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As some readers may already know, there have been a few changes at the Decatur Daily Democrat. More than a few, actually. We’ll try to summarize.
Publisher Ron Storey has announced the appointment of J Swygart to the position of managing editor at the newspaper. He was named to fill a vacancy created when longtime Managing Editor Bob Shraluka opted to reduce his day-to-day workload at the paper and to pursue other opportunities.
Shraluka, who served as managing editor of the Democrat for more than 39 years, will continue to be a regular contributor to this newspaper.
“Retiring? Well, not exactly. Let’s just say ready to do something else,” Shraluka said.
He began as managing editor in September of 1974 after having been employed at the Celina (Ohio) Daily Standard and the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, plus an earlier stint at the Daily Democrat.
“Even though Bob is stepping down, I am pleased that he will continue contributing for us,” said Storey. “Bob has a wealth of knowledge and history regarding Adams County that is extremely valuable and in some cases irreplaceable.”
Storey also said he is excited about the future of the newspaper.
“I am confident that J Swygart has the leadership experience and knowledge that has made him, I believe, the right choice for managing editor. He brings with him the knowledge
of the area that is needed to continue our effort to be Adams County’s main source of news and information.
“Jannaya Andrews has not been with us quite as long, but she has shown the ability to take on and manage the projects and assignments she has been given in a professional manner,” said Storey.
Swygart, a Decatur resident and native of Van Wert County, has been employed at the Democrat since October of 2001. He previously served as managing editor of the Wapakoneta (Ohio) Daily News and prior to that worked for daily newspapers in Van Wert and Celina, Ohio.
“In no way, shape or form is it my intent to attempt to replace Bob Shraluka,” said Swygart. “My only goal is to avoid falling into the giant holes his footprints have left.”
Moving up to the position of associate editor at the Daily Democrat is Jannaya Andrews, a native of Decatur who has edited the Democrat’s Community page for the past two years and has covered many local boards and events during that time.
Andrews, a graduate of Bellmont High School and a resident of rural Willshire, will serve as editor of the Berne Shopping News and will also be in charge of special projects for the Democrat.
Two new faces have also recently joined the newsroom staff at the Democrat.
Ashley Thieme, a resident of Decatur, has started her journalism career at the newspaper as a general assignment reporter. Her responsibilities will include the North Adams school board, Monroe Town Council, overseeing the daily Community Page and assorted other general reporting roles.
Mike Lamm has also joined the newspaper’s editorial staff as a general assignment reporterwhose beats will include county government. South Adams Schools and Geneva Town Council. He has 16 years of newspaper experience with the Celina Daily Standard and is an award-winning photographer. He resides in Celina, Ohio.
“I am pleased we could hire two new reporters in Ashley and Mike that are enthusiastic and have the drive and experience to take on new positions,” Storey said.
The lone editorial staffer to remain in his position in the latest game of Democrat Musical Chairs is Sports Editor Dylan Malone.