Welcome to the Utah Valley Deseret News.
We hope you like the new name and your local edition of the state's first newspaper.
The launch this week of a new masthead newspaper gibberish for the nameplate at the top of the front page is a great time to clear up a common misconception about those who work on the product you're now holding in your hands or reading online.
It's something I've wanted to say in print for more than five years now. And believe me, Brigham Young University sports insider/guru Dick Harmon has been bugging me about it for exactly that long.
So, here goes.
We don't drive to Salt Lake City every day to go to work. Please stop asking Dick if he likes/dreads the commute.
We drive to Orem.
This hardly counts as a commute for Dick. He lives in Orem.
From their homes in Springville and Provo and American Fork and several other lovely cities and towns in your valley, a total of 17 reporters, photographers and staffers drive to Orem to produce the Utah Valley Deseret News in what is known as our Utah County Bureau.
We're smack-dab in the middle of Utah Valley. You'll find us where University Parkway tumbles out of Orem and down the diagonal into Provo. We're on the top floor of the glass Bank of American Fork building next to the University Mall.
We love the view out those big glass windows, of Y Mountain, the Provo LDS Temple, LaVell Edwards Stadium, the Kimball Tower on the campus of BYU.
We're surrounded by Orem institutions like Gold's Gym, the law firm of Dexter & Dexter, Cherry Hill Elementary, the mall and Costco.
This is nothing new. The Deseret News has had a bureau in Utah County for 25 years. Just ask Genelle Pugmire, our editorial assistant and historian/storyteller, an Orem resident who has been here most of that time.
In sports, Provo's Scott Taylor and Springville's Jim Rayburn have spent the better part of two decades working from here, and Jeff Call of Cedar Hills is closing in on a dozen years.
There are many more. Veteran photographer Stuart Johnson. Crime reporter Sara Israelsen-Hartley. Education reporter Amy K. Stewart. Longtime chroniclers of Utah Valley life Sharon Haddock and Rodger Hardy. Young guns like Jens Dana, Catherine Smith, Ethan Thomas and Laura Riddle, Elizabeth Stuart and Jacob Hancock.
They all live here.
Several other Deseret News reporters and photographers also live in Utah Valley but do make that commute to Salt Lake City. That list includes Utah County Editor Jeff Haney of Saratoga Springs. Their contributions to our statewide coverage enrich the Utah Valley Deseret News, giving you a sophisticated local edition that includes the state, national and international news you count on as a reader.
We all look forward to continuing to provide you with sophisticated, award-winning local coverage of Utah County news, politics, high school sports, business, education and the arts.Look for us in your neighborhoods, at games, at your city council and school board meetings. Say hi and swap stories. Maybe one will make it into your Utah Valley Deseret News.
Utah County Bureau Chief Tad Walch lives with his wife and five children in Provo, their home for the past 21 years. Please e-mail [email protected]