First, the obvious: Beginning this week, we have adopted the design of our sister papers within the Observer Media Group. We hope you find this new aesthetic pleasing, inviting and easy to navigate.
You’ll also notice we have introduced several new features throughout this edition. Beginning on page 9A, you will find our new Neighborhood section, which includes content such as schools, civic clubs, faith, and arts and entertainment. On pages 6-7B, you’ll find the first of our new real-estate transactions feature. Each week, we will profile each of our communities — Winter Garden, Oakland, Ocoee, Windermere and Dr. Phillips — and show you how the residential real-estate marking is faring.
But, not everything is new. For longtime readers, we’ve kept many of the features that have made the West Orange Times a must-read for decades. As always, you’ll find the best hyper-local content available in West Orange County. You’ll also find plenty of the user-submitted photos and announcements.
Our goal is to deliver to you the best local community newspaper in the country — better yet, the world — and I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead that charge as the West Orange Times’ new executive editor.
I wanted to work in newspapers since I was 10 years old, and as I pursued this career path at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, my passion for local news never wavered.
Before coming to the West Orange Times, I spent nearly 12 years with the East County Observer, OMG’s newspaper covering greater Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County. Two years ago, my wife, Design Editor Jess Eng, and I moved to Plant City to launch the Plant City Times & Observer, a community weekly covering the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World. Today, this publication, a partnership with the Tampa Bay Times, is the premier source of news in Greater Plant City.
And, as we move forward with the evolution of the West Orange Times, that’s what we expect to deliver to you. Every week, these pages will be filled with accurate, honest and complete coverage; entertaining and compelling features about you and your neighbors; photo galleries; and a comprehensive sports section.
Moreover, we relaunched our website, WOTimes.com, where we will provide breaking news, as well as a plethora of multimedia coverage. And, if you haven’t done so already, please give us a Like on Facebook, facebook.com/wotimes, and follow us on Twitter, @WestOrangeTimes.
Of course, any community newspaper is only as good as its readership, and we need your participation. Let us know when your son or daughter earns a full-ride scholarship. Tell us when your grandmother turns 100 years old. Send us information about your accomplishments; we want to celebrate with you.
Furthermore, hold us accountable. Let us know what we could be doing better. You can reach me directly via email at [email protected].
From all of us at the West Orange Times, thank you for your continued support. We could not do this without you.