2012: A look back at July through December

July
The Dearborn and Dearborn Heights chambers of commerce became one organization, the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce, officially on July 1.

The development stages included combining 150 members in the Dearborn Heights Chamber with 500 members in the Dearborn Chamber, totaling 650 members in the new chamber; a new segment of the Dearborn Area Chamber includes small business development.

Police looked into the death of 45-year-old Dearborn resident Hassan Jaber, whose body was found July 15 in his house in the 6200 block of Williamson.

Police, who suspect foul play was involved, responded to the city’s east end and discovered Jaber dead inside his house.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office said the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

Dearborn police arrested four Detroit residents on July 20 for a possible connection in Jaber’s death.

Charles Jackson, 26; Zelda Taylor, 28; Iashia Knox, 28; and Kristen Holmes, 28, were arraigned July 23 on charges of felony murder, punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole, and armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, both punishable by up to life in prison.

In November, the four were assigned a Third Circuit Court pretrial date of Feb. 1, 2013.

Dearborn Heights resident Dakota Davis, 19, was accused of shooting 46-year old Marvin Armour in the chest on July 20 at his house in the 26000 block of Powers and killing him.

Davis was arraigned Aug. 29 at 20th District court after he turned himself in at the Dearborn Heights Justice Center Aug. 29.

On Dec, 19, Davis was convicted of killing Armour at Wayne County Circuit Court by Circuit Court Judge Richard Skutt and was sentenced to four to 15 years in prison.

Henry Ford Community College business student JaRon Gist, 25, died after being shot July 31 inside Visible Change, a barbershop on Joy Road and Dexter Boulevard in Detroit; two others were wounded.

Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. and city administration chose Joseph Murray as the city’s new fire chief.

The fire chief position has been vacant since March, when Richard Miller was appointed Michigan fire marshal by Gov. Rick Snyder.

August
Dearborn police officers arrested the Rev. Peter Petroske, 57, Aug. 3, for alleged drunken driving and indecent exposure; three days later archdiocesan officials notified Sacred Heart Parish staff of Petroske’s suspension and Petroske was placed on an administrative leave of absence Aug. 6.

According to published reports, Petroske was arrested about a block from Sacred Heart on Michigan Avenue.

Petroske’s pretrial is scheduled for 1 p.m. Dec. 27 in 19th District Court.

The Hemlock Park Pool will not open after park-area residents rejected a 10-year proposal to pay for operational costs for a new pool in the Aug. 7 primary election.

Residents voted 369-117 against the proposal, in which residents would have been taxed about $70 a year for 10 years.

Levagood Park Pool celebrated its 70th anniversary on Aug 23.

Originally dedicated in 1942 as Seashore Pool, it had a sand beach and Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Longtime Dearborn Heights resident Joe Kosinski was appointed to fill a vacant city council seat during the Aug. 28 council meeting.

Kosinski, 83, won the seat with a 4-2 vote, beating out opponent Lisa Farrens, 48.

Dearborn Heights resident Nytia Dupree was found dead Aug. 30 in her house in the 7400 block of Nightingale.

Police found Dupree’s body lying face down in a pool of her own blood and her husband, Shonta Maurice Dupree, 38, was charged with first-degree murder for allegedly stabbing his wife to death.

Dupree was arraigned Sept. 3 at the 34th District Court by Magistrate Jeffrey Fanto.

September
The Snow Branch Library closed Sept. 2, because of city budget cuts. The library, at 23950 Princeton, opened in 1960.

The 12,000-square-foot building and the 25,340-square-foot parking lot cost the city about $250,000 annually.

A special primary election was scheduled for Sept. 5 after former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (D-11th District) resigned July 6 — a move that was estimated to cost Dearborn Heights about $10,000 in election costs.

According to a published report, the special election cost Wayne and Oakland counties and 11th Congressional District voters about $650,000.

McCotter asked to be removed from the Aug. 6 Republican primary ballot after he found out about a number of invalid nominating petition signatures.

The city of Dearborn Heights’ master plan is one step closer to adoption after a City Council vote Sept. 11.

The City Council voted to have the Planning Commission review the five-year master plan after debates about what department should lead the charge in handling the city’s master plan. The City Council has yet to adopt the master plan.

