Thursday, April 27, 2023

Local psychiatric hospitals to be replaced by state

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the planned construction
of a $325 million psychiatric hospital to replace the Hawthorn
Center in Northville and Walter P. Reuther Hospital in Westland. 
A new $325 million state inpatient psychiatric hospital will be constructed at the current site of the Hawthorn Center on Haggerty Road in Northville.

Funding for the new behavioral health building was approved in the fiscal year 2023 state budget, according to Elizabeth Hertel, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) director. The facility will provide care for patients currently being served at both Hawthorn Center and Walter P. Reuther Psychiatric Hospital in Westland.

The two facilities serve nearly 200 patients and are among the five state inpatient psychiatric hospitals for individuals who have severe mental illness or intellectual and developmental disabilities. Hawthorn Center opened in 1956, while Walter Reuther began operations in 1979, and both have aging infrastructure which needs replacement, officials said. 

Safety lessons

Firefighters from the Northville and Plymouth Fire Department along with Plymouth Township Professional Firefighters and crews from Salem, Novi, Metro Airport and Van Buren Township came together to put on a  display of skills last week as they simulated real-life fire emergencies.The former office building at Maybury State Park which was scheduled for razing, was donated to the local fire departments for use in the mock burn. The departments worked in tangent to put out the fires and rescue the "victims." The event was also a training opportunity to learn about fire safety and prevention, organizers said. Photos by Terry Jacoby

Increase in local property values reported by Wayne County

 Equalized property tax values in Wayne County are continuing to rise, with values up 9.85 percent over 2022, according to a study performed for county officials said. Communities including Northville, Plymouth and Plymouth Township have experienced sizable gains according to the report.

Equalized values represent those submitted by all 43 county communities.

The equalized value in Wayne County is now $72.3 trillion, an increase of just under $6.5 trillion, officials said

County commissioners received the report last week, during their annual equalization meeting. It was presented by the Department of Management and Budget and is considered the first post-COVID county equalization report.


Shakespeare’s birthday is celebrated with 

special performances on Cherry Hill stage

The Michigan Shakespeare Festival will celebrate the 459th
birthday of the bard himself with special pricing for
three productions in Canton Township this summer.
There is a special birthday celebration taking place in Canton Township as the Michigan Shakespeare Festival honors the 459th anniversary of the bard himself.

The annual Shakespeare's Birthday Sale will continue only until April 30 offering $35 tickets for the summer performances.  Celebrating its 27th season, the Michigan Shakespeare Festival productions will begin July 18, and continue through Aug. 20, at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill.

Planned performances include Macbeth as well as Pericles, Prince of Tire and one non-Shakespearean classical piece - Georges Feydeau's A Flea in Her Ear.

Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Janice L. Blixt, the Michigan Shakespeare Festival  brings a fresh perspective to the Shakespeare canon each season, while introducing audiences to other classical and modern works, noted a festival spokesman. 

State officer

Canton Township Director of Fire Services Chris Stoecklein was recently named as vice president of the Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs. The group is dedicated to assisting members in their efforts to promote effective fire prevention and suppression, emergency medical service and other emergency services through education, technical and legislative means, according to the website. 

Applications for popular township police and fire Youth Academy are now available

Teens in Canton Township have the opportunity to experience the inner workings of the public safety department this summer.

The popular Youth Academy organized by the police and fire departments in the township will teach students, ages 13 through 17, about the daily operations of each department, including the philosophy of teamwork. The academy will take place from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday, June 26 through Thursday, June 29. 

Participants will be provided with lunch each day and light physical activity is scheduled every day, organizers said. The interactive learning experience is designed to promote a greater understanding between the youth in the community and township police officers and firefighters. The experience will help students develop life skills that promote safe, smart thinking and decision making, officials said.

School district hosts local health fair Saturday

More than 70 booths focused on mental health and overall wellness as well as creative stations for children, therapy dogs and a “healing with horses” demonstration will fill Kellogg Park in downtown Plymouth this Saturday. Free food, a family fun zone and music will also be featured at the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools mental health fair set for 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29.

Representatives of the school district and several community partners are planning the second annual event to help provide more information about mental health, ways to find support and resources and enjoy food and fun activities.

Plymouth-Canton schools earns excellent financial rating

The prestigious financial agency Moody's Investors Service recently awarded Plymouth-Canton Community Schools one of the highest ratings available.

Officials said the district had completed another major milestone in implementing a voter-approved initiative to improve academic, athletic and other student resources. 

“Plymouth-Canton Community Schools is focused on supporting student needs at all levels for years to come, and doing so in a fiscally responsible and transparent way,” Superintendent pf Schools Dr. Monica L. Merritt said. “Moody's Aa2 rating is a recognition of P-CCS's commitment to being good stewards of our financial resources. Much of the important work of the bond program will enhance and preserve our facilities for many years to come.”

