Thursday, March 30, 2023

License renewal sought for hazardous waste well

State environmental officials were expected to announce the date for renewed public comment regarding a license renewal at the hazardous waste well facility in Romulus.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Ann Arbor, said regulators from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE)  would re-open the period of public input at a date expected to be announced this week. The comment period is in response to an April 28, 2021 request from Republic Industrial and Energy Services for a renewal of the license at the waste well on Citrin Road. The original public comment on the application ended Feb. 16.

High note

Canton singer joins Shelton’s Voice team

Grace Rembinski West
Grace Rembinski West shares designations as both the first and the last on the NBC TV singing competition The Voice.

The Plymouth High School graduate is the very first Canton Township native to perform on The Voice and is the last team-member who will ever be selected by judge Blake Shelton. The 19-year-old chose Shelton as her coach during the blind audition competitions last week. Shelton told her in his bid against Niall Horan to be her coach that he would be “honored for you to be the last person I ever hit this freaking, worn-out button for.”

Horan was also eager to have West as a member of his team telling her that he was sure “America is going to love you.”

Iconic Lou LaRiche car dealership sold to LaFontaine

Members of the LaFontaine Auto Group and owners of Lou LaRiche
Chevrolet celebrate the sale of the Plymouth Township dealership
founded by the late Lou LaRiche in 1971.
The end of an era was finalized in Plymouth last week with the announcement of the sale of Lou LaRiche Chevrolet to LaFontaine Automotive Group.

LaFontaine Automotive Group, the largest family-owned dealer group in Michigan, now owns 34 dealerships across the state, representing 54 automotive franchises

“We are a family-focused business with an emphasis on our guests, family and the communities we serve. My family has had the opportunity to know the LaRiche family for many years and when this opportunity presented itself, we knew it was a perfect match,” said Ryan LaFontaine, CEO, LaFontaine Automotive Group.

Off duty

16-year career captain retires from department

Northville Township Fire Department Capt. Dan Dipple has retired
from the department after 26 years of service. He said he
will pursue a career in the non-profit sector. 
Northville Township Fire Department Capt. Dan Dipple may be saying goodbye to firefighting but his commitment to helping others will continue. 

After 26 years of running into burning buildings, Dipple hung up his fire helmet and retired March 24. He said he will be pursuing a career in the non-profit sector. 

Dipple said helping people is his passion and he has been able to do that during his  entire career, joining the Northville Township Fire Department in 1997. He first served as firefighter/EMT, then lieutenant and is retiring with the rank of captain.

Captive audience

Northville Township Police Chief Scott Hilden exchanged the Motor Vehicle Code book for a Patty Lovell book as he visited Ridgewood Elementary School last week to read to students in recognition of March is Reading Month. He was thoroughly impressed with the students at Ridgewood Elementary, he said. March is Reading Month is celebrated nationally as an effort to improve literacy. The month of March was chosen in honor of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss who was born that month.

State of Community address set

The annual State of the Community Luncheon in Northville is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 19 at Schoolcraft College Vistatech Center.

Featured speakers will be City of Northville Mayor Brian Turnbull, Northville Township Supervisor Mark Abbo and Dr. RJ Webber superintendent of Northville Public Schools. The annual event is organized by the Northville Chamber of Commerce.

Learning experience

Plymouth Township Police Chief Chief James Knittel Jr. made an arresting appearance as a guest reader at Stefanee Hirsch's 5th Grade Class at Isbister Elementary School recently. Knittel read "Police in our School" by Deputy Becky Coyle, a book which explains the role and goals of a school resource officer. The special visit was part of national March is Reading Month and school administrators said all the students enjoyed Knittel's visit. Reading month is celebrated nationally as an effort to promote literacy. 

Library offering new technology equipment

Plymouth Public Library patrons
can now borrow two new telescopes
purchased with a grant from the
Bosch Community Fund. Library officials
said the telescopes and other video
equipment are limited to users
18 years of age or older. 
The Plymouth District Library currently has four new technology kits available for loan to those 18 years of age or older.

Library officials said the kits include two different telescopes, a GoPro camera and a small projector with screen. These latest additions to the library offerings were funded through a 2022 technology grant awarded by the Bosch Community Fund to The Friends of the Plymouth District Library. 

In addition to these adult technology kits, the Plymouth library now includes computers and hotspots, kids' STEAM kits, and low vision tools - with additional collections coming soon, explained Library Director Shauna Anderson. 

"Our Library of Things represents an exciting area of growth for us right now," said  Anderson., "These developments, along with new tools in our lab, mean we are meeting the needs of our patrons in inspiring new ways. We are grateful to Bosch Community Fund and the Friends for their continued support." 

Spring cleaning of cemetery planned

The annual clean up of the historic Romulus Cemetery
will take place this spring and items left
at gravesites must be retrieved. 
The annual maintenance at a treasured historical landmark in Romulus will take place this spring.

Members of the Cemetery Board of Trustees recently reminded residents that any items left on gravesites that not in compliance with cemetery rules and regulations will be removed during the regular cleaning of the grounds. While no exact date for the annual cleanup has been announced, as weather is a factor, residents are urged to remove items left at graves. Items removed during the cleanup will be stored for 60 days and then discarded.

