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By Michele Smith
The Times 

For the love of Dayton


When I first landed in Dayton in 2012, I didn’t know anybody and wasn’t sure how I was going to find out anything about my new community.

I got my first insight into the community through reading a copy of Ken Graham’s news magazine, Blue Mountain News.

I want to thank Ken for that and for hiring me at The Times in 2015 to be the Dayton reporter. That put me on a fast track to knowing Dayton and being embedded in the community.

I have had the good fortune to cover some pretty big stories for Columbia County, including; the inception and progress of the Touchet Valley Bike trail, the Dayton General Hospital Enhancement and Renovation project, the progress of Columbia Pulp, the Orozco homicide trial, the Feb. 2020 flood and, lately, the impact of Covid-19 on our community.

My personal favorite was when the New Old Time Chautauqua came to town in July 2016. That was fun!

Along the way, I have also gotten to know all of you, Dear Readers.

From the beginning, my goal has been to understand the inner workings of Dayton’s many fine government and civic organizations and to report my findings to you.

I hope you have come to regard me as a booster for our terrific community, a community made up of people with plenty of “can-do” spirit.

With that said, it is with a sense of sadness that I announce my retirement from the Times, effective April 30.

I want to thank The Times owner/publisher Lane Gwinn for keeping me on when Ken retired at the end of 2018 and to wish her well.

It has been a fun and interesting journey.


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