Mayor visits school to help students celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day was celebrated in Westland with awards and recognition of earth-friendly projects and initiatives during a program at Wildwood Elementary School. 

Westland Mayor Michael P. Londeau highlighted the accomplishments of both the city and the Wayne-Westland Community Schools, during the celebration and presented Environmental Champion awards to Westland City Council President Pro-Tem Andrea Rutkowski and Wildwood students and Principal Christine Swanson. The award recognized the “A Bench for Caps” program. The special recycled benches were built by Wildwood students and presented to the city as part of their bottle cap collection project.

During the event, city officials distributed free seed packets and free LED lightbulbs and the new Westland Police Department F-150 EV Lightning truck and other EV vehicles were on display.

Westland District Court sobriety program proven successful

The effectiveness of the Sobriety Court program at the 18th District Court in Westland was recently recognized in a report from the Michigan Supreme Court.

The state court released the FY 2022 Problem-Solving Courts Annual Report, tracking the progress and highlighting the success of 207 problem-solving courts across Michigan from Oct. 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2022. The Westland Sobriety Court, developed in 2014, is a program designed to help individuals overcome issues such as substance abuse and lower high recidivism rates for repeat drinking and driving offenders.

Tattan Park set to reopen

A $3 million Mission to Mars upgrade to Tattan Park in Westland will include towering rocket ships, lunar rovers, slides, and play activities with zero gravity, city officials said.

The current Play Planet playground is being relocated to Lincoln-Johnson Field in the Westland Historic Norwayne District at 33800 Grand Traverse. The new playground will feature an immersive, kid-friendly dinosaur splashpad  and is expected to open for Memorial Weekend Day weekend, the city officials added. Tattan Park is located at 36601 Ford Road.

Council considering plans for downtown pedestrians

Efforts to improve street and sidewalk safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles in downtown Northville may include adjustments to traffic lights and the installation of some no turn on red signs.

Julie Kroll, an engineer with Fleis and Vandenbrink, presented the first part of a two-phase report on measures the city can take to improve street and sidewalk safety during a recent meeting of the Northville City Council. Her report, The Northville Downtown Pedestrian Study, incorporated design elements proposed by Grissim Metz and Andriese (GMA) as well as input from the Mobility Network, a group of 10 volunteer citizens. 

Maybury Farm Summer Camp helps kids cope with grief

New Hope Center for Grief Support is offering its eighth annual Kid's Camp at Maybury Farm, this summer for children ages 4-14, who have experienced the death of a loved one.

Camp takes place from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. July 20 and 21.

Sessions each day include activities such as soccer with the Michigan Jaguars, songwriting with Lost Voices, team building activities with former Detroit Lion Eric Hipple, yoga, equestrian horse therapy, art therapy, and other activities. Each activity is designed to open a dialogue about the emotions of grief. Children who attend camp gain resources and skills that help them better understand and communicate these emotions, and those skills are a lifelong benefit to campers, organizers said. 

Belleville Community Chorus sets date for annual spring concert

The Belleville Community Chorus will present the 16th annual spring concert, Life's Musical Sound Stage: Melodies, Meanderings, Memories, at 5 p.m. Sunday, May 7. The performance will feature a variety of songs ranging from classic Rock 'n' Roll to popular movie themes, organizers said.

The concert will be performed at the Belleville United Methodist Church, 417 Charles St., Belleville.  The concert will be directed by Mary Butler Loring with accompaniment by Judith Weed, backed by drummer Joe Laurell, bass player Eston Keller, and electric guitarist Eric Loring.

Class act

Sergeant Bart Devos Jr. and Officers Kenneth Toney, Rodriguez, and Gibson were a welcome attraction at the recent 2023 Keystone Academy Spring Carnival. The officers were, of course, chosen by the students to help them with the Donut Toss.

Romulus Deputy Clerk earns state designation

D'Sjonaun Hockenhull, the deputy city clerk in Romulus, was recently awarded the Michigan Professional Municipal Clerk designation by the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks.

The program was launched in January 2014 to encourage city, township and village clerks to seek continuing education specifically related to the duties of Michigan clerks. The Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks was founded on the belief that a focus on education is essential for municipal clerks to provide informed, quality leadership for their communities in the face of constant legislative change and increased demands on Michigan public servants, according to a prepared statement from the association.

Police seek limping suspect in road rage gunfire incident

Inkster police are still seeking a man with a leg cast who limped away from a shooting following a traffic accident last week in Inkster. 

The shooting followed an auto accident when a woman driving a blue Chevrolet Equinox crashed into the rear of an off-white-colored Ford Escape at about 2:25 last Wednesday, April 19. The incident shut down a section of Inkster Road near Avondale as police responded to the scene of the shooting.

