Thursday, June 29, 2023

Happy Fourth of July

Communities ready to celebrate national Independence Day

When the 4th of July parades and celebrations begin next Tuesday, they will mark an incredibly significant moment in American history: it was the day the United States officially became nation after the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. Prior to that, our country comprised 13 colonies established by Great Britain.

The Declaration of Independence is one of the most important documents in the history of the United States. It was an official act taken by all 13 American colonies in declaring independence from British rule.

The document was originally written by Thomas Jefferson, but Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, along with Jefferson then worked together to make changes. The final draft of the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776, but the actual signing of the final document took place on August 2, 1776.

Beauty queens, bands, floats, sports mascots and TV stars will all join the annual Northville 4th of July parade this year, along with the traditional escort of police vehicles and fire trucks.

The parade, one of the most popular events in the community, draws audiences from throughout the area to help celebrate small-town America in a big way. Thousands of people begin to line the streets in the early morning of July 4 while many city residents begin to prepare for a full-day of family and friends celebrations the night before. Spots along the route are claimed early with blankets and chairs to ensure a good viewpoint. 

Miss Michigan Maya Schuhknecht will be among the parade celebrities celebrating Independence Day along with Mrs. Michigan and Junior Teen Michigan. Paws from the Detroit Tigers will be waving to the crowds along with multiple other well-known figures. State, county and local officials traditionally appear in the parade and this year well-known actor Hill Harper from CSI:NY and The Good Doctor will experience the Northville Independence Day Parade as he joins the lineup of floats.

Plymouth Kiwanis Club sponsors early parade

Preparations for the Annual Fourth of July Parade in downtown Plymouth are under way.

Members of the Kiwanis Club of Colonial Plymouth host and organize the Main Street parade which will begin at 9 a.m. July 4.

The parade includes veterans driven in vehicles, bands, floats, flags, the Plymouth Fife and Drum Corps, cheer and pom teams and several others. More than 1,500 participants make the Good Morning USA Parade a patriotic celebration, a Kiwanis Club member noted, 

“With thousands of attendees lining Main Street, it is our community's salute to America on the Fourth,” he said.


Coworkers, first responders save heart attack victim’s life

Cristal Mouele, center, was on hand at Northville Township Hall
last week as her co-workers and the first responders who saved her
 life were officially recognized for their heroism.
Photo provided by Northville Township.
Cristal Mouele always thought her co-workers at the University of Michigan Health Center in Northville Township were lifesavers, but it wasn't until April 20 that she truly understood their skills. 

While working, Mouele suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. Recognizing the emergency, her colleagues called 911, began CPR, used an automated external defibrillator (AED), started an IV and even administered some cardiac medication prior to the arrival of township first responders.

Township police officers arrived and performed CPR and firefighter/paramedics assumed care of Mouele at the scene, providing advanced life support.

Mouele was defibrillated five times and had three rounds of cardiac medications administered when EMTs successfully distinguished a regained heartbeat through her pulse. 


Municipal vehicles from the Northville Fire and Police departments, the water department, Northville City Hall, DTE Energy and other service trucks appeared in the Northville High School parking lot last weekend in an event hosted by the Northville District Library. Organizers said the inaugural Tough-A-Truck event drew a large crowd interested in talking with public safety and utility personnel.

Garden Walk tickets now available

Tickets for the Garden Club of Northville Annual Garden Walk are now available.

This year, the self-directed tour of six private gardens will take place from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. July 12. 

Advance tickets for the Garden Walk are available at Gardenviews at Home or online at Eventbrite. Advance sale tickets are priced at $12 while tickets the day of the walk will be available only at the Green Space 199 South Wing St., behind the Northville Public Library and will be $15. Artisans and vendors will be on hand to offer unique garden related items as well as plant material, an organizer said.  

For more information or to purchase tickets by phone, call (734) 788-9935.

Moving up

Northville Township Police Sgt. Tony Dang was recently promoted to his new rank in the department. Officials said that "Dang has displayed remarkable dedication and perseverance throughout a rigorous and demanding promotional process, and we are proud to witness his achievement. Officer Dang's successful navigation of this intensive and stressful journey serves as a true testament to his unwavering work ethic and commitment to excellence" officials concluded in a social media statement. 

Flag Day

Original Rosie the Riveter honored in Romulus even

Romulus Mayor Robert McCraight thanks Rosie the
Riveter Ruth Pegauski during Flag Day ceremonies
 June 14 at Historical Park in the city.
The annual celebration of Flag Day in Romulus this year included a special presentation to 99-year-old Ruth Pegauski, an official and original Rosie the Riveter.

Traditionally, the ceremony on June 14, national Flag Day, includes a presentation of the colors from the World War One Monument in Romulus Historical Park. This year, members of the Honor Guard from Romulus VFW Post 78 and Mayor Robert a. McCraight presented the colors to Pegauski to honor her efforts during the war.

Pegauski was born in 1924 and celebrated her 99th birthday Jan. 2. She became an official Rose when she worked as a Riveter in Highland Park and was then sent to Willow Run Airport when her skills were needed during the war effort. She continues working at Willow Run for the remainder of World War II, from 1939 until 1945.

Romulus accepts ‘patriotic’ challenge during Patriots in the Park picnic

Who will claim the honors as Most Patriotic City this year? Romulus is preparing to compete for the title for 2023 during the Patriots in the Park event set for July 8 at Romulus Historical Park.

The picnic will include food and games as the crowd awaits the “Wounded America” charity  motorcycle ride to pass through Romulus. The annual fundraiser raises thousands of dollars to help local veterans and usually sets a goal of $35,000 for the event.

Food will be provided at the picnic from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in cooperation with the Romulus Rotary Club.

Township manager’s official job description accepted by trustees

Anthony Burdick now has an official job description detailing his duties and responsibilities as Sumpter Township manager.

Burdick was named township manager effective July 1, 2022 by a unanimous vote of the board of trustees. He had been the deputy township clerk for 31/2 years prior to his appointment.

