The Hastings Readers Board held its first meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 10, to a resounding success. Suggestions, comments and concerns were brought forward, including a healthy discussion on ways to improve the Hastings Star Gazette.

A portion of the board's first meeting included business aspects of a local newspaper, but perhaps the most engaging topic was bringing news to the public that only a community newspaper can provide.

And that is where this board can provide its most beneficial attribute. As the way we consume news continues to change, the knowledgeable background of those volunteers serving on the board can help make sure the Hastings Star Gazette is providing local news that the community needs to know about in a way that can reach everyone.

You don't have to serve on the Hastings Readers Board to be active in the discussion. If you have a story that you think is newsworthy, let us know. If there is an issue in the community that you think needs more discussion, write in a letter.

With the formation of the Hastings Readers Board, we want to ensure that no stone goes unturned in advancing community discussion.

Currently with eight members, the board has a knowledge base from the arts and religious communities to government and nonprofits. Volunteering to serve on the board during its initial phase are Dick Graham, Mike Slavik, Lisa Hedin, Janet Schultz, Jim Boyd, Barb Hollenbeck, Mari Mellick and Lacey Boston.

Although it is great to see a diverse group of members, there are still two openings yet to be filled before the board's next meeting on Dec. 12.

If interested in joining the Hastings Readers Board, contact Anne Jacobson at ajacobson@rivertowns.net or 651-301-7870, or me at jpfeifer@rivertowns.net or 651-301-7880.