Thursday, February 23, 2023

Northville Township clerk, trustee to switch jobs

Roger Lundberg Cynthia Jankowski  
Two Northville Township elected officials will switch jobs and titles next month, following the resignation of Township Clerk Roger Lundberg.

Lundberg submitted his resignation during the Feb. 16 meeting of the board of trustees, effective next month. The board immediately appointed current Trustee Cynthia Jankowski to complete his unexpired term as township clerk. The trustees then appointed resigning clerk, Lundberg, to fill the vacancy on the board created by Jankowski's appointment to his previous position.  

Lundberg said he is stepping down from the full-time position as township clerk to spend more time with his wife, Jeanne, his two children and three grandchildren.

Canine classmate

Plymouth-Canton schools welcome K-9, therapy dog to classrooms

Scott Hughesdon and his partner, Echo, introduce
themselves to Laura Schroeder's third-grade class
at Smith Elementary School.
Third graders at Smith Elementary School got a surprise visit this month from a  soon-to-be part-time classmate whose special needs include a few kind words, a smile - and a water bowl. 

Echo, a cheerful 3-year-old Labrador retriever, recently made the rounds of the schoolclassrooms as part of his training to become a fully certified K-9 dog with side duties as a therapy dog. During the next few weeks, Echo will visit schools throughout Plymouth-Canton Community Schools district so he can become accustomed to his surroundings and most importantly, the students, teachers and staff who work, teach and learn in the two dozen district school buildings. 

Karl’s Cabin owners plan to re-open following extensive repairs

Fire fighters and engines from 14 local departments responded
last Wednesday to the blaze at Karl's Cabin on Gotfredson Road.
News of the fire at Karl's Cabin, a beloved mainstay in Plymouth, sent shock waves through the community last Wednesday, Feb. 15.

The three alarm fire began at about 6:15 p.m. according to official reports and was ignited from a carelessly disposed cigarette outside the back entrance.  The blaze traveled to a nearby storage container and then to the rear wall of the log cabin building. Officials said high winds were a contributing factor in the rapid spread of the fire which caused severe damage to the restaurant dish tank, walk-in coolers, banquet room and the offices on the second floor, according to the restaurant Facebook page.

Legislator blasts ‘thoughts and prayers’ after shooting

State Rep. Ranjeev Puri
State Rep. Ranjeev Puri, D-Canton Township, did not mince words in a statement issued following the shootings at Michigan State University. Three students were killed and five wounded during the incident that sent shockwaves across the country.

Puri offered condolences to the families of the injured and the survivors of the deceased students but had no sympathy for his fellow lawmakers last week.

“F----  your thoughts and prayers,” he said in a statement that went viral on social media, prompting both support and criticism. 

Sumpter trustee criticizes ‘obscene’ cost for sewer repairs

A $24,500 pump line repair was approved by members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees despite the concerns of Trustee Don LaPorte who called the continued expenses at the facility "obscene."

The proposed repairs of the exit lines at the Sumpter and Willis Road pump station was brought to the attention of the board members by Township Manager Tony Burdick during the Feb. 14 meeting. Burdick told the trustees that repairs at the station were an immediate concern.

"This is something that could all of a sudden blow and be a lot worse," Burdick told the board members. "Popular opinion is that it is as close to being an emergency as it can get."

Death of student struck by school bus is mourned

Jacob Escobedo
Officials from the City of Wayne and the Wayne City Council were among the many who offered condolences to the family of Jacob Escobedo, a 12-year-old Franklin Middle School student who was killed last week.

The student was struck and killed by a school bus at about 2:50 p.m. Feb. 14 in the area of Howe Road and Annapolis Street, police said. Classes were being dismissed for the day when the incident took place, according to police reports. 

A GoFundMe started to pay for funeral costs, called “Jacob Escobedo,” raised more than twice the $7,000 goal in less than 24 hours. 

“Jacob was a wonderful student and friend who was always smiling,” Wayne-Westland Community Schools Superintendent John Dignan said in a letter to families Wednesday. “He was also creative and smart and was working on a fantasy book. Jacob will be missed by his teachers and classmates.”

Inkster DPS planning multiple road and pipe repairs

The Inkster Department of Public Service will oversee several road and water line projects expected to begin this spring. 

Scheduled projects include road reconstruction in the northwest quadrant of the city. Officials said trees in the area have already been removed and trenchless sanitary  sewer work has been completed. The road reconstruction is among those scheduled for the spring months.  

Plans for replacement of the North River Park Drive water main and lead service pipe proposed for last year have been delayed due to due to supply chain interruptions for supplies and material. The replacement is also scheduled to begin this spring.

Volunteers are sought to serve on Wayne commission, committee

City of Wayne officials are seeking applications to serve on two volunteer groups in the community.

Anyone interested in serving on the City of Wayne Housing Commission or the City of Wayne Parks and Trails Committee can submit an application available on the City of Wayne administration Facebook page.

