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January 2019 | Volumn 15, Issue 1

A roundup of news for our publication family!

SPRUCE UP YOUR PAPER IN THE NEW YEAR! Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year’s holiday. I took a few days to visit my relatives in Missouri. This year it wasn’t near as cold as it normally is, and we loved it. Some days it was actually warmer than it is was here, and that doesn’t happen too often. The big ball has dropped and once again we all get the opportunity for a fresh start. If you’re like me, most of your New Year’s resolutions have already been broken. Diet plans lasted only a week, the goal to walk five days a week quit when the weather got bad, not drinking beer during the week got nixed because of the Super Bowl and going to the gym once a week didn’t pan out, either. I even had a free pass for 7 days, and most of you know how I am with freebies. But, Spring is right around the corner and it’s a great time to start in sprucing up your newspaper, website and social media pages - Facebook and Twitter. Yes, you do have a Twitter page, and some of you might be surprised by how many followers you have. Usually, each of those platforms brings you a different reader, and who doesn’t want more “followers” and “likes?” Don’t forget to make your newspaper website your “home” page on Google, or whatever platform you use. Believe it or not, I still see sales reps logging into their newspaper website when I ask to


Living the life of service Bandera Bulletin office manager Fran Fox shows success both in and out of her various professional backgrounds.

show them something online. It’s also a good time to work on your Base Revenue pages. Set your goals to fill up those empty spots on your Church page, Business Directory, and small space ads like those on the front page of your newspaper. It almost sounds too good to be true, but if you have just 10 empty spots to fill at $20 each per week on your Church and/or Business Directory pages, you could bring in up to $10,000 additional revenue for the new year. I can’t think of anyone who couldn’t use $10k, can you? Add even more by filling up those empty front page ads or other sponsorship positions – Pet of the Week, Player of the Week....use your imagination!

See SPRUCE UP Page 3

| By Jim Beaver

FIND OUT MORE on page 10

Just a little bit of enlightenment Photographer, designer, editor, web developer. Matt Hellman exposes opportunities for creative thinking.

FIND OUT MORE on page 16





SPRUCE UP YOUR PAPER IN THE NEW YEAR!............... 1 Table of Contents...................................................... 2 Top Bookkeepers....................................................... 3 Employee Anniversaries............................................ 3 Quarterly Question................................................. 4-5 *Scholarship Recipients............................................. 7 * Employee Birthdays............................................ 11

Anahuac Progress...................................................... 6 Bandera Bulletin.................................................... 6-7 LIVING THE LIFE OF SERVICE.................................... 8-9 Boerne Star............................................................. 10 Elgin Courier........................................................... 11 Colorado County Citizen......................................12-13 JUST A LITTLE BIT OF ENLIGHTENMENT..................14-17 Liberty Vindicator.................................................... 18 CHILLING WITH CREATIVE SERVICES.......................... 19 Navasota Examiner............................................ 20-21 Taylor Press....................................................... 22-23 Granite Publications........................................... 24-25


DIRECTORY.............................................................. 26

Quarterly Question Page 6

movie made about your life, what actor/actress

would play you?


the life of service Page 10


If there was a

just a little bit of Enlightment Page 16

SPRUCE UP continued from 1

Another simple revenue idea is signature pages. There are some great “spec” ads on Metro if you look. The other day we were looking for some Valentines specials and ran across several pages geared for the businesses that market pretty heavy during Valentine’s Day. Then I asked for ideas on Slack and got some great “out of the box” pages that Columbus had done. (Thanks, Michelle) Try making packages which include large ads and a spot on the special page ad, and/or a web button that links to their specials. In each issue of Metro Creative Services there are pages and pages of trendy monthly specials that fit almost every type of business and budget. Valeri Stair sends them to the publishers, so I hope you are seeing these. If not, give me or Valeri a ‘Slack’ message and let us know. Imagine, if you produced just one page more or double-truck once a month there’s a good chance you’ll sell between $1,000-$2,000 (or more) of new business. While working with the Taylor Press, we saw a Dining Guide layout we liked. We’re on track to fill the page with a dozen or more businesses that will advertise weekly. Most are new advertisers. With 13 advertisers at $20 we can make over $13,000 a year. There are several other special pages

you can do – Health & Medical Guide, Wedding Planner, Home Improvement, Auto Guide, etc. One tip you might use is to have a spec ad built for those new businesses. Creative Services can usually have you something professionally design to show your business prospects, and spec ads do work. One last thing you don’t want to forget about is your website. I’ve been going through our websites this past week and noticed several empty adverting spots. That’s money left on the table - lost revenue. Now is a great time to start filling up those web banner spots and have that steady revenue coming in for the rest of the year. I’m pretty sure that just about everyone has at least one each of the available positions at the average weekly price– leaderboard ($55), page curl ($55), pencil ($55), center banner ($35), big ad/in-story ad ($45) or skyscraper ($45). By selling just one of each size you could bring in around $15,000 in additional revenue. Again, I can’t think of anyone who couldn’t use more revenue. If you have any revenue ideas, please post them on Slack for all to see. This is the perfect time to get out there make 2019 the best year ever. Happy selling! Photo provided by Matt Hellman Photography