Warm welcome

Four new firefighters were officially sworn into duty March 20 at city hall. Officials said the swearing in process is a time to celebrate department accomplishments, but more importantly a process that empowers the department members. This was an informal process, officials said, and a more formal oath taking and introduction will take place at a later date.  Joining the department were, from left, Firefighter Brett Rideout; Firefighter Malani Arnold; Firefighter Owen Clary and Firefighter Anthony Pegouskie.

Annual Good Friday walk set

The annual Good Friday Walk in Romulus is planned for April 7 this year.

As has become a tradition in the community, all religious denominations gather to follow the cross of Christ through downtown Romulus on the Friday before Easter Sunday.  The walk will begin at 11 a.m. at Romulus Historical Park, 11120 Hunt St. and walk behind the cross for about one mile to Romulus Five Points Church, formerly Wesleyan Church.

Easter Egg Hunt scheduled

The Romulus Parks and Recreation department will host the annual Easter Egg Hunt in the city.

The event will take place at noon April 1 behind the Romulus Senior Center, 36525 Bibbins St. Participants should bring their own  baskets to collect eggs and take a photo with the Easter Bunny! 

For more information, call (734) 941-8665. 

Trustees approve privacy protection policy

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees have approved a new policy designed to protect the privacy of residents and employees.

Township attorney Rob Young explained the new non-disclosure agreement to board members during the March 14 workshop meeting. Young said the township has not previously had a confidentiality agreement as part of employment with the township but “we live in a different world today than we did 10 years ago. There is a lot of harm that can come to an individual if confidential information is disclosed to the public or just to people around township hall,” Young said.

Lucky stop

Winning Keno ticket sold in Canton

A stop at a Canton Township gas station proved profitable for one lucky driver last week.

A 27-year-old man, who has opted to remain anonymous, won $314,000 on the Michigan Lottery Keno game with a ticket he purchased at the Ford Road BP gas station in Canton. His ticket matched eight of the 20 numbers drawn earning him the prize money.

The lucky winner said he often plays the Club Keno game at several locations, wherever he happens to stop for gas or shop.

Auxiliary police fundraiser set

The Inkster Police Auxiliary Department will host a fundraiser at Chuck E. Cheese next month.

During event, set for 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Friday, April 14, 20 percent of all sales generated from the event will be donated to the Inkster Auxiliary Police Department. Auxiliary officers in Inkster are assigned to police patrol, administration, crime prevention, training, firearms unit, and emergency management. Police officials said the officers are "valued members of our department and provide a significant number of services to our community."

Suspect facing charges in attack on Lyft driver

Westland Police have arrested a suspect in the unprovoked stabbing of a 75-year-old Lyft driver which took place March 16.

Westland police responded to a 10 p.m. 911 call from the victim and when officers arrived at the scene near an apartment complex at 31600 Warren Road, found the wounded driver in his vehicle, suffering from multiple stab wounds. Officers and EMTs provided immediate medical aid and the victim was transported to a nearby hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

Exhibit A

Judge Breeda O'Leary of the 29th District Court in Wayne was on the stand providing answers for 4th grade students at Roosevelt-McGrath school earlier this month. O'Leary visited the school to read to the students as part of National Reading Month but found the students more curious about her job and the court than the story she read. National Reading Month is celebrated every year, in part to honor beloved children's author Dr. Seuss, who was born in March.

Washington trail is tidied

A hardy group of volunteers made some progress in the effort to clean Washington Trail in Wayne earlier this month.

The group braved 27-degree temperatures to clean and police the area from Elizabeth Street to the pier and then all the way to Wayne Road, an organizer said. Volunteer workers from the 29th District Court as well as a representative from Outward Bound joined the effort.

Volunteers sought for Earth Day at Westland Historic Village

Earth Day will be celebrated at Westland Historic Village Park by volunteers cleaning both the grounds and the buildings.

Volunteers are still needed for the April 22 event and can register at: Planned chttps://

Planned projects include the cutting down and removal of small trees in order to enlarge the parking area; creating new flower beds and weeding along with preparing current flower beds and herb gardens for planting;

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Northville clerk, trustee switch official positions

Judge James Plakas of the 35th District Court
administered the oath of office to Northville Township Deputy Clerk
Katie Anderson and new Township Clerk Cynthia Jankowski.
Cynthia Jankowski was officially sworn into her new office as Northville Township Clerk March 16. Judge James Plakas of the 35th District Court administered the oath of office to Jankowski just before the regular meeting of the board of trustees.

“I accept this role with pride,” Jankowski said. “It's an exciting time to help Northville Township and our residents. I'm here to ensure that our elections are safe and secure. Every vote truly counts,” Jankowski said.

Sounds of success

Student radio station named as Audio Station of the Year 

Students at 88.1 The Park celebrate their win as Audio Station
of the Year along with 16 other awards the Plymouth-Canton
Community Schools radio station was awarded.  
The Plymouth Canton student radio station, 88.1 The Park, was named as 2023 High School Audio Station of the Year last week during the Great Lakes Media Show in Lansing.

This is the sixth consecutive year the student operated station has received the award. WSDP has been recognized as the High School Station of the Year 12 times since 2001.

The student staff also received 16 of the 29 individual awards in the high school audio competition. This included sweeping the On Air Personality of Team and Sports Play-by-Play categories. The students also received seven First Place awards.

