FROM THE EDITOR: It’s hard work getting new stuff

Farm Forum

Would you ever consider doing a major home remodel at the same time you were buying all new appliances?

That’s sort of the spot we are in at the American News. It’s a great problem to have, but we have way too much going on.

First, there is the ongoing building remodel. Publisher Cory Bollinger has written about that a couple of times. This year, we are remaking the outside of the building and the front area. Next year, it’s the newsroom’s turn for a makeover.

Most of you won’t have seen the real chaos, and aren’t around during prime jack-hammering times. (I missed a lot of it thanks to a serendipitously timed vacation.)

The new front door, on the Second Avenue Southwest side, appears to be coming along.

The inconveniences to the public, we hope, are minor: finding a good parking spot if you visit; watching for the bumps in the street on Second; dropping off bills or mail after-hours in a, frankly, janky-looking mailbox on a pole.

But when it’s all done, not only will it be a nice building for our employees and customers, it will also look impressive here in our neighborhood. The remodel shows a continuing commitment to newspapering (and all the things that means) by our company.

The newsroom is not without change now. A new computer system and hardware upgrade has been needed for years, and it is finally happening in the next couple of weeks.

Now it is a frantic dash to prep for training next week. Each of our newsroom employees will spend a few hours in early November being trained on the new equipment.

We are going to see a lot of improvements in the way things are done here. While readers won’t see the nuts and bolts features of the system, we hope you will see the overall quality of our products move up a couple of clicks.

Pages in the American News and Farm Forum will slowly roll out on the new system during the “go live” period in early- to mid-November. If all goes as planned, the only differences readers will notice will be positive ones.

The only outward sign might be if you see our reporters around with new laptops. We are trading in their old desktop computers for some really nice new MacBooks.

Did I mention, at the same time, we are upgrading our website with a new company? Yeah, that’s happening too.

And we still have to make a newspaper every day. Leaves very little time for some tasks, like finishing a Monday morning column . . .

Civic Arena, Kennedy projects

Many of you will know — or remember — that then-Sen. John F. Kennedy visited the Civic Arena in Aberdeen in June 1960 for a George McGovern campaign fundraiser.

That bit of trivia hints at two American News projects coming up in November.

Assistant Sports Editor Dave Vilhauer is spearheading a special Civic Arena history project, timed to the facility’s 75th anniversary. More on that in the coming weeks. Email Dave at if you have special memories of that building.

Next Monday, I will talk about special coverage remembering President Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his death, Nov. 22, 1963. We will want to hear from our readers for that one, too; details to come next week.

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