Yellow Farmhouse; White Rocking Chair

By Kayleigh Rahn
Welcome to The Journal.

The Tuscola and Villa Grove news offices have worked diligently over recent weeks to compile our publications into one newspaper, and we’re happy to present you with the result.

I realize this combination may seem different to several readers and community members; however, when I received the news, it seemed completely normal to me.

Though, that may be because the Rahn household is a Warrior/Blue Devil household. I am, as many know, a 2007 Tuscola Community High School graduate. William, as many know, is a 2006 Villa Grove High School graduate. 

We’ve been a house divided since the beginning, and it works well for us.

Some may not realize the rivalry between our towns because you missed the years when both schools were in the Little Okaw Valley Conference. William and I talk about watching the same high school basketball games from opposing fan sections and postseason football games when he was on the field.

We, of course, did not know each other then, but we have countless similar memories from opposite sidelines. 

We didn’t meet until college. He had completed his program at Parkland, and I was ready to enter my senior year at Eastern Illinois University. We met at a pub near the campus of the University of Illinois through mutual friends–some from Villa Grove and some from Tuscola, really, just a bunch of Douglas County kids. 

That night we chatted about my memories of the LOVC band concert at Villa Grove and playing in the Ag Days basketball tournament as a pre-teen. He shared memories of working at the outlet mall while in high school and swimming at the Tuscola pool as a child. Our paths have always crossed though we never met until the timing was right. At the end of the day, we realized our commonalities are far bigger than our rivalries from school. 

Now, we are raising our daughter Nora in the Tuscola school district after weeks of negotiations, something William says he won’t fully embody until she begins school in two short years. 

Since our wedding we have shared a firm belief that it takes a village to move down the road, and it just so happens that our village–dear friends and family–has firm roots planted throughout our two communities. 

That’s why, when our publisher approached my office about the merge of The Tuscola Journal and The Villa Grove News, I felt humbled to take on the role of editor.

I know my team has adjustments to make, and I’m aware change isn’t always easy, but I’m happy to have you along for the journey. 

Mostly because, in my opinion, this is important work worth doing. 

I believe it is important to share our community meeting coverage, our schools’ honor rolls, the faces and place of our time. In my opinion, it’s vital to continue this documentation to sustain our identity and show future generations that we lived, worked, struggled and succeeded and maybe they will be able to do us one better.

Our greatest hope is that this publication remains both communities’ hometown newspaper. Our communities have their own histories, traditions, and heritages. We will do our absolute best to continue our mission to not only recognize but also celebrate what makes each city unique.

With that said, we are far more similar than we are different, a lesson William and I learned nearly a decade ago, and that is why I feel merging these publications will be a natural transition.

Our readers and advertisers are valuable to us, and I want you to hear your suggestions on how we can do even more to bring you a quality newspaper each week. Once again, call me (253-5086), email me (kayleigh@thetuscolajournal.com), or, better yet, stop by our office to share suggestions, newsworthy items, or to simply chat.

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