The Rock - February 2023

Page 1

Making the RIGHT CALL

Broadcaster Pete Krupsky takes action after heart attack scare

Theresa Yoder 734-751-0579 Associate Realtor 734-459-1234 Theresa Yoder is the answer to selling your Plymouth home! 26 years Plymouth resident 25 years sales experience tough negotiator Honest, transparent, and relatable, I make the selling process smooth and painless. I will use the same care taken when selling my beloved home of 26 years! Theresa Yoder 734-751-0579 Associate Realtor Call Today!

Chris Soutar

Scott Daugherty

Chris has lived in the Plymouth / Canton community since 1994. Some his local favorites are: Campari’s on the Park, Basement Burger, Mexican Fiesta II, Pizza Vino, Spoons Place, Central City Dance Center.

Chris has lived in the Plymouth / Canton community since 1994. Some of his local favorites are: Campari’s on the Park, Basement Burger, Mexican Fiesta II, Pizza Vino, Spoons Place, Central City Dance Center.

Office:(734) 524-2715

Mobile: (734) 765-8980

Scott has lived in the Plymouth / Canton Community since 2002. Some his local favorites are: Crow’s Nest (Canton), Golf at Pheasant Run Golf Course (Canton), Spoons Place, Palermo Pizza, DCFC Soccer.

Scott has lived in the Plymouth / Canton Community since 2002. Some of his local favorites are: Crow’s Nest (Canton), Golf at Pheasant Run Golf Course (Canton), Spoons Place, Palermo Pizza, DCFC Soccer.

Office:(734) 524-2773

Mobile: (555) 555-1212

(734) 421-7000 • • 32222 Plymouth Rd., Livonia, MI
Meet the Local Sales Reps in Your Community. Explorer Leases Starting Below $400/month* Escape Leases Starting Below $300/month* *All prices include a/z plan with all factory/conquest/renewal/loyalty rebates to dealer. No plan, renewal or loyalty slightly more. plus tax, plates, title and doc fee. Residency restrictions apply. Call dealer for details.

Local Matters!

Please consider a donation to support The Rock. Since we began publishing more than two years ago, our goal has been to provide our readers with valuable information about the Plymouth community each and every month. Your support will help that mission survive and grow. While The Rock is sent free to every address in Plymouth, it is not free to produce.

Local journalism is the foundation of this magazine. If you find it of value, please consider supporting it. Every little bit helps!

Please send donations to: Journeyman Publishing, 16435 Franklin, Northville, MI 48168

You can also make donations via PayPal to

Thank you in advance.

Advertise in The Rock

• Reach 21,000 addresses every month.

• We direct mail to every address in the 48170 zip code.

• Our locallyowned and produced publication is an affordable way for your business to reach the entire Plymouth market.

To secure space in an upcoming issue of The Rock, contact Advertising Director Scott Buie at (313) 399-5231, or via email at or

KURT KUBAN – Publisher



Kurt is an award-winning journalist, having served as a reporter and editor for several local newspapers and magazines, including the Plymouth Observer He has been a journalist for over two decades. He founded Journeyman Publishing, which also publishes The ‘Ville, in 2017.

SCOTT BUIE – Advertising Director/Vice President of Sales

Scott has 20+ years creating advertising campaigns for clients in Metro Detroit. After managing sales for radio stations for 17 years he purchased Street Marketing, where he works closely with a variety of businesses and events. Scott and his family have lived in the Plymouth/Northville area for over 23 years.

Brad is an award-winning journalist who spent more than 20 years covering the Plymouth community for the Plymouth Observer. He also spent 15 years serving his country in the U.S. Air Force.

JENNY PEARSALL – Creative Director

Jenny has been in the design and print industry for over twenty years, holding various positions in graphic design, print buying, production and print management. She also owns Bovia Design Group, a company specializing in publications and corporate branding.


Over the course of his four decades with the Observer & Eccentric, Brad established himself as one of the preeminent prep sports reporters in the state, winning many journalism awards along the way. His greatest joy is interviewing local athletes and coaches, and reporting on their efforts.


Larry is a metro Detroit area journalist whose work has appeared in The Detroit News, Jackson Citizen Patriot and the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers. When he’s not meticulously chronicling people or events, he’s avidly rooting for his favorite soccer teams -- Manchester United and Glasgow Celtic.

TIM SMITH – Writer

Tim brings a penchant for telling personal stories that run the gamut from news to sports. During more than 35 years in journalism, mostly with the Observer & Eccentric, he has earned numerous state and national awards. The Wayne State grad is a published author and rec ice hockey player.


Michele is a longtime journalist whose first post-college reporter position was at The Northville Record b efore moving on to The Detroit News. She is an author, researcher, local history enthusiast, and community activist/ advocate.


Wensdy graduated with a degree in journalism from Wayne State University. Her first job was working as a reporter for The Northville Record. Now, as a freelance writer and editor, she works for a variety of magazines, including The Rock. -Photo by Kathleen Voss

KEN VOYLES – Writer/Photographer

Ken is an award-winning writer, photographer and designer whose career has spanned nearly five decades in and around metro Detroit. He started his journalism career in Plymouth, working for the Community Crier. He is the author of two books on Detroit history, loves to travel and has finished his first novel.

BILL BRESLER – Photographer

Bill arrived in Plymouth in 1977 to work for the Community Crier. He also worked for the Plymouth Observer for many years. Bill, who taught photography at Madonna University, retired from what was left of the newspaper business in 2019 and now freelances. He’s happy to be back in the Plymouth community.

is strictly prohibited. Comments are welcome at

The Rock is a product of Journeyman Publishing, which assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information. Any form of reproduction of any content in this publication without the written permission of 16435 Franklin, Northville, MI 48168 • 734-716-0783 •
the publisher

‘We're the Good Guys’

When I see news accounts of people who died at the hands of police officers – as was the case with George Floyd, Tyre Nichols and others – I almost always think about the police departments I’ve covered as a community journalist.

And every time the same thought occurs to me: It’s so unfair that the officers I’ve seen in the various towns I’ve covered are painted with the same broad brush as those rogue officers who bring shame to the uniform and the badge.

It happened again recently when, on the heels of five police officers being fired and charged with murder in Memphis, Tenn., in the Tyre Nichols case, I sat down with Plymouth Township Police Chief Jim Knittel to talk about his plan for establishing a school resource officer for the dozen or so schools within the township’s borders.

“We had a rough week again this week,” Knittel said at the time, as we discussed the SRO plan.

Nichols’ death happened nearly 800 miles away, but Knittel felt its impact through every mile. Perceptions of police officers, he knows, are developed by what people –especially young people – see on television. TV shapes perceptions of everything, and this is certainly no different.

It’s why Knittel – and, frankly, the entire Plymouth Township Board of Trustees -- is willing to pay for the new SRO program for Plymouth Township schools out of his department’s own budget.

“We want the perception, especially with the students, that we’re here to help them,” the chief said. “We’re not the enemy, we’re the good guys and we’re here to protect them. Unfortunately some of these recent stories don’t give that perception. It’s extremely unfortunate and sad.”

It’s also why the township board approved the expenditure in this year’s budget. After the November 2021 shooting at Oxford High School – and similar mass shootings at countless schools around the country – board members knew it was important to do everything they can to keep students safe.

“School safety is very important for all of us,” Plymouth Township Supervisor Kurt Heise said. “With all of the tragedies we’ve seen in schools across the country…we want to make our schools safer. We think the schools will all benefit from it. It’s a great idea.”

He’s absolutely right. The township already has officers assigned to do weekly walk-throughs in each school, and this new plan won’t change that. When Officer Joe Smitherman, the new school resource officer, is added to the team, likely in March or April, he’ll be its new leader, establishing various programs that help educate students on everything from the dangers of texting and driving to the use of social media.

Smitherman will be speaking their language and establishing relationships that will foster good will and safer schools. He’s got the experience for it – he was a SRO in Alaska earlier in his career – and Knittel believes he’s right for the job.

