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The new year is a great time for a first column
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Jan. 5, 2015

By Gabe Licht
Editor

DELANO, MN – Is it clichéd to write a column about looking back at the past year and looking forward to 2015 in the first newspaper of the year?

Absolutely.

But, I’m going to do it anyway.

2014 was a busy year for me.

Here are a few highlights.

January brought the Minnesota Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest, where I earned third place in the photo story category for photos of a flag-retirement ceremony.

After four years in journalism and contributing to several awards at the Daily Reporter in Spencer, IA, it was rewarding to finally have an award in my name.

The Delano Herald Journal has a rich history of being recognized for journalistic excellence and I hope to add to that history moving forward.

My wife, Sarah, and I love to travel and we had the chance to do that a few times in 2014. At the end of February, we visited a friend in Naples, FL, and in May we celebrated my 27th birthday with friends in Denver. Visiting the mountains was on my bucket list and, even though we didn’t get to try skiing, it was an amazing experience.

Whenever possible, road tripping is my preferred mode of transportation. In July, Sarah and I drove to Myrtle Beach, SC, and also met up with another friend in North Carolina. We’re blessed to have friends who live all over the country and are willing to put us up from time to time.

Summer also brought camping season, including a trip to the Wisconsin Dells and a couple trips up north. I have to say, I feel a bit more Minnesotan every time I camp next to a real lake.

The highlight of the year happened when I saw the listing for this position, even though I wasn’t looking for a new job at the time. Sometimes, the best things happen when you’re not looking for them and that was definitely the case with this opportunity.

Sept. 15 I became editor of the Delano Herald Journal and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind since I accepted the job. New jobs come with new things to learn, and I found myself facing a steep learning curve despite having five years of journalistic experience. Thankfully that learning curve has leveled out with the help of great co-workers and former editor Ryan Gueningsman, who lets me wrack his brain from time to time.

It’s been fun covering community events and getting to know the people who make them possible and I’m looking forward to covering the granddaddy of them all in July. I’m also looking forward to getting more involved in the community with the Delano Lions.

While much of the past three months revolved around my new job, Sarah and I reached a couple notable milestones.

Since I moved to Minnesota two years ago, Sarah and I have started running together. We hit a new goal when we finished the TC 10K in 1:02:50. Though we were aiming to finish in an hour, we were happy we finished and are looking forward to a lot more running in 2015.

Oct. 19 marked our one-year anniversary and we spent it the way all married couples should, by drinking beer. Yes, apparently, 2014 was the year to visit Wisconsin, as we picked the home of Leinenkugel’s beer, Chippewa Falls, WI., to celebrate a year of being together.

Without Sarah, a Buffalo native, I wouldn’t be where I am and I’m looking forward to another great year with her by my side.

I’m also very excited for my first full year at the Delano Herald Journal.

Some great things have happened here in a short period of time and I know this is only the beginning.

I have a lot to learn and a lot of people to meet. Please do not hesitate to stop me on the street, give me a call, or shoot me an email to offer your opinion, share a story idea, or just chat.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and, whether you did or not, here’s to a blessed 2015.

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