Board members have been discussing an official job description for Burdick almost since his appointment and the document was finalized last month during a meeting of the board.

Trustee Matt Oddy, who had been instrumental in preparing the job description, said he was finally satisfied with the document which had been under discussion for several months. The job description appeared as an agenda item for previous board members but was removed by a motion from Oddy who said he wanted to ensure the final document met the needs of the township and Burdick.

Changing of the Guard

Members of the Plymouth Noon Rotary Club celebrated the induction of a new member and a new president during their meeting last week at the Community Center. Rotary District Governor Traci Sincock, far left, was on hand as Immediate Pat President Penny Joy, far right, handed the gavel to new President Chris Porman, center, whose wife, Chris Porman, second from left, attended the meeting. Don Soenen, second from left, will become a member of the Rotary Club Board on July 1 and was the sponsor of new member Marie McCormick, third from right. Russ Jones, second from right, is the District Governor Elect and will take office July 1 when Sincock steps down from the post. Photo by Helen Yancy.

Phase III of Plymouth Central Parking Deck renovation is under way

Crews were expected to complete Phase II of the 2023 Central Parking Deck renovation project in downtown Plymouth last weekend.

Phase III of the project was expected to begin immediately and will require the closure of the entire upper level of the Central Parking Deck as preparations begin for the resurfacing of the upper level and the ramp. Work on Phase III is expected to take approximately one week, depending on weather conditions, officials said, and the entire upper level will remain closed during that time. 

Motorists can park vehicles without time limits at the Christian Science Church located at 1100 W. Ann Arbor Trail. The Downtown Development Authority staff secured the area for additional public parking through the end of June.

Canton recreation supervisor wins national award

Laura Mortier
Canton Township Leisure Services Recreation Supervisor Laura Mortier has received the prestigious 2023 Robert W. Crawford Young Professional Award from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).  

Mortier has now joined the ranks of just over a dozen other parks and recreation professionals in the United States who have also received this same distinguished NRPA award. The Robert W. Crawford Young Professional Award recognizes the vision and dedication of individuals who have tirelessly worked to improve the quality of life in America through parks and recreation and who will serve as examples for future leaders in continuing the recreation and park movement into the 21st century, according to a prepared statement.

Juneteenth exhibit continues at Village Arts Factory gallery

The Fine Art Gallery at the Village Arts Factory welcomes the featured works of local artist Carl Davis in celebration of the Juneteenth holiday entitled "Juneteenth Series," which will be on public display until July 20. 

The dichotomy of Juneteenth, being seen as both a celebration of freedom as well as a somber remembrance, is not lost on Carl Davis. In his own words, "How we honor America's not-so-glorious past, is to open your mind to the change of how we think." Davis said he believes creating art through collage work, "allows the mind to ponder abstract art of natural landscapes, the legacy of slavery, the countless people who suffered the cruelty of slavery, and many of those who rose up and fought for freedom." 

 Davis said as a child he spent time learning to draw and paint at The Cincinnati Art Academy and later studied at The Cincinnati Art Museum. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from The Ohio State University. 

Wayne and Westland compete for state award

Nine projects have been submitted to compete for the statewide Community Excellence Award (CEA)-the most prestigious Michigan Municipal League community honor. 

Both Wayne and Westland have submitted projects for consideration of the award.

Four finalists will be selected to compete at the league convention, where city representatives will present their projects on the main stage and market their projects at designated CEA finalist booths. The October convention will take place in October in Traverse City where attendees will vote for their favorite among the four finalists. The project winning the most votes will be awarded the official Community Excellence Award during the closing general session. 

Westland offering new Community Connect program

Members of the Westland Fire Department are using technology to help keep residents safe.

"When responding to a residence, there is often critical information that would assist in how we respond to that incident. Letting us know who the best point of contact is in case of an emergency, if yourself or family members have functional needs that we should prepare for, or even if you have pets we should look out for, can really help us serve you in the most effective way possible when it matters most", stated Fire Chief Darrell Stamper.

To facilitate that safety information, the fire department has implemented Community Connect, a computer application focused on protecting residents and their property in the most effective way possible during an incident or major disaster.


Inkster residents marked the Juneteenth holiday last week with a community gathering at Inkster Park on John Daly Road. The event included several live music performances, vendors, a magic show and a car exhibition along with a Celebration of Freedom. State, county and local elected officials were in attendance during the event.  Among the several remembrances of the day was a ceremony led by Pastor John D. Hern who honored current ancestors and set the atmosphere for the day of celebration and Michael Imhotep of the African History Network was also a guest speaker. Participants also walked to the water as part of the Middle Passage Memorial with organizers from the We Rise and Community Up project. 

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Increased speed enforcement now under way

Motorists throughout the area are advised to slow down or face serious fines this week as Michigan State Police join local law enforcement agencies in an  increased speeding enforcement effort this week.

Speeding accounts for one-fourth of all traffic fatalities nationally, according to law enforcement statistics. Since the pandemic began more than three years ago, police agencies throughout Michigan continue to report an alarming rise in speeding and fatal crashes, according to information provided by the Michigan State Police.

This trend prompted the planned speed enforcement this week.

Good neighbors

GM Romulus employees donate $40,000 to local non-profit groups

Workers at the General Motors plant in Romulus recently celebrated
their donation of $40,000 to local non-profit groups in the community.
Since 2019, plant employees have donated $163,000 to the Romulus
region through the Community Impact Grants program.
Workers at the Romulus General Motors plant recently donated $40,000 to four local nonprofit groups.

The donation was part of the recently completed General Motors national grant distribution of the 2023 Community Impact Grants (CIG) Program.  Grants of $3 million were awarded to 157 nonprofits across the county, a spokesman noted. 

 "The generosity of GM and our workforce in this community inspires me every day," said Rob Morris, plant director at GM Romulus Propulsion Systems. "GM has been in this community for more than 47 years and we see the positive impact these local organizations can have when they have the resources to do so. Whether it's an investment of time or money, we are committed to serving and growing with the greater Romulus community and all of the communities in which GM employees live and work."