“Officer Smitherman’s goal is to be an asset for the schools of Plymouth Township by providing coaching, mentoring, and education as a law enforcement officer to young people while maintaining a safe and secure atmosphere within the schools and home,” Knittel said.

Obviously, the most important aspect of Smitherman’s job will be safety and security issues. But nearly as important will be the opportunity to establish relationships with students that let them see officers as “the good guys and gals,” as Knittel likes to say.

“We want to establish that relationship,” said Knittel, who replaced longtime chief Tom Tiderington last summer. “We’re going to build out some programs, very similar to what is done in the high schools.

“My goal is that every student in our schools, both public schools and private schools, have an experience with this officer, that they know who the resource officer is and see them in and around the schools on a regular basis.”

Canton Township has established SROs in all three Plymouth-Canton Community Schools high schools for years in a program that has proven to be very successful.

Knittel wants the same thing for Plymouth Township schools.

“My goal,” he said, “is that every student in our schools, both public schools and private schools, have an experience with this officer, that they know who the resource officer is and see them in and around the schools on a regular basis.”

Brad Kadrich is the editor of The Rock. He can be reached via email at

In this issue 14
22 ON THE COVER: Pete Krupsky at USA Hockey Arena where he’s been calling games for a generation. Photo by Bryan Mitchell Northville Downs move could be windfall for Plymouth Township 4 Broadcaster Krupsky makes the right call after heart attack scare 8 Plymouth Chamber members have positive outlook for 2023 18 New School Resource Officer looks to foster relationships 24 Greek Islands era ends as owners look to redefine restaurant 28

On the surface, Northville Downs’ proposed move to nearby Plymouth Township would be a tale of the victor and the vanquished.

Yet Plymouth Township and city of Northville officials both see themselves celebrating in the winner’s circle with last month’s landmark announcement by the Carlo family, the owners of the historic race track.

After all, Plymouth Township gains a state-of-the-art harness horse racing facility on 128 acres at the southwest corner of Five Mile and Ridge Road, the former Detroit House of Corrections site.

“We are excited to bring our family business to Plymouth,” said John Carlo, Northville Downs’ owner and director of operations, in a written statement.

With it, the township coffers will get an infusion of so-called “breakage,” which involves money – often just pennies – derived

from rounding down betting payouts to the nearest dime.

For example, if a payoff is $10.23, the bettor receives $10.20 and the remaining 3 cents goes into a fund that is distributed to the track’s host municipality. And those farthings add up.

Northville received $180,731 in breakage fees last year, down from $640,000 annually during the early 2000s, said Sandi Wiktorowski, city finance director and treasurer.

In 2021, Northville’s breakage share was $214,203. The city’s take in 2020 was $113,501, which was affected by fewer live and simulcast race events due to Covid.

Breakage income offsets police and fire service costs related to Northville Downs and helps pay for public safety equipment and vehicles, the city’s finance director and treasurer said. Money collected also covers city council-committed special public

increment financing plan used to underwrite construction costs.

By 2034, though, Northville could see more than a $4 million windfall with that amount expected to increase annually.

By contrast, Plymouth Township will see smaller but immediate dividends with harness racing’s arrival.

The township could net $250,000-$300,000 a year in breakage fees alone once the new track opens, said Kurt Heise, township supervisor. Northville Downs at Plymouth Township is projected to open in spring 2024, if planning commission members and the board of trustees sign off.

The half-mile oval track will include a 4,900-square-foot open-air grandstand, a 23,032-square-foot racing building, a 35,475-square-foot horse barn and a 3,200-squarefoot maintenance building. An 18,400-square-foot patio in front of the grandstand will provide a standing area.

improvement projects.

With the track’s exodus, those fees and tax revenue – $113,116 in 2022 – will evaporate from the city's books. Northville's top numbers keeper doesn't sound too worried, though.

“Once the racetrack closes, that lost revenue will eventually be replaced over time,” Wiktorowski said.

Such confidence is derived from the mammoth $300 million commercial-residential development on course to replace the 87-year-old raceway at Seven Mile and Sheldon roads.

Hunter Pasteur Homes has received preliminary planned unit development approval to build 443 homes on the 48-acre site once the race track closes and moves 4.5 miles southwest.

The city won’t recoup lost breakage revenue or receive money for operational costs related to new development until 2032. That’s due to a tax

The first phase also includes a paved lot to handle 200 vehicles and a grass-paved area for another 200 overflow spaces. Surfaced lots are included for 28 employees and officials with 20 spaces adjacent to the horse barn and another 36 spots for trailers.

Northville Downs has 52 live racing dates from March to October this year and offers yearround simulcast wagering.

A proposed 53,800-square-foot gaming facility with a separate parking lot for 1,333 spots is included as part of the project’s second development phase. However, the structure and lot would require separate legislative approval.

Northville Downs at Plymouth Township could generate another $500,000 a year in tax revenue, Heise said.

However, that money would go into the Michigan International Technology Center Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Fund for the first 10 years. The MITC

4 | The Rock

redevelopment area consists of 800 acres along Five Mile Road, between Beck and Ridge roads, in Plymouth and Northville townships.

“We're basically looking for revenue sharing (breakage fees) plus additional financial guarantees,” Heise said. “I cannot get into what that is going to look like yet because we're still in negotiations with (the Carlo Family) on what would be the community-benefit agreement."

The project’s first hurdle is gaining PUD approval, which the Plymouth Township planning commission will oversee. The planning commission was set to meet Feb. 15.

The site is zoned industrial except for a portion along Johnson Creek on the property’s east side, which was rezoned to public lands in 2016.

PUD approval is contingent on the project providing a public benefit, and a pathway would be one example, Heise said.

“We've always envisioned a public pathway off of Ridge Road, going around the development, going to the south and going north to Johnson Creek," he said. "The township has even designated both sides of Johnson Creek as a linear public park.

"We want to lock that in by having them build a public pathway along the site and creek." Planning commission members

are expected to consider track lighting, crowd noise, traffic and hours of operations in weighing the Downs’ proposal.

Northville Downs Acquisition Company, LLC and township representatives will deal with

planned Northville Downs at Plymouth Township. That has spawned ideas of equestrian, polo, steeple chase, or other horse-related events perhaps taking place there.

The track’s development is also kicking up a stir in youth soccer circles.

The 350-member Plymouth Reign is plagued by a dearth of playing fields, which puts the club at a competitive disadvantage against teams in Canton, Northville and Livonia.

The club plays home matches at Lake Pointe Soccer Park on Haggerty Road but can't practice there due to wear and tear on the field. Instead, players ranging in ages 8-19 train near the Bosch Plymouth Township Technical Center, off North Haggerty

Co. bought the property from Hillside Ridge Holdings West, LLC in October.

In 2019, Hillside Realty Investments received approval to build a nine-unit research and design, office and condominium park. The firm laid the groundwork, installing a private roadway, utilities and drainage.

The pandemic and ensuing hybrid workforce trend made marketing office properties difficult, paving the way for the sale.

Northville Downs owners did look at other sites, including Legacy Park in Northville Township. “Legacy Park is not for sale,” said Mark Abbo, Northville Township supervisor.

specific events and financial arrangements under terms of the community-benefit agreement.

For instance, the township supervisor thinks the new Downs site could be an ideal venue for a return of the Fourth of July fireworks show, possibly in concert with the Michigan Philharmonic or a musical group.

The event was scrapped in 2017 at Plymouth Township Park due to safety concerns.

Heise sees other possible public benefits.

Several folks in the equine community – horse breeders, owners and riders – have expressed an interest in the

Road, or at Plymouth-Canton Community Schools’ fields when available.

The lush green race track infield depicted in design renderings might be one option for soccer fields, Heise said.

“If they are able to incorporate some field space into that design, it could be a win-win for the community," said Bob McCurdy, Plymouth Reign vice president.

Said Heise: "We have to make sure we get a good deal that really benefits the township, and that boils down to money and special events for the benefit of the community."

