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Winter 2020 | Volume 16, Issue 1

A roundup of news for our publication family!

Morning Coffee with Valeri



This is sort of a continuation of the “Are You Dead Yet?” article I did not long ago. I felt the need to reminisce a bit more about my childhood. Life on a farm is different than life elsewhere. Things that might be disturbing to some may not be to others. It just is what it is. Please see these for the comical situations that they were and nothing more. Apparently, little sisters can be quite annoying to older brothers. Older brothers will do many things to deter the impending consequences of a tattling little sister, like locking her inside the chicken house which happens to be the home of countless numbers of katydids in addition to angry laying hens. (Katydids are large cricket-like, grasshoppery creatures with sword-like protrusions coming from their rear ends and are most definitely minions of the devil.) In an act of revenge, the brothers then proceeded to beat on the sides of the chicken house causing the katydids to panic and jump on the nearest thing available that won’t eat them…one screaming, cottonheaded little sister. Just for reference, katydids bite, and they bite hard. Lots of squealing and screaming and wailing followed as those evil beings jumped all over me and got in my hair– first by me and then by the brothers once I completed the tattle.

JOSEPH NEMEC The son of Tim Nemec, Granite Printing

My father also taught me valuable lessons. One main lesson was not to stand behind him when it was time to “thin out” the chickens. I had no idea what “thinning out” meant, but it sounded kind of scary, so I wanted to be in the safest place I knew – behind my Daddy. He tried to tell me that was not a good idea for this, but I insisted. My brothers stood in strategic places around the flock of chickens and I stood bravely behind my father in nervous anticipation. My dad reached down, scooped up a chicken, wrung its neck, and dropped it behind him. (I’ll pause while you get the mental picture.) He was so fast at this particular set of movements; it was almost fluid. Three or four chickens had landed all around me before I realized what had taken place. These chickens weren’t missing their heads, but I learned very quickly what





MORNING COFFEE W/ VALERI.................................... 1

Anahuac Progress...................................................... 8 Bandera Bulletin....................................................... 8 Boerne Star.......................................................... 9-10 Colorado County Citizen......................................10-11 Elgin Courier.......................................................14-15 A BRIEF HISTORY OF CASEY STINNETT...................18-19 Liberty Vindicator............................................... 20-21 Navasota Examiner............................................ 21-23 RISK BRINGS REWARD FOR MATT YBARRA............ 24-25 Taylor Press....................................................... 26-29 Granite Publications........................................... 30-33 Daniel's Phelfies................................................ 34-35

Table of Contents...................................................... 2 Top Bookkeepers....................................................... 3 Employee Anniversaries............................................ 3 OUR OPINION............................................................ 4 SERVING OTHERS BENEFITS ALL............................... 6-7 Employee Birthdays................................................. 9 Holiday Memories...........................................5, 12-13 Quarterly Question..............................................16-17 DIRECTORY.............................................................. 36


CHICKENS continued from 1

“running around like a chicken with their head cut off” actually meant. I froze as they flopped and flailed. I couldn’t really scream as I was frozen in terror. I couldn’t figure out whether they could actually hurt me or not, but I really didn’t want to find out. When my father realized I was silent for probably the first time in my life EVER, he looked back to check on me. He immediately started laughing and lovingly scooped me up and transported me to safer ground sans dying chickens, and I promptly took off running for my life wailing like a fire engine all the way to the house. I don’t remember much after that. I guess I blacked out a little, but we did have a huge pot of chicken and dumplings that night. Another scarring scenario was being chased by this darn red rooster we had. He hated me, I hated him, and all should have been good. But nnnooooooooo. He would not be satisfied until he killed me. The game played out the same way every single time. I went outside to play as far away from the rooster as I could possibly get without leaving the planet. I must have been wearing some sort of microchip (even though I had no clue there even was such a thing back then) that alerted him as to my whereabouts. He would lock in on the signal, slowly build up speed, and proceed to flog the crud out of me. For those unfamiliar with flogging, well, there was a reason it was used in torture. He’s flying and flapping and clawing me while I’m screaming and squawking and trying to get away from him. I managed to get a little head start on him this particular day, his last day alive. I was running around the house screaming for all I’m worth. My mom was inside trying to watch her soap operas. The noise got to be more annoying than distracting, so she


got her baseball bat and walked outside waiting for the next round. Thank goodness she loved me, cause right after I passed her screaming, the rooster came into view, but it was far too late for him. I didn’t see the actual connection, but let’s just say, the rooster lost his head…for real and for good. She knocked his head right off his body, and it landed all the way across the dirt road in the bar ditch. She was always really good at baseball. She saved my life that day. I know it was only so she could watch her shows in peace, but she saved it nonetheless. In case you were wondering, I survived all these seemingly traumatic situations mostly unscathed.

1) Tressa Alley

Colorado County Citizen

2) Gail Schobey Elgin Courier

I learned to always think a situation through before just doing what people tell you to as they don’t always have your best interest at heart. I learned better where to stand when things around me are in utter chaos which helps assess how scary a situation may truly be. I learned that besides being good at baseball, girls are excellent and creative problem solvers given the right set of circumstances. The take-away from all this is to learn from every opportunity that presents itself, no matter how scary it may seem at the time. There will always be chickens and they’ll always be scary until they’re not.

3) Fran Fox

Bandera Bulletin






Bill Pack, 4 years Bandera Bulletin

Kerry Barboza, 18 years Boerne Star

Heather Romine, 1 year Elgin Courier

Fernando Castro, 12 years Taylor Press

Ory Boney, 13 years Granite Printing

Matthew Hellman, 3 years Granite Publications

Jason Hennington, 7 years Taylor Press

Matthew Hooks, 1 year Taylor Press

Calyn Owens, 1 year Liberty Vindicator

Winter 2020 Newsletter

Daniel Philhower, 4 years Granite Publications Valeri Stair, 13 years Granite Publications

Stephen Bartell, 16 years Boerne Star


A Good Newspaper OUR OPINION: George McLean


As the new year begins, the Daily Journal recommits to its readers our continued best efforts to follow the principles that have guided the paper for most of its history. Among the written expressions of those principles still applicable today is the essay “A Good Newspaper Builds Community,” written by George McLean, the Journal’s owner and executive editor for almost 50 years before his death in 1983, and excerpted below. The good newspaper should be a catalyst in its community, oiling the efforts of widely varying groups to achieve a reasonably smooth, balanced flow of progress. It seeks to provide coherence to scattered and sometimes conflicting objectives, enabling its community to get a better view of priorities and ways in which joint efforts may prove better than splintered activities. The good newspaper is its community’s encourager which by making known what groups and individuals are doing brings mutual support for each other’s projects and invites still greater personal initiative. It is a community’s semi-official provider of pats on the back through news stories, pictures or editorials. The good newspaper can contribute perhaps more than any other institution to development of an active, mutually serving citizenship. The good newspaper seeks to promote a spirit of neighborliness, by the features it carries on the activities, the hopes and concerns of the “average” citizen. The good newspaper knows most life is lived by small people and their activities deserve a word, however brief, in reporting the news. It seeks ways to say “yes” rather than “no” to requests from its readers or the general public. It is warm, not cold; flexible, not rigid, in meeting each day’s challenges.


