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Man Charged After Death in Holly Bar Fight and More News Near You

There was plenty of news around the Greater West Bloomfield area this week.

1. Evan James Wells, 37, of Fenton, was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of a Highland man after a bar fight in Holly, Fenton Patch reported Friday.

Police responded to a call from Martini’s Bar & Grill in Holly Oct. 12 to find Ronald Smith, 43, of Highland, lying unconscious in the parking lot after the fight. Police say Wells punched the victim in the face during an altercation, causing Smith to fall backward and slam his head on the cement, resulting in a severe brain injury.

Involuntary manslaughter carries a 15-year maximum sentence. Wells is housed at Oakland County Jail on $1 million bond.

2. Farmington Patch reported that a 49-year-old Livonia woman who brought her daughter to the Botsford Hospital emergency room Oct. 15 at around 10 p.m. told police her daughter's black 2004 Chrysler Sebring convertible was stolen while her daughter was being treated. According to the report, the woman parked the vehicle in the lot north of the emergency entrance and returned at 11:45 p.m. to find it missing. 

3. Northville Patch reported that police cited a 24-year-old Ypsilanti man on Oct. 13 for shoplifting at Meijer on Haggerty Road while his 2-year-old son sat in the cart.

According to police reports, the man was seen by store security filling a cart with 32 bottles of Tide detergent and then leaving the store without paying for them.

When Northville Township police arrived, the man told an officer there was no one to pick up the toddler because his child's mother was incarcerated.

The man was ticketed for larceny and released at the scene.

4. Hartland Patch on Tuesday featured Alice Andrews, longtime director of the Hartland Senior Center, in honor of her work since 1992 at what is considered by many people the "jewel of the community." With programs designed to help enhance the lives of seniors, the center provides fitness classes, a softball league, a senior band and chorus and also an assortment of social opportunities such a regular card games and knitting groups.

5. Brighton Patch on Wednesday featured Genna Urbain, an 8-year-old third-grader, who worked to convince state legislators and the University of Michigan Board of Regents to honor the life of Willis Ward, an African-American University of Michigan football player who was benched on Oct. 20, 1934, when Georgia Tech refused to play football if Ward was allowed to take the field.

This past Saturday, after eight months of hard work, Genna attended the Michigan/Michigan State game with her family and saw Ward honored by the team.

Ward, subject of the documentary about his struggle titled Black and Blue, died in 1983 at the age of 71. He became the head of Ford Motor Co.'s ad hoc Civil Rights Division, serving as liaison between black and white workers.

Patch local editors Jason Alexander, Joni Hubred-Golden, Nancy Kelsey, Tatum Ryan and Nicole Krawcke contributed to this report.

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