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A roundup of news for our publication family!

Morning Coffee with Valeri

Bucket lists and travel plans aplenty With summer upon us, I can’t help but reflect on my life experiences. This time of year stirs up some sort of “travel bug” or “wild hair” that resides in my spirit. I almost can’t sit still, and I cannot wait to go on my next adventure. I decided I’d make a bucket list back when I got married. That list has changed many times over 26 years as things got checked off and new things added and some things get removed as I age. Staying at the top of the list is a trip to Scotland to visit the Loch Inch Castle, which is part of my husband’s lineage. As I was thinking back to all of the family vacations we went on growing up, I am pretty close to positive I inherited this strange “wild hair” from my mother. Her goal was to be a world traveler extraordinaire. Our family vacations consisted of an epic road trip to San Isabel, Colorado, each year and Wyoming and Montana a couple of times. We made many stops throughout New Mexico to make sure we saw every alleged site of Billy the Kid’s grave. We saw western museums, Indian villages in the mountains complete with the Native American dancers and teepees and all the cool stuff the National Parks had to offer. I even saw the

Summer 2019 | Issue 5, Volumn 28 SEE INSIDE!

QUESTION OF THE MONTH If you could spend a day with any person alive, who would it be and what would you do?

FIND OUT MORE on page 4


Granite’s Valeri Stair grabbed herself some barbecue goodies during a recent lunch provided at the company headquarters in Taylor.

MEET JASMINE Get to know Creative Service’s newest valuable star with this profile from Gretchen Dyson

FIND OUT MORE on page 8





MORNING COFFEE WITH VALERI................................................1 Table of Contents....................................................................2 Top Bookkeepers.....................................................................3 Employee Anniversaries..........................................................3 Question of the Month.............................................................4 Birthdays................................................................................7 MEET JASMINE.........................................................................8 Dyson and Philhower families...............................................22

Anahuac Progress....................................................................6 Bandera Bulletin.....................................................................7 Boerne Star........................................................................... 10 Colorado County Citizen........................................................ 12 Elgin Courier......................................................................... 16 Liberty Vindicator.................................................................. 17 Navasota Examiner............................................................... 18 Taylor Press..........................................................................20 Granite Publications..............................................................21 DIRECTORY............................................................................24

Jim Beaver’s daughter, Amie, visited Cancun recently.


MORNING COFFEE continued from 1


Miramont Castle before it was finished being built, and I wanted to live in a castle very badly at the time. My mother was always up for an adventure. My father finally decided to stop going on trips with her. I’m not sure if it was because he couldn’t keep up with her, or he had decided a good long week of coon hunting was more fun than putting up with her. Either way, us kids still had fun. She also started taking some of her grandkids as we were all around the same age. I guess she was used to traveling and doing everything with a crowd. She even volunteered to go to Epcot Center with my niece who had won a scholarship and the trip. That was her first time flying. I remember how excited she was about that trip. She took a million pictures and never stopped talking about that adventure. I have gone on some pretty awesome adventures myself. As a family we have gone to Cloudcroft, New Mexico, and the surrounding areas. We went on a ski trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, a couple of years back. We have been to Six Flags Over Texas. We have been to the bridges of Madison County in Winterset, Iowa. I have been to the Mall of America in Minnesota. What a trip! Who knew you could get an entire amusement park with roller coasters and all into a shopping mall???!!! I want to take my family on a trip to retrace some of those vacations my parents took to South Dakota, Arizona, and other places of which I may be yet unaware. My bestie and I have been on some pretty awesome road trips as well. We love the beach most of all. We have also gone to a concert and been part of the VIP crowd. That was pretty awesome, too. My daughter and I went to New Orleans a couple of years ago. That was a blast! I am not sure why our society has gotten away from yearly family vacations. They were a really big deal when Route 66 and the interstates were built across America making it easier and quicker to get from one place to another. Having been raised by parents maturing in the 1950s, the yearly family vacation was something we looked forward to all year. We loved the excitement of seeing new places and going on an adventure. I think for my parents it was about making memories. We really tend to cherish those when loved ones are gone and photos and memories are all we have left. So, go plan a vacation or a stay-cation. Make or revise or check off some things on your bucket list. Just be sure to make some memories and take some photos along the way.

1ST Lori Ligues Colorado County Citizen

2ND Gail Schobey Elgin Courier

3RD Carolyn Hill Taylor Press



Minerva Patino Kutch, 6 years Granite Publications

Julianne Hodges, 1 year Elgin Courier

Mandy Carroll, 2 years Anahuac Progress

Chris Brown, 2 years

Colorado County Citizen

Danita Hutto, 6 years

Patti Slavych, 15 years

Dayna Haynes, 10 years

Jennifer Gray, 9 years

Jordan Brogan, 4 years


Granite Publications Anahuac Progress Granite Printing

Ana Cosino, 10 years Navasota Examiner

Dan Stinnett, 3 years Liberty Vindicator


Kolleen Roe, 15 years Boerne Star

Summer 2019 Newsletter

Monetta Dusek, 10 years Granite Printing

Granite Publications Liberty Vindicator

Dana Smith, 21 years Boerne Star

Tim Nemec, 17 years Granite Printing

Kathleen Brenner, 15 years Boerne Star

Gretchen Dyson, 3 years Granite Publications



Bill Pack

Bandera Bulletin


If you could spend a day with any person alive, who would it be and what would you do?

