Inside the Newsroom

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

Monday, March 30, 2009

i'm not brilliant anymore, dang it...

Yeah, so.... I lost my touch in the end. After the first round I was money. After the second round I was in great shape. Even by the elite eight I was solid. By the time Villanova defeated Pittsburgh, I had moved up to fourth place in my pool out of about 100. I also had Louisville winning the whole thing.

So thanks a lot, Michigan State. I really appreciate you ruining my life, my pool, and my chances at March Madness happiness. I hope you lose an embarrassing game to UConn, and I think you will.

In summary, I'm a loser now. Don't hate me. I'll be back for more action this time next year.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Your sports writer proves her brilliancy Part 2

... and apparently that brilliancy level might dwindle in the coming days. I've fallen significally over the weekend in my pool. I was once in third... I'm now somewhere around 34, counting all the ties above me. It's a large pool.

The death of me so far was three mistakes in a row. I predicted Texas would upset Duke, which of course didn't happen... but I still have a chance since I have Villanova defeating the winner of that round... so all is not lost.

I also never expected Purdue to win against Washington. I underestimated Purdue's momentum, given that they had just won the Big Ten tournament. I'm ashamed.

My other loss last weekend (it was a rough Saturday evening with a lot of crying and temper tantrums) was the Marquette-Missouri game. That was another upset of mine that had much more to do with my feelings than my brain.

HOWEVER, I'm not dead yet. All of my top eight teams are still in it to win it, and bracket standings can change in an instant. This is where it gets good... From now on I care only for Pittsburgh, Villanova, N. Carolina, Oklahoma, Louisville, Kansas, Connecticut, and Memphis. If my bracket is going to go wrong from here... it will most likely be the fault of either Michigan State (Kansas) or Texas (Villanova).

Come on, teams... mama wants a new pair of shoes!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Your sports writer proves her brilliancy Part 1

The madness that is March has begun, and we are first-round deep into the tourney. I just wanted to share with my readers what my bracket looks like. As of right now, it has me in third place in my pool... I'm pretty stoked. I could. go. all. the. way.

First round:

Louisville def. Morehead St.
Siena def. Ohio St.
Utah def. Arizona (got this wrong)
Wake Forest def. Cleveland St (got this wrong, along with the rest of America)
West Virginia University def. Dayton (got this wrong... ok getting three wrong in a row looks bad, but it's money from here...)
Kansas def. N. Dakota State
USC def. Boston College
Mich. State def. Robert Morris

UConn def. Chattanooga
TexA&M def. BYU
Purdue def. Northern Iowa
Washington def. Mississippi St.
Marquette def. Utah St.
Missouri def. Cornell
U. of Maryland def. California
Memphis def. CS Northridge

Pitt def. E Tennessee St.
Tennessee def. Oklahoma St (got this wrong)
Florida State def. Wisconsin (got this wrong, too)
Xavier def. Portland St.
Villanova def. American
Texas def. Minnesota
Duke def. Binghamton
UNC def. Radford
Louisiana St. def. Butler
Illinois def. W. Kentucky
Gonzaga def. Akron
Arizona St. def. Temple
Syracuse def. Stephen Austin
Michigan def. Clemson
Oklahoma def. Morgan State

So in summary, i did really well for the first round and was actually tied for first and second throughout. Now into the sweet 16...

Louisville def. Siena
Wake Forest def. Utah (since Wake Forest is out, this round is already gone)
Kansas def. W. Virginia (since WVU lost to Dayton, I'm really counting on Kansas to hold their seed)
Mich State def. USC

UConn def. TexA&M
Washington def. Purdue (might be close... Purdue big ten champs...)
Marquette def. Missouri (one of my few sweet 16 upsets)
Memphis def. Maryland

Pitt def. Tennessee (Tennessee lost to Oklahoma St, but I'm not that worried about Pitt losing to either at the moment)
Xavier def. Florida State (another situation where half of the game is wrong, but if Xavier holds their seed I'm money)
Villanova def. UCLA (this is where most people have Villanova falling... there are some rumors going around that Villanova only plays well in the tourney when they're ranked low, but I have faith... they'll be going far for me)
Texas def. Duke (my biggest upset in the sweet 16. duke is overrated and still floating on the success of seasons past)