Local disposal of train wreck toxic waste criticized by county

Romulus officials received another vote of support in their protest of the toxic waste from the Feb. 3 train derailment in New Palestine, Ohio being sent to their city for disposal.

Last week, Wayne County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution opposing any further transport of toxic waste to sites within the county, supporting new dialogue between the county, state and federal agencies and strengthening laws regarding transport of toxic waste by rail, according to a prepared statement from the commissioners.

“We understand there is a need to dispose of this waste, but Wayne County is the most populous county in the state and it is bordered by our nation's largest fresh water supply,” commission Chair Alisha Bell (D-Detroit) said. “There are other less populated and less environmentally sensitive areas where waste can be shipped.”

Retirements, promotions at Sumpter police announced

Sgt. James Cayce.

Det. Lt. John Toth
The guard is changing at the Sumpter Township Police Department with the retirement of two veteran officers and promotion of two others to the rank of sergeant.

Detective Lt. John Toth has retired from the force. Toth joined the Sumpter Township department in 2000 after serving on the City of Belleville Police Department for several years.  During his tenure with Sumpter, Toth was promoted to corporal in 2014, sergeant in 2017, and lieutenant in 2021. He has  as the department lead detective since approximately 2010, leading successful investigations and subsequent convictions in the highest-profile cases in the department's 69-year history.

Canton landlord facing sex harassment charges

Federal officials have charged a 50-year-old Canton Township man with sexual harassment of multiple women who either lived in or were seeking to rent one of 26-rental properties he owned.

Mohamad “Moe” Hussein is charged with making unwanted sexual comments and advances toward women tenants in a lawsuit filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The federal lawsuit alleges that Hussein continued the alleged sexual aggression from 2017 until 2020.  Prosecutors allege that Hussein demanded women send him sexual images or engage in sex acts as a condition of renting one of his homes. The lawsuit claims that Hussein offered to reduce rental fees, pay utility bills or reduce security deposits in exchange for sex acts. It is also alleged he sent graphic sexual images of himself to women.

Proposals for theater art exhibits now being accepted

Proposals are now being accepted for solo or group exhibitions during the 2024 exhibition season at The Gallery at Cherry Hill. Submissions from both local and regional artists and all mediums will be accepted until April 7. 

Artists can now apply online at www.cantonvillagetheater. org/418 for a solo or group exhibition.  Submissions must include: artist's statement; no more than nine high-quality JPEG digital images; list of representative images submitted; document artwork including the artist's name, title, medium, dimensions, and completion date of the work and a current resume/biography. All questions regarding the Gallery at Cherry Hill 'Call for Artists' for the 2024 season can be emailed to Elli Fassois at elli.fassois@ 

School district planning multiple safety upgrades

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools Superintendent Monica Merritt recently reassured parents of the safety measures in place at all district buildings. She said the district continues to make significant investments in a wide range of security measures on campus, including call boxes and enhanced protections at building entrances. 

“At Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, we are laser focused on the importance of helping ensure all students, teachers, staff and visitors are safe, and that means using resources innovatively, creatively and efficiently,” Merritt said. “From our community partners and elected leaders to our board of education and teachers, staff, administrators and families, all of us at P-CCS have wrapped our arms around the goal of keeping our students and staff safe.”

Historical Society awarded $95,000 state grant

The Northville Historical Society has been awarded a $95,000 state grant to fund improvements at Mill Race Village.

City officials collaborated with representatives of the Northville Historical Society to pursue the funding through the SEMCOG (South East Michigan Council of Governments)  Stormwater Improvements Grant Program.  The Northville Historical Society was awarded the funding to support the installation of a pervious paver drive lane and walkways, as well as the addition of two rain gardens, at Mill Race Village in 2024. 

In the running

Former Northville resident makes team on ‘The Voice’

Former Northville resident Chloe Abbott won a spot on
season 23 of The Voice. Abbot, currently training for the
2024 Olympic track team, joined Team Chance
by singing “How Deep is Your Love,” by The BeeGees.
Former Northville resident Chloe Abbott is making waves on the 23rd season of “The Voice” after securing a spot on Team Chance with her rendition of “How Deep is Your Love” by The BeeGees. While Abbott, 24, has long had a passion for singing, she has also excelled as a track and field athlete, running full-time in middle school and even qualifying to compete in the 2020 Olympic trials.

Her athletic pursuits didn't stop her from auditioning for school musical productions, she said. 

Despite falling short of making the Olympic team, Abbott, a former University of Kentucky track All-American, said she remains focused on her goal of making the 2024 team.

New fire lieutenant named

Lt. Kyle Lewis
Northville Township Firefighter/Paramedic Kyle Lewis was promoted to the rank of lieutenant last week. 

Lewis joined the department in 2013 and continues to serve the community with the highest level of commitment and professionalism, officials said. Lewis earned a bachelor of science degree from Siena Heights University and a master of science degree in organizational leadership from Columbia Southern University. He also holds a psychology of leadership certificate from Cornell University.

Lewis has held a filled a variety of roles during his tenure with the department, including recruitment and retention, mentoring, the probationary firefighter training program, new station committee, turnout gear evaluation and others.

State of Community luncheon set

The annual State of the Community Luncheon in Northville is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 19 at Schoolcraft College Vistatech Center.

