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Covering her beat

Newswoman keeps finger on the pulse of Highland Springs

Created date

February 20th, 2014
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Elaine Lagerstrom’s career in the newsroom began with an unexpected call.

“My husband was a sportswriter for the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa,” says Elaine. “When an opening came up for the society pages, the editor asked if I wanted to fill in temporarily.”

Despite her lack of formal training, Elaine was soon writing feature stories for the society pages.

“I don’t have a journalism degree, but I’ve always loved to write,” says Elaine. “My husband gave me a few tips along the way. He told me the more concise the writing, the better the story.”

Now, nearly six decades later, Elaine’s love of a good story has followed her into retirement.

A fresh endeavor

“I moved to Springs when it opened in 2006,” says Elaine. “My husband and I retired to Wilmington, N.C., but when he passed away, I found the responsibilities of keeping up a house were too much for me. I moved to Texas to be closer to our son and daughter-in-law.”

Shortly after she moved in, Elaine heard about an organizational meeting to discuss the possibility of a community newsletter.

“I was interested, but I couldn’t make it to that first meeting because I was playing in a bridge tournament,” says Elaine, a competitive bridge player who credits the game with keeping her mind sharp.

But when the second meeting rolled around, Elaine was happy to volunteer her time and talents.

“I was named editor of the newsletter at that meeting,” says Elaine. “I’ve been doing the job for seven years now.”

Giving voice to the residents

Under her leadership, the Voices of Highland Springs has evolved from a four-page newsletter to a twelve-page publication for residents of the North Dallas community.

The format, established by Elaine on her desktop computer, includes feature stories, resident and staff interviews, poetry, humor, and a section detailing the community’s plants and wildlife.

“Our goal is to write stories of interest to the community,” says Elaine. “More than half of our ideas come from residents’ suggestions.”

With a keen eye for talent, Elaine recruits reporters and columnists among her neighbors.

Lillian Koslover writes humor, Bob Derryberry covers the outdoor spaces and landscaping, and Bob Coder publishes his original poetry.

“I’ve been writing poetry since I was in high school,” says Bob Coder. “I write about everything under the sun, mostly lighthearted pieces about everyday life.”

Getting to know her neighbors

Elaine credits Voices of Highland Springs with helping her get acquainted with her neighbors.

“In addition to the people I’ve interviewed, I’ve gotten to know the residents who have assisted with reporting and editing over the years,” says Elaine. “Working on Voices has given me the chance to meet so many people, particularly since I moved from out of state. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

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