As far as a person I’d like to spend the day with - how about fishing with Stephen King. I’d like to pick his brain a little, as icky as that might be.

Valeri Stair Granite Publications

Well, you know I think outside the box. So, I’m going to have one busy day. I’d start that day off with my husband and son since they both live with me. Then I’d spend some time with my daughter and her husband and any of my adopted kids that happened to be at her house. Then I’d flash over to my hometown for some sibling time with 3 out of 4 brother and my sister and all their spouses and my nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews and then my bestie. And then I’d bop over to Tennessee to see my other brother and his partner. But I’d just HAVE to dash up to Maine to spend a little time with Stephen King and his family and let them know how much I enjoy their literary contributions to the world. The only thing I would want to do with all of these people would be to talk, visit, and catch up. It’s all about the relationships. It’s always been about the relationships.


Keith E. Domke The Boerne Star

Elena Tucker Boerne

If I could meet with anybody, maybeit’dbePutin-notfrom any admiration whatsoever, but because I’d like to know if he emanates evil the way I imagine he does.

This is an easy question for me. I would spend the day with my wife of 37 years. She remains my love and my best friend, and there is no one I’d rather spend time with, whether it’s a day or a lifetime. She is my joy, my partner, my favorite person and the true definition of ‘the better half.’ And whether we would spend the day antiquing, sight-seeing, working or relaxing, it would be a great day because we spent it together.

Gretchen Dyson

Granite Publications

I think I would like to spend a day with any of my favorite authors—probably Marissa Meyer in particular—to learn about their creative writing process and ways I can improve mine.

“Jasn os” d eman ded a differ ent qu estion :

Now in theatres

Summer 2019 Newsletter


Photo courtesy of Anahuac Progress

Dayna Haynes’ first attempt at FX make up, cutting up Mandy’s arm! It was a lot of fun creating the fake scars and cuts!

THE RUNDOWN Granite Pub takes an interest in the family buzz over the past few months. ANAHUAC PROGRESS

Another busy spring here at the Anahuac office, with covering the Youth Project Show, Memorial Day and Graduation. Now working on Hurricane Awareness and we already got hit with a Tropical Depression, not a good sign for the hurricane season! Earlier our area got hit with several tornadoes taking out trees, tearing up sheds and causing roof damage to several local buildings, leaving the area with no power for three days. But fortunately there were no reported injuries. On a personal note our movie project is still going forward and I am learning some new and exciting skills, like FX make up! That was a lot of fun to recreate cuts on someone’s arm. It looked real too! Also, took up my paintbrush and started work on several paintings that will be included in the movie. I have always loved to paint or draw, but had to put it down for a number of years for personal reasons and so it is exciting to pick it back up and work on improving my skills again. We all should always do things that make us happy, whether it is music, art, photography, writing or whatever you have a passion for, never give it up! It makes us whole! At least that is my opinion, sometimes we let life and work take over, and I have been guilty of that myself. Trying to find the balance!


One of several paintings Dayna Haynes has completed for Dayna Haynes’ upcoming movie.


The Bulletin’s advertising representative Dee Russ had a birthday on June 25 but was uncertain earlier in the month exactly how she would celebrate it. For the last several weeks, she has been helping care for her son Jason Ell, 31, as he continues battling cancer. It’s a disease he has fought since he was 6-years old but one that he has not allowed to stand in the way of accomplishing several personal goals. Dee said Jason completed high school, served in the U.S. Marines and received degrees from Ivy Tech and the University of Indiana, all while combating cancer. “I’m very proud of him,” Dee said of her son. “He’s accomplished a lot.” He has come back to Texas recently to spend time with his mother and a brother who lives in San Antonio after cancer-related issues struck again. Dee said he has lost weight from his most-recent bout with the affliction and is doing fairly well in his rehabilitation efforts with loved ones in Texas. At work, Dee is hustling to build advertising revenue for the Bulletin after beginning work at the paper almost two years ago. She has made progress recently with contracts for year-long packages of advertising, paid out monthly, that includes ads in the weekly paper and six inserts the Bulletin will publish. Advertisers, some of whom have not purchased ads for months, are showing interest in the newly developed contracts. The Bulletin’s Office Manager and Bookkeeper Fran Fox, meanwhile, continues to recover from four-hour brain surgery she had in late March to address a painful nerve condition called trigeminal neuralgia. It had left Fran with searing pain in her jaw periodically. She was out of work only eight days due to the surgery

