Thursday, May 25, 2023

A day to remember…

Federal holiday Monday is dedicated to fallen veterans

Memorial Day next Monday, May 29, conjures images of hamburgers, hot dogs, swimming pools, and summertime for many Americans. But the last Monday in May serves, most importantly, as a time to honor those who died while fighting in the U.S. Armed Forces. It’s a holiday steeped in somber American history and tradition. The day actually began as “Decoration Day,” following the Civil War, when mourners placed flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. While Memorial Day has also come to signify the “unofficial” start of summer, it is a day set aside to remember the heroes who made it all possible.

Bright blooms

Visitors to Sumpter Township Hall will be greeted with bright flowers in several new pots around the building. Four "beautification committee" members worked on securing the large planters, choosing the blooms and having the planters installed and filled with cheerful flowers donated to the township by Zywicki Greenhouse, Inc. Township officials and employees agreed that the new planters brighten up their workplace and are a welcoming sight at township hall.

Federal funding aides city small businesses

A million-dollar federal grant has helped 27 small business owners in Romulus build and advance their businesses.

The Nest, a resource of the Downtown Development Authority, is available to anyone looking to build their business within Romulus. The Nest is also the home of Best Practices Consulting and the small business advocate officially opened in the city last November.

The grant, secured for the city by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, is being used in the small business innovation center, for façade programs and talent development in the community retail corridor. 

Student art entries sought

Members of the Romulus Arts Council are seeking student art for the Annual Romulus Pumpkin Festival digital guide. 

Every year the winners of the student art contest have their art displayed in the festival guidebook. Cash prizes are awarded to the first, second and third place winners. 

All students living in Romulus in pre-school through 12th grade are eligible to enter.  

2 join Police Department

Trent Fields

Jaren Bundy

Two new officers have joined the Romulus Police Department. Following their graduation from the 17 weeks of training at the Wayne County Regional Police Academy at Schoolcraft College, Jaren Bundy and Trent Fields were officially hired. The two new officers will now complete 3.5 to 4 months of field training working with an experienced officer in the city. At the police academy graduation ceremony, Bundy was presented with an academic achievement award.

Luxury restaurant proposed at former Station 885

The former Station 885 on Starkweather Street in Plymouth
 Old Village may soon become a high-end restaurant
with entertainment if plans are approved by city officials.
Don Soenen has proven his respect for historic preservation in Plymouth. Soenen was instrumental, along with businessman Mark Malcolm, in preserving Central Middle School which has become the fully occupied Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex in downtown Plymouth.

Soenen has now turned his sights on the former Station 885 restaurant next to the railroad tracks in Old Village. He presented plans to the Plymouth Planning Commission this month outlining his concept of a new fine dining restaurant in the Starkweather Street building. The building was a mainstay of the Plymouth community for more than 30 years when it was known as Station 885.

Repairs to Mayflower Building could stall downtown traffic

Travelers on Main Street in downtown Plymouth will have another area of traffic snarls and land closures with the ongoing repairs to the Mayflower Building.

Work began on the balconies of the building at the intersection of Main Street and Ann Arbor Trail last week, according to Sam Plymale of the Downtown Development Authority. 

Crews will be removing and replacing all of the balconies on the building, he said, and drivers can expect lane closures and sidewalk closures during work hours from 7 a.m. through 3 p.m. Monday through Friday as boom trucks and scissor lifts are utilized in the area.

Subdivision gaslights could soon be extinguished

The fate of the gas lights in the Pheasant Hills subdivision in Northville will be considered at an upcoming meeting of the Home Owners Association (HOA) and representatives from the city Department of Public Works. 

City DPW Director Mike Domine told the members of the Northville City Council recently that four of the 52 poles in the area are broken and the district also includes 12 gas-lit wall sconces. Under a current arrangement, the city pays an annual fee of $2,000 to Consumers Power to clean and service the lights along with the gas fuel used. Consumers Power officials have notified the city that the residential gas-light component of service is ending.  Although there is no set timeline, the utility has cut back on services provided under the contract with the city.

Above and beyond

Northville Mayor Brian Turnbull, above, presents a proclamation to Ofc. Peter Davis named Officer of the Year as City Manager George Lahanas looks on. The award was based on Davis’ contributions to the department in 2021, including “being a team player, taking on overtime willingly, and having a positive attitude” officials said. Due to an illness, Davis was on medical leave for most of 2022 and returned to the department in April 2023. Proclamations were also presented by Wayne County Commissioner Terry Marecki, State Rep. Matt Koleszar and State Senator Rosemary Bayer. 

County offering porch repairs to city residents

The Wayne County Land Bank is looking to enroll residents of the City of Inkster in a porch repair program funded by the Wayne County Land Bank and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. 

