It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to the Wahpeton Daily News and the Twin Towns. The last year and a half have been such an adventure, but now I am on to my next one. I accepted a job with Cascadia Daily News in Bellingham, Washington, where I will serve as a news producer. I am ecstatic for the opportunity but sad to be leaving such a supportive and welcoming community. My last day will be Friday, March 18.
One of my favorite parts of journalism is feeling like I get to live many lives. What other job affords you the opportunity to climb to the top of a grain elevator one day, meet with a state senator the next, then finish off the week with a trip to an alpaca farm? I have always been an adventurer and being a reporter only encourages me to step further outside of my comfort zone (although, that zone is getting quite large).
I want to extend my gratitude to everyone I have interviewed or worked with over my time here. Thank you for your trust and candor. I had the honor of listening to some incredible stories and meeting some amazing folks.
From midwest anomalies like “Drive Your Snowmobile to School Day” to the local government decisions that affect your lives, I tried to cover it all. Out here, even the public meetings are fun!
Thank you to those who read and enjoyed my stories. Some of my favorite articles included, “The four horseman” about the Prairie Rose Carousel in Chahinkapa Park, Wahpeton; “New public, nonprofit dental center opens in Fergus Falls” about dental access disparities for low-income individuals in rural Minnesota; “Finding Jana” about local Jana Sipe Berndt who rediscovered herself through writing a book about becoming a widow; “Local Ukrainian couple forced to watch war from afar” about Oleksandr Likhachov and Natali Likhachova who immigrated to Wahpeton; and “Vietnam pilot reunited with former aircraft” about a veteran living in South Carolina who discovered he flew the helicopter in Veteran’s Memorial Park, Breckenridge, during Vietnam.
In addition to writing over 600 stories, I had the joy of honing my photography skills, which I’d like to say improved with time. I even won a couple awards for photos taken on the scene.
I also want to thank the wonderful group of people I work with. Managing Editor Carrie McDermott is not only a great leader, but a great friend. I will miss her guidance, wisdom and jokes from across the newsroom. Publisher Tara Klostreich leads by example and is always supportive of what we do in the newsroom, even if it isn’t popular.
To my fellow reporters, thanks for entertaining the absurdities of AP style, technology frustrations and the random, mid-day questions like “If you could live in one country on every continent, which would they be?” It was a pleasure to work with a talented and conscientious team.
I will always be grateful for the wealth of experience I gained in this position. As a tried and true city girl, I also learned more about agriculture than I ever thought I would in my lifetime. I loved it all.
Take care, Twin Towns!
Audra Anderson is assistant managing editor of the Wahpeton Daily News.