Inside the Newsroom

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


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Residents love some old-fashioned fun!















I headed over to the Weber-Blaess Ice Cream Social on Sunday. I wasn't to thrilled with the early afternoon showers, but luckily the rain held off and the event took place. From antique cars to a sing-a-long barbershop quartet, the second annual ice cream social had some old-fashioned fun for everyone.There were nearly 400 residents that attended the event. This particular event sure did draw a large crowd. The social also recognized the Weber-Blaess One-Room Schoolhouse that was placed on the National Schoolhouse Register in May. Residents enjoyed a sing-a-long barbershop quartet, bucket brigade, croquet tournament and homemade ice cream, hot dogs, cake and a beverage were used as a fundraiser for the school. There was even a silent auction where residents could bid on a lunch with Superintendent Scot Graden, a ride in a Saline Area fire truck or even a birthday party at Weber-Blaess. From all the people I talked to either young or old it seemed like everyone was enjoying themselves. I mean who would pass up some old-fashioned ice cream. I certainly wouldn't!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Results of our Web polls

For readers who have been interested in the results of our recent Web polls, here are the results for Washtenaw County:

LAST WEEK
Poll question: Which is your favorite sporting event to attend?

Total votes:
96

High school football
38.54%
37 votes

University of Michigan football
23.96%
23 votes

Any hockey game, anywhere
22.92%
22 votes

Tigers, Lions or Pistons
14.58%
14 votes


2 WEEKS AGO
Poll question: Which is a bigger budget concern?

Total votes:
94

Funding for police
45.74%
43 votes

Funding for mental health services
19.15%
18 votes

Funding for road repairs
30.85%
29 votes

Funding for parks and recreation
4.26%
4 votes

3 WEEKS AGO
Poll question: Which is your favorite park?

Total votes:
84

Gallup Park in Ann Arbor
40.48%
34 votes

Mill Pond Park in Saline
27.38%
23 votes

Ford Heritage Park in Ypsi
1.19%
1 votes

Metroparks
30.95%
26 votes

4 WEEKS AGO
Poll question: Which is your favorite nonprofit?

Total votes:
99

United Way
17.17%
17 votes

Salvation Army
20.2%
20 votes

The Humane Society
22.22%
22 votes

Food Gatherers
40.4%
40 votes

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Everyone loves their pancakes!!









Last week I went to the 5th annual Pancake Supper at the Milan Senior and Community Activity Center. Let me just tell you, people love their pancakes. There were 255 people that were served pancakes, sausage, fruit and a beverage. The event was put on by volunteers from the Milan Senior Center and led by senior program coordinator Jennifer Michalak. Pancakes were provided by the King Pancake Company. I even ran into a couple from my hometown, Jackson. They were there visiting with their friends that live in Milan. The two couples have known each other since high school, so it was cool to listen to their stories on how long they have known each other. The supper was put on to raise funds for the senior center's scholarship fund and the arts and crafts department. I love breakfast food, so it was natural that I would enjoy the concept of the fundraiser. Maybe the only thing I enjoy more than breakfast is good company. Maybe next year I'll have time to eat some pancakes!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I've been away to play

Chris and I, prior to our nice evening dinner

Alex buried me in the sand. It was itchy, but digging the hole was a good workout.

Alex and Chris in Virginia, just a few hours from the bridge. Notice the crown.


I returned to the Outer Banks of North Carolina last week for my annual summer vacation. For those unfamiliar with the region, the Outer Banks (or OBX, for short) is a series of islands off the coast of North Carolina. The famous Rodanthe island is one of them, as is Kill Devil Hills, where the Wright Brothers first took flight. We stayed in a town called Duck.

It was glorious. The first several days were hot, hot, hot. There were lots of people on the beach and lots of families renting houses in the various real estate communities.

There is also excellent shopping in the Outer Banks, with countless little boutiques and trinket shops along the island. Most of the shopping is in Corolla, but there were plenty of places to keep me completely occupied in Duck while I was there. One of my favorite things about island shopping is the jewelry, because you get pieces from local jewelry artists that use collected shells and fun jewels and great medal charms. I brought a few delicate necklaces, one of which was black pearl with an added charm.

I went on the trip with my boyfriend, Chris, and our close friend, Alex. We traveled with Chris's family, including his sister and her best friend. We drove, of course. Flying these days is just pure silliness. Along the way there were some giggles, and plenty of roadtrippin' tunes. At one point, I was made queen after acquiring a crown at a rest stop Burger King.
Over the years I've visited the Wright Brother Museum, Corolla, Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk. There are tons of lighthouses to climb and visit, as well as an outdoor theatre presentation about the original Outer Banks colonies on Roanoke Island. You can, of course, rent gear such as Hobie cats, kayaks, sight-seeing flights over the island, jet skis, etc. I would definitely recommend traveling to this area. The houses have a lot of specials right now and usually house 10 people, so families can travel together and split the costs. Pets are welcome in almost all of the homes, and many of them also have pools and hot tubs.
If you're looking for nice restaurants while you're there, the best is Elizabeth's. It has been mentioned in every major food magazine in the country, including Food and Wine, and has been named the best restaurant in the United States. They are currently selling a Clark Claudon 10th anniversary Cabernet that is absolutely amazing. Also, they're running a special for couples on a six-course planned meal that includes wine pairings and coffee. That's what we did and it was definitely worth it. Other fun restaurants are Blue Pointe, Rundown Cafe for live music, Sunset Grille and Fishbones, and Dirty Dick's Crabs.
I'm making recommendations because they still have specials on weekends and weeks in August, and it isn't too late to rent a house for this coming week, or the last week in August. It takes two days to drive comfortably, or one if you do it all at once. We've been renting with Southern Shores Realty. Or you can always keep this in mind for next year, or even this fall. Washington, D.C. is along the way, as well, so that's a nice little rendez-vous on the way down or back.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Summerfest in the rain







