At the Eastpointe Fire Department in March, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a $10 million investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies to combat the opioid crisis in the state. Presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg is pictured at right.

At the Eastpointe Fire Department in March, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a $10 million investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies to combat the opioid crisis in the state. Presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg is pictured at right.

Photo by Sarah Purlee


Remember some top stories of 2019 in Roseville, Eastsider

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 27, 2019

 Monique Owens, with her children, Kameron and Kayden, is sworn in as mayor of Eastpointe by Judge Julie Gatti Nov. 11.

Monique Owens, with her children, Kameron and Kayden, is sworn in as mayor of Eastpointe by Judge Julie Gatti Nov. 11.

Photo provided by Monique Owens

 On May 16, Amer Mongogna pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the shooting death of Luke Filary at a graduation party in 2017.

On May 16, Amer Mongogna pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the shooting death of Luke Filary at a graduation party in 2017.

Photo by Deb Jacques

 Eastpointe Deputy Fire Chief Nick Sage teaches students at St. Peter’s Lutheran School and Early Childhood Education Center in Eastpointe how to stop, drop and roll as part of the department’s increased efforts to promote fire safety in the community.

Eastpointe Deputy Fire Chief Nick Sage teaches students at St. Peter’s Lutheran School and Early Childhood Education Center in Eastpointe how to stop, drop and roll as part of the department’s increased efforts to promote fire safety in the community.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

 Roseville hosted its fifth annual Rosefest celebration in June, where Samantha Luchtman, 14, and Sera Rangle, 11, both of Roseville, took a spin on the Sizzler. A continuation of the community’s Rose Festival, which Roseville hosted from 1936 to 1976, Rosefest offers carnival games, rides and other fun attractions.

Roseville hosted its fifth annual Rosefest celebration in June, where Samantha Luchtman, 14, and Sera Rangle, 11, both of Roseville, took a spin on the Sizzler. A continuation of the community’s Rose Festival, which Roseville hosted from 1936 to 1976, Rosefest offers carnival games, rides and other fun attractions.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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ROSEVILLE/EASTPOINTE — With the end of 2019, residents in the cities of Eastpointe and Roseville are looking back at some of the stories that impacted the communities the most.

 

Eastpointe Mayor Suzanne Pixley hands the reins to Monique Owens
After serving as the mayor of Eastpointe for 12 years, Suzanne Pixley announced early in 2019 that she would not be running for reelection. First elected in 2007, Pixley took part not only in local politics, but has served as a member of groups such as the East Detroit Historical Society and the Eastpointe Lions.

Pixley handed the keys to the city to City Councilwoman Monique Owens, who was elected mayor in November. Owens sat on the council for two years alongside Pixley and is the first African American mayor in Eastpointe’s history.

 

Governor visits Eastpointe and Roseville
Both Eastpointe and Roseville got visits from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2019.

In March, Whitmer announced a $10 million investment to fight the opioid crisis in Michigan at the Eastpointe Fire Department. She made the announcement with presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg, whose Bloomberg Philanthropies foundation provided much of the money going into the program. Eastpointe was chosen as the site for the announcement due to the city and Macomb County seeing a significant number of opioid cases in recent years.

Whitmer returned to the area in July when she announced a new directive called “Michigan Jobs First” at LeCom Utility Contractors in Roseville. The initiative is designed to give Michigan businesses priority when awarding state government contracts.

 

Eastpointe gets new neighborhood watch program
After pushes by several residents and community leaders in recent years, the city of Eastpointe began a new neighborhood watch program in May.

The program was officially started by George Rouhib, who came to Eastpointe as the new director of public safety the previous fall. He said that following through on calls from residents to start such a program was among the first priorities he had upon taking up the position.

Since then, residents and police officials have both said that the neighborhood watch program has been successful and effective so far.

 

Graduation party shooter is sentenced
After a lengthy trial, 22-year-old Roseville resident Amer Mongogna pleaded guilty May 16 to manslaughter in connection to the death of 18-year-old Luke Filary at a graduation party in 2017.

Mongogna was sentenced July 11 to 12-17 years in prison for firing a weapon during an altercation at an end-of-the-year graduation party at a Roseville home. Filary was fatally shot in the chest.

Roseville begins revitalization of Utica Junction

With the demolition of an unused building at the intersection of Utica Road and Gratiot Avenue, the city of Roseville looked to capitalize on the unoccupied space and develop it as a public event space in what officials hope will serve as a downtown area for the community.

Long considered to be the heart of Roseville, the Utica Junction area was used for several public events in 2019, including the Art Stomp and Jammin’ at the Junction. Officials hope to further improve the space with several public amenities, such as benches and vendor booths, so that it can be used in more public events.

 

Local fire departments encourage fire safety
After several fire deaths in 2018 that experts said might have been prevented by the use of functioning smoke detectors, both the Eastpointe and Roseville fire departments made significant increases in their public outreach efforts in 2019.

Much of their work involved giving away free smoke detectors to residents and going into local schools to teach students more about fire safety. Fire deaths in Michigan were up in 2018, and firefighters across the state worked hard to reverse that trend in 2019.

 

Eastpointe becomes the first city in Michigan to use ranked-choice voting
Eastpointe instituted the use of ranked-choice voting for its City Council elections in 2019, making it the first city in Michigan to use the new voting method.

The switch to ranked-choice voting came as the resolution of a lawsuit brought forth by the United States Justice Department alleging that the demographics of Eastpointe made it difficult for minority candidates to be elected to the City Council. Ranked-choice tabulation allows voters to rank their choices instead of just picking their top choices.

Although there was some public concern over the switch, city officials said the new method was successful and voters expressed their satisfaction with the new method on Election Day. Incumbent Sarah Lucido and former Eastpointe Mayor Harvey Curley were elected.

 

Roseville Superintendent John Kment retires
After serving Roseville Community Schools for 51 years, Superintendent John Kment retired following the 2018-19 school year.

Kment began his career with the district in 1968 teaching high school social studies, science and English. In 1978, he was named the assistant principal and athletic director of Brablec High School, where he served for eight years, before being named the principal of Roseville High School in 1986. He was made the superintendent in 1988. Kment was beloved by many in the district and was among a small group of educators to have a school named after them, Roseville’s Kment Elementary School, while still in office.

Eastpointe searches for and finds another city manager

After serving as the city manager of Eastpointe for less than a year, Joseph Sabota announced that he would be leaving the position in July. This began a search for a replacement and the return of Ryan Cotton to the position of interim city manager, Cotton having only vacated the position nine months earlier.

In December, Elke Doom was named as the new city manager. Doom previously held city manager positions in Valdez, Alaska; Oxford, North Carolina; and Princeton, West Virginia.

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