News & Notes - 8-23/23 Journal

Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published August 23, 2023

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

Gratiot Cruise has off year due to construction, rain
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The 20th anniversary of the Gratiot Cruise may not be one for the history books. The Aug. 6 running of the Clinton Township cruise was hampered by construction and unfavorable weather.

“MDOT is currently doing a $26 million rebuild of Gratiot between 14 Mile and Wellington Crescent, so that in turn had the road down to two lanes of traffic only,” said Paul Silvestri, director of media and public relations for the cruise. “A lot of people that would’ve come out and cruised didn’t because of the traffic, and then in terms of weather, it rained, so that kept some people from coming out.”

Despite the conditions, cruisers and onlookers still came out to the thoroughfare and made the most of the situation.

“Where people gathered, there was a lot of traffic,” Silvestri said. “16 Mile and Gratiot, at our headquarters and family fun zone, had a lot of traffic. There were also people gathered (and) parked down at 15 Mile and Gratiot at the regional shopping center; there was a makeshift car show down there that had a couple hundred cars parked. Overall, there were a lot of people gathering, having a good time.”

Turnout was lower than usual, but Silvestri believes things will be back to normal for the 21st Gratiot Cruise on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2024.


Parade of Lights has solid night
HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The Parade of Lights lit up the Clinton River for the ninth festive year as boats coasted along the Harrison Township branch of the river.

“We had an awesome time,” said Julie Angst, chair of the Parade of Lights. “Beautiful weather. It turned out to be really, really nice. It was a great night; I think a lot of people enjoyed it.”

Of the captains who took part in the parade, Jeremy Hall’s dog boat took the $1,000 first-place prize. Jared Syrocki’s birthday boat took second place, and Adam Suarez’s ghost boat rounded out the top prizes in third.

Hosted by Lambrecht Marina, the parade raised $20,000 from sponsorships for the K9 Animal Rescue Emergency Networking System. The next Parade of Lights will take place on the evening of Aug. 3, 2024.


St. Hubert Church hosting parish festival
HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The St. Hubert Catholic Church is hosting its 37th annual Fall Festival on the afternoons of Friday, Sept. 8, through Sunday, Sept. 10.

Friday’s festivities kick off at 6 p.m. and run to midnight with a fish fry and live music, featuring the Sound Alternative Band and its Motown, R&B and funk-influenced setlist.

Saturday starts at noon and runs to midnight with the highlights of the day being a cornhole tournament at 1 p.m., a Polish dinner at 2 p.m., DJ Steve Waddell from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., acoustic duo Panama Pat and Tijuana Tim from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and rock group Fifty Amp Fuse from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Sunday’s festivities begin at 1 p.m. and run until 7 p.m. with another Polish dinner at 2 p.m., folk artists Bob and Carl from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and raffle drawings at 7 p.m. Regular festivities throughout the weekend include 50/50 drawings, carnival rides, a tag tent, used book sale and casino games.

For information on volunteering, visit


Rabies detected in Clinton, Macomb Township skunks
MACOMB COUNTY — Three skunks in Macomb and Clinton townships containing the rabies virus were caught, euthanized and tested in June after attacking family pets.

Residents of the townships are advised to watch out for skunks and take caution for themselves and pets due to the possibility of localized transmission. Sightings of possible rabies-infected skunks can be called in to Macomb County Animal Control at (586) 469-5115.

While the only way to be certain an animal has rabies is through laboratory testing, animals with rabies tend to act strangely, drool excessively and are more aggressive toward humans and other humans.


Selfridge welcomes new commander
HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Service members and civilian officials welcomed U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Matthew Brancato to Selfridge Air National Guard Base as the newest commander of the 127th Wing on Aug. 5.

Taking the reins from Brig. Gen. Rolf Mammen after his four-year term as the 127th Wing’s commander, Brancato will take over what Michigan Air National Guard Commander Maj. Gen. Bryan Teff called “the last of the super bases, an installation critical to the national security of our country,” and the over 5,000 Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security personnel working at the base.

During his welcome ceremony to the base, Brancato spoke of the base being a national security asset capable of hosting a fighter mission alongside its aerial refueling mission.

“Selfridge stands ready to receive future missions as well as ready to execute current taskings,” Brancato said. “With all of us together, the nation will continue to see Selfridge as a National Guard treasure.”

Plans to bring an F-35 Lightning II fighter mission have encountered problems, most recently losing out to hosting a training program for foreign F-35 pilots. A plan to expand the base’s runway to the north is expected to make Selfridge more competitive the next time a fighter program is available.

Prior to coming to Selfridge, Brancato served as the senior executive officer to the 29th Chief of the National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon. Brancato has commanded at all levels of the Air Force, his last command being of the 164th Airlift Wing in Memphis, Tennessee.