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Editorial: Extra Extra! Read all about it in The Dickinson Press

'Tis the new year and a time many people commit to fresh starts in finances, restoring bonds in relationships and a big one -- improving health.

The Dickinson Press is also committed to staying healthy and to getting stronger in 2012. We need your help.

First, a little insight into The Press: The paper faces the same challenges as many area businesses do. While we are thrilled to start the new year with a full staff, thousands of job opportunities in the area make it difficult on employee retention at the paper.

Competition from the oil boom in western North Dakota is creating that challenge and finding affordable places for employees to live is also a constant struggle.

From start to finish, it's quite a process to get The Dickinson Press to your door.

It takes employees of all types to get the paper out each day -- advertising, editorial, composing, the pressroom and carriers. Without any of these components, we are in trouble.

Carriers are independent contractors and we wish we could say we have all of those shoes filled with the new year, also. We don't, but are working hard to do so.

We strive to keep our services top-notch and though there are struggles, we do all we can to get the paper to your door Tuesday through Sunday.

Now for a look into 2012, The Year of the Dragon:

We plan to expand our coverage of the oilfield. We added a weekly Energy page on Saturdays and in October we created, "The Drill," a special section focusing on energy impact in western North Dakota.

Because of positive feedback, it will become a monthly publication starting in February.

In March, we will take The Drill up another level and expand its circulation beyond our typical area to cover western North Dakota from the top to the bottom, and include the Bakken, Tyler and Three Forks formations.

Oil impact is the biggest economic story in North Dakota and the country as a whole, and we are smack dab in the middle of it.

We are responsible to cover this monster story, but not at the expense of our regular local coverage; from ma and pa businesses, to enterprise pieces, local community on-goings and sports.

Besides daily stories regarding our schools, counties and the people making a difference, our annual Progress section will come out in March.

This major undertaking is filled with stories and photos from communities and businesses throughout southwestern North Dakota. If you know of an entity that will make a nice feature, please let us know.

Besides the special sections, share feedback with your neighbors. If you like or dislike what's going on in your community, share that. You can write a letter to the editor, comment on stories at www.thedickinsonpress.com or start a blog on Areavoices.

Areavoices is a forum on The Press website where anyone can write a blog. It's free and you can share everything from political viewpoints to stories about your pets. Check it out and contact us if you need help setting up an account.

As always, we take all news tips seriously. Southwestern North Dakota is a vast area and it can be difficult to keep an eagle's eye on it all. This is where we need you. Please call if there are issues in your community you'd like to see covered. We want to know about people who are making a difference, issues that are of concern to residents, fresh businesses and breaking news.

There are a number of public officials, from elected to emergency workers, who have also been most forthcoming with information. Thank you.

For those who have not been so eager to get back to The Press (or avoid us altogether), please remember you are a public figure and that means you have a responsibility to be public!

We also want to take the opportunity to thank the thousands of people who have shared their stories, views, photos and information with The Dickinson Press readers in 2011. Of course, we thank our readers wholeheartedly. Without those who share their stories and those who read them, there is no Press.

Welcome to 2012 and please let us know what changes you'd like to see (and it never hurts to know what you like about your paper!).

Feel free to email Editor Jennifer McBride at jmcbride@thedickinsonpress.com with your thoughts on what you'd like to see more or less of. If you prefer to call, dial 701-456-1205.

Dickinson Press Publisher Harvey Brock and Editor Jennifer McBride are on the Editorial Board.

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