The program will provide repairs on the front of Inkster homes, including but not limited to roofing, steps, and railings. The porch repair program is for owner-occupied, single-family homes that are in good standing with their property tax and mortgage payments. The project cost is not to exceed $10,000 and the owner must agree to live in their home for five years following the repairs, according to a prepared statement from the agency.

Water tower is on schedule

Construction of the Northville Township water tower at Legacy Park in Northville Township is on schedule and proceeding rapidly, according to township officials. The tower will be built to the highest standards they added in a social media post and will be completed on schedule. The tower is anticipated to benefit the community and provide “safe and reliable water to all residents for years to come.”

Sunday Canton Farmers Market has opened for season

The Canton Farmers Market is now open for the season at Preservation Park. The market will take place rain or shine from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 15, with the exceptions of: June 18, July 4, and Sept. 5.  

“The Canton Farmers Market staff and vendors are excited to be starting the 2023 regular market season this month, offering great local goods at our weekly Sunday markets, where there really is something for everyone,” said Canton Farmers Market Special Events Coordinator Octavian Borowicz.  “Our markets remain a popular family destination where folks can access plenty of great merchandise, fresh food, live music, and special activities.”

On the job

The newest addition to the City of Wayne Police Department, Ofc. Habas Kanan, receives congratulations on his graduation from the Wayne County Regional Police Academy from Police Chief Ryan Strong. Kanan successfully completed the extensive police training last week and began his law enforcement duties with the Wayne department last Monday.

Wayne officer completes rigorous SWAT training

Wayne Police Ofc. Scott Bouchie recently completed the Special Weapons & Tactics (SWAT) training and will join the western Wayne Special Operations Team (SWAT). Bouchie endured two demanding weeks of physical, mental, and educational training including building clearing techniques, use of chemical agents, tactical shooting, weapons training, hostage negotiations, less lethal technology, ballistic shields, and armored vehicle tactics and other specialized training. Wayne Police Chief Ryan Strong congratulated Bouchie on his completion of the rigorous and demanding training.

City unveils 20 new hybrid police patrol cars

Mayor Michael Londeau celebrates the unveiling of 20 new hybrid
Ford Police Interceptor vehicles with members and officials of the department.
The new fleet was purchased using American Rescue Plan Act funds.
The Westland Police Department is driving into the future with the fleet of 20 new hybrid electric patrol cars now on the city streets.

The Ford Police Interceptors were purchased using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Each new vehicle features a 3.3-liter HEV engine with 318 combined horsepower, officials said. Ford Motor Co. describes the model as “the first-ever pursuit-rated hybrid police SUV.” The next generation engines are approximately 25 percent more fuel efficient than the previous Westland fleet of Ford Explorer models, officials said.

The new patrol cars are also equipped with all-new technology systems allowing officers to have access to as much information as possible while on patrol or responding to incidents, police officials said.

Music teacher is named as ‘Exceptional Educator’

John Glenn music teacher Andrea Bonner, center, was recently honored
as an Exceptional Educator through a program created by the
Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys law firm.
The students in the orchestra, choir and music appreciation classes at John Glenn High School are under the direction of an 'Exceptional Educator.'

Andrea Bonner, who has been teaching for more than 21 years, was recently named as an  Exceptional Educator through a program created by the Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys law firm. Bonner has been at John Glenn for two years and had only praise for her students.

“I get to work with some of the best kids. They're passionate about what they do,” she said, during the presentation. She said music allows students to discover qualities that will help them throughout the rest of their lives, including dedication and discipline.

“Their hearts are into playing music and singing. I get to tap in. We just have fun every day. Just making music together,” she said.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

District teachers win national, state honors

Two teachers and a social worker at Plymouth-Canton Community Schools are the latest members of the district learning community to receive national and state recognition for excellence in their fields. 

Chemistry teacher Scott Milam is a finalist for the national Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, a prestigious award presented by the White House to one math and one science teacher from across the country every other year. 

Casey Swanson, who teaches psychology and social studies, received the Mary Margaret Moffett Memorial Teaching Award. The award recognizes teachers nationwide who encourage students to consider careers in psychology and demonstrate effective and innovative teaching methods. 

Farm to table

Area farmer’s markets offering locally grown produce

It must be spring as local farmers' markets are opening throughout the area promoting the importance of fresh, locally grown food as part of a daily died.

Locally grown food is a broad term that describes food grown within a geographical region that could be considered local. Locally grown food, according to dieticians, provides benefits to consumers as it is usually preservative free, offers improved nutrition and encourages eating a well-balanced diet. In addition, locally grown fresh produce improves food safety, they noted in a recent health magazine.

Locally grown foods usually featured at farmers' markets are also beneficial to the environment, they explained as the decrease the use of fossil fuels to bring the foods to the local area thereby decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, according to experts from the University of Waterloo.

Huron River Drive repaving begins next week

A four-month repaving of Huron River Drive in Romulus is set to begin next week.

