Brian Woodham

Spring is a time of renewal — crocuses and azaleas bloom and brighten our gardens while winter-weary residents break out of their homes and into the outdoors, as jackets are mothballed and shorts and flip-flops make their return. 

This year, the renewal and promise of spring seems even stronger, as a trail out of the pandemic seems to be forming. The Villager is also working its way out of the pandemic — we recently moved back into almost regular in-person office operations after working remotely for much of the time over the past year.

More changes are in the works, too. With the recent shuttering of printing operations by the Opelika-Auburn News, the Villager will now be printed by Gannett Publishing Services in Montgomery. As part of the change, the Villager's print deadline has moved from Wednesday to Tuesday morning, at least for the time being. 

As a result, our reporting for Tuesday meetings, including City Council meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, will appear online before making it into print in the next week's edition. We will endeavor to provide a more in-depth look at issues for the print article, which won't be constrained by the pressures of an early-morning deadline the day after the meeting. 

Starting in May, we also plan to shift the Villager back to two sections, adding two pages to our content and coverage that disappeared during the information/event crunch caused by the pandemic. 

We will also be adding a seasoned reporter to the staff when associate editor Madasyn Czebiniak-Lee joins us next week. She has years of experience reporting for major daily newspapers, including the Anniston Star, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Trib Total Media. We're thrilled to have her join the Villager team. 

Overall, it's been a tough and trying year for our community and for the Villager as well. We're hoping that this spring will usher in a much more positive and hopeful second half of 2021 for everyone. 

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