Greetings, fellow citizens of West Plains.
It is my greatest pleasure and honor to welcome you to the first issue of the relaunched West Plains Gazette.
We are embarking on a journey that carries a rich legacy, a journey that is as much an homage to our past as it is an exploration of our present and a promising peek into our future. This journey is one that we will undertake together, and it is my hope that we can create a publication that represents, informs and embraces our community as robustly as the original West Plains Gazette did.
The original Gazette, birthed under the industrious dedication of publisher Russ Cochran and his stellar team, including Michael Cochran, Terry Hampton and many others, set a benchmark in storytelling excellence. For a decade, it served as the mirror of West Plains, reflecting the trials, triumphs and tales of our community in a way that was profoundly intimate, genuine and powerful.
The West Plains Gazette was not just a magazine. It was an institution that became the heart and soul of our town.
Our plan, and more importantly, our commitment, is to sustain that rich tradition as we relaunch the Gazette. We will strive to document the history of our beloved town, to tell the stories of our people, and to create a genuine connection with every resident who calls West Plains home. We pledge to provide comprehensive local news, in-depth coverage of community events, detailed sports analysis, and much more. From municipal meetings and school board decisions to Little League triumphs and profiles of our proud veterans, we will be your eyes and ears.
Your narratives, your triumphs, your concerns and your hopes are the essence of the West Plains Daily Quill.
In the spirit of holding on to our shared history, we will dedicate a section of our Gazette publication to stories from the original West Plains Gazette archives. These cherished chronicles are not just reminders of our shared past, but they serve as compasses, guiding us as we navigate the future.
Amid this transition, I am aware of the concerns expressed by some readers about the changes at the West Plains Daily Quill. Change, particularly when it involves an institution as close to our hearts as the Quill, can be unsettling. I hear and understand those concerns. I am also deeply cognizant of the responsibility we carry as stewards of this cherished institution.
I want to reassure every reader that the Quill's mission remains unchanged: providing the best, most comprehensive local news possible. This is not just a priority, it is the very core of our ethos. Our team is resolute in their commitment to excellence and service.
The West Plains Daily Quill is your paper. It is a reflection of you, your thoughts, your achievements, your aspirations. We are not just journalists working on a publication, we are members of the community, your neighbors, your friends. Each one of us at the Quill holds a deep love for West Plains and knows it is a privilege to serve the people of our town. We are humbled by the trust you place in us and we promise to work tirelessly to maintain that trust.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your support. Our ambition is to be a newspaper of the highest quality, a beacon of truth and fairness, an advocate for our community, and a platform for dialogue and understanding.
The West Plains Daily Quill and this Gazette, like its predecessor, is yours, as it is ours. We promise to bring you stories that matter, news that informs and a publication that enriches our collective understanding and appreciation of our remarkable community.
As the still-relatively-new publisher of the Quill, I can make you two promises: The first is that I will make mistakes. The second is that I will always welcome hearing about them and do everything in my power to correct them.
Thank you for joining us on this journey. Here's to the legacy of the Quill and the original West Plains Gazette, to our shared history, our present connections and our future explorations. Here's to the people of West Plains, the heartbeat of our newspaper.
Let's turn the page together and see what the next chapter holds.