Newsmakers

Staff changes at Texas newspapers

Kaley Branch
Gatesville Messenger
GATESVILLE – Kaley Branch recently joined The Gatesville Messenger staff as a reporter covering general news assignments and features.
Raised in Arlington, Branch studied journalism and broadcasting at Tarrant County College. She previously worked as an analyst for XTO Energy in Fort Worth and was a recruiter for MMC Strategic Staffing in Dallas. She and her husband, Taylor, who is a Gatesville High School graduate, moved their family to Gatesville 18 months ago.

Nick Brothers
Hill Country News
CEDAR PARK – Nick Brothers, formerly of Fayetteville, Ark., is the new managing editor of Hill Country News. 
Prior to moving to the area, Brothers was the editor of The Free Weekly, an alternative weekly newspaper in Fayetteville, Ark., from May 2014 to May 2017. His forte is in long-form feature writing, news and arts and entertainment writing, in addition to taking photos.
“I’m excited to get immersed and learn from the Cedar Park and Leander community,” Brothers said. “I’m interested in finding the stories waiting to be tapped here and providing our readers with relevant, informative and compelling stories.”
Brothers graduated from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in 2014 with a bachelor of arts degree in English/Journalism. While studying at the university, he worked in various roles at the college newspaper, The Arkansas Traveler. Working his way up from staff writer, Brothers served as features editor and eventually editor-in-chief from 2013-14.
Brothers said he’s interested in trying new things and exploring new media for the newspaper. In the works are a stronger web and social media presence, as well as a redesign for the newspaper and its website, said Scott Coleman, Hill Country News publisher.

Michael Brooks
Chelsea Slusher
Patti Villarreal
Stacy Scott
Jackson County 
Herald-Tribune
EDNA – There are some new faces at the Jackson County Herald-Tribune, Editor and Publisher Chris Lundstrom announced.
Michael Brooks replaced reporter Jessica Coleman, who resigned to spend more time with her family. He works with Millie Diaz covering news and sports. 
Brooks, originally from Andrews, worked on the school newspaper and yearbook while in high school and continued his journalism career at the El Paisano newspaper while attending Midland College. Before joining the staff, he had worked as a sports stringer for the Herald-Tribune since September.
Chelsea Slusher replaced longtime advertising sales person Pam Harvey, who retired in April. Slusher was born and raised in Edna and now lives in Ganado with her two boys, Ryland and Rhett. She graduated from Edna High School and has been working as an orthodontic technician for the past nine years.  
Patti Villarreal replaced another longtime employee, Connie Moseley, who is also retiring after 15 years as ad designer. Originally from Minnesota, Villarreal has been living in Jackson County since 2009. 
She previously worked in graphic design for The Victoria Advocate and AdGraphics. She also owned her own graphic design business, DZines, for five years.
Stacy Scott replaced Chelsea Johnson, who is leaving to work closer to her home in Victoria. 
Scott handles customer service as manager for Jackson County Office Supply. She is from Edna and previously worked at First State Bank Louise in Blessing.

Jennifer Paul
Groesbeck Journal
GROESBECK – Jennifer Paul is the new general manager of the Groesbeck Journal. 
She succeeds Stephen R. Farris, who has elected to focus on sports coverage.
Paul began her career with the journal in 2011 as a classified composition clerk. Over the following three years, she began composing ages and was promoted to graphic designer in 2014.
Since 2016, she has also been graphic designer for the Journal’s sister newspaper, the Mexia News, designing advertisements, special tabloids and magazines. Paul said she plans to maintain both design jobs while managing the Groesbeck Journal.
Paul is a 2006 graduate of Mexia High School, where she took her first journalism class and became editor of the school newspaper. She earned an associate of science degree in advertising and print from Texas State Technical College in Waco in 2010. While a student at TSTC, she was active in the Graphic Design Club and the Art Team. She also earned an associate degree in graphic design from the International Academy of Design and Technology in San Antonio in 2011, where she went on to earn a bachelor of science degree.
She grew up in Mexia and currently makes her home in Groesbeck.
“I’m already a part of this community and that’s what this is all about really, keeping our community informed and updated through our local newspaper,” she said.

Shelby Rasco
Snyder Daily News
Shelby Rasco has joined the Snyder Daily News as a reporter. 
Rasco, a 2012 Snyder High School graduate, served on the Tiger’s Tale newspaper staff for four years. After graduation, she attended Texas Tech University, where she graduated in 2016 with a bachelor of arts degree in English, specializing in creative writing.
She will primarily cover Scurry County’s three public school districts and private school as well as emphasizing special event, feature and enterprise coverage. 
Publisher Bill Crist said Rasco is an excellent writer and the fact that she’s from Snyder will help make her successful.