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Public Art Draws Controversy
Written by Helen Hamilton   

MILLBANK - When one thinks of the great cities of the world, one often thinks of their monuments and architecture. London has Big Ben, Paris has the Eiffel Tower and New York City has the Statue of Liberty. Millbank now joins the ranks of those great metropolises with its own sculpture - a giant butterscotch pudding.

“Public art is a community’s way of expressing itself,” explains Dora Thorstaad, a member of the Millbank Boosters Club. “And we wanted art that screamed ‘Millbank!’ I do believe that the sculpture we selected really screams. I mean, I hear it whenever I look at it. Don’t you hear it?”

The piece, called “Quivering Hope”, was selected by the Millbank Boosters Club after an arduous, month-long search. Most residents agree that the sculpture looks like a giant butterscotch pudding, although some are leaning more toward a custard. “Pudding is one of the things we are known for in this great town,” adds Jeffrey Lotsa, also a member of the Millbank Boosters Club. “People come from miles around to enjoy our delicious, fresh butterscotch pudding.” butterscotch statue

But not everyone is happy with the choice. H.P. Bartlett, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Mr. Sofa Guy Sofa Kingdom Warehouse Emporium, told the Millbank Daily-Weekly that his design, a sofa, was rejected by the committee. “Pudding is, at most, a hobby. What Mr. Sofa Guy’s Sofa Kingdom Warehouse Emporium represents is livelihood, sanctity of the home and free hot dogs for the kids on weekends.”

“It was just a sofa,” comments Dora Thorstaad. “Not even giant, or chrome, or anything.”

The sculptor of the winning piece, a Clean Springs artist named Hancock Welby, says that he spent two weeks following residents of Millbank around in order to gain inspiration for an artwork that would perfectly epitomize the community. “Being from Clean Springs, I always thought Millbankians…well, I won’t say what I thought. But I learned more about this town over the last two weeks than during the whole rest of my life. I learned that people from Millbank really dig pudding.” Welby did not care to comment on the number of concerned calls from residents about a “bohemian-looking stalker” this month.

Members of the Millbank Ornithological Society have expressed concern that the placement of the sculpture may interfere with the breeding of the waterfowl in the duck pond in Ottoman Park. Says Howard Dale Sr., local chapter president. “The ducks will take one look at that, and what are they supposed to feel? Hungry? Scared that the pudding will fall on them? Confused? They will not feel like a duck at ease, I can tell you that much.”

There is also a measure of concern over the possibility of vandalism, due to the high rate of hooliganism in Millbank. The Millbank Police Department will be sending extra patrols to guard the pudding.

The dedication of “Quivering Hope” will be held this Saturday at 10 am in Ottoman Park. There is no word yet whether there will be butterscotch pudding available for attendees.

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Treasure Hunters Seek Legendary Millbank Gold
Written by Helen Hamilton   

MILLBANK – “The first explorers in this part of the country were searching for signs of a lost ancient city and its treasure,” claims Duncan Fairey, adjunct professor of speculative history at Tri-City Community College. “The legend says that gold, gems and sacred magical texts were kept inside vast subterranean chambers, guarded by fierce spirits. What the explorers actually found? Starvation, frostbite and existential misery, but that doesn’t mean the treasure isn’t out there.”

This week, Millbank has been abuzz with treasure talk. Residents have upended trash cans, dug up rosebushes and even ventured into the Out of Bounds, looking for valuable loot. What spurred this sudden enthusiasm for buried treasure was a recent posting on social media site Twitter by local hardware store owner, Jeffrey Lotsa. The tweet read, “To find your life’s treasure get the right tools #springtoolsale.”

When asked to comment upon the town-wide mania that his tweet inspired, Mr. Lotsa said, “I was only trying to promote our big Spring Tool Sale with a cute saying. I did not say anything about the possible presence or absence of ancient alien treasure. This time of year, everyone is coming in to get their shovels and pruners. It’s gardening season, for heaven’s sake.”

He then added, “But, if you are going to dig stuff up, and I’m not saying you should, you should probably come by the store and buy some work gloves. Digging can be murder on your hands.”