The City of Romulus was awarded federal funding through the State of Michigan to resurface the road between Eureka and Pennsylvania Road. The contractor will begin mobilizing to the site and setting up traffic control next week. Construction on the roadway is scheduled to begin on or about May 22, city officials explained.

Huron River Drive will be resurfaced one lane at a time, while one section of the road is being completed, a flagger will be utilized to maintain two-way traffic and allow residents that live in the area to safely pass through the work zone. Throughout construction, Huron River Drive will only be open to local residential traffic, and through traffic will be prohibited, city officials cautioned drivers.

Canton Heritage Park improvements to begin

Canton Deputy Supervisor Joseph Hawver, at left, Township Clerk
Michael Siegrist, Township Supervisor  Anne Marie Graham-Hudak,
Canton Township Trustee Tania Ganguly, Canton Trustee Sommer N. Foster,
Township Trustee Kate Borninski,Canton Township Treasurer Dian Slavens
and Canton Community Development Director Jon LeFever, celebrate the new
amenities planned for Heritage Park. Photo courtesy of Canton Township.
Visitors will notice several new features at Heritage Park in Canton Township this spring.

The first phase of several improvement projects approved by members of the township board of trustees is currently under way at the Heritage Park North playground. New universally Americans With Disability (ADA)-accessible play equipment is being added, including a four-person see-saw, swings, activity panels, as well as soft-fall surfacing. Construction is expected to be completed by mid-June, officials said, weather permitting. The improvements are being funded through the Community Development Block Grant program.  

Township offers first responders summer Youth Academy

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 also 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.

In memoriam

Last week, Ford Road from Wayne to Newburgh was officially named Firefighter Brian Woehlke Memorial Highway in memory of the first and only Westland firefighter to lose his life during the performance of his duties. The renaming was made possible by the approved of State of Michigan Public Act 439, House Bill 4985. Woehlke lost his life May 8, 2013 during a fire at Marvaso’s Italian Grille/The Electric Stick. Woehlke, 29, died of smoke and soot inhalation while fighting the early morning fire at the restaurant located in a strip center on Wayne Road at Hunter.  Woehlke died of thermal injuries and smoke and soot inhalation as he fought the blaze.

Inkster home explosion investigation continuing

The investigation into an explosion at an Inkster home is ongoing, according to police and fire officials. A resident in the home suffered burns over 35 percent of his body when the house exploded.

The explosion took place at a home on the 26000 block of Penn Street at about 10 a.m.  Tuesday, May 2, according to official reports. A DTE employee working nearby was also injured in the blast, according to Inkster Fire Chief Chuck Hubbard.

Hubbard said the one-story home was fully engaged in flames when firefighters arrived but was quickly extinguished which prevented damage to nearby homes. While the fire destroyed the home where the explosion occurred, only one nearby house was damaged.


The Westland Police Department Honor Guard has been selected to present the colors during the opening ceremony at the Candlelight Vigil for fallen officers in Washington D.C. The ceremony is part of National Police Week which is celebrated in May and honors those who have lost their lives during their careers in law enforcement. The names of those lost are engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Memorial. This year, 556 officers will be honored for their ultimate sacrifice. This is the first time in the 35-year history of the ceremony that the opening presentation will be conducted by a group other than the Federal Park Police. This year, the Westland Police Department Honor Guard will conduct the opening ceremony and post the colors for the Candlelight Vigil. National Police Week draws between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees each year, putting the Westland officers on the national stage. The Candlelight Vigil ceremony can be seen on YouTube

Game. Set. Match! on stage at Tipping Point

Tipping Point Theatre will conclude the 15th season with the world premiere of Game. Set. Match! by local playwright Tracy L. Spada.

Performances of the new work will begin June 15 and continue weekly through July 9. The play centers on Abby, who is invited to her ex-girlfriend's wedding. Abby makes the decision to go…but not without a date; thus begins her journey into the world of online dating. Hoping for the best, she experiences a myriad of interesting, exciting and ultimately disappointing situations. And just when the search for something casual seems impossible, it's possible that she may just have found something significant.

Search effort

Members of the Northville Township Fire Department recently participated in two days of rigorous specialty training with the Western Wayne County Mutual Aid Association. The Urban Search and Rescue team, which has three members from Northville Township, performed structural collapse and trench rescue operations on the first day of training at Legacy Park and conducted wide-area search operations on day two at Maybury State Park. During the wide area search mapping crews were "deployed" to locate a "missing person".

Bands win ‘Excellent’ rating

The Romulus High School bands were awarded an overall score of II, Excellent during a state band festival on Saturday, May 6. The band members faced several challenges during the two weeks prior to the competition, school officials said, with a hectic schedule and  student tests. 

"We persevered and demonstrated great grit and resilience," the district spokesperson said. "Our students looked very professional in their new blazers, and we received many compliments. Our Romulus Community Schools bands remain a strength of our district and are a reflection of our commitment to the arts. Next year, we will invest over $200,000 toward the expansion of our music program at the elementary levels," he added.

