Today the Times family marks five decades of delivering news to the Chagrin Valley and surrounding communities. The Chagrin Valley Times and its sister papers, the Solon Times and the Geauga Times Courier, continue the mission that began in 1971 when a group of local Chagrin business leaders came together to launch a Republican newspaper in response to what they perceived as the liberal competition.

Two years later, the businessmen determined they had taken on an enormous task and sold the Chagrin Valley Times to the late Harold Kenneth Douthit, Jr., who owned other publications as well as a printing press. Over the years, the Times grew to become an award-winning paper due to its watchdog reporting, in-depth high school sports coverage, incisive commentary, smart page design and dynamic photos.

The Times remains a family business with second-generation publisher H. Kenneth Douthit III at the helm. It may be 50 years later with innovations and changes all around us, but the goal of this newspaper remains constant. We strive to cover the news in the most unbiased manner possible.

Our opinions stay on the editorial page through commentary, columns and the weekly political cartoon. We know readers may disagree, or agree, with commentary or story coverage. That is the very reason we take pride in sharing the opinion space with readers by printing letters to the editor reflecting all points of view. We are one of the few places where you can express your opinion, and we value the opportunity to keep the conversation going with our readers.

We are proud to be an intricate part of the democratic process.

But times are tough in the news business, with newspapers of all circulation sizes cutting staff or shutting down completely, leaving a void in many communities. Social media and digital platforms have become part of everyday life. That is one reason the Times offers e-editions of its papers and continues to grow the website, ChagrinValleyToday.com.

But the Times has something other online services do not – boots on the ground in your community. Our reporters and photographers are at the city council, village council and county commission meetings. We are at the park board and school board meetings. We tell you what happened and explain why these events could impact your lives. We let you know when taxes or laws are changing and why.

We tell stories in different ways. A series we published revealed recycling practices in every community in our readership area, telling the stories through words, information graphics and photos.

Recently we reported on Black Lives Matters rallies in Chagrin Falls and Pepper Pike, prayer vigils in Solon and Blue Lives Matter demonstrations in Chardon.

We catch you having fun, too, at Home Days in Solon, Blossom Time in Chagrin Falls, the Geauga County Maple Festival in Chardon and Taste of Pepper Pike, to name just a few. Through words and graphics, we captured the journey of monarch butterflies from Geauga County to Mexico and of the bobolinks stopping in South Russell to nest on their way south.

We continue to chronicle how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted every aspect of your lives, from schools in our communities to neighborhood businesses to local arts and entertainment.

With technology evolving every day, readers have countless ways to access information about events around the globe. But remember that no one can report on your community better than your local news organization – the Times. We appreciate our loyal readers and count on their support so the Times can continue to serve communities and keep everyone informed.

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