The Bovina Blade and The Friona Star have been merged into one newspaper by Ron Carr of Friona who bought both newspapers this past summer. CNJ Illustration: Eric Kluth
By Michelle Seeber
BOVINA — Residents of Bovina are mourning the loss of their 48-year-old community newspaper, The Bovina Blade.
The Blade has been combined with The Friona Star, beginning Thursday.
“I hate to see it (gone),” said Toya De Leon, secretary at Bovina Middle School. “It’s a part of history. I think it will be missed. I just hate it.”
Alice Stone, library aide at Bovina High School, said she thought it was “kind of sad.”
“It has been here for so long,” she said.
Publisher Ron Carr of Friona, who on June 1 purchased both newspapers from 40-year owners Bill and Carol Ellis, said he met some resistance about combining the publications — but not a lot of it.
“There’s not enough news in Bovina to publish a very big paper, and there are not enough businesses there to (provide advertising that would) support one,” he said during a recent telephone interview.
“Operationally, and from a business standpoint, it’s a good thing to do,” he said.
Carr, a former owner of a travel agency in Tulsa, Okla., said he has been in the Friona-Bovina area since 1995, when he began working for the Ellises and for both newspapers.
He moved to the area in search of a quieter lifestyle because, he said, he was “tired of traveling.”
He said he doesn’t think his decision to combine the two newspapers is a surprise.
“News (from both communities) has been combined (in both publications) for the last several years,” he said. “We’ve been phasing out The Bovina Blade for several years.”
Still, some residents in this Parmer County farming community of about 1,800 people are disgruntled.
“I think there’s not enough Bovina coverage,” said Esther Steelman, an employee of Bovina Community Network, a computer business. “I think it’s fine that the papers are combining, but I noticed there was an article on the front page about the students in Friona doing a food drive.
“The students in Bovina did the same thing, but there wasn’t a story about that,” she said. “Maybe they need to have somebody here who could cover Bovina.”
Said professional artist Jim Swafford, “I think Ron tries to be pretty fair. (We) don’t have the advertising to support it. I think anytime we’ve asked Ron to assist us, he’s never failed us. But we need more Bovina news.”