One of my childhood memories is my paternal grandmother's appetite for news. One of her primary sources was Time magazine, delivered to her house each week. She would devour each issue, then pass it on to me.
By the time I was in the fourth or fifth grade, I had subscribed to my own weekly news magazine, and to this day I find it's a great way to keep up with what's happening around the world. The analytical reporting and stories about big issues and trends make me smarter.
I tell you this story because we're about to begin publishing our own weekly Hernando Times section, and I think you're going to discover that this section — in concert with the breaking news you'll continue to get each day in sections A and B and 24/7 on our website, tampabay.com — will be a "must read" and an excellent way to keep up with everything that matters in Hernando County.
This is one of several changes we're making at the Times in the coming weeks. As you know, in our increasingly digital world, the media landscape has been shifting in recent years. The Times is changing along with it.
You'll see the first weekly Hernando Times section in the newspaper on Friday, May 2. Our last Wednesday section will be published this Wednesday, April 23; our final Sunday section will be published a week from today, on April 27.
The Friday Hernando section will give us the opportunity to take a magazine approach to local news. We will focus on big issues and feature stories. There will be stories about government, schools, police and courts, politics, social services, economic development, business and real estate, religion, sports and entertainment.
One of our goals will be to help you plan for the weekend and the week ahead. To that end, you will find a new weekly planner inside the section that I hope you'll clip or lay aside and refer to throughout the week. Whether it's a weekend festival or a public meeting coming up, the planner will help you make sure you don't miss anything important.
Other features you've grown accustomed to will remain. Dan DeWitt will continue to write his insightful columns each Friday. He'll also be putting his reporter's eye to a host of issues. Editorials and C.T. Bowen's columns — along with your Letters to the Editor — will remain on Page 2. Hometown Hernando, the feature we started 14 years ago to include more news in the paper about you, your activities and your achievements, will be prominently featured.
We're also excited to introduce a new online-only feature. We've created an easily searchable database of crimes reported in Hernando County. You can search by ZIP code, street name or the type of crime to find the information you're most interested in. The reports will be updated daily. To see the online report, go to tampabay.com/hernando and click on the crime report link in the middle of the page.
In another change, Penny Carnathan's gardening column, Diggin' Florida Dirt, which we've published occasionally in the Hernando Times, will now appear regularly in the Sunday HomeLink section.
There are some shifts coming in our advertising products as well. The popular MarketLink section, which has been published on Fridays, will be moving to Sundays starting May 4. It will continue to include local advertising and Things to Do listings.
With these changes, I want to assure you of one thing: The Times' commitment to covering local news of consequence is unwavering. I first sat in the editor's seat here in Hernando 24 years ago. In the years since, we've made adjustments from time to time in our presentation. But we've always remained the county's foremost and most reliable source of news.
We have the largest and most talented news-gathering staff in Hernando County, and we intend to continue to put a critical eye on public officials (and those who seek your votes) and shine light in dark corners.
I believe you're going to like what we have in store for you. If you have questions or comments, I'd like to hear from you. The best way to reach me is by email at [email protected] If you'd rather speak by phone, call me at (352) 754-6119.