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Longtime journalist retires

ASHLAND — Veteran newspaperman Stan Champer retired Friday after 50 years in the business.

Most of those years were spent at The Independent in Ashland, where he served as reporter, city editor, managing editor, editorial page editor and associate editor.

Champer began his career in 1959 in the circulation department at The Tribune in Ironton, Ohio, before joining The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, W.Va., as a reporter. He came to The Independent in 1964 and was among a team of reporters who covered former President Lyndon B. Johnson's visit to Eastern Kentucky to declare war on poverty.

"Stan takes a lot of institutional memory out the door with him," said Editor and General Manager Mike Reliford. "We will not only miss his professionalism, his talent and his friendship, but that love and dedication so many of us have felt for this newspaper. It will feel like a loss in the family."

Publisher Eddie Blakeley said Champer's retirement is a loss to the newspaper.

"Stan has always strived to make The Independent the best journalistic product it can be," he said.