From Editor Paul Kosel
Tell us a little about your newspaper. The Groton Independent is one of the oldest running publications in South Dakota, being established in 1889.
When did you become the publisher? I bought the paper from Morris and Virginia Spencer in 1986.
What is the current circulation? Our weekly has 230 subscribers, and our online paper has 250.
What is interesting or great about your community? When I first came to Groton, there was no housing growth. Then there was one housing development, then another, and finally, the Olson Development north of U.S. 12 has seen the biggest growth. In fact, Groton has seen an increase in population over the years. In addition, the Groton Area School District has expanded over the years to include Bristol and Conde areas. Over the years, five of the downtown businesses moved to US Highway 12. There are a few businesses left downtown, but some of the previous business places are now residential living places or storage.
What is the best part of your job? We have an interesting relationship with the city. When I first started covering the city and school board meetings, there was a lot of tension at the time as they were not used to having coverage. Then over the years, they would ask where I was if I missed a meeting. At one time, I ran for mayor against then-Mayor Gerald Rix. It was a close race, but I lost. Rix would always say with a chuckle, “I eliminated the competition by hiring him.” And so, I became a full-time employee of the city. Over the years, I became many things with a P: Paper Paul, Power Paul (assist. electric supt.), Pool Paul (oversee the swimming pool), Puff ’N Stuff Paul (we used to have mylar and latex balloons), and Preacher Paul (at Pierpont).
My day starts at 3:40 a.m. with five paper routes for the Aberdeen American News, then I put out the Groton Daily Independent before heading to work for the city at 7:30 a.m. When I get home, it’s either working on the paper, doing something with the girls, or sometimes working at the Dairy Queen. I usually go to bed when the girls to go bed. I have been married to my wife, Tina, for 11 years and we have two girls: Julianna, going into the fourth grade, and Jeslyn, going into the first grade.
—Paul Kosel, Groton Daily Independent publisher