TOC RIGHT PHOTO: Solar Rain fire troupe’s Rovo performs with charcoal poi cages during the final show at Texas Renaissance Festival 2017. Canon 7D MII - 1/250 • f2.8 • ISO 1250


1) Lori Ligues Colorado County Citizen

2) Carolyn Hill Taylor Press

3) Sonya Bobo Navasota Examiner


FEBRUARY ANNIVERSARIES Rodney Marsh, 3 years Granite Printing Kerry Barboza, 17 years Boerne Star Matthew Hellman, 2 years Granite Publications

February 2019 Newsletter

Daniel Philhower, 3 years Granite Publications Valeri Stair, 12 years Granite Publications MARCH ANNIVERSARIES Jason Hennington, 6 years Taylor Press Stephen Bartell, 15 years Boerne Star

APRIL ANNIVERSARIES Ashley Brian, >1 year Granite Printing Stephanie Lock, 7 years Boerne Star Fernando Castro, 11 years Granite Publications



If there was a movie made

With the OSCARS right around the corner, what better question to ask our group than which actor or actress could reflect them the best.

Here is what they said.

Dayna Haynes

• Anahuac Progress

Oh it would probably be Roseanne Barr! LOL!

Gretchen Dyson

• Granite Publications

I would have to say Anna Kendrick if only because everyone always says I look like her. I don’t see the resemblance, but I still take it as a compliment!

Orlando Rojo-Buendia

• Granite Publications

Nicolas Cage because he is the only actor that I feel could capture my insane yet fun personality.

Carolyn Hill

• Taylor Press

Julia Sugarbaker from Designing Women. I have been told many times about my zingers when I voice my opinion.


e about your life, what actor/actress would play you?

Michelle Banse Stokes

• Colorado County Citizen

Only the funniest, curly haired actress would do... a young Bernadette Peters.

Valeri Stair

• Granite Publications

Well, I would like to think I could ask my best friend, Meryl Streep, to do the part justice, but she just can’t pull off the physical comedy required for the role. So, I would let Melissa McCarthy and Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect fight it out to see who wants the Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, and whatever else they would win for a drama/ comedy/romantic/psychological thriller/documentary. Heck, my life is so jam packed with excitement, I bet they’d even consider me for the Nobel Peace Prize or a Pulitzer. If not those two, I guarantee you Jerry Springer would come out of retirement to take on my life story. Now, if none of these people are available to play me, I am more than capable of playing myself, but I would insist on Jason Momoa playing my husband, Charles. Sorry, Charlie!

Fran Fox

• Bandera Bulletin

Bette Medler should play Fran Fox in a movie about Fran’s life. I sang with a dance band while in college and many people told me I sang like Bett and for several years, I was told I looked like Bette Medler.

Jasmine Gutierrez

• Granite Publications

Lana Condor (From Netflix’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before) 

February 2019 Newsletter


Photo provided by the Anahuac Progress.

Rooftop Cinema in downtown Houston.


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


The holiday season was crazy busy as usual, but now we are headed into the New Year and we are working hard to make this a good year! Looking to sell our Lifestyle series again, it went over well last year and we will be trying to add new ideas to the series as well. In October I got to go see Ozzy Osbourne’s No More Tours! It was held at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Houston and luckily the weather had cooled down a little. Zakk Wylde is back with Ozzy performing for the farewell tour and boy did they ROCK the house – it was so exciting and a lot of fun! Considering Ozzy is now 69 years old – he sounds the same and put on an awesome show! I attended an awesome outdoor theater – Rooftop Cinema in downtown Houston. The weather was amazing and we got some beautiful photos. It was so much fun, they only play old movies, and we got to watch the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The Bandera Bulletin has added a contributing writer as a stringer who is taking a crash course in journalism at the age of 42 and making a big impression on the people and organizations she’s covering with her energetic personality and her writing skills. Her name is Kimberly Christenson, and it becomes apparent not long after meeting her that she does not let much get in her way. “I’m a real tenacious person,” she said in describing her approach to life. Kimberly has not been able to see out of her right eye since she was 9 or 10 and then a genetic disorder took much of the vision from her left eye about eight years ago. She also said she’s half deaf. While those conditions have forced her to get help travelling to and from assignments, they have not affected her determination to learn as much as she can about journalism and to cover some challenging assignments. That would include a human interest story about the impact made on


Fran Fox | Bandera Bulletin

A string of white lights illuminate the offices of The Bandera Bulletin and a sandwich shop and a beauty salon on either side of it to set them apart from the other businesses on the Bandera strip center where they are located. Bulletin bookkeeper Fran Fox worked with the two businesses to get them hung up in the last several months.

