It’s a pleasure to now call San Juan County home

by Ryan Collins, Editor
The day I moved to San Juan County it started to rain, and it didn’t stop until I began writing this four days later.
Of course, it was just my luck to pick the one day out of the year it rained in Uintah County to move all my possessions to Monticello from Vernal.
So, I loaded my cat in her little pink carrier I had just purchased for her a few hours earlier and closed the door on one chapter and began another. 
My time in Vernal was interesting as I reflected over it on the road out of town. It was marked with lots of political unrest and a high amount of opioid addiction within Uintah and Duchesne counties. I was told during my tenure there that it is the seventh worst afflicted region in the United States for opioid addiction.
Most of the crimes that comprised the weekly felony filings were drug related in one fashion or another. There was even a malicious stabbing that took place in my final week at the two papers where a man broke into a house around 3 a.m. and stabbed an 80-year-old man and his two younger sons, only to walk out of the house and never be found.
There usually was at least one felony child molestation or rape case a week there. It got to the point where we were putting their mugshots on the front page of the papers every week, and I was getting almost daily calls from the parents of victims.
There was also lots of good things, like the community events that brought people together for good reasons and lots of charity events and holiday celebrations. 
As more and more distance between me and Vernal was made I began to feel proud of all that I had done in my previous position. I felt as if there were many people that I was genuinely able to help through telling their stories. The experience was something that I learned and grew from and now bring forward with me.
There were things that will stay with me forever, like the time there were four fires that sprung up in one day, and I was frantically running all over both counties trying to keep up with all the latest developments for those who were directly affected by the blazes. 
As I began to pull into Monticello and drove past the San Juan Record, I wondered what things will come to be while I serve the community as the Managing Editor here.
What unforgettable stories will arise and stick in the deepest crevices of my memory for years to come, I wondered.
The adage, “take it slow” came through to me, reminding me that these things take time, and it will all come with time.
I look forward to being able to meet the many individuals that make up the community, and I am pleased to be able to have the opportunity to serve the community.
I would like to thank Bill Boyle and the Record staff for giving me the opportunity. 
I would like to add that my door is always open, and I will always listen to what you have to say. I will strive to be apolitical and balanced in the coverage of the news and will do my best to listen to all sides and equally represent them. Thank you for having me San Juan County. 

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday