Dear readers,

We would like to take this time of the year to thank all of our readers, sponsors, writers, and graphic artist for another wonderful year! When several individuals met to embark on the challenge of continuing to provide a local newspaper to our community after the sudden and heartfelt loss of Larry Simpson, there were many ifs to consider. Frankly, we did not know if we could possibly overcome all of them..

Well, we are pleased to state that the endeavor has been successful. Much has been accomplished in three years. In 2015, we had over 100,000 Total Visits to our site; in 2016, over 200,000; in 2017, over 300,000! Recently, we hit one million page views! When meeting each month, we still shake our heads somewhat in disbelief when hearing the numbers.Then again, there is a high interest in and an embracing of what is happening in our community.

Our sincere appreciation goes to Heritage of Hope for taking us under their umbrella. We cannot thank Tim Andrews enough for providing a $10,000 matching fund in 2015 to get us going with several individuals helping us quickly match it followed by others since. The Hawcreek-Flat Rock Area Endowment grants through the Heritage Fund and the Hope EDIT monies have been a tremendous boost for three consecutive years. Businesses have sponsored ads which have been extremely helpful.

Soon, we will have a newer version of the website from 1up! out of Kokomo under the capable leadership of David McChesney, a gentleman that Bud Herron knows from all of his years in journalism. When our HSJ Online team worked with a small group of IU Kelley students in 2016, they encouraged us to incorporate more pictures and videos on our site. The newer version will provide us with more of those options.

In moving forward, we ask that you continue to read and let others know of our existence. There are many who are not aware of HSJ Online despite efforts to get the word out.

We had several people suggest to us that they had difficulty getting in the habit of tuning into HSJ Online. Consequently, we now have a newsletter you can sign up for by going to About Us.

Even though we are covering a lot, we are aware that we could be covering a lot more. If you have an interest in writing local stories for us or taking photographs, then you should by all means contact our Content Coordinator, John Clark, at john.clark@hsjonline.org.

If you would like to help us with our operating expenses, then you can fill out the form under About Us and mail your sponsorship money to the attention of our Business Coordinator and former long-time Hope Star-Journal employee, Stephanie Shoaf.

In the meantime, we wish all of you the very best as 2018 quickly approaches and once again thank you for all of your support!



The HSJ Online team:

Michael Dean, Bud Herron, Don Hewitt, David Webster, Terri Young, John Clark, & Stephainie Shoaf