By Carolyn Marnon – The Wayne Dispatch you hold in your hands right now is the 100th issue of the paper that delivers positive news to every household in Wayne each month. John and Natalie Rhaesa’s vision is that The Wayne Dispatch is a monthly publication that will celebrate businesses, churches, civic groups, schools, scouts, residents and any other uplifting stories.
The first issue came out in November 2008 and was billed as “Your Source for Positive Community News.” You will still find this header on the pages of the paper. The cover of the first issue featured Joshua Winer and David Fichter, the muralists who painted the mural on the side of the State Wayne Theater. The headline on the cover proclaimed “Dynamic Duo Create Historical Masterpiece.” From the article inside, “the mural started with an idea from the ‘Cool Cities’ initiative in 2003. The Wayne 2020 Committee was created and they focused on creating public art.” Also, “’This is public art that can enhance the downtown and help attract visitors to our community’, said Matt Miller, City Planner. ‘This is a strong, good community and people are willing to give of themselves to make this a great place to live. The spirit is still there and everyone really wants to bring it back,’ Winer said.”
Columns that were present in that first issue included “On the Bright Side” written by Hal Hultman (he encouraged people to visit the mural), “Rearview Mirror” written by Matt Miller (he planned to write about some of the interesting history of Wayne in upcoming columns; he wrote about Ezra Derby, one of the earliest settlers in the area), “Wayne…where everyone knows your name” written by Jill Gaudet, the executive director of the Wayne Chamber of Commerce at the time (she challenged readers to rediscover Wayne for a week by eating at a local restaurant, visiting the community center and/or shopping at Northside, Leo’s, The Acorn Shop, which is now closed, and Jus’ Shooz which is now called Puffer Reds) and “Footprints of Wayne” written by Dee Ryan (she planned to write about people who were making good things happen in Wayne).
Other features included “Play 4 All Boundless Playground” at Soroptimist Park and “Election 2008” which encouraged readers to make their vote count.
Finally, this first issue had a Community Calendar that highlighted upcoming events by chronological date.
November 2010 was the 25th issue with lifelong scout leader Larry Shields on the cover. Larry was scoutmaster at the First Congregational Church for Troop 1736 for almost 30 years and was ready to pass the torch on.
The “Footprints of Wayne” and “On the Bright Side” columns continued. A new column had appeared-“Fire House News” by Shawn Bell. He wrote about carbon monoxide danger in this issue. Also new to appear by this time was “Hope Floats in my Hometown”-a column by Christine Easley highlighting Wayne Chamber of Commerce businesses and events. News Briefs had also been introduced by this time.
Features to appear included “Bringing Back Main Street.” This article was about the introductory presentation by Michigan Main Street to the Wayne Ripple Effect (now known as Wayne Main Street). “This program is a grassroots effort that can lead to a thriving downtown in Wayne,” the article said. The nationally known band Finger Eleven played in Wayne at US 12. The band had 3 hit songs and played for 500 concertgoers. City Council had made budget cuts; an article discusses how they can cut $1.9 million from the budget. The council also passed a resolution to revoke Ford’s tax abatement. Ford was producing the Ford Focus at the time. The council also chose Robert English as Acting City Manager. The Michigan Assembly Plant goes solar. Finally, college help comes to Wayne with Project ACE (Access to College for Everyone) Resource Center that moved into Metro Place Mall.
Issue 50 was dated December 2012. The cover showed a collage of pictures of the Wayne Rotary and highlighted the Christmas parade.
While “Footprints of Wayne” continued as a column, we now see “Memory Lane” written by Darlene Hawley. She wrote about holiday traditions throughout the years in Wayne. Also new to appear is “There’s More to the Story” written by Buddy Shuh. He talks about his Biggest Loser Season 13 experiences.
Other articles appearing include ones on holiday shopping ideas in Wayne, one highlighting holiday happenings in Wayne, and one discussing how you can lend a helping hand during the holidays. The Parks and Rec Dept. received a $95,000 physical education and health grant to enhance the physical education and health of K-6 grade students in the Wayne-Westland School District. The State Wayne welcomed the digital age to town with new Christie Digital Projectors with 3D capability, Dolby 7.1 digital sound, new screens, new concessions and an updated lobby. The Fire Department received a $791,787 grant from the Competitive Grant Assistance Program that would make it possible to continue the merging of the two fire departments.
Issue 75 was for January 2015. The cover showed 2014 in review with a collage of pictures.
We still have “Footprints of Wayne” appearing, but we also have a couple of new columns show up. “Downtown Wayne Main Street” by Lindsey Wooten highlights the events of Wayne Main Street and “Latest From the Capitol” is written by State Representative Robert Kosowski.
Articles included the City Council working with departments on the budget and the council appointed a new member, Anthony Miller, to fill the seat of Mayor Al Haidous after he resigned to become a Wayne County Commissioner.
President Barack Obama spoke at the Ford plant about the government’s efforts to help the automotive industry. Norwayne Boxing Gym held their grand opening at Jefferson Barnes. 2014 articles were reviewed. K&S gives a car to a deserving Wayne mom.
To see all of 100 issues go to www.TheWayneDispatch.com