Northville Downs Acquisition


The owners of the historic Northville Downs race track are proposing moving the track to the southwest corner of Ridge and Five Mile roads in the Michigan International Technology Center corridor. The property had been approved for an industrial park. How do you feel about the Downs moving and do you think a race track is a better use for the property? Please email your comments to Publisher Kurt Kuban at kurtkuban@

| 5
The Rock

Growth Works was established in 1971 and since its inception has continued to provide clients with extraordinary support as they navigate the challenges of substance abuse and juvenile delinquency.

Our mission is to help individuals and families restore hope, embrace change, and improve their lives.


Expert Home Builders. Our passion for design and ability to find the perfect balance of functionality and aesthetics has been honed over our 30-year history of building gorgeous custom homes. Our Work Defines Quality Building. At Mike Miller Building Company, we exceed client expectations with our quality building services. We Create Gorgeous Custom Homes. Let’s Build Something Together.
• Peer
• Juvenile
Abuse Treatment
(734) 495-1722
Family Services
Recovery Coaching
Youth Assistance Program
Justice Care Management Organization
Chemical Dependency and Substance
Contact Us Today to Learn More!
Whole House Remodeling • Additions/Bump-outs/Dormers Open Concept Design • Architectural Design • Interior Design Structural Engineering • Production Management Software CUSTOM KITCHENS AND MORE! 248.697.6215 • 107 N. Center Street, Northville, MI •

In January 2013, longtime sports broadcaster Pete Krupsky didn’t have much time to pay closer attention to the symptoms of potential heart trouble.

He felt tired most of the time, and missed plenty of sleep, too. But he experienced an intoxicating rush of adrenaline whenever he put on the headset to broadcast another Plymouth Whalers hockey game from his perch above the press box at Compuware Sports Arena.

“The fatigue was always there and I ignored it,” said the 70-year-old Krupsky, who more than a decade later still is a local broadcasting dynamo –although the Whalers are gone now and Compuware is home to USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (NTDP). “The reason I ignored it was we had a really, really good team.”

Glancing down at a 2012-13 Whalers roster sheet, it featured future NHL players such as Vince Trocheck, Rickard Rakell, Tom Wilson and goalie Alex


“It was obvious we might have won the OHL championship and maybe go on to the Memorial Cup,” Krupsky said of the team.

Krupsky – in the midst of what would become a streak of 1,443 continuous Plymouth Whalers games called between 1997-2015 – carried on the rest of that season like the hockey gamer he is. He didn’t miss a single contest during the Whalers’ stretch drive, which ended with a playoff loss to London.

But soon after the final buzzer, reality set in that he needed to make a far more important call – one about his own health. Others across the United States might similarly decide during February’s American Heart Month to do the right thing.

“The next day (after the Whalers were eliminated), my son Gordon graduated from Oakland University,” he noted.

“I want to say the day after that I was cutting my lawn and couldn’t finish it, I was out of breath. So my wife (Twyla) said ‘You better

nearly eight years apart, Krupsky made important lifestyle changes such as increasing his number of daily, four-mile walks along trails at Lake Erie Metropark.

Or delegating duties at the office (where for years he was all things to all people in the broadcasting and media relations world).

Or deciding not to worry too much about why the NTDP – an elite-level talent pipeline which annually delivers players to the National Hockey League – was only drawing as few as 750 fans to games.

“It really was a lesson,” Krupsky said.


get checked out right now.’”

Soon thereafter, Krupsky found himself in the hospital with atrial fibrillation, often called a-fib.

“They (doctors) said ‘You’re close to having a stroke,’” Krupsky recalled. “It turned out I had a-fib, it was the reason I was tired all the time and couldn’t walk from my car to the cubicle without being out of breath.”

Atrial fibrillation’s main symptom is the upper chambers of the heart pumping uncontrollably fast and out of sync with the lower chambers. As a result, proper blood flow throughout the body cannot be maintained.

“They shocked my heart and they hoped that would rectify it,” he continued. “I got back on my feet roughly two weeks later and I was put on blood thinners.”

Krupsky got through that crisis, but had another one waiting in spring 2021 when he suffered a heart attack. A clogged artery known as the “widow maker” was surgically repaired with the insertion of a stint.

Between the two episodes

One thing Krupsky always had going for him, according to his family doctor Nancy Sabal, was a positive attitude and desire to affect change himself. He didn’t merely hope for medical intervention to keep him from future danger.

“He owns the part of the disease that he can control,” Sabal said. “Some patients are very external oriented. They want something to do something to them to make it better. A lot of heart diseases require something from the inside to change.

“Also, Pete loves what he does. He can’t stop talking about it. People who find something in life where they feel truly happy have a whole different set of biochemicals circulating than somebody who feels stressed out, trapped, miserable.”

Krupsky also loves getting out for his long walks in nature, which he likes to equate to his experience broadcasting games (he also has called numerous Schoolcraft College basketball and soccer contests over the years).

“What I’ve done since the heart attack is just turn it (societal noise) off,” Krupsky emphasized. “It’s four miles and some people say it’s boring. But it’s kind of like a broadcast. It starts at one

8 | The Rock
| The Rock

spot – just like a game starts at 0-0. But the view changes every couple minutes, there’s always animals running around.”

He tracks his walks on a smartphone app called Runkeeper and estimated he’s gone on approximately 600 sessions totaling 2,400 miles. Those numbers go up every single day, since Krupsky makes those long walks – without human company – part of his ongoing daily regimen.

“That’s one of the reasons I think I’ve done so well,” Krupsky said. “The walking definitely helps…but walking is more than just physical, it’s also mental. You’re out, the phone’s turned off except for tracking your miles.”

to continue favorite hobbies, activities, anything they enjoy doing.

“It is incredibly important for patients to continue to do what they love even after a health crisis,” Gearhart said, “because it helps them to understand that their medical issues don’t define their lives and can often be managed without sacrificing the things they love to do.”

Following both his a-fib event and the heart attack, Krupsky also did something crucial –he followed doctors’ orders, including taking all prescribed medications.

“Pete has atrial fibrillation and coronary artery disease (which) are often very treatable if you do your part,” Sabal said. “He’s been successful because he takes medications he’s been recommended to take. He doesn’t always like those medications, but he doesn’t trick himself into not taking them. And he never stops a medication without talking to his healthcare provider.”

Krupsky is on Xarelto, a blood thinner, and will be for the rest of his life. Patients with atrial fibrillation are at higher risk for blood clots and subsequent strokes.

Another reason for his solitary walks is peace of mind.

“I like the solitude,” Krupsky said. “Broadcasting’s the same. I work with nobody right now. The good thing about it is, if there’s a mistake I know who to blame.”


Having a trusting two-way relationship with medical professionals such as Sabal and Courtney Gearhart, the latter a physician assistant practicing cardiology, also is part of the best prescription to recover from cardiac episodes and enjoy healthier heart life.

Gearhart agrees about how invaluable it is for patients

Also on his daily to-take list: Entresto, Metoprolol Succinate, aspirin and a “super vitamin” called AREDS 2.

According to Krupsky, another essential “script” is getting sound advice and guidance from Sabal and Gearhart. They don’t sugarcoat the truth, and he appreciates that.

Mental health also is key for patients to not have to return to cardiology departments anytime soon.

To that end, Krupsky’s knowing he could ease back into the job at USA Hockey Arena provided comfort and encouragement. During his time away from the rink, players would upload videos with “Get Better Krup” messages.


When Krupsky did get back to business, his load was lightened with some duties shifted to other members of USA Hockey’s media staff.

“The way I put it is I might have lost a little bit off my fastball but I’m still getting guys out,” Krupsky said. “I’m still productive. They have shifted my role. I’m not doing media relations anymore. They let me concentrate on the broadcasts (all on-line, via”

Krupsky, who during his long Whalers career could be heard over radio stations such as WSDS 1480, WXBX 1310 and 88.1 The Park, still researches opposing players and teams before every broadcast.