The good newspaper should be a friend of its community, limiting criticism to needs for improvements rather than condemning shortcomings. The good newspaper carries stories about progressive undertakings and methods, which can be profitably imitated by its own community, recognizing that the good example of others is frequently effective; creating the impression that “if others can do it, so can we.” The good newspaper will not merely report but will enlighten, recognizing that the typical citizen may be limited in his understanding of government, economics, human relations, etc., but frequently is eager for broader understanding when the information is presented in an interesting, credible manner. The staff of the good newspaper develops expertise not merely to propose progress, but to assume active leadership in bringing it about even though this

involves leaving the impartial, isolated ivory tower and involves one in activities which may stir controversy. The good newspaper is one of the hardest workers and most generous givers in civic affairs but does not seek to dominate the community in a way that causes others to say, “Let the paper do it.” The good newspaper is an economic tool for personal and community progress. It recognizes its advertising as being of major value to the community as is its news and should try to maintain the integrity of its ads as it does that of news stories. The good newspaper serves as an educational institution, takes up where a college degree or institutional walls may stop, teaches life as it actually is being lived without effort to conceal human frailties but seeks to help maintain faith and hope in human potential and human progress, emphasizes the good more than the bad. The good newspaper reaches out as far as it can touch or see to bring to its readers new ideas, new approaches to life, new methods of meeting problems, and new information which adds interest or joy to life. The good newspaper recognizes that boredom is one of the great burdens in many lives; therefore it does not hesitate to provide entertainment and pleasure as well as educational material. But at all times seeks to maintain good taste throughout its columns. The good newspaper adopts as one of its major objectives the unobtrusive establishment of a definite tone in its community built around high ethical standards, a cooperative spirit, a broadly based tolerance among all groups, a yearning for personal and community growth, a belief in God, service to man and hope for a better tomorrow.

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Winter 2020 Newsletter


S erving others benefits all Daniel Philhower Granite Publications

Arnold Schwarzenegger; fitness nut, barbarian, robot from the future, kindergarten teacher, twin brother! Arnold has played a multitude of roles in his career but it was the role as governor of California when he said, “help others and give something back. I guarantee you will discover that while public service improves the lives and the world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring your own life.” Now we all can’t be like the Hollywood superstar, but we can each serve our communities in our own ways. Our newspapers themselves act as a public service; providing quality and dependable news, entertainment and sports. We have a first amendment right and responsibility to report the news and hold our elected officials accountable. We should all be proud of the work we do and the service we provide to our communities. I wanted to write this quarter about the service we provide our communities outside of the work we do at our newspapers. Many of you already know that I am an elected official; serving on the Taylor ISD Board of Trustees since 2017. I am finishing up my first 3-year term and am running again for reelection this year. My wife is a teacher and reading specialist, and together we have a heart to serve our community through public education. It certainly is not always easy, but it is rewarding.


Albert Einstein once said “only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” We teach this same principle to our two children, Tanner who is 8 and Grace who is 11. Ask them what our family rules are and they’ll tell you “Love God, Love Others, and Don’t Pee in the Pool.” Live a life of service, but be respectful of other people’s stuff, have fun and be silly. I enjoy the work I do with the School Board and am honored to have a small impact on others around me. I encourage each of you to get out and get involved. We write about our communities every week, report the news, follow local sports, but there is something to be said about being seen serving

communion at church, participating in the economic development of chamber boards, Parks board, etc. Be involved and make a difference, not for the sake of your newspaper, but for the betterment of the community around you. I’ve heard on occasion “how can I run a newspaper company AND serve on the School Board? Isn’t that a conflict of interest?” Short answer is no, not at all! In many of our small towns, Council and School Boards struggle to get volunteers to serve. Why would we want to limit that service? Now, I’m not advocating for our Publishers to go run for public office, but I do encourage you to get involved. Don’t just report the news, be a part of the news…the positive news that is. (I don’t want to see your mug shots in our papers!) I’ve discussed the three pillars of a successful business before - Finances, Products, and Culture. Three very separate areas of business, but each one can significantly impact the other. Serving our communities is one that helps promote all three. Positively affecting the culture of the communities in which we live, making you more attentive to the editorial topics. Doing so helps create better products that are more easily sold and improve our finances. It’s certainly easier said than done, but I encourage you all to get out and serve others. If not just to make your life better, then make it better for others around you. Together we can all make a difference. One Team, One Vision, One Goal!

Winter 2020 Newsletter


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

Now that the New Year has arrived and we all look to renew our resolutions to improve ourselves whether it’s physically, spiritually and or financially, it brings promise for the future. Looking back the past three months have just flew by so quickly and we saw parades, homecoming games, Chamber of Commerce mixers, Santa and so much more. Our little area is headed for big changes in the near future. Commissioners have approved a $100 million new Justice Center to be built. The facility will include a 200bed jail, admin offices and parking areas. The county will be tearing down the library and rebuild it in another location,

and seven houses will be torn down also to accommodate the new facility. It will be located right behind the current Progress office. Another big change coming our way is a developer has started building a new housing section in the outskirts of Anahuac that will start off with 116 new houses being built over the next three years and they will continue over the next seven years with over 300 new homes total being built in the new subdivision. It is believed this will bring some growth to the Anahuac area that includes not only new residents but also businesses to accommodate all the extra population.


There is no way that this will not sound like Grandma’s annual Christmas letter, detailing Grandpa’s gout condition and her disapproval of the state of the Nation. Grandma has since passed on (which explains why she doesn’t pickup when I call). But with Grandma channeled, I present the happenings of the Bandera Bulletin this quarter. Bill Pack logged another year as Managing Editor at the Bandera Bulletin, I logged another birthday and a single-engine airplane won’t be logging any more hours as it crashed landed just down the road from the office on Hwy. 16 S. And it gave us an idea. As the adage goes: A picture is worth a thousand words. However, the picture of a relatively new million-dollar airplane, with its nose in the dirt and tail sticking embarrassing high in the air and sitting just off the side of the road, has proven to be even more valuable. We posted the picture of the airplane on our Facebook page and offered free calendars to whomever submitted the best photo caption. We provided no other information except the story would be in the upcoming issue of our weekly. The following day and our day of publication, we received 90 submissions on Facebook, a dozen shares and nearly


3,000 views. Additionally, at least two people came to the office to purchase “the issue with the plane in it.” One woman came in to renew her subscription that expired in 2016 stating she likes the paper now. We intend to continue this new Best Caption Contest, offering minimal information and with the deliberate intent to drive people to read the paper. And besides, Fran bought a couple of hundred calendars and we are approaching February.