Special force

Romulus Police Ofc. Dan Schauble was congratulated by his fellow officers and Police Chief Robert Pfannes on his recent completion of the extensive training process to become a member of the Western Wayne Special Operations Team (SWAT). Schauble endured two long and demanding weeks of physical, mental, and educational training including building clearing techniques, use of chemical agents, tactical shooting, weapons training, hostage negotiations, less lethal technology, ballistic shields, and armored vehicle tactics, among other specialized tactics.


Municipal delegates from the 18 members of the Conference of Western Wayne met last week in Wayne City Hall. The group coordinates 9-1-1 services for 730,000 residents in a 340 square mile region. Delegates meet monthly to discuss issues such as legislation, transportation, public safety, substance abuse prevention, community and economic development, employment and the environmental health of the region. The Conference is the access point for funneling information to local units from county, state and federal agencies.

Peace Officer Memorial Day approved in Sumpter

Sumpter Township Trustee Don LaPorte presents the officials
proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day
to Sumpter township Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police Eric Luke. 
Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees unanimously voted to designate May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day in Sumpter Township. 

A framed proclamation of the designation was presented to Director of Public Safety/ Chief of Police Eric Luke by Trustee Don LaPorte during the regular meeting of the board members. The memorial honors members of law enforcement organizations throughout the country.  Peace Officers Memorial Day pays tribute to local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. The day honors fallen officers across the nation and offers support to their surviving family members and officers.

State budget includes more funding for schools

The Michigan House of Representatives passed the largest School Aid budget in state history last week. which will provide free breakfast and lunch for every student in the state. 

"With this historic budget, we are reinvesting in the people of Michigan by directly addressing the needs of our students," said State Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth), chair of the House Education Committee. "We put students first in this budget by increasing per-pupil funding by 4 percent, increasing support for student tutoring after the pandemic, and funding special education programs at 100 percent." 

The budget would increase the intermediate school district operations budget by roughly 5 percent for a total of more than $3.8 billion in greater operational funding. which will provide free breakfast and lunch for every student in the state.

Renovations to downtown parking deck under way

Parking just got even more scarce in downtown Plymouth.

Work on the Central Parking Deck in the city was scheduled to begin this week, according to officials from the Downtown Development Authority (DDA). The major renovation will include significant concrete repairs, column repairs, drainage repairs and sealant upgrades, officials said, and approximately half of the parking spots will be unavailable during construction. In an effort to ease the inconvenience, additional public parking has been secured at the Christian Science Church located at 1100 W. Ann Arbor Trail, officials said. Time limits will not be enforced at the church although enforcement of all other time limits in the Central Parking Deck and  other areas of downtown will be enforced during the project.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Suspect arrested in death of Canton senior

Jeffrey Dwight Locke
A 50-year-old man is facing first degree homicide charges in the death of a Canton Township man he had befriended.

Jeffrey Dwight Locke was arrested May 2 in connection with the death of 69-year-old Glen Mclean who had been reported missing earlier that evening by a family member who found Mclean's sudden disappearance “suspicious.”

When Canton police responded to Mclean's home on North River Woods Drive, they were notified that one of Mclean's vehicles was also missing. In response to an alert, Dearborn police located the missing vehicle later that evening and identified Locke as the driver. Canton police officers responded to the Dearborn location and discovered Mclean's deceased body in the trunk of the car. Police believe that Mclean was killed in his home and his body placed in the trunk of the vehicle which was driven from the home by Locke.

Information obtained during the investigation indicates that Locke had befriended Mclean several months ago and would stay with him at his Canton home. Locke reportedly assisted the senior victim with repairs to several vehicles he owned.

Top Chefs

Culinary students win national award

Carmen Hensley, Charles Salowich, Mazin Ahmed,
Sophie Dorado and Yamir Garver, culinary students
from Plymouth Canton Community Schools, won the
National ProStart championship during a
competition in Washington, D.C. last week.
The culinary arts team from Plymouth Canton Educational Park cooked up national honors last week as they battled 400 competitors to bring home the championship title.

The top 10 teams took home nearly $200,000 in scholarships during the 2023 National ProStart Invitational. The event featured a display of culinary talent and restaurant business acumen by more than 90 of the best and brightest high school teams from 46 states. All students competing in the 2023 National ProStart Invitational earned their place by winning their state-level ProStart Invitational competitions. 

The national competition is a high-stakes contest featuring some of the best culinary and restaurant management students in the country. Students on the culinary teams had 60 minutes to prepare a three-course, fine dining menu, using only two butane burners and no running water. 

Wadsworth is honored as Romulus Person of the Year

Councilman William Wadsworth 
William Wadsworth, the longest serving member of the Romulus City Council, was honored as the 2023 Person of the Year during a banquet in his honor April 28.