Featured speakers will be City of Northville Mayor Brian Turnbull, Northville Township Supervisor Mark Abbo and Dr. RJ Webber, superintendent of Northville Public Schools. The annual event is organized by the Northville Chamber of Commerce.

Registrations will be accepted until April 12. Fees for the luncheon are $45 per person for chamber members and $50 per person for non-chamber members.

VistaTech is located at 18600 Haggerty Road in Livonia. 

To register or for more information contact the Northville Chamber of Commerce (248) 349-7640. 

Hometown heroes

Safety foundation to host Firefighter Appreciation Ceremony

Hometown heroes in the city of Romulus will be honored during a special ceremony next month.

A Firefighter Appreciation Ceremony is planned at the Romulus Athletic Center to recognize new additions to the fire department as well as the Firefighter of the Year and the Paramedic of the Year. The Life Saving Award and Chief's Medal will also be presented during the event, hosted by the Romulus Public Safety Foundation.

“This year's appreciation ceremony is unique in so many ways. This is the first year that the Romulus Public Safety Foundation will be hosting the event. Our newly appointed Deputy Chief Ken Chapman will carry on the tradition of the ceremony,” said Kevin Krause, director of Community Safety & Development. 

Cemetery clean-up planned

The annual maintenance at a treasured historical landmark in Romulus will take place this spring.

Members of the Cemetery Board of Trustees recently reminded residents that any items left on gravesites not in compliance with cemetery rules and regulations will be removed during the regular cleaning of the grounds. While no exact date for the annual cleanup has been announced, as weather is a factor, residents are urged to remove items left at graves. Items removed during the cleanup will be stored for 60 days and then discarded.

Read on

The Wayne Rotary Club helped mark Reading Month with a $5,000 check to help support literacy throughout the community. Wayne Rotary Club President Carol Bevard, at right, presented a $5,000 check to Wayne Public Library Director Jody Wolak last week. The funds will be used to support literacy programs at the library. Every March is celebrated as National Reading Month to help promote reading in schools. March was designated as it is the month beloved children's author Dr. Seuss was born.

Students’ Acts of Kindness recognized by council

City officials, teachers and family members were on hand for the
 March presentation of awards to students who demonstrated Random
 Acts of Kindness in the Wayne-Westland schools. Winners this month were
Emily DeLane, Monique Oliver and Naomi Dugger.  
Members of the Westland City Council officially recognized the three winners of Random Acts of Kindness awards this month.

The program is a partnership between members of the Westland Compassionate City Committee and the Wayne-Westland Community Schools. The three winners this month were Emily DeLane of Adams Middle School, Monique Oliver, also from Adams Middle School, and Naomi Dugger of Stevenson Middle School. 

Arresting visit

Inkster police officers Megan Summers and J. Wilder paid a special visit to Hicks Elementary School recently and brought along official police "badges" and special stickers for excited students. Teachers and officers said the students welcomed the visit and the interaction with Inkster police. Hicks Elementary School is part of the Wayne-Westland Community Schools district.

Leaf pick-up program to resume

Westland residents are welcoming the return of a popular city service beginning next fall.
Members of the city council and  Mayor Michael P. Londeau have approved the reinstatement of the Curbside Leaf Pickup Program which was eliminated several years ago due to budget cuts and the cost of the service.
In a prepared statement, officials said city residents who currently have curbside trash pickup will also receive leaf pickup service at no additional cost. This fall, residents can rake leaves into the street for pickup and removal. Leaves can also be bagged for pickup on resident's regular trash pick up day. Londeau said the reinstatement of the program was in response to multiple requests from residents who continually asked for the return of the service.
Reinstatement of  the Leaf Pickup Program will be funded by savings realized from the renegotiated contract with the city landfill provider, officials said.
As arrangements for the program are finalized, feedback and input from residents is an important component of the successful implementation of the service, officials noted. There is a brief survey on the city website to allow residents to provide opinions and suggestions about the program.
Officials urged residents to complete the survey at

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Storm debris to be picked up this Saturday

Fallen tree limbs and branches left in the wake of the storm earlier this month will be picked up this Saturday in three local communities.

In Canton Township, officials are working with trash hauler GFL to provide a special pick up of fallen branches Saturday, March 18.  

Branches and tree limbs must be manageable in size with cut ends facing the curb, and small branches/twigs should be tied or bundled, a township spokesman explained. GFL will only collect debris left at the curb. 

If there are larger limbs on private property, residents will need to work with their homeowners associations or a private landscaping company for removal. Residents can also drop off fallen branches only at the Canton DPW yard, 4847 Sheldon Road, for the next week. 

Top of the class

Northville High School principal is named best in state

Wendy Zdeb, executive director of the Michigan Association
of Secondary School Principals, presented the Principal of the
Year award to Northville High School principal Tony Koski
during a student pep assembly last week. Koski will now
represent Michigan in the national principal of the year competition. 
Northville High School principal Tony Koski received quite a surprise during a school student pep rally last week.

Along with the assembled students and teachers, Wendy Zdeb, executive director of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, was on hand to present Koski with the award as Michigan 2023 Principal of the Year.

Koski was visibly surprised at the award which designates him as the state representative in the National Association of Secondary School Principals competition set for October in Washington, D.C

Wadsworth chosen as 2023 Citizen of the Year

William Wadsworth
The longest serving city councilman in Romulus has been named the 2023 Romulus Person of the Year by The Greater Romulus Chamber of Commerce. 

