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Millbank Chamber of Commerce Introduces Stringent Licensing Guidelines To Boost Local Profit Forecasts
Written by Helen Hamilton   

MILLBANK – If you notice more gophers running amok in Millbank this spring, the predictions of the Millbank Chamber of Commerce will have come to pass. These pesky rodents gnaw gardens and dig holes, but even they aren’t causing the ruckus that certain businesses have been causing recently.

Kyle Renfro, a representative of the Millbank Chamber of Commerce, urges local businesses to restrain their impulse to adopt a name with a pun in it. In April, the city will adopt clear guidelines for business names in the interest of the local economy. At the public announcement of these guidelines on Thursday, Renfro stated, “How will people take Millbank seriously and purchase goods and services if businesses have silly names? One silly name per town might be fine, but this has gotten way out of hand. Let’s clean up our act and have names that reflect our community and encourage visitors to spend money in Millbank!”

The tussle that brought this all to the forefront were the very vocal accusations made between local pest management concerns, Gopher Broke and Goph-Busters. “It’s just shoddy business practice,” says Hutch McCutchinson, owner and operator of Gopher Broke for the past 3 years. “It’s one thing to have another gopher control business move into a small town like Millbank, but a totally different issue if that second business tries to dominate the funny name sector.”

But Bobby “Big Bob” Danforth of Goph-Busters says that the problem isn’t with his name, it’s with his rival business. “What’s in a name? I just know that I bust gophers and Hutch is the one going broke.” Danforth claims that his advancement in gopher control technologies, such as the Rain of Blood III, has brought him success. The rivalry has not been a civil one, leaving hundreds of gopher corpses littering the city’s lawns.

It turns out that there has been a rash of new businesses with questionable names lately. Besides Gopher Broke and GophBusters, there are vacuum repair shops (“Just the Vacs, Ma’am”, “Your Vacuum Sucks”), bakeries (“Yeast of Eden”, “Donut Fret”); and even one watch repair shop (“Barnett’s Watch Repair”). “That last one is the worst one of all,” says Renfro.

The current conflict brings to mind the 2006 kerfuffle between the Curl Up and Dye Salon and Hair Apparent Beauty Parlor. That year, Millbank residents were known far and wide for their lackluster locks. The Millbank Chamber fears that Millbank residents will again be the ones suffering for the juvenile humor of a few business owners.

“These people think they are being cute. Ironically, it is this sort of cute that will drive consumers away from Millbank and straight into Chesterburgh Point or Clean Springs. It could literally be the end of Millbank as we know it, all for a few meaningless chuckles.”

Renfro adds, "The sad thing is, I don't think these people can help themselves."

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City Under Siege by Slide Whistle Gang
Written by Millbank Daily-Weekly   

Local Group Demands Equal Rights and for People to Notice Them.

Slide Whistle PatriotA local group calling itself the “Slide Whistle Patriots” have taken control of the Fun but Dangerous Vacant Lot on Main Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenue. A spokesman for the group says the Patriots will not leave until their demands are met. Those demands are for the city of Millbank to recognize slide whistles as a form of free speech that is protected at all private and public functions, that slide whistle is recognized as the official language of Millbank, and for the City to convert the Fun but Dangerous Vacant Lot into a fourteen-story museum dedicated to the “history and artistry of slide whistles.”

A Slide Whistle Patriots’ spokesman said they had began occupying the Fun but Dangerous Vacant Lot two weeks ago and reached out to local media because nobody noticed. Patriots took control after they rousted a “gang of hooligans” hiding in the weeds with “an invigorating slide whistle symphony.”

While eye witness accounts suggest the Patriots consist of only two people, the group’s spokesman said the group has “significant support in the community. One hundred percent of the people we know with slide whistles support us.

The Patriots seeks to remain anonymous, but are believed to be a well-known Millbank gadfly and his nephew. They can be seen in the Lot wearing balaclavas, camouflaged band uniforms and bearskins, and are armed with bandoliers loaded with more than a dozen silver slide whistles.

Millbank has imposed restrictive policies on slide whistle activities over the past year, cracking down on when and where they could be played. City Council said new rules were established after numerous complaints of slide whistle-related annoyances. Those included an incident during which a citizen used his speaking time at a council session to play “Fur Elise,” right before the Millbank High Viscounts missed a potentially tie-breaking field goal against the Clean Springs Gold Diggers, as a coffin was lowered into a grave, and during the 2015 Canine Concours d’Elegance in Ottoman Park, causing a stampede of poodles and shih tzus to terrorize citizens.

When asked about the occupation, Millbank City police Chief Vern Howard said, “They did what now?”

After learning the Patriots’ demands, Chief Howard said they sounded similar to those found tied to a slide whistle and lit firecracker thrown at a police station window last month. “Luckily, the firecracker was a dud and the whistle was too light to break the glass.”

Slide Whistle PatriotHoward said the police would respond to the protest but it may take six months or longer to formulate a plan due to more pressing concerns, such as the goose poop problem in Ottoman Park. “Forcibly kicking them out of the Lot might push these knuckleheads into areas where the residents can hear their awful racket.

“Besides,” added Howard, “as long as they’re in the Lot, the hooligans aren’t. Just a word of caution to them, though: that vacant lot may seem fun, but it’s dangerous too."

The Patriots’ spokesman responded to Chief Howard: “We aren’t going anywhere. We have enough slide whistles to hold out until our demands are met. Plus, the Koffee Kltasch is right across the park for bathroom breaks or food. We welcome anyone who supports our cause and has his own slide whistle to come join us in the Fun but Dangerous Vacant Lot, but come before six p.m. because that’s when my nephew and I go home for the night. And we ask any other patriots to bring supplies: we need Kit Kats, hot sauce, paper towels and money.”

