Mesquite Local News held an open house at its new location on Friday, Nov. 20, kicked off by a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Mayor Al Litman and Barbara Ellestad, MLN editor, had the honors of cutting the ribbon on the new offices located at 12 W. Mesquite Blvd., Suite 109.
Battle Born Media’s Chief Operating Officer Kirk Kern, along with the MLN staff, were anxious to meet and greet Mayor Al Litman, a host of well-wishing business owners, private citizens and chamber members as well as Councilwoman Cindi Delaney who was one of the three founders of the MLN.
Battle Born Media, headed by Sherman Frederick and Tim Dahlberg, also owns the Lincoln County Record, The Ely Times, Eureka Sentinel, Mineral County Independent-News and the Sparks Tribune.
At this year’s Nevada Press Association Better Newspaper Contest, Mesquite Local News was awarded first place in the general excellence category in the community division.
BBM announced the purchase of the MLN from Stephen’s Media in May 2014. Editor Kent Harper left the paper and Office Manager Stephanie Frehner stepped up and ran the paper for nearly a year and a half with Kern and the rest of the BBM staff lending support from a distance. Editor Barbara Ellestad was brought on Aug. 1.
You would think that bringing on an editor and relieving Frehner of some of her responsibilities would make one take a deep breath and a well-earned rest but that isn’t the case at all. Frehner is still an integral part of the office but is now moving more into ad sales. Ellestad gave a heart-felt thank you to Frehner for her hard work, dedication and unfailing loyalty not just to the paper but to the citizens of Mesquite for doing whatever it took to get the news out. Naturally, Frehner, the consummate sales person, didn’t pass up the opportunity to pitch everyone about an ad for the holidays in her own speech thanking folks for coming.
Kathy Lee, editor of View on Mesquite Magazine, gave a lovely speech welcoming Ellestad back to the newspaper world and letting her know how very much the public and she had missed her. Ellestad is the former owner of the online-only Mesquite Citizen Journal news site. She ceased publishing the website in 2014 when her husband, Scott Ellestad, passed away. It was quite evident by the cheers, whoops and hollers that the guests in attendance felt exactly the same way Lee felt in welcoming Ellestad back into the world of journalism.
Ellestad has been a driving force and excellent leader since joining the MLN. Since agreeing to take on the editorship, changes have been coming fast and furious. BBM owners and staff are all very happy with the upward trend and the continued success of the only local news source in Mesquite.
Ellestad has a strong vision for the MLN and her staff. She stated in a meeting with the MLN staff that she is pleased and proud that staff members are not just reporters; they are community members who are actively involved in community programs and organizations. She said, “I can’t imagine having a staff member of a community newspaper who isn’t involved in the community. It would be like having a sandwich with nothing between the bread.”
Ellestad also insists on weekly staff meetings and assigning articles to the writers, which have been a positive step in the coverage the community has received for events.
Additional changes are on the horizon and the ribbon cutting on the new offices is just the beginning. There is a renewed excitement at the Mesquite Local News and owners, editor and staff are all looking forward to providing the public with the best community news coverage in Mesquite. Look for more breaking news on what’s happening in Mesquite and at the MLN every Thursday in print or online anytime at www.mesquitelocalnews.com.