The Sun selects new editor

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By Brandon Mattingly

The Springfield Sun's search for a new editor has come to an end, and Geoff Hamill, formerly the news director at Allegheny Mountain Radio in West Virginia, took over the position last week. He said he anticipates Washington County being a great fit.

"I'm a country boy, so living in the city is something I choose not to do. I prefer to live in rural small towns, like Springfield. My previous employment in Pocahontas County was even more rural than Washington County," Hamill said. "I think this is an all-American town. I get the feeling this is part of the heartland of America. The people have been very friendly to me so far, so I really like this area very much."

Hamill, originally from Maryland, also worked as a staff writer and photographer with the The Pocahontas Times in West Virginia. He doesn't just have a journalism background, however.

"Most of my adult career has been in the military," Hamill said. "I was an infantry officer for 10 years, and I was an enlisted man in the army for three years."

Hamill has a bachelor's degree in history from New Mexico State University, as well as a juris doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. Hamill has spent time in various places—particularly throughout his military career—including Louisiana, New Mexico and Germany.

"I'm glad to come on board such a highly respected publication as The Springfield Sun," he said. "It has a great reputation and I've heard nothing but positive comments from people about it. My biggest challenge is going to be maintaining that level that you have achieved here at The Sun, and if possible, improving on that and making it even more newsworthy and important to this community."

General Manager Shorty Lassiter said Hamill separated himself from the other candidates for the position.

“I am excited to have Geoff become part of The Sun family and our community," Lassiter said. "I reviewed dozens of resumes from all over the country and conducted several interviews, and Geoff was the only one that seemed to be the perfect fit. I can’t wait for Washington County to get to know him.”

Having a military background, Hamill said he's very involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as the American Legion. He's also been a member of the Rotary Club during his previous stops and anticipates being involved with the program here. As a self-proclaimed animal lover, Hamill said he also wants to work with the humane society and other organizations whenever and wherever he can.

His love of history, however, is the area where he and the Washington County community are the most like-minded.

"I've always been interested in history and I studied it in college," Hamill said. "I believe it's very important for a community to try and preserve its history. I'll be very active in projects like that. I'll go to the historical society, basically just to see where I can pitch in."

Hamill added that he's ready to take on his role as head of the paper's news content, and has high expectations for the publication in the future.

"It's going to be a challenge being the guy that everybody calls with complaints. I'll take responsibility for that. I'm a stand-up guy," he said. "Also, I have very high standards. I understand the importance of a community newspaper to the community, and I take that responsibility very seriously."

If you have a news tip for The Sun, contact Hamill by phone at (859) 336-3716, or by email at editor@thespringfieldsun.com