Future engineer

Emily Lemus, a Wayne Memorial High School senior, has been named an Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship recipient. She will receive $40,000 during four years to pursue a computer science or engineering degree at a college of her choice. Lemus is one of 400 students nationwide to receive the award and a paid internship offer at Amazon after her first year of college to gain hands-on, practical work experience with mentorship from Amazon leaders.


Community Day set at district court 

Area residents will have their day in court next month during the second annual Community Day at the Court.

Judges at the 34th District Court in Romulus have invited the public to enjoy a car show, food trucks, public safety demonstrations, pet adoptions along with tours of the court building from noon until 6 p.m. May 5. The event at the court, which serves Belleville, Huron Township, Romulus, Sumpter Township and Van Buren Township, is open to the public, area wide. 

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Earth Day

Local communities celebrate ecology with clean-up efforts this Saturday

Earth Day is an annual event that started in 1970 when 20 million Americans - 10 percent of the population of the U.S. at the time - came together to demonstrate the importance of increasing protection for the planet, according to the official Earth Day website EARTHDAY.ORG. 

Earth Day was founded as a day of education about environmental issues, and Earth Day 2023 will occur this Saturday, April 22. The day is now a global celebration that's sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green living and confronting the climate crisis. Inspired by the protests of the 1960s, Earth Day began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and took place April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses. 

Gift of life

Long-time Canton employee donates kidney to co-worker

Abe Vinitski and Greg Hohenberger visit the Canton Township
administrative offices after their successful surgery.
Photo provided courtesy of Canton Township. 
Abe Vinitski and Greg Hohenberger have become far more than co-workers and colleagues at their respective careers in the Canton Township Leisure Services Department.

The two now share a unique bond after Vinitski received one of Hohenberger's kidneys during a directed organ donation surgery at University of Michigan Hospital.

The two men have each worked at the township in the same department for more than 20 years and as Hohenberger witnessed the ongoing deterioration of Vinitski's kidney health, he was determined to find a way to help.

Volunteer disaster safety training now being offered

As weather disasters and other emergencies continue to take place across the country, the Canton Public Safety Department Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training becomes even more vital.

Currently, volunteers for the program, which educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for hazards that may occur, are being sought. Training includes basic disaster response skills including fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. 


Township roadwork set to start

Signs of spring in Canton Township will include large orange detour and road work bulleting throughout the community.

Repaving of Lotz Road between Michigan Avenue to Palmer Road will begin this month, officials said along with projects set for Lilley Road between Michigan Avenue and Palmer Road and Sheldon Road from Warren Road to Sheldon Center.

The road improvements will be funded through the road improvement program approved by Canton Township voters in 2018. Costs are estimated at about $3 million.

Sword fight

Historic weaponry tournament set for Plymouth competition

Members of the Historical European Martial Arts School will
compete in Plymouth May 5 through 7 at the
Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex.
The sounds of clashing metal swords will fill the halls of the Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex (PARC) next month as a group of weapon-wielding competitors invade the city to display their skills with historic, and lethal, weapons.

Competitors from Historical European Martial Arts School (HEMA) facilities in the U.S. and several nations will be displaying their skills and vying for coveted honors during the tournament, which will take place at PARC in downtown Plymouth.

Joe Mundo representing the HEMA in Garden City said the tournament is based in world history. 

Library gala is planned

The Plymouth District Library will host an after-hours gala in celebration of its 100th year serving the Plymouth community. 

The gala will take place from 7 until 10 p.m. Saturday, April 29 and is for those 21 and older. Organizers said black tie is optional. 

Tickets for the evening are $100 per person and will include hors d'oeuvres, an open bar with wine and beer and live music in the stacks by the Kennebec Avenue Jazz Group. 

City qualifies for new state road repair funding program

The City of Plymouth is among the local communities that will share in $25 million in supplemental funding recently approved by the Michigan House of Representatives.

House representatives approved Senate Bill 7, a budget supplemental that allocates $25 million for the Transportation Economic Development Fund, a match grant road funding program for municipalities with fewer than 10,000 people. 

Township manager’s duties prompt board discussion

A proposed job description for Township Manager Anthony Burdick prompted extended discussion during the April 11 meeting of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees.

Discussion of the proposed agenda item which included specific areas of authority and responsibility of the manager took place during the public study session prior to the meeting.

Trustee Don LaPorte said that he favored the outline of authority as he felt it was important to have a point person available at township hall able to move forward without the board members “meeting every 20 minutes.” He suggested authorizing the township manager to make decisions would help the efficiency of projects currently under way or proposed.

Belleville High School valedictorian matches brother’s honor

Sean Tinsley
Educational excellence is a family tradition in the Tinsley family.

Brothers, Sean and Shane, are the first Black valedictorian and salutatorian in their respective graduating classes at Belleville High School.

