NORWOOD: The only constant is change

Julie Norwood
Julie NorwoodJulie Norwood

“The only constant in life is change.” — Heraclitus, Greek philosopher

A little over a year ago, I found myself in a position I never dreamed of, or wanted. Brad Massman, then-editor of the Pioneer, Herald Review and Lake County Star, and my boss, was leaving for another opportunity.

It wasn't the first time someone had left, but it had a big impact on me. For the next nine months, I found myself the interim editor of three newspapers.

Thankfully, I never had to worry about the Lake County Star. I had Shanna Avery. 

Who is Shanna Avery

Shanna used to work for the Pioneer Group prior to my employment. In summer 2021, Massman approached her about freelancing. Thankfully, she agreed, and for a year-and-a-half, she wrote three to four stories every week for the Lake County Star.

Anyone who has read her articles can see how much she loves her home county. Her passion drips off her pen — er, I mean keys? — and flows through her words on to paper — er, I mean screen. (Computers have ruined so many good imagery).

From residents who go out of their way to help a neighbor to community fundraisers to interesting historical accounts, I never knew what she would bring to me. I just knew she would come through.

This week begins a new chapter in Shanna's life. She has taken another employment opportunity, which will severely limit her availability to write for us. While she will occasionally pitch us a story, the rest of the Pioneer Group newsroom will be trying to fill her shoes. 

We have a good team: Cathie Crew, who used to be the reporter in Lake County a few years ago; Olivia Fellows, our education and business reporter; and new reporters Brendan Sanders and Dylan Schwartz, who joined us last summer. Editor Darren Iozia and I also will be contributing.

We will miss Shanna's passion for Lake County, her talent and her dedication to the Star. We wish her luck in her new endeavors. 

If you have an idea for a story or would like to contribute, please contact editor Darren Iozia at 231-592-8360 or We look forwarded to serving the Lake County community.