The Boerne Star was recognized on December 3 for its longtime service to the community when Publisher Jeff Parra accepted the Texas Treasure Business Award on behalf of the newspaper. The award is presented by the Texas Historical Commission to businesses that have served a community for at least 50 years. The Star has been published in Boerne since 1906.

“It is an honor to be recognized, and we thank the Texas Historical Commission,” Parra said. “We have been proudly serving Boerne for 113 years as your local newspaper and will continue well into the future. I would like to sincerely thank our community for its support.” Officially, the newspaper was recognized for “its stability and longterm contributions to the citizens of Boerne and


Julianne Hodges, 1/4 Elgin Courier Dominic Sciortino, 1/6 Granite Printing John Deeley, 1/7 Bandera Bulletin Royce Caldwell, 1/8 Colorado County Citizen Ory Boney, 1/9 Granite Printing Regina Taylor, 1/28 Taylor Press

Winter 2020 Newsletter

Stephen Bartell, 2/5 Boerne Star Janie Mata, 2/6 Granite Printing Raymond Chavana, 2/9 Granite Printing Karen Jones, 2/10 Anahuac Progress Macy Chionsini, 2/14 Granite Publications Phillip Guitierrez, 2/17 Granite Printing Jeff Parra, 3/10 Boerne Star

Navy Sann, 3/13 Granite Printing Dana Smith, 3/14 Boerne Star Dayna Haynes, 3/15 Anahuac Progress Ina Lindley, 3/20 Navasota Examiner Kim Marlow, 3/31 Liberty Vindicator Gail Schobey, 4/19 Elgin Courier


Kendall County,” information from the Texas Historical Commission reads. A certificate The Star received states the paper earned the award “for exceptional contributions toward the economic growth and prosperity of Texas.” Kendall County Judge Darrel Lux nominated The Star for the award. The newspaper was the seventh Kendall County business to earn the recognition. The ceremony took place at The Star office and was attended by several members of the public. State Rep. Kyle Biedermann and a representative from State Sen. Donna Campbell’s officer were in attendance. The newspaper played host to an open house afterward. After The Star’s first edition, The Comfort News referenced the new publication. “A new star has risen in the local firmament and begun to twinkle – brightly, of course – for the benefit of Boerne in particular, Kendall County in general, and the world at large. “Guided by the experienced hand of Mr. Henry East, veteran newspaper editor and general good fellow, The Boerne Star made its first appearance on Dec. 29th, and maybe depended upon to appear every Friday hereafter. The first number shows a neat, newsy little paper which, in its dress of brand new type, is a credit to its editor. “Here’s good luck to The Boerne Star, and long may it twinkle, gleam, scintillate and do everything else which a well-regulated star is capable of doing.” David Brown

Boerne Star sports editor Kerry Barboza and his wife Cheryl are big Beatles fans so they recently went to a concert by Beatles tribute band “The Fab Four.” Afterwards, Cheryl took a pic with the group and Kerry thinks Cheryl and “John Lennon” look like they might be brother and sister.

The paper was founded by L.N. Cook. Today, The Star is published every Tuesday and Friday. The Boerne Star has hired David Brown as an advertising representative, and he is expected to begin his duties in early February. Brown brings a couple decades of experience to The Star and comes from the Valpak direct marketing company in Austin, where he was an advertising rep. He also served in the same role at the Killeen Daily Herald and the Weatherford Democrat, as well as other media companies. Publisher Jeff Parra also announced that longtime employee Kolleen Roe has been named advertising manager. Roe had been the office manager for the past few years. Joanie Reed was hired late last year to be the new bookkeeper and office manager.


The Citizen staff had a great but busy holiday season! Covering an entire county meant lots and lots of Christmas and holiday events. One of our football teams, the Columbus Cardinals, advanced to the semi-finals. The Cards played Grandview in Round Rock on the same night of the Granite Christmas party, and the Citizen staff was split between the party and the pigskin that night. The Cardinals lost, but we commend them on a historic football season for Columbus ISD. We hosted a tv giveaway open for all subscribers to enter in December. The drawing was a great success, and Ronald Davis was the winner of the 50-inch smart television, just in time for Christmas. The new year brought a new addition to the Citizen staff - long time spiritual columnist John R. Jones.


John R. Jones joins The Colorado County Citizen as reporter and ad sales representative. John, a Columbus native, graduated from Columbus High School and graduated from the Harris County Sheriff Academy in law enforcement, the Houston Community College as a Paramedic and Baylor/Truett Seminary with a certification in Bi-vocational Ministry. After serving in both law enforcement and emergency medical services, John worked in Healthcare Marketing and Business Development. He and his wife, Dianne Ilse Jones, founded Three Crosses Ministries in Columbus. John and Dianne have been married for 42 years and have two children and seven grandchildren. John’s energy is contagious in the Citizen office and we look forward to seeing all he contributes to the team.

The community of Columbus and the county were saddened to hear of the passing of Harold “Hal” Smith Jan. 9. The Citizen ran a feature story on Hal in March 2017, where he recalled his days of playing Major League Baseball. The highlight of Hal’s career was in the 1960 World Series with the Pittsburg Pirates against the New York Yankees. Hal hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, putting the Pirates ahead to help win the title. He was so tickled by the story The Citizen published about him, he visited the office and gave the staff autographed baseball cards. Hal will be missed around Columbus.

ABOVE: Columbus resident and former MLB player Hal Smith. BELOW: Citizen typesetter Even Vega with one of Hal’s autographed baseball cards.

Winter 2020 Newsletter

ABOVE: Ronald Davis was the winner of the Citizen 50 inch smart television giveaway Dec. 23. Davis picked up his prize just in time for Christmas. LEFT: Citizen ME Alesia Woolridge, Bookkeeper Tressa Alley and GM Nora Rollins at the Granite Christmas party in Taylor.



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Winter 2020 Newsletter


for Letters to the Editor is Friday at noon. It is our policy not to print letters with political opinions, ideals or views after early voting begins. All letters must be signed and include the address and phone number of the author. The Courier will not withhold the name of letter writers and anonymous letters will be discarded. Send e-mails to Website is Call 512-285-3333. News and ad copy deadline is Friday at 5 p.m. Letters to Editor deadline is Friday at noon.

months, our game was baseball. Every morning, an assorted group would show up at a local sandlot for pickup games. We usually could scrounge up a pair of too-heavy-to-break bats, but the ball was a problem. Balls cost 35 cents for a college- or big leagues-quality ball. We rarely had that between us. So, we had to settle for


Lots of exciting things are going on in this sleepy little community of Elgin. One of the most unique things happened with two of our city favorites, Allan Tolbert, a quiet man that owns several buildings throughout Elgin. He renovates and rents many of the downtown businesses. He, along with Elgin City director of community services, picked up two of the biggest awards in the state during the Texas Downtown Association annual awards, held in Georgetown. It was close enough for me to attend and I, along with the hundreds of people at the event, were stunned when, for the very first time two people won the top two awards in the state on the same night. Tolbert picked up the TDA’s Downtowner of the Year award and moments later, Miller won the Susan H. Campbell Award for Professional Excellence. It was quite a site to see, and my photo made the front page!