William J. Wadsworth, a 55-year resident of the city, is the 36th individual to receive the prestigious award. He will be honored during a special community celebration set for April 28 at the Detroit Marriott. Tickets for the event will be available until April 10. 

Wadsworth was selected based on his dedication and devotion to improving the Romulus community. He has been an extraordinary example of a public servant in the city, a chamber spokesman said. One of his most notable public efforts was the funding and construction of a new animal shelter in the city to replace the aging and inadequate facility located in an old fire station.

Lights, camera, action

Feature-length movie set to begin shooting at city locations

Jesse McAnally
Movie cameras, booms, microphones and sets will become a regular site throughout the Romulus community beginning next month.

An independent feature film will begin production in the city in early April, explained director Jesse McAnally, who also co-wrote the script with Nathan Keelan. McAnally launched a crowdfunding campaign in October 2022 to finance the film titled The Daughters of the Domino. He said contributions by enthusiastic backers helped exceed the budget goal. 

“For years, I've been perfecting my filmmaking skills with short films, and I'm thrilled to be taking on my first feature film with 'The Daughters of the Domino.' I'm most excited to showcase the beauty and cinematic potential of my hometown of Romulus to a broader audience,” McAnally said. Filming will take place entirely in Michigan, primarily in Romulus, with an emphasis on state landscapes and local talent.

Maybury Farm Maple Syrup Tours now under way

Maple Syrup tours at Maybury Farm begin with a tractor pulled
wagon ride into the woods to drain sap from the maple trees.
Maple Syrup Tours will continue this weekend at Maybury Farm in Northville. Tours will take place Saturdays and Sundays through April 2. The tours begin with a tractor-pulled wagon ride into the woods to see how maple trees are tapped  and then watch and taste the running sap. 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.

Team effort

Last week, several potential candidates braved snowy conditions to attend the Northville Township Police Department recruitment open house. The township has a position for one new officer to join the force. Candidates who attended the open house learned about the department, toured the facility and talked with current officers. The recruitment team, above, said they look forward to hiring a new officer in a few months. For more information, access the township police website.

Top chefs

Plymouth Canton students win state competition honor

Plymouth-Canton Community School students in the hospitality and
culinary arts program took the top prize at the Michigan ProStart
Culinary Competition in Port Huron on March 5-6. 
They came, they sauteed, they conquered.

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools student chefs chopped their way to victory at the Michigan ProStart Culinary Competition, where they bested 22 other schools and 300 student chefs March 5-6 to be the top high school culinary team in the state. 

“Our young chefs poured their heart and soul into this competition and their dishes truly reflect all their hard work, creativity, talent and passion,” said Plymouth Canton Community Schools  chef instructor and coach Diana Woodward. “We are so grateful to ProStart for encouraging young people to consider an education and careers in hospitality and the culinary arts.”

Canton set to begin cross connection water flow inspections

More than 11,000 homes in Canton Township will experience an inspection of the water supply cross connection as part of the township Residential Cross Connection Control Program.

The inspections are mandated by the State of Michigan as cross connections pose a serious public health threat to a drinking water supply system, with most residential contamination risks coming from underground irrigation systems, township officials said. Currently, more than 11,000 homes in Canton have such systems and will require backflow device testing.

School district completes third sale of bonds

The third and final sale in the series of School Building and Site Bonds has been completed by the Wayne Westland Community Schools district.

The $36,760,000 bond sale was authorized by the voters of the school district in November of 2018. The final sale  represents one third of the series which will be used for remodeling, equipping, re-equipping, furnishing and re-furnishing school buildings, athletic fields and other facilities; acquiring and installing instructional technology equipment and infrastructure in school buildings and other facilities;


Mayor loses ‘friendly’ wager on hockey game 

The Westland Police Community Partnership Hockey Team faced off last weekend against the Garden City Police Department in a charity hockey game to benefit Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Devin Kachar. 

More than $6,500 was generated to help fund medical expenses for Kachar who was paralyzed due to gunshot injuries sustained in September while on a surveillance assignment. Kachar was critically wounded  during the incident.

On a roll

Members of the Wayne Memorial High School Bowling Team celebrated their win of the championship match last week. The team won the Michigan High School Athletic Association championship and are now officially the best high school bowling team in their state division. 

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.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Former St. Mary priest is sentenced to prison

Father Jack Baker
A former priest at St. Mary Catholic Church in Wayne has vowed to appeal the prison term imposed by the court last week.

Joseph “Father Jack” Baker, 61, was found guilty and sentenced to 3-15 years in prison for the rape of an elementary student at St. Mary Catholic School during the mid-2000s. His sentencing hearing took place March 1 in Wayne County Third Circuit Court last week. Baker was found guilty on Oct. 2022 of first-degree criminal conduct-sexual penetration with a person under the age of 13. His prison sentence will be reduced by the 140 days Baker has already served in jail. 

The charges stemmed from 2004 when the alleged victim was a second-grade student at St. Mary Catholic School in Wayne and Baker served as pastor of the church. The victim told law enforcement officials he was sent to the church sacristy during an after-school religious program to retrieve a book when the sexual assault occurred.