So last weekend, my job was to cover Saline's Summerfest. I went Friday to hear Mayor Gretchen Driskell's opening remarks and took some photos. Her speech included a few presentations on behalf of Saline being recognized for its third recognition in CNN/ Money Magazine as one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in the United States. It represents an unprecedented third time that Saline has garnered this distinction and was chosen as No. 68 overall. After that I headed home to Jackson, because I planned on staying for quite awhile the next day. As I soon quickly found out, that wasn’t the brightest idea. I waited till early afternoon the next day to make the trip out to Summerfest in hopes of the rain slowing down, but as we all know the rain didn’t let up for awhile. Once I arrived into Saline and walked over to S. Ann Arbor Street with my umbrella in hand, my immediate thought was “Great, is anyone even here?” Let me just say there really was no one around. As it turned out, I was able to talk to some organizers and a family that took a ride on the trolley that day. Everything eventually came together as best as it could. So I headed back to my car and drove home. But, of course what happens on my way home. Well, the rain stops and the sun comes out. Man, I sure do love Mother Nature.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Picnic in the Park Packed with Fun


Despite the oppressive heat today, Milan's Community Picnic was a success as dozens of local residents came to Wilson Memorial Park. One of the highlights -- and a break from the heat -- was a sea of rain courtesy of the Milan Area Fire Department as Mark Evans, 13, under the watchful eye of his father, Milan Fire Department Lt. Fred Evans. Mark used the hose to spray a group of children who played in the water.

Fred's daughter, Amber, donned a blue bathing suit and was the first to get a soaking. She was quickly joined by Alex McLaughlin of Monroe and a group of children. Alex, who taunted Mark and dared him to spray him, while dancing across the open parkland, dodging droplets of water, was hilarious.

But that wasn't all the picnic had to offer. A three-legged race included Ypsilanti residents Devyn and Carlos Carthage, as well as other children and adults. They seemed to have a lot of fun. Next up was an old-fashioned potato sack race. I captured Carter VanHaren, Alex and Devyn in one shot, and a really cute photo of Heaven Riggs and her 2-year-old daughter, Mackenzie Perez of Dundee, in the race.

Of course what's a picnic without food. At the grill was Marty Ritchie, feeding a long line of hungry people. Alex, who was visiting his grandma in Milan, had a big plate full of food. I also met Stacy Johnson, William Riggs, Tracey Riggs and Kelsey Rafferty, who also enjoyed the hot dogs, baked beans and chips.

Check out video of the event on our Web site. Click on the link in the upper left-hand corner of our home page. It should be up by Monday morning.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fun in Milan


Milan was hopping tonight with families. Parents, grandparents and children filled Wilson Memorial Park as Gemini, a family-oriented musical group, performed as part of the Concert in the Park series, which was followed by a movie in the park.

I took some photos for The Milan News-Leader, as well as some video. While getting names of people I captured digitally, I noticed people from all across the area were there to enjoy the show, not just residents of Milan.

Lelana Rakebrand, 7, who helped Gemini in one performance, traveled from Britton. Reigis Recchia and his son, Reed, came just down the road from Saline, and Logan Frantz, a cutey in a Superman T-shirt, traveled all the way from Canton.

And then there were David Behen and his daughter, Isabel, who also performed with the group. They came from Ypsilanti Township. When I jotted down their last name, I thought to myself, "I know that name. Why do I know that name?" It took me half the trip home from Milan to Pittsfield Township down Carpenter Road to figure it out. David Behen, if I have this correct, is the former deputy administrator for Washtenaw County. He recently took a job as leader and vice president of Information Management Solutions and Services' Government Solutions Practice.

I recognize the name because I edited the press release for publication. While we didn't run it yet in the Milan paper, it was published in our new Ann Arbor newspaper, the A2 Journal. If you haven't check out our new paper yet, visit us online at www.a2journal.com.

My recent visit to Milan shows me that Milan is a happening place -- a city that attracts visitors from across southeast Michigan. That's good news for local merchants and the community as a whole as people walk away with a good feeling about Milan.

Here's a video of the Behens performing with Gemini. Check out more video via a link on our Web site.
video

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Saturday filled with cars galore!









I spent last Saturday at the Backstreet Cruizer's Milan Carfest and was amazed at how many cars were there. One of the coordinators told me there were 130 cars viewable to the public. Now I will admit, I don't know too much about automobiles, but as I walked down row after row of cars it was interesting to look inside each of them. Plus, there weren't only cars there,a few pickup trucks could be found too. I personally enjoyed seeing a few newer models of the Ford mustangs, very nice looking cars if you ask me. But beyond the vehicles, I enjoyed the people I talked to. Hearing their stories about their cars, it was interesting to hear. It was a very organized car show, which many of the people I talked to said that's what has brought them back year after year. And after attending, I can definitely see why!

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