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Valley Record staff expands

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SNOQUALMIE — Community members will soon notice

two new faces combing the Valley for news. The Snoqualmie

Valley Record last week hired a photographer and a sports reporter.

The staff additions are the first in a series of investments

being made by the Valley Record's new owner, Horvitz

Newspapers Inc., publisher of King County Journal newspapers, said

Jim McKiernan, Valley Record general manager.

"These were the two positions we felt were critical, because

in the past, it had been just me doing both," he said. McKiernan

has been a busy jack-of-all-trades for the five years he and his

wife, Karen, have owned and operated the Valley Record.

Now McKiernan will focus on behind-the-scenes newspaper

operations, such as budgeting, customer relations, planning,

interacting with the community and filling in during emergencies.

"But don't figure I'm out of the picture," he said. "Don't

be surprised to see me on the sidelines with the camera because

I love it so much."

McKiernan said the two new employees would round out

the staff and enable the paper to rise to a new level.

"The sports reporter, Becky Christopherson, can provide

more in-depth coverage of teams in the Valley," he added. "Becky

seemed to be a natural to fit into that position. And she's easy to talk to."

McKiernan added that the biggest challenge she will face

is to get coaches to provide her with statistics on a regular

basis. Christopherson graduated March 2000 from Western

Washington University with a bachelor of arts degree in general studies and

a minor in print journalism. She lives in Snoqualmie with her

husband, Ryan, who tests games at Nintendo in Redmond.

In addition to sports, Christopherson has written

about other topics and said she's looking forward to getting to know

the Valley and it's student-athletes, parents and coaches.

"I want to be able to cover all the sports and give everybody

a chance to be in the paper; make sure they get the attention

they deserve," she said.

Christopherson has played sports all her life and

especially enjoys track and cross country.

Bruce Savadow has joined the Valley Record as its new

photographer. He has 15 years of photography experience under

his belt and earned a bachelor of fine arts at the Maryland Institute

of Art in Baltimore, Md. He has worked for various papers on

the East Coast, including the Baltimore Jewish Times.

Locally, Savadow shot pictures for the West Seattle

Herald, the Ballard News-Tribune and the Highline Times. He has lived

in the Seattle area for five years.

"This is a photographer's paradise," he said of the Valley

and the Puget Sound area. "I love it because Seattle's such a

culturally rich city, then you drive an hour and find snow-capped

mountains and then desert."

Savadow became interested in photography after college, and

he thought taking pictures would be a hobby.

"But I fell in love with it," he said, adding that he

especially enjoys doing documentary portraitures of artists at work and

is interested in meeting the Valley's artists.

"It's a tool for getting me involved in events and

peoples' lives," he said of his profession. "You get exposure, and you

get to see things you don't normally see with photography."

With several state and Society of Professional

Journalists (SPJ) photography awards, Savadow is a great addition to

the staff, McKiernan said.

"It's rare that a weekly newspaper gets to have a

photographer with his degree of

experience," McKiernan said. "The photo

quality of the newspaper will now go up tenfold."

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