Goodbye, Columbine: Newspaper publishes final edition

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By Michael Hicks

Saying goodbye is never easy. That’s especially true today.
Today — Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018 — is the final publication of the Columbine Courier.
It was a little more than 29 years ago — Oct. 18, 1989 — when then-publisher Steve Erlanger introduced Southwest Jeffco residents to the then-known Southwest Community Courier, a free publication representing Littleton, Lakewood and unincorporated Jefferson County.
It was a new concept in the newspaper industry, he wrote, in that it was “For the people, by the people.” This was your newspaper.
That inaugural edition featured articles on Foothills Metropolitan and Park District, a cooking column and school happenings at Chatfield Senior High, Dutch Creek Elementary and Peiffer Elementary.
Throughout the years, we’ve seen the paper grow in content and change in names — first to the Columbine Community Courier in November 1990 and later to the Columbine Courier in April 2002.
Nothing showed our commitment to the community more than the hustle that was our coverage on that tragic day of April 20, 1999. The paper had already been shipped to the printer for the next day’s delivery when reporters, photographers and editors pieced together a four-page special section of the Columbine High School tragedy to go with the already produced 24-page paper.
That is what the Columbine Courier was. We served as the voice of Southwest Jeffco.
That said, a free publication has its challenges that advertising revenue couldn’t overcome. While we are a news source for the community, we’re also a business, and a business requires financial sustainability.
Evergreen Newspapers, a division of Landmark Community Newspapers LLC, in Shelbyville, Ky., will continue on, as we produce the weekly Canyon Courier, covering Jefferson County, Evergreen, Conifer, Bailey and the surrounding area; the Clear Creek Courant in Idaho Springs, Georgetown and points in between; and the 285 Hustler, our weekly advertising shopper. But there’s no doubt that we will miss our readers and the community here in Southwest Jeffco.
 The stories that we’ve told will become part of our archives — both print and digital. The stories we looked forward to telling we’re certain, in our absence, will be shared via other avenues, and when they are we’ll be eager to read them.
Goodbye, Columbine. We have loved the role we have played in this community. We thank you for making us your “hometown” newspaper.

Michael Hicks is the editor for Evergreen Newspapers. He may be reached at 303-350-1039 or via e-mail at mhicks@evergreenco.com.