Caine Gardner, sports editor since November 2008 and a member of the Banner Graphic team since November 2006, has left to pursue a career in a different field.
"Making the choice to leave the Banner after six years was a tough decision," Gardner said. "The relationships I built, both within the Banner, as well as those in the community, will leave an indelible mark on me going into the future."
Gardner's final assignment as sports editor was coverage of the first round of the 2012 Putnam County Girls' Basketball Classic on Friday, Nov. 16.
"I want to thank Banner Graphic Publisher Randy List, General Manager Daryl Taylor, Editor Eric Bernsee and Assistant Editor Jared Jernagan for the opportunities and adventures they allowed me to enjoy while being a member of the Banner Graphic staff," Gardner added.
The former sports editor plans to continue serving the Banner as a sports stringer. He will also keep up his film reviews and blogs.
In Gardner's place, former staff writer Grant Wieman has taken the reins in the sports department.
"Although it is always difficult to lose someone with Caine's experience and abilities, we are fortunate to have had Grant Wieman in place to move into the sports editor position quite seamlessly," Editor Eric Bernsee said.
A graduate of Grand Valley State University, Wieman has been with the Banner Graphic since March 2012.
"Grant has already demonstrated his reporting and writing skills to our readers in covering the northern portion of Putnam County for the newsroom and assisting in our sports coverage over the past nine months," Bernsee added.
His prior experience with local coaches and athletic directors has made the transition seamless so far.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for me and I'm very grateful for the chance to immerse myself into the sports community of Putnam County," Wieman said. "There is a passionate fan base in the area and I look forward to being able to bring readers as much sports coverage as I can.
"The Banner Graphic has done a wonderful job building relationships with the area athletic directors, coaches and teams and I relish a chance to build on that," he added.
Coming from Shepherdstown, W.V., to take Wieman's spot, Joyce Orlando joins the Banner staff following an internship with The Shepherdstown Chronicle.
"While Grant takes over the Banner Graphic Sports Department, we are also quite pleased with the addition of Joyce Orlando to our newsroom staff," Bernsee said. "While assuming the northern Putnam County beat, she has already covered a number of local events since her arrival."
"I'm very excited to start here at the Banner Graphic," Orlando said. "I look forward to delivering the news to Putnam County."
The 2012 graduate of Shepherd University will take over Wieman's beats in northern Putnam County, covering North Putnam Schools and the towns of Bainbridge, Roachdale and Russellville.
The editor expressed his confidence in the staffers in their new positions.
"Personally, I look forward to working alongside both Grant and Joyce in their new roles, and join our readers and the public in welcoming Joyce to town following her recent move here from West Virginia," Bernsee concluded.