Johnston Editor Sets off to Next Challenge

Joe Hutnak, Local Editor of JohnstonPatch, is heading to Bristol-WarrenPatch starting Monday.


It's unbelievable that it's only been two years since I launched Johnston Patch, completing a full-circle return to my hometown of Johnston and to community journalism — although in a much different format than when I started in the early '90s.

It’s odd to think that, just 15 years ago, you still had to plug a computer into a phone line to use the Internet — or that you needed to hang up the cell phone and turn on the computer to read email.

Even in the midst of this evolution, Johnston is, in many ways, the same town that I remember from my youth.

Johnston is still a place where high school students spend sleepless nights folding tissue paper flowers for the Homecoming float competition; where Little League Opening Day is nearly as big as the one for the Boston Red Sox; and where the Johnston Police still take the time to pose for a Christmas Card photo.

I've had a great time meeting friends, old and new, and covering the important news that's happened in Johnston.

And while there have been the major stories — the ongoing saga with the Landfill, the vandalism of the soccer fields, and the rec department fire — my favorite articles were the ones that Johnston people could call our own.

Those were our boys who went to the Junior Little League World Series; they were our star students who took top public school honors in the Academic Decathlon; and our friends and family who are now enshrined in the Johnston High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

To tell the truth, I'm more than a little bit sad to say 'farewell' to Johnston Patch as I move to Bristol-Warren Patch, though I'm excited to have two new towns to cover — and discover.

Starting Monday, Johnston Patch will be in the capable hands of Associate Regional Editor Patrick Luce — send him your questions and news tips: patrick.luce@patch.com

But don't worry, I'm not leaving Johnston. I've got family here, and Johnston is where my roots are.

To paraphrase the famous saying: "You can take the man out of Johnston, but you can't take Johnston out of the man."


Joe Hutnak


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