If you've been paying attention, you've seen a new byline in RiverTown publications, the Pierce County Herald in particular. She is a member of the RiverTown features, government and transportation reporting teams, based in Ellsworth.

New reporter Sara Tischauser is no stranger to Pierce County. The Tigerton native earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from University of Wisconsin-River Falls and lived in the area for a few years before heading back to her hometown on the eastern side of the state. Her love of telling people's stories has pulled her back to this side of America's Dairyland to pursue a journalism career.

"My favorite thing so far has just been getting reacquainted with the area," Tischauser said. "I had previously lived in the area during college and after, so everyone has been very welcoming to my coming back to this area."

As a freelance writer for the Wisconsin State Farmer, Tischauser kept her journalism skills sharp while also working in the health care industry. The pull of the written word could not be ignored, thus her return to her writing roots.

"Journalism is a way to share not only what's going on in the world (politics, weather, government issues, road conditions) but also the day-to-day stories that really make life great," Tischauser said. "Journalism can provide hope during some of the worst times with stories of kindness, understanding and the human spirit overcoming adversity.

"Sometimes it is hard to see past the bickering and fighting to see the real issues or to get the truth and journalism can help bring that out. With social media and the internet sometimes it is hard to know what is fact and good journalism can help people learn the truth."

Tischauser's family (mom, brother and two sisters) has been supportive of her renewed drive to pursue this profession.

"I have a very supportive family who have been great about telling me journalism is a good fit for me," Tischauser said.

Her family doesn't just include humans, but also one special furry friend.

"I also have one very spoiled cat Simba who has moved numerous times with me and keeps me company on my three-hour car rides back to Tigerton," Tischauser said.

While this area has a special place in her heart, she will always be a farm girl from Tigerton. She hopes to return there permanently one day to cover her hometown news.

"I grew up in the country by Tigerton on a small dairy farm. I have always loved the country and agriculture as it is what I grew up knowing," Tischauser said. "Growing up I often complained about baling hay and giving up every summer to do this, but now I truly miss that time. It was hard work but it was time spent with family and neighbors and honestly some of my fondest memories are from baling hay."

Her hard work ethic was instilled early, and practiced vehemently throughout her school career.

"From kindergarten through 12th grade I missed one day of school ever, and that was because I broke my arm in physical education class," Tischauser said.

You can tell it still bugs her. She even tried to minimize the pain so she could stay in school, but to no avail: to the doctor she went.

She also believes in making things last. An example? She kept her first car for 12 years and it registered 330,000 miles before she consented to buy a new one.

"I hate getting a new car and I have only had three cars in my life," Tischauser said.

As she is telling her own story (a switch for someone used to recording others'), she admits to being a bit obsessed with the color orange, but perhaps more obsessed with collecting Tiggers (the character from Winnie the Pooh).

"They are everywhere in my house," Tischauser said. "I probably have more than 100 stuffed Tiggers."

Tischauser's love of reading serves her well in this line of work, as does her ability to listen carefully.

"I've always seemed to have a way with hearing people's stories," she said. "It seemed wherever I went I would find out about people and wanted to share what I had heard. Journalism made a great way to share all the great stories out there."

When not digging into new stories to tell, Tischauser loves being outside. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to spend time at Willow River State Park now that she is back in the area. She may need to spend some time there to unwind if technology causes headaches, as it did her first week on the job.

"Having all my pictures I spent over an hour taking delete from my camera before I could download them to the computer at the time was not funny, but now I can look back and smile," Tischauser said of her coverage of Shop with a Cop. "Because with technology you just never know what can happen."

To reach Tischauser, call 715-273-4334 or email stischauser@rivertowns.net.