My big news

So, the big news that I’ve been hinting to the past couple of days is that Danah and I are closing down The Oak Ridge Observer, the paper that we’ve been running the past nine years. (Well, technically, my ex-wife helped me run it the first couple of years, but Danah jumped in and helped me run it the last five.)

I’m still processing how I feel about all this, but more than anything, I feel relieved. As my friends know, I’ve worked my tail off the past nine years and while I’ve had the time of my life,  it’s time for the next phase of my life.

Now, for a quick trip down memory lane. A quick photo essay, of my past nine years with The Oak Ridge Observer…

(Note: Click on the first photo of the newspaper banner and a pretty cool slideshow will begin that shows captions!)

Thanks for watching. Danah and I are looking forward to 2014, and whatever new direction our life takes!


First media report: After nine-year run, Oak Ridge Observer closes.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after surviving three years of war only to find himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

158 thoughts on “My big news

  1. Michelle 01/01/2014 / 6:26 pm

    Good Luck to you! I’ll be watching in 2014!


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 9:03 pm

      Thank you, Michelle. I need all the help I can get, keeping it between the lines…


    • Anonymous 01/02/2014 / 11:56 am

      Stan I have faith in believing you and Danah will move on to something greater. When one door closes another one opens.things happen for a reason sometimes we don’t allways know why, so hold your head up high and move on. You and Danah are in my thoughts and prayers. Love you both. Come and see us when you can.


      • Anonymous 01/02/2014 / 9:43 pm

        Stan I forgot to put my name on the post. It’s your Aunt Doris. I realized when I saw anonymous. Love you and Danah. Take care & come see us .


        • Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 11:30 pm

          Hah! I didn’t know. I’m like my Dad, you know! : ) Lots of women wanting me to come visit ’em and I sure got to be careful about committing to do so!!!! lol

          Love ya and we will be able to see you and Jimmy more in teh future, for sure. Especially if you can pull together a chocolate cake from tiem to time!


  2. Todd schuchart 01/01/2014 / 6:38 pm

    What do you say, congratulations, good luck or great job all these killing it? The feeling of relief says toe you are doing the right thing. If you start noodling I will go fishing you. Happy New Year Todd Schuchart


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 9:04 pm

      Thanks, Todd! And I think you say all those things! (congratulations, good luck, and great job all these killing it)


  3. Mike P 01/01/2014 / 6:42 pm

    I know it’s been a tough decision to make, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. When the dust clears, hope to see some Mexican Heat! SF.


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 9:17 pm

      My brother…

      I can’t wait to get it in your hands… I so appreciate what a believer you’ve been in my writing….

      Soon, wardog, soon. : )


  4. Nancy England 01/01/2014 / 6:42 pm

    I was afraid that was what the big news was about. I was hoping you’d just switch to online rather than shutting down. Either that or you’d won the lottery and were going to start publishing daily. (Yeah, I know, limp.)

    Best of luck to you. The Observer was a quality product, the best around, and we’ll miss it. You’re talented, and whatever you choose to do (fishing???) will be a blessing.

    So what are you going to do for money, other than let it leak out all over the place? Putting Danah on a street corner in mesh tights? Have a booth at the city festivals and offer to write columns as requested by passersby?

    Will you be staying in Oak Ridge or migrating to the beach on a permanent basis?

    Gor blimey, I’ll miss you.


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 9:30 pm

      I wouldn’t ask Danah to do anything I wouldn’t do, so if I put her on a corner in mesh, I’ll be out there with her!!!


  5. Tom Johnson 01/01/2014 / 6:44 pm

    Good luck Stan. I know how hard it is to give up something you’ve worked so hard for. My health forced us out of the publishing industry, but we spent 22 wonderful years in it, and met many good people. Artists, writers, and historians. Whatever you do, you’ll succeed. Keep writing, it’s the best therapy. It has kept my mind active eleven years after the stroke. God Bless.


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 9:31 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Tom. Holy cow, yet another thing we have in common!!!

      At the rate we’re going, I’m waiting for you to say you’re an uncle of mine or something…

      And here’s to much therapy to us both in 2014!!!


  6. John 01/01/2014 / 6:54 pm

    Stan, I’m proud you and of your hard work to help keep the community informed. I know what ever you do you will give it your all, that’s just who you are.
    Thank you for publishing my photos over the years, it has meant allot to me.