The Dearborn Public Library Commission is considering writing a letter to petition state lawmakers to add libraries to the list of pistol-free zones.

The issue was first addressed Sept. 14 during a Dearborn Public Library Commission meeting.

State Rep. Joan Bauer (D-Lansing) introduced House Bills 4438 and 4439 in 2011 that would expand a CPL gun-free zone to libraries.

A mutual aid agreement was underway between Dearborn Heights and Allen Park fire departments after Dearborn Heights councilors voted to approve the move during a council meeting Sept. 25.

The mutual aid agreement is part of a memorandum of understanding between the two cities for fire and EMS mutual aid services.

October
A 5-year-old boy died Oct. 5 from accidentally drowning in a swimming pool at the Dearborn Hyatt Regency (now called the Adoba Hotel,) according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office.

According to a published report, police went to the hotel after receiving a 911 call, and a doctor on the scene could not resuscitate the child. The child died at a local hospital.

The Rev. Terry Jones spoke to a small crowd Oct. 10 in front of Edsel Ford High School, 20601 Rotunda Drive, about Muslim students who allegedly bully non-Muslim students.

The Gainesville, Fla. pastor, well-known for his speeches denouncing Islam, stood among the media answering questions about why he returned to Dearborn and whether the growing Muslim population in metropolitan Detroit is a threat to America.

Shonta Maurice Dupree, charged with killing his wife Nytia Dupree on Aug. 30, in their house in the 7400 block of Nightingale, listened before 20th District Judge Mark Plawecki to testimonies during his preliminary examination Oct. 10 at 20th District Court.

Dupree is being held at Wayne County Jail without bond.

November
A new management deal Nov. 1, turned the former Hyatt Regency Dearborn Hotel — now called the Adoba Hotel — into an eco-friendly hotel.

The new management, Atmosphere Hospitality Management LLC, based in Highlands Ranch, Colo., is operating the former Hyatt.

A few highlights during the Nov. 6 general election included Sam Salamey beating out incumbent Richard Wygonik for the 19 District Court judge seat with 18,150 votes to Wygonik’s 14,020.

Brian Mosallam of Dearborn was one of two people winning seats on the Michigan State University Board of Trustees. Mosallam, with 1,777,008 votes statewide, finished second to Joel Ferguson, with 2,031,491 votes, for the eight-year terms.

Dearborn Heights City Councilman Joseph Kosinski beat out candidate Lisa Farrens 8,831 to 6,539 for a partial council term that expires on Dec. 31, 2013.

The Dearborn Firefighters Union, Dearborn Fire Department and Dearborn Firefighters Burn Drive helped send seven firefighters — Capt. Steve Worden, Jeff Powell, Michael Mattern, Mike Reiter, Adam Ferrel, Matt Ferrel and Chad Bronson — and two police officers — Cpl. Jason Skoczylas and Cpl. Lee Willmuth — to New York from Nov. 8 to 11 for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

On Nov. 14, the Dearborn Pioneers service organization disbanded. The group has raised money to give needy children presents in time for Christmas since 1922.

A state Health Department bureau confirmed Nov. 21 that 173 students and 17 staff at Annapolis High School, 4650 Clippert St., were exposed to the norovirus on Nov. 14 and Nov. 15.

School officials closed the school Nov. 16 after numerous students became sick and showed norovirus-type symptoms earlier in the week; the school reopened on Nov. 19.

December
On Dec. 7, The Michigan Department of Transportation signed a sale agreement with Norfolk Southern and the Federal Railroad Administration to transfer ownership of 135 miles of rail line between Kalamazoo and Dearborn to MDOT.

MDOT will install the tracks as part of its “Double Track Project.”

Once the transition to MDOT is final — which should occur by spring 2013 — Amtrak will begin track and crossing upgrades on the section of railroad.

The construction schedule is currently under discussion and MDOT does not have a start date yet.

The Dearborn Board of Education Dec. 10 voted 6-0 to make the Dearborn Public Schools a Schools of Choice district to help alleviate a projected $5.5 million deficit next year.

The board voted to allow six kindergarten students from any of Wayne County’s 34 school districts to attend Nowlin Elementary School, 23600 Penn St. The district will receive almost $1 million from the state as a result of the move.

(Compiled by Sherri Kolade.)