Canton celebrates opening of accessible playground

There was a special celebration during the annual Canton Liberty Fest this year as officials and residents gathered for the ribbon-cutting of the newly installed universally ADA-accessible playground equipment, soft-fall surfaces, and concrete pathway around the Heritage Park North Playground. 

The playground improvements were funded through the Community Block Grant program. Additional services were provided by MCSA Group for landscape architectural designs and DMC Group Consultants, Inc. for construction at the park.

Township trustees OK purchase of police tasers

During a meeting last month, members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees approved the purchase of new tasers for the police department, using drug forfeiture funding.

Director of Public Safety/Police Chief Eric Luke presented the proposal to purchase the non-lethal devices at a cost of $8,052 to the trustees. He reminded the board members that he had presented a five-year plan for the police department, including equipment, during the Nov. 16, 2020 meeting and the replacement of the tasers was part of that plan. He told the board members “at that point I gave it a another 1-to-2-year lifespan left for the tasers which have about 7 years on them. So far our plan is to put the six we purchase into service right away and to keep the others for backup.”

Permanent part-time position sought for DPW department

 Sumpter Township Director of Public Works John Danci proposed a permanent part-time employee for the department during the recent meeting of the township board of trustees.

Danci explained that the board members have repeatedly renewed the 90-day employment of a part time employee and that it would be more efficient to make the three-day, 22-hour a week position permanent. He said the current workload would justify the hours of the employee.

"We're at the point where a permanent part-time DPW water and sewer position will be beneficial to the township," he said. "Looking over the costs, and what other work this would be able to get done, having a fifth member of the team here at least three days a week is needed," he said. Danci said that with one member of the department off, "having a team of four that I can send out in pairs to do specific tasks is definitely going to be a cost-effective measure." 

Shout out

Northville Township officials recently recognized the members of the township Department of Public Works for their exceptional performance. During National Public Works Week last month, the township thanked the department staff and leaders for their continued efforts to improve life for residents.

Construction set to begin at Unity skateboard park

Unity Skatepark in Northville Township is officially rolling following a groundbreaking ceremony for the 10,000-square-foot amenity last week.

Northville Township Supervisor Mark J. Abbo and resident Gabriella Duhn performed the ceremonial groundbreaking as leaders from throughout the community looked on. Preparation at the skatepark site work was scheduled to begin this week. 

The project is a culmination of a two-year effort to provide a safe space for the community to embrace wheeled sports. Township resident Dominic Duhn died after being struck by a vehicle while riding his skateboard on Sheldon Road in September 2020. 

His brother, Enzo, his best friend, Jack Tsalis, and his parents envisioned the skatepark as a way to bring something positive out of his tragic death. Their idea captivated hundreds of people who contributed funding to get the project launched and built through the Dominic Duhn Foundation, Inc. 

City tree replacement program is under way

Several residents in Northville have some new neighbors that require special attention.

The city is replacing or replanting 51 trees in the community as part of the effort to retain the status as a Tree City. That designation requires diligent maintenance and care of municipal trees, including replacement and a variety of plants.

Last week, DPW staff members began to remove and replenish dead trees as new ones were installed. Staff members are planting various new trees along city rights of way, including species like fast-growing tulip trees to fall-color-favorite maples and even some lesser known London planes, swamp white oaks, and the common huckleberry.

There is already a new tree in front of the Art House and three more on Cady Street

Really cool

Hundreds of Westland residents and visitors enjoyed the Westland Kickoff to Summer Community Summit at Tattan Park last week. The city provided free hot dogs and chips and children had no-cost access to the H2O Splash Pad, a bouncehouse, facepainting, and a showing of the Disney movie, Inside Out. Mayor Michael Londeau provided free popcorn to enjoy with the movie. The event was sponsored by North Brothers Ford, Independent Carpet One Floor & Home, Parkside Dental Team, Michigan Chiropractic Specialists, P.C., Priority Waste, Community Financial Credit Union, Parkside Credit Union and Westland Car Care.

Blues, Brews and BBQ set to return in August

One of the most anticipated events of the summer will return to Westland in August.

Blues, Brews & Barbecue will return Friday, Aug. 4 and Saturday, Aug. 5 with live music, a 200 drone light show, fireworks, top BBQ pitmasters and ice-cold draft brews. 

Live entertainment set for Aug. 4 this year will include: 5-6:30 p.m. DownRiver Dan; 7-8:30 p.m. Broken Arrow and from 9-11p.m. Larry McCray.

On Saturday, Aug. 5, performances include: 4-5:30 p.m. The Randy Brock Group; from 6 until 8 p.m. the Kenny Parker Band with special guest Jim McCarty and Johnny Bee and from 8 until 10 p.m.  Chris Canas.

Jury awards Romulus man $9.3 million in lawsuit

Evidence from a police body camera convinced a Wayne County jury to award a Romulus man $9.3 million as compensation for violations of his constitutional rights during his 2018 arrest by a Dearborn police officer.

Luther Gonzales-Hall, now 25, told members of the jury in his lawsuit charging a violation of his constitutional rights that he suffered “injuries that will never completely heal even though I did nothing wrong. I just asked for directions.”  Gonzales Hall said he continues to suffer nightmares about being arrested and beaten by police. Attorney Azzam Elder represented Gonzales-Hall in his lawsuit filed against the City of Dearborn, the Dearborn Police Department and several police officers. In addition to the violation of his constitutional rights, the lawsuit charged false imprisonment, arrest, battery - and the wrongful charging of a crime.

Rocky Horror Society plans special showings

Members of the Michigan Rocky Horror Preservation Society based in Wayne have been invited to perform at two of the oldest, largest and most iconic theaters in the state.

Both the special presentations scheduled for October will feature celebrity guests from the original cast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show movie, according to a prepared statement from a group spokesperson.

