A fond farewell

Published 9:12 am Thursday, September 15, 2016

For those of you who read the paper on a regular basis, you might have noticed that my name has been missing over the past week or so.

That is probably an odd thing for many of you to see, considering my byline appeared in the Daily Star two or three times a day.

So what happened? Where have I been?

A few weeks ago, I made the difficult decision to take a job outside of the news business.

Why was it difficult decision?

That is an easy question to answer.

For one thing, my coworkers at Leader Publications were great people to work with. I’ve enjoyed getting to know each and every one of them over the past five years and I will truly miss our daily interactions.

I will also miss the City of Niles, which has become like a second home to me.

Before taking a job as a reporter at the Niles Daily Star in 2011, I knew almost nothing about the City of Four Flags, except that it had a nice public golf course and was home to the Hunter Ice Festival.

Since then, I have learned so much about the city and met so many of its great people.

I am truly grateful to have had the chance to tell some of its stories over what amounts to a relatively short period of time in its long history.

By chance, business with my new job happened to take me through Niles the other day. As I drove over the Broadway Street Bridge with a coworker of mine, I pointed out that the neighboring Main Street Bridge had been recently torn down and rebuilt. I also told him about recent efforts to bring life into the downtown area and how the roots of the Hunter Ice Festival can be traced back to the company that harvested ice from nearby Barron Lake. I also told him how much my wife and I enjoy taking our two young children to the Riverfront Park playground.

It was at that moment that I realized how much I would miss being so close to all of things that are happening in the Niles area, from the decisions at city council meetings to the heroics of its public safety personnel.

I have only been gone for two weeks, but I feel like I have missed so much.

I guess that is natural for a person whose job it is to know what is going on in a place.

Although I am no longer reporting for the Niles Daily Star, I will not be a stranger to the city or its people.

I am sure you will see my family and I at city festivals and at our favorite restaurants and shops.

If you do, make sure to say, “hello.”

I might even have a few good stories to share with you that did not make the paper … off the record of course.


Craig Haupert was formerly the community editor for the Niles Daily Star.