employees at a guest ranch by an 11-year-old girl who was visiting in Bandera after her family lost everything in the wildfires that consumed Paradise, California and a first-person account of a Christmas caroling event that is put on by singers and musicians or horseback and in horse-drawn wagons. “I love learning about people, and I love writing,” said Kimberly. She said she never imagined going into journalism earlier in life but after her mother died about a year ago, and she began to reassess her own life, she realized how important writing was to her. Journalism provided her with an opportunity to be of service to the community, another important priority in her life, so when she saw that the Bulletin needed another writer, she applied. Kimberly said she believes her work in journalism is helping her to follow God’s will in her life. She said she probably would not be able to do the job without technology, which includes a recorder to interview people along with applications that magnify the words she transcribes on to her computer and reads what she has written so she can navigate on the computer better. A reader on her phone allows her to take a picture of what she wants to read and reads it back to her as well. Kimberly is slowly regaining some sight as a result of a third corneal transplant last October. It’s allowed her to see more details and even to see people’s faces but not read a book without assistance or drive a car.

She obtained a degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2017 and is thinking about going to graduate school in the spring. Originally she planned to study creative writing, but now journalism could be included in her advanced studies. “It’s fun. I like it,” Kimberly said of her unexpected interaction with reporting. The newspaper’s longtime political cartoonist Larry Haddad decided to put away his pen and to get recharged for an undetermined amount of time, so the paper needed to find someone else with the knowledge about what’s important to residents in Bandera, the skill to put that information into a drawing and the personality to make it entertaining. While Fran Fox has not changed her position as the Bulletin’s office manager and bookkeeper, more can be learned about what makes her the glue that keeps the newspaper going by reading a profile of her that is included in another area of this edition of the Pub. Fran celebrated her fifth anniversary with Granite in December. Fran’s connections with other businesses in the strip center where the Bulletin has its office helped shine a light – actually several more lights – on the newspaper. The Bulletin partnered with the sandwich shop and beauty salon on either side of the paper office to hang exterior lights along the awning that covers the walkway in front of the businesses. The new lights make the paper and the adjoining businesses more noticeable at night for motorists driving down Highway 16 nearby.


Abigail Hamson

Anna Nemec

Joseph Nemec

Nicholas Rucker

The daughter of Scott Rucker, Elgin Courier

The daughter of Tim Nemec, Granite Printing

The son of Tim Nemec, Granite Printing

The son of Scott Rucker, Elgin Courier

February 2019 Newsletter


Living the life of service From San Antonio to El Paso, San Angelo to Lubbock, and several stops in between, Fran Fox found her way as a teacher in a number of high schools across Texas and New Mexico. She eventually earned the role of Director of Human Resources at San Elizario ISD in El Paso County, and not just another one, the first human resources director the ISD had. When she left education, Fran continued working as an office manager and human resources representative for other companies until she retired. “Within six months I realized I needed to go back to work [and went] to work as Office Manager/Bookkeeper at Alpine Avalanche” until the paper sold. When she was offered same position at The Bandera Bulletin, she accepted and made one more move. Now, she lives a comfortable life in the 300-square-foot home


that she shares with Limpia, a 7-year-old Chiweenie she rescued in Fort Davis. But through all of her moves, Fran has remained entirely committed to her family. “I have one son who is my greatest success. He is an assistant athletic trainer (football) at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO, with a master’s degree in sports medicine. His wife of 23 years works for the State of Colorado. She has a PhD in Health Education and works with troubled teenagers. They have two children, Shelby, who is a sophomore at Northern Arizona University in the nursing program; and a son, Troy, a sophomore at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, CO. He hopes to be a veterinarian. He wants to work in a zoo rather than have his own practice.” Her commitment to family and work is evident in her employment choices at schools and for human resources

departments. Even now in the news industry, Fran works tirelessly to make the lives of others a little bit easier and a little bit brighter. As she puts it, “if we wanted to improve our lives, we got more education and training, found employment that would advance our earnings, our enjoyment in work.The company/people we work for put food on our table, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs. If we don’t like them or our work, we need to find different work.” While she has taken a few different paths along the way, Fran knows “God has surely taken care of me throughout my life,” and it seems He has sent her to Alpine and Bandera to extend that care to our Granite family. Photos provided by Fran Fox

PAGE 10: Fran Fox, office manager and bookkeeper for the Bandera Bulletin newspaper. TOP LEFT: Fran’s son and his family: Left to right: Grandson, Troy, 14; Granddaughter, 19; Son, Lee; Daughter-in-law, Diane. TOP RIGHT: Fran’s 300-square-foot tiny house; Just right for one and a 7-lb dog! MIDDLE: Fran’s dog, Limpia. BOTTOM: Limpia loves to shop at WalMart but she is NOT allowed in the grocery section!