UNC def. LSU
Illinois def. Gonzaga (well, they're out, so moot)
Syracuse def. Arizona St.
Oklahoma def. Michigan

My top eight are:

Louisville def. Wake Forest (hold that seed!)
Kansas def. Mich State (take that Spartans)
UConn def. Washington
Memphis def. Marquette

Pitt def. Xavier
Villanova def. Texas
UNC def. Illinois (hold that seed!)
Oklahoma def. Syracuse (could be close)

The final four:

Louisville def. Kansas
UConn def. Memphis
Villanova def. Pitt (SURPRISE!)
UNC def. Oklahoma

Final TWO:

Louisville vs. UNC



Good luck in your brackets. Mine could tank soon, but I'll continue to try to prove my worth as your sports writer in the coming days... updates to follow...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yes. It was me.

During a recent health check at the Saline Reporter building, it was found that anyone in proximity to myself (Jana Miller) recently became ill. Likely a cold, for most. And yes, it is probably my fault, although I did wash my hands and avoid touching! It appears that working from home when possible was of no help or consequence. But at least Sue has her EmergenC and Michelle always has cute, fuzzy bunnies around to brighten her mood.

On a brighter note... I'm starting to feel GREAT. I slept through the night for the first time last evening without any sneezing or coughing fits to jerk me from my dreams. Pretty sweet, huh? Hopefully the last few sniffles will desist after today.

Oh, and I also got my family, boyfriend, and roommate sick. I was really hideous the past few days.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Here's a job offer!

I can't remember ever finding something like this in my email inbox. Ever. I'm an alum of Albion so must be on some mailing list. But, I wanted to share this with everyone out there. I know a lot of fabulous people are looking for jobs. Is this for you? good luck.

Albion College is currently searching for a director of alumni engagement. Among the responsibilities for the position are the following: developing comprehensive, targeted, and innovative action plans, including measurable goals, for cultivating and stewarding relationships with all Albion College alumni and parents; establishing interactive communication plans that seek to engage alumni, parents, and friends of the College; and executing a strategic programmatic effort to engage specified constituencies including but not limited to women's programs, young alumni programming, parent programming, and all alumni of the College. This is a full-time salaried position. Some travel is required.

We encourage applications and nominations for this position, and the search will remain open until the position is filled.

Interested applicants may send a cover letter and resume to:

More information is available at:


Disappearing banks.

No, this is not another reminder of the piss poor economic state of our nation. I'm talking about the disappearing banks of the Saline River.

I drove down Michigan Ave on the way back from visiting my friend Karen at DesignHub and couldn't help but notice that Curtiss Park is flooded. Check out these pix. Thanks, DPW, for putting up the barricades to keep people away from the muck and whitewater. I drove past them (why does that feel good?) to take these pictures. Thank goodness the sun is making an appearance.

Jana has a cold and I think she's sneezed one too many times in her incubator, spraying the germs out across the take-out window of her office towards me. That's ok, girl, I have my Airborne and EmergenC. I hope you are feeling better!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I am a winner

I had a hot date Saturday night.
We had a fabulous dinner at Blue Tractor BBQ in Ann Arbor. A can of Stroh's beer for $2.50. A plate of beef brisket. A basket of warm potato chips. A pint of locally brewed beer. Nice. Then, we hit the Saline Area Fire Department Casino Night. The tables were surrounded by some of Saline's tip top people. These people were serious about their chips. A few friends tried to explain how to play craps. I still don't get it. Maybe it's that I really don't care.
I'm not a gambler, but I was a winner. Jim and I stuck our two hundies into a raffle and we won a package at Planet Rock, a few personal radios and some Wendy's coupons. I can't wait to try rock climbing, actually. Even though my pinky is still crooked (thanks to a volleyball game where I tried to spike a ball popped up to the net by Gretchen Driskell. I broke my finger. poor me), I think I can give climbing a try. Why not?
Congrats to the Casino Ladies who planned a super fund raiser for Friends of SAFD.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Support your teams!

There are several sports teams performing incredibly well this year, and have continued to perform well in various post-season competitions.

Milan and Saline girls' varsity basketball will both be competing for a District Championship tonight. Milan plays Chelsea at Onsted High School at 7 p.m. for the Class B title, while Saline is set to play Bedford at Monroe High School at 6 p.m. for the Class A title.

