As we say goodbye to 2017, I reflect over the year and can say overall, it was a good year. Sure it had its ups and downs but I got the promotion to the editor of The Sun Times which meant I moved to somewhere I have always wanted to live. The only drawback was moving  two hours away from the love of my life, my grandson. I have met some truly wonderful people here in Heber Springs and feel fortunate to have been accepted into this community.

The Sun Times itself had several major changes during 2017 that have affected content, advertising and publication this year. Some have been good, some not so much, but The Sun Times has been the paper of not only Heber Springs, but Cleburne County and surrounding areas as well for over 125 years. That, in and of itself, makes a bold statement, especially in our digital age.

Change can be a great thing but sometimes, it takes a bit of getting used to for all involved.
One of the changes this year was me, the new editor. I came here after being a reporter in both Stuttgart and White Hall. In fact, I consider my time at White Hall as my training period for being an editor. It was the “learn by experience” training, which sometimes sticks with you a little better than other forms. I’m still learning. I will continue to learn because I am a firm believer that you are never completely educated, whether it be your actual education or your job, or life in general.

The Sun Times also lost their advertising manager, regional publisher, sales people, a delivery driver and a sports reporter, in addition to the editor. All of this within the first six months, except for the sports reporter which happened three weeks into my editorship. To say the first month of my being at The Sun Times was crazy and stressful is an understatement. It was during this time we changed our printing location from Stuttgart to Pine Bluff. As anyone knows when a business changes something, whether it be computer software or print locations, there are always kinks to be worked out. Thank you for your patience during this time and know that I and our staff worked hard to motivate those in charge to get things lined out and on several occasions, even got out late at night make the paper delivery runs. No one can say this editor doesn’t do everything within her power to get you your paper. I have even personally delivered papers to people, who for whatever reason didn’t receive a paper, and for one reason or another couldn’t get out to come by and pick one up.

Since November, 2016, the complete staff of The Sun Times has changed. This is why the paper may look different and the content may be different. The content change has been mostly because of you, the readers, who were very vocal about wanting more local news in the paper and less state/national. Luckily I am a firm believer in the local news should be about the local people and businesses. So, that’s what I do. I am only one person so obviously, I can’t be everywhere at the same time, but I am always willing to publish submitted content from events I could not attend. Because I am not a native of the area nor a longtime resident there are events that I don’t know are annual events, so please let me know of events so that I may cover them, when possible.

As we enter 2018 I can promise you that I will do everything in my power to continue putting the local news and stories in The Sun Times. I love showcasing the wonderful things that the people in this community do for others. The many toy drives so that children in our county could have a good Christmas was unbelievable. There were so many that they took up at least two or three pages in as many papers.

I appreciate our subscribers, both new and longtime ones. Those of you who have made a point to come in the office to either renew or first time subscribe and have stated that you are doing so because the paper has become local again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! You are the reason I do what I do!

Thank you all for sticking by The Sun Times throughout all the changes and especially during the time we were working out the kinks in our new print location too!!

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year!

Until next time...