The Pointe, the community newspaper for Grain Valley from 1998 to the early 2000s, launched this month in 1998. The first edition features a cover story on the City’s community center and city hall project on Main Street.
The issue also details discussions at the City level regarding how to best utilize $4 million in bond funding for capital improvements.
Matt Farlin, one of the four original owners of The Pointe, spoke with Valley News recently and reminisced on the early days of the paper.
“For several years before we started, there was talk around town that we needed our own newspaper,” Farlin said.
Farlin and fellow owner Brent Ince both had backgrounds in communications, and businesswoman Vickie Officer was keen to have a publication in town to provide much needed communication regarding City and business events.
“We started talking more seriously about it, and felt it was time. We started out small—none of us were millionaires and we were all working people. But we thought we could make a run of it,” Farlin said.
The first few editions were printed in Oklahoma, and shortly thereafter, papers were printed at the now closed Star Journal in Warrensburg.
“Shortly after we got started, we recognized that we needed a quality proofreader, and we were lucky to have Jan Reding join us. She is a consummate proofreader, and bringing her on was a huge plus for us,” Farlin said.
The newspaper focused on local stories and events, and according to Farlin, was “unashamedly pro-Grain Valley”.
One of the best parts of running a community paper, Farlin said, was hearing the stories of local residents and getting to know them.
As far as challenges, Farlin remembers many long nights prepping the paper for print and everyone on staff wearing multiple hats.
“There were some long days and nights. We were doing it on a shoestring, but we had a good time.”
Farlin now works in communications with Midwest Public Risk, which keeps him connected to public service.
“I get to deal with a lot of people who are in public service, and that’s the part I really love,” Farlin said.
Other stories included in the Pointe’s first edition was the news that the Historical Society would be moving into its new building on Main by that December. The Historical Society maintains the location to this day, and will host its next Membership meeting on November 19th at 7:00pm.
In addition to issues of The Pointe, the Grain Valley Historical Society maintains a large collection of Grain Valley newspapers and clippings related to Grain Valley news and events. The museum is open on Wednesdays at 506 S. Main. Visit the Historical Society’s website at www.grainvalleyhistory.com.