Ever since USA Hockey’s successful partnership with the Schoolcraft Sports Network ended in 2019-20, that part of his approach hasn’t changed too much.

“I’ve been told, and this is gratifying, ‘Wow, it’s an education listening to you broadcasting games. You always come up with something I never thought about.’

“It’s not like I sit in a room like this and say ‘Okay, I’m going to study from 12 to 2.’ Show prep happens all the time. I might get up in the middle of the night and have an idea.”

And he still has a knack for injecting humor and witty remarks. During a recent NTDP

game, a player tapped in a backdoor pass. Krupsky’s description of that play was “He went right to the kitchen and helped himself into the refrigerator with the deflection.”

Krupsky’s timeless repertoire includes something he originally ad-libbed during a Plymouth Whalers broadcast: he personally thanks listeners, which in 2023 means wherever they are watching on their laptops or smartphones.

Many of those folks take the time to reciprocate, thanking Krupsky for doing all he does.

They applaud him for being on-point while pronouncing complicated player names. They are glad he’s almost a North Star in their quest to stay informed about USA Hockey.

“I’ve developed this audience and it’s a different kind of audience, it’s hard-core,” Krupsky continued. “These are people that know these players. Most (Detroit) Red Wings’ fans don’t follow this. Most high school fans don’t follow this.”

Whereas the pre-2013 Krupsky might have fretted about not getting a bigger piece of the audience pie, these days he shrugs and goes on to his next game. Staying healthy and happy are his top priorities now. Thankfully, Pete Krupsky aces both objectives with every hockey broadcast.

To hear Pete Krupsky call USA Hockey games, visit

The Rock | 9


medication 101 How doctors prescribe meds for your heart health

“When it comes to your heart, medications are prescribed based on your current heart health as well as your risk for future heart complications,” says Benjamin Swanson, M.D., a cardiologist at Henry Ford Medical Center – Plymouth.

“There is a spectrum of need—a patient could be on medication as a preventative measure

potential heart condition

(such as chest pain).

• You are healthy but want to protect your heart from heart problems in the future.

Medication after a heart attack

Your heart is at a weaker state and needs to be protected from possible damage. The medications you are prescribed allows

• ACE inhibitors: Help improve recovery of the heart muscle.

Treating cardiovascular disease

When you have blockages in your arteries, many of the same medications that are used to treat someone following a heart attack are used to treat cardiovascular disease.

Managing cardiac chest pain

If you are experiencing symptoms such as angina (chest pain), this could be a sign of possible blockages in the heart. Medications may include:

• As-needed nitroglycerin: Reduces chest pain by relaxing blood vessels around the heart while increasing oxygen-rich blood flow.

to avoid a possible heart diagnosis while a different patient could be on medication to help them manage symptoms associated with cardiovascular disease after having a heart attack.”

Prescribing heart medication

Your cardiologist might recommend medication for your heart for several reasons, including:

• You have a history of heart problems or are recovering from a cardiac episode.

• You have a diagnosed heart condition.

• You are experiencing symptoms related to a

the heart muscle to heal without risk of another heart attack or stroke. These may include:

• High-intensity statin: Prescribed to make sure your cholesterol levels are staying low.

• Daily aspirin therapy: Helps reduce inflammation of the heart muscles and prevents the development of blood clots.

• Platelet blockers: Block blood clot formation in the arteries.

• Beta blockers: Help lower blood pressure to prevent future heart attacks.

• Long-acting nitroglycerin: Prescribed if pain is frequent enough and a lower dose isn’t effective anymore.

• Calcium channel blocker: Prevents calcium from entering the heart, allowing the heart muscles to relax.

• Beta blockers: Slows the heart rate to reduce the frequentness of chest pain.

Factors that influence your medications

“There are instances when your heart medication may need to be changed or adjusted,” Dr. Swanson says. “Taking

certain medications over time can sometimes make that dosage more or less effective.”

Some other factors that could impact dosage or the type of medication you are prescribed include:

• Having had heart surgery or a stent put in

• Significant changes in your blood pressure or cholesterols levels

• Increase in your risk for a heart condition or the diagnosis of a heart condition

• Development of new or worsening symptoms or side effects

• Age

• Weight

• Diet

• Gender or genetic-based risk factors

• Other medications you are taking

If you need to change the dose of your

medication, talk with your doctor first. Depending on your condition and why you need to change dosage, they can advise on if you should wait until your next appointment to be seen again.

Henry Ford Medical Center – Plymouth is located at the corner of Ann Arbor Road and N. Haggerty. To make an appointment, call (734) 928-1600, or visit plymouth.

Heart medication for low to no risk cases

“When a patient comes in with no history of heart problems, they are often hoping to gauge their heart health and check for any cardiac risk factors,” Dr. Swanson says. “In these cases, we start by looking at blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as taking note of the patient’s age, overall health and family medical history.”

If you are concerned about your heart health, talk with your primary care providers about seeing a heart expert. This is especially important if you have a family history (in a first-degree relative such as a parent, sibling or child) of heart complications. A cardiologist can help evaluate your potential risk and determine if starting medication for your heart health is right for you.

Want to get started? Take our 5-minute quiz at heartquiz to find out how healthy your heart is.


“No more Sciatica down my leg.”

“I have full range of motion in my neck now!” —Hal, Plymouth

“I’m back to tossing again!”

“My arm strength is back—no more pinched nerve in my neck.”


“I’m back to doing everything I want now.” —Nancy, Plymouth

“I move better now at 60 than I did at 50!” —Lynn “I’m able to play with my grandchildren!”

Schedule an appointment today!

Feeling better starts here. Online or in-person. Livonia Novi (586) 991-3905 17940 Farmington Rd. Ste. 302 Livonia, MI 48152 41700 Gardenbrook Rd. Garden Office B Ste. 110 Novi, MI 48375 Interested in a career with GLPG? We're hiring therapists! Visit to learn more. MRI scan before & after SPINAL DECOMPRESSION BEFORE AFTER 734.354.0020 • 851 South Main Street, Suite #3, Plymouth, MI • S p i n a l D e c o m p r e s s i o n h a s h e l p e d t h o u s a n d s o f p e o p le a n d i t c a n h e l p y o u t o o
Dr. Adam Mashike Chiropractor, Functional Medicine Practitioner
C a l l 7 3 4 -3 5 4
0 0 2 0
—Brian, Plymouth —L. Walker


Canton hires ‘innovative’ Casey Bess to take over storied football program

Canton High has made a decision to go “outside the box” after announcing the hiring of its new varsity football coach Casey Bess.

And expect some significant changes regarding the direction of the school’s football program under 36-year-old Bess, who spent the past six seasons as Battle Creek Central’s offensive coordinator under head coach Lorin Granger.

Bess replaces Andrew LaFata, who guided the Chiefs to a 29-20 overall record in his five seasons as head coach. LaFata stepped

Orion Schools.

Bess, who set numerous passing records as a quarterback while leading Battle Creek Central to a 21-game regular season winning streak, has coached in the high school ranks for 12 years and served on the Bearcats staff the past nine. His father Doug, a Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Famer, coached a total of 30 years and was head coach at BCC for five.

During his stint as the OC at Battle Creek Central, the Bearcats averaged 30 points per game while making runs to the Division

Canton football enjoyed unprecedented success using the ball control, tight Wing-T offense during the Tim Baechler era (173-52 record from 1998-2017 with one state runner-up finish).

LaFata, a former Canton player himself, then carried on that tradition, but Bess will more than likely install and add some significant new wrinkles to the Chiefs’ attack.

“That’s the question everyone asked,” Bess said. “To be honest, I’m a spread (offense) guy. That’s what we ran at Battle Creek Central. But like I’ve told everybody else, I don’t even have a staff right now at this point. I still need to talk with all guys from the current staff and see how many of them want to be a part of it, filling in holes and putting my staff together. And once I do that, we’ll figure out what we’re going to do. There’s a million ways to skin a cat.”

