For more than 58 years The Times has published the news of northeast Benton County -- Pea Ridge, Garfield, Gateway. For many of those years, it was published out of the house and, later, barn owned by Earle and Billie Jines.
Office locations changed.
But the vision of the newspaper staff did not. The passion of the staff is to provide local coverage of the events and news in the area and to report public events and meetings.
As technology changed the face of American culture and more people rely on Internet for their news, the way newspapers operate has changed. The same questions of survival for print media were contemplated when radio began came along and then again when television broadcasts began.
We at The Times realize that residents of the area will get their state, national and international news from larger newspapers, television and the Internet. But, no one covers this community, this school and the local news with more passion than the staff of The Times.
We passionately believe in the right to know about public business and report on the school and city business as diligently as possible.
We believe every person has a story to tell and we can all learn from one another.
We believe that even "bad" news can be good news when we learn from our mistakes and help others avoid the same mistakes.
There is no longer an office presence, but the newspaper is still be covered by staff in the community. The heart of this newspaper, the quality of this newspaper is due to you, the readers, and is dependent on each of you, readers and business owners alike. It takes your input, your ideas, your cooperation, your subscriptions and your advertising to keep this newspaper alive.
The laws in this country and state guarantee that public information should be available to the public is not for media personnel but for anyone in the public. Every person has the right, even responsibility, to attend public meetings -- City Council, Planning Commission, School Board. Every person can ask questions about public business to know where their tax dollars are being spent. But, few people have -- or take -- the time to do that and depend on the media to do that for them.
As much as is humanly possible, we at The Times attempt to report the news as objectively as possible thus quoting city officials instead of restating their words to avoid attempts at coloring the meaning.
"Annette Beard, our managing editor, works tirelessly to cover northeast Benton County, especially Pea Ridge -- that will not change. She lives in Pea Ridge, loves the town and the people who make it so special," Kent Marts, former publisher, said when the office moved to Rogers. "She is not going to stop doing that. She doesn't do that because of the building she works in. She does it because a newspaper is not a building, it's a way of life."
Change is inevitable.
Pea Ridge city and school populations have grown. New businesses have moved to town. There are new elected officials in office.
The Times will continue to cover the news in the area and welcomes contributions from you, the readers.