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FROM THE EDITOR: In an interesting year, FLS staff has earned respect and support

FROM THE EDITOR: In an interesting year, FLS staff has earned respect and support

The Free Lance-Star building (copy)

The offices of The Free Lance–Star, located in Fredericksburg’s Central Park.

SOMETIMES it seems there isn’t a lot to be thankful for this year, except for the fact that it’s almost over. And with COVID-19 cases rising and new vaccines still a ways from reaching most of the public, the rollover to 2021 doesn’t seem to offer much immediate fodder for gratitude, either.

But that’s a glass-half-empty perspective and Thanksgiving is a time for full plates and goblets, so I’m going to look at the rest of the glass.

First, I’m thankful to be able to be healthy and employed and that most of my family members are, too. There are a lot of people in this region and across this country who are struggling physically and financially right now.

I’m thankful to live in a nation where, despite the events of the past year, we have reason to be optimistic about the future. The quick development of not one, but two, promising vaccines is proof of what Americans can do when we set our minds to a task.

And, as a journalist, I have to be thankful that we—to play off an ancient Chinese curse— “live in interesting times.” Between a pandemic, protests and a pugilistic presidential election, we are feeling the irony behind what, on its face, sounds like a blessing. And interesting times, whether good or bad, make for more compelling stories.

On that front, I’m very fortunate to work with a staff that has risen to the challenge of covering all of these interesting developments on top of the normal mix of local news and sports.

Because of the virus, most of our reporters are working from home and covering many government meetings remotely and doing more reporting via phone and email than in the past. But some reporting, and all photography, must be done on site, and these dedicated folks have done a lot of that as virus cases rose and fell like the tide over the course of the year.

I’m particularly proud of our coverage of the pandemic. It has been superbly led by reporter Cathy Dyson, but it has involved every member of our staff in one way or another. We’ve not only dug into the health impacts, but also its effect on businesses, schools, sports, nonprofits and many other aspects of the community.

I’m also thankful for our loyal subscribers. In addition to providing a regular dose of constructive criticism, many of you have contacted me and others on staff to express your appreciation for specific stories, photos or just our overall efforts to keep the public informed about what is going on in our communities. Your support for local journalism, both financially and philosophically, is essential to our success and this community’s future.

That’s why I want to close by appealing to any non-subscribers who are reading to consider subscribing to The Free Lance–Star. We know there are a lot of you from the traffic we see to our website.

A digital subscription gives you unlimited access to that content and the company is offering some attractive introductory rates right now. You can find out more about those by going to our subscription page on or calling 540/374-5000.

I’m confident that the dedicated journalists here will continue to provide the kind of local coverage that will make you thankful you subscribed.

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