After two rounds of interviews with a selection committee, made up of new Canton athletic director Kristen Farkas, school administrators, faculty members, along with student-athletes and parents, Bess emerged as the top choice.

down following a 3-6 season to be closer to home after accepting and starting a new teaching position last November with Lake

2 state playoffs in 2018 in 2022.

(Last season the Bearcats finished 7-3 losing to East Lansing in the pre-district, 24-0.)

“(Casey) Bess is known for his innovative game strategies, dynamic player development programs and unwavering commitment to creating a winning culture,” Farkas said in

a statement on Canton’s athletic website. “He brings passion and energy to the field and his players respond with their best effort and performance.”

Farkas also believes Bess has a proven track record developing

young talent on an off the field.

“Being a son of a Hall of Fame coach, football has been an integral part of Bess’ life,” she said. “He has a deep passion and appreciation of the game and a unique ability to motivate and inspire his players to reach their full potential. Bess’ dedication to his players cannot be quantifiable in wins and losses but is exemplified in the investment he makes to feed their souls and minds. Weekly dinners with his players during the season

12 | The Rock

are a norm. Bess takes this opportunity to provide guidance, support and engage in real life conversations that go above and beyond the field.”

Bess, who graduated from Central Michigan University, is certified in Physical Education and Social Studies and will continue in his teaching role at Battle Creek Central through the current semester while commuting back and forth to Canton after school hours until June.

He said he does not have teaching job with the PlymouthCanton Community Schools.

“They were very up front and said we don’t tie in teaching jobs to coaching jobs,” Bess said. “And I said, ‘That’s fine. I’m going to go with it.’ There are enough schools close by that do have teaching jobs that I can be at worst, I can be in the area and we’ll make it work. Ideally, I

Canton athletic director Kristen Farkas, on the new coach

area and we’re going to make it work.”

Bess’s family includes two young daughters, Cailee, 5, and Casey Jai, 2.

“In some way, shape or form, I’ll be there summer time when we really get rolling,” he said. “Family…we’re figuring it out to make it work. It’s all emotion still.”

The new Canton coach was born in Texas, but moved to Battle Creek when he was less than a year old.

“All I know is Battle Creek,” Bess said. “My dad was a longtime assistant coach and ended up being a head coach his last four or five years there at Battle Creek Central. I grew up at Battle Creek Central. It was home. I was back home teaching. I was happy.”

But for the last two years Bess was looking for an opportunity

would love to be at Canton High, so hopefully something will be available to where I’ll be in the building, but if not, I’m going to be somewhere close by in the

to become a head coach -- and Canton fit the bill.

“Two years ago, a friend of mine, a guy I know that I respect very well – gave me some

advice,” Bess said. “He said, ‘The best time to apply for a job is when you’re happy because the only way you leave if it’s the right thing to do.’ And so ever since he said that to me the last few years, I’ve been just following message boards and seeing what jobs are open throughout the state and I’ve applied for a couple every year, just to go through the process. Turned a couple down over the past couple of years, but this year when I saw the Canton job, that was a no brainer. People might argue that the DCC (Detroit Catholic Central) job or the Belleville job…but to me that really wasn’t open because obviously the transition there was natural.”

And so, Bess decided to put

his name in the hat for the head coaching position at Canton, which returns 17 juniors off its 2022 varsity squad.

“The Canton job was the best job in the state of Michigan that was open,” he said. “Just a storied program. And so, I said, ‘What the heck, let’s apply for it.’ They called me and brought me in for interview-one and brought me back for a second interview and then here we are. To me it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Great community. And then through talking to different people, to talking to my network, everything I thought just came true and how good of a program. Excellent school district and just a great place to be. So here we are.”

The Rock | 13
“(Casey) Bess is known for his innovative game strategies, dynamic player development programs and unwavering commitment to creating a winning culture. He brings passion and energy to the field and his players respond with their best effort and performance.”

Thousands turn out to enjoy 41st Plymouth Ice Festival

Braving the Cold

It’s not always easy to find something to do in the middle of winter, particularly on days when feels-like temperatures are in single digits.

It’s one of the reasons the Plymouth Ice Festival is so popular. With its array of activities and the beauty of the ice sculptures adorning Kellogg Park and the streets of downtown Plymouth, it’s a perfect winter activity.

Farmington resident Mary Neighbour comes to Plymouth every year for the festival.

“I love Plymouth,” said Neighbour, who was enjoying the sculptures lining Kellogg Park on a frigid Friday afternoon, the first official day of the 41st annual festival. “I love art and design, so I’m always impressed with the ice sculptures.

“(Ice festival) is wonderful,” she added. “I like how it brings families out.”

Of course, the sculptures weren’t the festival’s only attraction. Also available:

• Ice Throne, presented by Genisys Credit Union, provided the perfect setting for family pictures.

• Family Petting Zoo offered a hands-on experience with horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, alpaca and even a baby calf.

• The Hot Spot featured local vendors, businesses, product demonstrations, a sitting area and lots of heat.

• Ice Festival Bingo, presented by the Rotary Club of Plymouth, during which participants who collected enough stickers to get a bingo were entered to win a prize

from The Plymouth Downtown Development Authority.

The Bingo contest, sponsored by the Plymouth Rotary Club, featured local businesses scattered around downtown Plymouth.

Heidi Parent, the owner at Sun and Snow at Main and Ann Arbor Trail, said she participated in Bingo game because it’s “good for business.”

“It lets us participate in a downtown activity and gets people into the store,” Parent said. “That’s always a good thing, whether they buy something that day or come back another time.”

Audrey Wagner of Livonia said her visit to the festival with her kids – JJ, Ethan and Natalie –continued a family tradition of taking in the festival.

“It’s a fun family activity to do in the winter time,” said Wagner,

who as always got pictures of the kids in the giant chair sculpture. “There’s a lot of skill that goes into (carving), and the detail is just astounding.”

As they do every year, tens of thousands of people braved cold temperatures (although it got into the high 30s on the final day) to enjoy the festival.

Plymouth City Manager Paul Sincock said those kinds of numbers are good for Plymouth.

“The ice festival has always been good for our businesses at a time of year where there’s not a lot going on,” said Sincock, a native of Plymouth. “There are a lot of gray days at this time of year. The ice festival gives people something to look forward to, something that highlights Plymouth and draws visitors to our businesses.”

14 | The Rock
Photos by Bill Bresler
•Water Filtration •System Upgrades & More! Your Local Full Service Sewer & Drain Experts. 734.619.0880 •Emergency Plumbing Services •Drain Cleaning & Maintenance •Pipe Coating & Lining Services we offer: VISIT US ONLINE All Professional. Zero Hassle. A to Z.™ Must mention coupon upon service request. Restrictions may apply. $99 DRAIN INSPECTION 10% OFF BACKUP SUMP PUMP $100 OFF WATER HEATER 10% OFF PIPE PATCH or SEWER LINING 28525 BECK ROAD, SUITE 115, WIXOM • WWW.PARAMOUNTBILLIARDSLLC.COM • 248.880.1253 YOUR LOGO SINCE 1988 BUY & SELL POOL TABLES * BILLIARD SUPPLIES * INSTALLATION SERVICE * RESTORATION * MOVE * CONSIGNMENT * STORAGE ParamountBilliards A FULL SERVICE BILLIARDS COMPANY "WE BUILD - YOU PLAY" Wixom, MI 48393 248-880-1253 Reliable * Reasonable * Experienced * Insured – WE MOVED –Still in Wixom, just north of 96 right off Beck Road NOW OPEN! Stay tuned for a GRANDannouncement!OPENING High-End Quality New & Used Tables · Shuffleboards · Billiards Accessories INSTALLATION · RE-CLOTH · RE-CUSHION · LEVEL · MOVE · STORAGE · CONSIGNMENT

By their very nature business entrepreneurs tend to be optimistic. Faced with ongoing struggles over inflation and possible recession, staffing and wages, supply chain disruptions and, more locally, the ever-present issue of downtown parking, optimism still permeates through Plymouth business owners.

