Gail Lowe, who co-publishes the Lampasas Dispatch Record with her husband Jim Lowe, was named chair of the State Board of Education by Gov. Rick Perry on July 10.
David Lewis retired as publisher of the Navasota Examiner on June 1. His wife, advertising manager Cue Lewis, also retired. Dave Kucifer, who retired as publisher of the Examiner in June 2008, has been named interim publisher by Granite Publications.
Houston Chronicle columnist Rick Casey won the top award in the Texas Observer’s second annual MOLLY National Journalism Prize, an award to celebrate reporting on civil liberties and social justice. Casey entered columns he wrote on the topic of immigration. The prize money was $5,000. Casey is a former employee of the San Antonio Express-News, the San Antonio Light and other newspapers.The award is named in honor of Texas journalist Molly Ivins, who died of cancer in 2007.
Freedom Communications Inc. has named former Dallas Morning News publisher Burl Osborne interim CEO. Since 2004, Osborne has served as an independent board member for Freedom, owner of The Orange County Register. From 1980 to 2001, Osborne served as executive editor and later publisher of The Dallas Morning News, a property of A.H. Belo Corp.
Mark Engebretson, editor of the Lake Country Sun in Graford, joined fellow Texas writers Mike Cox, Joaquin Jackson and John Kuhn for a public book signing at the Old Post Office and Museum in Graham on June 13. Engebretson signed copies of his two western novels, “The Golden Amulet” and “The Spirit of the Snake.” Cox, a former reporter and book reviewer for the Austin American-Statesman, signed copies of his most recent book, “The Texas Rangers: Wearing the Cinco Peso, 1821-1900.” Jackson, a former Texas Ranger, signed copies of his books, “One Ranger: A Memoir” and “One Ranger Returns.” Kuhn, principal of Mineral Wells High School, signed copies of his book, “Texas Eccentrics.” Also present for the book signings was Breckenridge native Dean Smith, a motion picture stuntman, actor, horse breeder and gold medal sprinter on the U.S. team in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki.
Kerrville Daily Times managing editor Rayanne Schmid announced staff changes on June 9. John Turner was promoted from sports writer to sports editor. Kent State graduate Joe Harrington was named sports writer. Erin Pradia came on board as a summer news intern. She hails from San Antonio and is a junior at Patrick Henry College near Washington, D.C.
Southern Newspapers Inc. of Houston named Greg Shrader publisher of the Lufkin Daily News, effective June 1. Southern Newspapers named Mike Graxiola, long-time publisher of The Paris News, to succeed Shrader as publisher in Kerrville. And, Southern Newspapers named Patrick Graham to succeed Graxiola as publisher of The Paris News. Graham comes from The Walton Tribune, a twice-weekly newspaper in Monroe, Ga., where he served as publisher for more than five years.
Sherrill Sahlin has purchased the Kress Chronicle, the newspaper announced June 7. Former owner Mary Strange said she had given up hope that someone would buy the newspaper before she retired. Sahlin, who operates the nearby Castro County News in Dimmit, said she heard the newspaper was closing on May 29 and decided to save it. “I hated to see it close,” she said.
Jason Fochtman has joined the Cleveland Advocate as the sports reporter. Fochtman graduated from Texas Christian University in May with a bachelor’s degree in news-editorial journalism, emphasis in photojournalism.
Journalism student Clay Ihlo, University of Texas at Tyler, is spending the summer as a sportswriter for the Center Light and Champion.
Olga Peña, assistant managing editor of the Killeen Daily Herald, has been named managing editor, the newspaper announced May 31.
The Ennis Daily News on May 26 announced the hiring of Nick Todaro as editor. Todaro was news editor for the Ruston (La.) Daily Leader.
John O. Lumpkin, recently retired from a 38-year career with The Associated Press, has been named director of the Bob Schieffer School of Journalism at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Lumpkin had been a vice president with The Associated Press U.S. Newspaper Markets management team since 2003. Before that, he served as The AP’s bureau chief in Texas for more than two decades.
Jimmy Appelt, staff writer, Hallettsville Tribune-Herald, received an appreciation plaque in June from the local Vietnam Veterans Association. His articles also appear in The Moulton Eagle, Yoakum Herald-Times and The Shiner Gazette.
Tommy Hughes joined the Center Light and Champion in June as a staff writer. He comes from southern California, where he resided for 17 years. Hughes’ background includes technical writing and book editing.
Jim Bishop, executive editor, Victoria Advocate, retired in June. Bishop once worked for newspapers in Houston and Colorado. He was a member of news teams that won national awards, including a Pulitzer Prize.
Randy Reese has joined the Diboll Free Press as editor, the newspaper reported July 8. Reese succeeds Jerry Gaulding, who died suddenly last month. (See story on p. 11.) Reese has more than 25 years of newspaper experience.