Wadsworth was chosen for the honor by the members of the Greater Romulus Chamber of Commerce. Wadsworth is a 55-year resident of the city and was selected for the honor, based on his dedication to improving the Romulus community. He has been an extraordinary example of a public servant in the city, a chamber spokesman said.

Wadsworth was the driving force behind the funding and construction of a new animal shelter in the city to replace the aging and inadequate facility located in a fire station. Wadsworth organized and worked at multiple fundraising activities which generated more than $355,000 in cash donations, along with several in-kind donations for the award-winning shelter located on Wayne Road.

Wadsworth and his wife, Virginia, are the parents of three adult sons, all of whom graduated from the Romulus Community Schools. The couple have been members of Saint Aloysius Church for 55 years and have volunteered their time to help church events and fundraising efforts. Wadsworth has served as a volunteer on several City of Romulus boards and commissions. He is a long-time member of the Romulus Chamber of Commerce.  

Romulus firefighters and paramedics awarded honors

Firefighter Andrew Thompson
City of Romulus firefighters were honored during a special ceremony at the Romulus Athletic Center where both the  Firefighter of the Year and the Paramedic of the Year were named. The Lifetime Achievement Award and the Chief's Medal were also presented during the ceremony followed by the introduction of new members of the department.

This is the first year the event was hosted by the Romulus Public Safety Foundation.  Deputy Chief Ken Chapman presented the awards.  Chapman, who was a paid-on-call firefighter in the city in 1987 under former Fire Chief William Greenslait, was recently named to his new rank in the department. 

Honored as 2022 Firefighter of the Year was Andrew Thompson and Summer Sokolowsk was named  2021 Firefighter of the Year during the ceremony.

Named as 2022 Paramedic of the Year was Firefighter Gerald Gauss and 2021 Paramedic of the Year was Firefighter Eric Bruley.

Unit commendations were presented to Cpt. John Thiede, Firefighter John Blanchard, Firefighter Summer Sokolowski and Firefighter Gerald Gauss. Firefighter Ryan Mehrhof was presented with a Lifesaving Ribbon during the ceremony.

Pumpkin Festival Committee seeking student art entries

Members of the Romulus Arts Council are looking for fall season art for the Annual Romulus Pumpkin Festival digital guide. 

Every year the winners of the student art contest have their art displayed in the annual festival guidebook. Cash prizes have been awarded to the first, second and third place winners. The first place winner will receive $200, second place will receive $150, third place will be awarded $100 and two honorable mentions which will receive $50 each.

All students living in Romulus in pre-school through 12th grade, regardless of the school they attend, are eligible to enter.  

Artful design

Annual student art show set

More than 2,000 entries will be on display at the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools annual student art show set for this weekend at Salem High School.

The show will take place from 11:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday, May 13 in the cafeteria of Salem High School. The show will feature paintings, portraits and photography along with sculptures, pottery and mixed media works. This is the largest event of the year in the school district, a spokesman said. Students from as young as 5  years old to high school seniors will participate in the event, and having a piece selected for the show provides students with a memorable experience to display their talents to the entire Plymouth Canton Community Schools community, organizers said.

Developer planning to build 73 condos on St. John’s property

Life on the golf course may soon be available in Plymouth Township.

A proposal to construct 73 condominiums on Saint John's Resort property was approved by members of the township planning commission last month. The new condominium units will be about 2,000 square feet with a base cost of about $400,000. The proposal, by Pulte Homes of Michigan, must meet several conditions on the plan approval.

Pulte is required to complete a traffic impact study of the proposed 8-acre project, near Five Mile and Sheldon roads, before any further approvals, according to the commission members. 

Ford Road merchants offering prizes to shoppers

More than $3100 in gift card prizes will be given to lucky shoppers by businesses in the Ford Road corridor in Canton Township beginning this month

The ShopLocal, ShopCanton Color Block Game, sponsored by the Canton Downtown Development Authority, in cooperation with Canton Leisure Services and Canton Chamber of Commerce, is now under way in the yellow  block. Visitors who shop and dine the specials from participating merchants in that color block using the ShopCanton Guide mobile app are entered for a chance to win in a weekly drawing for a $100 gift card.

Sweet sorrow

Decades old candy shop to close

Nick Corden is the son of a chocolate maker,
who was the son of a chocolate maker. 
Parting really is a sweet sorrow as a century-old family tradition closes for the final time after Mothers' Day this year.

Corden's Candy Carousel, operated by three generations of chocolate makers, will close this year as Nick Corden, the son of a chocolate maker who was also the son of a chocolate maker, announced his upcoming retirement.

The distinctive shop on Michigan Avenue in Inkster offers a taste of tradition with the aroma of melting chocolate and unique candies permeating the air. Three generations of chocolate makers have owned and operated Corden's Candy during the 108 years the shop has been providing sweet memories for every holiday. 

