Hello, my name is Dustin

Is the Echo Pilot closing?

It's a popular question swirling around Greencastle these days.

On two occasions last week, it made it's way directly to me.

By the way in case we haven't met, I am Dustin Haluska, the editor overseeing editorial operations at Echo Pilot.

There is probably a good reason I haven't met with 99 percent of the readership yet. Before former editor Joyce Nowell's departure from the Echo Pilot, my main responsibilities lived in Waynesboro with the Record Herald.

But back to my initial question.

No, the Echo Pilot isn't closing. It simply has lost the person that drove it to be successful with her passion for the community and her commitment to the readers.

Joyce Nowell was the Echo Pilot in so many ways and that can't be easily replaced. In fact, I will not attempt to replace Joyce, but I hope I can carry on the effort she has put into the local newspaper that represents your hometown.

Former Echo Pilot reporter Pat Fridgen brought a lot of the same effort and passion for the community that Joyce did.

Again, one of the hardest things to do in any business is to replace familiar faces. Those are the people that have built relationships and trust with their customers and the people they serve.

I am not making excuses as to why certain things may seem a little out of place right now, but I do want to help readers understand that the Echo Pilot has not been abandoned and is not closing its doors.

Now, it's funny that I bring up "closing doors" as most folks that have attempted to enter the Echo Pilot office, likely haven't received an answer in the past few weeks.

That will change this month as new office hours will be posted and there will be a member of the staff in the office. In the meantime, any immediate needs or billing concerns can be taken up with the Record Herald.

As for sports coverage, Ben Destefan is no stranger to Greencastle and will continue to share his passion for G-A sports with readers.

We will continue to deliver local news that you can only read about in the Echo Pilot.

I met last week with Greg Hoover and Wade Burkholder, who were extremely concerned about the future of the Echo Pilot. They also happen to make up a little bit of that one percent of the readership that I have met.

They shared their passion for the community and I shared my passion as a newspaperman.

I let them know that my intentions were to build a staff to cover Greencastle, Antrim Township, Mont Alto, Quincy Township, Washington Township and Waynesboro.

Sometime in the next few weeks, a reporter responsible for covering Greencastle and Antrim Township will be named.

The future of the Echo Pilot relies heavily upon its readership. And the readers depend on the Echo Pilot to gather news and share community events.

I will do my best to continue the traditional community elements that make the Echo Pilot far different from a lot of newspapers.

While Joyce felt the need to say "thank you so much!" a few weeks ago, I just thought it was a good time for me to say "hello!"

Contact Dustin Haluska at dhaluska@therecordherald.com, 717-762-2151 or on Twitter: @dhaluska