Inside the Newsroom

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

Monday, November 28, 2011

Introduction: New general assignment reporter

Hi, I'm Krista Gjestland and as of today I am the general assignment reporter here at Heritage Media West. I'll be covering news and life events all across Washtenaw County, filling in whenever and wherever the other beat reporters can't be.

For the past eight months, I have been freelancing at Heritage, mainly The Chelsea Standard and Dexter Leader. I've spent time covering a wide range of events, from township and city council meetings to last summer's black bear sightings.

Before coming to Heritage, I worked at The Eastern Echo, while I studied toward my journalism degree at Eastern Michigan University. There, I spent time as a news writer and copy editor, and ended my 3.5-year stint there as chief copy editor before graduating last April.

Although I've lived in Washtenaw County for almost five years now, I am most familiar with Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. Therefore, I am really looking forward to getting to know the other communities and people that make up the county.

Feel free to contact me with any ideas or suggestions, and I look forward to meeting you all!

Staff Writer Krista Gjestland can be reached at

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Introduction from police and court reporter

Hello, my name is Ben Baird, and as of earlier this month I am the police and court reporter covering Washtenaw County for Heritage Media.

My beat includes the local police and fire departments, the Michigan State Police, the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, the county trial court, and the county's three district courts. I have established a nice level of contact with many of these agencies, while others are still a work in progress. Regardless I want to do my best to pass on information so that residents have a better idea of what is going on in their communities.

Previously I wrote for two other Heritage Media publications, the News-Herald and Press & Guide. I primarily wrote about Flat Rock for the News-Herald, but I also covered Huron Township and Trenton at times. Dearborn Heights was my focus with the Press & Guide.

One upcoming event I wanted to mention is that I am trying to arrange a ride along with an officer of the sheriff's office. I can't say for sure yet when this will occur or what sorts of things I might encounter during the ride along, but it should offer some valuable insight into local law enforcement. I will be writing about the experience and I plan to get some good video too.

If anyone has anything they are curious about or any questions they would like me to ask during the ride along, feel free to share them.

Staff Writer Ben Baird can be reached at

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