Changing times at The Argus

Charlie Warner
Argus Editor

“The times, they are a changing.”

Minnesota native Bob Dylan  penned that line in one of his hit songs back in the 1960s. I thought of that song last week moments before I informed the staff at The Argus that I would be leaving my position as editor.

Earlier in the week I had accepted a job offer with Miken Sports of Caledonia. I was hired to a newly-created position as their “marketing specialist.” I will begin duties on June 11.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 63 months since I sat down with former Argus Managing Editor Jane Palen to discuss the position that opened up due to the untimely death of former news editor Dave Heiller. I had been serving as the managing editor at The Houston County News in La Crescent and drove through Caledonia twice daily on my commute from Canton to the Apple Capital of Minnesota. And every day as I drove through Caledonia, I thought how much shorter a commute it would be if I was working in the Houston County seat. I also wondered what it would be like covering the goings on in Caledonia.

That opportunity presented itself to me, and I am very grateful Jane believed enough in me to offer me the job.

A lot of water has gone over the dam in the past five-plus years. The Argus has seen three different managers move on to other things. We’ve had a graphic artist, two sales reps and numerous free lance photographers and writers come and go as well.

Much has happened over the past five years in Caledonia and the Houston County area as well. There was never a lack of things to report. Two Presidentially-declared national disasters with the floods of 2007 and 2008, the controversial County Justice Center became a reality, four state football championships, a girls state basketball title, a boys state title in track, numerous state FFA titles, a native son drafted into the NFL and massive cuts in state aid to city, school district and county governments and the challenges those cuts posed, are just a few that come to mind.

Covering the Caledonia community and Houston County, one really comes to know the many dedicated people who give their time and talents to help others. I know I’ve used the term “Minnesota nice” countless times when reporting on the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the generous people living in this area have raised through benefits to help individuals and families in need.

I’d like to thank all of you who have made my job a little easier by identifying kids and people in photos, bringing me up to speed on on-going issues I was just starting to cover and being patient with me when I spelled someone’s name incorrectly.

And of course I’d like to thank the very dedicated staff at The Argus for all their help and support. Putting out a newspaper, with as much news and advertising as we seem to jam into The Argus each week, is quite a challenging endeavor.

Week in and week out, persons working in the newspaper business are always under deadline pressure. That, and the four-hour city council meetings are two aspects of the job I won’t miss.

But the daily contact with all the wonderful folks I’ve come to know and enjoy over the past five years is something I will truly miss.