Neighbors team says ‘farewell’

« Austintown Neighbors

By Natalie Wright

Neighbors Editor

I have put off writing this column for as long as I can. Until the very last second, it appears.

This newspaper that you are holding in your hands right now (or perhaps looking at on your phone, tablet or computer screen) is our last edition of Neighbors. The Vindicator, our parent company and publisher, is closing its doors today and we along with it.

A myriad of articles have been printed about The Vindicator since the announcement was made at the end of June, and I think we all know how hard Betty H. Brown Jagnow and her son, Mark Brown, tried to save their newspaper and its 150-year history. I thank them so much for that effort, and for all the opportunities they gave me during my six years as your Neighbors editor and the additional year I spent as its reporter when I was just a kid, fresh out of college. I am forever changed for the better by my time spent here.

So it is with a grateful heart that I turn my attention to you, dear readers.

It has been a privilege to be a part of your lives these past seven years. To share special moments with your families, from engagement and wedding announcements to proms, athletic events, first days of school and library activities. I have gotten to cheer on your successes and see your communities grow, and that has meant the world to me.

Thank you to the countless principals, teachers, parents, grandparents, librarians, caregivers, Scouts, community leaders and more for being so welcoming at events and always being willing to take time to give us a quote. We have been lucky enough to forge real connections with many of you. Keep going good work in your communities.

Thank you to Jessica Harker, my longest-serving Neighbors reporter, for all her hard work, innumerable laughs and compelling coverage. My thanks also to Abby Slanker, our steadfast Canfield writer, for her years of dedication and diligence. It has been my pleasure to call you both coworkers and friends. And to all the other wonderful people who have been part of my team and helped me bring Neighbors to our readers every week, I will always be grateful for your support.

Thank you and farewell, dear readers. We couldn’t have done this without you.

I hope we have served you well.