Chamber plans first ‘red carpet’ awards dinner

The Northville Chamber of Commerce is rolling out the red carpet March 9 to honor seven local residents for their contributions to the community.

During the first Northville Community Awards Dinner residents will be recognized for  a variety of accomplishments, according to chamber Events Manager Matt Zook. Awards will be presented for business excellence, volunteers of the year and the prestigious John Genitti Citizen of the Year honor.

Heated competition

Chilling the vile pits township against city firefighters

It will be a heated competition when firefighters from Northville Township defend their title as the best chili cooks in town against their archrivals from the City of Northville Fire Department Feb. 25.

The annual event, Chili'in the Ville, is planned for 1 until 5 p.m. Feb. 25 when cooks from the two fire departments, along with several local restaurants, offer their very best chili recipes in an effort to win the title. In addition to the chili contest, there will be zoo animal ice sculptures on display throughout downtown, organizers said.

First in class

Northville Township Fire Department Lt.  Adam Burton recently completed the State of Michigan Fire Officer III certification course and test. This was the first offering of the Fire Officer III curriculum in Michigan, making Burton one of the first in the state to achieve this certification. This training is based on NFPA 1021: Standards for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications. The program is designed for executive-level fire officers and focuses on the principles of management, including leadership techniques, health and safety, training and professional development.

City purchases property for farmers market

Plans for the relocation of the Northville Farmers Market are moving forward with the purchase of the former McDonald Ford site and approval of a due-diligence contract.

Northville City Council members approved the $1 million purchase agreement for the property at Seven Mile and Main Street with provisions for one to two due diligence periods. The council approved a not-to-exceed $24,000 contract with OHM to address the site requirements as part of the first due diligence period. OHM personnel will determine the feasibility of operating the Farmers Market at the site and determine whether the property could accommodate a potential multi-use Farmers Market building for year-round use. 

Maple syrup tours set to begin at Maybury Farm

Maple Syrup Tours will take place at Maybury Farm in Northville Saturdays and Sundays from March 11 through April 2. The tours begin with a tractor-pulled wagon ride into the woods to see how maple trees are tapped  and watch and taste the sap run. This is a walking trip into the Sugar Bush, so visitors should be prepared to walk a short distance, the farm manager explained.

Visitors will return to the farm by wagon ride and be taken directly to the Sugar Shack to see how the sap becomes maple syrup. Visitors can also enjoy a visit with the farm animals while at the farm, organizers said.

Veterans memorial will be returned to municipal complex

Members of the Romulus City Council voted unanimously to return the city Veterans Memorial to the grounds of the municipal complex.

The vote came following a public hearing at city hall last Monday, Feb. 13, when several local residents offered opinions and concerns about the reinstallation of the monument. The memorial was disassembled during construction of the new court house and has been in storage at the DPW facility for more than a year. 

Mayor Robert McCraight introduced the issue during his report to the members of the council. He said he was confident that the majority of the people who attended the public hearing were in favor of having the memorial at the city hall complex. 

Classroom or courtroom

District court judges conducting high school truancy hearings

Students at John Glenn High School in Westland can go to class or go to court.

Judges at the 18th District Court have partnered with the Westland Youth Assistance Program and the Wayne Westland Community Schools district to combat the rise in chronic absenteeism among high school students.

Explanations for chronic absenteeism vary widely and include such issues as lack of transportation, homelessness, substance abuse, untreated mental health issues, and lack of medical insurance.  Addressing these issues early helps students achieve better success as they progress through high school, a court spokesman said. 

Police department seeking crossing guard applicants

The Westland Police Department is looking for candidates to serve as crossing guards in the city, helping students safely cross streets as they travel to and from classes.

Three students in the Wayne Westland Community Schools district have been involved in serious vehicle accidents during the past few months, officials said, proving the need for help at city intersections.

Candidates for the crossing guard positions will receive training in topics such as stranger danger, CPR/First Aid, missing persons, and other safety procedures. Crossing guards will be assigned to work at a variety of posts in school parking lots and at intersections throughout the city, police officials said.

Library services moved to school

Renovations at the William P. Faust Public Library of Westland on Central City Parkway are under way and should be complete on schedule, officials said. 

During the major remodeling of the library building, full library services are available at Marshall Elementary School, 35100 Bayview St. 

Patrons can check out and return items, fax/copy/print materials, use the computers and other services usually available at the library.  The entrance and parking for the library is at the rear of the school building, accessible by the west driveway.

Security session

Students at the William D. Ford Career-Technical Center cybersecurity program visited Westland City Hall recently to get a first-hand look at an enterprise level IT department functions and procedures related to cyber security during daily operations. Chief Innovation Officer Craig Brown, Mayor Michael P. Londeau and Chief of Staff Michael Reddy greeted the students and Instructor Joshua Rychlicki, who also heads the learning lab at the Jefferson Barns Community Vitality Center. The students were provided examples of networking tools used for monitoring the environment, important aspects of cybersecurity and some of the challenges faced by the industry. 