Shane Tinsley became the salutatorian of his graduating class in 2020, the first African-American student to have won that distinction, which is based on academic performance. This year his younger brother, Sean Tinsley, became the first African-American valedictorian of the class of 2023. 

“I saw him (brother Shane) make history and I wanted to make an impact on my school and my community as well,” Sean Tinsley told reporters covering the unique achievements.

Wayne district court joins statewide e-filing program

The 29th District Court in Wayne has stepped into the electronic age.

The court will soon implement the MiFILE system, noted Judge Breeda O'Leary, which will allow the electronic filing of documents in any Michigan court, 24 hours a day, without traveling to a courthouse and waiting in line. The statewide e-filing program also allows parties to electronically serve one another with documents and electronically receive notifications and documents from the courts, O'Leary said in a prepared statement. 

The statewide system is an initiative sponsored by the Michigan Supreme Court and the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO). 

Since 2014, the Michigan Supreme Court and SCAO have been working toward the creation and implementation of this type of statewide e-filing solution. Michigan Court Rules have been changed to support e-filing and aid in the change from paper forms and documents to electronic documents. Standards have also been established to make sure the experience for the filer and the courts are consistent and reliable, O'Leary said.

“This e-filing initiative provides a landmark opportunity to increase access to justice, allows flexibility to litigants, and enables courts to become more efficient by reducing the need to receive, process, store, and retrieve paper files,” she said. 

In 2018, MiFILE was successfully implemented in three courts, the 22nd Circuit Court in Washtenaw County), the 37th District Court in the City of Warren, and the Ottawa County Probate Court. These courts have assisted in the development and expansion of the original version of MiFILE, allowing SCAO to create a model for the entire state. Significant changes have been made to the program since 2018, with the focus of product development and implementation shifting to best onboard and serve all of Michigan's 315 court locations, O'Leary explained. 

The 29th District Court is expected to go live with MiFILE this summer. Once live, attorneys will be mandated to e-file as required by Michigan Court Rule 1.109(G)(3)(f). Self-represented parties may participate in the e-filing program but will not be required to do so. Filers can learn more about MiFILE on the Michigan Courts website Filer Information page or read the MiFILE Quick Reference Guide. In addition, there are video tutorials to help filers familiarize themselves with the e-filing process available online on the MiFILE YouTube Channel, noted the prepared release from O'Leary's office.

Library offers digitalized high school yearbooks

Anyone looking for a long-lost classmate from Romulus High School can now find them on the Romulus Public Library website.

Jake Rynicki, head of Adult Services and Outreach at the Romulus library, recently completed the digitization of the high school yearbooks. Yearbooks from 1946 until 2018 can now be found in the online archives of the library, according to a prepared statement from library officials. 

Library assistants scanned the yearbooks and Rynicki uploaded the past Romulus High School yearbooks to the library website.

Deadline for public comments on waste well permit will end May 3

Michigan residents have until May 3 to provide comment on the relicensing of aboveground hazardous waste operations at the Republic Industrial and Energy Services (RIES) hazardous waste facility in Romulus. The public comment period was reopened by officials from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

Written comments on the aboveground hazardous waste activities and the draft renewal license can be submitted to Ronda L. Blayer, Environmental Engineering Specialist, at or EGLE, MMD, Hazardous Waste Section, P.O. Box 30241, Lansing, MI 48909.  Written comments must be postmarked no later than May 3,  and include the writer's name, address, and email; a concise statement of the basis for the comments and the supporting relevant facts upon which the comments are based, according to rules posted by EGLE.

Cleaning up

Storm debris pick-up continues

Northville Township has put a new plan in place to collect storm debris from the remaining neighborhoods currently served by township trash hauler GFL Environmental.

Officials from the township Department of Public Works have contracted with C.O.S.M Tree Service to assist during the next several weeks in retrieving yard waste not yet serviced by the special collection services.

GFL has been gathering storm debris since March 18 but officials noted that the magnitude of storm damage prevented completion of clean up in all areas of the township. GFL representatives said the company is no longer able to provide special pickup services prompting township officials to take active to service remaining homes. GFL will continue to pick up regular yard waste on a weekly basis, according to a prepared statement from the township.

Getting ready

Lighthouse Home Mission volunteers are again planning a yard sale from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. beginning Friday, April 28 until Saturday, May 6. All proceeds from the sale are used for the purchase of food for those in need. Volunteers are needed for set up on Monday, April 17 through Thursday, April 27. Help is also needed to keep the tables and items on display during the sale.

Derby day set in Inkster

Tickets are now available for Inktown Derby Day.

The Inkster Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the 23rd annual mixer set for 4:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. Saturday, May 6 at the Inkster Civic Arena.

Farmers Market location is sought

Officials from the City of Northville are now actively seeking a new site for the popular Farmers Market in the community.

