It’s amazing how quickly 11 years can pass. It’s even more amazing the amount of change that can take place in what can seem like such a short period of time.

The County Journal and its staff is fortunate to still be here, sharing your stories, celebrating your successes and highlighting all of the positives taking place in your communities. We have you — the reader and advertiser — to thank for it. We’ve experienced such a strong sense of support over the course of the past decade.

We came along at a turbulent time for small town America. When John Gaedert founded the paper in 2006, no one could foresee the challenging times ahead for the United States economy and just how hard that would impact our nation’s smaller communities. I’m not sure anyone locally fully understood the challenges facing newspapers and the threat of social media and online news and advertising content.

Weathering that storm is something for which we should all be proud, for brighter times certainly lie ahead. At The County Journal, we believe social media and the Internet provide more of an opportunity than a threat, even if we’ve been slow to jump into the digital pool with both feet. But, that’s about to change.

There is strong momentum building in Eaton County and we remain here committed to shout that success from the rooftops. We understand the rooftop has gotten much bigger since we started. No longer can we simply rely on your message meeting the eyes of Eaton County with our weekly, printed publication alone. We need to meet eyes where they are already spending a lot of their time and where they are consuming mass amounts of information — online.

We plan to do this without abandoning what has made us successful for the past 11 years. We believe most of our readers appreciate holding that newsprint in their hands while reading about local events or scanning for great deals. That won’t change.

What will change are the ways in which your stories will be shared — Facebook (@MICountyJournal), Twitter (@countyjournal), Instagram (countyjournal), and most importantly, a new more user-friendly website,, which goes live April 1.

It may take some time to work all of the bugs out on the new site, so please bear with us. What you will find, however, is updated information, a full digital copy of the newspaper that you can “flip” through online, links to our social media sites and more interaction.

I encourage you to take a look, share your thoughts and to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all of the latest news hitting Eaton County.