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BY MIKE AVITT
The 1980s and 1990s saw big advances in newspaper technology, which contributed to a more attractive look.
Photos had a sharper image and color photographs were now viable.
The Mount Ayr Record-News made its first appearance on the World Wide Web in April 1999. Mark McDaniel of Redding helped with the design.
The online version was a condensed version of the Record-News with weather forecasts, obituaries, and a Photo of the Week.
The Record-News also competed in many contests.
In May 1995, at the Iowa Newspaper Association Better Newspaper contest, the Record-News brought home first place awards for Best Circulation Idea and Best Classified Advertisement Page. Alan was also elected president of the Iowa Newspaper Foundation for the coming year.
In April 1999, Alan Smith was named Master Editor-Publisher, a very high honor, at the Iowa Newspaper Convention in Des Moines.
At that same convention, the Record-News was awarded first place in an advertising contest. Julie Davison sold the ad for Vetter Equipment and LuAnn Jackson did the layout.
In April 2009, Paragon Publications, Inc., released my book, “Pages and Pictures from the Past: Ringgold County, Iowa, 1855-2005.”
Paragon Publications is the company that owns the Mount Ayr Record-News and was owned by H. Alan Smith at this time. The word paragon means: ideal example.
I had written about 100 history articles for the Record-News in the years 2005-2007, and most of those appeared in this book.
Sharon Becker and I compiled a book for Arcadia Publishing in 2010 and I began to use the leftover photos for a new column in the Mount Ayr Record-News.
Alan named the column, “Snapshots of History,” and it debuted December 23, 2010.
What I know today is, the Record-News is a community newspaper. It is published for the community, but it is the community that contributes to the content.
Some contributors receive a stipend and some are volunteers. Think of all the areas that must be covered: hospital, school, politics, recreation, church, advertisements, business, weather, non-profit organizations, legal notices, and so much more.
So I want to thank all the advertisers and contributors, because without them, there is no paper.
Next week: the new owner.