ROUND TABLE: New faces, and other transitions, at the News

Hood River News this month welcomes some new faces and bids “farewell” to a news staff member.

Ben Mitchell is the newest news staff member. He started work last week, but he has lived in Hood River for the past three years and knows about Gorge-wide issues after his nearly two years as a reporter with the News’ sister paper based in White Salmon, The Enterprise. (More about Ben below.)

Mitchell succeeds Julie Raefield-Gobbo, who moves to her new job as director of the Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital Foundation. Raefield-Gobbo lent compassion and skill to these pages, and we offer her best wishes as she serves her community in a new way.

Readers also might have noticed frequent articles in recent months by Trisha Walker.

Walker has been connected to the Hood River News for 12 years as our Mid Valley correspondent, and for three years working in the front office.

Former reporter Ben McCarty’s byline will appear occasionally but he has shifted to his new position as digital media director for Hood River News, The Enterprise, The Dalles Chronicle, and other members of the Eagle Newspapers Inc. family.

We also welcome summer intern Gilberto Galvez of Parkdale, a 2013 Hood River Valley High School graduate (and HRVHS Talon newspaper co-editor) and say goodbye to intern Katie Tolbert, who had a great year with us while a senior at Horizon Christian School.

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Ben Mitchell hails from the town of Skaneateles, located in upstate New York, where he became a devoted fan of the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League.

Mitchell graduated in 2009 from St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., with a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a concentration in creative writing.

After moving to the Pacific Northwest to serve in AmeriCorps as a reading tutor for Whitson Elementary in White Salmon, Mitchell became the reporter for the White Salmon Enterprise in September 2011. He wrote and photographed for general news and sports beats.

He joined the staff of the Hood River News last week as a reporter and will continue to cover general news and features, and sports.

Ben brings a passion for reporting to the News, and a real understanding of the role of a community newspaper in informing and educating our readers.

He also brings true versatility to the Hood River News, with his ability to cover a variety of topics, sports and otherwise.

And if hockey ever really takes off in the Gorge, we have an expert to cover the beat.

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Contact editor Kirby Neumann-Rea at kneumann-rea@hoodriver-news.com or 541-386-1234.

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