DAVIS: Three years and counting

I was having a conversation with a co-worker the other day and we both came to the same conclusion: The older you get, the faster time goes by. Perhaps it is because of the repetitive nature of the passing of days. We become accustomed to the speed at which time passes and become a bit inattentive to dates on a calendar until we say “Wow. Half the year has passed already!”
The very same sensation hit me when I realized that this coming Sunday is Father’s Day. First of all, it sneaked up on me. Secondly, this makes the fourth Father’s Day without my father. It just can’t be. He was just here.
Three years ago on the Friday before Father’s Day I wrote my first column for this paper. Where did the time go. I hope you have enjoyed my columns. I’m hopeful you have had favorites and forgive me for the times when I missed the mark.
Most of all, I want to thank you for the confidence you have given me and the support to keep going in this line of work I have come to love. I haven’t had the feeling of doing a job but not feeling like it is work in a very, very long time.
Many changes have taken place with this newspaper during the past three years. To be honest, at one point I had the thought to stop writing for the paper. It was the encouragement and support you the readers and subscribers gave me that kept me here and will keep me here. This paper is in my veins, just as it is in many of yours. Together we can make it better. The news staff is in place to make it happen. We are about to fully unleash their talents. Get ready. You will like the results.
In the three weeks I have been in this role, I have had many visitors and met many new people. I have heard praise and criticism of this paper. I welcome both and seek both. The fervor from both sides only speaks to the passion each has for us to get it right. We will.
In that vein, we will be offering a new focus and new contributions to the Saline Courier. One of these new changes is in your paper today. The mayor of Benton, David Mattingly, is the first mayor to get on board with our request for input from that office on a once-a-month basis. His new column will be called “Sticky Notes from the Mayor’s Desk” and will run the third Friday of every month. Mayor Jill Dabbs in Bryant has agreed to submit a monthly column as well. The remaining mayors of Saline County are in the process of being contacted for their participation as well. Government works best when communication lines are open.
Courthouse News has come back to the paper as well. We are seeking ways to streamline this process for the future editions.
Police Beat is coming back as well. The first installment is during the week of July 4, 2011. We will be using names of the adults on the record we receive from the local police and sheriff’s departments. We want you to know ahead of time that this once-popular section is coming back.
We already have a new columnist by the name of Aimee Tedford, and we are proud to have her on our pages. Aimee is a 2011 graduate of Bryant High School and her writing talent is extraordinary. She brings a younger perspective to us. We are looking for other young people who want to join us.
We want many more letters to the editor, enough to fill the page! Remember, this is your paper.
We are gathering columnists and writers from every area of the county that we can. We have talked to potential writers from the Ralph Bunche community as well as others.
We will have words from Courier’s past as well as pictures and captions. Look for one this coming Sunday.
We still want to hear from you and always will.

The Saline Courier Editor-in-chief Brent Davis is a lifelong resident of Benton and Saline County. The Courier has been part of his life for as long as he can remember. He is a graduate of Benton High School. His Sunday column appears at least twice a week: on Fridays and Sundays on the Opinion Page and on www.bentoncourier.com.