The group will perform Oct. 12 at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit along with special guest Barry Bostwick, who played Brad Majors. More information about the event is available at

On a roll

Members of the Wayne Memorial High School Bowling Team were officially recognized and honored with a plaque during a meeting of the Wayne City Council last week. The team won the 2023 Michigan High School Athletic Association State Bowling Championship earlier this month. Mayor John P. Rhaesa presented the team with an official plaque congratulating the young bowlers on their achievement and championship performance. Members of the team include: Elliot Hill; Jeremiah Hodge; Davin Raisanen; Santray Trottier; Donovan Uselman; Kyle Webster and Mark-Vincent Wells.  The team is coached by Christine Day and assistant coach Andrea Santiago while Stephanie Grajek is the team athletic trainer. 

New ethic intimidation law heads to state legislators

A new bill making the rounds in Lansing aims to strengthen the state ethnic intimidation law, which some prosecutors have deemed too weak to be effective. Focus: HOPE, along with grassroots partner, the Ethnic Intimidation Law Amendment Work Group, has led the fight to give teeth to the law and hosted a “Community Conversation” regarding the impact of the proposed legislation at Focus: HOPE headquarters.

“As a longstanding organization dedicated to racial healing, it's bittersweet to still need the law changed to keep diverse populations from being targeted, harassed, and victimized,” said Portia L. Roberson, Focus: HOPE CEO. “HB 4474 not only makes it clear that such vile behavior is illegal in Michigan, but also makes it easier to hold those accountable who use hate as a weapon.” 

District celebrates 2023 graduates

Graduation ceremonies for Plymouth-Canton Community Schools
Starkweather Academy students took place June 8 and for Canton,
Salem and Plymouth high schools on June 11.
For more than 1,200 high school seniors at Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, graduation will be a shining moment, the culmination of hard work and dedication for many. Among those proud graduates are 85 seniors at Starkweather Academy, the alternative high school in the district, whose graduation on June 8 is proof they persevered and overcame challenges, officials said.

Kevin Lane has been the principal at Starkweather for 17 years and he says watching the students participate in the graduation ceremony at the Salem High School auditorium was a deeply joyful moment.

“The ceremony itself is very personal, with each student having a personally written message read about their goals and experiences and 'thank yous,'” Lane said. “Each Starkweather student has had significant barriers to overcome - that is why they are with us, and the joy of this accomplishment is so profoundly emotional. We have had many who are the first to graduate in their family or the first to be on a strong career path toward a trade or college.”

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Racetrack project wins planning commission approval

A final decision on the construction of a new harness race track in Plymouth Township could come before the board of trustees by the end of this month.

Following approval of the development plans by the Plymouth Township Planning Commission earlier this month, the plans will now be sent to the township trustees for final approval which could be on the June 27 meeting agenda.

The proposed Northville Downs of Plymouth Township is planned for a 128-acre site near Five Mile and Ridge roads. Only 52 acres of the site are suitable as the remainder is protected wetlands, according to township records. The plans for the Plymouth site include construction of a half-mile oval harness racetrack; a two-story, 4,900-square-foot grandstand with a patio for viewing; a 23,000-square-foot racing building; a 35,000 square foot horse barn and a 3,200 square foot maintenance building. Originally, plans included a 54,000-square-foot gaming facility to be constructed during a future phase of development. Any casino or racino gambling would require state approval.


Liberty Festival begins in Canton

Heritage Park will come alive with the sights and sounds of Canton
Liberty Fest from June 15-17, 2023, which is Canton’s ultimate
community celebration of summer fun.
(Provided courtesy of Canton Township)
A 30 year tradition begins today in Canton Township when the Liberty Fest opens.

The annual celebration of community spirit offers  family-friendly activities, exciting carnival rides, thrilling Midway games, two stages of live entertainment, a popular marketplace, festival food, and Beer Garden, as well as the Annual Liberty Run, a special Juneteenth Community Celebration, Friday night fireworks, and much more for all ages to enjoy.

Major sponsors for this annual community event include: BJ’s Wholesale Club, National Heritage Academies and the U. S. Army.  

State of the City 2023

Romulus mayor reports progress in every city department 

Mayor Robert McCraight
During his State of the City address last year, Romulus Mayor Robert McCraight outlined his goals for the next 12 months. This year, McCraight was able to report an 87 percent completion rate for those plans with the remainder of his goals for the community already under way.

McCraight presented his 2023 State of the City address last month from the Romulus High School auditorium before an audience crowded with mayors from neighboring communities, county and state officials and community residents. Following the pledge of allegiance led by several local Girl Scouts and the presentation of the colors by the honor guard, City Clerk Ellen Craig Bragg sang the national anthem. McCraight was then introduced by his Chief of Staff Julie Wojtylko who noted that McCraight is always focused on doing the right thing for the residents of the city. She said he is a man who “exemplifies leadership and understands the implications and responsibility of being the mayor.”

Protect and serve

The Romulus Police Department recently celebrated the induction of two new officers and the promotion of veteran officer Keith Haynes to the rank of sergeant. Police Chief Robert Pfannes and Deputy Chief Derran Shelby were on hand as officers recited the oath of service to the community. The department has hired seven new officers this year following approval last fall of a public safety millage by more than 70 percent of voters.  The department responded to 22,239 calls for service last year and made 748 arrests and issued 5,193 citations. According to Mayor Robert McCraight, the crime rate is dropping in the city and 80 percent of violent crimes in the city are committed by non-residents. 

Read on

Inkster Leanna Hicks Library offering several summer programs

Registration is under way for Summer Reading at the Leanna Hicks Public Library, 2500 Hamlin Dr. in Inkster. The program will begin at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 22, and will feature Bright Star Theatre performing plays at the library.

“All Together Now” is the summer theme for the preschool and school-age student program, which requires advance registration by visiting the library, on Hamlin Drive which runs off of Michigan Avenue eastbound west of Inkster Road. Call the library at (313) 563-2822 for details. Registration by phone is available for the individual programs, which conclude at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, with the wrap-up party at the library.

Invasive plant species threatens township park

Sherwood Pond at Banotai Park
Sumpter Township trustees are attempting to find ways to control or eradicate an invasive species currently attacking community parks.