Most often, the five-cent ball lasted to the second or third inning, and then would start to burst at the seams, and shredded paper with Chinese print would come out. The dreaded “Chinese ball.” Game over! Well, the past century of wars came and went, and about twenty some years ago, a lot of greedy folks in our coun-

our leading-edge technology and jobs to China. In return, we got a lot of their “Chinese baseballs!” Then, along came President Donald Trump and demanded to them: No more “Chinese baseballs!” Else, we are taking our bats and going home! Jerry Kraft Manor, Texas


Last week, the Elgin City Council narrowly voted to remove a marker placed in 1937 at Main Street and Taylor Road designating the uncompleted Jefferson Davis Highway. What, if anything, do you think should be done about the highway marker? Layla Emerson No one is trying to “erase” history. What some fail to understand is that history means nothing or the wrong things if context is not provided. ... The history they say they don’t want erased is a history of oppression, something they have never had to experience. They don’t have the capacity or frame of reference for judging how hurtful this is to their fellow community members.

Shirley Sheffield If we keep these sorts of monuments for “history,” then we should add more information to really present history. More information about Davis’ horrible ideology and perhaps some information about those in central Texas with the real courage who fought the Confederacy. After all, we want history.

Rick Flores It should stay where it is. Why to people expect to learn our history when it keeps getting erased/moved for no reason? At this rate our future generations will not know about the Bible, the Civil War, the concentration camps in World War 2 and even the POW and internment camps here in the United States of America.

Crystie Lynn Shibley Cynthia Aaron Ann Maus Slowly, but surely, Burchfield I have another The current marker Elgin will turn into question that I think is reflects history and the liberal Austin. Why is the one we need to be new marker would show everyone so offended thinking about: Which the beauty on how far by everything? is more important, the we have come. I would History should not be marker or the citizens take it a step further removed. Allow people of Elgin? I think most and have the verbiage to think for themselves of us would agree the validate that racism still and learn from the citizens. Does that exits and there is still past. Hate is learned mean some or all of work to be done. and so is love! the citizens? What can we do so all can flourish? Word on the Street is a new weekly poll where anyone will have the opportunity to answer a different question every week to be featured in The Elgin Courier. Be watching for next week’s question on our Facebook page.

In November, our newspaper seemed to create quite a stir when our question for our “Word On The Street” was whether the city should take down a civil war monument or leave it there. (that’s a summary, it was a bit more lengthy…. but you get the picture) Several hundred replies came flying to our Facebook page, some of which had to be hidden due to language. This went on for days, along with a rowdy local coming to visit me in the office and tell his side of the story.

One of the funnest things to do is a coloring contest. We did one in conjunction with our N.I.E. publications for Halloween. I had the pleasure to present one of the prizes to a 5-year old. She was so excited!

While in Missouri visiting relatives, Jim Beaver took some time to do a little fishing. After catching nothing but small catfish and crappie, Jim focused on catching the “big” one. He did, one big blue catfish and a huge flathead catfish. He adds, “They were extremely delicious!” For New Year’s 2020 Heather Ott, sales lady for the Courier and her family went to Gunnison, Colorado to see family and friends. There was a TON of snow and the temperature got down to -28 degrees one morning! Heather said It would take your breath away!


We added a few sports stringers to our team. Ron Ramirez and Tara Evans have added some local flair to the Courier sports pages.

Jim’s daughter, Amie (right) and her friend from Ireland Maeve Patton visited us during the Christmas holidays. The two had met at a Blue October concert, which turns out to be one their favorite groups.

Pictured are Heather Ott’s children: Mason, Brody and Wayde Majors. Their favorite pass-time was driving the four-wheeler in the yard towing the others in a sled.

Winter 2020 Newsletter

The Elgin Courier has been covering the Rodney Reed case since the late 1990’s, when Reed was accused of the murder of Stacey Stites and sent to prison where he has been on death row. Our continuous coverage of this national case got a lot of readership to our newspaper. Julianne Hodges, our editor has been doing a great job of covering the case. Reed’s execution was stayed less than a week before he was due to be executed. The case is still pending.

Gail Schobey’s granddaughter, Shelby Rose, shows off her new apartment! Congratulations to her!


WHAT IS YOUR MOST So much happened in the last decade for me from becoming a big sister, graduating high school/college, to changing careers. But I guess my most memorable moment was getting married to my best friend. I love watching our wedding video and looking through our photos to relive that day. JASMINE GUTIERREZ GRANITE PUBLICATIONS

On the one hand, 10 years seems like a lifetime ago. On the other hand, it seems like it was just yesterday. So much has happened in the last decade of my life. My most memorable happy moment was my daughter getting married back in August of 2014. They celebrated 5 years in 2019. My most memorable not-so-happy moment was losing my Mom back in September of 2016. Recently, however, I found out I’m going to be a great-great aunt!!!! And it’s gonna be a girl!!!! I can’t wait to spoil her and practice my grandmother skills on her. I just KNOW I’ll get to be a grandma in this next decade. VALERI STAIR GRANITE PUBLICATIONS 16

MEMORABLE MOMENT For me, the decade was highlighted by a cruise to Alaska and seeing the Aurora Borealis... something I had dreamed of since I was a child. KIT BRENNER

While I did certainly graduate from college in 2010, the most memorable moments for me were receiving my blessings of Panda & Oreo Jr. in my life & making it all the brighter. ORLANDO ROJO-BUENDIAS GRANITE PUBLICATIONS


The most memorable moment for me over the last decade would be the birth of my daughter Anastasia Paige Hooks. She was born premature weighing only 4lbs 11oz. She spent nearly a month in the NICU surrounded by the wonderful nurses in Cedar Park. Over time she has become the bravest and strongest little girl. She is indeed the only girl I have loved since the day we met. MATT HOOKS | TAYLOR PRESS So much has happened in the past decade that it’s hard to choose just one moment. I studied abroad in France, earned my BA, got a publishing certification, got married, had two kids, lost two grandparents, bought a house, welcomed six dogs to my home, dealt with the loss of two (in addition to my parents’ dog and my in-laws’ dog), and started a completely new career path (hello, newspapers!). But if I HAD to choose ONE moment, it would be the first time I held my son when he was born in 2016. That was the moment my entire life changed from being comfortably normal to being extraordinary. Motherhood can have that effect on people, I hear. GRETCHEN DYSON | GRANITE PUBLICATIONS

