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I'll miss you, Gretna

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Rachel George

Word of mouth travels faster than most news stories these days, so many of you may consider what I’m about to share as old news, and maybe it is.

Bittersweet in every sense of the word is the announcement that I have accepted a promotion as the managing editor of The Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The role oversees that of my former job as the editor of the Gretna Breeze, Papillion Times and Bellevue Leader, as well as a few weeklies in southwest Iowa.

As I worked to hire a new editor in late May/early June, I continued to try and balance my workload of bringing stories to Gretna while also getting to know my new community in Iowa. It’s been busy, and I appreciate the grace you’ve all given.

As many of you have heard me say, “The Breeze is my baby,” and it is hard to let go. I have grown and learned so much here.

I was here throughout the city’s years-long annexation, attending those meetings and hearing your concerns while keeping you informed. I have played alongside you at Gretna Days and have donated next to you at community blood drives.

When this community was struck with overwhelming sorrow, I left my camera in the car and cried right along with you in church.

I absolutely adore the people I have come to know in this community. You all told me that Gretna was special and I know now, because I’ve lived it.

Thank you for inviting me to your events, for saying hello to me at your meetings and for making me feel every bit as part of this community — it has meant so much.

I am grateful for the professional relationships I have built in town, and even more so for the friendships. For the countless texts and emails from the community, whether congratulating me on my recent Nebraska Press award or giving me a story idea, thank you. I couldn’t have done this job without your support.

I have loved being here and getting to see the way you do things.

You may have noticed a new byline or two in The Breeze over the past couple of weeks. I have full faith in my colleague and friend Scott Stewart, your new editor. I know he will continue a tradition of excellence throughout our newspapers in Sarpy County, and some of you likely know that already.

This has all happened so fast. For those of you who I wasn’t able to reach out to individually, please don’t let this be goodbye. Add me on Facebook or shoot me an email whenever you want to say hello.

I am still around, just in a more removed way. I assure you that we will continue to provide community journalism, which is the heart of why we do what we do. It is our passion.

Thank you, Gretna. I love you.

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