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Worthington, it's been good to have known you

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Worthington, 56187
Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

WORTHINGTON -- Twenty-two and one-half years ago, the Worthington Daily Globe was put together via cut-and-paste method and photographs were produced in trays filled with Acufine. Today we have digital cameras, and computers have revolutionized not only page design but practically everything else as well.

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No technological advance will ever replace the need for good old-fashioned reporting, however, and that is why newspapers continue to offer rewards like no other profession.

I was born in Worthington in 1956, and upon leaving the hospital I was carried across the border into Iowa to grow up in the tiny town of Allendorf. Who would have thought that in December of 1983 I would return to my roots to work at the Daily Globe? I've been here ever since, starting as a sports reporter 22½ years ago, then becoming sports editor, then news editor, and now the managing editor. I will be leaving soon, beginning a new job as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in exactly one week.

As excited as my wife, Sandy, and I are at beginning our new adventure in the city where we met while attending Mankato State University together, we will sincerely miss living in Worthington and enjoying our friends here and in our church. My Daily Globe co-workers are wonderful people to work with. I want to especially thank former editor Bob Van Enkenvoort for recommending me for management, and publisher Dennis Hall for being a kind and supportive boss. Thanks, too, to assistant general manager Joni Harms for patiently aiding my meandering walk through the annual budgeting process.

Upon leaving, I wouldn't presume to tell Worthington residents what to do with this town -- besides, I've already done more than my share of preaching on the Daily Globe opinion page. But if you'll pardon me one last shot ... my hope is that as many residents as possible will appreciate the possibilities Worthington offers, and that the community as a whole will embrace the future.

Is it just me, or am I the only one who wonders at the irony that I am leaving Worthington at a time when -- if luck would have it -- exciting things may be just around the corner? I don't believe it's just wishful thinking when I hear local leaders say that Worthington may be on the verge of significant economic growth.

We've been hearing a lot about bioscience, wind energy and biofuels, and though it's difficult to grasp how the technology works, these industries do indeed provide promise for the future of Worthington and the region.

Meanwhile, our large minority population continues to enrich us all. While issues involving false documentation still confound police, it is noteworthy to consider that law enforcement, along with progressive community leaders, persist in advocating measures that would help our minorities become meaningfully integrated in local life.

This is a great place to live and raise a family. And we all know it.

To truly move forward, Worthington needs a strong local school district and what Mayor Al Oberloh likes to call "amenities." In November, voters will decide whether to approve a $1,000 per pupil unit operating referendum for District 518 while at the same time they will probably get the chance to vote up or down on a local option sales tax referendum to build a community center and upgrade Memorial Auditorium. These are the issues that, together, may go a long way toward deciding Worthington's future.

In both cases, the money would be well spent.

I hope Worthington won't be satisfied with the status quo, content merely to drift along with the prairie winds. I hope this special community rides the winds with a firm grip on the reigns. I look forward to reading the front page of the Daily Globe on that November day following the election.

Until then, I'll remember those 22½ years.

At the Daily Globe, I've been fortunate to have been involved in some important events, from moderating two political debates in 2004 to participating in a humanitarian effort to bring supplies to Hurricane Katrina victims in Bayou La Batre, Ala. I'm guessing the things I'll remember most fondly will be of a personal nature. Such as:

l tossing stress balls at news editor Ryan McGaughey when he's not looking.

l getting phone calls from District 22A Rep. Doug Magnus typically starting with, "Hi, Doug. It's Doug."

l because I was judged to be the lightest person on a full-capacity plane during the trip back to Worthington from Bayou La Batre, being asked to sit on the toilet seat.

It's then when you realize being the managing editor of a daily newspaper isn't all glamour.

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