    John Westcott


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 9:32 pm

      Thanks, John! I appreciate all the support you provided through the years!


  7. steven 01/01/2014 / 6:57 pm

    Even if the battles change, we know you’ll never stop fighting. We’ll be in touch.


  8. Bill duncan 01/01/2014 / 7:04 pm

    I know this has been a hard decision for you to make. You will always have my support in what you do.


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 9:37 pm

      Thanks, Master Duncan! That means a lot!

      Here’s to more time at the dojo, trying to perfect those forms and avoiding getting hit! : )


  9. John Bishop 01/01/2014 / 7:07 pm

    I remember the red rack purchase well and putting on all those logo decals…they were a big hit, as was the locations listing on page two. In my opinion the biggest thing early on was our scooping the February Oak Ridger Progress Report with our Community Growth in January. It was a fun working with you. Best of luck.


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 9:38 pm

      Thanks, John! Boy, those were the days… : )

      That was like in ’05 or ’06, right?


  10. Norm Nelson 01/01/2014 / 7:09 pm

    Stan, Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your dream for 4 1/2 years. I appreciate your support of the individuals I served.


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 9:45 pm

      Thanks, Norm. You guys have been great to work with, and in those nearly five years, you all have never let us down.

      As I’ve said to you before, it made my day each and every week to cut a check to folks who were so appreciative to have a job.

      Your nonprofit agency write this on their site: “It has been our experience that individuals with disabilities WANT to work, earn money and increase their independence. Statistics show that when given a chance, they are rarely absent and strive harder to meet employer standards. These potential employees VALUE their jobs.

      Without question, I can vouch for those statements as an absolute fact. Let me know if I can write a letter of reference or anything else.

      (For those who don’t know — or in case I forget in fifty years — Norm works with Emory Valley Center. They are a non-profit agency that serves children and adults with disabilities.


  11. Melissa Kay Bishop 01/01/2014 / 7:23 pm

    Whatever you and Danah do, it will be great. You guys are so talented, smart, and hard-working. The Observer will be missed and I cherish the memories of when I was a part of it. Best wishes and keep us posted on what happens next!


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 11:01 pm

      Will do, Melissa! Thanks for the kind words! You were great to work with!!!


  12. Kathy Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 7:48 pm

    Dearest Son & Daughter-In-Law, Like Todd, what do you say? Besides sickness or death, this is the saddest news I’ve had and if I can quit crying long enough, I will try to tell you how I feel. Dad and I have been so proud of you, to not be afraid to “Follow Your Dreams”! In spite of all the work (including 24 hour days), trials, disappointments, and everything else you have encountered, you have persevered through it all. Don’t know of anyone else, (except a Marine) who would have endured what you and Danah have in the last nine years. But thank GOD for all the joys and blessings you have had also and that is what we have to remember. I know everyone in Oak Ridge are as proud of you, as we are, and as sad as we are (or more) to not be able to enjoy THE OAK RIDGE OBSERVER every week. Keep GOD first in your lives, which we always tried to show and teach you, and HE will open a door for you all, far beyong your expectations! Dad and Mom, and all your family are here for you at any time day or night. Also I will be looking forward to more Fishing, Cracker Barrell, etc. and Family time with you both. LOVE & PRAYERS TO THE WHOLE OAK RIDGE OBSERVER STAFF!!!!! Dad & Mom. (Marvin & Kathy Mitchell). All things work together for good to them that love GOD. Romans 8:28


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 11:09 pm

      Thanks, Mom, for the kind words. You and Dad have definitely been on a roller coaster ride with us, these past few years, and that was even with us trying to hide much of the pain and uncertainty from you.



      • Kathy Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:02 am

        What are Dad’s and Mom’s for? We would have loved to bear more of the burden with you, instead of the uncertainty of how you were doing. We are always here for you! Please lean on us! LOVE & PRAYERS, MOM& DAD


  13. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:09 pm

    I’m going to be pasting in comments from my facebook, since I don’t think facebook will be here 50 years from now, and I’d like to remember what was said. (If you’ve subscribed to these comments, I apologize, since your email may get bombarded, but please allow me this courtesy in this special circumstance.)


