I have great news. I’m proud to announce that award-winning reporter Thelma Grimes has joined us at The Explorer.

Thelma brings nearly 11 years of newspaper experience to our paper. She jumped right in and already produced numerous stories about Marana and Oro Valley for today’s paper, everything from medical marijuana and town budgets to local star athletes. I know you’ll find them informative and thought-provoking.

Prior to starting here, Thelma served as a senior reporter for the San Pedro Valley News-Sun, a publication of Wick Communications, in Benson. During her time with Wick, she also wrote stories for the Sierra Vista Herald, a daily publication.

Thelma also worked a short time for the Vail Sun, a Wick publication that closed two years after opening due to the economy.

This go-getter has been recognized by Arizona news organizations for her excellence in community journalism. She was named a finalist for the Arizona Press Club Community Journalist of the Year in four of the last five years. She won the award in 2006, and again in 2010. This year she is a finalist again; we’ll find out the results on May 21.

She was also named the Arizona Newspaper Association Non-Daily Journalist of the Year in 2008 for her work at the San Pedro Valley News-Sun and Vail Sun.

Thelma grew up near Benson, graduating from Benson High School in 1997. She majored in journalism and print media sequence at Pima Community College, graduating in 2000 before starting at the News-Sun.

She first entered college hoping to be a sports writer, but soon found she enjoyed covering local town governments, and had a talent and natural instinct for investigative news.

She is currently working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Technical Communications at Arizona State University.

I know you’ll welcome Thelma as we have as we endeavor to expand and improve our coverage of Northwest Tucson. She can be reached at tgrimes@explorernews.com or at 797-4384.

Switching gears, I have had problems with my email for the past month. At one point, I thought they were resolved, but I was wrong. I’ve heard from many readers who submitted emails that I never received, and I apologize for that inconvenience.

Our IT guru will be here today, and I know he will work his magic on my computer.

But just in case the email gremlins intervene, I invite you to call and alert me if you send a time-sensitive email or to confirm that I’ve received your email. Better safe than sorry, I always say.

Please keep in mind that I may not be able to take your call at times on Mondays and Tuesdays. Those are our production and press days. However, please leave a detailed message and include your name and phone number. I’ll be happy to return your call.

Have a great week!

— Wendy Miller

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