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Liberty Herald welcomes new reporter

By John Estridge, Editor

I will be the first to admit I am hamstrung by prejudices.

And in one of my prejudices, I have become my departed dad, John L. Estridge Sr.

Dad, a member of the Greatest Generation, did not like the Baby Boomer Generation at all. He lumped us all together as shiftless, lazy, arrogant and hopeless. Although I was greatly offended by his beliefs when I was young, as I have aged, I agree with him in this aspect. Other than rock-and-roll, my generation has pretty much been a failure.

How dad felt about the Baby Boomers is how I feel toward Millennials.

However, I have been blessed with some very good Millennials here at the Liberty Herald.

Matt Snyder was the first one I hired. A local young person, Matt had wanted to teach until he met the youth. Then, he thought about reporting. Trained as a sports writer at IU, I turned him to news, and he did quite well. He was a very good writer with a wonderful sense of humor.

During his tenure here, he was an assistant track coach at Union County High School, and I very much supported that as I feel we must do as much as we can to guide youth along the path of not do as I did, but do how my mother wanted me to do. But his passion is law enforcement and that is where he is now, patrolling the roads in Union County as a deputy sheriff.

His replacement was Daniel Taylor. He is a resident of Camden, Ohio and a Preble Shawnee graduate. I tried not to hold any of that against him.

A recent Miami University graduate with degrees in political science and journalism, Daniel dove right in. His passions are sports and history. He was a junior varsity baseball coach for the Arrows. Again, I supported him with his work with young people. His baseball team did quite well, although they did not get the hang of signs. He once sent a multitude of steal signs to a runner at first who apparently didn't have a clue. Exasperated, from the third base coach's box, Daniel shouted for him to steal on the next pitch. He was called out in the attempt.

Daniel was accepted into the graduate program at IU East and will become a history teacher where he will be free to coach young people and hopefully get them cognizant of signs.

That brings us to Tali Hunt.

A 2013 Franklin County High School graduate, Tali just received her diploma from Miami in May. Like Daniel, she majored in journalism. Her co-major was sustainability.

“The definition of sustainability is actually something people (mainly Ph.Ds) in the field of study argue about,” Tali said. “To me and many of my peers at Miami, it is when current development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability to do so for future generations. It is an extremely complex field of study that relates to anything and everything we (humans) do in our daily lives.”

She does not coach anything at this point, but she found love for tennis while playing for the Wildcats. She plans on continuing her practice at the sport into her adulthood. “I started playing freshman year, and wished I would've picked up a racquet sooner in my life,” Tali said. “I got to play singles and doubles during my four seasons, but I definitely prefer singles. I consider myself to be a team player, but when it comes to sports I'm rather independent.”

Tali didn't consider herself to fit the mold of the stereotypical Miami student, but was still able to create amazing memories during her time as a Redhawk.

“I had two life-changing experiences during my time at Miami,” Tali said. “The first was during the summer of 2015. I participated in Miami Hamilton's Study of the US Institutes (SUSI). This program brings undergraduate students from abroad to the US for five weeks to live and learn about US culture and about the focus topic of their SUSI. Miami's focus was civic engagement. The international students from my cohort were from northern Africa and the Middle East. We lived in a dorm together, attended classes together, ate meals together, celebrated birthdays together with loud music and Arabic dances, we went out Uptown together, and we traveled together. I emphasize doing things together because this was the best part of the experience. We only had five weeks together, but we were able to forge friendships that will last a lifetime. I learned so much about these people, who were around my age, who had extremely different life experiences than me. Through them, I learned a lot about myself, and how I look at the world (both mine and the larger world as a whole) really changed.

“The second life-changing experience I had during my college career was spending a semester abroad,” she continued. “Fall 2015, I lived and went to school in Luxembourg. Luxembourg is a very small, landlocked country surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany. I lived with a host family of seven and another Miami student. This semester abroad was filled with trains, buses, walking and weekends of traveling. My commute to school was almost two hours one way. But, from my host house, I could get to several major European cities in less than a day by train.

“I chose the Lux program knowing none of my friends would be going, so days one through three in the Chateau where we went to school were all about making friends (aka travel buddies) for me,” Tali said. “And, find them I did. Two of my closest friends from college came from my time abroad. One of them grew up less than 20 miles from where I did. Yet, we had to fly across an ocean and go to school in a castle to meet. This experience taught me I am extremely capable. We would arrive in new cities late at night where we had never been and where we didn't speak the language, and we still had to get from the train station to our hostel. And try to find decent food when almost all the restaurants and stores in town were closed. But, apparently we survived.”

Tali was named for a total stranger.

“The story I've been told is that my dad wanted to name me since my mom named my older sister, Heather,” Tali said. “I think he met a coworker's girlfriend/fiancee/wife at some point and that was her name. Apparently, he liked it and remembered it, so he told my mom around the time I was born and left her to decide the spelling and what my middle name would be (Brianna). It's not an exciting story, but I think it's funny that I'm named after a stranger. I know my mom was worried about me getting picked on for having a different name, but for as long as I can remember, I've loved having a unique name.”

According to Tali, she got into journalism because she wants to make a difference in the world.

“I chose to study (and now work in) journalism because I feel like I am doing my small part to make a difference,” Tali said. “My job allows me to help the community know what is happening around them so they are more aware, can make informed decisions and even cast the best possible vote in an election.”

She has always loved to write, and now she can get paid to do what she likes to do.

“My friends probably all thought I was crazy for choosing to take extra English classes for my elective courses because of all the extra writing assignments,” Tali said. “But, those didn't bother me most of the time because writing is something I have always enjoyed. Even research papers! In fact, I think those might be one of my favorite types of assignments, because they give you a chance to learn a lot about specific subject. Of course, I didn't like them as much if I was told what my topic had to be.”

Not surprisingly, her favorite type of article is a feature article.

“I love sitting down and talking with new people and hearing their stories,” Tali said. “Everyone has a story to tell, and they might not even realize it themselves.”

According to Tali, she has been very impressed with the people she has met in Union County, especially in how friendly and welcoming everyone has been.

“I am really enjoying working in Liberty and Union County,” Tali said. “Everyone I have met has been very friendly and welcoming. The commissioners even joke around with me already. I'm looking forward to learning more about the community and meeting more members of it.”

One part of the Liberty Herald and Brookville Democrat/American Tali will work on is the social media footprint of the company. She already has great ideas for the Facebook pages and would like to add video and audio to articles.

If anyone has an article idea or would like to say anything to Tali please feel free to contact her at