New hitters 

There are a couple of fresh faces wandering around the editorial department here at Metro Times’ world headquarters.

We’ve hired two reporters to replace the much-missed Lisa M. Collins, who decided to seek fame and fortune as a freelancer (but who promises to continue being a frequent presence on these pages) and Khary Kimani Turner, who left to start a consulting business (but will also continue to contribute to MT).

They are staff writers Nancy Kaffer and Joe Kirschke.

Kaffer, a native of Alabama, has been toiling away at the Press & Guide in Dearborn for the past five years, where she delved into the workings of a Byzantine city government and the city’s ethnically diverse population. She’s a graduate of Spring Hill College, a small Jesuit liberal arts school on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. Before moving to the metro area, she worked at the Loyola University Center for Environmental Communications in New Orleans. Nancy enjoys good movies, bad novels and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She recently learned to knit, and really likes zombies. Because of that last fact, we’re considering giving her the Detroit City Council beat.

Kirschke came to us not long after having an epiphany that chasing stories on the back of a motorcycle on the potholed roads of Jakarta, Indonesia, without medical evacuation insurance might not be such a hot idea after all. Until then, he’d been working as a freelance writer for a variety of Indonesia-based publications, along with World Press and A stint as a language consultant at Indonesia’s English-language paper of record, The Jakarta Post, allowed him extra pocket money and insights into the corruption, chaos and palace intrigue that makes that megalopolis one of the most fascinating places in the world. We figured it was just the experience needed to be a reporter here.

His resumé also includes a stint as a certified ambulance chaser at a small daily in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, and a gig with the Associated Press in Philadelphia. He has also worked as a school board and municipal meeting maven for a suburban Philadelphia weekly.

He’s a graduate of Boston University’s College of Communication, where, in his words, he “studied to be a stenographer under professors and fellow students at the school paper, The Free Press.” After graduation, he worked as a writer for the Cairo-based Al-Ahram Weekly, the largest-circulating English-language newspaper in the Middle East. With some noble effort, he failed to master the intricacies of the Arabic language.

Wait’ll he tries to decipher City Hall spin from the mayor and council.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact this column at 313-202-8004 or

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