Representatives for the city and Main-Seven, LLC, which owns the former McDonald Ford site, did not agree on terms for the sale of the property, according to reports from the city. 

The McDonald Ford site was the preferred location of the Farmers' Market which will be moved from the Seven Mile Road location as construction begins at the site of the Northville Downs Harness Racing track.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Northville streets to reopen November through April

Northville officials have approved the reopening of downtown streets following a sometimes contentious public meeting April 3 regarding the issue. Main Street from Center Street to Hutton Street, and Center from Main to Dunlap Street will reopen to vehicle traffic each November and close to traffic in May.

Members of the Northville City Council have agreed to the seasonal closures following the input at the public meeting. The downtown streets were temporarily closed in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The closures were first extended by council members and then made year-round last August.

In addition to the public criticisms of the closures, city officials were threatened with the loss of funding for the streets by officials from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). City officials had until mid-April to notify MDOT as to the status of the streets. 

State Supreme Court refuses to hear water rate appeal

Increased water fees in local communities this year will not include payment of the $21 million debt owed by the City of Highland Park to the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA).

Officials from GLWA attempted last year to increase water fees to the other 124 communities in the tri-county area which purchase water from the authority to compensate for the more than $21 million the City of Highland Park had failed to pay. That increase, subsequently withdrawn, was set to begin last year. The proposed increase prompted formal protests and threatened legal action from local officials claiming their communities should not be responsible for the Highland Park debt. The court upheld that argument and ruled that the debt was the responsibility of Highland Park. 

Plymouth community mourns death of Gene Overholt, 99

Gene Robert Overholt
The Plymouth community is mourning the death of Gene Robert Overholt, 99, who died at his daughter's home in Kerrville, Texas March 31 surrounded by his family.

Mr. Overholt was born in Bippus, Indiana in 1924, and grew up in Huntington Indiana. Following his high school graduation, he served in World War II on the battlefield operating the communication channels which led to his career as a “telephone man.” He served in the European Theatre and the Battle of the Bulge.

He married the love of his life, the late Jane Johnson Overholt in 1944, and the couple came to Plymouth in 1946 where he took a job with Michigan Bell. The couple were wed for 69 years before her death in 2013. 

Northville chamber celebrates Citizen of the Year

Sue Hillebrand, second from left, named 2023 Northville Citizen of the Year
celebrates with the other award winners at the recent Northville Community
Awards Dinner organized by the Northville Chamber of Commerce. Northville
Township Supervisor Mark Abbo, far left, congratulated all the winners. 
Sue Hillebrand has been honored as the 2023 Northville Citizen of the Year.

Her selection was announced during the recent first comprehensive Northville Community Awards Dinner organized by the Northville Chamber of Commerce. The evening began with dinner at Genitti's and then audiences walked the red carpet at the Marquis Theatre for the awards presentation.

Hillebrand served as the longest elected township clerk (26 years) during a time of great growth in the community, officials said. She conducted 30 successful elections, earned the Master Municipal Clerk certification, and served on various state and county clerks' boards.

Master plan meeting set

Northville Township officials have scheduled an open house meeting to discuss proposed updates to the township Master Plan.

The meeting, set for 5:30 until 7 p.m. April 24 at township hall will include a presentation of the draft plan by consultant team, Kendig Keast Collaborative.

The updating process began last summer, officials said.  

B.L.O.C.K. programs awarded $15,000 grant

The B.L.O.C.K. Youth and Teen Center Lead #LikeAGirl and Transpire programs recently received a $15,000 donation provided by Masco Corp. 

Lead #LikeAGirl is an award-winning program that serves a diverse group of young women between the ages of 11-16 and is designed to change the way that these participants think about what it means to Lead #LikeAGirl. Developed in 2016 by The B.L.O.C.K. Youth and Teen Center, this nine-month program enables participants to challenge themselves through workshops, activities, and conversations that are centered around self-esteem, healthy living and relationships, women in the media, service learning, women who wow and much more noted township Recreation Specialist Chelsea Straub. Participants who complete the nine-month commitment graduate from the program in front of family and friends, celebrating their new understanding of what it really means to Lead #LikeAGirl, she added.

Library gala is planned

The Plymouth District Library will host an after-hours gala in celebration of its 100th year serving the Plymouth community. 

The gala will take place from 7 until 10 p.m. Saturday, April 29 and is for those 21 and older. Organizers said black tie is optional. 

Tickets for the evening are $100 per person and will include hors d'oeuvres, open bar with wine and beer, and live music in the stacks by the Kennebec Avenue Jazz Group. 

Hit and run driver still sought

Plymouth Township Police have re-issued a request for help from the public in identifying a hit and run driver involved in a fatal accident last fall.

Police said the vehicle involved in the death of 78-year-old Warren Flagg, never stopped after striking him as he was raking leaves in front of his Beck Road home. The car is believed to be a 2007 to 2010 Pontiac Solstice which would have sustained damage to the front passenger side of the vehicle.