The species is autumn olive, a plant which is flourishing near Sherwood Pond and in Banotai Park. During the May 23 meeting of the trustees, the consequences of allowing the plant to continue to propagate were brought to the attention of the board members by Jo Gardner, a volunteer who spends time attempting to beautify the township parks.

Belleville Rotary Club presents annual scholarships

Members of the Rotary Club of Belleville presented six $5,000 scholarships to Belleville-area graduates during the 78th Annual Scholarship Program May 23.

The awards presentation took place at Belleville High School and included school administrators, parents, family members and Rotarians. 

The four Academic Scholarships went to Hope Copeland, Samantha Pause, Krishna Sharma and Sean Tinsley. The Charles B. Cozadd Community Service Award for service to school and other students was presented to Luke Budd while the Donald Juchartz Award for Community Service was presented to Ethan Delaney.

During the meeting, Belleville Rotary Club President Mary Jo Suchy offered a welcome, including an explanation of what Rotary is and a summary of club activities helping individual citizens, communities and other charities in carrying on their work.

Arts and Acts event begins downtown tomorrow

The Annual Art in the Sun Juried Art Fair during the Arts and Acts
Festival will begin in downtown Northville tomorrow.
More than15,000 visitors are expected to attend the Northville Art House Arts and Acts Festival as the three-day showcase of art, music and food fills downtown streets beginning tomorrow, June 16.

The festival will continue on Saturday, June, 17 and /Sunday, June 18  and will include the popular 35th Annual Art in the Sun Juried Art Fair which showcases contemporary art, handicraft work, and unique creations by 100 fine artists and crafters from Michigan and around the country.  

Arts and Acts will be open from 3 until 6 p.m. tomorrow,  from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on  Saturday, June 17, and from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 18. The festival takes place on West Cady Street and officials said there will be several free parking areas as well as local restaurants, shops, and neighborhood venues are located within walking distance of the festival. 

Rehabilitation of historic Johnson Creek nears completion

Rehabilitation of historic Johnson Creek is expected to be
complete at the end of this year, officials said.
The federally funded rehabilitation at historic Johnson Creek in Northville is expected to be complete late this year, officials said, and responsibility for maintenance and care returned to the Northville Parks and Recreation Department. Johnson Creek is one of the few cold-water creeks in southeastern Michigan that supports a trout population and is historically significant as one of the largest fish hatcheries in the country.

Work at Fish Hatchery Park to replant the 1,050-foot creek bed along Johnson Creek, add depth to the pond and install a fish ladder where the creek meets the pond has been under way for three years. Rock veins were placed in the creek to control the flow and prevent erosion. Once the new growth starts to flourish the pond and creek should be a cleaner habitat for fish, insects, wildlife, and plants, according to officials.

Suspect faces murder charges in fatal shooting

A 29-year-old man has been arrested and charged with the fatal shooting of a Dearborn woman and serious injury of a Romulus man that occurred in Westland during the early morning hours of June 1.

The suspect, Amir Patterson, 29, of Taylor, was scheduled for a court appearance in 18th District Court today, following his arraignment last week on charges of first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder, first-degree home invasion and three felony firearm violations. 


Class of 2024 members Ava Williams and Kim Barron have been named Horatio Alger Association State Scholars and each awarded a $10,000 scholarship.  The association is one of the largest need-based privately-funded college scholarship providers. The Horatio Alger Association assists high school students who have faced and overcome great obstacles to pursue their dreams through higher education. While many scholarship programs primarily recognize academic achievement or leadership potential, the Horatio Alger Scholarship Program awards students who have exhibited determination, integrity and perseverance.

Repairs to downtown parking deck continue

The first phase of the 2023 Central Parking Deck renovation project in downtown Plymouth was expected to be complete last week.

Crews were scheduled to move to the northern half of the deck to begin work on Phase II. Crews will be replacing concrete, working on joints and completing other repairs on both the upper and lower levels. About half of  the parking spaces will remain unavailable on both levels during the second phase, according to a Sam Plymale from the Plymouth Downtown Development Authority.

Judge finds sufficient evidence for murder charges

Jeffrey Dwight Locke
Judge Michael Gerou of the 35th District Court in Plymouth has ruled there is sufficient evidence to charge Jeffrey Dwight Locke with first degree premeditated murder.

Locke, 50, is accused of the brutal beating death of 69-year-old Glen McLean of Canton Township. According to court filings, McLean allowed Locke, who is reportedly homeless, to intermittently stay in his River Woods Drive North home. According to the victim's son, Derek McLean who testified during the preliminary hearing last week, Locke also brought five or six cats and a dog to stay at the home. He said his father paid Locke to work on one of his vehicles and the two shared an interest in cars. 

Park cleanup prompts warning about dangers of plastic debris

Wayne took one step closer to becoming “the cleanest city on Earth”
last weekend, according to Councilman Alfred Brock who led a large
contingent of volunteers in the continuing effort
to clean and renovate the city parks.
The volunteer effort to clean and renovate city parks in Wayne continued last weekend with work at  Soroptimist Park, Rotary I Park, and Attwood Park. Members of the Department of Public Works (DPW) joined volunteers in the efforts along with students from Upward Bound. 

The large number of volunteers allowed DPW employees to complete split rail fencing at Attwood Park while work continued at the two other locations. Volunteers included Wayne Police Sgt. Jeff Perez who helped install mulch at Soroptimist Park and Fire Chief Mike Stradtner who cut the debris from the fence line during the effort. Former city councilmembers Jeremiah Webster and Phil Wagner joined the volunteers led by City Councilman and Park and Trails Leader Alfred Brock. Wayne City Manager Lisa Nocerini and Assistant Director of the DPW Ed Queen also joined the work crew. Brock noted that while working in Soroptimist and Rotary Park 1, the volunteers found multiple plastic items among the debris. He explained the serious negative effects of plastics on the environment as, he said, the material does not degrade. 

Thursday, June 8, 2023

An apology to our readers

The Eagle apologizes to Romulus Mayor Robert McCraight, to the members of his administration and most sincerely to the residents of Romulus and our readers in the other communities we serve.

