With some recent changes at the Daily Light and a lot of misleading information being distributed, we feel it is important to share some things with you, our readers.

There are some who still doubt the importance of a local newspaper or question just how local a corporately-owned newspaper can be.

Rest assured: no matter where our parent company is based, our coverage will always be dedicated to this community. We will never allow anyone — regardless of their affiliation or status — to influence our coverage.

The ownership of this local small business has changed many times over the last 151 years. No one outside of Waxahachie has ever dictated what news we provide nor do they today.

To suggest otherwise is simply untrue.

Our newsroom is every bit as local now as it was five, 10 or even 50 years ago.

For example, two of our team members — Robin Fox and Sharon Rexrode — have combined for over 40 years of service to the Daily Light and surrounding community. They both know more about the history and people of our community than anyone we know, and we lean on them frequently.

For the last two years, Travis Smith has been — and continues to be — the driving force in our newsroom as the managing editor. Travis was born and raised in Waxahachie, and his mother once owned a floral shop on West Franklin for 27 years. You would be hardpressed to find anyone with a bigger passion for highlighting Ellis County athletes or small business owners.

Andrew Branca has been a reporter focused on Waxahachie and Ellis County government for ten years this month. He has seen more city council meetings than most of the longtime residents.

In short, the Daily Light team is committed to remaining the premier source of news in Ellis County.

Our team is also growing, as we have plans to hire a new Midlothian-focused reporter, sales representative, and an individual to lead our advertising and circulation teams.

We are in a period of growth, not decline.

There are, though, advantages to being owned by a parent company with over 700 newspapers across the United States.

For instance, we are able to provide you with dynamic content like our D-Day, history of the presidency and Pearl Harbor sections — as well as upcoming publications remembering heroes from Vietnam, Make the Grade to help parents ease into the new school year and several WWII pages.

We are also able to provide our local business with digital advertising opportunities that would be unaffordable or unavailable to a community newspaper without the services of GateHouse owned ThriveHive.

We are able to provide our employees and their families with quality healthcare at a highly-reasonable rate because GateHouse pays a large percentage of the premium. Any local business owner can tell you what a struggle it is to provide any health care coverage, let alone quality coverage, to their employees these days at an affordable rate.

We are very excited about the future of this newspaper and the opportunities we can provide to the community.

We are launching a new entertainment guide later this month that will feature Ellis County events, restaurants, and businesses. It will be the go-to guide for all things entertainment related in Ellis County. You may receive a copy in the mail or see it while waiting to be seated at a local restaurant.

The name, "Southern Draw," and logo were even chosen by our readers via a Facebook poll.

There is one negative element we need to address — our print quality.

We understand we have let you down with the print quality of our newspaper over this last transitional year. We are just as disappointed and frustrated by it as you have been.

Frankly, it is embarrassing. We recently spoke with Mayor Kevin Strength's father regarding this exact issue and, like any proud parent, he was disappointed to not be able to see the picture of his son’s swearing-in. He is just one of many readers who has been negatively affected. Our senior management team is dedicated to fixing this issue. Improvements are on the way.

We are beyond ecstatic to serve our community and help reshape the views of the Daily Light and Mirror. We are here to serve you, and that is an honor we don’t take lightly.