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March 14 – 20, 2019                                     NEWS YOU CAN USE, NEWS YOU CAN TRUST                                                  75¢

         No. 11                                                                                    www

               THE BELLEVILLE          Excess snow days may impact schools
               Vol. 134, No. 11
                                                         Julie Brown                            ”                                Schools. She noted the state is
            The city of Belleville has                   Staff Writer                                                            likely to add three additional
          ratified a 3-year union con-                                                   We shouldn't need                       days to the standard six “forgiv-
          tract with the local Police     As superintendent of Van                    to add any time or days                    en” from Lansing already.
          Officers Association of      Buren Public Schools, Peter                                                                 “We shouldn't need to add
          Michigan.                    Kudlak doesn't take school                        to the school year.                     any time or days to the school
                          See page 7.  inclement weather closing days                                                            year,” said Naughton. “We do
                                       lightly. His district has had 12                                                          have some dirt roads. Mileage-
                                       closed days this year for various                                                         wise, we're not a huge district
                  THE CANTON           reasons, some due to building  the state requires 180 student  have been all right,” he noted.  but it still can be treacherous.”
             EAGLE                     power outages.                days and 1,098 instructional    Additional June days for stu-  Naughton and others stress
                                          “Everything had something
               Vol. 72, No. 11         to do with the weather,” said  hours per year.              dents and staff in Van Buren  school closing decisions are
                                                                       “As of right now, we'd have to
                                                                                                   could happen, although he and
                                                                                                                                 made early and with careful
            Christina Bair of Canton   Kudlak. “We have 88 square    make up three days,” said     others note the state may for-  deliberation focused on student
          Township has been named      miles. We have a lot of dirt  Kudlak, who cited Good Friday  give additional days due to this  and staff safety. TV and radio
          chair of the advisory board  roads in Sumpter Township.”   as one option. “For us, the   extremely harsh winter.       stations continue to air school
          of the Plymouth Canton          He and other Van Buren     worst part of it was the ice,”  “So far, we've had seven    closings and there are phone
          Giving Hope, Women's         Schools leaders haven't yet   when school buses are hard to  snow days,” said Janet       and email alerts, although the
          Giving Circle.               decided on possible makeup    operate. “If that would have  Naughton, communications
                          See page 3.  days later, with Kudlak noting  fallen as snow I think we would  specialist for Northville Public  See Schools, page 3

                THE INKSTER
          LEDGER STAR
          LEDGER STAR
               Vol. 72, No. 11
            Inkster Police Chief
          William Riley was appointed
          by the governor to serve on
          the Michigan Intelligence
          Operations Center for
          Homeland Security advisory
                          See page 4.

                  THE NORTHVILLE

               Vol. 19, No. 11
            Northville Public School
          District is sponsoring Parent
          Camp 2019 beginning at 8:30
          a.m. Saturday, March 23 at
          Northville High School, with
          more than 20 break-out ses-
                          See page 7.
                                         Canton firefighters battled an apartment fire last Friday night with  two aerial ladder trucks spanning 75 and 100 feet. A total of 16 fire-
                                         fighters and four paramedics were on the scene for 6 hours and 15 minutes. Photo by Matt Zmuda
                  THE PLYMOUTH           Apartment blaze displaces 8 Canton families
               Vol. 19, No. 11
                                            A fast-spreading fire at the  the first alarm at 6:18 p.m. on  in the township. Stoecklein  Northville,  Van  Buren
            The Margaret Dunning         Canton Crossings apartment   Friday, March 8 within 7 min-  said that the cause of the fire  Township, Livonia, Dearborn
          Foundation provided a          complex last week displaced  utes, according to Canton Fire  was accidental and could  Heights and Garden City.
          $20,600 grant for the pur-     eight families and sent one  Chief Chris Stoecklein.      have been the result of some-  “When we arrived, the fire
          chase of a washer and dryer    woman to the hospital with      The blaze caused serious  one burning incense.         was already through the roof.
          designed for firefighter gear  smoke inhalation, according  damage to one building in the  Firefighters from Canton   We immediately took the
          at the Plymouth station.       to fire officials.           complex which is located     were assisted by units from
                          See page 2.       Firefighters responded to  south of Joy Road near I-275  Plymouth      Township,              See Blaze, page 8

