Welcome to 2013, and welcome to the new Daily Dunklin Democrat.
On Wednesday, January 2, we rolled out a new design for the print edition of the Daily Dunklin Democrat. We moved some things around, added a new section here and there, and we plan on a few more changes in the coming weeks.
The project was spearheaded by myself and Chris Kaiser, DDD reporter, and has been in the works since November. It is a continuation of what we began with the recent change in our comics.
With the new design -- a more modern look -- we plan to add information that you, the public, have been asking for.
Additions planned include:
* More public records;
* More police reports;
* More court records;
* More local features;
* And just more information;
* A few surprises.
You may have noticed some of the new content. Our "Entertainment" section is now two pages, and we've added a couple new columnist to that area. Movie show times from Paragould and Blytheville are now listed in the Entertainment section.
Births, engagements, weddings, and anniversaries -- which previously would have ran on Sundays on the Lifestyles page -- will be appearing as we receive them. They will go on the new "Daily Record" section, which has also expanded to two pages.
We have revamped our "State and Region" section, and have added a spot for national and world news.
Starting with this issue, we're adding a new "Health" section, featuring a column by local doctor, Jennifer Sellman, of Willow Family Medicine. This section -- which appears on page 15 in this issue -- will also offer health tips, as well as local and regional health stories.
As you can see, we've been busy planning this new layout and we hope you -- our readers -- enjoy it as we try to take the DDD back to the status it once was.
I would like to encourage you all, if you have an opinion on something in the newspaper, or if you have an idea or concern, please, don't hesitate to contact us. The office number is (573) 888-4505 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would also like to encourage you all to please feel free to submit a "Letter to the Editor." We love to receive them and hope to start getting more in.
We want you to know that this is your paper and we want to do everything we can to make it what you want it to be.
P.S. To Ms. Pat Tippin, I've added Bruce Williams' "Smart Money" column on this issue's "Opinion" page and I will find a more permanent spot for him. It was a pleasure talking to you on Friday.
* * *
'Thank Yous' and More
I've not written a column since before the passing of my sister, Melissa (Robertson) Petty.
Since her passing, I've lost count of the many condolence cards and "I'm sorry," notes and messages that I've received. To those who have sent along these words of encouragement, I say, "Thank You." My family says, "Thank You."
The loss of a sibling is not an easy one. But she wasn't just a sibling. She was a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a friend to many.
Having to watch my niece and nephew to through what they did in the last day of their mother's life was not easy and I wish there was something I could have done to take their pain away, but sadly, there was not.
Watching my mother go through the loss of her eldest child was also not an easy thing. Again, I wish there was something I could have done to ease the pain. There was not.
There still is not.
On a happier note, the turnout to Melissa's visitation and funeral was impressive. The entire Bradshaw Funeral Home campus was filled with friends, family, and loved ones, many of whom I haven't seen in about a decade. It was good to see them, just bad circumstances.
George Anderson is the managing editor of the Daily Dunklin Democrat.