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 1:14 am

      Jeff Haws: “9 years longer than I thought you’d make it. Maybe 10. You guys proved me wrong with every day you made this happen, and I’m proud of everything you accomplished. I still remember the day you walked into the Daily Beacon office the summer of 2002, you started talking to me, and I thought, “I’ve gotta figure out how to use this guy.” I certainly never regretted that. I also remember sitting at your computer when the paper was still just a theory, discussing strategy and marketing approach.

      “I didn’t think the paper could work at all, and I was clearly wrong. To my slight credit, though, I thought that, if anyone could make it a reality, that person was Stan. And I’ve seen what a fantastic inspiration Danah has been for you. All the best to both of you. You’ve taken this thing further than anyone as stupid as me could possibly expect. Can’t wait to see/read what you do next.”


  14. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:15 pm

    Meg McDermott: “Wow. That IS news. Did a good job!”

    Rajendra Jain: “Sorry to hear that Stan R. Mitchell will be shutting down the Oak Ridge Observer.”

    Diane Kerley Long: “Oh, no!!!! So sorry to hear this…”

    Karen McNeal Dypolt: Too bad! I find it a very well written paper!”


  15. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:16 pm

    Jamie Olson: 😦 I will miss it! I still have my t-shirt from winning a contest several years back.

    Brenda Fellner: I am so sorry to hear this news


  16. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:17 pm

    Leslie Cowling England: “I am so sorry to hear this Stan. We love you both and wish you much success and happiness on your next project. Your paper brought me much joy.”


  17. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:18 pm

    Gary Cinder: “It was a good run Stan. You will never regret having done this. Best wishes for your next chapter.”


  18. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:20 pm

    Diane Kerley Long: “No other locally owned paper that covered the good, bad, ugly and beautiful of Oak Ridge. Thank you for hanging in as long as you did. You will be missed.”


  19. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:21 pm

    Scott Frith: “Well said and God bless you in all your future endeavors.”


  20. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:22 pm

    Russel Langley: “As a door closes for me one is opening. But this sad sad news greatly impacts my boss, editor, drill sergeant, mentor, and damn good friend, Stan R. Mitchell.

    “I can never repay my debt to you and Danah. You are a great boss, mentor, and friend. God’s speed and Semper Fi brother!”


  21. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:24 pm

    Courtney Russell: “So proud of you and Danah for all you accomplished!”


  22. Anonymous 01/01/2014 / 8:24 pm

    I believe it was you and Mandy that started that paper nine years ago….isn’t that correct?


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 9:26 pm

      Yes, that’s correct. I considered putting Mandy in the photo essay, giving her credit she absolutely deserves, but that gets tricky. One, I’m not sure she’d want her photo up on a VERY public site. And two, some might see that as a shot at Danah.

      So, it was a tricky situation that pretty much left me in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.


  23. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:28 pm

    Nancy England: “I still have my Observer Tshirt, too, won from a contest. The shirt has been well-used and has faded. Wore it last week. But the owl is still there.”


  24. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:28 pm

    Cortney Piper: “It was an incredible run and you have much to be proud of. I wish you lots of success in 2014 and beyond!”


  25. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:29 pm

    Mike Mahathy: “You did a great job. I’m sorry I did not support you more. We have let a great resource stop but you will do great Stan.”


  26. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:29 pm

    Linda Brown: “The best for you going forward. You did a great job in an ever changing market”


  27. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:29 pm

    Katy Brown: “You’ve had a great run and I’ve enjoyed reading your paper. Best Wishes in this new, exciting year!”


  28. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:32 pm

    Ellen Smith: “Very sorry to get this news, Stan, but I can’t say I’m surprised. I’m not going to “like” this posting, but I’m happy to say “Here’s to the new year, and your next adventures!””


  29. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:32 pm

    Barbara Bobbie Lynch Martin: “So sorry,,,,it’s tough out there. Best of luck”


  30. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:32 pm

    Greta Kaye Stoutt Ownby: “Sorry to read this news. Good luck with whatever you do next.”


  31. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:33 pm

    Mandy Kilpatrick: “I know you worked hard. Chapter endings are the hardest. Cool part? There are many more to write. Good luck, guys.”


  32. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:33 pm

    Theresa Scott: “Good Luck Stan & Dannah. Thank You for providing an alternative for our local news. Good luck in your next venture!”


  33. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:34 pm

    Angeleque McNutt: “All I can say is Thank You, for seeing our town in a different light and putting your heart and soul into sharing it with us. This is not the end for you my friend, you are far too talented. Excited to see where your journey leads from here. God bless you.”


