Around the Corner: One last word, before I say so long |

Around the Corner: One last word, before I say so long

Kyle Mills

The last 14 months have been a whirlwind for me at the helm of the Citizen Telegram. But like every beginning, there must be an end.

Part of me feels like it was just yesterday when I took over the community’s weekly newspaper. Although the job was not my first rodeo, in many ways it made me feel like a rookie journalist again.

I was fortunate that many community members welcomed me in with open arms and went out of their way to help me get settled in the area, introducing me to the movers and the shakers of the Rifle, Silt and Parachute area.

From giant events like the Garfield County Fair in Rifle, to small local events like National Night Out held in Parachute/Battlement Mesa, I’ve been able to see the communities and their residents interact with one another and see just how close-knit western Garfield County is.

I will never forget the passion of the sports fans as they cheered on their local high school sports teams, including the Rifle Bears football perfect regular season last fall. Most of all I will not forget the love people of the area have for their neighbors and communities.

There are so many memories packed into a short amount of time; I would fill up the pages of the paper if I listed them all. 

The last five months have been a trying time for both the communities and the newspaper industry. We are truly living in unprecedented times. It has been hard to watch small businesses struggle and local events canceled due to the concerns of COVID-19. It was even harder to try and chase a story while working from home when the state all but shutdown during the pandemic.

During my time at the CT I have been through one of the most difficult situations in my personal life, as I watched my dad’s health deteriorate. I can’t thank Colorado Mountain News Media, the parent company of the CT, enough for all they did to let me spend as much time with him as possible.

Over the last eight months when I wasn’t rounding up stories or chasing the next hot tip on deadline, I have been able to ponder what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I’ve been in journalism for 21 years now. In those years I have been able to see and cover a lot of great stories. Many people say it is not good to make a big change during a time of mourning, but a change has been on my mind for some time now.

Today’s issue will mark my last as the editor of Rifle’s newspaper. Although I will no longer be telling the stories of the people and events of this fine community, I will remain in Rifle. I have accepted a position with the Rifle Police Department and will be given the opportunity to serve the city of Rifle and its residents in a new capacity. 

I am excited for the new challenges that it presents. Starting next week I will be returning to school for the first time in over two decades, as I embark on my training at CMC’s Law Enforcement Training Academy.

As smoke fills the typically crisp blue Colorado sky, muting the usual bright sunlight, I have tried to take the time for a few final inspirational walks around downtown. Enjoying a slice of life in the newspaper business before heading back into the office to write one last story before I go.

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