My first day working at the The Blade as a reporter who covers the Perrysburg area was Feb. 18 last year. Since then, I've moved from Michigan to Perrysburg Township, met amazing people, and been able to tell stories of the people in the Perrysburg area.
While an editor dumped a tall stack of possible stories and meetings to cover a few hours into my first shift, I immediately felt overwhelmed. But tackling those stories has been a delight because of the people I've met along the way.
Among the highlights of this past year was talking to World War II veteran Bob Romaker, who watched the American Flag being raised at Iwo Jima during the war in Japan -- the site of one of the most famous American photos. I was able to meet a man from America's greatest generation who fought in a military with some of my fallen relatives.
I had the privilege last April to run three miles with several area Boston Marathon runners at a Levis Commons event. It was the weekly run that came shortly after the bombing at the Boston race, so there was an amazing turnout and support for runners. It was humbling hearing about Lisa Stevens, a Perrysburg resident, talk about finishing the marathon moments before the bombing.
Here's a photo of me running with marathon runners and others in support of the Boston Marathon. I'm the goof with the backwards hat, I'm sure most of the other runners in this photo finished well before I did.
I've watched motivated Perrysburg High School students graduate, swallow goldfish, and win their first ever playoff football game. I've discovered some amazing programs, students, and instructors at Penta Career Center and Owens Community College.
In November, I met resilient residents in Perrysburg Township who dealt with the destruction from a tornado. I also have covered one of the all-time highest snowfall winters in Perrysburg, hopefully soon ending and inching toward spring.
One photos I took of a Perrysburg Township business that was ripped apart from a tornado in November.
Some readers this past year have been pleased, others have been critical to my coverage of the large Perrysburg election, public transportation, and recently the goldfish-swallowing tradition. As I move into Year 2, I will continue to try to cover Perrysburg as fairly and honestly as I can.
I want to inform the public to the best to my abilities, to shed light on the great people and programs in Perrysburg, and to earn readers' trust so that they will know that by visiting ourtownperrysburg.com, it will have stories and photos about the important things going on in town.
So thanks for reading, thanks for welcoming me and my wife to town, and please email story ideas or comments for me to firstname.lastname@example.org.