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Better late than not at all

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

 

 

The Grant County News has not switched to a different delivery day.

I repeat – the Grant County News has not switched to a different delivery day.

The last couple of issues of the paper have arrived a day late to local stores and to the post office.

Blame it on the weather. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Actually, Mother Nature was the culprit. Two weeks ago, the winter storm that dumped snow and ice all over Kentucky knocked out power at our printing plant in Cynthiana. Due to the delay in getting the power restored, the paper wasn’t printed until Wednesday rather than late on Tuesday night. 

Because the roads were still treacherous from the snow and ice, the paper wasn’t delivered back to us until Thursday morning. The News staff divided up the task of delivering and headed out but also faced difficulty because of road conditions.

Last week, the paper was late because the printing plant experienced technical difficulties with some of their equipment. 

We appreciate our readers’ patience. We didn’t mind the phone calls from stores and subscribers wanting to know what happened to us.

That kind of concern lets us know you care about your community newspaper and while we felt bad about you not getting it on time, we felt good that you cared enough to check on its whereabouts.

Despite the ice and snow, the news goes on. Maybe we have to modify the way we gather the news, but I’m proud to say that in the 20 years I’ve worked here, neither sleet, nor rain, nor snow, nor dark of night has prevented the paper from coming out.

Speaking of 20 years, Jan. 30, 2009 was a milestone for me. It was 20 years to the day that I began working for the Grant County News.

The newspaper and community has changed a lot in the last 20 years.

When I first came, we shot only black and white photos and had to develop our own film. Eventually we moved onto color film and one-hour developing at Wal-Mart followed by digital cameras and being able to process hundreds of photos from our desktop computer.

We went from laying every page out by hand and using tape to hold it in place, to producing all the pages on the computer.

No more pasting up pages and driving them to Cynthiana in the middle of the night. Now we send them electronically.

The community has also changed with the opening of new schools and the closing of others. There have been new roads and new developments.

Businesses have come and sadly businesses have gone.

We’re still waiting for the steak house or even a White Castle, but I still believe they may come eventually. Heck, it took Cracker Barrel more than 25 years to become reality.

I’ve also learned a few other things, such as:

• The meanest people are mothers who believe their child has been slighted in some way; usually by not enough coverage on the sports or school pages. These situations are sticky and prickly and often end when we agree to disagree.

• It is much easier for people to sit on the outside and complain than it is to get involved and actually make a difference.

• Elected officials who have the biggest egos don’t always have the best ideas.

• Cell phones have not really made our lives easier; we are just more easily accessible.

• Grant County is blessed with some of the nicest people in Kentucky.

• Rita Steeger, a Grant County resident,  makes the best Rocky Road Fudge and candy, hands down.

Twenty years is a long time, I was wide-eyed and naïve in a lot of ways when I got here, but excited to be working in the community that I lived in.

I guess some would call me old or weird because I actually still enjoy the work I do. I like meeting new people and telling their stories.

I love new experiences and really do believe that every day should contain an adventure, like going ice fishing recently with some local guys. I’m saving that for a future column.

The most important thing I’ve learned is that Grant County is my home – good, bad and ugly this is the place I choose to be.

(Jamie Baker-Nantz is the editor of the Grant County News. She can be reached at 824-3343 or by e-mail at j.bakernantz@fuse.net.)