News & Notes - 5/10/23 West Bloomfield Beacon

West Bloomfield Beacon | Published May 5, 2023


Doctor’s carriage restored and on display at the Orchard Lake Museum
ORCHARD LAKE — The Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society recently announced the completion of restoration efforts for its doctor’s carriage.

The carriage is on display outside of the Orchard Lake Museum and can be viewed anytime of the day by visitors.

According to a press release, on April 12, professionals visited the Orchard Lake Museum to reupholster the seat of the carriage.

They discovered that the wood of the seat was in good condition but needed some reinforcements.

Between the springs and old upholstery, they found a burlap bag from a company that imported oil-rich ground nuts from South Africa, the release states.

The restoration was made possible by donations from friends and family of society volunteer Christian Sonneville, in recognition of his birthday.

The doctor’s carriage was donated by Jerome and Gloria Robb in 1988, according to the release.

“In the early 1900s, doctors often made house calls to their patients using carriages like the one on display at the Orchard Lake Museum,” the release states. “These carriages were designed to hold one person who guided the single horse pulling the carriage. The tall, narrow wheels helped maximize the mobility of the carriages, so that doctors could travel anywhere despite weather or road conditions. At the front of the carriage is a dashboard, which protected the drivers legs from mud.”

The Orchard Lake Museum is located at 3951 Orchard Lake Road in Orchard Lake.

For more information, call (248) 757-2451, send an email to or visit


Gear up for spring with 2023 fishing license
METRO DETROIT — The new fishing license and regulation season kicked off April 1, so anglers need to be sure they have purchased a new license in order to enjoy Michigan’s fishing opportunities. The 2023 fishing licenses are valid through March 31, 2024.

Fishing licenses can be purchased at or by downloading the Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app and purchasing via the app.

The Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app, an official app of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, allows users to buy and store hunting, fishing, and off-road vehicle and snowmobile licenses and permits; report harvests; access guides and digests; and get the latest outdoor recreation updates.


Zekelman Holocaust Center receives $1M grant
FARMINGTON HILLS — The Zekelman Holocaust Center has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, according to a press release.

The money will go toward fabrication expenses of the Zekelman Holocaust’s Center core exhibit, which is set to be undergoing a complete renovation, beginning in June.

“The update will be the first since the Center moved to its permanent home in Farmington Hills in 2004,” the release states. “The new exhibit will center Michigan survivor voices in its telling of one of the most horrific events in world history, utilizing updated historical information, cutting-edge technology and modern museum design, media and lighting. Tours will align with best practices in museum and Holocaust education. Visitors will learn about pre-war Jewish life, the onset of World War II, and the liberation of the concentration camps through information, testimonies and artifacts that summon inquiry and contemplation, to help guests draw meaning from their visit.”

While construction is taking place the Zekelman Holocaust Center will remain open for events, programs and a temporary exhibit. The new core exhibit is set to debut next January.


JFS offers suicide intervention training
WEST BLOOMFIELD — Jewish Family Service has scheduled a two-day interactive workshop that teaches people how to recognize when someone may be at risk of suicide and how to work with them to keep them safe.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training is scheduled to take place 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, May 15, and Tuesday, May 16, at Jewish Family Service, which is located at 6555 W. Maple Road in West Bloomfield.

According to a press release from JFS, more than 12.2 million adults consider suicide each year.

The workshop can teach individuals about understanding how personal and societal attitudes affect views on suicide and interventions, provide guidance to a person at risk in ways that meet their safety needs, and identify key elements of an effective safety plan and how to implement it, according to the release.

The workshop is open to anyone 16 or older.

To register, visit

For more information, call Trisha Mindel at (248) 763-3809 or send an email to


Township reports increased credit rating
WEST BLOOMFIELD — According to a press release, S&P Global Ratings has upgraded West Bloomfield Township’s credit rating from AA+ to AAA, which is the highest rating there is.

The release states that S&P cited consistently strong financial operations guided by effective management, sustained improvement in the township’s debt, long-term liability positions over the last several years, and an affluent and sizable tax base as the reasons for the rating upgrade.

“The improved credit rating was assigned as the Township prepared for the sale of capital improvement bonds,” the release states. “The Township is now one of only 5 Michigan townships with a AAA rating. There are only 17 local governments (i.e., counties, cities, townships, etc.) in Michigan that hold the prestigious AAA rating.”

Funds raised by the sale of bonds will be used for the modernization of the township Police Department facility as part of the township’s ongoing capital improvement plan, according to the release.

Township Treasurer Teri Weingarden and Township Clerk Debbie Binder were part of the team participating in the ratings call and receipt of bids call.

“We were thrilled to receive 10 bids on our proposed bond offer,” the release states. “The robust response and the favorable interest rate are confirmation of the positive impact of the upgraded AAA bond rating. This … saves the taxpayers significant costs.”

The capital improvement bonds are expected to close May 16, the release states.

“According to the Township’s financial advisor, PFM Financial Advisors, the rating upgrade will have a positive effect on the cost of borrowing for the Township,” the release states.