And let’s face it, for some having a clear focus this year on opportunity and success is a pretty good tonic for the worries and woes of all the above.

For the Plymouth Community Chamber of Commerce this year will again be about serving the city and township, both its business owners and residents. That’s something the chamber has done since its founding 71 years ago in 1952.

Today the nearly 700 members of the chamber–a surprising large group considering the size and population of the Plymouth community–are focused on more than just survival. It’s about hope and looking forward to doing business in a community everyone truly cherishes.

“We’re staying optimistic and trying to push ahead,” says Wes Graff, long time president of the chamber. “The positive is we’re in good shape whatever happens. We have an excellent quality of life and a great workforce we can draw from in this community. I’d say we’re going into the year in a good situation right now.”

Graff, who lives in Plymouth Township and has been involved in the chamber for over 15 years, says the organization is focused on being more proactive in a number of areas, many of which he spelled out as he was preparing for the chamber’s annual breakfast in January.

“Our business make-up encompasses many different sectors. No one sector dominates,” says the 58-year-old. “We are a good place to work and are seeing movement on the development front like along Five Mile Road and Ann Arbor Road.”

The challenges, he explained, match those mentioned already–work force needs, higher wages, supply chains, inflation and the potential for a recession.

“Getting people in the

workforce impacts all of our businesses,” he says. “But we have the right pieces here and have many great draws for people working and living in Plymouth.”


At its annual kickoff breakfast in January chamber leaders spelled out some of that optimism with Graff focusing on what the chamber is planning for the year and its strengths –connecting with people through social media, utilizing social media and the chamber website for communications as well as connecting businesses with customers.

Further efforts will be on the current events and programs the chamber already offers for members and residents, things like enhancing Farmer’s Market and making Christmas and Halloween special around downtown.

“We are advocates for our members and the community,” he says, “especially minimizing the impact on employees and employers.”

One of the chamber’s other

strengths is its social media presence, with more than 28,000 Facebook followers. Graff wants to continue leveraging that for promoting the community and deepening the connections as well as making people aware of the chamber’s vastly improved website with a robust database to help people find and use local businesses.

The chamber will also focus on volunteerism in Plymouth, education programs and continuing its highly popular gift card program. Last year the chamber sold $172,000 in gift cards for use with Plymouth businesses.

“That’s money right back into our businesses,” Graff says. “People love this community and support it, but we have to also have the products they want.”


During the breakfast this year’s chamber chairperson Dave Latawiec echoed Graff’s ideas, telling the group of 120 plus people present that while many are “bruised, battered and even heartbroken” better times are ahead.

“We want to thrive and not just survive,” said Latawiec. “Membership is up, we are financially fit and we’re seeing great participation.

Latawiec has operated his residential remodeling company, DJL Builders, in Plymouth since

18 | The Rock

1995. He wants his chamber leadership year to be about involvement, diverse programs and keeping current events strong.

Despite the challenges and changing way of doing business, he remains hopeful, especially since his own company is “booming” from people who want home improvements. Issues closer to home include the public parking in the downtown area, empty office spaces and small businesses competing against bigger companies.

“I’m very optimistic,” he said in an interview from his office. “People as a whole want things to be better and that can be a driving force itself. The world is changing and people change with it. We should be okay.”

The kickoff breakfast was held at Plymouth Manor where owner Sam Saad’s team offered their brand of Main Street hospitality.

For Saad the biggest challenge this year is the cost of food and

materials. He hasn’t had too many staffing issues and today employees include five full-time workers, plus rotational workers for events.

the pandemic, and our future bookings are picking up.”

Plymouth Manor can host up to 350 people in its ballrooms and sometimes does up to a 100

member. “We’ve had steady growth and mainly faced supply issues with getting paper.”

Kohn employs three full-time staff including new hires this year. His print service customers are mostly small and medium sized businesses looking for marketing.

For Kohn he’s all about growing by helping others grow.

“This is a marketing business,” he says. “Networking is critical in this community and building relationships.”

“People aren’t spending like they use to. Events are happening but they’re smaller or sometimes delayed,” says Saad who bought the event space in 2017. “We have lower counts for weddings for example. But 2022 was a good year, making up for

weddings or events in one year.

Farther south along Main Street Joe Kohn, the owner of International Minute Press since 2019, talks about a time of steady growth for his company.

“We’re very optimistic about the future,” says the chamber

The business community in Plymouth is what really shapes Kohn’s outlook, especially the tremendous support between business owners and the support of residents. Supporting that is the community chamber.

“The chamber is an important resource when the economy gets dicey,” Kohn says. “It’s a great asset and helps connect people. We have a broad base of industry types, everyone is generous and kind-hearted here.”


Hold hybrid, in-person and online business or group meetings effortlessly with our large screen, high speed internet, and brand new audio and two-way video capabilities.


Rooms can be set up in banquet or classroom style with either round, long, or a combination of both tables. We can help arrange catering, or you may bring your own food. Alcohol service is also available.



Perfect for large meetings, receptions and parties, the banquet room features a stage and dance floor, remodeled restrooms, as well as a catering kitchen and full liquor service.


The smaller meeting room seats up to 50 people for meetings and parties.

ONLINE ORDERING or call 734.455.4141 A Downtown Plymouth Favorite Since 2004 550 FOREST AVE, PLYMOUTH ( in the WESTCHESTER SQUARE MALL) • 734-455-4141 Monday - Sunday 11 am - 8 pm SCAN QR CODE TO SEE FULL MENU *Price is subject to change without notice. WE CATER EVENTS & GRAD PARTIES Visit our website for exclusive online specials! $500 OFF $30 or MORE CAN NOT BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER OFFER OR COUPON. MUST PRESENT COUPON. LIMITED TIME OFFER. ORDER ONLINE USE PROMO CODE: 5OFF30 $300 OFF $15 or MORE CAN NOT BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER OFFER OR COUPON. MUST PRESENT COUPON. LIMITED TIME OFFER. ORDER ONLINE USE PROMO CODE: 3OFF15 Monday - Saturday 9am-9pm • Sunday 10am-6pm 9545 Main St • Whitmore Lake, MI 48189 734-550-9500 • At Planted we take a more holistic approach to our product offering. In addition to several different types of THC based products, we also offer a full line of CBD (THC Free) products for humans and your beloved pets. Med + Rec Provisions #getplanted WE DELIVER FREE DELIVERY Plymouth & Surrounding Areas

serious. He’s about business. He doesn’t waste too many words, but when he’s talks, he talks with authority. And the guys in the locker room respect him because of what he brings to the table.”


As much as he’s coachable on the court, Crump has proven to be a steady hand off of it. He’s also become the team’s handyman.


Crump has been invaluable for Northern Illinois basketball program

Every basketball team needs its fair share of role players, and for Northern Illinois University, Anthony Crump is a guy who perfectly fits the bill.

When it comes to his individual statistics, the 6-foot-8 senior forward from Plymouth High won’t wow you. But he’s been able to bring a lot of intangibles to the table other than scoring to the Huskies’ resurgent program in the Mid-American Conference where in three seasons he’s started 60 of 72 games (through Feb. 10).

It might not show up on the stat sheet, but it’s his veteran presence that has proven to be invaluable as he completes his fifth year of college hoops.

“I’m the most experienced guy,” said Crump, who averages a modest six points to go along with four rebounds per game. “I’ve played the most amount of

Division I games…it’s really just doing everything for the team and trying to get rebounds, score and things like that, and keep everybody together just because I’m the oldest on the team.”

Northern Illinois second-year coach Rashon Burno inherited Crump from the previous coaching regime after Mark Montgomery (now an assistant at Michigan State) was let go.

“Crump is my guy,” Burno said. “I think he can be so impactful to a game. Because of his versatility, he can shoot it, he can drive, he can rebound, he can assist, and he’s a unicorn because of his size. He’s a guy that can still help us down the stretch and win a lot of games. And I’m happy that he has his confidence and he’s playing with aggression.”