“We just want to lay these crazy rumors to rest,” explains Carl Quist, current president of the Millbank Treasure Hounds. “There has been a lot of talk lately about a trove of ancient coins and a secret map that will reveal the fountain of youth, but it’s all just that, talk. We all know that the Vikings took most of their gold back to Switzerland.”

“But there’s still plenty of treasure in this town. All you have to do is take the time to scan the lawn around the memorial gazebo in Ottoman Park with a TX-500 Master Prospector Deluxe metal detector, and you’ll find treasure. Nails, pennies and buttons beyond your wildest dreams.”

“Just stop digging stuff up,” pleaded Police Chief Vern Howard. “It’s unsightly and it could be dangerous if you hit an electrical line. My wife turned her ankle when she stumbled into a hole some treasure-seeker left behind.”

Upon hearing of the concern of town authorities, Professor Fairey responded with this thought, “The police won’t be able to stop the treasure madness. It’s the leprechauns who are responsible.”

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Annual Gala Manages Not to Get Anyone Killed
Written by Helen Hamilton   

MILLBANK – After last year’s Satin and Spurs debacle, gala organizer Emma Bartlett vowed to make the 2015 fundraising occasion as inoffensive as possible. “Runaway cattle and dirty hobos are not appropriate at a sophisticated social function,” says Ms. Bartlett. “Not even in Millbank.”

Ms. Bartlett and the other members of the Gala Committee spent months in order to determine what sort of celebration would attract the cream of Millbank society, while not allowing anything to go wrong. “We did months of interviews with members of the social elite,” explains Mandy Mills, vice-chair of the Gala Committee. The results were not exactly heartening, she reports. “We learned that the top five pasttimes of our finest Millbankians were as follows: eating butterscotch pudding, protecting garden ornaments from hooligans, playing ‘Bejeweled’, hitting garage sales and attending community theater performances. It didn’t give us much to build on, I can tell you that much,” said Ms. Mills with a sigh.

It was only once the committee began planning in earnest that the full scope of the challenge hit them. “Okay, if we went with a “serve-yourself-butterscotch-pudding-buffet”, that would be popular, but that might also cause spills, or someone’s insulin would spike, or perhaps even fighting would break out if we ran low. Even something seemingly harmless can turn into a nightmare,” said Ms. Bartlett.

“We needed something that people would attend without riling them up in any way or causing any upsets.” And that is how this year’s gala consisted of handing every attendee a sippy cup of filtered water, then playing the entire box set of “American Pickers” for the assembled guests. The sippy cups were collected at the end of the evening. “No spills!”

“It wasn’t exciting,” admits Ms. Bartlett, “but no one went to the hospital or sued anyone else. Next year, we might even make it simpler and just Skype it all. That way, everyone can just stay home in their jammies.”

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Today in Millbank History

May 23, 1968

Millbank's premiere department store, Millbank Fine Goods Emporium, is destroyed by fire, and the owner, Hamish Farqueson, is never seen again.  Main Street becomes the domain of hobos and wastrels.

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Millbank Crime Watch

Sunday, 03 May 2015

1:52 p.m. - First Millbank Church of God reported that someone had taken liberties with a sign out front, spray-painting an “f”, so that the sign read, "How Great Thou FArt".

Wednesday, 06 May 2015

7:53 p.m. - Two children were cited and released to their parents for scaring ducks in Ottoman Park.

Saturday, 09 May 2015

2:31 p.m. - A woman removed a “Yes on 3” ballot measure sign from a yard on the 2500 block of Chesterfield St. and stomped on it because “she just didn’t like the sign.”  She felt it wasn't witty enough.

Monday, 11 May 2015

11:01 p.m. - A homeowner called police from her garage after she suspected that someone had broken into her house and turned on her radio. Responding officers found nobody in the house. they didn’t find a radio either.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

12:54 a.m. - A woman reported seeing two children left in a car outside the Out of Bounds Saloon after midnight. Responding officers investigated and found that there were no children, but two midgets were engaged in inappropriate contact.

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