Wayne County Commissioners honor former Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley Wayne County Commissioners today adopted a resolution honoring former Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley for her distinguished, award-winning career in journalism. Riley's columns were "must read and the epitome of watercooler topics," said Commissioner Joseph Palamara, (D-Grosse Ile Township), in introducing the resolution, which was unanimously adopted by the 15-member commission. "Rochelle's columns taught people to read with a keen eye; how to think with an open mind and how to absorb and process the passion of her work with an honest heart." Riley was among the Free Press staff members who shared the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of Detroit city government. As a columnist, she was known as a strong advocate for children and education and helped raise more than $1 million to support literacy programs. Her other honors include the Ida B. Wells Award from the National Society of Black Journalists, the Will Rogers Award from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the National Headliner Award from the Press Club of Atlantic City. She joined the Free Press in 2000 after serving on the staff of The Louisville Courier-Journal, The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Times Herald. Riley, whose writing career is continuing, accepted a buyout offer as part of reorganization efforts by Gannett, Inc. parent company of the Free Press. Commissioners also honored former Detroit News sportswriter and columnist Lynn Henning who also retired from his newspaper job in February. Photo cutline: Wayne County Commission Vice-Chair Joseph Palamara was joined by his colleagues in honoring Rochelle Riley and Lynn Henning for their journalistic excellence at Thursday's full commission meeting.