Inside the Newsroom

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

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Reporter Speaks on The Reporter

Reporter Sue G. Collins spoke March 27 to a group of fifth-graders at Heritage School in Saline. A five-minute video of her 40-minute talk can be viewed at

I was so proud of the job Sue did representing the newspaper and inspiring students to become writers. She encouraged the students and their families to get involved in their community newspaper by submitting story ideas and photographs, which we, as a staff, have been advocating since November, when we held focus groups in the Saline and Milan communities.

Sue managed to capture the children's attention the entire time she spoke. She engaged them with questions and fed them Smarties, telling them that they're all "smarties." Sue connected with the kids and got them interested in the newspaper, which is what we need for The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader to survive and continue chronicling the history, decisions, events and people who shape Saline and Milan.

At the end, Sue passed out coupons for students or their families to get a $10 Meijer gift card if they subscribed to the newspaper for a year. While she advertised it as a special for the class, it's really for all new subscribers. I encourage anyone reading this blog and only getting their local news online to take advantage of this offer. The print product provides more content, including lots of photos of people and events going on in the community.

For her efforts, I say thank you to Sue for her community outreach. Hopefully, she has inspired a future journalist or writer or, at the very least, encouraged a child to pick up the newspaper and learn more about his or her community.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Shop downtown, I dare you.

All right all you Saline friends.
I've had it with people driving out of town to shop. Gas is crazy expensive.
We have so many options here.
If you haven't taken 15 minutes to park and look through the shops downtown Saline, do it. NOW. This weekend. Over Spring Break. Come on.
Do you like where you live? Then shop and eat here. What's stopping you? (there's no excuse, sorry pals). Add your favorites to my list when you blog in.

A - Artisan breads by Steve at Benny's Bakery. Olive Oil, fresh herbs, big city bread right here.

B- books for children, early readers, chapter books, Michigan coffee table books at Calico Cat

C - Cookies, fresh baked, chewy, amazing from Ed's Bread, now with retail hours on W. Mich Ave

D - diamonds- cleaned, designed, appraised at Accent Jewelery

E- Every good head deserves a good barber. Downtown has Four. Yep, four. EZ in, EZ out.

F-fragrant body creams, soaps, room sprays at Calico Cat, Cobblestone Rose or Pineapple House

G- games for kids, arcade games, indoor playstructure at Beanstalks. Rainy days, any day.

H-hamburgers at Brecon Grille. Nice beers on tap. Smoke-free booths.

I-ice cream, anytime, from Drowsy Parrot, My Favorite Cafe, Downtown Diner

J-jelly filled doughnuts, Tues-Sat mornings through 2pm at Benny's.

K- Killer hostess gifts at Morrow Steiner, Curiosity Gallery or Pineapple House. Parks just steps away.

L- Lovely ladies clothes at Cobblestone Rose. Ladies jewels at Morrow Steiner Designs.

M- Milk, coffee, newspapers with your gas at Speedway. Keep your gas $$ downtown.

N- No need to order. Pull up and grab a Hot 'N Ready pizza at Little Caesars.

O-Olives. Lots of 'em. In a martini made by Sean at Mac's. That guy is a great bartender.

P-panini sandwiches at Drowsy Parrot. You gotta try the Cubano. Who needs Pan#$ra Bread?

Q - Mass quantities of baked goods for your next meeting at CC's Sweet Shop

R- Roses, lilies, unusual blooms. Arrangements 2 send, cut flowers for your vase @ Maureen's

S - Sweeeeeet Potato Fries at Dan's Downtown. Yeah, baby. Good stuff.

T - for everything on two wheels - Cadence Cycle. Cool bikes, amazing service, tune-ups

U - Updo or haircuts at New Hairizons.

V- Vans carry your most precious gems. Insure it with a local company. Hartman.

W -Wish your banker knew your name? Pick from three downtown.

X- x-rays - search for a local dr on your medical plan. Go to Saline Hospital if you need one fast.

