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Monke: Farewell to Our Town

Sometimes, a newspaper must make changes that are in the best interest of not only itself but also its readers. So, it is with a mixture of sadness and optimism that I inform you that this is our final issue of Our Town. It has been rewarding jou...

Sometimes, a newspaper must make changes that are in the best interest of not only itself but also its readers.
So, it is with a mixture of sadness and optimism that I inform you that this is our final issue of Our Town.
It has been rewarding journey publishing this weekly section, which was originally planned as a free, alternative weekly publication that could glean the talents of columnists and bloggers within our community, be a place for the newspaper to publish a local business feature, and include items we typically didn’t use in The Dickinson Press.
While we had our bumps in the road, we eventually crafted a strong product and what could only be described as a “cult” following from readers. However, the challenges of creating another weekly publication hindered the amount of effort editors and reporters could put toward our daily publication.
With that sentiment in mind, and knowing that many readers still look forward to checking in with their favorite Our Town columnists each week, we are giving all of our regular contributors the opportunity to continue their columns in the pages of The Press.
But first, the biggest news:
Beginning Feb. 10, The Press will replace Our Town - which served as the newspaper’s Tuesday B section - with a regular B section consistent with our current format. The new section will be led by a color Sports page and will feature Entertainment, Comics and Classifieds pages, as well as The Mini Page for kids.
We are eliminating the weekly story on a new business and are replacing it with a business notebook that, beginning Feb. 15, can be found each Sunday inside the A section. Not only will this transition give readers more local content on Sundays, it allows our reporters more freedom to produce meaningful business news content, along with short news briefs from the local business community.
We encourage all businesses to send our editors and reporters information about promotions within your offices, new hires, changes you are making inside or outside of your offices, and even state, regional or national awards your employees have received. We want to include these items in our business notebook each week. By doing this, not only do we hope to recognize newcomers to our business community, but also the longtime employees who make meaningful impacts.
As for our former Our Town columnists:
-- Patrick Hope’s video game column, Welcome to Bonus Stage, will kick off the new Tuesday B section’s Entertainment page on Feb. 10. Patrick’s column will also expand in our online edition. Each week, he will have a video blog accompanying his column at thedickinsonpress.com where he’ll give insight, strategy and helpful hints about his game of the week.
-- Jackie Hope’s humorous local events column will also continue to run on Tuesday. She can be found on the Lifestyles page beginning Feb. 10.
-- Kevin Holten’s serial novel “Journeying The Narrow Path” will continue on Wednesday’s Entertainment page beginning Feb. 11.
-- LeAnn Hull’s Bloom Where You’re Planted column will now be on the Lifestyles page each Friday beginning Feb. 13.
-- Cassie Rhoades’ monthly Small Town Style and Reed Johnson’s bi-weekly Dickinson High Digest columns will appear in the Sunday Accent section. Johnson will begin running on Feb. 15 while Rhoades begins Feb. 22.
-- Columns from CHI St. Joseph’s Hospital and Sanford Health Clinic staff will move to the Your Health page, which publishes every other Thursday.
While we understand this transition may be confusing initially and that many of you will miss Our Town, we believe this decision will create a stronger overall product and benefit readers of both our print and online editions.
Thanks for reading!

Monke is the managing editor of The Dickinson Press. Email him at dmonke@thedickinsonpress.com , call him at 701-456-1205, tweet him at monkebusiness and read his past features and columns at monke.areavoices.com.

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