Crump has certainly had his moments individually this season where he scored a season-high 20

points and grabbed eight rebounds in an 88-67 setback on Dec. 12 at nationally-ranked Gonzaga.

And in his homecoming game on Jan. 21 at Eastern Michigan, Crump finished with 13 points, including two dunks, on 6 of 8 shooting in just 19 minutes (despite early foul trouble) in a convincing 88-67 MAC victory against the host Eagles.

“That game was fun,” Crump said. “I had a lot of family there. I had about 30 or 40 people there, a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a long time and hadn’t seen me play in college yet. It felt really good and I had a pretty good game. And it kind of felt like I had the home court advantage. It was cool.”

After that victory against EMU, Burno reinforced Crump’s value to the Huskies’ lineup.

“Crump is like your big brother, he’s like your uncle,” the NIU coach said. “He’s very

“He’s low (maintenance) as it gets,” Burno said. “As far as maintenance, Crump tends to do a lot of things off the court. He cuts hair, he hangs TVs, he fixes batteries. Crump is a utility guy man. He’s one of my favorites of all time because I know he cares about the program.”

Crump’s father Vernon, now an assistant principal at Canton High after previously serving as the school’s athletic director, has also played a pivotal role in Anthony’s basketball journey. Vernon was a high school standout at Woodhaven High and then at Miami of Ohio of the MAC. He also coached at Dearborn Heights Robichaud High.

Anthony spent his freshman season of high school playing at Westland John Glenn before transferring to Plymouth after his father became Canton’s A.D.

“He’s played a huge role in my basketball life,” Anthony said. “Just seeing how good he was and how good he was to other people made me want to play. He didn’t really force basketball on me even though he was so good at it. He kind of let me know how to figure it out and play because growing up I was kind of stuck between playing football and basketball.

“I played football all the way up to high school, but in basketball he really kind of mentored me and showed me the way. He’s kind of like somebody I talk to outside of basketball, and with basketball gives me a lot of advice. We just talk about a lot of things because he’s been through everything that I went through and what I’m going through right now.”

22 | The Rock

“Crump is my guy. I think he can be so impactful to a game. Because of his versatility, he can shoot it, he can drive, he can rebound, he can assist, and he’s a unicorn because of his size. He’s a guy that can still help us down the stretch and win a lot of games. And I’m happy that he has his confidence and he’s playing with aggression.”

Northern Illinois Coach Rashon Burno

As a senior at Plymouth, Crump thrived as a point-guard under coach Mike Soukup where he averaged 20 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 52 percent from the field and 40 percent from ‘three’ while earning Detroit Free Press second-team All-West and honorable mention All-State.

“It was a fun experience,” Crump said. “I liked playing for Coach (Soukup). He helped me grow as a player.”

Because of his versatility, ball-handling and passing skills, the left-handed shooting Crump attracted interest from a number of NCAA Division I schools. He first committed to play for coach Nick McDevitt at UNC-Asheville, but following the 2017-18 collegiate season,

Crump appeared in nine games (2018-19) as a true freshman for Middle Tennessee making seven starts. As a sophomore –the 2019-20 COVID-19 season -- he appeared in 25 games with personal season-highs of 10 points (vs. UAB), nine boards (vs. Columbia International) and five assists (vs. Mars Hill).

But like many players who were afforded new-found freedoms by the NCAA, Crump put his name in the transfer portal after his two seasons at Middle Tennessee.

One of Crump’s former high school rivals, Trendon Hankerson from Novi High, was a pointguard for the Huskies at the time. (Hankerson, ironically, has left NIU after last season to play his fifth and final season for MAC rival Akron.)

“I just liked the coach (Mark Montgomery) and wanted to play with one of my childhood friends and it was closer to home, too, so that’s why I picked Northern,” Crump said.

before and was really close to my degree, so I didn’t want to transfer and lose credits again like I did here from Middle Tennessee,” he said.


And because of the COVID-19 season where all NCAA players were granted a free year of eligibility, Crump could come back and play a sixth and final season in 2023-24 at NIU.

“I don’t know what my decision is,” he said. “Right now, I’m focusing on the season right now. I haven’t even thought that far ahead.”

With Northern Illinois – 10-15 overall and 6-5 in MAC play (as of Feb. 10) -- making a late season surge, Crump is excited about the team’s improvement and development following a 9-21 and 6-14 campaign in 2021-22 (where Crump posted a doubledouble 11-point, 11-rebound game vs. Washington).

MAC (86-76 vs. Kent State).”

But whatever transpires during the latter stages of his college basketball career, Crump will continue to focus on his role, play the game the right way and sacrifice for the greater good of the team.

“It’s a little bit of everything,” Crump said. “I feel like I’m a real skilled player. My dad kind of focused on the basics – passing, rebounding and shooting. You’ve got to be able to do a little bit of everything to be a great player. I’m just really trying to sharpen up my skills in each aspect to improve my overall game.”

Crump quickly changed gears and followed McDevitt to Middle Tennessee State where he signed an NCAA letter of intent.

Crump, who graduates this spring with a degree in General Studies and a minor in Sports Management, decided he wanted to stick it out at NIU despite the coaching change.

“I had transferred the year

“This year’s team is different than last year’s team,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of new guys. We’ve got a lot of young guards, but we play together. We play good together both offensively and defensively. That’s why we beat the number one team in the

Whether it’s next season or the year after, Crump would like to continue his hoops career overseas.

“Right now, I’m just trying to focus on being a professional ball player and whatever happens after that…I kind of want to stay in sports,” he said. “My dad was an athletic director, so I wouldn’t mind doing something like that. But right now, I’m just trying basketball as long as I can.”

The Rock | 23

Police Chief Jim Knittel knows that, despite the fact they happened hundreds of miles outside the borders of Plymouth Township, incidents such as the deaths at the hands of police officers of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tenn., hurts the reputations of law enforcement officials everywhere.

And he more firmly believes the township has a solution that will go a long way toward repairing the damage.

Beginning as soon as this spring, the Plymouth Township Police Department will deploy a School Resource Officer who will engage with students in nearly a dozen public, private and charter schools in the township.

To fill that post, Knittel has turned to veteran township Officer Joe Smitherman, who joined the department in June 2013 and has worked as a patrol officer and detective. His background is relevant because, as a detective, Smitherman specialized in juvenile matters


School Resource Officer to foster relationships in township schools

and worked closely with the schools inside Plymouth Township to provide education and law enforcement.

Smitherman began his career in March 2011 as a police officer with the City of Ketchikan, Alaska, where he attended a Basic School Resource Officer course hosted by the National Association of School Resource Officers and served as an SRO for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District.

In Plymouth Township, Smitherman is a Field Training Officer, Firearms Instructor, and Taser Instructor. When he’s not on duty, Smitherman serves as an Emergency Vehicle Operations Instructor at the Wayne County Regional Police Academy instructing future generations of police officers.

“Officer Smitherman’s goal is to be an asset for the schools of Plymouth Township by providing coaching, mentoring, and education as a law enforcement officer to young people while maintaining a safe and secure atmosphere within the schools

and home,” Knittel said.

“Having been a school liaison officer before, I already know the principals of the schools in Plymouth Township,” Smitherman said. “I have attended lock-down drills at the schools and participated in after school functions. I have also been in the schools when a law enforcement action was necessary; during those times, I showed my ability to make the right decisions in those sensitive moments.”

According to Knittel, Smitherman is going to work “most importantly” on safety and security issues related to the schools. The second piece is going to be working with the schools and fostering a positive relationship with the students, the teachers and the staff so everybody “knows we’re the good guys and good gals here, we’re on their side.”

“We want to establish that relationship,” said Knittel, who replaced longtime chief Tom Tiderington in June. “We’re going to build out some programs, very similar to what we do in the high schools, around social media,

distracted driving, alcohol and drug awareness, things like that.

