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home : opinions : opinions
January 16, 2018

The Publisher's Pen
By Jason Sturek

This particular new year strikes a chord with me

Years come and go, but milestones stick with you.

I officially came on board The Pender Times staff almost precisely a decade ago. That seems at once like yesterday and a lifetime ago.

It was odd, to say the least, to see my name in print in the “Traveling Back” portion of the newspaper last week related to that fact. From here on out, there will always be something from the past reprinted that I had a hand in.

In some ways, I feel like this now makes me and my family a part of the town’s storied history. I’d like to take a moment and thank the Pender-Thurston community for a wonderful decade here. It’s been an incredible learning experience, and also has become a place I fondly refer to as home.

I lived in one other community for 10 years growing up, so it won’t be long before I can say that Pender has been my hometown the longest of any.

Another milestone passed in December as we celebrated one year of owning and operating The Dakota County Star in South Sioux City. The decision to purchase that newspaper was, of course, a strategic one as in any business. Part of that came from the desire to do more community journalism in a wider area, and also to find ways to expand what we can do with both newspapers.

You’ve likely noticed some cooperation between the papers, and I have plans for that to continue and even expand in 2018. I am sure you’ve noticed the color pictures. I remember early on in my tenure in Pender being asked how we might be able to improve our product and expand its reach one day, and that is happening progressively now with this venture. Stay tuned for more on that front when the timing is right.

* * *

Speaking of timing and change, it really feels like Nebraska has hit the coaching jackpot with native son Scott Frost coming home after a perfect 13-0 season with the Central Florida Knights.

I won’t rehash everything because you’d have to be living under a rock to be oblivious to all that has happened in college football related to the Huskers and their new head coach. I will say there’s good reason for optimism around the program, which remains one of the best places to play college football in the nation — even if we are a bit starved for wins and national relevancy lately.

These new guys can flat out coach, and if I was wearing that ‘N’ on my helmet this spring and next fall I’d be as thrilled as any player in the country. Hopefully, the fan base can find some patience while Frost and his associates plot a new course for Nebraska football. If we aren’t able to wait some time for the win harvest, we deserve to be mired in mediocrity for a long time to come.

Give this thing some time and resources and I think the division titles, conference titles and national contending will take care of itself in the coming years. Frost’s contract is for seven seasons, and for once I hope we can see that through. There will be ample benefits if we do.

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