 snowflakes hidden at downtown locations to be registered in a city-sponsored raffle.

Clues are available to help find the snowflakes and write down the identifying number in the box on the corresponding entry form to prove they have been found. Those who submit at least half the numbers will be entered into the raffle. Three winners will be chosen on Feb. 8, officials said.

Speaking up

Plymouth Township Police Chief James H. Knittel, Jr. was the featured speaker last week at the regular noon meeting of the Plymouth Rotary Club members. Knittel explained the importance of state accreditation which was recently awarded for the first time to the Plymouth Township Police Department. Knittel discussed the benefits of acknowledging the standard procedures and policies of police and community interaction and the extensive criteria demanded for accreditation. He was introduced to the club members by Plymouth Township Trustee John Stewart and Wayne County Commissioner Al Haidous joined the audience for Knittel's talk and provided some closing remarks.

Photography exhibit set at Cherry Hill gallery

Works of members of the Ann Arbor Camera Club will be on display at The Gallery at the Cherry Hill through Jan. 29.

The collaborative exhibit, entitled "Collective Expressions in Photography," is an open-topic exhibit representing the photographic artistry of several members of the Ann Arbor Camera Club and provides a variety of work regularly produced by their members. Ann Arbor Camera Club members believe that "photography is great art with opportunities for realism, experimentation, drama and simplistic form," according to a prepared release.

Exhibit artists include: Terrance Alexander, Gerri Barr, Howard Bond, Raul Campos, Regina Carriere, Pat Conner, Tom Egel, Lori Franzen, Larry Hoxey, Tim Kellman, John Lloyd, Keith Matz, Ann O'Hagan, David Patria, William Serrell, Scott Strodtman, James Whiteside, and Mary Whiteside.

Warehouse project on DeHoCo property approved

Following the example of both Kroger and Amazon, a third company is planning to construct three new warehouse facilities in Plymouth Township.

The warehouse plans include one large building at 670,000 square feet and two at 150,000 square feet on the 190-acre site at the former site of the Detroit House of Corrections (DeHoCo) at Five Mile and Napier roads.

Jones Development presented the plans to members of the Plymouth Township Board of Trustees at a recent meeting.

The property is still owned by the City of Detroit and is included in the Michigan International Technology Center project, , a cooperative effort between Plymouth and Northville townships. 

Tickets for ‘The Light’ at Tipping Point Theater available

Tipping Point Theatre will  present the Michigan premiere of Loy A. Webb's The Light beginning at 8 p.m. Jan. 26.

The production will be under the direction of Carollette Phillips and continues the 15th theatrical season of the Northville theater.

Not every marriage proposal goes as planned.  The Light introduces audiences to Rashad and Genesis on what should be one of the happiest days of their lives, but their joy quickly unravels when ground-shifting accusations from the past resurface in this two-character drama. Can their relationship survive the growing divide between them over who-and what-to believe? The Light is a real-time rollercoaster ride of laughter, romance, and reckoning that peels away the layers of truth, doubt, pain, and ultimately the power of love, Philllips said.

Hopeful season

Members of the Northville Township Police Department celebrated another successful Hope for the Holidays program in the community. A department spokesperson said the officers were grateful and thanks all the community members who donated items to the effort. The contributions made the holiday season brighter for local families, he added. "As always, we thank you, our generous community, for thinking of others," he added.

Traffic study input is sought

Northville residents still have time to suggest traffic improvements or changes to current routes as part of the Northville Pedestrian and Traffic Study.

Residents and interested individuals can access an online, interactive tool developed by the city traffic engineering consultants. 

Garden Club meeting set Feb. 1

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  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. 

Suspect in multiple homicides is captured in Wayne

A suspect in several homicides was arrested in Wayne by Michigan State Police last Saturday, according to police reports.

The 34-year-old suspect was seen in Inkster on Friday at 7:15 p.m., according to police reports when troopers attempted a traffic stop of the suspect as he was driving a 2017 Chrysler 200. The individual believed to be connected to several homicides failed to stop when ordered to pull over by troopers. That failure escalated into a vehicle pursuit, according to reports, and eventually the suspect ran from his vehicle prompting a foot chase.

State grant is awarded to aid Eloise development

Plans for the redevelopment of the Eloise Psychiatric Hospital have been bolstered by a $695,000 grant from EGLE (State Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy).

