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  • Last modified 71 days ago (March 13, 2019)

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Behind-the-scenes drama

You know the saying: Don’t like the weather? Wait a minute, and it’ll change. Even in an era when cell phone weather apps tell us with false precision that there’s an 87 percent chance of 0.37 inches of snow starting at 10:13 p.m., the only thing that’s constant is change.

Whether it’s depletion of the ozone layer or just the way spring typically is sprung in Kansas, we don’t know. What we do know is that the adage applies to more than just whether the first shoots of crocuses or chunks of ice peek up at us from our front yards on alternate March days.

Last week we proudly announced that we were adding to our staff veteran news editor Mindy Kepfield. This week we sadly announce that we’re losing her fellow news editor, Sheila Kelley, whose health concerns led to her giving us notice of her sudden departure this week.

We’re sad that the considerable grind of weekly newspapering proved too much for Sheila, who joined us only nine months ago. But we vow that, unlike neighboring newspapers that constantly cut their staffs, we’re already working to find someone else to join our news team.

When staffs are struggling to cope with issues like worker health, things sometimes fall through the cracks. To some, they may seem like minor things. But the first lesson of community newspapering is that nothing is minor to the people involved.

That’s why we also apologize this week for failing to do what we had planned to include in last week’s issue, a story previewing Marion High School’s spring play.

In addition to listing the annual play in our published calendar of events, we always try to get a picture and a story about preparations. For many years running, it’s been a fixture in our news columns the week of each play.

This year, we neglected to get that story written, though we did go to the play itself to get a picture afterward.

The play got publicity from other sources — school emails, websites, and social media. But absent our typical news story, which unlike other media reaches people who aren’t already aware of upcoming events, attendance lagged a bit.

For that, we’re extremely sorry — particularly because it was the final play under direction of an excellent teacher, Janet Killough, whose contributions to the community deserve celebration.

As you can tell from Alex Simone’s photo in this week’s Marion County Record, “Arsenic and Old Lace” appears to have been a well-staged production, as all of Killough’s plays have been. It may be too late to do any good at the box office, but we want her and her performers and backstage crew to know how much we and the rest of the community appreciated their excellent work.

— ERIC MEYER

Last modified March 13, 2019

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