By SCOTT BEWICK
Sunday Times Editor
Here’s a look back at the second half of 2022, and the news that shaped Downriver.
Pie, ice cream and camaraderie, combined with picture-perfect weather, made for a successful social at the Ford-MacNichol Home, hosted by Wyandotte’s museum and the Historical Society … Riverview Community High School band members, parents and community members addressed the Riverview Community Schools Board of Education in support of and against Alex Pickell, the new instrumental music director at the high school year next school year … The mayors of Allen Park, Riverview, Southgate and Wyandotte gathered July 6 to honor 6-year-old Henry Bryant of Southgate, who raised $2,200 with a lemonade stand to benefit the Wyandotte Animal Shelter … Wyandotte Officer Chelsea Haskin became the first female police officer to be promoted to detective … A barricaded gunman who allegedly threatened his girlfriend surrendered to Trenton police after about a 14-hour standoff … The 61st Wyandotte Street Art Fair offered something for every taste and budget, from food to fine art … Bob Groat and his son, Joe Groat, were recognized during the July 11 City Council meeting for the 75th anniversary of their car repair and towing business. Groat Brothers, 1466 Eureka Road, was started by Bob Groat’s father, Stan Groat, who was also a city council member, and Stan’s brother, John Groat … Kenneth Hartley, 53, of Taylor was sentenced July 13 to 25 years in federal prison on charges of sexual exploitation of children and possession of child pornography … A car crash on northbound Southfield Freeway in Allen Park claimed the life of a 2-year-old girl and critically wounded a three-month-old boy … Week one of Trenton’s curbside recycling program saw a 70 to 80 percent participation, with 62,466 pounds of recyclable materials collected … Several area Rotary clubs teamed up with mayors from the cities of Dearborn Heights, Taylor, Riverview, Southgate and Romulus in support the Motorcycle Freedom Riders’ annual Wounded America Motorcycle Ride, which raised $35,000 to benefit wounded veterans … Allen Park terminated Parks and Recreation Director Patrick Hawkins, following concerns brought by residents to the City Council … Funding pension liabilities, the field house and capital investment continue to challenge Melvindale, Plante Moran’s annual audit of the city revealed … The Taylor City Council rejected the first reading of the two motions that would begin the process of allowing recreational marijuana commerce in the city …
Taylor’s 175th anniversary was celebrated Aug. 6 in Heritage Park. Taylor was founded as a township on March 16, 1847. Taylor Township incorporated as the City of Taylor in 1968. 2022 is the 175th anniversary of the founding of Taylor … Gil Vega, 44, of Southgate was charged with the fatal shooting of his wife, Ilena Luna, 43, also of Southgate. Police said Vega shot and killed Luna in their residence, then transported her body to a Washtenaw County location … The Southgate City Council learned about ways to allocate recreational marijuana businesses at the city level during a study session, with attorney Allision Arnold providing a primer for pot … Residents renewed a 1-mill Parks and Recreation millage, which will run for five years, beginning Dec. 1, at an effective rate of 0.9896 mills … Two newly acquired ballistic shields will help protect Melvindale police officers from gunfire in both offensive and defensive operations, providing critical protective coverage while being capable of being quickly deployed … Melvindale Police Sgt. Matthew Furman addressed the city’s Public Safety Commission Aug. 9 about a decrease in staffing, plummeting morale and excessive overtime, which he said is exhausting and not sustainable … The Taylor City Council approved a ballot proposal for recreational marijuana facilities in the city … Former Allen Park Mayor Richard Huebler died on Aug. 17 at the age of 87 … Allen Park Deputy Parks & Reaction Deputy Director Robert Fulton was appointed the new director of the department … The Riverview City Council appointed Jeffrey Dobek as interim city manager following the resignation of Douglas Drysdale … The Chung Shan Junior Little League from Taichung, Chinese Taipei, captured the 40th Junior League Baseball World Series at Aug 21 at Taylor’s Heritage Park … More than 5,000 people raised their glasses to the spirit of summer at Wyandotte’s annual Wine Crawl, featuring live music and benefiting local non-profits … After struggling for years to find a suitable redevelopment project for McKinley School, the Wyandotte City Council approved the building’s demolition, but a last-minute proposal by Mo Beydoun of Safeway Acquisition Co. looked to transform the former school building into individual unit apartments, as well as single-family residences surrounding the existing building, with the park and the playground being preserved … Southgate Community Schools Supt. Sharon Irvine spoke during the Aug. 17 City Council meeting to explain the need for the 1.9 mill school district sinking fund proposal on the Nov. 8 ballot … Cleanup began at the former Riverside Hospital site in Trenton following a diesel fuel spill.