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Romulus ‘Visioning’ report presented to public

David Beurle, CEO of Future iQ, outlines the findings of the
extensive Vision Romulus study to city officials and residents. 
The Vision Romulus-Our Community, Our Future final vision and strategic action plan was presented to members of the city council, city officials and the public last week.

David Beurle, CEO of Future iQ, the consultants responsible for preparing the report, said there were two major aspects prevalent in the project which was developed following extensive community engagement beginning in July 2022 and continuing through January 2023. The engagement process included community surveys, five focus group sessions, and the Vision Romulus - Our Community, Our Future ThinkTank workshop. “The engagement process was designed to provide an open, inclusive, and transparent platform for community members to help create a shared vision for Romulus, looking out to 2030. This report represents Future iQ's analysis of the engagement outcomes,” Beurle said.

Sweet season

Maybury Farm Maple Syrup Tours return

A rite of spring will be celebrated at Maybury Farm this year as the annual Maple Syrup Tours return. 

Maple Syrup Tours will take place Saturdays and Sundays from March 11 through April 2. The tours begin with a tractor-pulled wagon ride into the woods to see how maple trees are tapped, and watch and taste the sap run. This is a walking trip into the Sugar Bush, so visitors should be prepared to walk a short distance, the farm manager explained.

Visitors will return to the farm by wagon ride and be taken directly to the Sugar Shack to see how the sap becomes maple syrup. Spile, tap, evaporator, filter, hydrometer, arch, sheeting - visitors will learn what all those devices have to do with creating the sweet treat. A little history and science will accompany the syrup processing and a sampling of freshly made maple syrup.

Relocation site for veterans memorial is discussed

Reinstalling the Romulus Veteran's Memorial at the
grounds of the historic Peter Bird House in the city
is being considered by officials. 
Members of the Romulus City Council have listened to varying opinions regarding the relocation of the city veteran's monument during the past months.

During construction of the new courthouse on the municipal complex, the memorial was removed and much of it placed in storage by workers from the DPW, according to reports at various council meetings when the location of the monument was questioned by the public and council members.

A study session, allowing the public to comment on the two proposed locations, was scheduled Monday, although any decision was not available at press time.

Meet the champions

The Romulus High School Wrestling Team won the district championship at the Western Wayne Athletic Conference League Championships last week. Three first year wrestlers won medals and Kourtlan Oliver continued his dominance winning the league championship. The Eagles All-League championship wrestlers include:106 - Amin Nesmith 4th place; 157 - Zerrick Thomas 3rd place; 165 - Sterling Frye 3rd place; 175 - Kourtlan Oliver-League Champion and 215 - Damon Brooks 3rd place. 

Clerk reminds residents of tax payment deadline

Sumpter Township Clerk Esther Hurst has reminded residents that property tax payments are due no later than. Feb. 28.

Both summer and winter tax bills for 2022 can be paid at her office at Sumpter Township Hall until 5 p.m. Feb. 28. After that date, taxes must be paid at the office of the Wayne County Treasurer in Detroit. Payments to the county officers will incur a 4 percent administration fee and a 1 percent, per month interest fee, Hurst reminded taxpayers.

Police urge drivers to keep vehicles locked

Sumpter Township police issued a warning to residents last week regarding an increase in thefts from parked vehicles.

In an electronic post, police officials said the department had responded to the increase in thefts in the manufactured home community in the township. Officials reminded residents to lock their vehicles and take all valuables with them when leaving the car or truck. 

Residents were urged to call (734) 461-6898 to report suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. For emergency service, dial 9-1-1

Indoor Farmers Market returns to Summit on Sunday

Shoppers looking for fresh produce and hand-crafted goods can find success at the indoor Farmers Market set for this Sunday in Canton Township.

The Canton Farmers Market will return with special Off-Season Markets in February, March, and April at the Summit on the Park community recreation center. 

The Markets are planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19, March 19, and April 16, in the Banquet Center at the Summit on the Park, located at 46000 Summit Parkway in Canton.

Canton police officers host Coffee with a Cop Feb. 25

Members of the Canton Township Police Department will be buying the coffee during the next Coffee with a Cop session.

The informal and informative gathering is set for 9 until 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at St. Michael Lutheran Church, 7000 Sheldon Road in Canton. The sessions are designed so members of the public can become more familiar with and informed about the local police department. Officers welcome input regarding neighborhoods and concerns of township residents. 

Indian specialty grocery store is proposed for township

The flavors of Indian cuisine could soon be available in Canton Township with the potential opening of a grocery chain focused on spices and ingredients used in India and the Middle East.