Mixing it up

District culinary students compete for championship honors

The Plymouth Canton Community Schools Hospitality and
Culinary Arts Team competed last weekend at the Michigan
 ProStart Competition in Port Huron. The team is
coached by Diana Woodward, district chef instructor. 
Plymouth-Canton Community Schools will compete to avoid the “chopping block” in a statewide culinary competition as they vie for an opportunity to be the best student chef in Michigan, and potentially move on to a national cooking contest. 

“This team is quite possibly the most caring, kind, hard-working, respectful and tough young culinarians I've ever had the pleasure of coaching in 22 years and their talent is something we should all watch for in the months and years to come,” said Diana Woodward, district chef instructor and coach. 

The Hospitality and Culinary Arts Team has 10 members who competed last weekend at the Michigan ProStart Competition in Port Huron. The top Michigan team will then go on to compete May 2-4 at the National ProStart Invitational in Washington, D.C.

Romulus mayor seeks oversight of waste disposal

City of Romulus officials recently issued an update regarding the shipments of toxic waste from the train derailment in East Palestine, OH into the community. 

Upon receiving notification from Republic Waste that the Romulus Deep Well Injection facility was accepting delivery of liquid waste from the Ohio train derailment that occurred Feb. 3, Mayor Robert McCraight and his team immediately reached out to city, county, state and federal agencies for assistance to better understand how this was transpiring without  notification to the city, explained the prepared statement. With the help of elected officials, further shipments to the Romulus facility were halted and this past week, McCraight met with officials from Republic and requested details in an effort to better inform the public and clarify the situation.

County OKs $4.75 million share in project

Members of the Wayne County Commission have approved the use of $4.75 million in county American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds for renovation and revitalization of Cherry Hill Village in Canton Township.

Members of the Canton Township Board of Trustees approved an intergovernmental agreement with the county earlier this month and approved the use of $4.75 including township ARPA funds, Wayne County millage funds and money from the township general fund.

Plans including the construction of new restaurants, open-air dining, a new park and public recreational programs were presented to members of the Wayne County Commission last week and the matching $4.75 million in county funding approved.  

Police quick response team now includes Wayne

The City of Wayne is the 21st local community to join the Families
Against Narcotics COMEBACK Quick Response Team. Marking the
official adoption of the program last month were, from left, 
Mayor John Rhaesa, FAN Peer Recovery Coach Dede Love, Police Chief
Ryan Strong, Ofc. Joshua Priebe, Ofc. Keith Zavitz, Ofc. Heather Holcomb,
FAN Executive Director Linda Davis, Northwest Wayne FAN President
Lauren Rousseau and Northwest Wayne FAN Secretary Judge Laura Mack.
The City of Wayne has joined the Families Against Narcotics COMEBACK program, becoming the 21st local department to participate in the Quick Response Team effort.  The COMEBACK program offers help to those who have survived an overdose or had contact with law enforcement because of substance use.

Families Against Narcotics (FAN) is a community-based organization for those seeking recovery, those in recovery, family members affected by addiction, and community supporters, organizers explained. FAN members seek to change the face of addiction, dispel the stigma of addiction, and educate the community, as well as those affected by addiction. 

Canton churches will host ‘Culture & Cuisine’ events

Events designed to explore the diverse cultures in the community are planned at area places of worship in Canton Township this spring.

Organizers said each visit will offer a brief overview of the faith, customs, and beliefs, as well as samples of some representative food and music from that featured, unique culture. 

“We're excited to once again be able to provide these unique culinary and cultural experiences to provide an opportunity for Canton residents to get to know their neighbors and increase their understanding of the unique cultures that make up our community,” said Jennifer Girard, recreation specialist. “We hope that these diverse experiences will encourage dialogue and engagement within our community that will ultimately lead to more appreciation and acceptance.”

District students advise school board members

88.1 The Park radio station Community Focus interview
 of 2022 Student Voice and Action Committee.
Plymouth-Canton Community Schools students are making an impact - in real time and in an official capacity - on school district policies through a newly created committee.

The students, through the Student Voice in Action Committee (SVA), are part of the Plymouth Canton Community Schools Board of Education. A brainchild of Board of Education President Shawn Wilson and approved unanimously by the board, the student committee members are already offering student perspectives on some key issues affecting them, including diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, social-emotional health programs within the district, and ways to enhance the student experience both in and out of the classroom, officials said. 

Legislator supports protection of election workers

State Rep. Matt Koleszar
State Rep. Matt Koleszar, D-Plymouth, strongly supports proposed legislation to protect election workers in the state.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, the chairs of both the Senate and House elections committees, and numerous other lawmakers, including Koleszar, are promoting legislative plans to protect the people who protect democracy - the thousands of election workers and millions of voters in Michigan. “We have made great strides expanding the voice and protecting the vote of every Michigan citizen over these last few years, but we have more work to do,” said Benson. “We are in an era of misinformation with voters being lied to about their right to vote and election workers subject to a near constant barrage of threats and harassment for simply doing their jobs. We must do more to protect the people who protect democracy.”

County demands improved rail safety, communication

Wayne County Commission Chair Alisha Bell and her fellow commissioners are calling on federal officials to enact rail safety and improve communication with local officials following the recent  train derailments in Ohio.

