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Hard to believe I have reached the big 1-0 in Scott County
by Chris Alllen Baker, The Scott County Times
Oct 24, 2013 | 134 views | 0 0 comments | 178 178 recommendations | email to a friend | print
FOREST - When I pulled away the month of September from my calendar and prepared for October, I could not believe we were only three months away from 2014. So much has happened this year which has helped it fly by quickly.

Still, the most amazing part of my year is seeing my son Aaron continue to grow. He turned three years old on July 31 and I turned 43 on October 2.

As of today, October 24, I have been at The Scott County Times for 10 years. That's right, the big 1-0. All of my other tenures at other newspapers or other types of jobs have lasted two years or less until 2003 when I arrived in Forest. As I have done in past Octobers, I have to take that stroll down memory lane.

It also marks a little more than 12 years combined that I have worked for three publications under the Emmerich Newspapers umbrella. The other stops include my hometown paper, The Winona Times, and The Rankin Record in Flowood.

Given the transient nature of the journalism business, it is more unusual to see someone stay at a newspaper for more than just a few years.

The Times is not immune to change. I am working for our fourth publisher since my arrival and have seen many other employees come and go. The team we have now has been pretty stable, though, in place for quite a while now.

After several years of moving among newspapers around the state, I found myself at The Neshoba Democrat in Philadelphia and planned to stay there a while.

Well, you might know the old saying that life happens when you're busy making other plans.

Sam R. Hall was named publisher here in summer 2003 and in August called me to see if I was interested in making a change.

In September, he called me again and invited me to visit. I had worked with him at The Rankin Record from 1998 to 1999.

To make a long story short, he and his managing editor, Gennie Phillips, offered this job and I accepted.

I'll never forget my first day here. The original plan was to come in as the news editor and eventually assume the sports editor title when the previous one left. He left early so I ended up with both titles and now I hold the managing editor title.

It was a Friday and the staff was busy putting together our Working Women special section that we are working on now. Gennie gave me five names of women to interview and have stories written in just a couple days or so.

The rest as they say is history. Now, I am collecting names and interviewing all of the working women for the section that comes out next week.

Within the office, I have moved to four different desks and as I look around now, I am the only person in the office who was here the day I arrived, other than Julian who works part time at night.

Not long after my arrival, I met Emily, and we have been together ever since. I am in my third home after moving originally to Goodhope Road, then to Rush Road and now Forest for the past four years.

I have now seen seven classes of students from ninth grade through graduation at each school; football, basketball, tennis and band state championships won; an execution; coaches come and go, school superintendents come and go, and I have met a lot of interesting people - which is one of the things I enjoy about what I do. This place keeps me hopping, and it is never boring. There is always something going on.

Someone once asked me if I was leaving. I said, "I am here. We've bought a house, Emily is teaching here, and we have a son here. This is my home."

Thank you for letting me be a part of our community. I'm looking forward to making more memories here.

Chris Allen Baker is a native of Winona and serves as the managing editor for The Scott County Times in Forest. He can be reached by e-mail at

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