It was a bit sad around the Chronicle Times office last week. You see, the linchpin of our news room, Ken Ross, left the organization Friday, August 8th, to start a new chapter in his life. Ken, who has been a Cherokee resident since October of 1990, moved "back east," closer to his home town of Ft. Madison, to start his new job as editor of the Washington (Iowa) Evening Journal on Monday August 11.
Ken's first job in Cherokee was as a staff writer for the Cherokee Daily Times, and he moved to the Chronicle in 1994. Since the two papers merged in March 2002, he has served the Chronicle Times very well as our Managing Editor, while also continuing to write feature stories, cover Cherokee School Board, City Council and Board of Supervisor meetings, write an occasional editorial and, when he found time, contribute one of his humorous, thought-provoking, award-winning (Master Columnist award) "Ross Rambles" columns.
I have had the honor of working with Ken for 2 1/2 years now, and have found the experience very educational - in many ways, but mostly in the areas of writing for a newspaper and determining what content is appropriate for publication. Ken has a delightfully wry sense of humor, not unlike mine, and though we are not usually on the same physical page of the newspaper, we are usually "on the same page" philosophically.
Since my own columns tend to "ramble" a bit, I asked Ken if I could use his column name for mine after he leaves, but I guess if I called this column "Ross Rambles," I would get even more questions about the name of my column than I do now. Hmm ... how about "Biittner Blatherings?"
Anyway - I wish "The Honorable Ken Ross" nothing but the best in his new endeavor, and I'm sure he'll bring the Washington Evening Journal the same touch of class he has to three Cherokee newspapers over the last 18 years.
Thanks for all your help and advice, Ken, and I bid you "fare well," Bon Voyage, and the best of health (you're due for some of that!)