Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

March 24, 2013

HOPKINS: A busy week and a fond farewell

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — This week will be a busy one. Our annual “Pride” edition of Faces and Places magazine is wrapping up and there are some important deadlines in the days ahead. Our reporters are wrapping up stories and the salespeople are doing a tremendous job bringing together a great assortment of advertisers who recognize the value of the magazine.

A citizen of the year has been selected and we have found 10 unsung heroes who we’ll introduce you to when the magazine comes out at the end of April. In addition, we’ll have features on some interesting people and history from Lockport and the surrounding area. The magazine also offers a glimpse of what’s in store for the summer in Eastern Niagara County.

“Pride” is a labor-intensive effort, and after we have this edition finalized we’ll take a much deserved break through the spring and part of the summer until the next magazine is due in August.

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Most reporters live on coffee. I’m sure there are some who, if you were to retrieve a blood sample, would have the black stuff in their veins. Some with sugar, others without. Tim Horton’s is a preferred brand at the US&J — and at our sister papers as far as I can tell — but it’s not the only one we drink.

We rely on the canned stuff quite frequently; Maxwell House, Folgers and even the occasional Chock Full O’ Nuts. When we’re really desperate we’ll even drink the not-quite-coffee, not-quite-water that veteran reporter Bill Wolcott brews. (OK, I fibbed. Only I get THAT desperate.)

Currently, the newsroom is on a Tim Horton’s kick because of the annual “Roll Up the Rim to Win” contest. This contest is so popular that our night/city editor Scott Leffler keeps a “scoreboard” on the dry-erase board near his desk.

It looks like Il be the winner this year, which only means that next year I’ll have a difficult time winning even one lousy cup of coffee. That’s the way it goes for me with Roll Up the Rim: one year I frequently win, the next I hardly ever win. This year’s tally so far is seven wins (four coffees and three doughnuts — like I really need more doughnuts) against 13 losses.

Everyone who’s played — except Bill Wolcott and his paltry two attempts) has at least one win, even contributing photographer Heather Grimmer who finally cracked the win column after something like 20 losses.

I don’t know if there’s a moral to this story. There may not even be a point, but I’m sure there are others out there who have had similar experiences with Roll Up the Rim, and it’s good to know that you’re not alone.

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Friday was a bittersweet day here at the US&J. We bid farewell to Jim Krencik, our main reporter for the Medina Journal-Register, who had recently given us his two weeks’ notice.

Jim is a workhorse and he will truly be missed. He’s a keen observer and knows how to track down a story. Quite often he was the main weekend reporter for the US&J, which is how many of our readers became familiar with him.

I never like to lose a good reporter but I’m happy that Jim is moving on to bigger and better things. He’s a little nervous about his next job, but he’ll do fine. On Friday I told him that there comes a time when a fledgling has to spread his wings and leave the nest. That time has come for Jim and I wish him all the best.