Thinking positive

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Congratulations, Aurora and Hamilton County. You made the news again in a most positive way.
Paula and I were proud and humbled this weekend to represent this newspaper, its staff and the community we cover in a memorable gathering of Nebraska newspaper colleagues. I have always believed that a good newspaper is a reflection of the community it covers, and for that reason all of you share the credit for a solid showing in this year’s annual better newspaper contest.
Aurora and Hamilton County continue to build on a reputation of being progressive and forward-thinking, a tone readers see frequently in the stories and headlines that fill the News-Register. We have some major challenges on the agenda, to be sure, but that comes with the territory anyplace that’s trying to stay ahead of the curve. It’s how you deal with those challenges that defines a community, and on that note we are impressed with the way our schools, city, county, businesses and various boards continue to move the ball forward.
Receiving accolades as the state’s top large weekly newspaper and winning the Omaha World-Herald’s service to agriculture and service to community awards reminds me how fortunate we are to be anchored here in Hamilton County. We have a lot of wonderful people and projects to write about here, which makes our jobs easier, and oh so rewarding.
As any business owner knows, you are only as good as your employees, and in that regard the News-Register is blessed. We have a team of veterans and newcomers who work hard on your behalf. Paula and I can’t thank them enough for the quality work they do, and for making it enjoyable to come to work each day.
A tip of the hat is also due to publisher emeritus Butch Furse. Butch set the bar high years ago, serving this community for more 35 years as the ANR’s owner/publisher. He was announced this week as a new inductee into the Nebraska Journalism Hall of Fame, with an induction ceremony planned for October.  Butch has been a mentor and father-like figure to me since my own father died, and I couldn’t be prouder of his nomination.
Honors and accolades aren’t what motivate Butch or our crew, but they do offer credit for a job well done.
Kurt Johnson

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