Personnel issues discussed by Sumpter trustees

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees addressed several personnel and employment issues during their April 25 meeting.

The ongoing effort to fine-tune the job description of Township Manager Tony Burdick was on the agenda for approval by the trustees. City attorney Rob Young and Trustee Matthew Oddy have been preparing the document for several weeks with input from Burdick.

Oddy told his fellow trustees that the description still wasn't as specific as they hoped to make it and further editing and work was necessary. He asked that the item be removed from the agenda as it was not as complete or comprehensive as possible.

Voters overwhelmingly approve school bond

An overwhelming majority of Northville Public Schools voters approved the $134 million bond proposal on the ballot May 2.

Unofficial results indicated that 2,756 voters were in favor of the question while only 846 voted against the bond issue. The bonds will be used to finance improvements to infrastructure and technology at every school building in the district, officials said prior to the election.

The new bond question will not increase the school tax levied in the district. With the expiration of a bond approved by voters six years ago, the sale of the new bonds will effectively continue the current school tax rate, officials said. 

Out and about

Members of the Northville Township Fire Department recently participated in two extrication exercises designed to help remove victims trapped in vehicles. The first exercise provided the firefighters hands-on training in preparing vehicle stabilization to help remove victims. The second exercise required a little creativity, as the firefighters did not have a vehicle on-site to use for training, so they improvised using other equipment to simulate use of extradition techniques and procedures. The training will transfer to many situations where pressure and precision are vital, fire officials said.

Northville native returns as Channel 7 weather reporter

Northville residents may soon see a familiar face during the WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) weather reports.

Marisa Woloszyn, formerly of Northville and a graduate of Michigan State University, has joined the channel weather team. She earned her degrees in meteorology and atmospheric sciences. She joins WXYZ from WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee.

The two-time Emmy winner and mother of two started her career in Eugene, Ore. where she worked for nine years at KEZI-TV. She was hired in Milwaukee in January 2021.

Wayne Police Department wins accreditation

Wayne Police Chief Ryan Strong, center, proudly displays the
official certificate of accreditation awarded to the city police department
last week after a rigorous investigation. Strong thanked the department
accreditation managers, Sgt. Boruta, left, and Lt. Robert Amore, at right.
The Wayne Police Department was officially accredited by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) during an official presentation during the city council meeting last week.

The prestigious accreditation by MACP is achieved by fewer than 10 percent of law enforcement agencies in Michigan, according to representatives of the organization. Accredited agencies must undergo a rigorous and lengthy investigation and demonstrate the department compliance with accepted modern law enforcement policies and procedures.

Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police Director Robert Stevenson noted that when police reform is discussed, the public should be aware that accredited agencies already adhere to the policies and practices that are targeted in police reform efforts. 

Fewer than 10 percent of law enforcement agencies in the State of Michigan are accredited, so this is a significant honor, Stevenson said.

Students’ Random Acts of Kindness are recognized

Students Michael Garcia of Hamilton Elementary, Drake Kalita
of Wayne-Westland Innovative Academy, and Clara Szostek of Stottlemyer
Early Childhood & Family Development Center were recognized
last week by members of the Westland City Council.
Three Random Acts of Kindness winners from the Wayne Westland Community Schools district were officially recognized at the Westland City Council meeting last week.

The program is a partnership between the school district and the Westland Compassionate City Committee. The program that recognizes three students nominated from the 17 schools in the district that have demonstrated “Random Acts of Kindness”.  The three winners were Michael Garcia of Hamilton Elementary, Drake Kalita of Wayne-Westland Innovative Academy, and Clara Szostek of Stottlemyer Early Childhood & Family Development Center.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Videos prompt resignation of Westland police chief

Chief of Police Jeff Jedrusik
Westland Chief of Police Jeff Jedrusik resigned last week as controversial video tapes of his interactions with citizens while a patrolman were made public.

The 25-year-old videotapes show Jedrusik requesting offenders to perform particular tasks such as such as break dancing, performing a headstand or singing Yankee Doodle Dandy to avoid arrest. The videotapes were referred to the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy after being investigated by Michigan State Police. Worthy declined to prosecute based on 25-year-old videotapes, according to a statement from her office. 

Deputy Chief of Police Kyle Dawley has been named as interim police chief according to Mayor Michael Londeau, who had been aware of the videotapes since February. 

Gearing up

District now offering electric vehicle classes

Gerald Lickey, CTE automotive instructor and teacher leader
at Canton High School,at left, Plymouth High School senior
Owen Moline-Freeman, Canton High School senior Liam Pfeifer
and Salem High School senior Jack Novak admire the electric vehicle.
Plymouth-Canton Community Schools is poised to take a top position in a rapidly evolving, fast-growing automotive field: electric vehicles. 