Members of the Canton Township Planning Commission recently reviewed plans for a 20,000-square-foot Patel Brothers grocery store to be constructed at the former site of Canton Computers on Canton Center Road, between Ford and Hanford roads.

Black History Icons of Inkster set for this Saturday

The Icons of Inkster event will take place at the Booker Dozier
Recreation Center on Saturday.
Every former mayor of the City of Inkster has been invited to participate in a special event set for this weekend at the city recreation center.

The special celebration of Black history will be celebrated Saturday during the Black History Icons of Inkster event set for 4 p.m. at the Booker Dozier Recreation Center in Inkster.

The event will include a presentation on the iconic history of Inkster with Robert Turley, author of the forthcoming memoir “Inktown.”

Wayne reinforces city support for Black History Month

City of Wayne officials recently reinforced their appreciation for Black History Month celebrated each February.

In an official media posting on the city administration Facebook page, officials noted that every February, people in the United States celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month.

Words to the wise

Members of the Wayne Rotary Club continued the long-standing tradition of presenting each third-grade student in the community with a dictionary. The club has sponsored the dictionary gifts for several years. This year, members of the city police and fire departments helped distribute the reference books and many signed the gifts for the students. 

Trivia contestants are sought

The City of Wayne Commission on Aging is seeking trivia buffs to participate in a multi-city trivia competition set for March 17 at the Westland Friendship Center.

Ten experts in little-known facts of doubtful value are being sought to represent the City of Wayne in the senior competition. 

Anyone 50 years of age or older interested in competing should contact Wayne Community Development Director Lori Gouin at (734) 722-2002 for more information.

The Westland Friendship Center is located at 119 North Newburgh Road in Westland. 

Township names first-ever deputy police chief

Deputy Police Chief
Matthew MacKenzie
Matthew MacKenzie has been named Deputy Police Chief of the Northville Township Police Department, a new position for the agency. 

The 21-year veteran of the department will work closely with Police Chief Scott Hilden, as they intensify efforts to achieve department goals, launch new initiatives and increase community engagement. 

“Deputy Chief MacKenzie is an excellent law enforcement officer,” Hilden said. “His leadership skills, his ability to mentor others and his attention to detail have always stood out. This police department, this community will benefit from his new position.” 

MacKenzie was promoted from the rank of detective sergeant, his rank since 2020. 

Council members choose new city manager

George Lahanas
The City of Northville has a new manager. 

George Lahanas, the former city manager of East Lansing, was unanimously chosen by members of the Northville City Council on Feb. 6 to become the new Northville city manager.

His planned starting date is March 1.  

The vote for the resolution to make him an offer of employment came exactly one month after former City Manager Pat Sullivan's retirement date of Jan. 6. A field of 24 candidates had been narrowed down to five highly qualified individuals who came in for interviews before council members at a special meeting Feb. 4. 

Council recognizes students’ Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness honorees, accompanied by family members
and educators, were recently recognized at a meeting of the Westland City Council. 
Three students in the Wayne Westland Community Schools district who demonstrated Random Acts of Kindness were recently recognized by members of the Westland City Council during a regular meeting.

Honored were Brandon Britton of Wayne Memorial High School, Lucas Downey of William D. Ford Career-Technical Center, and Jeremiah Whitner of John Glenn High School.

Township selects new school police officer

Ofc. Joe Smitherman
Plymouth Township Police Ofc. Joe Smitherman has been named as the new Plymouth Canton Community District Public School Resource Officer (SRO).  

Smitherman is a nine-year veteran Plymouth Township police officer with additional experience in Alaska, serving as the SRO in the Ketchikan, Alaska Gateway Borough School District. Plymouth-Canton School District Security Director Josh Meier was a member of the interview panel that assisted with selecting Smitherman for the position.

Police sources praised Smitherton as "one of our top community police officers and is really great with kids and young adults." The SRO position was created by members of the Plymouth Township Board of Trustees in the annual budget. 

Treasurer offers tax help

The office of Wayne County Treasurer Eric R. Sabree will be open on Saturdays beginning Feb.18, for taxpayers to make payment arrangements for delinquent taxes. 

The office will be open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays through March 25 for taxpayers to make payments or enter a payment plan. For information, go to

Sabree has urged county taxpayers who owe property taxes for 2020 or prior years to get into payment plans by March 14 or pay their property tax bills in full by March 31. Otherwise, they risk having the property go into foreclosure, he said. 

‘Flasher’ suspect is sought

Police are seeking information
about the man above
captured by surveillance
camera at a Westland
drugstore last month.
The search for a man who sexually exposed himself at a local drugstore in Westland is ongoing, according to police reports.

The indecent exposure reportedly occurred just after 5:43 p.m. on Dec. 18 last year. According to police reports, the suspect, captured by surveillance cameras as he left the store, took place at the Walgreens on Middlebelt Road in Westland.