On the front page of the June1-June 7 edition of The Eagle, we reported on the State of the City Address by Mayor McCraight, detailing progress in the City of Romulus. Due to some serious family medical emergencies, we made a serious and egregious error. The account of the address was of the mayor's 2022 address rather than his current report to the community regarding the progress made during the last year.

Canton Township dedicates new Zibiwés Nature Area

A new nature area has been established in Canton Township.

The Zibiwés Nature Area is now available to residents at the northwest corner of Ford Road and Ridge Road, formerly known as Patriot Park or Ridge Road Park. Canton Township has secured $1 million in federal funding for the project and will use another $1 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. 

Members of the Canton Township Board of Trustees approved the new nature area during the May 23 meeting of the board.

Class acts

Students send donations to Salvation Army pantry

Elementary students, teachers and staff at Plymouth-Canton
Community Schools participated in a competitive donation drive
 to help the Salvation Army. Isbister Elementary students
collected more than 2,000 pounds of food and hygiene products
to win a pizza party.
Elementary students, teachers and staff at Plymouth-Canton Community Schools are supporting a great local cause this month with Isbister, Miller, Bentley, Bird and Farrand elementaries collecting thousands of items for families in need.

Isbister Principal Emily Hawthorne said her school, which supports The Salvation Army every year, organized a friendly competition among the classrooms to see which could collect the most food and personal hygiene items. Daily tallies were included in the Isbister morning announcements.

“We participated in the drive as there was great need to restock our local Plymouth Salvation Army shelves,” Hawthorne said. “The Salvation Army supports our local community and Isbister families. Students were excited and eager to participate, especially with the friendly competition for the class with the most donated items at the end of the week to earn a pizza party.”

Remodeling of historic 1873 Main Street home is approved

The home built in 1873 on what is now East Main Street in Northville may soon be restored and used as business offices. 

Members of the Northville Planning Commission unanimously approved the preliminary and final site plan for the historic building at 342 E. Main. The Italianate-style building was once the site of Dr. Yarnall's Gold Cure institute, a sanatorium for those suffering from alcohol and smoking addictions. Local business owner Dennis Engerer purchased the house in May 2022 and is planning the restoration and remodeling as designed by local architect Greg Presley of Presley Architecture.

Northville Garden Walk planned for July 14

Members of the Country Garden Club of Northville are digging into the final preparations for the highly anticipated 29th Annual Garden Walk.

This year, the self-directed tour of six private gardens will take place from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. July 12. The tour allows ticket holders to visit the gardens at their own pace and in any order. Addresses and driving instructions are printed on the tickets, which will also include an abbreviated map of the area.

 The Garden Walk is the primary fundraiser for the group which provides college scholarships to Northville High School seniors and helps fund several local and national organizations which support horticultural and environmental causes.

Each of the local gardens selected for the annual tour features unique plan

Annual Arts and Acts festival will begin next week

Crowds filled downtown Northville streets last year during
the juried Art in the Sun art fair which showcases comtemporary
art, handicraft work and unique creations by artists and crafters.
More than15,000 visitors are expected to attend the Northville Art House Arts and Acts Festival next week when the three-day showcase of art, music and food fills downtown.

The festival is set for June 16, 17 and 18 this year and will include the popular 35th Annual Art in the Sun Juried Art Fair which showcases contemporary art, handicraft work, and unique creations by 100 fine artists and crafters from Michigan and around the country.  

Arts and Acts will be open from 3 until 6 p.m. on Friday, June 16, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on  Saturday, June 17, and from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 18.

Shout out

Northville Township officials recently recognized the members of the township Department of Public Works for their exceptional performance. During National Public Works Week last month, the township thanked the department staff and leaders for their continued efforts to improve life for residents.

Veteran police officer to retire

Ofc. Joseph Voet
A 21-year veteran of the Canton Township Police Department has retired.

Retiring Ofc. Joseph Voet, who served seven years as a police officer in Ishpeming prior to beginning his 21-year career with Canton in 2002 will be missed, noted Police Chief Chad Baugh.

“During my career in Canton, I have met some of the finest people in law enforcement, but Officer Voet stands out as a true ambassador for those who wear the uniform,” said Baugh. “He was compassionate with those he served, always looking for a commonsensical solution to issues, undoubtedly learned during his time spent in the Upper Peninsula. Joe has a heart of gold and will truly be missed; I wish him all the best in his retirement.”

 As a road patrol officer, Voet responded to calls for service, provided traffic enforcement, conducted investigations and participated in the department community policing practices.

Surprise visit

Tonda Elementary kindergarten teacher Michelle Moloche had a few surprise visitors in her classroom last week. Michigan State Rep. Ranjeev Puri, who was joined by Plymouth Canton Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Monica Merritt and Tonda Principal Dave Turrill, brought  Meloche a special award naming her 'Teacher of the Month' for the region. Puri selects a winner each month during the school year based on nominations from constituents. 

Cadet is awarded scholarship

Carter Hudson's affinity for aviation and military service developed when he was in eighth grade. That's when the Canton Township student got involved with the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadet program.

During the next four years, Hudson took on a host of roles with the CAP Michigan Wing South Lyon Cadet Squadron, including staffing encampment and staffing a national flight academy. He advanced in rank to become a cadet lieutenant colonel. His involvement with CAP as well as his achievements helped him earn the $2,500 scholarship awarded jointly by CAP and Detroit Chapter #9 of the Vietnam Veterans of America. The needs-based scholarships support Michigan Wing cadets pursuing undergraduate or graduate education. Funds can be used for tuition, books and/or room and board.

Rotary club awards annual scholarships

The Plymouth Noon Rotary Club awarded scholarships to
local graduates last week. Celebrating the awards are,
from left, Muneeb Manood, Kayvan Keshavamurthy,
Judi Pawar, Jibraan Rahman, Renee Burgess, Grace Fernandez
and Jack Buss. Winners Sophia Werner and
Madison Temple were unable to attend the presentation.
Members of the Plymouth Noon Rotary Club recently presented $35,000 in scholarships to local students headed to colleges next year.