  34. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:34 pm

    Jana Holt Martin, 46 minutes ago via mobile, “I’m sorry to see the Oak Ridge Observer go. Thank you, Stan R. Mitchell, for your hard work. I will miss our community newspaper!”


  35. cortneykangas 01/01/2014 / 8:35 pm

    Best of luck to you in whatever new adventure life presents to you!


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 11:11 pm

      Thanks, Cortney! I’m glad our paths crossed and my gut tells me we’ll be sharing our adventures with each other in the years to come!

      Can’t wait to keep up with your blog and writing journey. I’m not much of a fantasy fan, but I can’t wait to read your book!


  36. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:36 pm

    Andi Baumgartner: “Good luck to you and Danah Akin Mitchell – You two are amazing and I can’t wait to hear what you are up to next!”


  37. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:36 pm

    Kathy Kilday Gillenwaters: “Can’t wait to see what the future holds for you both!”


  38. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:37 pm

    Jessica Brock: “We are so sorry to hear the news. You and Danah Akin Mitchell created a wonderful paper. Can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you both. Best of luck!”


  39. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:37 pm

    Adam Moore: “Best wishes to you and Danah. I’m blessed to know you both. I’m confident God has wonderful things in store for you in the year ahead. I admire you immensely for chasing your dream, few have the guts to take a chance and pour themselves into an endeavor as you all have. Take care.”


  40. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:40 pm

    Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank:


    “You are a warrior. You were 9 years ago and still are. And you are a great writer and I know great things are ahead for you and your best friend and true love, Danah.

    “Suffering and trial are always the most difficult to understand, but as I try to constantly remind not only myself, but also others, we are constantly being shaped and molded. And like iron hammered and heated, most of our shaping comes through pain. And to be useful, we must be shaped.

    “This is a tough economy, Stan—and we’re still not back from 2008. Many years of recovery are ahead. And locally, though there is light ahead, it’s still tough. I look at the numbers. Heck, I ran on the numbers. Declining sales tax revenue doesn’t just mean less in the government treasury, it means few retailers and fewer sale—and for media, that translates to fewer advertising dollars.

    “Add the changing world of media and Stan, you absolutely have no apologies to make. It’s not just challenges for Stan and Danah— the challenges are the same for the big media (New York Times, Time) down to every family owned or small town paper. Media is changing and many outlets are barely hanging on. Some, like Forbes or Scripps, are trying to diversify and change the model in order to survive.

    “You aren’t walking away. You are adapting. And you are a pioneer, an entrepreneur.

    “I remember meeting you over a decade ago—shaking your hand at what was then our Melton Hill Regional Industrial Association meeting. I knew you were different then, and you still are. You have a passion and enthusiasm that is contagious—and I know I certainly haven’t heard the last of Stan and Danah Mitchell. You’ve made a business decision and sometimes those decisions are tough. You’ve got nothing but my highest and strongest respect. You are changing courses, but in all, your integrity and honor stand as proudly as ever.”


  41. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:40 pm

    Shane Deichman: “I’m looking forward to seeing what future successes you will achieve. Semper Fi, Devil Dog!”


  42. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:41 pm

    Janice Melcher: “Well I guess I will just go buy some more copies of Sold Out and Little Man. The Oak Ridge Observer filled a big hole and will leave a big whole. This is the bitter/ sweet of life; goodbye to a job well done.”


  43. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:41 pm



  44. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:43 pm

    Amy Moore Rector: “Good luck to you and Danah. The Rector’s love you and wish you all the best!”


  45. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:51 pm

    Patricia Dozier Row: “We will miss having the Observer and you and Dana as part of the business community…stick with Oak Ridge if you can!”


  46. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 8:52 pm

    Darlene Walker Schlicher: “Loved working with you and thanks for always treating me so kindly. God bless you in your future endeavors!!!!!”


  47. Anonymous 01/01/2014 / 8:56 pm

    Take the time to slow down and enjoy this time with your wife and the new journey’s you both can share together. Wish you both the best in all your new adventures. Sending love and prayers! ~Trinity & Heather


  48. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 9:01 pm

    Miguel Eaton, Capt. USMC: “At some point in his life, every Marine has to attack in the opposite direction. S/F”


  49. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 10:11 pm

    Rick Chinn, my landlord for the past nine years: “I can honestly say I’ve been with you since the beginning. Remember showing you office space and learning about your plan to start a new paper in town. You have definitely made a difference and that my friend is all any of us can ever hope to do. Good luck.”