OF THE LAST DECADE Winter 2020 Newsletter




Casey Stinnett is the barely managing editor of The Vindicator in Liberty, Texas. His office is eight blocks from where he was born 54 years ago and one block from where the original Vindicator office stood in 1887. The original Vindicator building is still there and is now a hair salon. The hospital where he was born is also still there, under a different name. As late as his mid-30s, Stinnett’s primary care physician was the doctor who had delivered him. He lives in a quadraplex on Hawthorne Street, or Hawthorn Street without the e, depending on which street sign you read. His current residence is one street west and one block over from the house on Kipling Street he and his family lived in when he was born. Beat all of that for “small town,” if you can. There is not much to know about Stinnett, but if you really want to know anything at all about him, the first thing you ought to know is he is a slippery rascal and as contrary as anyone you would ever want to meet. For example, if you were to ask him to write a short and simple biography of himself, he might instead take that as an opportunity to carry on about everything he thinks is wrong with the newspaper business. He might work into it something like how the whole industry would not be is such a bad way if the newspapers would stop promoting the idea that they are dying. Newspapers have become their own worst enemy, repeating ad nauseam that they have no future and thereby turning that into a self-fulfilling prophesy. There was a time when the public was told radio would be the death of newspapers, then it was movies and newsreels, then television. Each of those new technologies sparked a wave of now long forgotten oracles that soon there would be no more newspapers because with the new technology newspapers were

Should he ever become a foreign correspondent and die covering a revolution in Latin America, this is the photo Stinnett wants given to the newspapers.

not needed any longer. That is just the kind of thing Stinnett might say and put right in the middle of what is supposed to be his bio. He would probably go on, like he does, about the failure of newspapers to market themselves. He beats that drum anytime anyone will listen. By the 1950s, newspapers had saturated the market. They were not always honest about their circulation figures, but based on their self-reported numbers, in the 1950s newspaper circulation in the U.S. surpassed the total population by more than 110 percent. However many papers they actually sold, there was not much room for growth. Naturally, newspaper companies turned their attention to where significant growth was possible, that was to improving their advertising sales revenue. Thirty years later the whole industry had forgotten how to promote itself. The truth is the newspaper industry began to decline in the mid1950s, long before the internet and even before most American This is Casey Stinnett at Astroworld c. 1972 with his mother, homes had television. In the mid-50s, the growth of newspaper Sammy Lou Stinnett, at left and eldest sister, Judy Webb, at circulation stopped keeping pace with population growth. Circulation continued to grow into the mid-1980s, but each year right.


saw a smaller percentage of Americans reading newspapers. Then, after a short bump in the mid-80s, circulation began to fall again and to fall in real numbers, not just in comparison to the population. After writing that much, Stinnett would probably drop all pretense of writing his bio, and launch headlong into what he really wanted to say. Newspapers must adapt to changing technologies. Unfortunately, many attempts to adapt have been poorly thought through. One approach has been to publish shorter articles and more photos because it is thought fewer people these days like to read. Imagine a Mexican food restaurant chain deciding the way to grow is to sell tacos to people who don’t like tacos, and the way to do that is to make the tacos smaller and wrap them in prettier paper. People who do not like tacos are not going to buy them no matter how small they are. Likewise, people who do not like to read will not buy newspapers even if the articles are short. The way for any restaurant to sell more tacos is to make better tacos than their competitors and advertise. The same goes for newspapers. The way to sell more newspapers is through better writing, better photos, better news coverage, more interesting features, and just like any other business selling a consumer product, through relentless advertising. There are many other reasons the newspaper industry seems to be in greater stress than it really is and many reasons it is in greater stress than it should be. Back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, small newspapers, like The Vindicator, nearly all had side hustles going. Most small town newspaper companies also ran print and stationary shops. Many were combined with other businesses, especially if the newspaper was a oneman operation. The local newspaper editor would also be the postmaster or a real estate broker. That, too, has been forgotten since newspaper companies from the 1950s to the 1980s divested themselves of those other interests. If newspapers seem desperate now, it is only because people have forgotten that but for a few decades in the 20th century newspapers were always desperate. Another problem is the hardheaded commitment to nonsense rules made up decades ago that were never good ideas in the first place. One great example of that is the rule that no headline should ever be phrased as a question. That is flatly wrong. Thanks to the internet, it has now been shown that headlines phrased as questions attract more clicks than nearly any other kind, excepting only unusually surprising headlines. Newspapers lost a generation of readers when so many stopped running comics. After the 1930s, most newspaper readers’ first memories of newspapers were those of sitting on their fathers’ laps while their fathers read the funny papers to them. Newspapers cut out comics to save expenses. Cutting comics might have helped newspapers in the short run, but in the long run they cut their own throats doing that.

Winter 2020 Newsletter

Shown here is the Liberty Fire Department’s first fire engine. It was made from a confiscated bootlegger’s truck, a 1929 model Graham, and it was Casey’s grandfather, Sam Lynch, who did the conversion. Lynch was a machinist and mechanic for most of his working life. He had been an engineer’s mate in the merchant marine after World War I. In the 1920s, Lynch ran a tugboat out of Anahuac, pulling rice barges to Galveston. When the rice was unloaded, Lynch would load the boat with liquor from the Maceo operation in Galveston and bring it back to Anahuac. He was a bootlegger himself, but that had nothing to do with the fire engine.

Of course, the newspaper industry must change, but some of those changes can be easily made. Much of the news can be found online, but it’s scattered all over the internet. Newspapers can collect the news conveniently in one place. If the internet provides breaking news, then newspapers might need to veer toward longer, more in-depth reporting, or focus more on features than breaking news. Papers should consider abandoning some revenue streams in order to save others. Newspapers might hate giving up their charges for running obituaries, but if obits help sell papers, then selling more papers — and subsequently selling more ads because circulation is up — might be worth more than can be made by charging for the obits. With the internet all but wiping out newspaper classifieds, maybe it’s time to consider whether free classifieds, or a limited number of them, could help sell the newspaper itself. For decades The Vindicator was a member of the U.S. Suburban Press. It isn’t now, but its competitors are. USSPI buys ads in small papers for advertisers. Years ago, The Vindicator had commission-only ad sales reps in Houston and Galveston. The Vindicator also partnered with larger papers or national magazines to sell subscriptions to those other publications with The Vindicator as an add-on sale. After saying all of that, Stinnett would probably then close his alleged “bio” with the same lines he has repeated a thousand times: For over a century the Coca-Cola Company has made billions around the world selling fizzy sugar-water. If they can do that, then we ought to be able to sell a newspaper.


