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Vogt's Notes: 2013 rings in with a few more changes for Echo Publishing

After a year of significant changes for Echo Publishing in 2012, bear with us as we introduce you to a few more in 2013.

These changes aren’t quite as drastic as closing our Pine River building, reducing our open hours at our Pequot Lakes building and consolidating our operations with the Brainerd Dispatch, all of which happened in early 2012.

The start of 2013 has simply brought a few changes to our editorial staff.

The Pine River Journal’s editor for more than seven years — Kelly Virden — left us in November to pursue another career path. We continue to miss her every day and decided to get through the rest of 2012 before finalizing plans for her successor.

That successor turned out to be me. I am now editor of both the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal.

On Jan. 2, we welcomed Travis Grimler to our staff as a full-time reporter. His primary duties will be coverage of the Pine River and Backus communities for the Pine River Journal.

Travis shouldn’t be a new face because he was an intern for the Journal and Echo during the summers of 2009 and 2010. And he has periodically contributed to our publications since then, through columns from his time spent teaching in China to stories for our Love of the Lakes magazine.

Reporter Kate Perkins rounds out our writing staff. She has been with us for just more than a year as a reporter for both the Journal and the Echo.

Publisher Pete Mohs is coordinating and editing sports coverage for both the Journal and the Echo. Tracy Wallin continues to design Pine River Journal pages, and Marcy Nickel does the same for the Echo.

With the change in personnel, we reiterate what we said a year ago when the Journal, Echo, Echoland Piper Shopper and website consolidated with the Brainerd Dispatch: You shouldn’t notice any difference in your newspapers.

As it has for the past 77 years, the Pine River Journal will continue coverage of the Pine River and Backus communities.

And as it has for the past 41 years, the Lake Country Echo will continue coverage of the Nisswa, Lake Shore, Merrifield, Pequot Lakes, Jenkins, Breezy Point and Crosslake communities.

The Echo Publishing office in Pequot Lakes remains open from 8 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday with limited staff. Don’t hesitate to contact us as outlined below. We look forward to continuing to provide the best news coverage possible for you.

Nancy Vogt: 218-855-5877 or

Travis Grimler: 218-855-5853 or

Kate Perkins: 218-855-5858 or

Pete Mohs: 218-855-5855 or