Witnesses told police the man loitered in the store for approximately 20 minutes before he lifted his shirt with his pants pulled down, exposing his genitals. The man then left the store, according to police reports.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Plymouth Canton students exceed national goals

Students at Plymouth-Canton Community Schools are meeting or exceeding student performance rates in Michigan and nationwide in several subjects, including reading, math, science and social studies, according to an analysis by district administrators. 

School officials said the exceptional achievement by Plymouth Canton students defies both national and statewide trends three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in lost learning for students in Michigan and across the country, according to national studies. 

“At Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, we work tirelessly to help ensure our students can continue to learn and achieve and that means innovating and stepping up to deliver a world-class education that can help our students succeed even during a global pandemic,” Plymouth-Canton Community Schools Superintendent Monica Merritt said. “P-CCS teachers, staff, administrators, students and families put learning first and found solutions to help all students reach their fullest potential.”

Back in class

Last month, Westland police officers and supervisors completed in-person training. Classes included sessions on Fair and Impartial Policing and Traffic Stop Safety along with a review of previous training. The subject matter focused on implicit biases, acknowledging them and managing them. Officers attended afternoon classes reviewing basic safety practices while conducting traffic stops. In a prepared statement supervisors noted that the Westland Police Department constant education of officers and supervisors while following guidelines set forth by  the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). Monthly department training will continue through 2023.

Vision specialist accused of sex assaults of children

James Adam Baird
A former vision specialist working in area school districts is facing charges of criminal sexual conduct in assaults on several children.

James Adam Baird, 43, of Plymouth, has been charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in the alleged molestation of four girls between the ages of 10 and 15.  The children were blindfolded and assaulted during eye examinations performed at area schools between 2018 and 2020, according to charges filed by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

Prosecutors allege that Baird sexually assaulted a 10-year-old victim multiple times at about noon Jan. 4, 2018 at Douglas Elementary School in Garden City. The assaults took place during a vision examination performed by Baird, prosecutors said.

Inkster celebrates renovation of former ‘eyesore’

Inkster city officials last week helped celebrate the opening of a new apartment complex at the site of a former structure deemed an eyesore and condemned by building inspectors.

One and two bedroom apartments will be available for lease soon at the new complex at 25911 Michigan Ave. the former site of the Rode-Way Motel, which was condemned by the city several years ago. Officials said the motel had become an eyesore in the community and was a known drug and prostitution location.

Former city mayor’s sentencing expected this week

LeRoy Burcroff
Former Romulus Mayor LeRoy Burcroff is expected to be sentenced to prison this week by Federal District Judge Denise Page Hood following his guilty plea to charges he misspent political campaign funds and wire fraud.

During a hearing last week, however, Burcroff's attorney, Walter Piszczatowski argued that the 16-month prison sentence requested by federal prosecutors should be no more than 6 months based on the amount of money actually misspent.  

Piszczatowski told the court that the amount claimed by U.S. attorneys was less than the government had calculated. Prosecutors claimed that Burcroff spent $15,000 from campaign donations including $6,000 for his daughter's wedding, more than $3,000 on a Florida vacation and $11,600 at the Belleville Yacht Club for dues and expenses. 

Public safety raffle continues

There are still spots available for the Romulus Public Safety Foundation benefit raffle. For a $20 donation, players will have a chance to win a daily cash prize throughout the month of February. Winning numbers come from Michigan evening three-digit lottery drawing. If the numbers drawn match the player's ticket stub, they win the prize for that day, ranging from $75 to the top prize of $500. To enter, contact the Romulus Fire Department at (734) 941-8585.

Police director reassures township residents

Canton Township Police Director Chad Baugh recently issued a public statement reassuring the community of the dedication to service and the law demonstrated daily by members of the Canton Police Department. 

In the public message, Baugh explained that his statement was in response to the tragic death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis TN public safety officers. Baugh said the members of the  Canton Police Department stand against injustice and work every day to serve members of the community. 

“The Canton Police Department mourns the loss of Mr. Nichols with our citizens. Our hearts go out to the Nichols family and the families of those living with racial injustice in America. This is indeed a moment for reflection and an opportunity for positive change. We hope and believe that justice will be served in this case so long as we keep bending the arc. Police officers in Memphis wear a badge, and the officers who are responsible for Tyre Nichols death have tarnished the police officer badge and uniform.

Warm wishes

Representatives of the Plymouth Township Firefighters Charity Fund present  a check for $2,500 to  Plymouth Community United Way leaders. Plymouth Community United Way consistently assists the community year after year, a spokesman said, and the township firefighters "look forward to partnering with this great organization in the future." Fire Chief Pat Conley and Township Supervisor Kurt Heise participated in the check presentation.

Community mourning death of 27-year veteran firefighter

Battalion Chief
Christopher Mack
The community is mourning the death of Plymouth Township Fire Department Battalion Chief Christopher Mack who died Jan. 31 of heart disease.

