DAVIS: So far, so good

Two weeks into my new role here at the paper and one thing is crystal clear – I am grateful for the opportunity and it is even better than I expected. Granted, some may say that the honeymoon phase hasn’t worn off just yet. They may be correct, but as far as I can see, the honeymoon will become the everyday without noticing the change.
This county and this paper are standing at the starting line and headed on the fast track to the future. Skeptics, beware – we are prepared for you. We are determined. We are stubborn. We are persistent. We will not be deterred. We may not move at a steady pace all the time, but one thing is certain: When we move, it will not be in reverse.
We asked for your feedback, and we got it. If there is one thing to be counted on in Saline County, it is that if you ask for someone’s opinion, you will get it. We knew that going in and that is why we asked. What we also know is that some of our citizens have the Missouri mindset of the “Show me” state. Who could blame them. Actions speak louder than words.
One of the most important parts of the paper is the obituary section. The very last thing a family needs during this time of grief and pain is to open the paper to find the obituary incorrect or even missing. We do not want to cause any such stress for family and loved ones. To this end, we have streamlined the process of obituary submission so that the steps are easier and simplified.
We have asked for and we have gained interest for a wider range of voices in the paper. At present, four additional individuals have agreed to participate in the contribution of stories and columns. One of them is a young man most of you know. Another is a recent Bryant High School graduate who will be headed off to college in the fall. The writing skills of these individuals will astound you and give you a glimpse of the wealth of talent we have in our county. We also have reached out to areas of the community that have been seemingly ignored or otherwise quiet. We want to bring them out and hear what they have to say.
Some of you will recognize familiar names from the past as we include them as well. Their knowledge and expertise in topic matter will be new to the paper.
We will be incorporating updates and information from our Facebook page into the paper and vice versa. We embrace the electronic age and look forward to blending the old with the new. It is an exciting time for the information stream, and we want to be out in front of it rather than paddling as fast as we can to catch up.
We will be adding bloggers to our website. College students from our community will be able to let all of us back home know what is going on with their journey into adulthood.
We have forged the beginnings of relationships that will help us serve the outer reaches of the county with news on a reciprocating basis. We expect more of these to develop.
We will be strengthening our relationship with local law enforcement, fire departments, mayors, city councils, the quorum court and all other aspects of daily life that you, the reader, want to know about.
But through it all, we want to hear from you. Anytime. Anyway. Remember, this is your paper.
So get ready. We may be calling on you.

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.