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Scott Vicker - Vick-tory Lap

Making progress on Progress

And breathe.

After a long three months of wondering when, or even if, our annual Progress edition was going to come together with us being short of staff, I can finally breathe.

As I write this column, the final story has been finished and page design on the final section for Friday is all but complete.

Finally, I can breathe.

It has been quite the adventure getting to this point. I cannot even begin to quantify the number of times I felt certain it wasn’t going to come together.

The past month, especially, has been spent cranking out as many Progress stories as possible, with me often squeezing in three to four interviews per week and desperately trying to get stories written over the weekends.

But, the good news is it is all but finished now. And, I’m proud of what we have put together.

For the longest time, I wondered what our readers would think of this year’s Progress edition.

So far, through the first three days, I have heard nothing but positive comments about our Progress sections.

That has been a huge relief to me, since so much time was put into making these special sections come together while we have been short of staff.

They certainly would not have come together had it not been for Kelsey Haugen working diligently to get as many Progress stories done prior to her departure at the end of December.

For a long time, her stories were the only ones that were complete, as various other projects kept popping up that would delay my start on Progress. But, I always felt like I was in a good position thanks to the number of stories she finished before she left.

Along the way, we’ve received help from our former employee and good friend of mine, Jake Waddingham. He has always been a valuable asset for us when it comes to the Southwest Iowa Ag Mag, or just when I’m in a pinch and need help with a random story.

Having Jake being willing to step up and take on several Progress stories helped immensely.

Our sports guys – Ryan Kronberg and Kaleb Carter – also each stepped up to write a few stories. I tried to avoid resorting to having them write Progress stories for us since they’re so busy throughout the course of the entire year.

But, given our staffing situation, I finally had to give in and ask. But they were also asking if they could help. That speaks to their character that they would volunteer to help out even though they’re constantly busy.

Of course, Larry Peterson chipped in with a few stories, as well. Larry, as always, has been a valuable resource during the Progress season.

And, I cannot thank Bailey Poolman enough for the work she’s done on Progress and for putting up with me during the Progress season.

Between being short of staff and trying to get all of the Progress stories and sections finished, I have been more than a little stressed. At times, I’m sure I’ve been very demanding of Bailey.

But, through it all, she has handled it well and put in the work needed to make it become a reality.

I’m sure it hasn’t been easy to work for me during this stretch, but Bailey has done a wonderful job of putting her nose to the grindstone.

To everyone who has helped out with Progress, I can’t thank you enough. And, to all the people who allowed us to write a story about you, I can’t thank you enough, either.

I’ve greatly enjoyed making new connections with the stories I have written and learning more about people I already knew with other stories.

I hope everyone enjoys the final few Progress sections as much as you’ve enjoyed the first few.

I’m ecstatic to finally be done with Progress and able to move on to the next project.

Now, just do me a favor and don’t say the word “Progress” to me until next year.

•••

Contact the writer:

Twitter – @scottvicker

Email – svicker@crestonnews.com

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