AUSTIN – Juan Castillo, a veteran newsman who has reported and edited at the Austin American-Statesman, Houston Chronicle and McAllen Monitor, is returning to the Statesman to lead editorial and commentary efforts, Editor Debbie Hiott announced in a commentary.
Castillo most recently covered business news for the digital startup NerdWallet after leaving the Statesman in late 2013. During his almost 25 years at the Statesman, he led award-winning coverage of city hall, the environment and transportation as a metro editor, then spearheaded the newspaper’s nation and world desk through 9/11 and the beginning of the Iraq war.
He took a year off from the daily news grind for a Knight Fellowship at Stanford, where he studied U.S.-Mexico border history and culture, race and politics. Upon his return he became a senior writer for the paper for the projects team and then covered the census, growth, demographics and culture in Austin.
Hiott noted Castillo’s time on the news side of the Statesman supplied him with a deep knowledge of the region. “More importantly, his time in our community has instilled in him a strong sense of mission about Austin and its residents and a desire to make it a better place for all,” she wrote.
Editorials reflect the institutional voice of the newspaper, Hiott pointed out. “Castillo will have to guide that voice through careful consideration of the editorial board’s research and analysis. He also has the role of reaching out for commentary that reflects a wide range of other opinions in the community.”
POST – Mandi Thompson joined the Post Dispatch as school and sports reporter, along with other duties, including sales, photographer and office manager.
An O’Donnell native, during school she was involved in basketball, FFA and many UIL competitions, earning state recognition in journalism. Thompson earned an associate degree from South Plains College with an emphasis in agriculture. She also attended Tarleton State University, majoring in early childhood development.
She and her husband, Buddy, moved to the Sanderson Ranch east of Post 16 years ago.
A busy mom with two children, she has served as a 4H leader, Little Dribblers coach, PIP youth basketball coach and most recently president of the Post Booster Club.
The Post Dispatch is owned by Blackburn Media Group, publishers of The Red River Sun, The Floyd County Hesperian-Beacon and The Knox County News-Courier.
SNYDER – Steve Reagan has joined the Snyder Daily News as a reporter.
A Big Spring native, Reagan has more than 25 years experience in journalism, all with the Big Spring Herald. He first joined the Herald newsroom staff in 1987 and filled a variety of positions there, most recently covering the city and county beat.
He has won several awards for his writing, including placing first in spot sports coverage and short feature writing in the Associated Press Managing Editors contest.
“I’m very happy to be able to hire someone with Steve’s experience in the newsroom and in West Texas,” Snyder Daily News Publisher Bill Crist said.
Reagan will primarily cover government and breaking news.
PORT ARANSAS – Zach Perkins has joined the South Jetty staff as a reporter and photographer.
He comes to Port Aransas from the Rockport Pilot, where he covered sports, the Aransas County Navigation District and general assignments. He also shot photos and handled page design and layout.
A native of San Antonio, Perkins has a bachelor’s degree in communication arts with an emphasis in journalism. He studied radio, TV and film at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio. He also was an intern at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio as a web/social media content producer. As a student, he hosted a radio show for the UIW student radio station, and was a staff writer for the UIW student newspaper. In addition, he was a writer and editor for a newsletter published by the Hill Country Cares, a shelter for abused children in Kerrville.
At the South Jetty, Perkins will cover the police beat, school and youth beats as well as sports and general news.
“We’re excited about having the youth and enthusiasm, as well as the digital skills that Zach brings to our product,” said editor and co-publisher Mary Henkel Judson.
Joseph M. Hinton
MISSION – Joseph M. Hinton has been appointed editor of the Progress Times and Sharyland Times, Publisher Jim Brunson announced.
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in McLean, Va., Hinton, 58, is a University of Arizona Journalism School graduate who brings a variety of experiences to the job.
During a 16-year career in print, radio and television news, Hinton has been the direct winner of seven reporting awards and shared in two more from among the Arizona Press Club, Associated Press and Arizona Newspapers Association.
He has experience covering nearly every beat. He has been a page editor for the Sierra Vista Herald, where he covered the U.S. Army, crime, courts and the Arizona border with Mexico. He was an assignments editor for KGUN-TV, the ABC-affiliated Tucson news station. He also worked as news director, afternoon drive-time anchor and sole reporter for KTUC News radio in Tucson.
Hinton was embedded with the U.S. Army’s 11th Signal Brigade from Ft. Huachuca, Ariz. in Saudi Arabia to cover the buildup to the first Gulf War.
He also has experience working as a paralegal, corrections officer and in construction. In addition, he is a licensed commercial helicopter pilot.