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New publisher, editor named for The Western News

| October 6, 2006 12:00 AM

Barb Swenson has been named publisher of The Western News, and Brent Shrum has been named editor.

The appointments fill a vacancy created by the death of editor and publisher Roger Morris on Sept. 21.

Jim Thompson, head of newspaper operations for Hagadone Corp., which has owned The Western News since 1999, noted that both Swenson and Shrum have a long history with the paper and in the Libby community.

"I feel very confident in this team," he said in announcing the appointments on Tuesday.

Swenson has been employed with The Western News since 1994, starting as an advertising salesperson and being promoted to advertising manager in May 2005. She will retain her position as advertising manager along with assuming the publisher's duties.

Swenson was born and raised in Rapid City, S.D., and holds a degree in elementary education from Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Neb. She came to Libby in 1968 for her first teaching job. She taught at various elementary grade levels at several different schools until 1992.

Swenson and her husband, Dave, have been married since 1969. He retired earlier this year after a long career as a car salesman. The former owner of Libby Auto Sales, he sold his share in the business to partner Bill Miller upon retirement.

The Swensons have three children, all of whom live in the Libby area. Son Christopher Swenson is employed at the city water treatment plant, daughter Jessie Conrad is an administrative assistant for Mines Management, and daughter Kara Matthews is an administrative assistant at the Lincoln County Community Health Center.

Shrum has worked at The Western News as a reporter since 1995. He grew up in rural western Pennsylvania and received a bachelor's degree in journalism and history from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, in 1992.

Prior to coming to Libby, Shrum was employed as a reporter for The Derrick newspaper in Oil City, Pa.