When I first joined the staff of the Payson Roundup 11 years ago, I knew I was in over my head. I knew I had many of the qualities of a good reporter instinct, an inquiring mind, strong work ethic and a love of writing but had never actually been a reporter before.
Two talented women helped me become a successful reporter then-editor Carolyn Dryer, and her cohort, Charlene Hunt. This dynamic duo taught me everything they knew about being a fair, objective news gatherer. They taught me the important role the newspaper can play in the life of small town.
After years of reporting on crime, Charlene decided she'd like to try life as a crime fighter instead, so she left the Roundup to become Payson's first female police officer.
For 10 years, Charlene served and protected the residents of Payson until last year, when a combative suspect kicked her in the knee. She had knee surgery last January. But, despite months of physical therapy, she was told she'd never regain the strength needed to resume her police duties.
The department's loss is the Roundup's gain.
After months of searching for a qualified news hound one who knows and loves the Rim country as much as I do I'm pleased to announce that Charlene has returned to the Roundup family.
She brings with her 15 years of reporting experience, and as an extra added attraction for those who work with her an acid wit combined with, of all things, a warm and inviting personality.
Welcome home, Charlene.
Jerry Thebado, editor