Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Wizard of Hurrahs in Kansas

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Wizard of Hurrahs in Kansas

Article excerpt

PITCHING IN LONG RELIEF

It's not every day we get a personal call from a U.S. senator, but that's what happened a few days ago when Editor-in-Chief Sid Holt picked up the phone and heard Pat Roberts, R-Kan., on the other end. Roberts was bursting with praise for a newspaper publisher in a small city back home.

Since politicians are prone to exaggerate a bit, we decided to look into it ourselves -- and discovered that when it comes to community newspaper publishing, Ann K. Charles, indeed, has the right stuff.

When a tornado hit Parsons, Kan., on April 19, the city's worst natural disaster in recent memory, the editor and publisher of the Parsons Sun showed what a large difference a small paper can make. The twister cut a path through the southeastern Kansas city of 11,000 and destroyed or damaged 800 homes and 130 businesses. Damage was estimated at $40 million.

With a power outage knocking the local radio station off the air, Charles realized the newspaper would be the only local news source available the next day. …

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