Hello dear readers and subscribers! What an exciting week it has been! I had the privilege of being able to see and photograph LS-H seventh grader Dalton Wilson at the Class A Wrestling Tournament over the weekend. What an exciting experience for him to step onto the podium, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of his wrestling career has in store for us. But I can’t reveal everything on the front, so be sure to return to pages 11 and 12 this week!
This brings me to two exciting changes that I am pleased to announce. A few weeks ago I asked for feedback on color priority in our journal and received a few dozen responses. The overwhelming majority supported an increase of $5/year to include color twice a month, and we will move forward with this option.
I am extremely grateful to anyone who took the time to call, email or mail a letter. As editor/publisher, I want to chart a solid path for the independent, but I also want to hear your thoughts before making a decision like this. Your support is what keeps the journal going, hopefully, for many decades to come, and I find success comes when people are invited to the table to share their thoughts and values.
The price increase is effective immediately for new subscribers. Since our March invoices are already out, current subscribers will notice the change from our April renewals. The new fees will be $40/year for in-state subscriptions and $45/year for out-of-state subscribers.
The second change appears in this week’s log. When you open this week’s journal to pages 6-7, you will notice a new addition – the Belle Plaine Bulletin. As many of you are probably aware, the Belle Plaine Herald closed on September 2, 2021. This closure created a void, an “information desert” if you will, and left many locals without a good source. event information. in their local community.
According to the Washington Post, the United States has lost 2,100 newspapers since 2004. Everyone loses when a newspaper closes. Where else do you go to find out how sports teams fared, who made the honor roll, and what happened at school board and city council meetings? Who else covers community events? Who holds elected officials accountable for their decisions and votes and monitors government spending?
To help fill the void, we have created the Bulletin as an add-on subscription. It will be an addition (NOT a replacement) to the Henderson Independent, and will cost $10 more on top of the newspaper’s regular rate.
While I want to serve the community of Belle Plaine which has gone without local news for the past six months, I also want to protect the value of the Independent. I think this option offers the best balance.
At this time, our coverage will be limited to Belle Plaine City Council and Belle Plaine School Board meetings, Belle Plaine High School varsity sports and community events. I was lucky enough to find an intern from Gustavus Adolphus to help cover government meetings, while I will be covering sports.
To raise awareness of this new option, all subscriptions will include the two-page Bulletin in the newspaper for the next four weeks. However, as of April 14, only those who subscribe to the Bulletin will receive this news.
Existing subscribers with an account in good standing who wish to receive the Bulletin will be required to pay an additional $10. The cost for new in-state subscribers will be $50, including $40 for the Henderson Independent and $10 for the Bulletin add-on. The out-of-state rate is $55 for both. The Bulletin cannot be purchased on its own; it must be part of the independent.
The reason for this is that a standalone newspaper has a lot more requirements and higher costs. The add-on subscription route will work best for our limited staff and is the most cost-effective way to pursue this new venture.