and needed little or no period of adjustment to get back in control of the paper’s financial affairs and to keep the office running smoothly. She also has taken over the duties of dummying the weekly paper and its periodic special sections and has been called on at times to write stories for the Bulletin, all while handling its classified advertising with good-natured enthusiasm. Fran said she feels good about the surgery, which has included a welcome boost in her energy levels. The pain in her jaw has not totally disappeared, but Fran is working with her doctor to find the right medication to keep it in check. The size of the paper has shrunk from 14 pages to 10 in the last few weeks and is liable to stay that size during the summer months and possibly into the fall. General Manager Bill Pack spends his time looking for timely and interesting stories for the Bulletin’s readers to enjoy. He produces those stories and accompanying photos with support from the paper’s stringers and contributing writers, including Staff Writer Chuck McCollough. Among the bigger news stories during the quarter were the opening of a Tractor Supply Co. outlet in Bandera, a push by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, to get the governor to shut down a popular fundraiser in Bandera featuring two-person teams chasing and catching wild hogs for prizes called the Bacon Bash and another delay in the opening of a long-anticipated Best Western Hotels & Resorts property on Main Street in Bandera. Late May and June also were the months that the two school districts in Bandera County – the Bandera and Medina independent school districts – and a third district based in Uvalde County that serves students in Bandera County – the Utopia ISD – held graduation ceremonies. A total of 169 seniors graduated this year in those three school districts, officials said.

BIRTHDAYS Daniel Philhower, 7/8

Angela Scurlock, 8/3

Grace Rangel, 9/7

Lori Ligues, 7/9

Tim Nemec, 8/13

Fran Frox, 9/11

Orlando Rojo-Buendia, 7/12

Bill Pack, 8/26

Carolyn Hill, 9/14

Roxanne Schram, 7/18

Jason Hennington, 8/27

Calyn Owens, 9/17

Chris Brown, 7/27

Matthew Hooks, 8/29

Heather Romine, 9/29

Granite Publications

Colorado County Citizen Granite Publications Boerne Star

Colorado County Citizen

Navasota Examiner Granite Printing

Bandera Bulletin Taylor Press Taylor Press

Granite Printing

Bandera Bulletin Taylor Press

Liberty Vindicator Elgin Courier

Kolleen Roe, 9/6 Boerne Star

Summer 2019 Newsletter


Jasmine Gutierrez Page Designer By Gretchen Dyson Granite Publications Jasmine Gutierrez first came to Granite from a background in social work, wanting to use her experiences of helping others to do social good through design. Over the past several months, Jasmine has found working in a graphic design role has allowed her to explore new and exciting aspects of herself as well. “I’m slowly learning my style… making what I want to make as an expression of who I am,” Jasmine said. She explained that it helps to be in an environment where she is “encouraged to be creative” as she makes beautiful designs while learning to “embrace who I am” as a designer. Outside of work, Jasmine enjoys spending time bonding with husband David through church events and video games, though not necessarily at the same time. The couple started a YouTube channel to share their pastime with friends and encourage David’s interest in video editing. 8

She also applies the skills she learns at work to outside projects. “A friend recently asked for my help making a logo [for an Etsy shop],” Jasmine shared. “I like doing illustrations like drawings and little graphics [and there is] always a message behind them.” Jasmine maintains a personal blog, for which she also makes meaningful images to accompany her posts, and is active in her church, working with them on occasion to design promotional materials for upcoming events. Though her time with our Granite family has just begun, Jasmine has already proved herself to be a fast learner, positive teammate, and skilled designer. We are lucky to have her as part of our Creative Services team and look forward to watching her flourish!

Summer 2019 Newsletter


Boerne Star sports editor Kerry Barboza’s mother recently celebrated a birthday and as a present, Kerry gathered all of his nieces and nephews – 19 in all – for a family photo on the grounds of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. The photo was resized, framed and was presented to Kerry’s mom and she loved it.


New Managing Editor Keith E. Domke brings a wealth of experience and a passion for journalism to the Boerne Star. Domke, whose first day on the job was Monday, comes to the newspaper from New Braunfels, where he was the managing editor of the daily HeraldZeitung. He has been in leadership roles in the newspaper business throughout his 35-year career, including the editor of six papers and the publisher at one. “This is a wonderful opportunity,” the 58-year-old Domke said. “Boerne is one of my favorite places in Texas, and the Star is a quality publication. I’m looking forward to making an already strong product even stronger.” Domke has worked in seven states. Born and raised in Indiana, he began his career in Kansas and also has worked in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Wyoming and his home state. He relocated to Texas in 2016 when he became the editor of the Blanco County News. “I absolutely love the Hill Country,” he said, “and Boerne is a terrific city. I look forward to informing our readers of not only what they want to know, but what they need to know.” Domke has been a community journalist throughout his career.


