By CRAIG HALL
It’s no great milestone, but this is my third anniversary publishing the Heavener Ledger.
It’s been an interesting ride, to say the least.
Until October of 2014, I had not actually worked at or for a newspaper since 1990 at the late, great Denison Herald.
I had been involved with journalism projects since then, though, covering the Heavener Wolves for the Ledger for several years before running the websites Heavener Online for a couple of years and LeFlore County Journal from 2009 on.
The things I am most proud about with the Ledger are the improvements. Instead of just publishing information that is sent in by email, we go out and cover school board and city council meetings along with attending sporting events involving Heavener and LeFlore County teams.
We have started a website for the Ledger, got an e-edition going, and added games, comics and much more to the newspaper.
The Ledger has a new look and feel, one I hope all you fine readers out there like.
We have almost doubled the number of subscribers from 2014, built relationships with new advertisers and published 156 editions, as of this week.
Just like the post office, we deliver in the rain, snow, sleet, heat and pretty much whatever is thrown at us. I have had two flat tires during my weekly trip to and from Stigler to get the newspaper.
I have had to take alternate routes due to flooding several times.
I have met many new people and have managed to stay awake during all the meetings.
We have even made some improvements at the Ledger office. A new and better printer, a new porch out front to replace the one that was one heavy wind away from crashing down, plus fixed the roof and had a new ceiling installed so it doesn’t look like it will be falling down atop one’s head.
But the main thing we have done is kept the Ledger going. I am even more proud of that than I am of the improvements. And no, it hasn’t been easy. Unlike the old days, we aren’t printing money, just a weekly newspaper.
Money is and has been tight. But we have great help here at the Ledger and good support in the community and county.
People ask me at times how the Ledger is doing. My standard response is “we printed another issue this week”, which is a big deal considering how newspapers are doing in the time of the internet, Facebook and Twitter.
We aren’t where I would like for the Ledger to be, but I doubt it will ever be as successful as I wish. The first football game I covered for the Ledger was against Eufaula. After finding out where I worked, a guy from Eufaula said “You mean Heavener has a newspaper?”
That kind of hurt. And while I wish we had a lot of full-page ads and our classifieds were bloated with ads, we will print a newspaper this week, just like every other week since 1904.
So please, keep buying each issue or subscribing to the Ledger. Advertisers, please continue getting the word out to your customers and potential customers by using the Ledger and you younger people, start reading the newspaper!
We will be celebrating this milestone on Oct. 20 at the Ledger office with a customer appreciation day with hot dogs, subscription specials and much more.
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