In the upcoming school year, the district will offer classes focused on electric vehicle  technology and manufacturing, becoming the first in Michigan to teach a full design-to-drive high school curriculum.

“All over Michigan and the world, we're seeing an extremely high demand for trained employees in this new automotive technology,” said Gerald Lickey, Career and Technical Education automotive instructor and teacher leader at Canton High School. “With our new EV curriculum, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools is on the cutting edge of ensuring we prepare students for careers in this important new phase of the automotive industry.”

Expert warns Sumpter Township trustees of cybercrime

David Behen
Sumpter Township officials received some strong words of warning during a recent meeting of the board of trustees.

David Behen, an executive with SenCy, a cyber security company based in Ann Arbor, was invited to speak to the board members by Deputy Supervisor/Trustee Tim Rush. Rush, the township delegate to the Conference of Western Wayne, heard Behen's presentation at a recent meeting and said he thought it was crucial to provide Sumpter officials with the information Behen presented.  

Behen told the board members that he has been deep into cyber since 2011and previously filled leadership roles in the private and public sector for more than 20 years. He spent six years as a cabinet member for Gov. Rick Snyder as the director of the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, and Chief Information Officer for the State of Michigan.

Raid reveals drugs, guns, cash in home

Following a police raid at a Romulus home earlier this year, a federal complaint against the resident has been filed in the Eastern District Court of Michigan.

During the raid, officers said they confiscated fentanyl, firearms, and brass knuckles from the home of Walter Butler, 43, who had been under surveillance for several months prior to the search of the multi-family dwelling located on Waynecourse Street in Romulus. During the months-long police surveillance, investigators allege to have witnessed multiple drug transactions involving narcotics, according to the court complaint. Butler has been charged with possession with intent to distribute and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking in the federal complaint.

Meet the champs

The Romulus Police and Fire hockey team skated away with the championship trophy in their division during a charity tournament last month. The team traveled to Bay City to compete against first responders from throughout the state and outscored their opponents. The hockey tournament was a benefit for Special Olympics of Michigan and all proceeds went to the organization. 

City roadwork under way

Drivers in Romulus can expect a few traffic delays and detours when road construction season begins.

As early as this week, workers from the Wayne County Roads Division are slated to begin the Wayne Road and Ecorse Road intersection reconstruction project. The intersection will be closed to all traffic until the estimated completion time this fall. 

The northbound I-275 ramps to eastbound and westbound I-94 were scheduled to close at 7 a.m. May 1. The ramps will remain closed through early July, officials said.  The eastbound I-94 ramp to northbound I-275 will also be closed through early July.

Signed up

Non-verbal communication boards now installed in parks 

Augmentative and Communication boards are now available
in both Heritage and Independence parks in Canton Township.
Photo courtesy of Canton Township. 
Canton Township recently installed innovative nonverbal communication boards in two popular parks - Heritage and Independence parks. 

The boards are designed to enable nonverbal individuals to easily communicate through the use of the augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) board that will help individuals express themselves while encouraging inclusivity and conversation on the playground, explained Recreation Supervisor Laura Mortier.

“Canton Township continually works towards increasing the more inclusive amenities to our parks,” Mortier said. “These additions will go a long way to enable more park visitors of all abilities to have a positive experience at our playground, all while creating a more equitable play environment for all.” 

Federal agents charge Canton man with child sex abuse

A Canton Township man is facing multiple federal criminal charges of sexually exploiting children, child pornography and producing sexually explicit material of minors for import into the United States.

In a federal criminal complaint filed last week, Charles Calahan Lowe, 49, is charged with exchanging1,600 messages and joining 177 Skype calls with a child sex trafficker in the Philippines who sells sexually abusive webcam sessions involving children. According to the indictment, Lowe paid for the child pornography with wire transfers he obtained at Rite Aid in an effort to hide his actions from his wife.

Shooting suspect faces multiple felony charges

Tywone Sweden
Following searches in Canton Township, Taylor, Dearborn Heights and Detroit, the man suspected in the April 16 shooting at Sherwood Mobile Home Park has been arrested and arraigned on multiple felony charges.

Tywone Sweden, 31, has been charged with 14 felonies, including assault with intent to murder, felonious possession of a weapon and assault with a dangerous weapon in connection to the shooting. Prosecutors allege Sweden shot a 38-year-old man, wounding him in the leg and abdomen during the incident at the mobile home park located on Old Michigan Avenue.

New fire station study is OK’d by trustees

Members of the Plymouth Township Board of Trustees approved a feasibility study last month regarding the replacement of Fire Station No. 2 in the community.

While Supervisor Kurt Heise, Trustee John Stewart and Clerk Jerry Vorva consider the construction a top priority, Trustees Jen Buckley, Chuck Curmi and Audrey Monaghan do not place the same level of importance on the fire station, rating it as a five on a scale of one to five during a goal setting session earlier this year.  Treasurer Bob Doroshewitz rated the importance of a new fire station at a three. 

