Change at the paper

This marks my last issue as editor of the Lakes Region Suburban Weekly, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our readers over the past year and half.

John Balentine, our lead reporter and former editor and publisher of the Suburban News, will become editor of this paper. I am moving on to start a new paper in Saco and Old Orchard Beach, to be called the Sun Chronicle.

I grew up in York County on the coast, and still have family there. I also covered Saco and Old Orchard Beach as a reporter in the past. So when our publisher, Lee Hews Casler, announced she was considering a new paper in Saco, I decided, over a weekend of contemplation and at times sheer terror, to apply for the new spot. With equal terror, Lee agreed to let me have the job!

It wasn’t a quick decision for me, but it’s made much easier knowing that the Lakes Region Suburban Weekly will be in strong hands. John has time and again proven himself to be a fair and comprehensive reporter on some very complicated and contentious issues. I have no doubt he will bring this same ability to hear both sides of a story to the editor’s seat.

While I’m sure John will put his own stamp to the paper over time, the paper’s mission to be fair and responsible within the communities we cover will not change.


All too many news sources these days, both local and national, have made their ways by picking sides in stories and presenting lopsided versions of the facts, if they stick to the facts at all. While I have written editorials for the Opinion page each week, I don’t believe anyone can fairly accuse the Lakes Region Suburban Weekly of slanting news stories to one side or the other. Of all our accomplishments since we started the paper in the fall of 2003, this makes me the proudest.

I have enjoyed meeting and getting to know many of you over the past year and a half, and will miss this as I head one county down. But I leave knowing the paper will continue to grow and improve under John’s leadership, and will be a valuable part of the entire Lakes Region.

A new Web site

Regular readers will notice a difference in our front page this week.

We have redesigned our flag – the top of the front page – to make room for the logo for our new Web site,

The new Web site will be a forum for community news and events. It will enable us to give our readers with Internet access updates on stories throughout the week. When a fire, a local vote or a big high school game occurs days before our newspaper would normally come out, we’ll be able to get information out to the community on our Web site.


If police are searching for someone or seeking to get out information on road closures or other traffic problems, we’ll use our Web site to help them.

Visitors to our site will be able to post opinion letters to stories. Businesses and nonprofit organizations will be able to post their own press releases.

In the weeks and months to come, we will be adding new content to the Web site and working to continually improve it. Please check it out and make it a regular online stop for local news and information.

Josh Williamson, editor

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