CULTON: It’s the most wonderful time of the year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, it’s not Christmas. It’s Horizons time!

If you are not familiar, Horizons is an annual publication put out by Leader Publications to serve as a community yearbook for southwest Michigan. Our staff spends months selling and reporting features to tell the stories of our residents during the past year.

Now after months and months of hard work, the time for Horizons to publish is almost here. Mark your calendars, because Horizons will be published inside your newspaper on Feb. 27.

This is one of my favorite times of year. Sure, it may not be a holiday in a traditional sense, but I still get excited for Horizons’ publication day as though it were Christmas morning. There’s just something so special about being able to share something you are so proud of with the community, and this year, the community took the focus of Horizons.

With a theme of “Putting the Unity in Community,” you will find more than 100 pages filled with stories about the resilience our communities during the COVID-19 crisis. We will have stories of residents spending months making masks to go across the country, nurses who put their health and safety on the line to help others, teachers who put in extra time and effort to ensure their students got the education they needed and many more.

I’m not going to lie, putting Horizons together is a lot of work — even more work when in the midst of a global pandemic. However, being able to tell the stories of all of the amazing people in our communities makes it all worth it.

I hope you all will be just excited to read these stories as I — and our whole team — was to write them. While not everyone will go as far to call opening up their papers next week just like Christmas morning, I hope we can all agree that taking time to celebrate our communities makes any time of year the most wonderful time of year.

Berrien County

Michigan expanding access to safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan 591,753 cases, 15,563 deaths

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Feb. 24-28

Dowagiac

Dowagiac man arrested on meth charges

Business

Niles restaurants see regulars return as restrictions relax

Berrien County

United Way invites community to sponsor children to receive free books

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan 590,217 cases, 15,558 deaths

Berrien County

Niles Township Parks Board seeks public input at Wednesday hearing

Buchanan

Niles Scream Park seeks new nonprofit organizations

Berrien County

Updated MDHHS orders expand restaurant capacity, increase capacity limits, allow for expanded visitation at residential care facilities

News

Niles Township approves state-outlined poverty guidelines, purchases tractor attachment for trails, considers firefighter applicants

Cass County

Lewis Cass ISD narrows superintendent search to two candidates

Dowagiac

Dowagiac art students complete Lego murals

News

Former surgeon given 10 to 40 years for criminal sexual conduct

Breaking News

UPDATE: Two teenagers injured in shooting at Niles hotel

Dowagiac

SMC unveils scholarship guarantee

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan 589,150 cases, 15,534 deaths

Business

Applications now available for Dowagiac’s Summer in the City Festival

Breaking News

Two shot, wounded at Niles hotel

Berrien County

Michigan Works! announces healthcare hiring events

News

Niles Police Log: Feb. 18-25

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township Edwardsburg Police Log: Feb. 15-22

Dowagiac

SMC graduate experiences Super Bowl

Dowagiac

Dowagiac women aim to create change through local government