“My goal is that every student in our schools, both public schools and private schools, have an experience with this officer, that they know who the resource officer is and see them in and around the schools on a regular basis.”

The program will be paid for by Plymouth Township, a departure from how it’s done at the high school level. Canton Township provides a resource officer at each of the PlymouthCanton Community Schools high schools – all of which are located in Canton – but the district pays them for those officers.

Plymouth Township’s Board of Trustees approved the funding for the new SRO position for township schools when it approved its budget in December.

Township Supervisor Kurt Heise thinks it’s a solid investment.

“School safety is very important for all of us,” Heise said. “With all of the tragedies we’ve seen in schools across

24 | The Rock

the country…we want to make our schools safer. We think the schools will all benefit from it. It’s a great idea.”

As the Plymouth Township SRO, Smitherman will head up an already-existing program of police officers assigned to each school now. Those officers will still be responsible for each school – they do a walk-through once a week – and Smitherman will be like a team leader, Knittel said.

Knittel said programs such as the new SRO are especially important in the current climate. Five Memphis police officers were recently charged in the beating death of Nichols – “We

had a rough week again this week,” Knittel said at the time – making the opportunity to change the public’s perspective of law enforcement all the more important.

“My feeling is that every interaction is an opportunity to change someone’s perspective of police officers and law enforcement,” Knittel said.

“Sometimes the focus unfortunately is that ‘it’s the police in the schools, they’re going to arrest people.’

“We’re going to take safety measures when we have to, but 99% of the time it’s going to be that positive interaction so that

students know who (Smitherman) is, just like with the officers who walk through the school every week,” he added. “We want the perception, especially with the students, that we’re here to help them. We’re not the enemy, we’re the good guys and we’re here to protect them. Unfortunately some of these recent stories don’t give that perception. It’s extremely unfortunate and sad.”

Smitherman hopes his presence in the schools helps change all of that.

“Through the SRO position I hope to enter into a partnership with the Plymouth Township community that builds

confidence and trust in the police,” he said. “Through daily interactions with students, I will show that police officers are people, too. Police officers laugh, make jokes, have bad days, and have good days. We shop at the same stores and eat at the same restaurants as the community we serve because we are a part of it. It takes time to build trust and confidence in one another, I plan to work on that every day. In the 2023-2024 school year, my goal is to be seen as a trusted resource that students and staff can talk to while maintaining a safe and secure atmosphere.”

We Understand Commitment

At Edward Jones, we deliver candid guidance and personalized investment strategies to help you plan for and realize the possibilities of your future – for you, your family and generations to follow.

“Officer (Joe) Smitherman’s goal is to be an asset for the schools of Plymouth Township by providing coaching, mentoring, and education as a law enforcement officer to young people while maintaining a safe and secure atmosphere within the schools and home.”
Plymouth Township Police Chief Jim Knittel
248-681-9200 • IT IS MORE THAN A NAME, IT IS A REPUTATION. Coming Soon! HIGHLAND 2920 E. Highland Rd., Highland • 248.887.9900 MILFORD 130 S. Milford Rd., Milford • 248.684.9626 Your Next Step To A Better Business Customer Focused, Community Based FINANCIAL CENTER 1150 Corporate Dr., Ste. 100, Milford • 248.387.6080
Looking to grow your business? We have the products and solutions designed to help you take that next step. With over 65 years of combined experience, Ingrid and Darren are ready to point you in the right direction. Darren R. LaLonde advisors A Certified Public Accounting Firm The tax law has changed again for both 2022 and 2023. Let us help you navigate the changes: • Child Tax Credits • Child Care Credits • Expanded Energy Property Credits • New Regulations on Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) • 2023 Tax Planning And More! 875 S. Main St. · Plymouth, Michigan 48170 • Accounting & Payroll • Business Startup & Formation • Consulting • Estates & Trusts • Financial Advisory Services • Mergers & Acquisitions • Tax Preparation Call to speak with a tax professional or to schedule an appointment 734.454.4100 “SERVING THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE NUMBERS”
Ingrid Runnion

Although Greek Islands

Eatery is closed, its owners are cooking up something fresh for downtown Plymouth’s vibrant restaurant scene.

Co-owner Stefan Stefanakis confirmed Greek Islands has served its last meal after a successful 10-year run. But he and business partner Jimmy Merdani are gearing up for the spring opening of a still-unnamed restaurant, one which will provide a “casual chic” dining experience.

Stefanakis said they recently started the demo work as they are “looking to redefine” the restaurant.

“The concept behind it is more of a casual chic place with a big cocktail bar,” Stefanakis said.

According to Stefanakis, it was tough to pull the plug on Greek Islands. But he underscored it is time to switch things up at 306 S. Main Street.

“It was definitely just a business decision,” Stefanakis said. “Also the fact that as trends change we’re just looking to keep up with the times and open something new.

“The 10 years I had at Greek Islands was great, it was fun,” he added. “It was definitely successful, but I’m just looking to broaden our horizons.”

Sam Plymale, director of the Plymouth Downtown Development Authority, said the

owners have gone through the planning commission for various approvals and that there should be few if any problems with the transition.

“It’s my understanding they are trying to do an upscale concept,” Plymale said. “They haven’t revealed what the menu’s going to be like. But it sounds like more of a casual fine-dining concept. The restaurants all do well down here. We’re not really adding another restaurant.”

The DDA’s Facebook page revealed there are some longtime customers who are sorry to see

Islands. But there’s other options like that down here.”

Plymale recommended breakfast lovers check out the Omelette & Waffle Café on Forest. Patrons also can go to, click on the restaurants tab and find out about all the various eating options in town.

Stefanakis, however, said the feedback he’s received has generally been positive, although he conceded “a lot of people are definitely going to miss Greek Islands” with its versatile menu of coneys, burgers, wraps, salads

calls back to the “roaring” 1920s. The Ebenezer is located at 305 Fleet Street under the Greek Islands site, in the basement of the former First National Bank of Plymouth.

“We’re going to have a good date night upstairs and people can always transition downstairs (to Ebenezer) for a late-night cocktail,” Stefanakis said. “It will be one (business) feeding off the other.”

The Ebenezer – named after Ebenezer J. Penniman, the original president of the First National Bank – will remain open for the most part while the Greek Islands Eatery makeover ensues, although the underground spot probably will need to briefly shut down for a few days during construction, he added.

“We do have to run some plumbing,” Stefanakis explained. “We might possibly have to close for three days.”

Greek Islands sail away into the restaurant sunset.

“It’s been kind of a mixed bag (about the closing),” Plymale said. “We shared some information on our Facebook page about it. Opinions have been all across the board. A lot of people may have taken their kids there and it was a cheaper option when it was Greek

and specialty dishes such as moussaka and pastitsio.

But he is excited about what the next chapter will bring. The new restaurant currently is expected to open in April or May.

He emphasized a tantalizing twist: the new restaurant will pair nicely with his Ebenezer speakeasy – a hidden gem which

Meanwhile, Stefanakis plans to emphasize Plymouth’s storied past while looking forward to its future.

“We’re in the process of looking to put the old bank name up at the top of the building,” Stefanakis continued. “It’s been removed for years. We’re just looking to put it back on there, just to bring out the historical value.”

28 | The Rock
“It’s my understanding they are trying to do an upscale concept. They haven’t revealed what the menu’s going to be like. But it sounds like more of a casual fine-dining concept.”
Sam Plymale DDA director, on the new concept planned for the Greek Islands site
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID RAVENNA, MI PERMIT NO. 320 *****************ECRWSS**** POSTAL CUSTOMER Corner of Ann Arbor Road and N. Haggerty
We believe all your healthcare solutions should live where you do. Introducing expanded cardiology services at Henry Ford Medical Center – Plymouth.
you live in Plymouth or nearby, we’re proud to bring world-class specialty care closer to you, including cardiology, orthopaedics and neurology. Our facility was built just for you. And it’s just minutes down the road. See a full list of services at
Akshay Khandelwal, M.D. Interventional cardiologist
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.