“I think community journalism is where the fun and excitement is in this business,” he said. “It’s important and enjoyable to provide people the information they can receive nowhere else. The Star is that product here. “We will work very hard to provide this city, Kendall County and our entire coverage area with a great publication readers will enjoy.” Domke has earned dozens of newspaper awards through various state and regional press associations during his career. He has received multiple firstplace recognitions in writing, headline writing, photography and design and was named Wyoming’s photographer of the year in 2008. He has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Domke also has received several community awards, including being named a city’s businessperson of the year. He has been recognized by school districts, service organizations and municipalities and was the recipient of a mayoral proclamation. Publisher Jeff Parra said he is excited for the Boerne Star and the community to bring in a talent with so

much experience and enthusiasm. “Keith will be a wonderful addition to our team,” he said. “We look forward to having another member of the Boerne Star embrace and become involved in our fine community.” Domke said he looks forward to becoming involved in the community and meeting its residents. “I’m anxious to get to know the people who make Boerne and Kendall County the great places they are,” he said. “I want all of us to work together to produce a newspaper that will inform and entertain. It is my goal to work throughout our coverage area to make that happen. “We’re going to continue to be committed to be your best source for information, and we’re going to work hard and focus on the local scene to give you that information at your fingertips.” Domke said that despite the difficulties some papers have had in recent years, community journalism remains alive and well. “This is a great profession,” Domke said. “It’s exciting, and it’s important. I’ve dedicated my life to it. “The local newspaper remains an essential staple in today’s world,” he said. “Individuals should not only look forward to receiving it, but they should enjoy contributing to it. That will continue. We’re going to reach out to readers of all ages and backgrounds.” Domke and his wife, Nancy, have family in Blanco. Their oldest daughter, son-inlaw and two grandsons live there. Their other adult daughter lives in Missouri. “Coming to Boerne is a great reward for me after more than three decades in this business,” he said. “I’m honored to be here and to have this awesome opportunity to continue my career and to be close to family. I look forward to settling in and being a permanent resident of this wonderful place.” Domke can be reached at or by calling 830-249-2441.

From Jeff Parra: Last month my son, Trent Parra graduated from Pittsburg State Univ. in Pittsburg, Kansas. He graduated with a construction management degree and already has an awesome job with Crossland Construction.

Summer 2019 Newsletter


We're going to need a bigger mantle

COLUMBUS COLORADO COUNTY CITIZEN The staff of the Colorado County Citizen had a very active quarter. In addition to attending the Live Oak Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association’s Banquet, The Citizen handed out donation checks to a variety of community organizations including the local Boy Scout troop and Meals on Wheels. The funds for these donations came from the Citizen’s sales of chips and drinks at its popular Food Truck Fridays, as well as a donation from R&R Shaved Ice of Sheridan—which became a viral favorite in Colorado County after being featured on the front page of the Citizen last fall. R&R set up at one of the newspaper’s food truck days and donated funds for the Citizen to contribute to the Columbus Elementary School Teacher Activity Fund, which supports special programs for the school’s professional educators. Editorial Assistant Chris Brown graduated from Columbus High School on May 23. He got a hug from his mother, a teacher at Columbus High School as he walked off the stage. Citizen Managing Editor Vince Leibowitz attended and covered the graduation and greeted Chris after the ceremonies. Managing Editor Vince Leibowitz hosted two tables of friends from across Colorado County at Columbus’ annual Magnolia Days Festival for the Kyle Park Concert on Saturday, May 17. Lynn and Robbie Showers from Sheridan, Sandra Flowers and Diana Lijuan From Eagle Lake, Jana and Brad Moffatt from Columbus, and others joined him. Office Manager Lori Ligues has been busy with the Columbus Lion’s Club. She is set to take office soon as the club’s new publicity chair. Leibowitz and Publisher Michelle Stokes both joined the Weimar Rotary Club in May and April respectively. Leibowitz transferred his membership from the Columbus club, as that club’s meeting time conflicted with the Citizen’s press schedule. Stokes and Ligues represented The Citizen at the Texas Gulf


Awards won by the Citizen at the South Texas Press Association and Texas Gulf Coast Press Association conventions. Coast Press Association Convention, where the Citizen racked up its final awards of the 2019 awards season, including winning first place for its 2018 Salute To Veterans section and a coveted General Excellence award. In April, the Citizen won numerous awards including awards at the South Texas Press Association Convention conducted in LaGrange. Michelle Banse Stokes and  Vince Leibowitz  took first place in Editorial Writing, the newspaper took first place in Display Advertising for its ads for  Roll N Style Truck Gear, LLC and TruCare Living Centers - Columbus, first place for our 2018 Salute to Veterans in the Special Section Category, our Arts & Leisure section won first place in the Lifestyle Pages category, Michelle Banse Stokes took home third place in Humorous Column Writing, Vince Leibowitz took home second place in Feature Writing for his Potter Rodeos feature and his feature on Columbus resident Inez Townsend; Leibowitz won third place in Feature Photos, the Citizen took home third place in Page Design, and second place in the Grief-Singer General Excellence Award category.

The newspaper, with 700 total points--more than 200 points above its closest competitor, also walked away with the Bill & Judy Wilkerson Sweepstakes Award in Division I. Vince Leibowitz was named South Texas Press Association Journalist of the Year for Division I and was recognized for his work on the city manager controversy in Eagle Lake, the Colorado Materials controversy, his feature on Inez Townzend, and his news story on Weimar ISD’s Superintendent not wanting to arm teachers in the classroom. Leibowitz also continued his work with the Colorado County Historical Commission, and has recently been a guest of a number of civic clubs in the area to speak on Etta Moten Barnett, the first black woman to sing solo in the White House, for whom he secured a historical marker last year. He recently spoke to the Columbus Lions Club, Weimar Encore Lions Club, and Rotary Club of Weimar. In late May, Leibowitz visited Southern Methodist University’s Birdcall Theological Library at Southern Methodist University to complete research for a historical marker for St. Paul United Methodist Church in Columbus, the first black freedmen’s church founded in Colorado County and among the earliest freedmen churches founded in the state. He also completed work on a historical marker for Early Emancipation Celebrations in Columbus, which will be submitted to the Texas Historical Commission’s Undersold Stories Marker Program in June. While there, he visited with noted modern American composer Lane Harder, who teaches music composition at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and is a longtime friend of Leibowitz. The two are both Mineola High School graduates.