  50. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 10:22 pm

    Kay Williamson: “Stan R. Mitchell, I’ve loved you since the day you first came into J&C Market and asked if I would let you put the paper in and of course I said ”’HELL YES”.. I have always loved the paper, your charming ways, I hope when you think about me you will always remember my billing issues, (lol) and how I made you laugh.. I hope in the future you will always be the smart loving kind and great writer that we’ve all loved for so many years. I wish you and Dinah the best of luck…”


  51. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 10:23 pm

    Nikki Bradley: “Wow! I hate to hear this Stan but I know you will be successful in whatever your next adventure is! Best of luck!”


  52. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 10:23 pm

    Betsy Prine: “This news makes my stomach ache and I still can’t really believe it. All of those days you guys came downstairs to check on me when I should have been coming to check on you! Thank you for your commitment to putting out an unbiased, accurate, and relevant paper every single week for 9 years. I’ve always admired your grit and work ethic and know that will remain in whatever life brings you next. Love you both!”


  53. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 10:24 pm

    Kristy Styles Herron: “You have given the community a tremendous gift, your talent, your time. You and Danah will continue to create a path forward and you accept nothing less than success. I am certain you will continue to serve and touch all of your readers with your gift and talent. May God bless you both in your endeavors.”


  54. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 10:24 pm

    Lisa Fitzpatrick: “I’ve enjoyed the Oak Ridge Observer and wish you the best in the future.”


  55. Christina Duncan 01/01/2014 / 10:53 pm

    Good luck to you both! Thank you for all your hard work over the years!!! Sad to see the paper go, but I know something better is in store for you.


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 11:12 pm

      Thanks, Christina! And I hate we only met and talked by email, but I still want to meet you someday! Until then… : )


  56. Devrin Kuipers 01/01/2014 / 11:10 pm


    Your service to the community was as faithful as your service to our country. You are man of exceptional character who will be successful in whatever you choose to do. My best wishes to you and Danah.


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 11:27 pm

      Wow, Devrin… Well, you’ve just made my night. Actually, more like my week!

      And from one vet to another, KNOW that I respect the world out of what you did in Desert Storm.


  57. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 11:16 pm

    Sandi Arakawa Henry: “You have worked like a dog all these years, and I’m sure you’re ready for a break. Best of luck in your next venture. God bless you and Danah.”


  58. Stan R. Mitchell 01/01/2014 / 11:44 pm

    Charles Campbell: “Very disturbing news! Really enjoyed the paper and looked forward to each Thursday edition. Especially will miss the editorials. Good luck in any future endeavors and SEMPER FI !”


  59. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 12:04 am

    Jeremy Morrow: “Good luck, Stan Mitchell. I’m sure you don’t need it, but good luck with the next chapter(s) in your life.”


  60. Embattled Farmers 01/02/2014 / 1:05 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I was hoping it was good news about your writing, like a deal with a major publisher. I know how hard you and Danah have worked, and I wanted the newspaper to thrive. But I know you both will use what you’ve learned and move on to something better.


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:45 am

      That is so well said that I don’t even know how to respond. : )

      I’ve told several people that even with the disappointment, I’m very confident that the lessons I learned and the relationships I made will lead to bigger and better things.

      And I’m sorry I haven’t emailed you in a while… : (

      I need to be a better friend!


      • Embattled Farmers 01/02/2014 / 2:07 pm

        I think of you as an excellent friend.
        With your brains and work ethic and attitude, I know you will go on to bigger and better. But the fact that you kept the paper going for nine years, given the Great Recession and everything going against newspapers, says what an amazing team you and Danah are. You just need to pick an industry that isn’t dying!


        • Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:48 pm

          Yeah, I can’t say much for my vision… : ) I’ll admit I’m a hard-working, but starting a newspaper in the 21 Century will probably go down as one of my more stupid acts… : )


          • Embattled Farmers 01/02/2014 / 9:10 pm

            No, more like a romantic act. I subscribe to my local weekly (The Ark in Belvedere, CA) and still love picking up my NYT in its blue wrapper each morning. Of course, I’ll be 63 next month, so I’m not exactly the demographic of the future.


