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Change. It can be a scary word, but without it the world – and everything in it – can’t move forward.

This week brings change to The Chadron Record, as I wrap up my nearly 12-year career with the newspaper. Sports writer Brandon Davenport is also leaving after two years. We are both off on new adventures but leaving the Record is a bittersweet decision for us both.

I have loved my time serving the community of Chadron; a career in journalism has always been my dream, and I’ve been blessed to be able to live that dream for almost 20 years. Communities like Chadron need and deserve a strong newspaper. As journalists, we tell the stories of our communities – veterans leaving on Honor Flights, high school athletes finding success on the field or court, local government decisions and the elections that decide who makes those decisions.

Telling those stories and keeping the community informed about governmental decisions made on its behalf by elected representatives is a fulfilling career. The journalists I know and have worked with over the years pursue the career not for money but because it carries a sense of duty and purpose.

Small newspapers across this country, especially locally-owned ones, continue to thrive because of the important role they play and the commitment shown by dedicated journalists who understand that bigger isn’t always better. Small town journalists have deep connections to the communities they serve, and their readers and advertisers are the primary reasons they do the work they do.

That has certainly been true for me during my career, and for those with whom I’ve worked. We have spent years working to produce a quality product week-after-week that delivers positive outcomes for advertisers and valuable information to our readers. We are proud to have been part of that tradition.

It’s a job we have been passionate about, but change is inevitable. And now that inevitable moment has arrived for the Record staff.

It has truly been a pleasure interacting with all of you each week. You have invited us into your homes and businesses and welcomed us at events and meetings, making it possible to do the job we love. As we leave behind the legacy we have built at the Record, we take with us our memories of ball games, community events and all the people we have met. We look forward to continuing those connections, though they will be in a different capacity.

Thank you, Chadron and northwest Nebraska, for inviting us into your lives each week. It has been a pleasure.

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