The spokesman added, “Do not come if you don’t have your own slide whistle. We don’t share. Sanitary reasons."

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Millbank Embarks on Master Plan Process
Written by Helen Hamilton   

MILLBANK – Imagine a town where its healthy and happy residents have plenty of recreational facilities and natural settings with many trees and flowers. A town where businesses flock to the downtown area, creating a vibrant and inclusive public space. A town where the infrastructure is easy to navigate and can function superbly even with inclement weather and fast population growth. Now imagine Millbank.

“Millbank’s motto is ‘A Place to Live’,” and I’d say we’re living up to that motto, says Millbank city council member Gary Shanks. “Barely.” Shanks posits that various large-scale factors such as climate change, the aging of the population and shifts toward an information and service-based economy have all taken their toll on Millbank over the last twenty-five years.

“Millbank hasn’t changed. It’s always been solidly mediocre,” says Dr. Linda Lavin, local historian and faculty member of Tri-City Community College. “But the definition of mediocre is changing with the times, and so Millbank must change, too.”

To that end, the Millbank City Council has embarked on an intensive, lengthy master planning process. At the beginning of the year, the council hired Civic Excellence Consultants, a Clean Springs-based architecture and project management firm. This process will require town-wide surveys, focus groups, town hall meetings and multiple planning workshops, and CEC will be there to make sure city officials keep things on track.

“Hoo boy, all it takes is a few loudmouths and a whole city can slide to s***,” says Lawrence Kliphoffer, CEC principal planner (random letters after his name). “We’ve seen it time and time again. Remember Cherry Falls and Steamvale? No? Well, that’s because their master planning process was hijacked by a bunch of idiots. Now those places are just holes in the ground.”

Planners and other lackeys from CEC have spent the first part of the month becoming familiar with Millbank’s current layout, demographics and services. They have interviewed all the members of the city council and recently, they met with the Millbank Boosters Club to begin gathering information about Millbank’s future. Over the next three months, they will begin setting meetings with different civic organizations and city departments, as well as issuing a city-wide satisfaction survey, to see what Millbank residents really want from their town.

Local residents are happy to weigh in, although they may not agree on what is most important for the future of Millbank. “I know what I want,” says Walt Lvlinks, local resident. “Fewer hooligans on my street. Can we plan somewhere to put all the hooligans or put them to work, or something? Making slide whistles?”

“Our recreational facilities need an overhaul to keep up with our population,” says Doug “Pickleball Doug” Sheffley. “There are some obvious improvements that need to be made, and I want to make sure that these are included in any long-range planning for Millbank.”

City council member Howard Dale advises calm and caution during the master planning process. “We know that, in order to serve the needs of Millbank residents, we’ll have to juggle everything from flood prevention to successful schools to a ensuring sufficient butterscotch pudding stockpile. That’s a lot to deal with, but with a rational, collaborative approach from all of our populace, we should be able to make Millbank the best it can be.” "We don't want to be a hole in the ground," says Dale. "We want to be Millbank."

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Official Millbank Holiday Schedule
Written by Millbank Daily-Weekly   

Looking for some safe and programmed fun for the holidays? Join other Millbank residents at the following sanctioned events and get into the holiday spirit.

Official Lighting of the Millbank Christmas Tree – Nightly at 6:30 P.M. through January 3. The lights are on a programmed timer.

Santa’s Pickleball Parade – Pickleballers will meet at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, December 22, and then parade through Ottoman Park for thirty minutes carrying sign-up forms for Spring Pickleball Leagues. All paraders MUST be in uniform. Santa will not be present.

Cool Youth ClubCool Youth Club – The Cool Youth Club is a superfun new club for cool youths to hang out in a relaxed environment, drink cool juice and eat neat cookies while talking freely about cool things they plan to do like vandalism, graffiti or acts of terror. The club is also open to youths who want cookies while talking about other youths they know who plan to do illegal things. Meets Tuesday afternoons at 3:00 P.M. in the new Cool Youth Room at the Millbank police station.

Main Avenue Business Alliance Appreciation Night – Come stroll Main Avenue on Monday, December 21 and let the shops show their appreciation for Millbank residents’ patronage. Treats include hot cocoa for sale, photos with Santa for $15, popcorn and roasted Grunk Nuts at market prices. Scented candles, ornaments and garland will also be available for purchase. NO CAMERAS ALLOWED.

Milbank Vegetarian Society Christmas Potluck – Join the Society for their most popular potluck of the year at the City Hall Municipal Room on Wednesday, December 23. As per the Society’s Christmas tradition, meat dishes welcome and encouraged.

No SantaSilent Night – the Out of Bounds Saloon welcomes singles and widows over 21 to spend a festive Christmas Eve with them. They will be serving their world-famous all-you-can-eat, one-trip-only salad bar and extend Happy Hour specials until 8:00 P.M. Santa and a sexy dwarf will arrive at midnight for half-price tequila shooters.

Poopmas – After opening presents on Christmas Day, join civic leaders in Ottoman Park to help clean up the rampant dog poop problem. As a holiday treat, bags and scoops provided.

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Today in Millbank History

February 5, 2006

A Super Bowl celebration at Adolph's Irish Pub goes awry when patrons, incensed by the lame halftime show, attempt to put on their own.  Three are hospitalized after falling off the bar while trying to perform an ill-fated can can.

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