By the time you read this, I will no longer be editor
April 6, 2015
by Kristen Miller

Yes, the rumor is true. I will no longer be the editor of the Enterprise Dispatch.

After nearly 10 years writing for the Dassel-Cokato newspaper, I am writing my final column.

I have accepted a position working for the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce as its communications and marketing manager.

I’m excited and eager to begin a new journey, but also saddened to no longer be working with so many great people.

Most of all, I will miss writing and sharing people’s stories.

Through this experience, you come to find that EVERYONE has a story to tell; some are just more interesting than others.

When I started working at the newspaper in September of 2005, Don Hainlin was superintendent of DC Schools, Gary Miller and Mike Hirman were Wright and Meeker county sheriffs, respectively, and off-sale liquor was not allowed in Cokato.

This was also during my Meg Ryan-inspired hairstyle. I am proof that some things do get better with age!

As with my hair, I’ve found this also to be true with my writing.

Wow! Looking back at my early articles has almost been painful for me!

Being a journalist wasn’t something I had intended to do after graduating college. I had actually decided early on that, although I enjoyed writing, I would never want to be a nosy reporter.

How quickly that changed; though, I would never characterize myself as being nosy.

As any reporter can attest, there are some beats better than others.

For instance, no one wants to write about car accidents and fires, but unfortunately, they come with the job from time to time.

I was also glad to have covered by last government meeting last Monday.

I have covered my fair share of night meetings throughout my career, and I have to say, that’s something I won’t miss. I will urge residents to be aware of what goes on in their local government, and become involved whenever the opportunity arises.

What I will miss, however, are those human interest feature stories.

I never tired of hearing people’s stories and composing them for my audience to enjoy.

In 2005, I started at the Enterprise Dispatch in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

It was an awful natural disaster that will forever stay in my memory.

This was also the highlight of my career as a journalist.

Six months into the job, I was given the opportunity to be a correspondent with a team of local volunteers on their quest to help the people recover in a Mississippi town six months after the hurricane devastated the Gulf Coast.

This gave me an opportunity to see the disaster first hand and meet some of the lives ravaged by it. It was amazing, to say the least.

The trip allowed me to meet so many gracious people and to tell some incredible stories of survival and compassion.

In the process, it definitely gave me a desire to serve others, and deepened my faith, as well.

I have definitely grown since I became editor in July 2010.

Undoubtedly, the position came to me by surprise.

The promotion followed the sudden and much-too-early death of former editor, Lynda Jensen.

Granted, I had the writing experience that would allow me to do an amateur job (at best) as editor, but I wasn’t prepared for the criticism and accountability that also comes with the title.

For some reason, I was challenged from the beginning with some unfortunate and unusual events that swept through the community.

Needless to say, there were many tears shed and sleepless nights, but as the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And so, it did.

My boss used to tell me I needed to grow thicker skin if I was going to do the job of editor. I eventually did.

Being an editor is not a job for the faint of heart.

Though it’s been quiet in the newsroom lately, there have been plenty of challenging items that have come across my desk over the years.

I know not everyone has agreed with the items that have been reported, but I’ve tried to do so in a manner that shows respect to all concerned.

News is a tough business, but someone has to do it.

Throughout my tenure, I’ve met so many interesting people – many of whom have shaped the person I’ve become.

It is my hope that I will continue to meet people as fine as those I’ve been so fortunate to meet in Dassel and Cokato (and Darwin and Kingston).

A most sincere farewell,

your “Lois Lane.”

During this transition

As an editor is being sought for my replacement, I would ask the community to be patient during this time and also help with any news items and story ideas.

Items can be e-mailed to news@dasselcokato.com, or use the Submit News Item on the homepage.

Ivan Raconteur, the editor for the Herald Journal, will oversee the transition, to ensure it will be as smooth as possible.

He can be reached at (320) 485-2535.

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