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans' office received information that Norfolk Southern was transporting hazardous waste resulting from the East Palenstine Ohio derailment for disposal in both Romulus and Van Buren Township in Wayne County after the waste had already arrived at the sites.

Training sessions

Five Sumpter Township police officers were among the latest participants in the Louisiana State University National Center for Biomedical Research and Training Academy of Counter Terrorist Education. To date, 11 Sumpter officers have completed both class sessions and the remainder of the township officers will attend the course later this year, officials said.

Westland mourns death of 30-year city employee

Members of the Westland community are mourning the death of Dave Monak, a constant presence at city events for more than 30 years.

In social media posts last week, members of the city administration said the news of Mr. Monak's death left them with a heavy heart and noted that Mr. Monak had been employed with the City of Westland Community Media Department for more than three decades.

“There is no doubt you have seen him at many city events over the years. Through all of the major city milestones, Dave was there camera in hand. He captured great images and footage all over town including the Summer Festival, Blues, Brews & Barbecue, concerts in the park, and thousands of other studio and remote productions,” the Facebook post announcing Mr. Monak's death continued. 

New city manager takes oath of office

City Manager George Lahanas
New Northville City Manager George Lahanas was on the job this week, beginning his employment with the city. He was sworn into office by City Clerk Mike Smith at the regular city council meeting Monday, March 6.

In his new capacity with the city, Lahanas’ office will provide general administrative services for the management of the city to ensure that all city council policies and directives are implemented. Lahanas will coordinate the work of all city departments and employees and he will be responsible for the enforcement of all ordinances and expenditure of funds in accordance with the budget and the Northville City Charter.

Winning streak

The Northville Township Fire Department team brought home the trophy for Best Firehouse Chili during the annual Chili’in the Ville event in downtown Northville recently. This was the second consecutive win for the township firefighters who wished their rivals from the city “better luck next year.” The event drew a large crowd into downtown all sampling the various entries from local restaurants along with the two fire departments. The township champs have promised to return next year, hoping for a three-peat.  

Inkster man facing drug, weapons felony charges

Brian Antonio Hicks
A 34-year-old Inkster man was among three suspects arrested and each charged with seven felonies following an investigation by the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Chippewa County Sheriff in Sault Ste. Marie.

According to a Facebook post by the Chippewa County Sheriff's Office, 36-year-old Joshua Allen O'Connor of Kincheloe, 36-year-old Brian Thomas Nielson of Kincheloe, and Brian Antonio Hicks of Inkster were arrested following several reports of drug overdoses in Chippewa County. One overdose killed a young Sault Ste. Marie man, according to police sources.

Trident detectives assisted the Sault Ste Marie Police Department in the investigation into the death.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Toxic waste from train derailment sent to local sites

Toxic waste from the site of an Ohio train derailment was
sent by truck to Romulus and Van Buren Township for disposal.
The decision to send five truckloads of toxic waste 225 miles from the site of a train derailment in Ohio for disposal in Romulus and Belleville met with outrage from city, county and state officials last week .

While some of the toxic soil and chemicals from the massive train accident in Ohio have already been accepted at the deep-well injection disposal in Romulus and at a disposal site in Van Buren Township, transport of the waste material has been halted due, in part, to strong protests from area officials. Norfolk-Southern Railway managers made the decision to send the chemicals and toxic soil from the site of the East Palestine, Ohio derailment by truck into sites owned by Republic Waste Services in both Romulus and Van Buren Township.

Taking her ‘turn’

Former Canton Township resident to compete on ‘The Voice’

Grace Rembinski West
Viewers of The Voice may hear a familiar voice during the competition this year.

Former Canton Township resident and 2021 Plymouth High School graduate Grace Rembinski West, 19, will be a contestant this season of the show which begins March 6.

West revealed her participation in the show on social media last month. “This has to be the hardest secret I've ever kept,” she posted. “I'm SO EXCITED TO TELL Y'ALL I auditioned for @NBC Thevoice.  

In a follow-up post on Feb. 21, the aspiring entertainer suggested readers guess the number of chairs that turn or which celebrity judge's team she joined. She urged her followers to post their guesses on her Facebook site.

Plymouth planning commission approves racetrack plans

Members of the Plymouth Township Planning Commission approved the plans for the Northville Downs in Plymouth horse racing track during a meeting Feb. 15. The meeting followed a public hearing on the issue during which residents spoke both in favor of and against the project.

The racetrack is proposed at a 124-acre site near Five Mile and Ridge Road. The site was formerly designated as the Ridge Five Corporate Park, but no development took place and the site is now vacant land. Only 52 acres of the site are suitable for building as the remainder is protected wetlands, according to township records.

School board reinstates former superintendent

Benjamin Edmondson
A standing ovation from a packed meeting room welcomed Romulus Community Schools Superintendent Benjamin Edmondson back to the job.

Edmondson was formally reinstated to his position as part of a settlement agreement in a lawsuit he filed against the district last September. His lawsuit was filed in response to his suspension by previous members of the board of education who subsequently placed him on indefinite leave. Immediately following Edmondson's return to work following a six-week medical leave as he recovered from heart surgery last fall, he was placed on administrative leave by the board members. During his medical leave, board members hired Dixon Public Consulting to analyze district finances. The former board members subsequently voted 4-3 Sept. 27 to place Edmondson on administrative leave as the audit continued.

