Inside the Newsroom

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

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Jim Harrison collection is a great summer read

I picked up the new Jim Harrison book 'The Farmer's Daughter' a few months ago and have been meaning to blog a recommendation for it.

It's a collection of short stories that are tightly and wonderfully written, and cover a variety of subject matters.

If you're a Hemingway fan, Harrison's body of work is about as close to new Hemingway material as you're going to get.

Harrison is a Michigan author, though now he lives in the Southwest.

If you are taking a trip to the Upper Peninsula this summer, check out 'True North' as well.

It deals with the aftermath of the heavy lumbering that took place there in the latter part of the 19th century and into the early 20th century, and the familial story intertwined is absorbing to say the least.

Harrison is perhaps best known as author of 'Legends of the Fall,' which inspired a movie of the same name.


Laatsch want you to vote for Saline schools

There are only five days left to vote for Saline schools in the Pepsi Refresh program.

Steve Laatsch said he is hopeful about moving up in to the top 10 (now at 15), but admits it would be horrible to come in 11th place.

The science initiative the $25,000 would pay for is innovative and will be a a wonderful asset to the district's curriculum.

Vote once a day at

Just search for 'Saline.'

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Buckle Up and Relax

Driving down Michigan Avenue in Saline this morning, I knew something was up. Several cars and trucks were pulled over by police. I had seen this before, probably last year about the same time.

Officers were on a special seat belt enforcement detail. I wasn't worried because I was buckled up. So, as I pulled into the parking lot next to The Saline Reporter and saw the patrol car, I thought nothing of it as I eased out of my roadster. He got out of his cruiser and I said, "Hello!"

He then asked me if I had my seat belt on. "Of course," I said. Then he commented that it was difficult to see because of the design of the car.

After a short awkward pause as I tried to determine whether he truly believed me, he admitted, "I really just wanted to check this out." I had to chuckle. A fellow worshiper of the BMW Z-4. I fell in love with it years ago and bought one in 2005. I know it's well made and is the "ultimate driving machine," but I just think it looks pretty and that's why I bought it.

So, drivers, take note: A special detail is in full swing. If you subscribe to Nixle, a free service, like I do for Milan, Ann Arbor and Pittsfield Township, you probably already know. See the message below, and buckle up, be safe, and don't be alarmed if a police officer just wants to check out your ride!

Hi Michelle Rogers,

Traffic Message has been issued by the Milan Police Department.

Monday May 24, 2010 1:40 PM EDT

Seat Belt Enforcement - Milan - from 5:00 to 11:00p. Please wear your seatbelt.

The Milan Police Department along with the WCSO will be participating in a ZERO tolerance seat belt enforcement effort over the next several weeks.
Tonight - 5:00 pm until 11:00 pm Offices will work a "seat belt enforcement" detail at County St. & Dexter St. Please wear your seat belt and drive safely!
Citizens & Police partner for a safe communtiy!

For full details, go to

Contact Information:

Jeff Lewis
Chief of Police

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Mayor Muckler seeks family anecdotes for Memorial Day speech

Mayor Kym Muckler wants to hear from families who have, or have had, members serve as soldiers in any branch of the U.S. Military.

Muckler would also like to hear directly from active and former soldiers themselves who can lend perspective on what it is like to face the horrors of war.

Muckler is giving the keynote speech at the Memorial Day cemetery ceremony and would like to include anecdotes relevant to citizens of the city.

To prepare appropriately, Muckler asks to be contacted no later than Friday.

She can be reached by email at or at her blog,

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Results of our recent web polls

Which summer festival are you looking forward to?
Ann Arbor Art Fairs: 30 percent
Chelsea Summer Fest: 30 percent
Ypsilanti Heritage Festival: 24 percent
Saline Celtic Festival: 16 percent

What are you doing with your tax refund?
Saving it: 44 percent
Using it on household expenses: 37 percent
Spending it on something special: 15 percent
Spending it on vacation: 4 percent

How much do you donate to nonprofits each year?
$1,000 or more: 54 percent
Under $100: 21 percent
$100 to $300: 16 percent
$300 to $500: 9 percent

What do you do when you have an hour of spare time?
Read a book: 36 percent
Read a newspaper: 34 percent
Play online games: 20 percent
Update Facebook page: 9 percent

What do you think should be a priority of WISD consolidates services?
Human resources: 42 percent
Money savings: 33 percent
Students outcome: 18 percent
Service quality: 6 percent


Monday, May 17, 2010

St. Andrew the Apostle Parish

I had the opportunity to attend a wedding at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Saline on Saturday.

Two good friends of my wife and I were wedded that day, and the setting couldn't have been more aesthetically beautiful.

I'm not a student of architecture, but the construction of the building is certainly something to behold.

The church seems to have a heavy Arts and Crafts influence in its design, but is also mixed with what appears to be traditional Gothic elements as well.

Enormous windows let in copious sunlight, filling the church with warmth and intensity.

Those who attend the parish regularly are fortunate to have such a nice church home.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

1927 Chrysler 60

I met a guy named Melvin Dailey while attending the Discover Milan festival. He was standing next to this 1927 Chrysler 60 which, as it turns out, has only 18,000 miles and is completely unrestored and pristine.

The story of the car intertwines with a lot of local history. Dailey said he'll have people come up to him at car shows and say they changed the oil in it while working their first job at a service station, or that they remember seeing it in various parades over the years.

The car's history is well documented, only having four owners. (All of which seem to have been meticulous about maintaining it properly, including Dailey. People around southern Michigan and Northern Ohio knew of the car and its owners very well. It seems to have become somewhat of a local legend.

Photos of the car in parades go back many years, with the original owner said to have driven Civil War veterans a few times.

Anyway, I'm doing a piece for the News Leader this month on Dailey and his Chrysler, so check it out.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What are your Memorial Day plans?

I'm planning to preview Memorial Day events in Saline and Milan with several articles.

I know about the major events taking place in these communities, and they'll definitely be included, but I'm also wondering about things other residents are doing to honor our fallen soldiers.

If you have something you think I should know about, please email me at,

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Meet Randi Shaffer

Hello, I'm Randi Shaffer, the summer intern for Heritage Newspapers. I am currently a senior at Central Michigan University majoring in Journalism with a concentration in News Editorial and minoring in Media Design, Production and Technology. This is the first of hopefully a few more internships I land before I graduate with my B.A. Degree in the spring of 2012.
In addition to my current summer internship, I also work as a Senior Reporter at Central Michigan Life, CMU's student-produced newspaper.
In addition to reporting, I am also interested in page design and photography.
After graduation, I would like to find a career either reporting or editing for a mid-to-large scale publication.
I'm excited to start reporting for Heritage Newspapers this summer.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan

I went to a mock 5K event for Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan on Friday and was impressed with the young ladies' enthusiasm for the sport.

The practice run was at Saline Middle School and the actual race will take place in Ypsilanti later this month.

The organization seeks to empower preteen girls to keep fit and make positive life choices by involving them in running.

If you have any young women in your family of that age group, it seems like a great way for them to socialize and stay active.

The organization's Web site is,

All the information you need is there, including dates for upcoming races as well as registration forms.

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