Vince Leibowitz is shown with his award for being named Journalist of the Year by the South Texas Press Association.

Colorado County Citizen Editorial Assistant Chris Brown graduated with honors from Columbus High School on May 23, 2019. Brown will attend the University of Houston this fall. He plans to become a psychiatrist.

Citizen Bookeeper Lori Ligues, left, and Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes took time to play at the beach while in Port Aransas for the Gulf Coast Newspaper Convention in May.

Summer 2019 Newsletter


Frequent Citizen contributors and friends Mary DiGiovanni and her husband Mario and son Nico, Robbie and Lynn Showers (not pictured), and friends Sandra Flowers, Diana Lijuan of Eagle Lake, and Brad and Jana Moffatt of Columbus, and others, filled two tables at Magnolia Days in Columbus for the Kyle Parks concert. Leibowitz hosted the group.

Michelle Stokes holds up a pie during the Weimar Encore Lions Club’s pie auction at Gedenke! The Citizen was a sponsor of the event, and Stokes and Leibowitz were on hand with Will Stokes and Zoe Michelle Stokes for the pie auction. Leibowitz judged the pie contest for the Encore Lions.


Citizen Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes’ daughter, Zoe Michelle, received the Top Greenhand Award, Veterinary Science Award from Texas A&M University, and was elected to the position of FFA Junior Coordinator in May.

Citizen Bookeeper Lori Ligues, left front, and Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes, right front, enjoy the reception with Stokes son, Wayne, and girlfriend, Dee Dee, while attending the reception of the Gulf Coast Newspaper Convention in Port Aransas in May.

A baby fainting goat visited the Citizen office in May. Needless to say, he was a big hit with Citizen Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes, as well as the rest of the staff.

Citizen Managing Editor Vince Leibowitz and American composer Lane Harder in Dallas in late May.

Citizen Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes, left, enjoyed lunch with her former principal and mentor, Sister Laura Toman of Victoria in May. Toman recently retired as principal of Our Lady of Victory School in Victoria after serving as principal at numerous Catholic schools in Texas for the past 65 years.

Summer 2019 Newsletter

Citizen Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes shows off the huge catch she made at Port Aransas in May.

Vince Leibowitz speaks to the Weimar Rotary Club about Etta Moten Barnett.


ELGIN COURIER May was a very quick and busy month in Elgin. Besides the usual things going on we put together a very nice graduation section. Julianne Hodges spent a lot of time and effort putting together a great section, as did our intern reporter Joshua Orr. This was their first one and they did a fabulous job. We’ve had lots of good comments from our readers and advertisers. The ad support wasn’t like we wanted it to be but based on what we’re hearing from our customers the revenue should be there next year. Heather Ott, our part-time sales person came up with a nice page for pet lovers….simply called “Pets.” This was a feature we saw in Metro and gave it a shot. It’s making us about $400 for the page. We solicited local pet photos on our Facebook page (got over a 100 pics) and are using those on the page. Good job, Heather! Gail and Bill Schobey went to see their first granddaughter, Katie Schobey, graduate from Baylor University on Saturday, May 18th. She worked very hard to get to this day and they are very proud of her. Katie plans on going on to grad school in Albuquerque, New Mexico and already has a job lined up. She is very excited about what her future brings. We all wish her the best! Jim Beaver used his “off” weekends wisely, taking time to see some major league baseball games last month. Jim and his wife Penny went to Globe Life Park in Arlington to see the Texas Rangers vs Houston Astros. It was a great time, as they got to see the 25-year-old stadium one last time before the new one opens next year. They also visited the Stockyards and had some great barbeque! Later that month, Jim zipped up to St. Louis to go to a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game with his daughter, Amie. Jim’s son, Danny, a teacher at Leander ISD, got the opportunity to take his students to San Francisco, while his daughter, Amie, took a long weekend trip to Cancun.

Katie Schobey graduated from Baylor University on May 18.


Heather Ott came up with a nice page for pet lovers….simply called “Pets.”

Cael Beaver graduated 5th grade this year.

Jim’s son, Danny, went to San Francisco.

Where in the world ... is Jim Beaver?!

Elgin Courier publisher Jim Beaver spent time with his wife in Arlington (TOP) and also saw his daughter in St. Louis (LEFT).

