Chesterton Tribune

Going daily: Looking back on issues that shaped Duneland

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In the Thursday, March 23, 1961, edition of the Chesterton Tribune—the penultimate weekly edition before the paper went daily on Monday, April 3—publisher Warren R. Canright wrote this in an Editorially Speaking headlined “A big step forward”: “This is a milestone not only in the history of the Tribune but for the community as well, because a newspaper is truly a community institution. It is indeed sad when a community loses its voice.”

How well has the Trib fulfilled its role as a community institution?

Ross Amundson—who came to North Porter County in 1974 originally to work at Bethlehem Steel and is now with Indiana-American Water Company—has these thoughts.

“We moved to Furnessville in 1974 and later Chesterton in 1977,” he remembers. “Our three years in Furnessville were in an Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore lease-back, so the Trib’s coverage of national and state park news from a local perspective was of great interest. We were active members in park activities and joined the Friends of the Dunes due to reading about it in the Trib.”

At the same time, Amundson says, “Our children were beginning in the Duneland Schools and much of our life revolved around the schools. The coverage that the Trib provided was invaluable to us as a family with school-age children. Whether it was an article about School Board meetings or the PTA or athletic teams or academic achievement or the great CHS bands or the national championship speech and debate teams, we pridefully absorbed every bit of it.”

“I was not in the area in the late 60s when Duneland School consolidation took place,” Amundson adds, “but I think that event probably did much to expand the readership of the Trib. The Trib became a must-read for everyone, at least with school-age children, in that 95-square mile school district.”

Finally, as formerly a long-time member of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce Executive Board and host of Porter County Uncovered—the well-regarded local cable TV current-events program—Amundson has this to say about the Trib.

“I can’t measure the importance of having the Chesterton Tribune there reporting on local events. Not always agreeing on things, of course.

“Some of our most spirited discussions and debates, whether at the Chamber or on television, with former reporter Jim Hale and (managing editor) David Canright, helped yield constructive approaches to issues like expanding Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore or building a new Chesterton High School.

“Over the years the Trib has helped the community find consensus on many issues through many forums.”



Posted 4/6/2011