Plans for the redevelopment at the former psychiatric hospital have been under way since John Hambrick, managing member of 30712 Michigan Avenue LLC, purchased the site from Wayne County for $1 in 2018. The city of Westland has partnered with Hambrick's development company to redevelop the site as part of a multi-phase project. When complete, according to plans for the development, new commercial establishments, a hotel and a restaurant bar will join the preserved historic buildings and the haunted attraction at the site. Total development costs are estimated at more than $4 million and the first phase of development could be complete in 2026.

Bright lights

Winners of the 2022 All American Holiday Decorating Contest in Westland included Jason Wright for Best Traditional Display; Matt Sutela for Most Creative Display and Randy and Kim Krause for Over-the-Top Display. Honorable mention winners were Ron and Debbie Alessandrini, Melinda Smitt, Joseph and Sharon Foy, Barbara Fiedler and George Thomas. Hassan Saab, Westland Neighborhood Services director acknowledged the winners of the annual competition during the regular meeting of the city council members earlier this month. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

City visioning survey deadline nears in Romulus

Mayor Robert McCraight

Romulus residents have only until Jan. 11 to be a part of the future of their community.

The final session of the Vision Romulus - Our Community, Our Future visioning process includes a survey which will ask each resident about the future of Romulus and also ask individuals for their opinions and comments on the five strategic pillars of future development. Those five pillars will become a part of the final Romulus Vision Plan. The deadline for the final Vision Survey is Jan. 11, officials said.

The survey is available at:

Like previous surveys, officials said, printed copies are available at city buildings.

Winning streak

Members of the Northville Township Board of Trustees recently honored the Northville Public Schools high school boys cross country team members for their record-breaking accomplishments this past season, including: First place honors in the 2022 Division 1 State Cross Country Championship Title; scoring 122 points at the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 State Championship, a whopping 74 points better than the runners-up; winning the first state championship for the Northville Boys Cross Country Team; marking the second-ever boys' team state championship for any sport at Northville High School and the record breaking third-place finish of  high school junior Brendan Herger, the highest-ever finish for a Northville runner. Members of the township board of trustees officially congratulated the team members during a recent meeting.

Last words

Westland mayor to present final State of the City address

Westland Mayor William R. Wild will leave the city Jan. 16 to spend more 
time with his wife, Sherri, and three children. He will present his final 
State of the City Address to the community next Thursday.
Westland Mayor William R. Wild will present his final  State of the City Address next week.

Wild, who is leaving the city to take a job in the private sector, will leave the mayor's office Jan. 16. Speculation continues as to who the members of the city council may appoint to take the leadership position in the community.

Voters will select a candidate to complete the remaining two years of Wild's term in an election later this year.

Members of the council can appoint someone from their ranks to the top job and then fill that council seat with another appointment. The new mayor, however, does not have to come from the current council, one observer noted.

Veteran police captain retires from Canton department

Capt. Michael Kennedy
Canton Township Police Capt. Michael Kennedy has retired, following a 21-year career with the law enforcement agency.

Kennedy was hired as a Canton police officer in 2001 and earned promotions to the rank of sergeant in 2013, lieutenant in 2016, and captain in 2022. Kennedy participated in numerous special units including TEAM instructor, evidence technician, bicycle unit, and field training officer. He also spent several years as a detective in a regional task force unit. As a sergeant, Kennedy worked as a patrol shift supervisor, leading and mentoring his officers while also taking on a variety of administrative tasks.

Following his promotion to lieutenant, Kennedy served as a leader in nearly every aspect of the department, according to police officials. His first assignment was that of platoon commander in the patrol division, overseeing the daily operations of his designated shift.

Smooth move

With snow accumulation expected in the weather forecast, Canton Summit on the Park is bringing back the 'Lending Sled Library' through March 31. The lending program offers passersby a chance to borrow a sled for a spin down a small hill to then return it when they are done; weather permitting. The 'Need a Sled - Use a Sled - Have Fun,' set up is located at the east side of the Summit on the Park, the Canton recreation center, located at 46000 Summit Parkway, Canton, MI 48188.

Lunch and Learn session set

The next Lunch and Learn session in Canton Township will feature students from local WDSP 88.1 The Park radio session discussing efforts to fill a local news void.