Heise said the current fire station on Wilcox Road should be razed and a new station built at the existing site during discussion of the issue during a recent meeting. The building will soon be 50 years old, he reminded the board members.

2 men facing murder trial in woman’s death

Shane Lamar Evans, 34, of Sumpter Township will be sentenced May 4 for his part in the death of Elizabeth (Egypt) Covington in 2017.

Evans entered a guilty plea to charges of second-degree murder as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. He had originally been charged with homicide-felony murder and home invasion-first degree. 

Evans offered testimony against Timothy Eugene Moore, 37, of Toledo and Shandon R. Groom, 30, also of Toledo. During proceedings at the 34th District Court, Evans testified he directed Moore and Groom to a duplex on Hull Road in Van Buren Township which he believed was the home of a marijuana seller.

Moving along

In the two months since the devastating fire at Karl's Cabin in Plymouth, crews have been working on the demolition phase of restoring the 76-year-old building. The banquet room, service hallways and upstairs offices are torn down to studs and are being prepped for the construction portion of the renovation. The historic log cabin side remains intact and is being prepared for cleaning and staining due to the heavy smoke damage. During a staff meeting at the historic eatery recently, employees were invited to sign the studs and interior walls so their memories would remain in the walls. Owners said updates would continue during the restoration.

City council approves Yerkes Street repairs

Members of the Northville City Council approved Director of Public Works Director Mike Domine's request for repairs to Yerkes Street in the city.

The repaving will be completed by Nagle Paving and the water main in the street will be replaced, a project that is shovel-ready, Domine explained. While the cost of the work was estimated at $833,943, council members approved  a 15 percent contingency for a total of $959,035. 

Nagle, the low bidder in the DPW 2022 bid for the Local Road and Water Main Replacement program, explained that the 6-percent increase from the 2022 contract is due to a rise in the cost of materials, labor, and benefits in the proposal.

Joint fire contract renewed

The cities of Northville and Plymouth will continue to share fire safety services.

The Northville City Fire Department will renew a 12-year interlocal agreement with the city of Plymouth that shares fire and emergency services, following approval of the Northville City Council members.

Skate park plan is ok’d

Members of the Northville Township Board of Trustees have approved the design for Unity Park, a skateboard facility to be located in Millennium Park. Funding for the $600,000 park was provided by private donations along with $150,000 from Northville Township and an allocation the township receives as part of the Wayne County Parks millage. California-based Spohn Ranch developed the plans for the project. The park initiative was launched following the hit-and-run death of Northville Township resident and skateboarder Dominic Duhn in 2020. Organizers said a groundbreaking at the new park will be scheduled in the near future. Board members requested a few changes to the proposed design including a different entryway and gathering space in the planned 11,000 square foot facility. 

Friends of the Rouge volunteers to work in Inkster area

Opportunities for volunteers to join the effort to maintain and plant trees and protect the Lower Rouge River floodplain have been scheduled all summer in the Inkster area, a spokesman from the group explained.

Upcoming events designed to help preserve the local ecosystem are listed and registration to volunteer are listed at:

Friends of the Rouge is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1986 to raise awareness about the need to clean up the Rouge River in southeast Michigan. The mission of the group is the restoration, protection and enhancement of the Rouge River watershed through stewardship, education, and collaboration.

FIRST place

Robotics team travels to Texas competition

Atlas team members from both John Glenn and Wayne Memorial high schools
traveled to Texas to compete in the 2023 FIRST Robotics Championship. 
A group of students from John Glenn and Wayne Memorial high schools in the Wayne-Westland Community School District were recently selected to participate in one of the most esteemed national youth robotics competitions, the 2023 FIRST Robotics Championship. This year, the competition took place in Houston, TX and was attended by more than 35,000 students, coaches, and supporters from 43 countries.    

Atlas, the name of the Wayne Westland district joint team consisting of 11 students, with additional staff members and coaches, competed against 600 teams in special playing fields using robots they designed, built, and programmed.

Off-duty officer arrested

A 26-year veteran police officer was arrested last week in Wyandotte after he allegedly threatened to shoot a man in the face.

The 52-year-old officer spent 20 years with the Detroit Police Department before joining the Westland department six years ago. According to a statement from the Westland department, the officer has been off work for some time and his return was not anticipated. There will be an internal police department investigation of the incident, according to the prepared response.

According to police reports, the officer was with a friend at the Dotte Pub on Oak Street in Wyandotte last Saturday when an altercation of some type occurred.

Farmers’ Market will open

A new farmers' market is expected to open at the Nankin Mills Interpretive Center in Westland this month.

The new market, a cooperative effort of the Wayne County Parks Department and the Eastern Market Corporation, is expected to open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, May 13 and operate on a bi-weekly basis, according to a prepared statement from the parks department.