A $500 scholarship was presented to Madison Temple who will be attending Michigan State University in the fall and will study accounting. Temple was unable to attend the ceremony last Friday due to a prior commitment. She graduated from Canton High School.

Jack Buss also received a scholarship for $500 and will be attending Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina  in the fall where he will be studying political science, philosophy and economics. He is a home-schooled student.

High notes

The Romulus High School Combined Concert and Symphony Bands earned both I (Superior) and II (Excellent) ratings from three official adjudicators and a clinician during the recent state district competition. The band members are now  eligible to participate in the prestigious Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association Festival, school officials noted. 

Art entries are sought

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

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

 Student entries must include the name, age, school and contact information on the back of the entry.

Entries should be submitted to the Economic Development Department, 11111 Wayne Road, Romulus, MI 48174, by Aug. 1. For more information, call (734) 955-4533.

Relay for Life event is set for Saturday

The largest volunteer-based fundraising event for the American Cancer Society will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 8 at Tattan Park in Westland and continue into the evening.

Activities will include a Survivor Walk in the morning concluding with a First Responders Recognition and The Luminary Event during the evening.

For more than 36 years, communities across the world have come together to honor and remember loved ones and take action for lifesaving change. Relay For Life features an evening ceremony when members of the local Wayne Westland community walk a track lined with luminaria bags in remembrance of those lost to cancer. 

Westland police investigate fatal shooting

Westland police continue to investigate the shooting that took the life of a woman and left a man seriously injured.

According to police reports, officers responded to a call at about 2 a.m. June 1 reporting a shooting. When officers arrived on the scene, they found a 32-year-old Romulus man who had suffered a gunshot wound. Subsequent investigation by officers revealed the incident had occurred in the 37000 block of Scottsdale Circle and when officers arrived at that location they discovered a 36-year-old Dearborn Heights woman who also suffered a gunshot wound. 

Educational visit

Second grade students from Schweitzer Elementary School visited City of Wayne facilities last week, including the library and  fire department where they received special fire helmets. During their visit at Wayne City Clerk Tina Rowe's office at Wayne City Hall the students  participated in a practice election. This year, the students used the official voting process to choose their favorite candy from candidates  Tootsie Pops, Kit Kat Bar and Skittles. While Skittles won the balloting,  Kit Kats was a close second in the mock voting the clerk's office schedules annually to help teach students about the voting process. Rowe noted that candidate Tootsie Pops was “left in the dust” by the young voters and might want to reconsider any future candidacy. 

Driver is charged in fatal Sumpter Road crash

A man who fled the scene of a fatal car crash on Sumpter Road was located and arrested by Sumpter Police later the same day.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged David Armando Palacios-Sanchez, 43, of Detroit, in connection with the crash that killed Reyna Martinez-Hernandez, 49, of Rockford, Illinois, and injured a 36-year-old woman from Plainfield, New Jersey. 

According to the prosecutor, Palacios-Sanchez was driving at a high rate of speed at about 8:21 p.m. May 28 when he lost control of his vehicle striking and killing Martinez-Hernandez and seriously injuring another woman.

Wet work

Members of the Sumpter Township Fire Department spent May 20 in advanced training in pump and water supply at Fire Station Number One. Fire officials said the mission of the Sumpter department is to safely protect lives and property with dedicated personnel who train with modern equipment and techniques in fire suppression, medical emergencies, public service, public education and inspection. The day-long training was designed to improve firefighters' skills and familiarity with the fire equipment.

Inkster man faces first-degree murder charges in shooting

An Inkster man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a nurse in the Detroit Receiving Hospital parking lot.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Jamere Mykel Miller, 36, of Inkster, in connection with the homicide of Patrice Wilson, 29, of Redford. Wilson was the girlfriend of Miller and was reported to be ending their relationship at the time of her death, according to the prosecutor's office.

Prosecutors allege that at about 7:53 p.m. May 13, Miller entered the Detroit Receiving Hospital parking lot on the 4200 block of St. Antoine Street. Investigators allege that Miller, disguised with a wig, a hat, and glasses, waited for Wilson near her 2020 Lincoln Nautilus after her shift at the hospital.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Health threat to area water supply is lifted

The boil water alert for residents of Inkster, Romulus, Wayne and Westland was lifted early Sunday after extensive testing was complete. The boil water advisory was issued last week when an equipment failure at the Great Lakes Water Authority may have contaminated the water.

Authorities from the respective communities and GLWA issued the alert last Friday, with an expected end to the precautionary measure by Sunday. The alert resulted from the malfunction of a pump station located on Michigan Avenue. Officials continue to investigate the cause of the power outage believed to have caused the equipment failure.

“This equipment has been repaired and water pressure and flow quickly restored,” representatives of the water authority said. “Whenever a water system loses pressure for any significant length of time, the precautionary measure of a boil water advisory is recommended,” they added.

Perpetual optimism

Romulus mayor reports continued city progress 

Mayor Robert McCraight
Romulus Mayor Robert McCraight delivered his State of the City address to a crowded audience at Romulus High School last week.

McCraight discussed a number of topics during the one-hour address and continued to stress the transparency and core values of his administration. “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier,” McCraight quoted from Colin Powell's 13 rules of good management, a motto he said inspires him daily.

“You can't rain on this parade,” he told the audience as he spoke of the importance of the city and the schools working cooperatively to provide the best quality of life possible in the community. “It's the Romulus Community Schools,” he stressed. He added that he was inspired, too, by the Romulus High School Lady Eagles basketball team who won both the league and district championships, one reason he said he chose the high school for the annual address.

Northville names new recreation department director

Derek O. Smith
Industry veteran Derek O. Smith has been named the new director of Northville Parks and Recreation. He will begin his new post July 3, city officials said. The Parks and Recreation Commission made the appointment at the recommendation of Northville Township Manager Todd Mutchler and Northville City Manager George Lahanas. 