Mayor presents balanced 3-year city budget

Westland Mayor Michael P. Londeau presented a $79 million 3-year balanced budget to members of the city council for approval during the March 31 meeting.

The balanced budget includes a rainy-day fund balance of about $6.5 million and is the plan for 2024-24, 2024-25 and 2-25-26.

“ A 3-year balanced budget is a municipal industry best practice and also lines up with our American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds spending timeline. The city is in a strong financial position and this budget is expected to have a positive impact on the city's bond rating,” Londeau told the council members.

Random Acts of Kindness recognized by city council

Liam Craig of Schweitzer Elementary, Daylen Bell of
Taft-Galloway Elementary, and Ja'Cion Barnett-Robinson of
Walker-Winter Elementary were recently honored by members
of the Westland City Council for their Random Acts of Kindness.
Three more students were honored last week for their Random Acts of Kindness by members of the Westland City Council.

A program of the Westland Compassionate City Committee and the Wayne-Westland Community Schools, the three winners were Liam Craig of Schweitzer Elementary, Daylen Bell of Taft-Galloway Elementary, and Ja'Cion Barnett-Robinson of Walker-Winter Elementary.

Craig is constantly a shining star in class, according to his nomination, and he goes above and beyond what is asked and helps others with whatever they need. Craig is a constant leader and doing the right thing, his teacher said. He will play with students at recess who don't have someone to play with and is constantly looking out for his friends and classmates to ensure that they are safe, his nomination form stated.

200 pets receive vaccinations

More than 200 Westland residents and 40 veterans took advantage of the low cost dog vaccination day at the Wayne Ford Civic League recently. Dogs received vaccinations for rabies, distemper, parvo and lepto for $20 administered by the veterinary team from the  Michigan Humane Society. 

Dog licenses were issued for $13 and $7 for dogs that were spayed or neutered and microchipping was available. Fees for dogs belonging to veterans were paid by the Wayne-Ford Civic League. 

 The program was organized by the Westland the Department of Neighborhood Services. 

Trustees OK changes to township blight ordinance

Owners of damaged blighted buildings or property in Sumpter Township unable or unwilling to repair or maintain the structures could find themselves facing court proceedings.

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees approved revised language to the current blight ordinance, allowing township officials to take legal action against owners of blighted properties in the community.

Township attorney Rob Young requested the new ordinance language explaining that the township needed an ordinance in place to allow the police department to take legal action against owners who refuse or are unable to repair or maintain blighted properties in violation of current standards in the township.

On a roll

Winners of an essay contest sponsored by the Romulus Police Department were recently awarded new bikes. Students in grades 3 to 5 at Halecreek Elementary School were asked to write an essay explaining why they would like to have a new bicycle. Officer Christopher Reyna and teacher Julie Flinkman reviewed the entries and selected the winners. Teachers Christopher Parker, Sarah Carter, Flinkman and members of the Romulus Police Department presented the bicycles to the happy young winners. 


Police confiscate illegal weapons

Last Thursday, a routine traffic stop by officers from the Romulus Police Department resulted in the recovery of three handguns from an armed suspect who fled the vehicle on foot. 

Officers conducted the traffic stop of a vehicle that appeared to be “casing” a local neighborhood when the driver committed a traffic violation, according to police reports of the incident.

Volunteers sought for Earth Day park cleanup

Sumpter Township residents can celebrate Earth Day with a volunteer clean-up of Banotai Park.

Volunteers are being sought for the effort at the park, located at 24300 Sherwood Road. The event is set for 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. April 22 and is being organized by the Sumpter Township Parks and Recreation Commission members.

Volunteers are asked to bring tools and an “adventurous spirit” during the event. The township will provide hot dogs, potato chips and bottled water for volunteer workers.

There will also be a plant exchange, organizers said.

Banotai Municipal Park is located at the corner of Wear and Sherwood roads.  The park is named for the late Marvin L. Banotai, a past supervisor and lifetime resident of Sumpter Township.

Grant will fund new Inkster cultural, arts museum

Inkster Mayor Patrick Wimberly, Inkster City Councilwoman
La'Gina Washington, State Sen.  Dayna Polehanki, Inkster City 
Councilman George Williams and Inkster City Councilman Dennard Shaw
were on hand to celebrate the state grant awarded to the city last week.
Officials from the City of Inkster and State Sen. Dayna Polehanki, D-Livonia, joined residents last week to celebrate a $1.2 million grant from the State of Michigan which will be used to establish The Inkster Historical Cultural Arts Museum. 

Polehanki worked through the State Appropriations Committee to secure the funding which will renovate a historic building in the city into the new arts and cultural museum. She represents the 5th District which includes a portion of Livonia, Canton Township, Garden City, Inkster, and Westland.