Publisher Jennifer Richardson helps deliver the TV given to local attorney Zack Zbranek. LIBERTY VINDICATOR

Facebook now informs The Vindicator that it has all the friends it is allowed to have. Not knowing any better when The Vindicator first got onto Facebook it created only a personal account under the name Vindicator Newsfeed, and then sometime later created a Facebook Page. There is no good reason for anyone sending the Vindicator Newsfeed a friend request, but people do, and not wanting to be unfriendly, The Vindicator has accepted most of them. Only, once the Vindicator Newsfeed acquired 5,000 friends, Facebook said it cannot accept any new friend requests unless it first loses current friends to make room for new ones. As of Jan. 14, 10,728 people have “liked” The Vindicator Facebook Page and 11,172 people follow it. What’s up with the 444 people who follow it but do not like it, The Vindicator has no idea. The Vindicator has lately posted a “Useless Word of the Day” taken from our office’s copy of the 1947 Webster’s New International Dictionary, 2nd edition, unabridged. The choice of posting only useless words was explained with the


first scheduled post as follows: “Please understand that we are in no way attempting to educate anyone. We wouldn’t think of doing that. It would only make people mad. The Vindicator is offering these posts purely for their entertainment value. To prove this we will post only the most useless words we can find in our volume of Webster’s New International Dictionary, 2nd edition, unabridged.” The effort to avoid conflict proved to be of no avail as the very first useless word, “hoodoo,” drew argument. One Facebook user said hoodoo is not a useless word and is used on a standardized state test for second-graders. This complaint led to some additional research, the discovery of a mistake in the current edition of the dictionary — namely that the word hoodoo dates back further than previously known — and communications with the lexicographers at Merriam-Webster. The upshot being that should The Vindicator’s research bear out, Merriam-Webster plans to update its entry for hoodoo sometime later this year. The following is Merriam-Webster’s Nov. 4 reply to The Vindicator:

“Dear Mr. Stinnett, “Many thanks for the amusing tale of your first Word of the Day post and for the nicely-documented antedatings of hoodoo. As the person in charge of dating research here, I’m especially grateful for the latter. Assuming the entry remains as it is, we will certainly be able to use your 1870 evidence to revise our entry date. If any of the other senses you mentioned are added to the entry, perhaps we’ll be able to use some of your other evidence to back an even earlier date. In any case, I’ll get a revision in the pipeline right away. You should see it reflected in our online dictionary probably by the end of this year or the early part of 2020. “I feel your pain regarding the amount of research you’re doing! Digital archives are a blessing insofar as they offer so much information for a researcher to mine, but something of a curse in how much time and effort it takes to sort through all the returns. “Keep up the good work! I’ll bet your readers are loving the new feature. “Sincerely, “Joanne M. Despres “Merriam-Webster Editorial Department” In other news, The Vindicator celebrated its 132nd anniversary Dec. 9 by giving away a 50-inch smart TV. The name drawn was that of an attorney two doors down from the newspaper. As old as it is, The Vindicator is not the oldest ongoing newspaper in Texas and not even the oldest of Granite’s newspapers. In fact, based on the founding dates for newspapers listed in the most recent TPA Directory, The Vindicator is only the ninety-ninth oldest continuously published newspaper in Texas. So, when hearing people speak of the coming demise of newspapers, ask them what other industry has so many companies still in business that were founded over a century ago? Newspapers might just be the most resilient businesses around.

Kim Marlow's grandson, Michael Hernandez, received notification via email on December 19 that he has been accepted into Texas A&M University College of Sciences for the fall of 2020. He will pursue a Biology major, with the intention of eventually advancing on to medical school. He will then be her very own Dr. Mikey. "He received the actual letter and welcome package from A&M a few days later, and made me cry Christmas day when he read the letter out loud to me and his aunt Kristin," Marlow said. "Best Christmas present ever."


The staff at The Examiner stayed pretty busy during the last quarter of 2019. Examiner crew sponsored the Examiner Squad golf team at the annual Chamber Golf Tournament in October. We also hosted our annual Chamber of Commerce Business Mixer cohosted with Citizens State Bank. It was a fun Halloween themed event where the Examiner girls (Ana, Angela, Caitlyn and Sonya) dressed up as criminals/inmates and Matt dressed up as the sheriff. We also experienced a once in a lifetime event when the Big Boy 4014 steam engine came through Navasota. Guess there is a perk to having the railroad tracks directly in front of the Examiner office. Railroad Street was filled with all kinds of people from all kinds of places.

Winter 2020 Newsletter


In December the Examiner teamed up with the Navasota Police Department to kick off the very first NPD Operation Blue Santa (OBS). We were able to purchase Christmas gifts for 30 under privileged kids in Navasota. Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino visited the Texas Renaissance Festival more than she ever has in her life this season. Ana visited the Ren Fest with Sonya’s crew, Angela’s crew, Chief’s crew and her nephew Daniel. Her son Jason was exhausted after the first couple visits and decided to sit the rest of them out. Ana and her son Jason made a donation for Relay for Life and in return they were given a 15-minute family photo session. Jason and Ana also visited Christmas in the Park – Jason’s first time there. Examiner Sales Rep Angela Scurlock was happy that the football season was finally over so her daughter Jayda could take a break from dancing at the football games. Her daughter Layla ender her volleyball season in October. They came in first place. Angela and her daughters fostered a kitty cat from the Navasota Animal Shelter. Oreo lived with them until it was old enough to go to his new family. She enjoyed three Christmas celebrations with her family and her baby girls. Examiner Senior News Reporter Matthew Ybarra enjoyed some daylight and took his daughters fishing. His daughter Mahayla and Matt caught a couple of nice sized bass. While covering the annual Anderson Fest, he also enjoyed it and was able to meet the living legend Johnny Lee. Matt and his family took advantage of all the Christmas events the Examiner


was invited and covered them as a family, so he and his family decided to make it a family tradition. Matthew and his family also enjoyed a cool weather day and visited the Houston Zoo. They had a great time and were able to witness all the beautiful Christmas lights displayed. Examiner Bookkeeper and Office Manager Sonya Bobo along with her son Austin, Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino and Ana’s son Jason enjoyed a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the famous Texas Renaissance Festival. Sonya also took a weekend trip to the haunted town – Jefferson, Texas. She was given a tour of the town and learned all about how the double jeopardy law was established. Sonya also kicked off her 6th season, 3rd New Year of Bobo’s Booms (firework stand – she delivers!). Examiner Office Assistant Caitlyn Druckhammer enjoyed covering the once in a lifetime experience of covering the Big Boy 4014. She signed her little ones out of school early, so they could witness and be a party of history as well. Caitlyn and her little family enjoyed their 4th Annual Santa’s Wonderland trip. This is a family tradition her little ones look forward to every year at Christmas time. Caitlyn’s little boy Cutter celebrated his 3rd birthday in November. The Examiner staff was happy to welcome back their part time college student Erica Grifaldo. Erica worked with the Examiner over the summer and left for UT Austin in August. While Erica has been gone studying so hard, she took a little break and attended the ACL concert. Erica is also a great photographer!