“We're thrilled to bring a passionate professional like Derek to our community,” Township Supervisor Mark J. Abbo said. “Residents in the township and the city share his passion for recreation and the outdoors. We feel lucky to have him lead us into what we expect to be the golden age of recreation for this region.”

Smith joins Northville Parks and Recreation after holding a similar post for Independence Township for seven years. He led a team of 16 full-time employees and 130 seasonal or part-time ones, a $3.4 million operating budget and managed five parks. It also included a Senior Services division.

Sumpter honors police, names officer of the year

Sumpter Township officials officially recognized members of the police department for outstanding service in 2022 during a meeting last month.

Lifesaving awards which include a citation bar to be worn on the officer's uniform were presented to Ofc. Sean Hudson; Sgt. Brian Steffani; Ofc. Jesiah Rodriguez and Ofc. Bart Devos. 

Hudson responded to a 31-year-old woman who was unresponsive due to a possible drug overdose. Upon arrival, Hudson found the female not breathing and performed life-saving measures until fire department and Huron Valley Ambulance responders arrived. The woman was resuscitated and transported for further care. 

Former candidate for treasurer is acquitted of phone threat

Sheena Barnes, the failed candidate for Sumpter Township treasurer, was found not guilty of charges filed against her by Sumpter Township following an obscene phone call to Supervisor Tim Bowman.

Barnes was charged with the ordinance violation of malicious use of a telephone following an obscenity-laced phone message she recorded on Bowman's home answering machine Aug. 19, 2022. Bowman took the recording to Sumpter Township police where charges were filed as a violation of a local ordinance rather than a criminal offense.


Keith Haynes was recently promoted to the rank of sergeant with the City of Romulus Police Department. Haynes, a lifelong Romulus resident, still resides in the city and is a graduate of Romulus High School He has been with the city police department for 13 years, officials said.

Arts and Acts Festival returns to downtown

More than15,000 visitors are expected to attend the Northville Art House Arts and Acts Festival set for June 16, 17 and 18 this year. 

The festival is a three-day showcase of art, music, and food which includes the popular 35th Annual Art in the Sun Juried Art Fair which showcases contemporary art, handicraft work, and unique creations by 100 fine artists and crafters from Michigan and around the country.  

Arts and Acts will be open from 3 until 6 p.m. on Friday, June 16, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on  Saturday, June 17, and from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 18. 

The festival takes place on West Cady Street and officials said there will be several free parking areas as well as local restaurants, shops, and neighborhood venues located within walking distance of the festival. 

City commissioners consider new fields for youth recreation

The first pass at providing more soccer grounds in the City of Plymouth was approved by members of the city commission last month.

Commissioners agreed to the recommendation of the city administration and authorized a non-binding memorandum of understanding and an environmental review of 2.92 acres of property on South Mill Street. City administrators suggested the move in response to the lack of available soccer fields to youth groups. Officials explained the lack of recreational space forced the elimination of one age group program last fall.

“There was no place for them to play,” officials said. 

Going up

The eastern stairwell of the Central Parking Deck in downtown Plymouth has been repaired and is now open for use. Phase I of the 2023 project is expected to be complete this month and repair and construction work will begin on the northern portion of the parking structure. Additional free public parking is available during the construction at the Christian Science Church located at 1100 W. Ann Arbor Trail.

Summit Aquatic Center renovations set to begin Aug. 1

The $2.4 million renovation and reconstruction project at the Canton Summit on the Park Aquatic Center is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Aug. 1.

The extensive work on the popular recreation feature is expected to be complete in mid-December, officials said. Renovations to the 13, 340 square foot facility will include tile replacement in all pools, including the lap pool and family pool, as well as on the pool decks.  In addition, tile will also be replaced in the spa and sauna, as well as in the men's, women's, and family locker rooms.  Further enhancements include the addition of a water feature, replacement of the Marcite plaster in the Lazy River, as well as painting of the pool deck roof.  

Advance tickets for Canton Liberty Fest available online

Celebrating its 30th year, the annual Canton Liberty Fest returns to Heritage Park June 15-17, with family-friendly activities, exciting carnival rides, thrilling Midway games, two stages packed with live entertainment, a popular marketplace, festival food, and Beer Garden, as well as the Annual Liberty Run, a special Juneteenth Community Celebration, Friday night fireworks, and much more for all ages to enjoy.

The summer tradition will take place from 1 until 10 p.m. on Thursday, June 15, from 1 until 11 p.m. Friday, June 16, and from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday, June 17 in Heritage Park, located adjacent to the Canton Administration Building, located at 1150 S. Canton Center Road. Major sponsors for this annual community event, include: BJ's Wholesale Club, National Heritage Academies, and the U. S Army.  

New recruit

Members of the Wayne Police Department welcomed a new officer last week when Hank, a three-month old Golden Retriever, officially joined the force. Hank will begin his 8-10 month long formal therapy dog training this month for official certification. During his training, however, Hank will continue to visit his fellow officers at police headquarters once or twice a week working on his socialization skills. Eventually, he will be at the station all day, every day.


Former Westland officer facing criminal charges

Former Westland Police Ofc. Shawn Dennis Davidson is facing criminal charges of carrying a concealed firearm under the influence of alcohol and trespassing.

Davidson, 52, a New Boston resident, and Gregory Jay Tittle, 53, of Carleton, both face multiple charges in connection to an incident at a downriver bar at about 6:30 p.m. April 22. The men were at the bar, located in the 110 block of Oak Street in Wyandotte, while Davidson was off police duty.

Meet the champs

The Westland Youth Assistance Program was awarded as the Adams Middle School "Most Valuable Partner" during the Wayne-Westland Community of Champions Breakfast last week. The breakfast ceremony honored community members, partners, staff members and students who have made a lasting impact in the Wayne-Westland Community Schools this school year. The event which took place at the SoHo Banquet & Event Center, also honored former Westland Mayor William R. Wild with a "Lifetime Achievement Award" and presented a Special Recognition Award to Westland Facilities Director Vic Barra, representing the Wayne Ford Civic League.

Inkster porch repairs offered

The Wayne County Land Bank is continuing 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.