Melvindale Mayor Wheeler Marsee and Police Chief Dan Jones strongly refuted negative statements made by Sgt. Matthew Furman at August meetings … “The Saluting sailor,” John Charles Heidenreich, 55, of Romulus, created a stirring display on Eureka Road west of Racho Boulevard Sept. 11 to honor those lost to the terrorist attacks … Southgate officials and residents gathered to celebrate the opening of a new splash pad at Market Center Park … Former Riverview City Manager Doug Drysdale is named the new Southgate assistant city administrator and finance director … Kyle Laski, 27, of Taylor, missing since Sept. 5, was found dead Sept. 15 in a wooded area within the city … The Rev. Paula Miller conducted a blessing of the pets at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Lincoln Park … Lincoln Park celebrated its centennial plus one Oct. 1 at Lincoln Park High School with a casual gathering celebrating the city’s history and recognizing those who helped it thrive.
Immediate repairs needed for Trenton’s outdoor swimming pool, plus a study to ascertain the cost of long-term repairs were outlined Oct. 3 by Parks and Recreation Director Tim Beaker … Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health announced its new name, Corewell Health, signaling its commitment to health and wellness … A FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant of $96,114 will allow the Fire Department to purchase, schedule and install smoke alarms for all Dearborn and Melvindale residents … Replacing 30 miles of water main pipes over the next seven years at an estimated $35 million cost was discussed at the Oct. 17 Lincoln Park City Council study session … A Taylor police officer struck and killed a pedestrian with his patrol vehicle on Goddard at Westlake Avenue about 1 a.m. Oct. 31. The officer was responding to a call and was searching for an address on the left-hand side of the vehicle, when they struck a male pedestrian in the road.
Lincoln Park remembered a native son who died in Iraq by renaming part of Fort Street the Sgt. Craig S. Frank Memorial Highway during an Oct. 11 Veterans Day ceremony … The Southgate City Council approved the bid waiver and purchase of Axon Dash Camera systems for Police Department patrol vehicles to replace aging cameras … In the general election, U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell and Rashida Tlaib were re-elected easily to new districts, while Shri Thanedar leapt from the state House to the U.S. House. Democrats swept all partisan elections locally from the state House and Senate, to Congress … The Wayne County Facility Inclusion Committee unanimously voted against the expansion of the Riverview Land Preserve Nov. 15 … A man experiencing a mental health crisis is alive thanks to the quick cooperation of two fishermen and Wyandotte police officers performing a river rescue Nov. 7 near Bishop Park … The Melvindale City Council authorized quote requests for signage and surveillance cameras for city parks as well as authorized rewards for information leading to vandalism conviction … The city’s new mayor, city council and re-elected city clerk and treasurer were sworn in Nov. 21 at Lincoln Park High School as the city held its inauguration ceremony … After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Santa’s Magic Forest returns to the Activity Center within Heritage Park in Taylor … Wyandotte’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve event in 2022 has been canceled due to “several challenging circumstances.” … Cheerful holiday tableaus, a Festival of Trees and the perennial Lincoln Park Train Club display greeted guests Nov. 26 during the opening night of Fantasyland at the Kennedy Memorial Building in Lincoln Park … Santa’s Magic Forest, in the Activity Building at Heritage Park in Taylor raises funds for the Fish & Loves Community Food Pantry … The JV TorqueNado robotics team at Boyd Arthurs Middle School in Trenton is headed for a state level competition, an outstanding achievement for the team, which formed several months ago.
Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency and ChristNet recently opened a $700,000 daytime human services center at 25275 Eureka Road in Taylor to help homeless people … The Trenton City Council approved the purchase of new body armor for the three police officers on the Downriver Mutual Aid Special Weapons and Tactics team … An anonymous donor deposited three gold coins into Salvation Army volunteer bellringer Bob Arzadon’s red kettle on his birthday, Dec. 2, at the Southgate Kroger, 16705 Fort St. The donation was made at the same site where last year’s gold coin was donated … While Santa was the most sought-after person at Wyandotte’s Bacon Memorial District Library Dec. 3, Mrs. Claus and her stories, children’s crafts and a holidays shop were also welcome attractions … Following two public hearings, the Riverview City Council voted Dec. 19 to adopt an ordinance that would license recreational cannabis businesses in the city, subject to distance and zoning requirements … The fiscal year 2023 omnibus appropriations budget contains more than $36 million for Michigan’s 12th District, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell announced, spread among 15 community projects.