Chief Mack, 50, was a 27-year veteran of the Plymouth Township department and his death was mourned with a purple and black banner on fire trucks in the community last week. Chief Mack was remembered by his family and fellow firefighters as a giving person and a loving son. He had great auto body skills and was an automotive aficionado in his off-duty hours, his family said. 

Among Chief Mack's survivors are his wife, Monica; his mother, Pamela; his siblings Ronald (Nanci) Shelton and Patricia Wells; nieces and nephews Ronald James, Donny Wayne King, Michael J. Cross and Justine Cross.

Recently appointed Westland Mayor Michael P. Londeau has announced five new initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors to the city. These initiatives, Londeau said in a prepared statement, were prepared with input from city staff members, community residents and local leaders, and “reflect a commitment to sustainable growth, quality of life improvements and a brighter future for all.” Londeau said the city will re-implement a leaf pick-up program by the fall of 2023 along with an upgrade and streamlining of the bulk trash pick-up process in an effort to make it more customer friendly and simpler to navigate. He said the city will also implement a Neighborhood Makeover Program 2.0 following the recently completed first 5-year cycle of the Neighborhood Makeover Plan. “We will be implementing the next phase which will dig deeper into neighborhood improvement needs with an augmented plan which emphasizes identifying any and all deficient or hazardous sidewalks in Westland's neighborhoods. “Once this is completed, we will then begin with the process of replacing / repairing any problem areas at no cost to homeowners,” Londeau said in the announcement. The mayor said the city would also establish a task force within the administration to explore the possibility of purchasing the Westland Shopping Center. In addition, he said, city administration would explore any and all opportunities for a recreational complex to be constructed on the city-owned property along Ford Road. “These initiatives are a crucial step in creating a better future for our residents. We are dedicated to making Westland a more vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive community for all,” Londeau stated. In addition, Londeau also announced that his office would be scheduling a series of community summits at various locations around the city.

Michael P. Londeau
Recently appointed Westland Mayor Michael P. Londeau has announced five new initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors to the city. These initiatives, Londeau said in a prepared statement, were prepared with  input from city staff members, community residents and local leaders, and “reflect a commitment to sustainable growth, quality of life improvements and a brighter future for all.”

Londeau said the city will re-implement a leaf pick-up program by the fall of 2023 along with an upgrade and streamlining of the bulk trash pick-up process in an effort to make it more customer friendly and simpler to navigate.

He said the city will also implement a Neighborhood Makeover Program 2.0 following the recently completed first 5-year cycle of the Neighborhood Makeover Plan. 

“We will be implementing the next phase which will dig deeper into neighborhood improvement needs with an augmented plan which emphasizes identifying any and all deficient or hazardous sidewalks in Westland's neighborhoods.  

“Once this is completed, we will then begin with the process of replacing / repairing any problem areas at no cost to homeowners,” Londeau said in the announcement. 

The mayor said the city would also establish a task force within the administration to explore the possibility of purchasing the Westland Shopping Center. In addition, he said, city administration would explore any and all opportunities for a recreational complex to be constructed on the city-owned property along Ford Road.  

“These initiatives are a crucial step in creating a better future for our residents. We are dedicated to making Westland a more vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive community for all,” Londeau stated.

In addition,  Londeau also announced that his office would be scheduling a series of community summits at various locations around the city. 

Inspire Theatre schedules ‘Producers’ auditions

Auditions for the Inspire Theatre production of  Mel Brook's “The Producers” are scheduled for 6 until 9 p.m. next Monday, Feb. 13 and Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Westland Center for the Arts, 33455 Warren Road. 

Casting will include roles for a scheming producer and his mousy accountant who aim to produce the biggest flop on Broadway. Max Bialystock and Leopold Bloom have discovered a surefire way to make a fortune on Broadway: raise millions from little old lady investors, produce the worst play ever and then run off with the money when the play closes on opening night. They think they've found their play in “Springtime for Hitler” - but anything can happen when the lights go down on Broadway.

Veteran support

Westland Facilities Director and Veteran Liaison Vic Barra visited American House Senior Living Communities recently to accept their generous donation of $1,216 in support of local veterans. Staff members at American House raise money annually through their "Giving Tree" initiative, and this year they decided to help local veterans at the VFW Bova Post #9885. Barra was joined by American House Administrator Debbie Adams well as U.S. Army veteran Frank Maguire and U.S. Air Force Veteran Stephen Wozniak.  The veterans' group is currently hosting a fish fry from 4 until 9 p.m. every Friday at the 6440 Hix Road location in Westland.  Meals include three pieces of battered cod, French fries and Cole slaw for $14.

