Thanks and farewell to American News family

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Farm Forum

As I write this, I am about to load up our dog, Kaya, daughter, Natalie, and wife, Elizabeth (son Adam has already headed back to college at Iowa State) in a caravan that looks a bit like the Beverly Hillbillies.

Unlike the family in that old TV show, we aren’t heading to Beverly Hills, but to the hills of Bloomington, Ind. Our caravan includes a panting golden retriever in one car packed to the hilt with clothes and boxes for Natalie’s move to Ball State and another car pulling a retro 1974 Chevy LUV truck packed with gas cans and LP tanks, items the movers won’t transport — which is basically anything that could explode. We considered adding a diamond explosive sign on the side to warn fellow travelers.

The caravan is trekking 17 hours to our new home where I will become the regional publisher in Indiana for Schurz Communications Inc., the parent company of the American News and Farm Forum. This new role is a great opportunity, but it means I will no longer be publisher in Aberdeen, a position I have held for six-and-a-half years.

We arrived in Aberdeen much different than how we are leaving. We flew into Aberdeen in a snowstorm wondering what the heck we had done. Now, as we say goodbye to the many friends we have made at our church, the American News employees and family and friends across the community, we are feeling a pit in our stomach and an ache in our heart knowing it will never be the same. Yes, tears have been shed and wine has been consumed (not by Natalie — she isn’t legal).

But the tears in our eyes and the pit in our stomachs are there because we know how very blessed we have been.

I am quite proud of the work that we have accomplished in the past six years. I would like to take this chance to thank all the American News and Farm Forum readers and advertisers who have supported the Aberdeen News Co. I feel a community newspaper is a vital ingredient in keeping local communities strong, but it must have community support to survive and thrive. A solid financial position supported by advertising helps us to do the important work of newspapers. A newspaper and its digital product lines providing information for education and entertainment, as well as questioning and holding leaders accountable, are important. The part of newspapering that I love the most, though, is the everyday coverage of the people and events in our community.

Thank you to the talented team of employees at the American News and Farm Forum. It has been my privilege to be part of such a wonderful team of passionate, hardworking people. You welcomed us with open arms and sent us off with hugs and awesome barbecue complete with a (root beer) keg party.

Thank you to our many friends in and around Aberdeen, thank you all for the well wishes and support. We have fallen in love with Aberdeen and its people and will always keep a warm spot in our heart for this time in our lives.

When Schurz Communications’ acquisition of the Watertown Public Opinion is complete, Watertown Publisher Mark Roby will become the regional publisher for Aberdeen and Watertown. I know I am leaving the American News and Farm Forum in great hands.

Cory Bollinger is vice president of publishing for Schurz Communications Inc., and outgoing American News and Farm Forum publisher. He can be reached at cbollinger@schurz.com.