February 2019 Newsletter



The Boerne Star is undergoing a transformation since the October arrival of new Publisher Jeff Parra. He has hired a new managing editor and two new ad sales reps in his short time here, and he is busy planning a better future for the newspaper. Sales reps Ryan Graban and Melissa (Missy) Rodriguez have hit the ground running, calling on new and old accounts in this bustling market, which includes Kendall County and another San Antonio suburb, Fair Oaks Ranch. It’s not all work here in the “Gateway to the Hill Country,” a beautiful part of Texas where the population and business activity is increasing far faster than average. Jeff has yet to pursue his interest in bass fishing – it’s still too cold – but looks forward to testing the waters of nearby Canyon Lake when the weather gets better. Meanwhile, the Marine Corps veteran can enjoy another hobby he learned as food & beverage director of hotels prior to entering the newspaper industry: cooking. “I really enjoy finding recipes in good cookbooks and online,” he said, “and ad-libbing with some different ingredients.” After an intense day of work, he considers his time in the kitchen a great way to “de-stress.” Jeff has worked in newspaper sales and management from Joplin, Mo., to LaGrange, Ga. This is his fourth job in Texas. He has two sons, one working in Dallas and one in college in Kansas, and

he looks forward to spending time with them as adults. The family theme is strong with all the new arrivals at the Star. Ryan, his wife Beth and their three children moved here from Beth’s native West Virginia to be closer to Ryan’s parents in Fair Oaks Ranch. And it was Beth’s idea to do so, Ryan said with a smile. Ryan was born in South Korea where, when he was an infant, his American parents adopted him, His father has since retired from the Air Force, which he was a civil service scientist. He has a son in high school and a son and daughter in elementary school here and lives just a few blocks from the newspaper. They place great value on their togetherness as a family. Missy and her husband, John, also have three children: a daughter in community college in San Antonio, a son at Texas A&M, and another in Brandeis High School. They moved 15 or so years ago from Abilene, where Missy said there was very little for young people to do other than sports. Her “young people” did plenty of that with her daughter lettering four years in softball and boys involved in other sports. John even served as a golf coach at Stevens High School. Their interest in sports carries over to the spectator sports, as well, Missy says. She grew up (in Abilene, as a recreational softball and high school volleyball player), and she was hooked early on the Cowboys and the Longhorns. Her son’s enrollment at A&M has complicated both her rooting interests and her wardrobe. “I’d never had anything maroon before

Photo provided by the Boerne Star

The Moseleys in the wine country near Florence, Italy


he went there,” she said, “but now I have three maroon shirts.” Managing Editor Robert Moseley, his wife Heidi and son Will like to spend time on the Guadalupe River and, when they can get away, traveling. Two summers ago, they did a “U.S. history trip” to Washington, D.C.,, Gettysburg, Plymouth, Mass., Boston and Philadelphia. Last summer, they finally made it to Europe – Paris,

Florence and Rome – after years of delays. Spurred by Will’s interest and improvement in racquet sports, Robert and Heidi like to play ping pong and are taking up tennis after long lay-offs. It took Will a few years to beat either of them in ping pong. Given his head start, it will probably take him no more than a few minutes to polish off his parents on the tennis court.


Hi! I’m Gail Schobey. I started with Granite Publications in June 2006. That was when the office was located on Main Street in Taylor Even though I had a degree in graphic design, I did not have enough experience to work in the creative department and was offered a job in the accounting department. This was more where my talents lie. When I started, they were using the MSSI program for the accounting. I had never used it before and, let me tell you, everyone was glad when they started using QuickBooks in 2009. I was moved over to the Elgin Courier in July of 2016 when Marie retired. This gave me an opportunity to learn the newspaper business from the bookkeeper’s standpoint. I learned how to measure the paper for the postal report and do the classified ads. I love meeting all the customers who come in on a daily basis. I then moved back to Granite from July of 2018 until the first of this year when I returned to Elgin. I have enjoyed working at both locations and hope to be here for several years. BIRTHDAYS Stephen Bartell, 2/5 Boerne Star

Phillip Guitierrez, 2/17 Granite Printing

Dayna Haynes, 3/15 Anahuac Progress

Raymond Chavana, 2/9 Granite Printing

Jeffrey Parra, 3/10 Boerne Star

Ina Lindley, 3/20 Navasota Examiner

Greyson Ketchum, 2/9 Granite Printing

Navy Sann, 3/13 Granite Printing

Kim Marlow, 3/31 Liberty Vindicator

Macy Chionsini, 2/14 Granite Publications

Dana Smith, 3/14 Boerne Star

Gail Schobey, 4/19 Elgin Courier

February 2019 Newsletter


TOP PHOTOS LEFT: Citizen Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes is pretty proud of her redhead drake that she harvested in Colorado County during the early season. MIDDLE LEFT: Citizen Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes and her husband, Will, enjoy a day teal hunting in Colorado County during the early season. MIDDLE RIGHT: Citizen Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes, second from left, invited Daniel Philhower, his son Tanner, and Jim Beaver on a guided duck hunt in Colorado County during the early season. The group got their limit and took home plenty of tasty ducks and teal. RIGHT: Citizen Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes and her eight-point buck she harvested in west Texas in December. LEFT PHOTO Citizen Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes’ daughter, Zoe Michelle Urban, bottom row, second from left, poses for a picture after her FFA quiz team won state in Huntsville Dec. 1.