All the right notes

Jessicah Chiles, a student at Adams Middle School, received a rating of 1 (Superior), the highest rating achievable, at the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) District 12 Solo & Ensemble Festival earlier this month. The music festival is an opportunity for individual students from member schools to perform a selection of their choice for adjudication. In addition, students or groups earning a Superior rating are qualified for thee State Solo and Ensemble Festival, which will take place in March. District educators congratulated Chiles on her exceptional performance and wished her well in the upcoming competition.

Let’s TALK

Library offering literacy programs for pre-school children

The Northville Public Library wants to “TALK” to parents of children younger than 5.

A new library program “TALK: Text and Learn” is an opt-in test messaging service that offers a variety of early literacy ideas for parents to enjoy with young children.

Registrants will receive about eight to 10 text messages per month that suggest fun activities parents can do with their children. Example texts include:  PLAY: Show baby their face in the mirror, try to get them smiling or cooing at themselves. Baby can learn about their body and build social skills. 

Fire marshal urges clearing of snow from hydrants

Northville Township Fire Marshal Tom Hughes recently reminded businesses and residents of the impact cold weather and snow could have on emergency response services.

Hughes reminded the public that heavy snow and frigid temperatures present challenges to firefighters and rescue services and suggested that residents and businesses contact snow contractors or property maintenance companies to ensure that fire hydrants are kept clear and accessible. Continued snowfalls, he said, hinder the department ability to locate the fire hydrants quickly which could impair fire suppression operations. 

“Please clear at least 3-feet in all directions” around hydrants he noted. “Each hydrant is equipped with two outlets that allow fire hose to be connected. Please ensure that these outlets are also cleared to the street.”

Flying high

District students’ proposal will be on board Space X craft

Fifth-grade students at Winter-Walker Elementary School in the Wayne-Westland Community Schools district are over the moon after learning a recent class project will be an experiment on the International Space Station.

Students worked for several weeks designing and testing microgravity experiments for the 2022 Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Mission 17 to the International Space Station. Students from Adams Middle School, Franklin Middle School, John Glenn High School and Stevenson Middle School also worked on the design project, but the program prepared by Winter-Walker students will be the first from the district to be flown to the space station.

Sumpter trustees approve Five Year Recreation Plan

The purpose of a public hearing regarding the proposed Parks and Recreation Master Plan in Sumpter Township Jan. 10 apparently confused some of those in attendance. 

As audience members continued to question plans for the renovation and reconstruction of the parks, officials repeatedly explained that there had been no plans as yet submitted or proposed for any such major park project. Officials explained that the plan being discussed for approval was the five-year parks and recreation plan which did not include any major renovations or changes. Those plans, trustees explained, would come at a future date and be publicly discussed before any action would be taken.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Romulus wins $1 million development grant

The City of Romulus has been awarded a $1 million federal grant for assistance to small business and workforce development in the city.

The Development Initiative/Community Project Funding (EDI/CPF) Grant was awarded to the city for the proposed Romulus Small Business Assistance and Workforce Development Project.  The announcement follows the recent designation of Romulus as a Certified Redevelopment Ready Community by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Mayor Robert McCraight has been heavily focused on building an integrated Community and Economic Development Cohort. 

Culinary cuties

Preschool students from Sunshine and Rainbows, the component of the Early Childhood/Teacher Education class at the William D. Ford Career Technical Center of the Wayne-Westland Community School District, visited the culinary class at the center last week. Culinary students helped their young guests learn to make pizza, which they then enjoyed for lunch. The preschool program was established in 1973 as a training site for high school students and adults in the childcare field. The program moved to the Timothy J. Dyer Social Services Building in 1981.

41st Annual Plymouth Ice Festival begins tomorrow

The streets of downtown Plymouth will shine with gleaming reflections bouncing off the nearly 100 ice sculptures throughout the area tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday during the 41st Plymouth Ice Festival.

Nearly every business in town will have a sculpture this year, explained James Gietzen, owner of JAG Entertainment, who produces the event. 

"The festival is designed to bring people out of their homes during the winter months,” Gietzen said, “and businesses hope to attract them.” 

Township attorney corrects false allegations

Sumpter Township attorney Rob Young corrected several misinformed claims made by a resident during the Jan. 10 meeting of the board of trustees.

During the public comment portion of the agenda, Randy Miller accused the board of violating state law regarding the sale of township property, claimed that Supervisor Tim Bowman should have recused himself from voting on a property matter due to a conflict of interest and alleged that the board had awarded a $400,000 insurance contract without the required bidding process.

Inkster officials mark 2022 city accomplishments

Inkster Mayor Patrick Wimberly and members of the city council recently reminded residents of the progress in the city and the projects completed during 2022.

Listed among accomplishments listed in a newsletter to residents, Wimberly reminded residents of the completion of an open space amphitheater on Inkster and South River Park Drive.  Funds for that project were allocated by state appropriations through the office of State Rep. Jewell Jones, the newsletter noted.

