In February, at least eight residents of this Mount Clemens apartment complex were taken to the hospital as the result of a single-building fire. The apartment building was on the north side of North River Road, east of Gratiot Avenue.

In February, at least eight residents of this Mount Clemens apartment complex were taken to the hospital as the result of a single-building fire. The apartment building was on the north side of North River Road, east of Gratiot Avenue.

File photo by Alex Szwarc

This year in Macomb County

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published December 22, 2021


MACOMB COUNTY — If 2020 was remembered as the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, how will 2021 be thought of?

As the year winds down, here’s a look back at some of the biggest headlines of the year from the Journal coverage area, with a focus on Mount Clemens, Macomb County government and Selfridge Air National Guard Base. For more on these stories, check out our archives at 


The year began with a new Macomb County prosecuting attorney taking office. Peter Lucido, the former state senator from Shelby Township, took the oath Jan. 4.

To his knowledge, Peter Lucido told C & G Newspapers it’s been at least 80 years since a Republican held the office of prosecutor in Macomb County.

Also taking office was Clerk/Register of Deeds Anthony Forlini, another Republican. The political shift leaves the position of sheriff as the lone Democrat-held seat.

In January, ex-Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith pled guilty in federal court to one felony count of obstruction of justice. In March of 2020, he resigned from his post, days after being charged with 10 felonies by the state of Michigan.


At least eight residents of a Mount Clemens apartment complex were taken to the hospital as the result of a single-building fire Feb. 13. The apartment building was on the north side of North River Road, east of Gratiot Avenue. The fire left the building compromised, with the roof caving in. The 24-unit apartment building was a complete loss.

In response to the fire, over $12,000 in gift cards and approximately $41,000 were donated to help fire victims replace personal belongings and find housing.


On March 19 and 20, officials from the Republic of Singapore Air Force, or RSAF, visited Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township. Five members from the RSAF and six members of Headquarters Air Education and Training Command were on hand for a site visit for a potential student pilot training bed-down site. Later in the year, it was announced that Selfridge was not selected to host Singapore F-16s and F-35Bs. It was one of five installations considered.

Greater Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Mount Clemens kicked off its 100th anniversary celebration.

The Mount Clemens congregation held a car parade April 2. Rev. Dr. Tyrone B. Martin, pastor at Greater Morning Star, said the area of North Broadway and Colchester streets was one of the first communities where church members came from in the 1920s.


Former University of Michigan basketball player Austin Hatch was among the more than 30 speakers who participated in-person, virtually and on-demand for the Purpose Summit, held May 11-13 in Mount Clemens.

The summit was a gathering of purpose-driven thought leaders, business leaders and community leaders.

The summit was hosted by PurposePoint, a professional development organization that formed in 2018. Its goal is to help individuals and organizations across the world identify, communicate and fulfill their purpose.


As a thank-you to some chosen nurses from a metro Detroit hospital, Olympia Salon & Spa hosted a tea party June 5, treating the nurses to a luncheon and manicures while they enjoyed the spa suite. Six nurses were invited, with two attending.

Nurses were chosen by the hospital as those who went above and beyond during the pandemic. The two who attended have cared for COVID-19 patients since the pandemic began.  


In July, a preliminary examination continued in the state of Michigan case against Eric Smith and Derek Miller. One day in court included testimony from William Weber, the owner of Weber Security Group in Mount Clemens. In June, Weber pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner and agreed to testify against Smith. 

Also this month, it was announced that Mount Clemens’ marijuana business ordinance will allow for temporary marijuana events and designated consumption establishments.


From July 26 to Aug. 6, more than half of the 127th Wing at Selfridge attended training known as Exercise Spartan at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, or CRTC. Exercise Spartan was part of Northern Strike, one of the Department of Defense’s largest reserve component readiness exercises.

Also in Selfridge news this month, a few U.S. military aerial demonstration teams arrived at the base prior to the Thunder Over Michigan Air Show. Teams included the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the F-35A Lightning II and Navy F-18 Growler.


In her State of Mount Clemens address, Mayor Laura Kropp touted achievements from the past year. She said the city was proud to complete a comprehensive strategic plan, setting a path forward for the city. Kropp called the year one of transition at City Hall, with several promotions, new hires and seven retirements.


On Oct. 29, six-year-old Korbyn Chinevere spent the day at Selfridge. He was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a bone cancer, on Christmas Eve 2020. The day was made possible in part by Make-A-Wish Michigan and the Michigan Air National Guard. Chinevere’s wish was to be a member of the Michigan National Guard. He is now an honorary member of the 127th Wing. During the day, the kindergartner received a police escort, was given his own flight suit, toured a KC-135 Stratotanker, sat in the cockpit of an A-10 and more.


In the race for Mount Clemens City Commission, four people were running for three 4-year terms. Barb Dempsey and incumbents Laura Fournier and Denise Mentzer were elected. Fellow incumbent Wanda Goodnough was the lone candidate to not be elected. Fewer than 100 votes separated the top vote-getter, Dempsey, from Goodnough. 

On Nov. 5, sentencing in Eric Smith’s federal case was adjourned to Jan. 13. It was set for Nov. 16. In January, Smith pled guilty to one felony count of obstruction of justice.


The Discovery Center of Macomb was dedicated Dec. 2 in Mount Clemens. The center is a science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics, or STEAM, site for children grades K-12. 

The center, which was made possible in part by a $100,000 investment through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, opened after facing delays and challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.