Covering events doesn’t feel like work when you’re surrounded by family. This Christmas event put on by Navasota High School will be added to the Ybarra’s list of traditions. Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino and her son Jason pose for their mini session family photos.

Caitlyn and her family enjoying the “snow” during our 4th Annual Santa’s Wonderland trip.

Examiner’s college student Erica Grifaldo enjoys the weekend at ACL.

Examiner Sales Rep Angela Scurlock bundled up on Friday night watch her daughter dance Angela and Jayda enjoy their at the last football family Christmas. game of the season.

Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino, Jason and Mike enjoy a cold winter night at Christmas in the Park.

Examiner Office Assistant Caitlyn Druckhammer, her sister Erin, My son Austin and I enjoying and her kids and had the once and a lifetime opportunity to a beautiful day at the Texas see the Big Boy 4014 steam engine come through Navasota. Renaissance Festival.

Winter 2020 Newsletter



Examiner reporter

Matthew Ybarra has spent his life overcoming obstacles, confronting fear and taking risks. The Senior News Reporter at the Navasota Examiner is an inspiring example of what love, perseverance and trust can accomplish, making the past an often-unreliable predictor of the future! Ybarra’s school years were marked by absenteeism, in part due to asthma. Falling behind, he eventually dropped out. The General Equivalency Diploma (GED) he earned was not accepted by the military, so he enrolled in a school as an electrician’s apprentice, but his brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Family first, Ybarra dropped out again. He said, “I’ve always worked. I’ve always had a job but when Scott (McDonald) called me, I didn’t think I was qualified.” BEHIND EVERY SUCCESSFUL MAN…

So just how did Ybarra become involved with sports writing, McDonald and the Navasota Examiner? Ybarra said, “Sports writing came about because of my lovely wife.” While at work in the ErgoGenesis Parts Department one day in 2014, Ybarra received a call from then Examiner publisher McDonald inviting him to interview for a sports writing position. Ybarra said, “Lucy was involved with Workforce Solutions, so she knew all about resumes – that’s what she did for a living. She sent my resume when she saw the ad in the newspaper.”

Ybarra explained that Lucy’s behind-the-scenes efforts stemmed from a conversation early in their marriage about the Ybarra family’s dedication to Rattler Friday night football. He said, “She let me know how expensive that was – tickets, gas money, going out to eat every Friday night – and that we couldn’t afford it. I said that’s how we were raised. That’s what we do. It’s our tradition and we were going to keep on doing it.” He continued, “Her solution was that if I was going to go to these games, I may as well be getting paid!” Ybarra was shocked when McDonald called and was hesitant, but Lucy encouraged him saying, “Just go.” McDonald saw his passion for sports and despite the lack of writing experience or knowledge of how to keep stats, McDonald promised to teach Ybarra everything he needed to know. Ybarra covered his first sports event that night, a scrimmage in Iola, and soon he was covering sports countywide. TAKING A GAMBLE

As a student, Ybarra liked writing and performed well on the reading portion of TAAS tests. He chuckled, “My biggest problem was research. I never liked to do the research, pulling out the encyclopedia and documenting where you got everything.” Fast forward to late 2018. With a slot available for a fulltime news writer, publisher Ana Cosino approached Ybarra about the position. He recalls that immediately, a red flag of fear and doubt popped up.


His role in the newspaper profession has also altered how he processes what he hears because there is always more to a story. Ybarra acknowledged that the Examiner and Granite want to be the first to report events in their community, a difficult task at times for a weekly newspaper, but not at the expense of its credibility. He said, “A lot thrive on being first. I will never release speculation, only facts. Respecting the community we live in, is giving them accurate news but realizing we have to look those same people in the eye.” BALANCING ACT

He told Cosino, “I don’t know how to cover commissioners’ court. I don’t know how to cover the school board or write accident reports.” Ybarra admits going from sports to news and feature writing was a gamble, but the decision was made by “a lot of talking with my wife and a lot of praying.” The prospect of leaving a job he was comfortable in was “scary.” He said, “People ask me where I went to school. At first, I was reserved. Now I tell them the truth – ‘I didn’t go to school. I’m learning on-the-go.’ This is the way it is, and it inspires a lot of people.” HIGHLIGHTS AND LOWLIGHTS

Ybarra’s wife, Lucy, is the Grimes County Elections Administrator so neither work traditional 8-5, Monday-Friday jobs. Their three daughters ages 6-12, if necessary, have accompanied Ybarra to events he is covering. When late night election work keeps Lucy at the office, communication is key when it comes to getting the girls to basketball or softball practice. He said, “We owe a lot to our parents because my parents and her mom do a lot. They’re there for us knowing we have jobs with hours that can be demanding at times.” TAKE A CHANCE

Ybarra has advice for those who think their future is irreversibly determined by past choices. He said, “Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Go out there and try to do it.” This father, husband, coach, man of faith, and now news reporter encourages employers to give people a chance “because both Scott and Ana took a chance on me.” He said, “If it wasn’t for them giving me a chance when I thought I didn’t deserve one, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Ybarra has had the opportunity to witness the best and worst in people. He said, “I will say one of the toughest stories I’ve ever written was the Lizzie story and her passing.” Ybarra was most affected by Lizzie’s message to other children battling cancer, “that she was praying for them every day.” Ybarra said, “How selfless can you be?” Highlights include the Bush funeral procession and covering the Rattlers winning the 2014 State Championship, but “sometimes you have to report on things you’d rather not” about the people in your community. CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE

Ybarra credits his professional growth to on-the-job training, classes available through the Texas Center for Community Journalism, and an unexpected source, his association with student interns. Ybarra said, “By teaching them and showing them the ropes, it also increases my knowledge.”

Winter 2020 Newsletter



Carolyn’s daughter Melanie and her new husband Dale pose for photos after their wedding.


December went by way too fast and it looks like January is following close behind. However, November 16, 2019 was one of the best days of my life. My oldest daughter Melanie Rene Hill Lewis married the love of her life. Finally. When I was asked if he could marry her, I said yes, but no take backs. It is now Final. No take backs. This union has given me half of my family that I have already been claiming the last few years. Together they have given me 5 grandchildren and in March I will receive my 7th great-grandchild. Life is Good. Glad it is over. Meet Mr and Mrs Dale Walls.

Carolyn and her family pose with the newlyweds. FERNANDO

I transferred from Creative Services on Jan. 1 to become senior reporter at the Taylor Press. I’m covering city council and other local events as they come. It’s the fourth Granite newspaper I’ve worked at. It’s been very busy, but I’m getting back into Fernando is the new senior reporter the swing of things. for the Taylor Press. He brings I had previously been experience and ideas to the team. working for Granite Just look how enthusiastic he is in Publications as a page this photo. designer for numerous affiliated newspapers and look forward to bringing my journalism talents back to the main stage. I began my career under the Granite umbrella in April 2008 at The Madisonville Meteor as a sports reporter. After two years I then worked for The Colorado County Citizen, as managing editor before returning to the Meteor in 2011 before getting the call to become a page designer. I transferred to the Taylor Press on New Year’s Day 2020, and I hope to use my skills where they are most helpful.

