The first Waynedale News came out on September 2, 1932. The editor was Arden McCoy and some of the items advertised were Camay Toilet soap 5 cents per bar, potatoes 7.5 cents a peck and 25 cents a bushel.
In a small corner of the first newspaper was a note from local businessmen. It read, “We wish the owner success and pledge our support morally, physically and financially.
From an infant in 1932 to a revered senior citizen in 2009, the Waynedale News continues to provide a bulletin board of sorts, from which business men and women can share their wares with the community and the community can share their births, marriages and obituaries with the world. Yes, the Waynedale News is now being published on the internet. It not only provides information to the community but also to the world.
I first arrived at the Waynedale News in August of 1999. Ray McCune, one of the editors at that time, called me in and asked if I would be interested in joining the team. Ray and I had been in a writer’s class together at IPFW and the Waynedale News was looking for help. At that time the newspaper was still a paste-up. Articles were composed on a PC; printed to white paper, cut out and pasted on a grid and then hand-delivered to Post & Mail in Columbia City. The folks at Post & Mail would photograph the paste-up, create a negative and then run the negative on a plate-making machine. The plates were then attached to a roll in the off-set printing press and the 3,000 newspapers were printed.
I purchased the paper from Jim Imel in January of 2000.
From the initial purchase it was important to bring the Waynedale News up to contemporary status. Angel North was our graphic artist and she also worked on the Elmhurst High School newspaper.
The first change was to go to total pagination, and then we purchased a printer that would print a full sized, page by page proof…no more paste up. Next, we went to a zip drive and instead of carrying the paste-up to Columbia City, we took a zip disc down. Unfortunately, the PC zip drive wasn’t always compatible so we had to keep a hard copy proof with us, as a back up.
From there we purchased an Apple G-4 and our equipment became compatible with the rest of the printing industry.
As we continued to grow, my daughter Julie converted the old HP-PC to an accounting computer. We then purchased an Apple I-Mac, an I-Book, and then on to an Apple G-5 with a big screen for layup work.
Our distribution more than doubled and our sales tripled. About 4 years ago Alex Cornwell came on board as our graphic artist.
One of my biggest surprises on purchasing the paper was the tremendous power given to people who write and publish newspapers. The first amendment to the constitution states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The reason the Bill of Rights is so important, is that there would be no USA if not for the Bill of Rights. The framers would not have signed the constitution had there not been safeguards protecting people from the tyranny of a large central government. Of the ten amendments, freedom of the press is number one.
And with the power to shine a light on all sorts of conditions comes also the responsibility of those in the free press to treat that power with respect. After all, we all have a right to our opinion, but no one has a right to be wrong in their facts.
What started out to be the simple purchase of a small business became a ten year learning experience as to the workings of a small town newspaper with responsibilities both on the side of the paper and of the community to preserve those qualities that were so especially guarded so many years ago.
A new era begins, with new owners. Alex Cornwell and Michael Alberico come forth with new ideas and a hope that the next ten years will bring the community a continuation of that old familiar bulletin board, the free press…The Waynedale News.