At Anne Stantons farewell luncheon last week, we took some time to think back on some of the amazing stories shes written during her seven years at Northern Express.
My personal favorite was The Wolfman of Brethren, in which Anne wrote of John Patrick Sutherland, who died in a hail of bullets from overzealous police officers over the attempted micro-chipping of his 14 wolf dogs in September of 2005. That story won a Michigan Press Association award in 2006.
But there have been many other wonderful stories Anne has contributed through the years, and Express readers reminded us of her legacy by voting on their favorites in this issue. In the past year alone, she wrote a gripping account of abused wife Joni Holbrook shooting her police officer husband and the subsequent trial that led to her imprisonment. Then there was the strange saga of Anne Avery Miller of Elk Rapids who took her own life after being accused of murdering her son. Most recently, she wrote about controversial criminal cases and why some people charged with crimes seem to get a free pass while others get the book thrown at them. Shes also done outstanding reporting this year on conflicts over Michigans new medical marijuana law, windfarms in Benzie County, and the biomass controversy... just to name a few. Im sure you have your own favorites.
Anne exemplifies the best of the brave and the bold in journalism, writing with a sense of ‘heart‘ and reminding us that justice is often a rare and elusive treasure. Weve stood by long-form, investigative journalism here at the Express at a time when other newspapers have abandoned the format (to their peril, as it turns out). Sometimes, I complained to Anne that her stories were too long and we needed to save room for bigger photos. But I could never say that they werent complete -- and courageous.
Anne has written a few stories to tide us over the next couple of weeks, but shes moving on to work with her husband Doug on some book projects. Everyone here at the Express wishes Anne the very best success, and we thank her for all her good work and friendship.