Two familiar newspapers merge into one
What was once two has now become one. The Kiester Courier-Sentinel and the Wells Mirror have merged to become one newspaper for eastern Faribault County, with a name yet to be determined by its community members.
Heather (Bonsack) Goldman recently purchased the Wells Mirror at the beginning of April and now she and Nicole Swanson of the Kiester Courier-Sentinel will be joining forces to provide all of the cities and townships within the United?South Central School District one newspaper.
The Wells Mirror was established back in September of 1913, and it incorporated the Wells Advocate (established in 1877), the Wells Forum (established in 1894), and the Wells Forum-Advocate (established in 1906) while the Courier-Sentinel was established in November of 1981, after incorporating the Bricelyn Sentinel (established in 1899) and the Kiester Courier (established in 1900).
The Mirror has been in Goldman’s family since 2000, when her parents David and Laurie purchased it. It was shortly after their purchase that Heather began her own career in the newspaper business as she helped her parents produce more editions of the Mirror.
“I have 17 years of experience with everything in a newspaper. You think of it, I’ve done it,” says Goldman. Swanson, herself, has nine years of newspaper knowledge under her belt.
Swanson and Goldman both wanted to see the continuance of thorough coverage for their communities which is why they decided to merge the two papers shortly after Goldman purchased the Wells Mirror in April.
“Readers can expect the same continued coverage for the towns in our district,” says Swanson. “The question we’ve been getting most is about subscriptions and we are making sure everyone with subscriptions to either the Courier-Sentinel, the Mirror, or both will be thoroughly satisfied.”
Both Goldman and Swanson, now equal partners in their new endeavor, still have one big piece missing with their new newspaper: a name. In the April 18 edition of both the Courier-Sentinel and the Mirror, the announcement was made of the merger, along with an invitation for subscribers to pick from three different names for the new newspaper.
The tallies are still being totaled and the new name will be released with the May 2 edition of the newspaper.
“We really wanted our readers to have a part in this,” says Goldman. “It’s a community newspaper, it’s their community, and we wanted their say in this.”
And this newspaper does more than just publish a newspaper, they can help businesses create pamphlets, business cards, and are the official photographers for all of USC’s extracurricular activities and sports and are also USC’s yearbook advisors.
“We are really excited about being the yearbook advisors,” says Swanson. “This way we can educate our youth on not only journalism but photography, graphic design and page layout. It is a great opportunity not only for the students to have this experience but us, too.”
Between the two of them, along with the assistance of Tammy Aadsen at their Kiester office location, which will remain open, there are 51 years of experience between the three women, and all three of them have worked at both the Courier-Sentinel and the Mirror.
Aadsen began her career at the Wells Mirror approximately 25 years ago as an advertising representative and continued to assist the office of the Kiester Courier-Sentinel even after the birth of her beloved daughter, Anna, who was born with a rare genetic disorder called Aicardi Syndrome.
Goldman lives in Walters with her husband Mark, along with their four children Joseph (16), Dylan (12), Jada (9), and Addison (5), while Swanson resides on a farm just north of Wells with her husband Mike. They are the parents of Brooke (24), Aly (16), Riley (15), Samantha (14), and are recent grandparents to Brooke’s son, Abel who is now two months old.
“We are both very family and community-based,” said Swanson. “And I think those are the two strongest aspects to our communities. Both of us absolutely love this profession and we want to see us all succeed and this is a great way to bridge these communities. We want to keep south central Minnesota coming together and working together to make all of our communities thrive.”
“Even if the name changes, it’s still the same people and the same heart behind the newspaper,” says Goldman.