LIBERTY VINDICATOR The VindiCats are on the prowl as always. Former editor, Jake Smyth, was remembered in the June 6 edition for his D-Day article that ran in 1944, and in the next issue The Vindicator staff said “Happy Father’s Day” to their own fathers and everyone else’s, both living and long gone. The Vindicator has launched a regular page called “Shop Local” that features a different small local business each week and provides other business-related information. Except for one or two shooting incidents and one house fire, the news around Liberty has been mostly of the lighter sort. The president of the United States paid a visit to a town about 20 miles away early in April. An alligator has taken up residence in the pond at the city park. Managing Editor Casey Stinnett gave up on photographing the alligator after being repeatedly chased away from the pond by a gander that also lives there. The next week’s lede was a story of the local police, with the assistance of Publisher Jennifer Richardson and Ad Director Kim Marlow, rounding up a family of baby ducks that had stopped traffic crossing Main Street. Nearby Huffman got to see their high school team win another state championship. Liberty residents found good reason to pay

attention to the newspaper’s classifieds. AT&T recently began construction on a 180-foot cell phone tower inconveniently located nearly dead center in the middle of town. When completed, the 18-story structure will dwarf everything around it and be visible for miles. Needless to say, local residents are not entirely thrilled with it. Local officials have voiced consternation over their not being told of AT&T’s plans ahead of time. So, The Vindicator gently pointed out that AT&T did in fact notify the town last summer of what it planned to do. It was in the classifieds section of their local newspaper under legal notices. In an odd sort of tribute to his own dad, Stinnett republished what has likely been his most popular story, although he does not like it as much as others seem to. Other people’s childhood traumas often make for the funniest stories. Here’s the story: The day the house was gone Some of you have heard this story before, but here it is again just because I have been thinking about my dad and feel like telling it. When I was in second grade my sister and I got off the school bus one afternoon to find our house was gone. This is an old joke, but it really happened to me, my parents

Summer 2019 Newsletter

Publisher Jennifer Richardson helped save some cute baby ducks. moved once and forgot to tell me. Granted we did live in a trailer house, but still, when you come home from school you expect your house to be where you left it that morning. My sister was about 13 and after getting off the bus she walked around in the yard for awhile making those disgusted sighing noises that only teenage girls can make. I stood for a minute or more by the road just staring at the empty lot until I became aware that the school bus was still behind me. I turned around to see the substitute driver we had that day looking at me imploringly, wanting me to tell him what to do. I suppose the school district had not covered this situation in whatever training he had gotten. I remember this part clearly, and I think it may have been the first time I ever told someone

something I was not sure about only because it was what the person wanted to hear. I remember raising my hand and patting the air the way I had seen grownups do when they were being reassuring, and I told him it was okay, our parents would come pick us up. That was good enough for him. He shut the door and drove off. That was back when a bus driver could leave two children in an abandoned lot without any real concerns over liability. The lot was empty except for a set of concrete steps, that until earlier that day had led to our front door. I sat on the steps, and when my sister finished her sighing, she sat beside me, and we waited. About two hours later our father’s truck finally pulled into the driveway. He had come back for the steps.


NAVASOTA EXAMINER It’s been party after party at the Navasota Examiner. Ina kicked it off in March for her birthday, Matt followed on Cinco de Mayo for his birthday and Ana celebrated 37 & Fabulous. It’s been busy, busy at The Examiner. The staff sure is glad the month of May is finally over. Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino has been a busy bee running from one place to another. Who are we kidding… not really running because she doesn’t run, but she has been going nonstop. Jason, Ana’s son, was awarded Student of the Year at his elementary school and he was also voted the Future President award. Jason cannot wait to become president. He said his first “rule” will be “school for only one week out of the year!” Ana also celebrated her 37th birthday on May 23. Examiner Sales Rep Angela Scurlock was also pretty busy getting her babies ready for award banquets and last day of school shenanigans. Jayda, Angela’s daughter, was named Lieutenant for the 2019-2020 Navasota Diamonette Dance Team. Kuddos to her! Layla Bug, Angela’s younger daughter, turned the big 11 on May 15. Angela and her family celebrated the last day of school with a mini Sunday trip to Galveston. They spent the whole day in the sand on the beach. Examiner Bookkeeper Sonya Bobo is so excited that her son finally graduated from high school and that he did his last show for the Grimes County Fair. Sonya’s son, Bran, graduated on May 31 from Navasota High School. Bran plans on taking a year off from school to work and then will figure out what trade school he plans to attend. Sonya has been volunteering for the fair for 14 years. Last week she walked out of there and said, “Peace Out!” Examiner Senior News Reporter Matthew Ybarra participated in the annual Mattern Ranch Bass tournament and turned in a stringer of just under 11 pounds. Matt celebrated his 41st birthday on Cinco de Mayo. Sonya and Angela serenaded him and his ears are still recovering. Ana was on the floor dying from laughter. Good times!

Examiner Sales Rep Angela Scurlock enjoyed a Friday evening with her Camp Gladiator family at a Texas A&M Aggies baseball game.

The Mom’s (Ana, Sonya and Angela) proudly pose with their graduate The Son (Bran Bobo).

Jason Castillo, Examiner Publisher Ana Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino celebrated Cosino’s son, is named Student of the her 37th birthday with a yummy strawberry Year at his elementary school and future Matt’s celebrates the big 41 on Cinco de cake. president. Mayo.