Although Lincoln-Milan fell to Ann Arbor Huron in the first round of the hockey pre-regionals, Saline is still in the running. The Hornets have defeated Woodhaven and Bedford in the pre-regional games, and will play the winner of the Southgate Anderson/Trenton game on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Southgate Civic Center for the regional championship.

For Saline gymnastics and bowling, teams will be competing in regional and state tournaments Saturday. Saline sent Kate Baker and Cheyenne Long to states after the two girls qualified individually.

One particularly exciting even on the horizon is the Division 1 state tournament in boys' swim and dive, in which the Saline boys are sending their largest group ever and are going in ranked No. 2 in the state. Milan's team has also rounded out a respectable group and will compete the same weekend. Saline will be at Eastern Michigan University March 13 and 14 throughout the day. Saline divers are competing this weekend in the regional, in hopes to qualify for states. They are Hank Remenapp and Joel Chambers.

Lots of things to be proud of from this year's winter sports athletes. If you're looking for a way to support a team, this weekend's competitions are prime opportunities!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Three to Salute

The women of Saline ruled this year, sweeping the Citizen of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award and George A. Anderson Vision Award during Wednesday night's vote by the Saline Salutes Selection Committee. I served on the committee with a number of people representing a cross section of the community and was told I would have to keep the announcement under wraps until everyone had been notified.

Well, they have been notified.

And the winners are ....

Margie Bovee, director of the Two Twelve Arts Center in Saline and a former journalist for The Saline Reporter, has been named Citizen of the Year. She is the second person from the newspaper to win the honor. Former editor Tom Kirvan was Citizen of the Year in 1998.

Leslee Niethammer, director of the Saline District Library, has been selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award. She also serves as secretary of the Coalition for a Quality Community, secretary of Pick Up the Pace Saline and chairwoman of the Saline Leadership Institute.

And Carla Scruggs, Saline Parks and Recreation director, has been selected winner of the George A. Anderson Vision Award. She was nominated by the Saline Parks and Recreation Commission.

These three women were among a total of eight nominees -- four men and four women -- for the three awards. Five were vying for Citizen of the Year, four for Lifetime Achievement and two for the vision award. One person was nominated for all three awards and another was nominated for two. In addition, the selection committee was invited to nominate candidates from the floor and last year's candidates were welcomed as nominees as well.

It was a tough decision because all of the nominees were very deserving in my mind. What made some stand out over others, I think, was the written nomination. For instance, seven people wrote detailed nominations for Margie. On the other hand, a candidate for one of the awards only received one nomination letter that consisted of a few sentences and appeared to be just a quick e-mail. Although I knew the candidate was more than deserving because I am aware of the individual's work in the community through my work at the newspaper, I am guessing not everyone on the committee was aware.

So, my suggestion to people interested in nominating candidates for Saline Salutes in the future is to be very detailed in your nomination. Play up the individual's contributions to the community, giving spirit, leadership abilities, energy, enthusiasm for the community and other attributes that make that person a worthy candidate of such a prestigious award.

These awards are a big deal and members of the committee should feel like they know intimately the nominees and all of their work in the community. This can be achieved through the written nomination process.

The Saline Reporter will be producing feature stories on the three winners. In the meantime, mark your calendar for 5:30 p.m. April 17 for the Saline Salutes program. It will be held at Saline High School. Like last year, we hope to produce video from the ceremony as well.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Milan shines

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the annual auction for the Greater Milan Area Community Foundation. So many wonderful people. 50 silent auction items. Another dozen live auction items. I will write about it for Thursday's paper and promise to include the $$ amounts raised once I talk to Scott Dotson. The ladies looked lovely, all dolled up for the occasion at the Four Points Sheraton. Drinks, appetizers and lots of hand-shaking as people wandered in. Dinner was served in the adjoining ballroom, accompanied by live music. Very nice. I had the pleasure of sitting with Duane and Isabelle Schultz and their family. It was Isabelle and a handful of other Milan visionaries who dreamed up the Foundation and to see the ballroom full of 200 or so supporters must have been heart-warming for these generous people. Yes, the economy sucks. Yes, there is bad news everywhere we turn. But, how genuinely reassuring that people are still willing to come out to celebrate the generosity of this amazing group that gives tens of thousands of dollars every year to charities, large and small, in our community. Congratulations.


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