The Colorado County Citizen welcomed Mark Heitman to their team as a reporter. Mark, who lives in Sheridan, is a graduate of Louisiana State University and previously worked covering sports for several publications in Louisiana, including The Daily Iberian in New Iberia, La. In late October, The Citizen hosted the second of two Business Leaders’ Roundtables in Colorado County for Congressman Michael McCaul (R-Westlake), whose district includes all of Colorado County. McCaul’s district includes two Granite newspapers--The Citizen and


the Elgin Courier. At the roundtable, attended by more than 30 people including Colorado County Judge Ty Prause and Columbus Mayor Lori An Gobert, McCaul addressed a wide variety of issues from trade to border security.  Following the roundtable, McCaul stayed behind and discussed key issues of concern for The Citizen staff, including President Trump’s tariff war, which caused newsprint prices to skyrocket in 2018.  Citizen Managing Editor Vince Leibowitz was appointed to a twoyear term on the Colorado County Historical Commission on Dec. 10, 2018. He was appointed to fill a partial term in March 2018

LEFT: Citizen Managing Editor Vince Leibowitz had a quiet fourth quarter of 2018. In December he celebrated one of his dogs’ birthdays. Lyndon “Puppy” Leibowitz turned 13 December 7. MIDDLE: Citizen staff surprised Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes for her birthday on Dec. 20 at Los Cabos in Columbus. RIGHT: Lori Ligues enjoyed a trip Texas Motor Speedway in Denton to see her favorite NASCAR driver, Joey Logano, race the first weekend in November. TOP LEFT: Chris Brown, the Colorado County Citizen’s Editorial Assistant, was recently accepted to the University of Houston’s class of 2022.  BOTTOM LEFT: The Colorado County Citizen welcomed Mark Heitman to their team as a reporter. RIGHT: Citizen driver Sandra Weber, center, receives her five-year award from Citizen Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes and Daniel Philhower at the Granite Christmas Party in Taylor in December.

and will now serve a full term on the commission. County historical commissions are governmental bodies appointed by the county commissioners courts to supervise a wide variety of historical activities in counties, including the historical marker program. He is already responsible for one historical marker the state has approved for the county, for Etta Moten Barnett, the first black woman to sing solo in the White House. Moten Barnett was from Weimar, in the Citizen’s coverage area. Citizen Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes enjoyed a hunt in west Texas with her family. She harvested a mature eight-point buck, a Rio Grande turkey gobbler, and a blackbuck antelope doe. Her husband, Will, harvested a cull four-point buck and Rio Grande

February 2019 Newsletter

turkey gobbler. Stokes daughter, Zoe, and her FFA quiz team won first place in state competition recently. Her team will travel to Indianapolis, Ind. for national competition in October. Bookkeeper Lori Ligues traveled to the Texas Motor Speedway in Denton to watch a NASCAR race in November. This is an annual trip for her and her family. Chris Brown, the Colorado County Citizen’s Editorial Assistant, was recently accepted to the University of Houston’s class of 2022. Brown is a senior at Columbus High School and lives in Industry. He is a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Industry, and active in UIL debate as a student at CHS.


Just a little bit of enlightenment...

Matt Hellman A creative through and through, Matt Hellman can accomplish it all. Photographer at his core, Matt is a superstar when it comes to designing with a purpose, as exemplified in his work for magazines, tabloids, websites, and newspapers. Recently promoted to Digital Content Coordinator in addition to his existing page designer role, Matt believes he’s been given great “opportunities for creative thinking” and “more designs under [his] belt” since he joined Granite in 2017. But in addition to his design prowess, Matt maintains other hobbies and skills that help to round out his eclectic

personality. Leatherworking, for example, for costumes used in his extensive time spent at two prominent renaissance festivals: the Texas Renaissance Festival in Plantersville, and the Sherwood Forest Faire in McDade. His involvement with the festivals has also landed him work as a photographer, and resulted in an array of images

Photography: Matt Hellman Photography


A jaguar grows ferocious as another predator encloses on its territory. Jaguars, like many other cat species, tend to be more territorial.

Canon 7D MII - 1/500 • f2.8 • ISO 800

January 2019 Newsletter


MATT HELLMAN Matt Hellman began photography and design in 2009, and since has been featured in over 50 publications. TOP: Solar Rain fire troupe’s Rovo performs an overhead burnoff with the fire mop during the finale show at Texas Renaissance Festival 2018.