Angela Scurlock and her family enjoy a sunny day at the beach.

Layla Sanchez, Examiner Sales Rep Angela Scurlock’s daughter, celebrated her 11th birthday.

Chamber Assistant Caitlyn Druckhammer, Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino and Examiner Bookkeeper Sonya Bobo enjoy a day of wine walking at the Groovy Grapes Wine Walk. Examiner Senior News Reporter Matthew Ybarra participated in the annual Mattern Ranch Bass tournament and turned in a stringer of just under 11 pounds.

Sonya and her son Bran (left) and Austin (right) pose for a photo after having celebratory graduation dinner May 31.

Matt and his family spend quality time eating at a local favorite, The Western Steakhouse and Dance Hall.

Sonya and Ana enjoy a good ole Saturday at First Responders Day.

Summer 2019 Newsletter

Examiner Bookkeeper Sonya Bobo’s son, Bran, carried the flag during opening ceremony at the annual Grimes County Fair.

Jayda Harris, Angela’s daughter, loves her new therapy puppy.


TAYLOR PRESS The Taylor Press welcomed two new members to the team, TheresaChristine Etim and Matt Hooks. “Hey, I’m Theresa and I’m new to Taylor Press,” she said. “I traveled for a little bit to different cities surrounding Houston and Dallas, mostly in lieu of a job in journalism back in March. I had taken a break before then and did freelance writing and other jobs in Houston, and decided journalism was the only job I could see myself doing. “So, I decided I would either get a job in journalism by the late spring, or I was going to travel to Spain to teach English to young children. Two weeks after that decision, I had gotten hired at a newspaper in Sulphur Springs, and I spent a lot of time in Dallas finding a place and planning my move there, since it was more than 30 minutes away.” Well, the newspaper ended up not being able to afford to hire anyone, so she was let go after only two weeks of getting hired. Luckily, Theresa hadn’t completely moved just yet. After that, she hit the ground running, and traveled to cities in Texas to find a job in journalism. Soon, she found a reporter position for the Taylor Press during my weekly visits to and got a phone interview with Valeri from Granite Publications. Shortly after that, Valeri wanted Theresa to travel to Taylor for an in-person interview, and after that, she got the job. “I took my credit cards, two week’s worth of luggage, and headed out to Austin, where I stayed until my apartment was ready for move in,” said Theresa. “Hotels and AirBnBs later, my place was ready for move in. Since then, I’ve gotten pretty adjusted to reporting life in Taylor and I love it. My next plan is to move closer to my job while learning to be a better journalist and photographer. “ Matt is now at 50 days here at the Taylor Press newspaper. He was hired the day after Easter. Since he started here, Matt has taken notice of the great teamwork the organization has. “Everyone supports and helps one another,” said Matt. “At first, I was to be a here and there sports and other topics writer, but soon I was thrust into an everything sportswriter and still some other topics writing. I have embraced the challenge and pushed myself to be the best I can be.” Since becoming a member of the Taylor Press family, Matt and his family have celebrated Mother’s Day and his daughter’s second birthday. They also attended a New Kids on the Block concert in San Antonio. Matt also spent Memorial Day week with his two favorite guys, his sons, who were visiting from out of state. “Just recently this summer I started my senior year as a non-traditional student at the University of Texas at Austin,” said Matt. “I will be completing my BA degree in English with a Creative Writing minor in May 2020. In June we had a dual celebration for me and my family as we celebrated Father’s Day along with my wife’s birthday.” For Jonathan Jones in advertising, it has been extremely busy the last three months. Not only is he working full-time for the Taylor Press, but he has been taking care of a 262acre cattle farm just about every afternoon and weekend. “It doesn’t leave a lot of down time, but I have managed to take my family to the Monster Jam event at the Erwin Center and we also saw WWE Monday Night Raw live at the Erwin Center,” said Jonathan. “I have gotten back into playing golf on Thursday nights with the group of golfers from Ercot. They have a hacker’s scramble that they invited me to be a part of and I have made a lot of new friends


playing on Thursdays. I have been part of the winning team two weeks in a row now. Golf swing seems to be coming around nicely. May 18, the Coupland Civic Organization hosted our second annual golf tournament. “I have been part of the CCO for five years now and this year it was a huge success compared to last year’s event. And last but not least, I recently played golf one Sunday morning with Jim Beaver. Seems we have a mutual interest in golf and both enjoy it quite a bit, even though he has more excuses for bad shots than anybody I ever met. Just kidding, Jim.” For Publisher Jason Hennington, the last few months have been extremely busy with work, but he has still found time to spend with his family. His oldest daughter, Jasmine, celebrated her birthday May 3, but was sick so she had to stay home from school and the planned sleepover was canceled. She did recover and enjoyed her last few weeks of school. Jason even went to field day at her school. He participated in some of the events and sat in the dunking booth/splash pad for the students to dunk. Later that weekend, Jason set up a goal at the G21 Car Show to help raise funds for the seventh annual Taylor Press 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament scheduled for July 13-14 at Taylor High School. Donations are rolling in and teams are signing up, and the championship rings will be ordered soon. Jason also participated in the CCO Golf Tournament in May. Although golf is not his game, he learned quite a bit and thinks he got better each hole. All in all, he had fun and that was the goal.