On the job

The City of Wayne Police Department officially welcomed new Ofc. Mohammed Alzayadi, who was sworn in during a recent meeting of the members of the city council. Wayne Police Chief Ryan Strong introduced the new officer the city officials just prior to his taking his oath of office from Wayne City Clerk Tina M. Rowe.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Wayne lawsuit against ex-councilman continues

Preliminary legal skirmishes in the lawsuit filed against former councilman Anthony Miller by the City of Wayne continued last week before Michigan Circuit Court Judge Sheila Ann Gibson.

The city is suing Miller, charging him with violations of his fiduciary responsibility during his term as a council member. The city claims Miller provided confidential information to Michigan State Police during an investigation which caused financial damage to the municipality. The documents Miller provided to state investigators include both a 105-page and a supplemental 33-page report regarding employee claims of a hostile working environment in Wayne City Hall. Those documents subsequently became evidence in at least two other ongoing lawsuits seeking monetary damages from the city. The investigative reports, completed by an outside legal firm, were critical of City Manager Lisa Nocerini and recommended her dismissal or discipline by members of the city council.

K-9 cutie

New police pup helps officers relieve stress

City of Northville Police Chief AL Maciag holds
new recruit Sulley in his office. Photo by Liz Cezat 
A new recruit has officially joined the City of Northville Police Department.

The new officer will not wear a uniform and is still “in training” according to Police Chief Al Maciag, and is not yet on active duty.

Sulley, an English White Golden Retriever, will have a special job to do in the police department when his probationary training is complete. Right now, while only five months old, he is already in training to become a certified therapy dog.

Maciag, who owns Sulley, said he places a high value on the impact a dog can bring to the officers and the public in times of stress.

Romulus business renovation results in felony charges

Renovations at a Romulus business have resulted in felony charges against three Wayne County employees.

Romulus Nutrition on Ecorse Road was the site of the renovations during which, according to Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy's office, the three men used Wayne County equipment and materials. Prosecutors allege the three men also falsified time sheets and were paid by the county for time spent working on the private business.

An investigation into the three county workers was prompted by an anonymous letter alleging illegal activities involving three employees of the Wayne County Bridge Department. When the letter was received in her office in April 2022, Worthy requested an investigation.

Attorney clarifies new privacy policy

In response to a question during the public comment portion of the March 28 meeting of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees, township attorney Rob Young clarified the specifics of the confidentiality agreement recently approved by the board members.

The questioner expressed concern that the new policy could conflict with the current federal Open Meetings Act. Young explained that there apparently was misinformation being circulated about the new policy and that it in no way conflicted with current law or changed any information available to the public.

“We are subject to the disclosure of documents that we call FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests. This doesn't change that. Things that the public are not entitled to under FOIA for whatever reason, those are our concern,” he explained.

Budget includes raises for elected officials

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees approved the 2023-2024 budget at the March 28 meetingwith dissenting votes from Trustee Peggy Morgan and Trustee Don LaPorte.

While final budget numbers were not available at press time, the new financial plan was praised by Township Manager Anthony Burdick. Burdick told the board members that the budget this year “protects and maintains the integrity of the general fund and allows for strategic initiatives and planning for the first time as well as setting up a capital project fund.” 

Firefighters to be honored

Hometown heroes in the city of Romulus will be honored during a special ceremony April 21.

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. 

Township continues opposition to proposed sewer plant

The plan for a new sewer plant at M-14 and Napier Road stinks, according to Plymouth Township trustees.

The plan for construction of a new wastewater treatment plant has been proposed by Salem Township officials on property very close to the Plymouth Township border.

Salem Township applied for a permit for the wastewater plant with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). Salem has requested authorization to discharge 840,000 gallons of treated municipal wastewater into Fellows Creek on a daily basis. A new 558 home development planned by Schostak Brothers developers requires water and sewer connections to the 1,400 acres of property along M-14 where the homes are proposed.

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools students rehearse for the musical
“Mamma Mia,” which opens tomorrow night in the
newly-renovated auditorium at Salem High School. 
Plymouth-Canton Community Schools student actors and crew members will present the hit musical “Mamma Mia” beginning this weekend.

The Friday and Saturday performances of the Abba-based music are set for 7 p.m. on April 7-8 and April 14-15 at the recently renovated Gloria Logan Auditorium for Performing Arts at Salem High School, 46181 Joy Road in Canton. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, and can be purchased online at

“Our students are involved in every aspect of the production of 'Mamma Mia' and they are so excited to entertain our community,” said Paul Bird, auditorium manager and technical director at Salem High School. “Putting together this wonderful musical, our students showed creativity, talent, teamwork and perseverance to make sure their performance of 'Mamma Mia' is as entertaining and professional as can be.”

