At the Helm: New Faces in the Pilot newsroom

By Scott Graves, Pilot staff writer June 17, 2011 11:47 pm


If there’s one constant in the newspaper business, it’s nothing remains constant. That’s especially so at a small community newspaper like the Curry Coastal Pilot.

Changes are in the making here in the Pilot newsroom; nothing major, but it will be noticeable to readers who pay attention to staff bylines.

After working for the Pilot for about three years, staff writer Arwyn Rice relocated with her family to Port Angeles, Wash. She has taken the next step in her journalism career, accepting a job with the Peninsula Daily News. I’m sure she’ll be spinning tales of Brookings for years to come.

Because of a shortage in staff in recent years, Arwyn was a busy reporter, covering the city of Brookings, the local school districts and the Port of Brookings Harbor. She managed to do a handful of features and business stories as well.

So whose going to take Arwyn’s place? Not one, but two newcomers to the Pilot.

Steve Kadel will join the news staff starting Monday. Steve will cover the city of Brookings, including law enforcement and the myriad of committees and commissions. He will also cover environmental issues and do general assignments, including features and business stories.

Steve is a veteran journalist of more than 20 years who spent the last four years at the Herald and News, a daily newspaper in Klamath Falls. There, his beat included natural resources, education and general assignments with occasional photography.

Joining Steve on staff tentatively on July 6 is reporter Lorna Rodriguez, who graduated this spring with a journalism degree from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash.

In addition to being co-valedictorian at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, Calif., she also made the dean’s list at Pacific Lutheran University numerous times. Before graduating college, she participated in several internships including King 5 TV News and the newspapers the Peninsula Gateway, Puyallup Herald and the San Mateo County Times.

Lorna will cover Curry County’s school districts, the local economy, features and general assignments.

Meanwhile, stalwart reporter Valliant Corley, a 23-year Associated Press veteran, will continue to cover county government and the court system, the Curry County Fair Board, the Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative and various news and feature assignments in and around Gold Beach.

Sports Editor Jef Hatch will continue providing up-to-the-minute reports on local sports, fishing and other recreational issues. He also serves as the Pilot’s main photographer.

Part-time staff writer Marge Woodfin, whose been working for the Pilot since 1990, retired earlier this year, but she will continue to write her column “Senior Views” for the Wednesday issues.

That leaves Features Editor Bill Schlichting, copyeditor Lynn Guild, editorial assistant Cat Holaday and I with the job of planning, organizing, assigning, inputing, scanning, typing, editing and laying out the amazing  amount of copy and photographs produced by the Pilot news staff and submitted by readers.

Time flies when you’re having fun, and the constant changes keep it interesting. Happy reading!