Editor bids farewell, but Call moving onward and upward

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By Gloria Lloyd, News Editor

There’s no other way to say it: This will be my final column as the editor of The Call. The newspaper celebrates its 32nd anniversary in August, and it will continue to bring you the most important and hard-hitting community news under the watch of new Editor Erin Achenbach, Publisher Debbie Baker and General Manager Bill Milligan.

I started working here March 1, 2013, and looking back, have there ever been eight more eventful years in South County history? I’m sad to leave, but there’s satisfaction that I’ve been there, seen it all and wrote the story afterward. 

My eight years is bookended by two Trakases: Lori was elected to the school board just as I started, and my final article is about Ernie. 

In between, there was Ferguson. Officer Blake Snyder. Better Together. The Blues’ victory. The COVID-19 pandemic. A new Lindbergh High School, and all the zoning. So much zoning.

Fun fact: I was the last member of the public to leave the Tesson Ferry Library, and I was the first customer at the Fresh Thyme that replaced it. Without trying.

Who could forget Sunset Hills Mayor Mark Furrer and the bicycle, and his trial that ended in a mistrial?

But that wasn’t even my most memorable Sunset Hills-related day in court.

In November 2016, in what will always be known to me as “the finger incident,” a judge’s closed-door hearing on the notorious EconoLodge led to tempers running high and a door slammed on Post-Dispatch reporter Tim O’Neil, cutting off part of his finger that could never be reattached. I know that I witnessed the highest possible journalistic peak that day: O’Neil calmly waiting for an ambulance after 40 years in journalism, bleeding all over but eloquently talking to me about the very real threats and dangers journalists face today, for the article that of course I had to write. I know I’ll never reach that level, fingers and all.

Many beats have come full circle: Who could forget the Mehlville School District’s Proposition R and the campaign leading up to it, for and against? And now district voters have passed their first bond issue in nearly 30 years.

Steve Stenger was the first elected official to welcome me to South County and, well, you know the rest. I was the first reporter to ever write about the campaign donations that eventually led to his federal corruption charges.

Crestwood mall was still open when I first started working at The Call; mall security even once chased me away for taking photos, which seems laughable now considering the graffiti that later graced those abandoned walls. Three redevelopment plans have come and gone, but the fourth just might get it done.

In the three years since I was named editor of The Call, we have survived a pandemic, changed the look and name of the newspaper, debuted a new website and added near-daily online enewsletters jam-packed with breaking news, in addition to the printed newspaper in mailboxes.

Studies have shown that when local news coverage goes away, local governments become less efficient and less transparent.

Please continue to read and support this, your local newspaper.

You can read the print edition each and every week by subscribing. That’s what I’m going to do too.