I have returned.
Sixteen years ago — give or take a few months, as the memory isn’t what it used to be — I left the Galion Inquirer for greener pastures. I had worked at the local newspaper for some 16 years, starting as a part-timer in the sports department. I became the sports editor and then the news editor. I was the newspaper editor when I turned in my two weeks notice in the summer (I think) of 1999.
This week, I returned to the Inquirer. I am the editor in Galion and will oversee editorial content at the Morrow County Sentinel and Bellville Star. Already, several old friends and foes have made contact with me. I hope others do, too.
Much has changed in the Galion area since I quit working locally, and much has changed with the Inquirer since 1999.
I got married, moved to Chippewa Lake, Ohio — not far from the old amusement park — got divorced and moved back to Galion some 10 years ago. I have no kids, but I’ve adopted two cats and recently a white pit bull, which means I have a full, busy, noisy, furry home.
The Inquirer also has had several owners, moved to a new building on Portland Way North and then to 129 Harding Way East, just a block east of the square. It is now owned by Civitas Media. When I left, the Inquirer was printed six days a week and the Internet was just a baby. Today, we have print editions on Wednesday and Saturday. And we have a website that is updated throughout the day and on weekends. We make use of Facebook, Twitter and other tools to get our news to you. If you don’t receive the Inquirer print edition — and even if you do — it is available on your personal computer, your work computer, your tablet and your smartphone.
The newspaper industry has struggled in recent years. It still is riding a really, bumpy road. But the ideals of community journalism haven’t changed that much. Only the way that information is delivered has changed. Instead of you coming to us, we are bringing the news to you … on your phone, tablet or PC.
There is still a need, a curiosity, to know what is happening inyour community.
What’s going onat the Gill House? What’s going on this weekend? When is the next art walk? Who is playing in the bandshell Tuesday behind the YMCA? When will the hotel on Ohio 598 open? How about Arby’s? Tim Horton’s, Jake’s? And, are there really plans for a new venture uptown in which to drink coffee and socialize?
How did the Galion Graders fare last night. What’s new with the Galion High School football, volleyball, golf, cross country and soccer teams? Yes, Galion High School students will playing soccer this year.
The local newspaper is the best way to find out the answers to these questions … and more. That group of men who hang out and McDonald’s, or Burger King, each morning are pretty knowledgeable about lots of things. But even though they may tell you they have all the answers, they don’t.
We want your best source of information to be the Galion Inquirer. We want to be your go-to place.
My job is to bring that information to you, in a format that is easy to find, that makes sense and is accurate.
So, if you don’t receive the Inquirer at home and you’ve never looked at us on the Internet, give us a chance. Our web address is GalionInquirer.com. There also is an App available, for your iPhone, iPad or Android devices. Check us out.
We want to be a social media gathering place. We want to be a warehouse for you to find the information you need most about what is happening in and around Galion. When is Pickle Run this year? During the July 4 weekend. When are the fireworks? Sunday, July 3, at dusk.
Galion is not a perfect community. But there are no perfect communities.
We’ve struggled with city finances in the past, but those issues are in the rear view mirror. Our streets are getting repaired. Our city parks match up with any in neighboring towns and cities and there are plans to make them even better. Even the much-delayed splash park at East Park will open soon. There are plans to put up a pavilion at Amann’s Reservoir and there are shelters available at Galion’s other parks. We have plenty of softball and baseball fields, a new soccer field is planned.
There are a lot of positive things going on in this community. And although I’ll not ignore the negative stories that pop up now and then, I think and I believe there are far more positive items and happenings to write about. And that is my goal … to find and bring to you those positive stories.
So, if you have some news you’d like to share, something think it is worth sharing with others, send me a note at [email protected] or call the Inquirer at 419-468-1117. I’ll also be out and about in the city, so don’t hesitate to look me up and share that interesting anecdote with me.
Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer, Morrow County Sentinel and Bellville star. He is a long-time sports fan, but is not as long-suffering as he once was, thanks to Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He loves to cook, read, cook, write, cook .. and cook some more. If you have a story idea, or an idea about how we can serve your better, email him at [email protected] or call 419-468-1117.