For Granite Publications, we let our pictures do the talking. Check out what has been going on with all of our people.

Gretchen Dyson and Fernando Castro shared a birthday on June 21. Gretchen pointed out Fernando’s extreme jubilation at this occurrence during this event.

Gretchen Dyson represented Granite at the Page One Design workshop from the Texas Center for Community Journalism in Denton where she learned ways to improve the front pages of our newspapers to increase engagement with our communities.

In June, youth from the Taylor area visited Granite Publications and the Taylor Press as part of a summer camp.

Summer 2019 Newsletter


Dyson's sphere

The past couple of months have seen two birthdays (Alexandra, 1 year on May 18 & Deklin, 3 years on June 6), Easter celebrations, Alex’s first pool trip (a wild success), and the addition of chickens (six of them, to be exact) to the Dyson household. 


Philhower Phun Philfie with the parents

Philhower kids doing obstacle course

Jellystone Crafts

MovieNight at JellyStone Park

Tanner’s first golf game with Taylor Press

Summer 2019 Newsletter

YogiBear camping with Granite


GROUPWIDE DIRECTORY GRANITE HEADQUARTERS GRANITE WEST 3115 Loop 306 Ste. 111, San Angelo, TX 76904 ACCOUNTING CENTER PO Box 1010 • 211 W. Third St. • Taylor, TX 76574 512-352-8285 • Fax: 512-352-8295 CREATIVE SERVICES 512-352-1009 • Fax 512-352-3227 JIM CHIONSINI O: 325-949-4700 | C: 325-315-6328 DANIEL PHILHOWER Cell: 512-203-1893 JIM BEAVER Cell: 512-461-6906 VALERI STAIR

PUBLICATION OFFICES THE ANAHUAC PROGRESS (Wednesday) General Manager: Dayna Haynes PO Box 100 • 306 Willcox St. Anahuac, TX 77514 409-267-6131 • Fax: 409-267-4157 • Dayna Haynes: theprogress@ THE BANDERA BULLETIN (Wednesday) General Manager: Bill Pack PO Box 697 • 606 State Hwy 16 South Bandera, TX 78003 830-796-3718 • Bill Pack: • Fran Fox: • Dee Russ: BOERNE STAR (Tuesday & Friday) Editor & Publisher: Jeffrey Parra


PO Box 820 • 941 N. School St.

Cell: 713-377-1372 ORY BONEY Cell: 512-269-9837

Boerne, TX 78006 830-249-2441 • Fax: 830-249-4607 • Jeffrey Parra: • Kolleen Roe: • Kerry Barboza:


• Dana Smith: • Kit Brenner: • Erika Gomex: • Keith Domke:

CREATIVE SERVICES Gretchen Dyson | Senior Page Designer Fernando Castro Jasmine Gutierrez Matt Hellman Minerva Kutch

COLORADO COUNTY CITIZEN (Wednesday) Editor & Publisher: Michelle Banse Stokes PO Box 548 • 2024 Hwy. 71 • Columbus, TX 78934-0548 979-732-2304 • Fax: 979-732-8804 • Michelle Banse Stokes: publisher@

• Lori Ligues:

Orlando Rojo-Buendia

• Vince Leibowitz:


GRANITE PRINTING Director of Print Operations: Ory Boney 2675 CR 374 • Taylor, TX 76574 512-352-3687 • Fax: 512-352-613 • Ory Boney: • Grace Rangel:

Cell: 512-955-9139

ELGIN COURIER (Wednesday) Editor & Publisher: Jim Beaver PO Box 631 • 105 N. Main • Elgin, TX 78621-0631 512-285-3333 • Fax: 512-285-9406 • Jim Beaver: • Gail Schobey: • Julianne Hodges: • Heather Ott:

• Chris Brown:

THE LIBERTY VINDICATOR (Thursday) Editor & Publisher: Jennifer Richardson 1939 Trinity • Liberty, TX 77575 936-336-3611 • Fax: 936-336-3345 • Jennifer Richardson: • Casey Stinnett: • Kim Marlow: NAVASOTA EXAMINER (Wednesday) Editor & Publisher: Ana Cosino PO Box 751 • 115 Railroad St. • Navasota, TX 77868 936-825-6484 • Fax 936-825-2230 • Ana Cosino: • Angela Scurlock: • Sonya Bobo: • Matt Ybarra: TAYLOR PRESS/HUTTO NEWS (Sunday, Wednesday)

Editor & Publiser: Jason Hennington 211 W. Third • Taylor, TX 76574-1040 512-352-8535 • Fax: 512-352-1505 • Jason Hennington: • Carolyn Hill: • Jonathan Jones: • Matt Hooks: • TheresaChristine Etim:

Profile for Granite Publications

Granite Publications Quarterly - Summer 2019  

Get all of your Granite family updates here in our quarterly company newsletter!

Granite Publications Quarterly - Summer 2019  

Get all of your Granite family updates here in our quarterly company newsletter!


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