Canon 7D MII - 1/1000 • f4 • ISO 640

MIDDLE TOP: Gypsy Dance Theatre’s Katia take the stage with isis wings during the gypsy show on the Greek Agora stage at Texas Renaissance Festival 2018. Canon 7D MII - 1/500 • f2.8 • ISO 1250

MIDDLE BOTTOM: Solar Rain fire troupe performers Sage, Rovo and Audi perform with pyro poi and pyro fans during the finale show at Texas Renaissance Festival 2018. Canon 7D MII - 1/250 • f4.0 • ISO 800

BOTTOM: Headliner Eric Church takes the main stage at WE Fest 2016 on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. Canon 7D MII - 1/400 • f3.2 • ISO 12000


that showcase the primary purpose for his involvement: long-time girlfriend Audi’s fire troupe, Solar Rain. “If I could be famous for anything, it would be for my fire photography or graphic design.” He has established himself as the primary photographer for the troupe’s crowd-favorite fire show that precedes the Texas Renaissance Festival’s nightly fireworks display, and it’s not hard to see why. At home, he enjoys a comfortable life with Audi and their pets; dogs Moon Moon and Sunshine, and feline companion Phillip.

Solar Rain fire troupe artist Audi performs with pyro fans at Art Outside 2017 in Austin, Texas. Canon 7D MII - 1/320 • f2.8 • ISO 1600

When asked who he would like to be for a day, Matt said he “would definitely like to experience the joy of my dog Moon Moon. He’s the happiest thing in the world.” Matt is always striving to improve his skills, whether in design, photography, or more tangible products; and he is always ready to lend a helping hand to those interested learning more about his specialties. We at Granite are lucky to have him as part of our talented family.

January 2019 Newsletter

Juan Antonio Lopez, weighing in at 119.25 pounds, takes a hit from opponent Jonathan Hernandez, weighing in at 121.75 pounds, during the Super Bantamweight matchup consisting of 4 rounds. Canon 7D - 1/800 • f3.5 • ISO 1250



The Vindicator is going old school for the new year. After getting a strong response to historical pieces published in celebration of the newspaper’s 131st anniversary Dec. 9, The Vindicator has changed its mast to one similar to the masthead used when the paper was founded in 1887. While The Vindicator is all for keeping up with the times — it is a news organization after all — the fact that The Vindicator has been around for so long and is one of the oldest ongoing businesses in Liberty County, second only to the railroads, just might be its strongest selling point. The Sapulpa Times in Oklahoma published a feature on Liberty in December and sent a copy of that edition to The Vindicator. The Times also called The Vindicator’s publisher once or twice last month asking for any insights she might be able to share on how The Vindicator has survived for so long. It’s mostly hard-headedness, by the way, but the publisher tried to give the Times more practical advice than that. The Vindicator has a new part-time employee, Calynn Owens. Although technically she isn’t exactly “new” as she has worked for the paper off and on since she was in high school, between 2007 and 2011. Calynn has worked under four different publishers, including her current stint. She helps out doing whatever is needed, including a variety of admin duties, and she is an excellent inside sales person. Calynn graduated from Dayton High School in 2011 and is now happily married to husband Kevin McDonnel. They have two adorable sons – Nolan, who is 5 years old, and 9 month old Rhyder. Ads Director, Navy veteran and proud grandma Kim Marlow is telling anyone who will listen that her grandson, Michael, has received an invitation from the U.S. Naval Academy to attend its camp this summer, owing to Mike’s top 10 percent ranking in his high school junior class of over 1,000 students.

LEFT: Ads Director, Navy veteran and proud grandma Kim Marlow is telling anyone who will listen that her grandson, Michael, has received an invitation from the U.S. Naval Academy to attend its camp this summer TOP RIGHT: This image then-and-now image was posted on Facebook late last month and proved to be very popular. It has been shared over 1,170 times, and between those shares and the original post, it has garnered 4,150 Likes, 413 Loves, 21 Hahas, 371 Wows, and weirdly two Sads and one Angry. You really can’t please everyone. BOTTOM RIGHT: Calynn Owens joins The Vindicator staff.


Chilling with Creative Services

TOP LEFT: Creative Services team displays their Christmas Santas Colorado County Citizen sent to them by Michelle Banse Stokes and her staff. BOTTOM LEFT: Creative Services proudly displays their new Colorado County Citizen coffee mugs sent to them by Michelle Banse Stokes and her staff. Everyone enjoys their coffee (or hot chocolate!) TOP RIGHT: Check out the Creative Services shrine to deceased family and friends for Day of the Dead. MIDDLE RIGHT: The Creative Services team shows their Halloween spirit. BOTTOM RIGHT: It’s turkey time for Thanksgiving.

