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Young journalists start neighborhood newspaper in Cazenovia

Justin LaBarre, left, Zachary Simms, Aidan Simms, Judd Spaulding, Libby Spaulding and Savannah Johnson deliver the first 40 issues of The East-Wellington Times to residents Saturday, Jan. 7.

Justin LaBarre, left, Zachary Simms, Aidan Simms, Judd Spaulding, Libby Spaulding and Savannah Johnson deliver the first 40 issues of The East-Wellington Times to residents Saturday, Jan. 7. Jay LaBarre

— An enthusiastic group of six young journalists, ranging in age from 8 to 11, recently started a new monthly-publication in Cazenovia, covering the news and all happenings in and around Wellington Drive and East Road.

The inaugural issue of The East-Wellington Times was released Jan. 7 to more than 40 area residents.

“I just felt like doing something with everyone in the neighborhood,” said Editor-in-Chief Savannah Johnson. “All I had to was send an invitation out for a meeting. I chose to work with the people I knew the best.”

The first issue, which was put together by Johnson, siblings Libby and Judd Spaulding, brothers Zachary and Aidan Simms and Justin LaBarre, offer readers insight into each of the children’s interests.

LaBarre acts as a photographer meteorologist, reporting on what weather residents can expect in the coming month and capturing pictures of ping pong matches neighborhood adults participate in, which Zachary Simms reports on.

Libby Spaulding contributes her own humorous artwork for the “Comic Corner” and assists Johnson in writing duties.

Judd Spaulding compiles upcoming events that interests readers for the publication’s “Community Happenings,” and reports on special events.

Aidan Simms is in charge of distributing the paper and often lends a hand with photography, providing images to the stories his brother writes.

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The East-Wellington Times staff examines past issues of the Cazenovia Republican, during a Jan. 10 editorial meeting in Cazenovia.

“We usually meet every weekend at Savannah’s house, where we discuss our stories and things that we come up with together,” said Zachary Simms.

“It’s very rewarding and fulfilling to see kids in the neighborhood working together on a project. We are very proud of our daughter for coming up with this idea,” said Kristi Johnson, parental advisor to the group and mother of the editor-in-chief.

Much of the news items center around the children’s respective pets and the neighborhood hangout located between the LaBarre and Simms households, which is referred to as “The Fort.” Recently, the area was closed due to inclement weather and fallen tree limbs.

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