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Editorial: Grateful to continue bringing hometown news to you

If you’d asked me 10 years ago where I thought I’d be, it wasn’t here as the new editor of the Williams-Grand Canyon News.

But my experience here has been nothing like I expected and I am inspired by the people who work so tirelessly to make Williams a better place.

Williams isn’t my home town — I grew up in the mountains of Colorado — but becoming immersed in the Williams community, and meeting and learning about the families and history of the area has been an amazing experience. I’ve enjoyed getting to know those who grew up here and those who have recently moved here. Everybody has a story, and they are all fascinating.

The Williams-Grand Canyon News has been in publication since 1898. It’s one of the longest running newspapers in Arizona, and I’m honored to continue to carry the editorial torch here.

Having a hometown newspaper is becoming rarer with the advent of new advertising opportunities and the popularity of social media. However, the value of a small town paper is unmatched for readers interested in in-depth coverage of local issues and staying abreast of community happenings.

My goal since I began at the Williams News in 2015 was to be a voice for the community, whether good or bad. The staff here not only works to bring relevant news to your doorstep, but to share with the rest of the world what is important to our community. I have seen Williams' independence, personality and unique values that are unmatched in northern Arizona.

The Williams-Grand Canyon News belongs to the community of Williams, and I hope nobody loses sight of that.

I’m here for a short while, and then someone else will take the helm, but hopefully the newspaper will endure. It’s a special publication that continues because of the support of the community.

In a back room we have almost every edition of the newspaper that has been printed since the late 1800s. It’s a treasure trove of history and a time capsule of this community.

You can open up almost any edition and read about water woes, forest fires and all of the issues that we are still facing today. It holds a record of our government leaders, our outstanding athletic teams and those who forged out new businesses. It’s a testament to a century of people who have worked hard to make Williams the place it is today.

The financial health of the Williams News is always a concern, however, a loyal caldron of local advertisers and subscribers continues to bring the news to you. We couldn’t do it without them.

We hope that people in the community will see that by advertising or subscribing, you are supporting the news that we bring to you. We hope you support those who do advertise with us, and you consider advertising yourself as a way to show your support for what we do. It’s not much different than donating to your favorite nonprofit.

We are going through some changes here at the newspaper as we try to find a new reporter for the Williams area. We aren’t anxious though, because we want to find someone who cares about the community as much as you do.

You may see some new faces as we continue to publish not only the local Williams newspaper, but also our Williams and Grand Canyon Visitor Guides, the Navajo-Hopi Observer newspaper, the North Pole Times and several other publications.

We are eager to share our latest endeavor with you, a magazine called Northern Arizona Hunting & Fishing. The staff has been collaborating on this over the past year as a way to share the community’s great outdoor opportunities, and also send a message on how to recreate here responsibly. We hope the community will support us in this so we can get it off the ground soon.

Ultimately, we are here for you and are always grateful for your readership and support. If you don’t see us at your event, please send us some photos. We rely on you to keep us up to date on the happenings in our community. Send us your events, your concerns, your praises and your ideas. We are always eager to hear from you.

Feel free to email me anytime at whowell@williamsnews.com. For advertising and support opportunities, email Connie Hiemenz at chiemenz@williamsnews.com.

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