February 2019 Newsletter



The Navasota Examiner cohosted their annual Chamber Business Mixer with Citizens State Bank. This year they moved the mixer from an August football themed event to an October Halloween themed event. The Navasota Examiner welcomed Sonya Bobo and Matthew Ybarra to their team – they both started Nov. 5. Sonya is from Grimes County and is the Office Manager and Bookkeeper. Matthew, a Navasota native and NHS graduate, has worked for the Examiner a freelance sports reporter. Matt will still be covering Rattler sports and is now also the full time Senior News Reporter. Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino hasn’t done much other than work and Friday night movie dates with her son Jason. She runs around from one meeting to the next getting her son to Cub Scouts, spelling bees, CCE classes and the other activities Jason has decided he wants to be a part of. Amongst their weekly chaos, they also prepared and celebrated Ana’s nieces 15th birthday with a Quinceñera. The celebration took place at the Grimes County Fairgrounds in Navasota and with about 350+ in attendance. Examiner Editor Nicole Shupe’s son, Peyton, is preparing to apply to colleges this summer – MIT, Princeton, Cal-Poly and a few others. He has already taken his SATs and while the scores were good enough for any college, he has decided to retake the test again. Mom is willing to pay for because we do not want to damper that enthusiasm for perfection. Nicole fulfilled a teenage dream when she attended Elton John’s Farwell Yellow Brick Road Concert in San Antonio with her cousin. Examiner Sales Rep Angela Scurlock was busy supporting her daughters with their extracurricular activities including cheer, football games, Diamonettes, etc. Angela and husband Shawn have also enjoyed their new Indian Scout motorcycle on their Sunday backroad adventures. Examiner Bookkeeper and Officer Manager Sonya Bobo has two sons, Austin and Bran. Austin is 21 years old and Bran is a senior at NHS. Bran will be 18 this April. Sonya is part of the Rabbit and Teen Dance Committee for the Grimes County Fair which has geared up and preparing for the show in June. Sonya is also a very good cook and loves to bake, so Ana and Angela are extremely happy to have her on their team. Examiner Senior News Reporter Matthew Ybarra is married to Lucy and has 3 daughters, Mahayla, Katalena and Lilyanah. Mahayla is 11 years old, Katalena is 8, and Lilyanah is 5. Matt has a house full of women and doesn’t catch much of a break at the office. Matt is a sports writer by nature and has taken a new role in covering hard news for The Examiner. Although his passion is sports, he is enjoying his new task. The Examiner enjoyed a nice family Christmas dinner at the office with the whole staff. We are all looking forward to a great and prosperous 2019.


LEFT: Examiner Publisher Ana and Examiner Senior News Reporte mundo news reporters after the 4141 intercession. MIDDLE: Matt’ while he covered a football game in Waco. They were able to stay This photo was taken atop an overlook alongside the Brazos River take two of my daughters Katalena and Lilyanah on their first huntin

er Matthew Ybarra pose with Tele’s wife and daughters joined him y overnight and enjoy the sights. r. RIGHT: Matt had the chance to ng trip.

LEFT: Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino takes a selfie with Telemundo’s news reporters after being interviewed in Spanish for Bush’s funeral intercession. MIDDLE: Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino is with her niece Celeste Cosino as they celebrate Celeste’s Quinceañera Sat., Dec. 1. RIGHT: Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino and Examiner Sales Representative Angela Scurlock along with their families take a trip to the Texas Renaissance Festival.

February 2019 Newsletter



The Taylor Press continued its newsmaker interview Pints, Politics and Culture in December. This edition featured the Taylor ISD School Board President Marco Ortiz. Publisher Richard Stone is the host, and loves interviewing different people from the community. His questions range from hard-hitting to controversial to super power related topics. Carolyn Hill and her family welcomed her sixth great grandchild, Aiden Dale Walls, Nov. 30, 2018. He was 3 pounds, 5 ounces and 16 inches long. Carolyn had all but one child, one grandchild and one great grandchild together for Thanksgiving. Jason Hennington’s daughter Jasmine was a star (as usual) and performed in several plays at her school for Day of the Dead and the Nutcracker. She also participated in the Good Life Kids K for her second consecutive year. She won a medal! The Henningtons visited El Paso for Thanksgiving. The spent the entire week out west for the holidays. Upon their return, Jason and his wife Tynna celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary Dec. 1. That same week, Jason took his girls, dad, sister and Fernando to WWE Smackdown Live in Austin. Jason said there were no Ninja Turtle updates in this quarter. Press welcomes new sales rep The Taylor Press has a new face that will help sell ads. Jonathan Jones joined the staff in December, and has already hit the ground running. “My goal when I leave here is to be the best sales person that has ever worked here,” Jones said. “That has been my goal