  61. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 1:15 am

    Nicky Reynolds: “Excellent run! Best of luck in whatever you decide to take on next! “


  62. Veronica O'Hearn 01/02/2014 / 9:09 am

    All the best for you and Danah. You guys are a class act and the entire community wishes nothing but good things for you. Maybe a best selling novel will be on the horizon for you and for your faithful readers 🙂


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:48 am


      You have been a wonderful supporter and friend. I still remember your first phone call as an ambassador for the Chamber!!!

      And I think I could handle a best-selling novel! : )



  63. Letizia 01/02/2014 / 9:53 am

    It’s always hard to make decisions like these but it looks like you had a wonderful experience. I wish you all the best as you start this new year ready for new adventures!


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:49 am

      Oh, thank you, Letizia! And now I will have a bit more time to harass, I mean, interact with you! : )


  64. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:36 am

    Dave Drum: “Stan, I hate to see any small business close. You and Danah have done an incredible job over the past 9 years, and you’ve served our community well. I wish you both the best of whatever is in your future. Bless you both!”


  65. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:39 am

    Steven D. Martin: “Stan, I especially want to thank you for the way you encouraged photographers in our town by featuring photos on the cover. It was a real treat to see what kind of work other people were doing, and a real honor to see my own work published, or in one case, my daughter’s photograph. Thanks for a great nine years.”


  66. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:39 am

    Dolores Lowry: “So sorry to hear that news. You provided balance!”


  67. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:39 am

    Kelly Norrell: “I am sorry! You will take a lot of talent into a new direction.”


  68. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:40 am

    Stacy Wise Thompson: “It sounds like you accomplished so much with the paper. Something to be proud of! Can’t wait to hear what’s next! Blessings to you!!”


  69. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:40 am

    Parker Hardy, President of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce: “You really gave it your all. And lots of us admire you for it.”


  70. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:41 am

    Annie F Stoutt Cacheiro: “I wish you all the best in 2014 Stan R. Mitchell – I have enjoyed The The Oak Ridge Observer and I’m sad to see it go, but totally understand. Good luck in whatever direction you are going!”


  71. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:42 am

    Andy Cockrum: “I wish you luck in your future endeavors. I wouldn’t be surprised to see you in Anderson County/ Oak Ridge politics in the future.”


  72. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:42 am

    Patricia Hope: “Stan R. Mitchell, you are a remarkable person. I admire what you did in every way. My run with you was short but I enjoyed writing a column and working with you a few years ago. Best of luck to you and Danah!”


  73. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:42 am

    Aaron Holbrook: “Proud of you both for chasing your dream! You work hard and aren’t afraid to take risks–that’s powerful. I’m glad I’ve gotten to know both of you. Best of luck”


  74. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:43 am

    Leslie Henderson, President/CEO at The Roane Alliance: “It will be missed. It was a very classy publication based on some very sound principles”


  75. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 12:33 pm

    Benjamin Stephens II: “So sad to read you are closing the paper. Thanks for the opportunity to contribute and I know the experience will serve you well. As Bob Hope would say “thanks for the memories!” Be well and have a happy new year!”


  76. Amy Fitzgerald 01/02/2014 / 12:40 pm

    Stan–I can’t believe it’s been nine years since you took the plunge! You are a class act and I look forward to your next venture. Thanks for sharing the photos–


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:43 pm

      Thank you, Amy. Those words mean a lot to me, and it was wonderful working with you all these years.


  77. Julio Ibanez 01/02/2014 / 1:56 pm

    You, Danah and The Observer will always hold a special place in my heart. You guys made a childhood dream come true in letting me write film reviews professionally. It was my first paid writing gig and, even if it proves to be my last, it was an absolute blast and quite an honor to have done so. Thank you for the opportunity, the encouragement and for the years of hard work and integrity you poured into this community.

    I look forward to whatever’s next for you guys! Keep us all posted!


  78. Angi Agle 01/02/2014 / 2:18 pm

    Stan, you did the impossible and kept it going for nine years. Your calling is writing, so my hope is that you can immerse yourself in doing what you love. Life is too short for anything less!


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:55 pm

      Thank you, Angi. I appreciate both your words and all your support through the years. And it’s nice to have such a fan of my fiction, too!


  79. Mike Asbury 01/02/2014 / 5:06 pm


    It takes more courage to close a business responsibly than to open one to begin with! I know your ego is bruised, but I applaud your courage!

