By Cole Parkinson
Westwind Weekly News
Well, after five and a half years at the paper, I’ve officially decided to move onto a new venture. When this new opportunity presented itself, it was hard to turn down and while I had to think long and hard about what I wanted to do, I believe a new opportunity is the right thing for me. That being said, my entire time at Alberta Newspaper Group has been one that I will look back fondly at.
I started at the Taber Times and Vauxhall Advance right out of college in 2017 and I honestly wasn’t sure how long I’d stay. But I can easily say this has been one of the best jobs I’ve ever had and I will miss many aspects of it. I started as the junior reporter before being bumped up to the senior reporter. And quickly after that, I was moved to the Taber Times and Sunny South News editor position at the age of 26. And as you probably know, the last few years have been a whirlwind. It’s simultaneously felt like a quick two years and also the longest two years of all time. I have learned so much over the last few years and I really have to thank everyone at the Times office for everything over the years.
Everyone at the offices in Taber, Vauxhall, and Coaldale does their best to bring a newspaper that not only informs the community about local news but also promotes all the great things happening. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great reporters over the years and moving forward I expect some new names to come in and continue to provide the best coverage in southern Alberta.
And this job would be nothing without the community — and for everyone who has answered my calls or emails asking for an interview, I thank you. I have had tons of fun over the years covering sports, local news, and events throughout the communities. I’ve been on the M.D. of Taber, Town of Vauxhall, and Horizon School Board beats since I started and I want to thank all of the past and present councillors, administration, and board members for allowing me into the meetings and answering any questions I had.
Over five years means there are tons of stories, columns, and editorials written and I appreciate everyone who has given anything I’ve written a read. I’ve loved being able to write columns about things like sports, video games, movies, tv shows, and everything in between and I hope it’s guided you into watching or listening to something that I love.
So while I depart at the end of the month, Trevor Busch makes his triumphant return to the weekly newspaper game as the new managing editor of Alberta Weekly Newspapers which includes Taber, Coaldale, Vauxhall, Westwind Weekly News, and eventually Bow Island. If there’s a perfect match for this job, I think it’d be hard to find a better one than Trevor. He has over 15 plus years of experience in editorial roles and I can’t wait to see him return. Trevor along with former Times editor Greg Price were both incredibly influential in my professional career. Besides being great guys, they were also great mentors and co-workers that were happy to help a rookie on the job. Also a huge shout out to Meg Noguchi who does the vast majority of the layout and the graphic design in the papers that you buy and read. She’s the weekly paper’s secret weapon and without her, this ship would cease to run.
So, for now, this is goodbye, but who knows, maybe you’ll still see my name in the papers from time to time. But if not, thank you for reading and I urge you to continue to support local newspapers. They are the lifeblood of communities and without them, say goodbye to stories on local government, local sports, and local events. The message to support local businesses is a good one and that should include your local newspaper. Buying a subscription helps keep people in your community employed and it helps keep boots on the ground to continue to provide local coverage. There’s a variety of ways to show support and I hope you continue to do so.