Sumpter trustees approve purchase of police vehicle

Sumpter Township trustees approved the $50,407 purchase of a Ford Interceptor Utility vehicle from Gorno Ford during the Feb. 14 meeting.

Public Safety Director/Police Chief Eric Luke explained that the procedures for purchasing police vehicles had changed significantly during the past few years.

“We can no longer just walk in and order a vehicle,” he told the board members. He noted that Ford is forecasting an increase that could be as much as $6,000 to $8,000 and that GM could be the same. Luke noted that the current patrol cars travel about 100 to 120 miles a day.

Wish come true

Plymouth Noon Rotary Club President Penny Joy, at left, got her birthday wish last week when club members packaged 100 birthday cake kits. The kits, including cake mix, other ingredients, frosting and candles, will be distributed by the Salvation Army to those in the community who might otherwise not be able to enjoy a birthday cake. The kit ingredients were funded by a donation from a club member and fellow Rotarians packaged up the sweet gifts during their regular luncheon meeting at the Plymouth Community Center last week. 

Looking ahead

Employees and members of the Poulos family, owners of Karl's Cabin, attended an emotional meeting last Friday evening at the fire-damaged restaurant. Owners noted that usually at 7:30 on a Friday night the Gotfredson Road restaurant would be bustling with guests enjoying dinner. This week, however, due to  serious damage at the log cabin building during a three alarm fire Feb. 16, the staff met to learn about the progress and timeline for reopening.“Our number one priority is supporting our staff because we can't imagine reopening without them. A GoFundMe was created by one of our loyal customers,”said owners in an email.”All funds collected with go directly to the employees,” they added.

Tickets still available for ‘Red Carpet’ awards dinner

Tickets for the red carpet Northville Community Awards Dinner set for March 9 are still available.

Seven residents will be honored 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.

Art House to present Young Artists Exhibition and sale

Layla Freeman, Jewelry, Age 11,
Photo credit and courtesy
of Layla Freeman
The Northville Art House will present the seventh annual Young Artist Juried Art Fair  Saturday, March 18 at the First Presbyterian Church of Northville, located at 200 E Main St. in downtown Northville.

More than 30 young creative entrepreneurs, ages 7 - 18 will showcase diverse artistic talents through original artwork and crafts. 

The one-day indoor exhibit will include musical performances by local student groups. On display will be art exhibitions by preschool and elementary students as well as art activities for family and kids. A $5 donation entrance fee is suggested for visitors ages 13 and older. Those 12 and younger will be admitted at no cost. Parking is available on the street and in the municipal lots near the church. 

Welcome home

Inkster city officials joined Moe and Jennifer Medhi of AAHM Investments last week for the official grand opening of Avenue of Inkster Apartments. The newly-renovated apartment complex on Michigan Avenue will provide affordable housing featuring studio, one and two-bedroom apartments. The renovated apartment complex replaces a former condemned motel city officials described as an “eyesore” in the community. The 32 apartments will rent in the $700 per month price range and were designed to provide affordable housing, the developers noted.

Carbon monoxide suspected in death

Scott Southers
The owner of a local automotive business, Scott Southers, 60, was found dead last week by an employee arriving for work at the Haggerty Road building.

Canton Township Police and EMTs responded to the employee's 911 call at about 7 a.m. Feb. 21. Officers and EMTs attempted to revive Southers inside the business, but were unsuccessful and he remained unresponsive, according to police reports. After an investigation, officers left the scene but were called back to Prototype Automotive Solutions, located in the 7200 block of Haggerty Road near Warren Road, after an employee became ill.

Cherry Hill Village renovations, upgrades planned

Members of the Canton Township Board of Trustees have approved an intergovernmental agreement with Wayne County to fund the revitalization of Cherry Hill Village.

Canton will contribute $4.75 million to the project using American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds, Wayne County millage funds and the township general fund. The plan for the construction of new restaurants, open-air dining, a new park and public programs was to be presented to members of the Wayne County Commission last week in an effort to secure a matching $4.75 million from county ARPA funds.  

Artist’s submissions for exhibition now being accepted

Proposals are now being accepted for solo or group exhibitions during the 2024 exhibition season at The Gallery at Cherry Hill. Submissions from both local and regional artists and all mediums will be accepted until April 7. 

Artists can now apply online at for a solo or group exhibition.  Submissions must include: artist's statement; no more than nine high-quality JPEG digital images; list of representative images submitted; document artwork including the artist's name, title, medium, dimensions, and completion date of the work and a current resume/biography. All questions regarding the Gallery at Cherry Hill 'Call for Artists' for the 2024 season can be emailed to Elli Fassois at 

Westland police seeing school crossing guards

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.

Students’ kindness earns council recognition

School officials and family members congratulated Brandon Britton
and Lucas Downey for their Random Acts of Kindness which were
recognized by members of the Westland City Council last week.
Members of the Westland City Council officially recognized two students for their Random Acts of Kindness, a program implemented in cooperation with the Wayne-Westland Community Schools and the Westland Compassionate City Committee. 

Recognized this month were Brandon Britton of Wayne Memorial High School and Lucas Downey of William D. Ford Career-Technical Center. 

Britton participates in the district unified basketball team as a student coach.

Zebra Marching Band to perform before 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. April 14 to perform the anthem just before the game begins and the first pitch is thrown.