News & Notes - 12/7/23 Novi Note

Novi Note | Published December 8, 2023

 Paul Whelan

Paul Whelan


Biden gives hope to Whelan family
President Joe Biden gave hope to the family of Novi resident Paul Whelan on Thanksgiving Day by acknowledging his absence and saying that he is not giving up on returning the Marine veteran to the U.S., according to a statement from his brother, David Whelan. Whelan has been held captive in Russia for nearly five years and has been bypassed in two prisoner swaps during that time.

“On a day of giving thanks and of family gatherings, it meant a lot for us to be able to tell Paul that people were still engaged in his freedom,” David Whelan said in a statement.

Whelan was recently attacked by another prisoner at the labor camp where he is being held captive, according to a statement from David Whelan. He said that Paul was working at a sewing table at around 1:30 p.m. Moscow time Nov. 28  when a new prisoner got upset at Paul Whelan and hit Paul Whelan in the face, which broke his glasses. The new prisoner then attempted to hit him a second time, according to the statement. Paul Whelan then stood up to block the second attempt, and other prisoners intervened on his behalf.

“Since the guards will not enter the workshop, Paul was at the mercy of this prisoner and had to go looking for a guard to report the attack to. Paul described the attack as relatively minor but has reported it to the prison camp’s deputy warden, and he has asked the prison administration to allow him to speak to (the) prosecutor’s office for investigation,” said David Whelan. “He is also concerned that these sorts of attacks can occur any time and, due to the various sharp implements in the workshop including the shears the other prisoner was holding today, could escalate into a far more serious attack. Paul is a target because he is an American and anti-American sentiment is not uncommon among the other prisoners.”

David Whelan said that his parents have shared the audio from their phone call with Whelan with the State Department so that officials are aware of the situation and can address the issue with the Russian Government.


Santa offering video calls with kids, not pets
Santa Claus will be making video calls to Novi children, but not pets, this year. Santa’s North Pole Phone Co. is working in conjunction with the city of Novi to connect Novi children to Mr. Claus.

Calls will take place between 5 and 8 p.m. Dec. 18-19. Each call will last approximately three minutes. Missed calls will be reattempted only if there is time after all calls have been made. Parents are instructed not to call back if their child misses the call.

To register for Santa to call your child, go to Questions can be directed to the email


Lifelong resident to offer insight into Novi’s historical holiday celebrations
Kathy Crawford, a lifelong Novi resident, will share her personal insight regarding how the holidays have been celebrated in the city since before it was a city. She is expected to share her personal holiday memories and some Novi history, as she covers how the holidays were celebrated in the 1930s to the present day. The Novi history event will be held  2-3 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Lakeshore Lodge, 601 S. Lake Drive. There is no charge for this event, and all ages are welcome to attend. Register at


Shop Small Pop-Up Market to be held at Novi Public Library
A small pop-up market will be held at the Novi Public Library 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 9. The market will feature a variety of  local crafters and other vendors for holiday purchases. Vendors include Ann’s Animals and Other Things, Kate’s Crocheted Creations, Led by Grace Tupperware, Homeglow Candles, Odd Stuff by Jen, Skincare Social Club, Tollgate Farm’s 4-H Club, Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea, Make a Mess, and many more.


Blood research company offering gift cards to donors during blood drive
Michigan Blood Collection will be holding a blood drive at its Novi location, 46430 Peary Court,  10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14. Those who participate in the drive will be given a $50 gift card to Meijer or Target as a thank-you for the donation. Michigan Blood Collection said the donations it receives are used only for medical research in an effort to find cures, treatments or diagnostic discoveries. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit, email