Man dies shoveling snow

The heavy snowfall last week resulted in tragedy as a 71-year-old man died while shoveling snow at his Inkster home.

According to police reports, the body of Leroy Steed was found outside his home Thursday morning, Jan. 26,  where he had fallen shoveling snow the night before. He had last been seen the night before, outside his home. Police said his death was caused by a suspected heart attack.  

Winning ways

The City of Romulus Police hockey players defeated the Westland police team by a score of 5-1 during a charity hockey game last week at the Taylor Sportsplex. The Hockey for Healthcare event was a benefit for Ascension of Southeast Michigan. Westland Mayor Michael P. Londeau,center, and Romulus Mayor Robert McCraight, left,had a friendly wager on the final score and the Westland loss means Londeau must buy McCraight lunch at a Romulus restaurant of his choice. McCraight chose Leonardo's Italian Grille. Taylor Mayor Tim Woolley, right, who hosted the event, joined his fellow officials at the game, but avoided the good-natured wagering. 

Wine Walk fundraiser tickets now available

The Village Arts Factory will be the site of a unique fundraising effort this month.

A Wine Walk is being organized by the women of the Canton Learn.Advocate.Mentor (LAM) program of the Lead#LikeAGirl initiative in the township. The event is an effort to generate funding for the National Women's Health Network, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to provide women with a greater voice in the healthcare system.

The event is limited to those older than 21 and is set for 6 until 8 p.m. Feb. 24 at the arts facility located at  50755 Cherry Hill Road in Canton Township. 

Shooting suspects are sought

Canton Township police investigators are attempting to identify four individuals who may have been involved in a shooting that occurred in the area of 51074 Mott Road at about 11 p.m. Jan. 21. 

Police said multiple shots were fired into an occupied mobile home in the incident. 

Video from the area captured four individuals of interest, one wearing a two-tone hooded jacket, a ski mask, light color pants (possibly joggers) and dark shoes. 

All aboard

Historic railroad train depot exhibit renovation is on track  

Carpenters put a face on the front of the depot, framed
in the storage closet, and honed some of the openings
for doors and "windows" which are enormous TV screens.
A new train station is expected to open in Plymouth next Wednesday.

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

The exhibit is being completely renovated with modern technologies, which will allow visitors to walk inside and experience the sights and sounds of an early 20th-century railroad depot. The idea is to showcase the role of trains and the local railroad station in Plymouth, circa 1885-1930, explained museum Director Liz Kerstens.

Free COVID tests offered

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.

Concrete evidence

A large piece of Northville Township is headed to the Grand Rapids area. Concrete rubble from the demolition of the former state psychiatric hospital buildings at Legacy Park is being crushed down to gravel, "cleaned" by a magnet and sent by truckloads to the west side of Michigan, where it will be used to make new concrete.

School district hosts Parent Camp on Saturday

The Northville Educational Foundation and Northville Public Schools are partnering to host the Eighth Annual Northville Parent Camp. The event will take place from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 4 at Northville High School. 

This is a “a one-stop shop” for parents wanting to add more tools to their toolbox, organizers said.

“Parent Camp is an opportunity that was designed many years ago that allows parents the opportunity to receive free resources, training, and support from local and national vendors,” explained Aaron Baughman, assistant superintendent of instructional services at Northville Public Schools.

Special guest

Police canine officer Max arrested the affection and attention on students at Winchester Elementary School recently. Max was accompanied by Northville Police Community Service Ofc. Andrew Domzalski during his visit to help the students understand some of the procedures in the public safety department. Max, a goldendoodle, joined the police department last fall as a therapy dog and is partnered with Domzalski in community service efforts. 

High schools each receive $5,000 grant

Both high schools in the Wayne Westland district were among those awarded ASPIRE grants from the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN). 

Both Wayne Memorial and John Glenn High School will receive $5,000 as part of the program which awarded grants to only 10 high schools in the state. Recipients will use the funds over the next four to six months to assess current systems and practices, determine challenge areas, develop an action plan and establish a postsecondary action and success team, according to a prepared statement from the organization.

Officials seek public input on park design

A new community gathering space or park is under consideration in Westland as part of creating a future City Centre District in the community.

A survey posted on the city website regarding the proposed City Centre Park is asking residents and business owners to list amenities they might suggest for the park which would be constructed on a parcel of land adjacent to Westland City Hall. The proposed project has been in the planning stages for more than a year, according to a prepared statement from the city. 

Wayne band to play for Tigers

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.

Library is moved to school

Full library services at the William Faust Public Library of Westland were expected to begin yesterday at Marshall Elementary School, 35100 Bayview Street. While there are still a few procedures to work through, patrons can check out and return items, fax/copy/print materials, use the computers and other services. Library employees are hoping to welcome patrons at the temporary facility while a major renovation of the library building on Central City Parkway is complete. The entrance and parking for the library is at the rear of the school building, accessible by the west driveway.