Klark Byrd

It’s so easy to go about our daily lives ignoring the road work happening downtown — unless it stops us while we’re already late for work — or to forget the new business down the street just renovated a historic building or schools are daily answering the challenge of educating students with limited funding.

It’s easy because hey, that’s life. We’ve all got our own things going on, and after a while of seeing the construction equipment downtown, it just kind of fades into the background.

But as we’ve seen in this year’s six-week long exploration of the Red River Valley, a series of sections we call Valley Visions, the valley is bustling with activity, all of it underway to build a better future for the next generation.

The stories in this section, Community, and the included Heroes section help to remind us that building the future is the work of a regional community. These sections will conclude this year’s Valley Visions series, but I hope they will remain on coffee tables and in scrap books for much longer than this weekend.

It’s my hope these stories will remind us the road work that’s slowing traffic and the behind-the-scenes negotiations with businesses looking for somewhere to expand is the work of a vibrant, living community. Instead of being annoyed that workers are replacing pipelines under the road, we should be happy to see them there. We should celebrate when new medical services become available at our local health care providers. We should celebrate each graduating class of students who had to learn much more than their parents did in just 12 years of schooling.

From the businesses that provide us services to the nonprofit organizations that lend a hand when we stumble to the educators making a difference in the lives of their students, there’s so much happening right here in our own backyard. Sections such as Valley Visions provide us a snapshot in time of the efforts underway, like a mile marker to let us know how far we’ve come.

I want to personally thank everyone in the community who worked with us to get Valley Visions done, from the folks who let us in on their personal lives, inspiring folks like Gage Crutchfield, to the men and women behind our local businesses and organizations. And I want to thank all local businesses who advertised in these sections, helping to make them possible at no additional cost to readers.

There’s so much good work going on in the Red River Valley, and despite the six-week long effort, these sections haven’t captured all of it. But that’s part of our mission with the daily newspaper, and you can bet you’ll see more good news stories like these appearing in upcoming editions.

Klark Byrd is the managing editor of The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6960 or klark.byrd@theparisnews.com.

Klark Byrd is the managing editor of The Paris News and the editor of Paris Life Magazine. He resides in Paris with his wife, Krystle, and their three children, Charlie, Annalise and Willow.

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