Village Arts Factory offering special sensory program

Art is an intersection of many human needs and The Village Arts Factory in Canton Township is now welcoming visitors at every level of sensory response.

The facility is now certified by KultureCity®, a leading non-profit organization committed to creating more inclusive experiences for those with sensory needs. The new initiative will provide an accommodating environment for all participants, enabling guests with sensory issues to have a positive experience when taking part in a Village Arts Factory program or event, officials explained.

‘Weighting’ in

Rock band to appear in Canton theater

The Weight Band Photo by Michael Bram
Americana and Roots Rock will be the spirit of the special appearance of The Weight Band in Canton April 15. 

Performing original songs as well as classics, The Weight Band is led by Jim Weider, a 15-year former member of The Band and the Levon Helm Band. The Weight Band originated in 2013 inside the famed Woodstock barn of Levon Helm. Weider was inspired by Helm to carry on the musical legacy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group. 

The veteran quintet, which includes band leader Weider, keyboardist Brian Mitchell (Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble Band), bassist Albert Rogers (Jim Weider Band, Jimmy Vivino), drummer Michael Bram (Jason Mraz) and keyboardist Matt Zeiner (Dickey Betts), shares a deep appreciation and knowledge for this music, which Weider describes as the “Woodstock Sound.” The Weight Band continues to serve as its torchbearer, with their new album, Shines Like Gold.


Team takes title in battle of books

The winning team of the Northville Public Library Battle of the
Books 2023, the Bibliophiles.  Photo by Tony Lowe
They take no prisoners in the ongoing battle at the Northville Public Library.

The Battle of the Books, an annual event at the library, saw an increase in the total number of students and teams participating but with the same intensity as past years, noted Librarian Katie Rothley. Unsurprisingly, she said, the competition was "exciting, loud, fast, and full of puns" as Northville District Library Teen Librarian Natalie Molnar once again led the event as master of ceremonies.

"Battle was a blast! It was great to see numbers up from the last two years, and we're all excited to  see it only get better and better in years to come," she said. 

March on

The Wayne Memorial High School Band will perform the National Anthem at Comerica Park next week just before the Tigers take on the San Francisco Giants.Tickets for the Friday, April 14 game are now available at a discounted rate and a portion of the cost of each ticket will be donated to the high school band program. The performance is scheduled to between 6 and 6:30 p.m., organizers said. The band will be under the direction of David Mety and tickets can be purchased at

Gunman killed by police

An armed man shot by a Wayne police officer on the Ford Wayne Stamping Plant property last Saturday night has died, according to a police report.

Six officers from the Wayne Police Department responded to a 7 p.m. 911 call April 1 reporting a man outside the Van Born Road employee entrance to the plant. Officers located the man and ordered him to show his hands. In response, according to the report, the man brandished a handgun. The man pointed the weapon at the officers despite their continued verbal orders to drop the gun, the report stated.

Vehicle shooting result of road rage incident

A 34-year-old Dearborn Heights woman is facing multiple felony charges in connection to a road rage confrontation which resulted in the shooting of a 58-year-old Inkster woman's car.

According to charges filed by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy's office, the incident occurred at approximately 7:47 a.m. March 17. Both the victim and the defendant were driving northbound on Beech Daly near Davison Avenue in Redford, according to officials. When the victim did not allow the defendant, Keshia Hamilton, to pass her and drive ahead of her vehicle, Hamilton allegedly began shouting at the victim. It is alleged that Hamilton then produced and fired a handgun at the victim's vehicle.

Lesson plan

Team members from John Glenn High School took the Westland Police players to school during a recent charity basketball game. The police team, aka the Non-Dunkin Donuts, were holding their own during the first half and then the school players demonstrated their ‘rocket’ speed and won by a comfortable margin. Proceeds from the game will be used to fund scholarships for John Glenn students through the Westland Police Community Partnership. Coach/Ofc. Margie Kelly and Ofc. Ryan Damico organized the game. The event included a 50-50 drawing and a crowd interactive three-point contest to win a prize basket including gift cards from 2Booli 2Go Westland and Buffalo Wild Wings Westland. 

2 injured in crash

Ryan Edward Smith
A Detroit man is facing several criminal charges following a non-fatal car crash that injured a pregnant 27-year-old Inkster woman and a 25-year-old Highland Park man.

According to prosecutors, Ryan Edward Smith, 34, was stopped by Westland police officers at about 9:30 p.m. March 25 in the area of Inkster Road and Warren Road. When the officers left the patrol car to approach Smith's vehicle, it is alleged by prosecutors that he fled from the scene at a high rate of speed southbound on Inkster Road. During his high-speed flight from officers, Smith  allegedly disregarded a traffic light and traveled through the intersection of Road and Inkster roads where he crashed into the victims' vehicle, injuring them both. 

All three were transported by EMTs to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries, according to police.