Good things are happening at the Miner, and like most good things you've got to wait for other stuff to happen first.
In this case, it's a substantial amount of stuff, but the wait shouldn't be all that long.
I'm speaking of the significant changes taking place at Golden Valley, where a new press is being installed in the Central Print Facility. That work begins in earnest Monday, so one of the first changes you might notice is a subtle difference in the weather information and other data we publish that is generated elsewhere. Our deadlines are moving up while the press is being installed, because the Miner is not going to be printed in Golden Valley for the next few weeks and it will take time to transport the copies back to Kingman.
For the rest of the paper, readers probably won't notice a change until after the new press is installed and the pressmen are up to speed on how it works. That's when we'll push our deadlines back and readers will see, for example, a Tuesday night Diamondbacks' home game score in Wednesday's Miner. Or a story from Tuesday night's City Council meeting.
In other words, the new press could change everything.
A bit of Miner history: If you've been in town more than a few years, you're aware that the Miner was an afternoon daily. Seven or so years ago, the switch was made to a morning daily, but there was a problem. Because the Central Print Facility prints a lot of stuff, including other newspapers, the best time we could reserve to print the Miner was 9 p.m.
While 9 p.m. is great if you happen to be an editor who prefers to go to work closer to noon than midnight, the time is awkward if you want to include late scores or sports stories. No Sunday, Monday or Thursday night NFL scores in the Monday, Tuesday or Friday Miner. No Super Bowl stories on Monday mornings (except for the year the Cardinals went, and then we just beat the deadline by a whisker).
The new press allows the deadline shift to 11 p.m. because it will be capable of printing two newspapers at once. So not only will your Miner have more color, it will also have more of the latest news.
Readers, good things come to those who wait and the clock is now ticking. I think you're going to like the Miner you'll be holding in your hands around mid-April.
If you're like me, when you read the report in Monday's Miner about Massachusetts' plan to create a habitat for timber rattlesnakes on an off-limits island, your first thought was something akin to "what could possibly go wrong."
Rattlesnakes, habitat and government are probably not a good combination, and give credit to the people of Massachusetts who recognize it. But if you're unsure about how this will play out, let me introduce you to Tom French of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Mr. French had this reaction when some expressed fear about the rattlesnake project he's directing.
"People are afraid that we're going to put snakes in a place of public use and that they are going to breed like rabbits and spread over the countryside and kill everybody," he said.
Relax, Massachusetts. With experts like Mr. French available to mock the general public, you just know everything will be fine.