June 28, 2019

A Note From the Editor: Time for a Vacation

The Oxford Observer is taking a summer break for the month of July. We will return with new weekly editions on Aug. 9.

Since the Observer launched on Aug. 31, 2018, we have published hundreds of stories about things happening in Oxford and about the people who live and work here.

Stories have ranged from government activities such as Oxford’s decision to make sustainability its number one strategic priority; the city’s preparations for the 2020 census;  and a plan to create a business improvement district uptown.

We’ve covered the local schools, from introducing Talawanda Schools Superintendent Ed Theroux; to monitoring a school construction project; to the changing of the name of the local high school mascot; to the hiring of a new football coach.

We’ve covered the arts from the many offerings of the Oxford Community Arts Center; to the installation of a statue of a former first lady; to the artistic expressions of children concerned about climate change.

Sports coverage has ranged from a look at Miami football’s showcase; to a 10-year-old swimmer making a national splash; to Frisbee golf.

There have been stories on science and stories on crime. We’ve written stories about tragedies and stories about joy. We’ve had stories about the city’s new pool and stories about the electric scooters that now zip all over town.

But over the past 10 months, my favorite stories have been the ones about the people who make up this community—people who share, people who succeed, people who go out of their way to help others and people whose personalities become woven into the fabric of the community.

I remember the story of Joe Pyfrin, who has been calling the Talawanda football games from the announcer’s booth for 43 years. I remember Braelyn Wagers, the high school senior with dreams of going to medical school, who put in 1,400 hours of community services last year helping other people. That’s 1,400 hours, the equivalent of 35 full 40-hour work weeks! Maybe you are one of the people who remembers Joan Marie Moynagh, a professional opera singer who, after leaving the stage shared her gifts with Miami music students for 31 years.

When the Observer started last summer, I said we would try to hold a mirror up to Oxford, to show our readers what was happening in their hometown. I’m sure we haven’t covered everything, but we have covered a lot and I think it has been a pretty fair reflection.

The stories noted above are only a sampling of all that have been written by our staff of student reporters. All of our stories and the editions of the Observer going back to August can be found at OxfordObserver.org. Even though we won’t be publishing during July, you can still contact us with news tips and press releases at communityeditor@oxfordobserver.org. You can send us comments, even complaints, at editor@oxfordobserver.org.

We are only taking a short break to rest and recharge. We will be back on Aug. 9, with new stories and a new group of students ready to cover what’s going on in Oxford.

David Wells is the editor of the Oxford Observer and teaches in the Department of Media, Journalism & Film, at Miami University.