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January 28, 2014

My point is... A special day

(Continued)

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —

Fast forward to this same date in 2010.

There were mixed emotions as I walked through the door of The Sentinel-Echo to begin my first day. My storied history at my hometown newspaper is often the basis of jokes when people ask how long I’ve worked here. The standard answer is, “Which time?”

My first jaunt began on January 19, 1995 under then-publisher Darrell Hathcock. He liked my feature story about my 20th high school reunion and hired me. But in January 1998, I turned in my camera and notepad and walked out of the Sentinel-Echo in anger. Two days later, I started with The Laurel News-Leader, a weekly newspaper operated by Willie Sawyers. With an area saturated with three London papers and a revolving door of publishers at The Sentinel, it was good news when we learned Willie had maneuvered a merger between The Sentinel and The News Leader. So, 10 months after I walked out of The Sentinel, I came back in again — even back to the same desk I had vacated months earlier that same year.

But as the end of 2001 drew near, I said good-bye to my Sentinel family once more and pursued a career in the child development field. Although those years included meeting hundreds of wonderful parents and children, the desire to return to the newspaper was overwhelming.

It was on Martin Luther King Day in mid-January and I had been monitoring two pigs that were giving birth on a cold, winter day when I received the message to contact Willie for an interview. At the conclusion of that interview, days later, I knew that this “Prodigal Daughter” was coming home again.w

In the four years since that day, there have been many stories, many columns, many interviews that have held a place in my career and my heart. I look forward to the many more to come.

 

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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