Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

An Exciting Week for Milan

I am so excited about this week in Milan. The Milan News-Leader will sponsor a mayoral debate Monday and the fair kicks off Thursday, with the fireworks on Friday. I can't wait!

The debate will see candidates Mike Armitage, Rod Hill and Kim Muckler square off before the August primary. Staff Writer Brian Cox will serve as moderator, our intern, Krystle Dunham, a student at Central Michigan University, will cover the event for our July 5 edition and I will record it on video and get it up on our Web site sometime Tuesday. We're hoping it will be an informative debate and lend insight into the candidates running for the city's top political post. The two top vote-getters will square off in November's general election. Mayor Owen Diaz has decided not to seek re-election.

The debate will be similar in presentation as the one the newspaper organized in the spring for the Saline school board candidates. Brian and Staff Writer Sue G. Collins did most of the work on that one, with Sue serving as moderator. It was well attended and we were able to post video for those who could not make it, but wanted to learn more about the candidates and their responses to questions before the election. That video is still on our Web site if you want to check it out.

After Monday's political debate, the fun kicks with the Milan Community Fair. This will be my first in Milan as editor of the newspaper. I plan to be there every day, capturing Thursday evening's parade on video, Friday's fireworks and the carnival fun Saturday. I also have a new intern, Eric Tomford, a student at Eastern Michigan University, who will be on hand one of those days to gather information for a story. It will be his first for the newspaper. I've asked him to talk to townsfolk, maybe write a story about those who live out of state or in another city but return to their hometown every year for the fair. Another idea is to interview the carnival workers about their life on the road and their thoughts on the city of Milan. If you see Eric around town, don't be shy. Approach him with your thoughts on the fair.

Friday's fireworks 10 p.m. over Ford Lake in Wilson Park is what I am looking forward to the most. Ever since I started in this position last November, people in Milan have told me how great the fireworks display is and that I have to see it. I am told it's one of the best in Southeast Michigan. I used to attend the fireworks in Ann Arbor while growing up and then the Chelsea fireworks when I was a reporter and editor there. Both, however, are no longer done because of financial constraints and liability concerns. The people of Milan are lucky to still have have this tradition.

If you plan on attending any of these events, and I hope you do, here's the run down:

Mayoral debate, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at Milan City Hall. Video coverage of the event the next day on our Web site, but not as comprehensive as being there in person, as we only will show two-minute slices of the event.

Milan Community Fair kicks off 6:30 p.m. Thursday with a parade downtown. The event will include carnival rides, live music and classic cars. The fireworks will start 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday is Kids' Day. The band Trilogy will perform 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Baby contest winners will be announced 7 p.m. Saturday. In addition, a chicken barbecue will be held 6 p.m. Friday.

Hope to see you there!

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