Sound the trumpet, we’re announcing another change to the ACN, and we’re not the only ones excited about it. Madison and Benson Metschke are also excited to introduce our new addition.
On the Opinion page of the ACN newspaper is Pun Fun, and it not only pays tribute to their dad, Nate, but it also is designed to involve youth in our publication.
I’ve wanted to include an editorial cartoon for some time, but I’ve been hesitant because they could be considered too conservative, too liberal or just plain too political. Instead, I wanted something that would be funny for everyone and something people looked forward to each week.
Before we purchased this newspaper, we started printing the ACN Week In Review. The first couple of weeks included a joke of the week, courtesy of my buddy, Nate Metschke. He loved that we were starting the Week In Review and insisted we include a joke. When we bought the newspaper, Nate told me to somehow include something funny, but we never figured out how.
Margie Mortensen and I were talking last week about my desire — and hesitance — in adding an editorial cartoon. She suggested Pun Fun, and from there, the ideas started flowing. We decided to print a weekly pun and dedicate the new section to Nate. Margie drew the fantastic tribute image of Nate.
We know this project won’t be easy to make happen every week, so we are recruiting local youth to draw a cartoon to accompany the weekly pun. We plan to enlist the help of the six schools in Antelope County — and adult artists — to provide a drawing or sometimes multiple drawings to be included with the pun.
The first two drawings are very special to us because they come from Madison and Benson Metschke. This week Benson submitted one having to do with football since Sunday is the Super Bowl, and his dad was crazy about the NFL. You’ll notice “Benson” on the jersey. That’s because Nate claimed he and Darcy named their son after Bengals running back Cedric Benson. Nate gave Benson a jersey when he was around age 2.
Next week is close to Valentine’s Day, so Madison has a special drawing planned that not only includes a Valentine message, but incorporates music since Nate was the Neligh-Oakdale band teacher. We already have the drawing, and you’ll love it.
Both kids picked out their own puns and matched their drawing to the joke. Honestly, I can’t imagine a better way to kick off this new feature, and I can almost hear Nate’s laugh as he reads both puns. He’d be proud his children are carrying on his legacy.
These drawings will only be available in our print edition. They are also to promote literacy and reading. Besides, cutting them out of the newspaper will be much better for the scrapbook anyway. You can subscribe here for $37 and even pay online. That's just 71 cents per week.
The ACN staff is excited to open Pun Fun up to other youth — and adults — as well. If you know someone who would like to draw a picture, let us know. We plan to contact the schools and hope this turns into a community collaboration.
If you are a teacher, we’d like to have no more than three drawings per pun. For example, with a class of 15 students, pick out five puns and separate your class into groups of three. We’ll publish all three drawings per pun.
Our next available Pun Fun date is February 13 with lots of open dates after that. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-887-4000 for your dates. The pun is up to you, and it must be family friendly.
Most of all, have fun with it. I know Nate would.
I’ve always called our publications a work in progress, and I truly believe that. We don’t make changes for the sake of making them; we make changes to improve.
We introduced a change last week and have several more changes in this week’s newspaper. And more will be coming.
Sometimes changes stem from your ideas. Take the weather, for example. At the request of a reader, we started publishing a weekly weather report with temperatures, precipitation and wind. I’ve heard from several others who enjoy the new feature.
I’m hoping one of this week’s changes is also a hit. Drum roll please . . . We are proud to introduce Steph The Chef! In all seriousness, we really are so excited to be bringing a weekly recipe column from Stephanie Wanek of Neligh, who is the best chef and baker I have ever met.
We plan to run Steph The Chef weekly, but there may be a few weeks here and there when she takes time off. After all, she has a fall wedding to plan in between her volunteer duties and work at ESU 8.
Steph’s first column couldn’t have started any tastier than with her French onion soup. This is one of my absolute favorite foods she prepares, and I do request it from her once a year. Check it out on Page 9 and give it a try. Trust me — it’s a five-star recipe, and you will impress your family or friends with this one.
I know you'd love to get this column online for free, but it's only available in print because your $37 per year subscription helps keep us in business. You can even pay online here. This may be a shameless plug, but if we don't have subscribers, then you won't have local news even online. That's 71 cents a week to help keep you informed of local news -- and we do appreciate your subscription!
Also new, we started putting a list of public notices on the front page. I heard from several readers who said they saw it right away and appreciated the quick skim of what notices were inside. They had a chuckle over the Two Gasholes LLC liquor renewal. In case you didn’t know, that’s Dusty’s in Orchard.
Legal notices are an important aspect of being a newspaper, and we proudly are the legal newspaper for five communities, schools, county, state, power company, etc. We hope putting a list on the front page makes it just a little more convenient for you to see what legal notices are inside the paper and are of interest to you.
We have a few more changes that we will be implementing in the coming weeks. I have a fantastic staff who is full of ideas, and we’re blessed with readers who aren’t afraid to share theirs either.
That’s right, we enjoy your letters, emails and visits, so please feel free to make suggestions on how we can improve. After all, we’re a work in progress.
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