The Telegram is indeed fortunate to have secured the services of Jackson resident and professional journalist Megan Malone to work on the newspaper staff as a contributing writer/reporter.

Malone is certainly no stranger to Jackson and Jackson County. She grew up in Jackson and graduated from Jackson High School in 1988. She currently resides in Jackson with her husband, Jeremy Harley, and their two high-school-age daughters, Miriam and Evelyn.

Malone is best-known locally for her outstanding leadership and work as the director of the Lillian Jones Museum in Jackson, a house museum at 75 Broadway Street which promotes the history and culture of the Jackson area through permanent and rotating exhibits and occasional special events. Her family, the museum and her other community/civic activities keep her very busy.

However, in a previous life, Malone worked as a newspaper reporter -- and was a darn good one who plied her writing talents and reporting skills in some pretty prestigious newspapers.

After graduating from Jackson High School, she enrolled in the University of Dayton where she graduated in 1992 with a B.A. in Communication with a journalism focus, and also a minor in history. While in college, she did freelance work at the Dayton Daily News in sports as well as two smaller newspapers, the Beavercreek Current and the Fairborn Daily Herald, which she tells us were similar in size to The Telegram.

After college, Malone landed a reporter’s job at the Canton Repository, a daily paper in Stark County in Northeastern Ohio, where she worked in both the news and sports departments in the 1992-1995 period. After the Harleys moved to the small city of Bay Village near Cleveland, Malone found time to do a bit of freelance features work at Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The family moved back to Jackson in 2010 when Jeremy secured a new job at the U.S. Department of Energy complex in nearby Pike County. The Harleys have since become very positively engaged in the community in a variety of ways and their daughters have done the same thing through extra-curricular and community activities. Malone became director of the Jones Museum in 2012 and she was also an appointed member of the Jackson County Board of Health.

With Megan being as busy as she already is, I was delighted to learn she was willing to accept General Manager Amanda Crabtree’s invitation to lend a helping hand to our newspaper staff. Although she can only work on a limited basis, she has a keen interest in public affairs reporting and her designated role will be to cover the meetings of the Jackson County Commissioners, the Jackson City Board of Education and the Wellston City Board of Education.

“Governmental meeting coverage is a necessary part of a newspaper’s contribution to its community,” Malone wrote after agreeing to come on board The Telegram staff. “I’m glad to help with that coverage as I can and when I can. All communities, regardless of size, need to know what happens at the regular meetings of their elected officials. That is the role of the media. I’m glad to put my observational and writing skills to work when needed to help the community where I live.”

I would publicly like to thank Megan for her commitment to be part of our team and I know the newspaper -- and by extension, our readership and the community -- will be better for her involvement.

Malone will be covering some of the beats formerly covered by Staff Writer Mindy Barry, who has done a great job the past year as a full-time general assignment reporter. Alas, Mindy recently was given a job offer she couldn’t refuse, and she accepted it. The good news is that Mindy will also keep working part-time at both The Telegram and the Total Media radio stations. Mindy has been a hard worker and is well-liked both by her local-media colleagues and in the community and we expect her to remain a valued contributor.