Financial downturns have seen local newspapers close or become digital only, students said, forcing a decline in local news coverage.  The local student-operated radio station is working to fill that void, and becoming the local media source for the community.

Students will speak at the 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Jan. 18 Lunch and Learn session about their efforts. The event is free, but pre-registration is requested to ensure adequate seating. The meeting will take place in the first floor board room of the Canton Administration Building, 1150 Canton Center Road..

Audience members should bring a lunch or something to nibble on during the presentation organizers advised.

Trustees approve sale of township properties

The 9.32-acre of commercially zoned property adjacent to the former medical center on Sumpter Road has been sold to Kurtis Myers for $65,000.

Myers was the only bid remaining for the land following the withdrawal of a bid from Trustee Don LaPorte. Bids for the land were submitted to the township through the Moving the Mitten real estate agency. The acceptance, during a special meeting Dec. 19, followed several months of discussion and debate regarding the value of the property. During the Dec. 13 meeting, the board members discussed an offer of $60,000 from LaPorte and a “best and final offer” from Myers presented as “$5,000 above the best offer, not to exceed $67,500.”

During year-long discussion regarding the sale of the property, adjacent property owner Corey Blue protested the manner in which the property was marketed. Blue claimed at several previous meetings that he had inquired about purchasing the land but was told it was not for sale. Following sometimes heated discussion at several meetings, trustees subsequently listed the property for sale with the professional real estate company.

The property was professionally appraised twice at values of $75,000 and $78,000 respectively. LaPorte submitted an offer in November of $60,000 while Myers submitted a bid of $55,000, explaining that his bid was lowered as one acre of the property was unusable.   

Trustee Peggy Morgan told the board members that the bidding process was “confusing” and that she was not in favor of the sale. She suggested the township keep the land until a more attractive bid and use for the site might arise.

Trustee Matt Oddy was also critical of the sale and the November bid process. He suggested that LaPorte and Myers be instructed to put their bids in a sealed envelope and submit them to township hall where they could be opened during a public meeting. He also objected to the bid prices offered, noting that the two appraisals, for which the township paid, were higher than either bid submitted.

“We sold the medical center and it's still there collecting dust,” Oddy told the trustees.

District classrooms to begin ALICE emergency drills

Superintendent of Wayne Westland Community Schools John Dignan told parents
 recently that all district classrooms would begin ALICE emergency safety drills.
Students in the Wayne Westland Community Schools will be participating in safety drills beginning this month.

In a letter to parents, Superintendent of Schools John Dignan explained that the district staff members have been trained in ALICE (Alert/Lockdown/ Inform/Counter/Evacuate) procedures which are implemented in the event of unauthorized individuals entering any school building. In January, he said, students would begin to transition from the traditional shelter-in-place lockdown drills to ALICE drills.

“ALICE training will equip our students with knowledge of what they can do in an emergency.

“It will also demonstrate how to be aware of their surroundings, explain their options, and reinforce that adults will support them,” Dignan said in his letter to parents.

Holiday gift

The year 2022 ended on a happy note for the Plymouth Historical Society members.

The society was awarded a grant of $65,000 from the Margaret Dunning Foundation to renovate and enhance the railroad depot exhibit space on the Plymouth Historical Museum “Main Street.”

Grant to fund upgrades to railroad museum exhibit

A grant from the Margaret Dunning Foundation will fund enhancements 
to the railroad depot exhibit at the Plymouth Historical Museum.
Plans include the complete renovation of the popular railroad depot exhibit with modern technologies, allowing visitors to walk inside and experience the sights and sounds of an early 20th-century railroad depot, museum officials explained. The idea is to showcase the role of trains and the local railroad station in Plymouth, circa 1885-1930, they added.

“We are so grateful to the Margaret Dunning Foundation for the support of our railroad depot exhibit upgrade, as well as all of the support it has provided the museum through the years,” said Executive Director Liz Kerstens. “We are hoping to be able to open the new exhibit when the museum reopens Feb. 8.”

The Plymouth Historical Museum is open to the public from 1 until 4 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The facility is located at 155 S. Main St. in downtown Plymouth, next to the library. The museum will be closed Jan. 9-Feb. 7, for the construction and for an exhibit changeover to “Snapshots of Plymouth.”

Northville welcomes 3 new police officers to department

The Northville Township Police Department recently welcomed three new members of the law enforcement team in the community.

