I’ve been writing for this newspaper for a very long time, more than 18 years now, and I’ve seen a lot of people come and go. 

But last week I learned that someone who has been by my side for more than four years is saying goodbye.

News Editor Autumn Owens is leaving the E-T next week, her last day is Friday.

She got an offer she couldn’t refuse close to her home in Weatherford. 

The Weatherford Democrat doesn’t know yet what a good hire they just made. Lucky ducks. 

Autumn is one of those rare people employers struggle to find.

She is someone who not only cares about her craft, but the people she works with and the community she serves. She is talented, dependable, friendly, fair-minded and level-headed. The list of positive attributes goes on and on.

I hired Autumn fresh out of college. She was a nervous Tarleton grad when she first sat in my office and shared with me her passion for community journalism. Four years later she is the person I have come to depend on most for getting our products to readers.

As you know, Autumn does a lot of writing here. She covers area schools, commissioners, entertainment and everything in between. She also plays an important role in all of our special sections.  

I cried a few tears the day Autumn gave me her notice. I used to joke with The Husband that if she ever left, my life would be over.

The good news is, I’m still alive and while I will miss Autumn terribly, we have a new reporter on board I’m expecting great things from. 

Andrietta (Andi) Luna will take over reporting for the Glen Rose Reporter and write part-time for the E-T.

Mark Wilson, who readers are already familiar with, will move into Autumn’s spot and take over her beats.

I am certain you will enjoy getting to know both of them. 

As Autumn begins her final week with us, send her a note and wish her success on the new journey she is on. 

And help me welcome Mark and Andi to our team and our community.

Sara Vanden Berge is the managing editor of the Empire-Tribune and Glen Rose Reporter. She can be reached at 254-965-3124. Follow her on Twitter @ETEditor.