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Former Peace reporter buys Valemount's newspaper

The Rocky Mountain Goat, Valemount’s local newspaper, has found a new editor and owner, with former Energetic City investigative reporter Spencer Hall purchasing the homegrown publication earlier this month.

Hall said he’s excited to continue delivering news for the area and wants to branch out into podcasts and continue curating the newspaper’s bookstore. Mountain biking and the down-to-earth community are just two of many things he appreciates about Valemount, he added.

"It has that home feel to it. Just meeting people, they're very down-to-earth, and if they can help you, they will," said Hall.

Tom Summer-Local Journalism Initiative Reporter-Alaska Highway News

Born and raised in Terrace, Hall arrived in Valemount last September as the newspaper’s civic reporter under the federally-funded Local Journalism Initiative program, and quickly fell in love with the region.

“From a young age, I remember being interested in the local newspaper, perhaps in part because I was a nosy child, but the paper also provided me with a sense of connection to the community and surrounding areas,” wrote Hall in a Jan. 8 introduction post as the new editor.

Hall is a graduate of BCIT’s Radio Arts and Entertainment program, and he started his media career at Fort St. John's Moose FM in promotions before being shifted to the station’s newsroom.

A friendship was quickly made with The Rocky Mountain Goat’s founders, Laura Keil and Joe Nusse, who launched the publication back in 2010, both expressing confidence in passing the torch to Hall in farewell posts.

“He is a natural leader, a compassionate person who has an eye for justice and a great sense of humour and I know he will serve this community well,” wrote Keil. “I look forward to seeing his fresh perspective and supporting him in whatever ways I can. I’m delighted to be handing over the reins to not just a young journalist, but also a good friend.”

While it’s bittersweet to move on, Keil said it's freed up allows time for her to pursue creative writing, as she’s working on several short stories, and a murder-mystery historical fiction novel set in the 1960s before the flooding of the Arrow Lakes for the Hugh Keenleyside Dam.

However, Hall is not alone in running the newspaper, Keil will still be around to offer guidance, and will be there as a salesperson and ad manager. A Local Journalism Initiative reporter is expected to arrive in Valemount soon, and the newspaper also has a number of contributors.

Nusse recruited Keil from online job boards, working together to build a dream of providing the Robson Valley with local journalism. The future success of the paper depends on support from their readers, he notes, wishing Hall all the best.

“I truly wish Spencer the best in the coming years. I hope he can adjust to life in our town and make it his home fully. In the brief conversations we have had, he has expressed a desire to help re-develop independent local media and play his own role in this much-needed Renaissance,” wrote Nusse.

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