Joining the township police force are, from left, Ofc. Natalie Rivest, Ofc. Roger Khattar and Ofc. Emily Key.

Police Chief Scott Hilden, second from right, and Township Clerk Roger Lundberg officially welcomed the officers to the township last month when each took their oath of office at Northville Township Hall.

 The Northville Township Police Department was the first agency in the state of Michigan to apply for accreditation through the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police receiving prestigious accredited status in February, 2018. 


Bill Wadsworth chosen as Person of the Year

William Wadsworth
An extraordinary example of public service will be honored by the Romulus community during a special celebration later this year.

Honored will be William J Wadsworth, the longest serving member of the Romulus City Council and the moving force in multiple community improvements during his more than five decades in the city. Wadsworth has been named the 2023 Romulus Person of the Year, the 36th individual to ever be accorded the honor by the Greater Romulus Chamber of Commerce.

Wadsworth, a 55-year resident of the city, was selected for his dedication and devotion to improving the community of Romulus, a spokesman from chamber said. One of his most public efforts was the funding and construction of a new animal shelter in the city. Wadsworth was determined to replace the aging and inadequate facility located in an old fire station in the city. It took many years, but Wadsworth both organized and worked at multiple fundraising activities, including special bingo nights and charity bowling outings. In addition, he was responsible for cash donations of more than $355,000 donated by local residents and businesses. In addition, Wadsworth obtained in-kind donations of materials and services totaling more than $42,000.

Homicide investigation into death of 2 continues

The holidays were marked with tragedy for one Inkster family.

A family member went to a home in the 3600 block of Williams Street at about 1:30 p.m. Dec. 21 after being unable to reach their loved one. When the individual entered the home, they found two men unresponsive, according to Inkster Police Chief Bill Ratliff.

The family member immediately called police who responded to the home where both men were pronounced dead by emergency responders. One of the men was in his 20s and the other in his 30s, police said, while declining to provide any further information while the investigation continues.

Civil Service job testing now under way

Civil Service testing for jobs in the City of Westland is now under way, officials said.

The testing will create a list of qualified applicants for filling any current and future laborer positions, they added. Qualified individuals must submit a resume and completed city job application to determine eligibility.

Minimum requirements include a commercial driver's license with special endorsement preferred or obtained within six months from date of hire. Training will be provided, officials said. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED equivalency, certificate (25-48 credit hours resulting in certificate), or associate's degree in any skilled trades preferred or the equivalent education and/or work experience.

Work is performed primarily outdoors and in all types of weather. Candidates must be able to work overtime, including nights, weekends and holidays and must be able to pass a new hire physical and drug screening.

Key note

Westland Mayor William R. Wild, left, officially recognized longtime resident William “Bill” Ziemba with a Key to the City recently. Ziemba was honored for his 16 years of patriotic and meritorious service as chairman of the Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA), the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA). “Bill has also served our community as a city councilperson (1986 - 1990), a Planning Commissioner, a Zoning Board of Appeals member, and he still serves us on the Building Board of Appeals. Bill Ziemba has certainly served our community with distinction in his 55 years as a Westland resident,” Wild said.

Welcome home

Former city staff member rejoins WDIV weather team

Ashlee Baracy
Westland residents tuning into WDIV Local channel 4 will see a familiar face during the weather reports.

Ashlee Baracy has returned to the area and joined the ClickOnDetroit weather team. Baracy is a Westland native and a graduate of John Glenn High School. She earned her degree at the University of Michigan and began her television career at the City of Westland WLND-TV city cable station. She worked as a host, writer and communications coordinator in the Community Media Department of the city before joining Local 4 as a traffic reporter.

Special needs registry offered

Families with special needs members can now register with the Westland Police Department to ensure appropriate responses.

The police department has established a 911 registry for Westland families who live with someone who has disabilities, such as autism or Alzheimer's disease. Residents can complete a form and submit it to the department. The pertinent information will be entered into the dispatch system, alerting officers to any special circumstances at the residence.

If officers are dispatched to an address that has completed the registry form, an alert will be placed on the address notifying police of any pertinent information before responding. The goal of the registry is to prevent situations such as lights/siren causing an epileptic seizure or miscommunication when interacting with someone who is non-verbal or autistic.

The form is available at the Westland Police Department and at Westland City Hall during business hours, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.