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Letter to the editor

Local journalism loses champion Editor, The Sun: Woodford County lost an ambassador for community journalism with the Oct. 22 passing of Albert Benjamin "Ben" Chandler Jr. I'm a Versailles native and a former employee of The Woodford Sun, serving as a reporter/photographer from 2005-2007 and as sports editor from 2007-2008. I will be forever grateful to Mr. Chandler and Managing Editor Stephen Peterson, who were the first two professional newsmen to take a chance on a young journalist who was as "wet behind the ears" as a person could be. My time at The Sun taught me weekly newspapers are vital in rural communities, and their often small staffs work diligently to deliver fair, accurate news and sports coverage to readers in each week's edition. While I didn't interact with Mr. Chandler on a daily basis, every conversation I had with him was pleasant, which was a trait that runs deep in the family. It was a pleasure to get to know Chandler's sons, Ben, Whitney and Matthew, from covering Ben's career as a former U.S. congressman or through interactions at The Sun with Whitney and Matthew. Mr. Chandler was a 2012 inductee into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, an honor he deserved immensely. Generations of Woodford County residents have received quality local coverage under his watch, along with two men I consider mentors, Peterson and former Editor H. Moss Vance. As a former employee of The Sun, I'm humbled to have been a small part of that tradition of excellence. It was an honor to compile public records, attend community events and cover local governments and sports on behalf of the county's readers. While the community is saddened by Mr. Chandler's death, it should be appreciative of his service to our nation as a U.S. Air Force veteran, and of his family's decades-long commitment to keeping Woodford County residents informed. David A. Stith Elizabethtown

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