This is my last week of writing for the Bent County Democrat.

This is my last week of writing for the Bent County Democrat. Almost two years ago I took a chance and walked into the Democrat office and asked if there was a need for a local reporter. I began that day by covering the Bent County Commissioners meeting and have been the full time Las Animas reporter since that day.

I remember saying I believed that the local newspaper can unite the town and bring a sense of community to the readers. I still believe that and I believe that I have done that in Las Animas. I have worked hard to bring local coverage and local news to all of our readers. I have tried to cover both sides of issues and bring the facts to the public.

I have covered the closing of Fort Lyon, the Fort Lyon fire that burned for 10 days, the environmental investigation, the changing of the guard as the Sheriff took over the law enforcement, watched the drought take its toll, and watched the struggle of the citizens as they faced difficult economic times. But I have also covered local athletic teams as they pursue their dream of excellence, seen the Bent County commissioners  continue to fight for their community, watched the Bent County Development Foundation continue to look for solutions, and watched LiveWell Bent County push for positive health in the community.

I have personally learned to play Pitch at the Senior Club, joined the Woman’s Civic Club, began to quilt and helped begin the Bent Needle Quilting Guild, participated in Fifth Sunday Sings, and met a whole bunch of wonderful, interesting individuals who persevere and keep going.  My favorite part of the job has been writing the thumbnail sketches of people who live in our community. When I do those sketches, I get to ask questions and learn what people believe in and who they are.

My husband, Leroy, and I are planning to move closer to family and that is the reason we are leaving. We are moving to Pueblo West which puts us close to a daughter, brother, sister, and my mom. I still plan to be back one day a week to help Social Services and plan to continue writing some of those sketches which give an inside understanding to the unique people who live in the area.

I want to say thanks for all the friendships I have made, the cooperation of those individuals who allowed me to do stories, and the chance to bring “community” to this area. Thank you for the trust I have earned when covering meetings and covering the news. I hope each reader remembers me as “an honest and straight forward reporter”. Not always have the readers agreed with all I have written, but I hope that each reader knows I reported the news as objectively as I could. Thank you, Jennifer, my editor, for providing me support and allowing me freedom to create through the written word.

Candi Hill, the publisher/editor at La Junta, said the area news would continue to be covered by “in house” coverage.  I will do some writing and possibly a meeting once in a while. And know that I will miss the daily interaction with my friends here. As the clowns say, “See you next Tuesday.”