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Sadly, another newspaper closes up shop

The news hit me like a ton of bricks. The CLARE SENTINEL announced their last edition would be April 10, 2012. I was dumbfounded. This weekly newspaper that had been publishing continuously for over 100 years was being laid to rest, forever.

It might not be a big deal to many Clare County residents, but for me, who essentially grew up in the newspaper business, and has worked in it all my life, it’s a very big deal. I have seen newspaper after newspaper fold in the last 10 years, and now one very close to home, has closed its doors.

Never one to shy away from controversy, Publisher Alan Blanchard continues to hammer law enforcement over the Scozzari shooting. That edgy pen will now be silenced for good after April 10. I know I will miss it.

Just this week, Blanchard struck with an opinion piece entitled, “When is it OK not to do the right thing? Oregon witnesses still awaiting interview by Michigan State Police.”

Blanchard, in his piece, threw out the following questions:

-Why wasn’t basic canvassing/interviewing done that night by MSP investigators? According to Blanchard, MSP failed to thoroughly canvass residents of the motel.

-Was it because a presumption was made that the shooting had to be above board since the ones doing the shooting were Clare police?

-Was it because the one who was shot was a low-rent motel resident, who had a reputation of being a recluse?

-Was it because MSP investigators were unable to be objective because perhaps they personally knew the Clare police chief and officer who did the shooting?

-Was it because the reported involvement of a Clare police officer assisting MSP with the investigation that night became a complicating factor?

Most of all, however, Blanchard asks why the MSP still has not interviewed two supposed eyewitnesses that now live in Oregon. The SENTINEL had revealed in their January 24 issue that two women who were living at the motel the night of the shooting were never interviewed.

Now that The SENTINEL is no longer in business to question and prod the investigators we might never know the answers to these questions. As a community watchdog, The SENTINEL ranked with the best. Along the way thought, they ruffled the feathers of many community leaders, and that might have hastened their demise.

I will miss The SENTINEL. I didn’t always agree with its opinions or business practices, but it always was a good read.