DESK NOTES: Saying goodbye

Aaron E. Looney

It’s with a heavy heart that I write my final column as editor of The Gonzales Weekly Citizen.

Today marks my final day with the paper. Monday, I begin a new chapter of my life working as an editor with the LSU Office of Public Affairs.

While I am excited about the possibilities this new opportunity presents, the situation is also bittersweet because I will be leaving a position I have put my heart and soul into for the past three-plus years. However, I have been presented with an opportunity that I simply cannot turn down at this point in my life.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here as editor. I have had the opportunity to work with and meet so many wonderful people in many different avenues. I have seen many special events and advancements during my time here - the joining of The Ascension Citizen and The Gonzales Weekly into a single news source, the parish’s bicentennial celebration, three incredible Jambalaya Festivals and Boucherie Festivals, the introduction of new businesses locating in Ascension Parish, covering the ins and outs of parish government and School Board issues, watching the east bank’s three high school football teams compete through three seasons – among countless other events.

I’ve also had the chance to reconnect with people I knew while growing up in Donaldsonville. Taking this position was definitely a homecoming for me, and I appreciate everyone with The Weekly Citizen and Gatehouse Media for giving me the opportunity to take the reins here. Being able to serve as a leader in providing news for the parish where I grew up and that I love so dearly has meant more to me than you can possibly imagine.

When The Ascension Citizen and The Gonzales Weekly combined in 2007, I knew that the result would be an all-inclusive source for parish news, sports and lifestyle coverage. The Weekly Citizen has been recognized by the Louisiana Press Association as a top paper in its division each year, and I’m honored that the paper won Newspaper of the Year honors in 2006. Accolades such as these proves that this publication is dedicated to being the best.

Ascension is definitely a parish on the rise. People are flocking here in droves to be a part of the good here. A high-quality school system, neighborly attitude and burgeoning business development truly have the parish poised for greatness. By delivering the news to residents, I am happy to have been at least a small part of that success and look forward to watching this parish continue to grow and prosper. I will always have a vested interest in Ascension Parish, as it is my home parish and I want to see it succeed in every way possible.

I ask you to please continue to work with the Weekly Citizen closely, as the company continues its efforts to bring the most comprehensive coverage of Ascension Parish news, sports and lifestyles matters to its readers. This paper has an excellent staff whose members strive to be the best. I have enjoyed working with all of them and thank the current staff and all who I have had the pleasure to work alongside who have since moved on to other ventures. I’ve learned things from each of them that will stay with me forever.

To those who I dealt with personally in the Ascension Parish community, I ask you to refer all matters that were normally sent to me to Wade McIntyre at this e-mail address. He can also be reached at our offices  at 644-6397 or fax to 644-2069. I have all the confidence in Wade that he will do an outstanding job as editor, and I ask that you please show him and the rest of our staff the courtesy, graciousness and respect that you have showed me.

Again, I thank you all for your cooperation and assistance during my tenure with the Weekly Citizen. I wish all of you a safe and happy holiday season and the greatest success in all future endeavors.

Aaron E. Looney is the editor of The Gonzales Weekly Citizen. He can be reached at