    Im on your side!


    Mike Asbury, CPC | TOMORROW BEGINS TODAY Tel: 865.896.2046 x804 Fax: 865.357.6453


  80. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:44 pm

    Susie Hancock: “you WILL do greater things in the future, this door HAD to close so another WILL open.”


  81. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:45 pm

    Kristy Styles Herron: “As far as closing I’m waiting on the “haha just kidding!””


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:46 pm

      Don Miller: “I wish Kristy’s comment were possible. The Observer has brought much to our town that could not have happened without it. Stan, the man, is much to be admired for his focus and determination.”


  82. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:45 pm

    Cherish Matthews: “I am still immensely proud of you and everything you’ve accomplished! Now, sleep in and go on vacation!”


  83. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:46 pm

    Jane Pope: “Congratulations on the many accomplishments and contributions to Oak Ridge, Stan. We wish you all the best.”


  84. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:47 pm

    Julio Ibanez: “You, Danah and The Observer will always hold a special place in my heart. You guys made a childhood dream come true in letting me write film reviews professionally. It was my first paid writing gig and, even if it proves to be my last, it was an absolute blast and quite an honor to have done so. Thank you for the opportunity, the encouragement and for the years of hard work and integrity you poured into this community.”


  85. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:56 pm

    Buzz Patrick: “Sad to hear; will miss your uncommon wisdom (closing letter is another example).”


  86. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:56 pm

    Debra Carpenter: “Such sad news. I’ve enjoyed writing my column for the Observer and I thank you both for giving me a chance when I was brand new. You’ve taught me a lot! Best of luck to you and Danah.”


  87. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:56 pm

    Connie Adams: “Stan, you and it will be missed. So sorry, but I know you’ll go on to better things. Good luck.”


  88. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:57 pm

    Allen Eubanks: “Sorry to hear this. I enjoyed your paper. Hope your headed to greater opportunities”


  89. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:57 pm

    Kristin Parran Faulder: “Hey Stan — So sorry to hear about the paper. I know how hard you guys worked to get that going. Best of luck for you both in 2014; may the New Year bring you much happiness — and a vacation. 😉 “


  90. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:58 pm

    Jenn Wade: “Oh Stan – just read about the Observer. So sorry to hear that news — I know it was your baby and such an asset to the community. I hate to see it go, but look forward to the next big adventure for you and Danah. Best wishes to you both. 🙂 Big hugs.”


  91. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 7:58 pm

    Diane Kerley Long: “Terrible loss of our only locally owned independent newspaper. Sad to see them go. Great journalistic integrity, with editorials clearly marked as opinion pieces. Thank you, Stan Mitchell, and good luck to you and your wife.”


  92. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 8:00 pm

    Tom Hanrahan: “Congratulations on entering the next chapter of your life! I’m sure it was an emotional decision as much as a business decision but you had the strength to make it. You were very fortunate to have been able to do something that you enjoyed and were good at. Thank you for nine good years, for the quality product you created and for your contributions to making our community a better place. Peggy and I both look forward to seeing where your passion and your energy takes you in 2014 and beyond.”


  93. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 8:01 pm

    Dorothy Bowles: “Sad to hear this. You and Danah have put up a great, courageous fight and accomplished good things. Best wishes in your future endeavors.”


  94. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 8:01 pm

    Jack L. Suggs: “Good luck in your future Stan. With your energy and enthusiasm, I will be waiting to see what doors open for you.”


  95. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:57 pm

    Susan McGetrick: “I know that was a hard decision to make but I am so glad for you too- you worked so hard for so little for too long- both of you are very talented people that I there has to be something better coming down the pike.

    “Not that publishing the Observer wasn’t great — you did a hell of a good job and folks will remember what a great paper it was but it will be nice for you not have to be tied to that obligation every week and endure criticism when you do the best you can with what you have to work with….so congratulations for making this big step! Go enjoy yourselves for awhile.”


  96. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 10:58 pm

    Andy Page (President /CEO at ORAU) wrote: “Stan: Speaking for all of us at ORAU, we wish you and Danah fair winds and following seas. You established yourself as a fair and objective reporter in Oak Ridge and always spoke to the ground truth in any matter. From one Marine to another you have always been faithful to the truth in your reporting… that’s all matters. We wish you nothing but the best. S/F Andy Page President/CEO”

    (Note: Mr. Page was also a full, retired Colonel in the Corps.)