                   THE ROMULUS         Charges prompt contract review in Romulus
               Vol. 134, No. 11           Romulus officials are looking  at Taylor City Hall as well as two  tract with the firm.   Realty Transition partners
                                       into the city contract with Realty  residences owned by Mayor  “This is more of a proactive  with municipalities to purchase
            Dave and Judy Rakotz of    Transition after the company  Rick Sollars.                 step,” said Romulus Mayor     foreclosed or abandoned homes.
          Dave's Barber Shop in        name surfaced recently in a cor-  No charges have been filed  Leroy Burcroff.             They purchase the homes at a
          Romulus were recently hon-   ruption probe involving the City  and all agencies are cooperating  Romulus City Attorney Steve  discounted rate-often the sum of
          ored by the city council for  of Taylor.                   with the investigation, according  Hitchcock said his office was  any back taxes owed-rehabilitate
          their 50 years of community     Federal investigators raided  to reports from law enforcement  reviewing the contract and all  them and put them back on the
          involvement.                 the office of the real estate firm  agencies. Sollars has said he was  activities of the firm in the city.  market. The partnership allows
                          See page 5.
                                       along with the home of the    innocent of any wrongdoing, and  “I don't have any reason to  cities to proactively clean up
                                       owner in the wake of an investi-  is also cooperating. Romulus is  believe there's any issues with it,  blighted properties and get them
                                       gation into potential wrong-  not part of the investigation.   but we're going to sort through it  back on the tax rolls.
                  THE WAYNE            doing in Taylor, an investigation  Even so, Romulus officials  from one to the other to make
             EAGLE                     that prompted an additional raid  decided to look at their own con-  sure that's the case,” he said.  See Review, page 5
            Students from Stevenson Suspect arrested in series of arsons
               Vol. 72, No. 11

          Middle School placed in the     A man long suspected in sev-  shows the suspect running  igniting it with a flare, according
          top three of the Regional    eral vehicle fires has been   through an alley to flee the  to federal investigators.
          History Day category last    arrested and charged with arson  scene.                       They added that Diedo is also
          Saturday at the Detroit      in a series of blazes including  Nicholas Diedo, 35, of     a suspect in a fire set in his next
          Historical Museum.           two at a strip center at Inkster  Dearborn Heights, is facing fed-  door neighbor's BMW in June of
                          See page 6.  and Cherry Hills roads in     eral charges of maliciously   last year. Investigators said
                                       Inkster.                      destroying a building used in  police reports reveal that
                                          Surveillance video of the  interstate commerce by means  between April 15 and 22 of 2018,
                  THE WESTLAND         Feb. 3 blaze at the Inkster strip  of fire, or arson in the incident.  five vehicles parked at resi-
             EAGLE                     mall which destroyed five busi-  Federal investigators said  dences within a mile of Diedo's

               Vol. 72, No. 11         nesses shows a tall man pour  that tips led them to Diedo who  home were deliberately set on
                                       gas from a plastic container out-
                                                                     is also suspected of igniting a
                                                                                                   fire.  Diedo is also a suspect in
            The Westland Chamber of    side the building and then throw  fire at the same strip mall last  the fires in two other vehicles in
          Commerce will host the       a match onto the fuel, instantly  April. In that instance, a surveil-  December of 2016 which took
          Health & Business Expo       igniting a blaze that subsequent-  lance video shows a man pour-  place at a strip mall on Ford
          from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on  ly destroyed businesses in the  ing an accelerant from an  Road in Dearborn Heights, also
          Saturday, March 16.          mall.                         orange Tide bottle onto the out-
                          See page 6.     The surveillance tape also  side of the building and then             See Fires, page 4               Nicholas Diedo

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