Business Spotlight (Last Week)- The Caldwell Messenger
A big thanks to Gretchen, for writing her own spotlight because I dropped the ball and almost missed the publishing cutoff!
With the exception of about a year, the Caldwell Messenger has been in the Weber family since the early 1980s. It is currently being published by Gretchen E. Weber, daughter of previous owners Pat and Damon Weber. Gretchen took possession of the paper from Jeff Dafforn in 2018 and has been running it ever since. It is a one-person operation, except on Wednesdays when Deborah Cochran helps put out the paper. Karen Shellhammer is the major contributor of photographs that are published. She attends most of the events in Caldwell and sporting events, and she provides excellent photos for the paper. Other photographers are Debbi Cay of the Shooting Gallery and Harvey Young. The Caldwell Messenger is printed on Tuesday nights in Ark City, but that is about to change. The print shop is closing, so the paper will now be printed in Ponca City, this should not impact the print date, the print costs, will, however, double. At this time, Weber is not planning any billing changes. The Messenger is currently sent across the US to subscribers from coast to coast. It is a way for former members of the community to stay in touch with their hometown. Subscriptions are available to the Messenger at the following rates: Sumer County - $35 per year; Kansas and Grant Co OK- $37; and out of state - $40. Subscription rates are a bargain, as single copies of the paper are $1.00 each. Subscriptions make excellent gifts to those in the community and those who have moved from Caldwell. Weber is constantly amazed at the subscription renewals she receives from folks who have no apparent ties to the community. She frequently hears of subscribers who pass their papers on to friends and family. When Damon and Scott Cunningham, Publisher and Editor of the Messenger, first set up guidelines for printing, they decided that all news would be published regardless of who is involved. That policy is still in place. Years ago, a prominent citizen had a brush with law enforcement and stated, "Oh don't let my mother find out." Her paper was pulled for the week, and all was well. The Caldwell Messenger welcomes all of your family news, accomplishments, births, etc. Weber would especially like to have births announced in the paper, as the obituaries at the end of the year far outweigh the births. Please send your news and photos to the Caldwell Messenger at PO Box 313 Caldwell KS 67022; firstname.lastname@example.org; 620-517-0030 or 620-845-2719. There is no charge for birth announcements, engagements, and obituaries. Weber plans to continue publishing the Caldwell Messenger as long as there is the need and demand for it. In this day and age of technology, many small papers have gone by the wayside. The Caldwell Messenger is still going strong and plans to be around for a while!