Winter 2020 Newsletter


The last quarter was pretty slow for me, Taylor Press Publisher Jason Hennington, even though it included everything from watching my daughter Jasmine earn awards at school to watching my beloved Sul Ross State University Lobos.

Jason and his wife Tynna enjoyed an outside concert of KC and the Sunshine Band.


Jasmine Hennington smiles after winning two awards for Remarkable Reader and All A Honor Roll.

Jason’s sister Heather celebrated her 35th birthday, and the world was granted the opportunity to have Thanksgiving the same day.

Jason and his daughters Jasmine and Tiana pose in front of the new 30-foot Christmas tree in downtown Taylor.


In October I went to Georgetown to watch Sul Ross play Southwestern, which ended in a nail-biter. For Halloween, I dressed as a dead archer and Matt Hooks, sports reporter, dressed as Leatherface for Around the Watercooler. In November, the month started out great with an interview with KC from KC and the Sunshine Band. I also received two tickets to the concert in Hutto. My wife and I enjoyed the show. Later that month, while I worked as a photographer for Carolyn Hill’s, bookkeeper, daughter’s wedding, she tried to give me a second wife. Carolyn introduced a pretty young lady as “Jason’s wife” to everyone. The young lady never corrected her, and Carolyn argued with me that it was my wife. I really enjoyed Thanksgiving because it was my sister’s 35th birthday – she shares the same birthday as Jim Beaver. My brother flew in from North Carolina to celebrate, and this was the first Thanksgiving in a while that my parents had all three of their children at home. My actual wife, Tynna, and I celebrated 8 years of marriage Dec. 1. We missed the Parade of Lights in Taylor the weekend after our anniversary because we participated in the Santa Pub Crawl in Hutto. Jasmine brought home several awards from school for her academics and behavior. Jasmine and Tiana also talked to Santa and posed by the new Christmas tree in downtown Taylor.


Over the last couple of months my wife and I have attended not one but two Texas Longhorn football games. The October 19, vs. Kansas and the November 9, game vs. Kansas State. We celebrated Halloween where I dressed up as Leatherface, my wife as Sarabi from The Lion King and my daughter as Nala. In November I bought a new truck. My wife and I attended a Clay Walker concert in Cedar Park that also included Lonestar and Restless Heart. We celebrated Thanksgiving in Killeen with my wife’s family. On December 1, we learned that we are expecting another little one due August 1, 2020. My daughter Anastasia (2) was in her first Christmas program at Trinity Daycare. My two sons, Ryan (13) and Lucas (10) visited from Oklahoma at the of the year. Most recently we have been going over baby names for our new little one. Also, my wife and I celebrated our 4th anniversary on December 27. At work I have begun covering the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams for Taylor, Granger and Thrall and have discovered a great kinship to all the schools.

Winter 2020 Newsletter


The end of the Christmas season meant it was time for The Grinch (Gretchen Dyson) to take down the tree (Orlando Rojo-Buendia).


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

Orlando Rojo-Buendia set up the Creative Services area with a traditional ofrenda for DĂ­a de los Muertos to honor loved ones during the holiday.


Halloween brought out the creative and the creepy throughout the Granite/Taylor Press building. Even the Creative Services mummy got to dress up for the occasion!

Matt Hellman celebrated his birthday in October with cheesecake and a pumpkin pie!

Winter 2020 Newsletter


Creative Services Manager Patti Slavych was welcomed to work on her October birthday in true slasher style. The team decorated her desk, the break area, and the door with an "It"-inspired theme — one of Patti's favorite films — complete with clown cake and red balloons.


In October, Gretchen Dyson got to attend her very first ACL festival. As a native Austinite, she was only a little embarrassed that she had never been, but is now smitten with the event and plans to attend future festivals.

Jasmine Gutierrez celebrated her birthday in November with strawberry-topped tres leches!

Winter 2020 Newsletter




PHAMILY PHUN Winter 2020 Newsletter


GROUPWIDE DIRECTORY GRANITE HEADQUARTERS GRANITE WEST 3115 Loop 306 Ste. 111 San Angelo, TX 76904 352-949-4700 • Fax: 352-949-4711 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

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) Publisher: Jonathan Deeley

JIM CHIONSINI O: 325-949-4700 | C: 325-315-6328 DANIEL PHILHOWER Cell: 512-203-1893

PO Box 697 • 606 State Hwy 16 South Bandera, TX 78003 830-796-3718 • Jonathan Deeley: • Bill Pack:

JIM BEAVER Cell: 512-461-6906

• Fran Fox:

VALERI STAIR Cell: 512-955-9139

Editor & Publisher: Jeffrey Parra

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


BOERNE STAR (Tuesday & Friday) PO Box 820 • 941 N. School St. Boerne, TX 78006 830-249-2441 • Fax: 830-249-4607 • Jeffrey Parra:


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: GRANITE PRINTING Director of Print Operations: Ory Boney 2675 CR 374 • Taylor, TX 76574 512-352-3687 • Fax: 512-352-6138 • Ory Boney: • Grace Rangel: 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

• Kolleen Roe:

PO Box 751 • 115 Railroad St. • Navasota, TX 77868

• Kerry Barboza:

936-825-6484 • Fax 936-825-2230

• Dana Smith:

• Kit Brenner:

• Ana Cosino:

• Keith Domke:

• Angela Scurlock:

• Joanie Reed:

• Sonya Bobo:

COLORADO COUNTY CITIZEN (Wednesday) CREATIVE SERVICES Gretchen Dyson | Senior Page Designer Jasmine Gutierrez Matt Hellman Minerva Kutch Orlando Rojo-Buendia

ELGIN COURIER (Wednesday) Editor & Publisher: Jim Beaver

• Matt Ybarra:

General Manager: Nora Rollins

TAYLOR PRESS (Sunday & Wednesday)

PO Box 548 • 2024 Hwy. 71 • Columbus, TX

Editor & Publiser: Jason Hennington


211 W. Third • Taylor, TX 76574-1040

979-732-2304 • Fax: 979-732-8804

512-352-8535 • Fax: 512-352-1505

• Nora Rollins:

• Jason Hennington:

• Tressa Alley:

• Carolyn Hill:

• Alesia Woolridge: • Regina Taylor: • Even Vega:

• Matt Hooks:

• Royce Caldwell: • Fernando Castro:

Profile for Granite Publications

Granite Publications Quarterly - Winter 2020  

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

Granite Publications Quarterly - Winter 2020  

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


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