Sanborn Weekly Journal newly located under new ownership

By Tara Weber and Carrie Howard

THE SWJ staff is pictured, left to right: Parker Senska, Wanda Swenson and Carrie Howard.

NEW OWNER Tara Weber

When Hillary walked into my office that October morning, as she had done several times in the last 14 years, I knew this time was different. After a while she finally said, “I just want to tell you before you read it in the paper, Jan. 1, I am done.” My first question was who finally bought the paper because I had known that she was trying to sell the paper for the past two years. She said, “No one, but I am done.”

I immediately went into “saving panic mode,” as I would do with anything that is important, not only to our community, but to all of Sanborn County. I knew I couldn’t write for the paper, but I had someone in mind within a couple of minutes who I knew would be perfect for the job, so I made my first phone call.

With Carrie on board, I sent a text to Hillary asking how much it would cost to buy the paper. She thought I had an interested party, but I told her that I wanted to buy it, as long as Carrie Howard would be the editor and Parker and Wanda would stay on as employees.

After I had my plan, I made the most important phone call of the process, and that was to my husband, Rod. Usually, when I call him with crazy ideas, his first reaction is no, but he also knows how important a local paper is, so this time all he said was, “Do what you have to do.”

It took about a week to get all the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed, and now for the past two months, we have been trying to learn as much as we can about how to publish, edit and print a weekly newspaper. There is way more to it than a person would think, but we are up for the challenge.

We are so very thankful for Hillary’s commitment to Sanborn County for the past 14 years and her willingness to help us as we continue to inform the citizens of not only Sanborn County, but also all our family and friends who have moved away but still have an interest in what happens at home. Our goal is to continue the beautiful legacy of the great Jerry Klaas, and now Hillary Lutter, to create the best small-town paper in South Dakota that can be used to inform, entertain and help those who do live here or those who once lived here, to be able to showcase what a wonderful place Sanborn County really is.

We will be doing this wonderful work out of a new location. We have moved to the apartment attached to the north side of the Deluxe Hotel. It is back away from the street, but we have a sign outside the front door, and we plan to put a sign closer to the street in the near future. We will have a temporary drop box on the door until we get something a little more permanent, also closer to the street for easier access.

Our office hours will be Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed over the noon hour. Our phone/fax number and mailing address are staying the same, but we have a new email address of We look forward to working for and with the citizens of Sanborn County.

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