Reporter covered Iola-Scandinavia, Manawa
By Holly Neumann
Jane Myhra, who has been providing news coverage for the Iola-Scandinavia and Manawa areas for more than 20 years, will retire on March 31.
Myhra got her start in September 1996, when she began working for the Iola Herald.
“I had previously hired numerous graduates of journalism schools but after a year or two, they would move on and up in their careers,” said Trey Foerster, who was the publisher of the Iola Herald. “I began looking for a local writer who knew the community, was involved in local organizations and actually wanted to live here.”
With an English major from University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Myhra fit the bill.
“I have always been a writer/photographer and had done some freelancing for Trey, when I heard there was an opening for a news editor,” she said.
She called Foerster on a Friday to set up an interview.
“He said I could just start the job on Monday because he already knew my work,” Myhra said.
Foerster pointed out that the added plus was that Myhra had grown up on a farm near Norseman Hill and the Iola Winter Sports Club grounds, which came in handy in covering the county fairs and ag-oriented clubs and organizations.
“Jane understands that the news is really the story of the people we write about,” he said. “The more people in a community you can include in your coverage the more readers will support you.”
He added that as long as he has known Jane, she’s never been bored.
“Her biggest challenge, is to get the story when people don’t want to talk,” Foerster said. “Jane likes to talk, probably the result of competing with her sisters, and she has an easy personality that enabled her to get several award-winning stories.”
Journal Communications purchased the Iola Herald and Manawa Advocate in January 2008.
“During this time I was also editor of Wisconsin Horsemen’s News and assistant editor for the Wisconsin State Farmer,” she said. “In December 2012, the Waupaca County Post was purchased by Multi Media Channels, a family-owned company, and I returned to a full-time position at the Waupaca County Post.”
Meeting various people in the community and having the chance to tell their stories is what Myhra will miss the most.
“I will miss the people,” she said. “Each story stands out in my mind and has a piece of my heart as I work on it.”
The decision to retire was not an easy one, but that the timing was right.
“It is never easy to leave after spending 21 years covering the communities of Manawa and Iola-Scandinavia,” she said. “There are many memories I will never forget and many friends who will always be there.”
Robert Cloud, editor of the Waupaca County Post, said Myhra did a lot for the paper.
“In addition to her work covering Iola, Scandinavia and Manawa for so many years, Jane was responsible for the community calendar, the college news and the sheriff’s report every week,” Cloud said. “She also edited two monthly school district newsletters and was active in the communities she covered. Jane will be missed by those of us who worked with her.”
“Jane has captured the history of the Iola and Manawa communities consistently and professionally for over 20 years,” added Foerster. “I wish her well in her retirement.”
Myhra plans to remain active in the Iola Lioness Club and the Iola Winter Carnival Committee.
“Retirement will allow me time to work on my own writing projects,” she said.