everywhere I have worked.” Prior to coming to the Press, Jones worked for 19 years for Oak Farms Dairy. There he was a wholesale driver, transport driver, transport supervisor, merchandiser and sales merchandiser. Although he worked in sales, he said his job is slightly different now. “[Oak Farms] was more upselling existing accounts. Here it is a people-person business and a lot more one-on-one meetings.” He said he enjoys the more “laid back” sales environment, especially when he’s working with Jim Beaver. “Jonathon is a breath of fresh air. It’s been exciting to watch him learn this business and tackle his territory,” said Richard Stone, publisher. Jones is familiar to the area. He was born in Lockhart, raised in Granger until his eighth grade year, and then moved to Thrall where he graduated high school in 1991. He currently lives in Coupland with his wife Mary of 24 years. “I was her high school sweetheart,” he said. “My wife is the love of my life.” The couple has two boys, Brandon, 23, and Austin 21. “Those are my best friends. If I could choose any two people to hang out with all day, it would be them,” Jones said. Jones describes himself as a fun-loving guy, but said he can balance work and leisure. He said there are certain things you can expect when it’s time to work. “I’m going to give you a firm handshake, look you in the eye and I’m not going to lie to you,” he said. “I’d rather tell you the truth and have you make your decision on that than lie to you and have you make your decision on false pretenses.” Jonathan J o n e s , the new advertising representative for the Taylor Press loves everyone and their dog.....really! While visiting an animal hospital on his sales route, the office dog wanted some petting....and Jonathan sat right down on their floor and did it. He also got the ad!


TOP ROW: (left) Jasmine Hennington shows off the medal she won at the Good Life Kids K. (middle) Jason’s girls Jasmine (left) and Tiana dress up as a unicorn and Supergirl for Halloween. (right) Jasmine Hennington reads a part as the narrator in the Day of the Dead play at her school. MIDDLE ROW: (left) Jason and his wife Tynna celebrated seven years of marriage Dec. 1. (right) Three Redskin fans (from left) Jasmine, Jason and Tiana get ready for the big Redskins and Cowgirls football game on Thanksgiving. BOTTOM ROW: (left) Richard Stone taking Talor Press coffee mugs filled with goodies to first responders throughout Taylor. (right) After working in an office with Jim Beaver, Jonathan Jones relieves stress by putting into a cup.

February 2019 Newsletter



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

Jasmine Gutierrez has recently joined the Creative Services department as a Page Designer. She comes to us from a strong background in social work, and a goal to combine social good with creative design. Jasmine is a wonderful and talented addition to our Granite family, so please be sure to make her feel at home!


Jim and Penny Beaver don’t have any children left in the house, so each year their pet chihuahua, Sasha, gets to visit Santa. She loves the treats and hugs from the big elf.

Matt Hellman celebrated his birthday in October with his favorite dessert, cheesecake. Here, he gives anyone the evil eye if they even try to take a piece of his cheesecake.

February 2019 Newsletter

Jim Beaver and his wife Penny (not pictured, ha) got a chance to visit their relatives in St. Louis during the Christmas holidays. Pictured is Jim and his mother. Jim just couldn’t resist showing off his new scarf to “mom”.


GROUPWIDE DIRECTORY GRANITE HEADQUARTERS 3115 Loop 306 Ste. 111, San Angelo, TX 76904 365-949-4700 monetta.dusek@ PO Box 1010 • 211 W. Third St. • Taylor, TX 76574 512-352-8285 • Fax: 512-352-8295 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 Cell: 512-955-9139 PATTI SLAVYCH Cell: 713-377-1372 ORY BONEY Cell: 512-269-9837


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@theanahuac 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. Boerne, TX 78006 830-249-2441 • Fax: 830-249-4607 • Jeffrey Parra: • Kolleen Roe:

ELGIN COURIER (Wednesday) Editor & Publisher: Cindye Ginsel PO Box 631 • 105 N. Main • Elgin, TX 78621-0631 512-285-3333 • Fax: 512-285-9406 • Cindye Ginsel: •Gail Schobey: • Julianne Hodges: • Scott Rucker: 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 PO Box 751 • 115 Railroad St. • Navasota, TX 77868

• Kerry Barboza:

936-825-6484 • Fax 936-825-2230

• Ryan Graban:

• Dana Smith:

• Ana Cosino:

• Stephanie Locke:

• Angela Scurlock:

• Kit Brenner:

• Nicole Shupe:

• Missy Rodriguez:

• Sonya Bobo: • Matt Ybarra:

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


COLORADO COUNTY CITIZEN (Wednesday) Editor & Publisher: Michelle Banse Stokes


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

Editor & Publisher: Richard Stone


PO Box 1040 • 211 W. Third • Taylor, TX 76574-1040

979-732-2304 • Fax: 979-732-8804

512-352-8535 • Fax: 512-352-1505

• Michelle Banse Stokes: publisher@colorado

• Richard Stone:

• Jason Hennington:

• Lori Ligues:

• Carolyn Hill:

• Vince Leibowitz:

• Reagan Roehl:

• Chris Brown:

• Jonathan Jones:

Profile for Granite Publications

Granite Publications Quarterly - Winter 2018-2019  

Get all the updates that happened over the 2018-2019 winter holiday season for the Granite family!

Granite Publications Quarterly - Winter 2018-2019  

Get all the updates that happened over the 2018-2019 winter holiday season for the Granite family!


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