I’m the new kid on the block here at The Herald.

In full disclosure, I’m not new at all to community journalism. I’ve lived and breathed it for nearly 70% of my life. But I am still a kid at heart, if that counts.

After working 13 years as a feature writer, sports editor, city editor and editor of my hometown paper in Carmi, Illinois, I crossed the Wabash River into Gibson County, Indiana 28 years ago to work as editor of The Princeton Clarion.

I ventured into Dubois County for the first time in 1997, calling upon my uncle Roy Holtzclaw, a retired evangelist who was pastoring a small church in Birdseye, to perform my wedding ceremony.

Since that Friday, Aug. 1, 1997 venture over to Birdseye, I’ve enjoyed several treks from Gibson to Dubois County, shooting baseball and basketball, following my son in marching band competition and taking advantage of the chance to enjoy shopping and food experiences here along the way.

And of course, I’ve been reading about you from the pages of The Herald for nearly 30 years.

My family is full of teachers and preachers, and that influence fires my desire to inform with integrity — and a little humor, when appropriate.

I’m the wife of a vintage Marine, decorated Vietnam War combat veteran — so I admire crusty characters. I’m mom to a son on the autism spectrum who is finishing his bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Southern Indiana, so I love unique people. I love big dogs. My canine friend always takes the edge off a rough day. I’m the daughter of teenage sweethearts who married young and raised me to love Jesus, my family and my work, in that order.

And I do.

I’ve been reading newspapers and telling community stories in print since high school and college back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Most of the technology has changed drastically, but the bones of my calling in journalism are still the same: Clarity. Fairness. Curiosity. Truthfulness.

And humility. Because it’s a true privilege to tell the stories of a community.

My first stories were written on a manual typewriter, and “cut and paste” was a literal exercise with scissors and tape. I’ve put more than 10,000 issues of community newspapers to bed. I’ve written countless column inches of local stories and fired off even more frames of images.

But what I’ve done isn’t as important as what I’ll do next. Good community journalism is important, and I want to continually work to be better at it.

In my newest role as editor of The Herald, I’m your sounding board in addition to serving as a recruiter, trainer and coach to the news staff. This is your community and your newspaper, and it’s our privilege to share your stories.

I’ve shared a little bit about myself, but the true boots on the ground news staff here include Candy Neal, senior reporter on staff, and reporter Christine Stephenson, supported by news clerk Brittany Norton. Sports Editor Cory Stolzenbach and sports reporter Hunter Tickel team up to cover the sports scene. We’re working to recruit additional reporting talent.

Publisher Courtney Shuttle and Advertising Manager Mary Jo Myers partner with local account executives Josh Priddy and Devin Sorrels to serve The Herald’s advertising clients.

Rachel Coffey staffs our office, working in customer service. We’re open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

If I can be of assistance, email ahowe@dcherald.com. My cell number is 812-499-4418, and I welcome calls.