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I'm saying goodbye as your editor but will forever be your friend down the road

It's only been a little over a year, and I'm already saying goodbye to the little bustling town that I've grown to know and love. It's going to be a good thing, though. For some time now, Wadena Pioneer Journal Publisher Jason Miller and I have been talking about the benefits of having a "community editor"—somebody who works full time at that newspaper and lives in the community. It's an ideal we both agreed we should strive for when the opportunity arose, as I am also editor of the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. We started to believe that opportunity was coming when we hired an energetic, smart reporter named Michael Johnson. He's editor material, we thought—and he is. You're going to like this guy both personally and professionally. He's going to be able to focus all of his time solely on this newspaper and, by extension, this town.

Wadena is an incredible little community with intriguing history and people who I believe will lead it into an exciting future. I'm not the type to talk up a person or a place simply because I'm departing, and there are some issues and struggles that the Wadena community is facing, but Wadena is pretty cool. And positivity breeds positivity. One of my hopes for this town is that when energy and opportunity present themselves, they are embraced. Change can be so good. My other hope is that kindness proves to be contagious in this community. I have met many smiling faces who work so hard in their determination to see Wadena thrive, and they do it through compassion and a genuine love of their town and its people. I hope that light continues to spread.

I've loved my time in Wadena and feel privileged to have been a part of its history, if only for a short time. It's been short but so, so sweet.

Paula Quam

Paula Quam is the editor for Forum Communications Co. newspapers in Detroit Lakes, Perham and Wadena, all in Minnesota.

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