Y - Y Oh Y go anywhere else? Curiosity Gallery - consignments and cool gifts.

Z- Can you see the Z? Dr Deo will test your eyes, fit you w/ glasses and fix them when you sit on them.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Catch the Spirit of Milan

Members of the Spirit of Milan include Jeff Lewis, Nina Pemberton, Asia Renning, Jerry Renning, Bob Grostick, Dan Bishop, Barbara Gaines, Doug Gilson, Kathy Gilson, Timothy Troin, Gary Shaw, Bill Knapp, Linda Gilson and Jim Gilson.

If you haven't caught the spirit of Milan yet, you should and all it takes is a commitment to the community and a $100 donation.

The Spirit of Milan is a group of Milan-area residents, business leaders and government officials who are on a fund-raising mission. They hope to get donations in $100 increments from individuals in the community to support the annual fireworks display, concerts in the park, holiday parade and a new project called Sunset Point, a place where people will be able to take in Ford Lake and all of its beauty as park benches and a concrete path are installed near the lake.

I attended the Spirit of Milan's Moving Milan Forward Spring Fling March 14 at Campfire Restaurant's Fireplace Lounge, where after just an hour $700 had been raised, with seven people making $100 donations toward the four projects. By the night's end, $1,500 had been garnered. The goal is ambitious as it costs between $12,000 and $13,000 to put on the fireworks, at least $2,000 for the holiday parade, $3,000 for Sunset Point and an unspecified amount for the summer concert series. Last year, only about $2,700 was raised, but this year there's a more organized effort and bigger push.

About 20 people attended the Spring Fling, with another tentatively scheduled for May 4, with the time and location to be announced. The core group meets 8 a.m. every Friday at Campfire Restaurant. "We volunteer our time to raise funds for events that are important to the community," said Milan City Administrator Dan Bishop, a member of the Spirit of Milan.

Bishop said Spirit of Milan aims to maintain the quality of life in the community. "There's a lot of cool stuff going on in town that the city can't afford to finance," he said. "So we thought we'd go out and ask people to maintain the quality of life everyone enjoys. If everyone gets involved, we can still have these events. If people don't get involved, they go away."

Can you imagine Milan without a Fourth of July fireworks display during the fair? I can't. That event alone attracts 14,000 people to the community, according to organizer Doug Gilson. Think about the economic impact 14,000 people coming to Milan has on the community. Businesses get a huge boost and the town gets a lot of exposure, leaving a positive imprint on those who visit, who then likely return to shop and spend time in Milan.

Let's all catch the spirit of Milan. It's a positive thing to be involved in, and will help ensure the economic vitality and quality of life all have come to enjoy.

View video of Jerry Renning explaining the goal of Spirit of Milan and how to donate (send $100 checks to City of Milan, with Spirit of Milan 2008 in the memo section), at

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Milan Chamber Holds Membership Social

Milan Area Chamber of Commerce held a wine tasting and membership social March 13 at the Milan Staircase. The event was a nice send-off for two members as Jane Ferraiuolo of LaSalle Bank, soon to be Bank of America, leaves for the Monroe branch and Chad Nyitray steps down from chairing the Milan Holiday Parade. Both have served on the chamber board and have been dedicated public servants.

They saw a good turnout with representation from the school district, business community and local government. Among the attendees were Milan Schools Superintendent Dennis McComb, who is retiring in June after 12 years at the helm; Ron Reed, principal at Milan High School, who announced that the Glenn Miller Orchestra would be performing April 30 at the Milan Performing Arts Center; Chet, Connie and Julie Nagle of Nagle's Market, who provided the wine and food for the event; Milan City Council Trustee Rod Hill, who won one of the raffle drawing winners; chamber past and present board members Jerry Renning, Debbie Sudduth and Carrie Ritchie.

Chamber President Christine Mann, whose company Proforma 1st Place Marketing sponsored the event, handed out awards to Nyitray and Ferraiuolo, made a number of announcements and drew raffle winners. Video is posted on the newspaper's Web site at

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