In the wake of the death of George Floyd, hundreds walked in Mount Clemens to Shadyside Park in June for an afternoon of discussion about justice and equality. The event was aimed at being a way to open the lines of communication with law enforcement.

In the wake of the death of George Floyd, hundreds walked in Mount Clemens to Shadyside Park in June for an afternoon of discussion about justice and equality. The event was aimed at being a way to open the lines of communication with law enforcement.

File photo by Alex Szwarc


A look back at top stories in Clinton Twp., Harrison Twp., Mount Clemens

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published December 15, 2020

  A-10 Thunderbolt II takes off from Selfridge in May as part of Michigan Strong Aerial Flyovers to show support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A-10 Thunderbolt II takes off from Selfridge in May as part of Michigan Strong Aerial Flyovers to show support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

File photo by Alex Szwarc

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP/HARRISON TOWNSHIP/MOUNT CLEMENS — This year will undoubtedly at the local level, and the rest of the world, be known for COVID-19.

With 2020 coming to an end, here’s a look back at some of the biggest headlines of the year from the Journal’s coverage area, with a focus on Mount Clemens and Selfridge Air National Guard Base.


January
The year began with the Mount Clemens City Commission deciding that a special election would be held in August for a new commissioner. At the special election, Wanda Goodnough secured the most votes.

At the county level in January, the question of should the county be a Second Amendment sanctuary county was raised by the Macomb County Board of Commissioners. The resolution read in part, that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is guaranteed as an individual right under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and under Michigan’s Constitution. In March, the commission didn’t entertain bringing the adoption of the resolution to the table.


February
At its Feb. 3 meeting, the Mount Clemens City Commission unanimously voted to offer the position of city manager to Donald Johnson. Johnson retired in the summer of 2019 as the city manager of Royal Oak and was one of six candidates to interview for the open position.

Also in February, more than two years after a regional nature center was originally announced, the Clinton Township Board of Trustees and the Mount Clemens City Commission declared their intention to get the project moving. The intended plan is for the Detroit Zoological Society Great Lakes Center for Nature to be located at Shadyside Park in Mount Clemens.


March
This was the month where life as we knew it in Macomb County, and the country, changed.

On March 13, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel announced a state of emergency to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Later in the month, then Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith was charged with 10 felonies by the state of Michigan. Charges centered on embezzlement, conducting a criminal enterprise, and official misconduct in office. A couple days after the charges were filed, Smith resigned.


April
Plenty of cancellations were announced this month, including the Selfridge International Open House and Air Show. It was set to feature the Canadian Forces Snowbirds in June. The next air show is scheduled for July 2022.

Selfridge also learned in April that it was passed over to house F-35s for the second time in three years.


May
Selfridge news continued in May with its participation in Michigan Strong Aerial Flyovers Across Michigan to show support during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the wing’s normal training missions, a series of flyovers happened May 12-13 in major Michigan cities to demonstrate the wing’s continued readiness during the national COVID-19 response, while saluting the Michigan heroes at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19.


June
In the wake of the death of George Floyd in May, hundreds walked in Mount Clemens to Shadyside Park for an afternoon of discussion about justice and equality. Community members took part in a meet and greet with members of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office. The event was aimed at being a way to open the lines of communication with law enforcement, a chance for people and police to understand each other, and a way to build a stronger community.


July
On July 10, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order requiring mask use in all indoor public spaces and when in crowded outdoor spaces. The state order noted that any business that is open to the public may refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a face covering, with limited exceptions.

In response, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office stated it won’t issue citations to those not wearing a mask. Police referred those wishing to make a complaint to the state attorney general’s office.

Also in July, the Mount Clemens City Commission discussed capital needs for the Mount Clemens Ice Arena. A couple million dollars of improvements are needed like new ice compressors, as well as roof and parking lot replacement.


August
In the Aug. 4 primary election, 60.9% of voters were in favor of a new bond proposal for the Mount Clemens Public Library, which would include renovating, furnishing and equipping the existing library facility.  

Later in the month, it was reported that an investigation into complaints raised by staff at the Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office in Mount Clemens resulted in terminations. The nature of the complaints were summarized as there being a “toxic” work environment at the medical examiner’s office. At least four staff members were terminated as a result of the complaint.


September
Eric Smith was federally charged Sept. 9 with one count of obstruction of justice. Federal authorities say the allegations are in connection with the former prosecutor encouraging at least two assistant prosecuting attorneys to lie to the FBI.


October
At the county level, it was announced Oct. 8 that Macomb County would offer a grocery delivery service for senior citizens. The partnership is between the county and Shipt, an online grocery delivery service. It offers residents over the age of 60 a free, one-year membership to the delivery service. The program is called “Shipt for Seniors.”

    
November
In the general election, Anthony Wickersham was the lone Democrat to win a county administrator office, as he was reelected Macomb County Sheriff — a position he has held since 2011. Republicans Peter Lucido (prosecutor), Anthony Forlini (clerk/register of deeds), Larry Rocca (treasurer) and Candice Miller (public works) were also victorious.

Later in the month, an online fundraising campaign continued for Mount Clemens’ Miller Brothers Creamery. The creamery, which dates to the 1930s, was reportedly on the brink of closing. It’s owned by Glenn and Tiffany Deceuninck. The fundraiser, as of late November eclipsed its $10,000 goal by over $2,300.

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