  97. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 11:31 pm

    Robert Effler: “Start turning out those novels now – no excuses. :-)”


  98. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 11:32 pm

    Christopher D Keever, owner of Anderson County Visions Magazine: “If there is anything I know, it is this… As God Closes Doors, He also Opens New Doors and New Opportunities. I am very sad to hear this news. And as a so-called “competitor”, whatever that means, you were and remain the best. You have always been a good friend to me and my business… for me, your help and opinion was always just a phone call away. You understand life from a bigger lens than most. It is an honor to call you my friend, Stan. Keep your faith and doors will open, a new adventure begins.”


  99. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 11:33 pm

    Melanie Grigsby Harless: “So sorry to hear about this! The Observer will be greatly missed, but good luck to you and Danah in the future!”


  100. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 11:33 pm

    Brooke Welch Crass: “So sorry to see this! You did a great job on the paper…good luck to you both in the future!”


  101. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 11:34 pm

    Lucy Russo Nickel: “We can relate to small business obstacles. Best wishes, Stan and Danah. You will do fine.”


  102. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 11:34 pm

    Lynn Giuliano: “Never regret chasing your dreams. Best of luck to you and Danah!”


  103. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 11:35 pm

    Becky Crouch Norwood: “I hate to hear this. I thought if anyone could do it, it would have been Stan. I worked with him at The Oak Ridger, he knows his work. I will miss your paper. I pray that you find something that you will enjoy doing. Best of luck!”


  104. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 11:35 pm

    Dawn Koscielak Willis: “Very sad news but I know you will do greater things…”


  105. Stan R. Mitchell 01/02/2014 / 11:35 pm

    Russell Mayes: “Hang tough buddy. I know that great things are still ahead!”


  106. lawsonwritings 01/03/2014 / 12:35 pm

    Best of luck to you. At least you tried and you know you gave it your all. Now, a new opportunity will present itself. As they teach in Isshinryu Karate, “the time to strike is when the opportunity presents itself”.

    Chris Lawson
    Twitter: @Chris_W_Lawson


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/03/2014 / 11:24 pm

      Thanks, Chris, for the kind words. And it looks like you’re just up the road from me. I followed your blog and twitter account. Look forward to getting to know you and we’ll have to share a cup of coffee some day.


  107. Rick Morrow 01/03/2014 / 1:05 pm

    Stan, I truly appreciate you & Danah’s blood, sweat, and tears for the last 9 years. And I appreciate YOU. Please know if we can do anything to help, just call. I am confident you will land on your feet, but I know when you are in free fall, it still sucks.
    Rick Morrow


    • Stan R. Mitchell 01/03/2014 / 11:26 pm

      Thanks, Rick! It’s been wonderful working with you and I appreciate all you do for United Way and all those in need in our community. You haven’t heard the last of us.

      Sincerely yours,


  108. Stan R. Mitchell 01/03/2014 / 11:18 pm

    Leslie Agron: “I’m sure you have even better things ahead for you!”


  109. Stan R. Mitchell 01/03/2014 / 11:19 pm

    Russel Langley: “I began a new career in journalism in September 2012 with Stan at The Oak Ridge Observer. I learned a lot from him and came to admire him greatly over the next year and a half. On December 30, 2013 Stan informed me that after nine years he was closing the paper. This sad news was tempered by the fact that I had just interviewed for a full time journalist position at The Oak Ridger. Today I am happy to report that I have accepted their offer of employment and embark on my new journey on Monday. I owe all of this to Stan who believed in a guy from California with nothing more than a degree in English and a crazy idea. Thanks to my old boss Stan for his mentorship and guidance. Thanks to my new boss for taking the chance and bringing me on.”


  110. Stan R. Mitchell 01/03/2014 / 11:26 pm

    Bonnie Ellen Clark: “You both did an outstanding job…I stand behind your decision and wish you both the best in the future!”


  111. Stan R. Mitchell 01/03/2014 / 11:26 pm

    W. Preston Fields: “Stan, you fought a good fight and always ran a first class paper. Good luck in all future endeavors.”


  112. Dale 04/09/2014 / 10:13 am

    Stan, I have been out of touch with you for a few months, but I also appreciate your hard work and your contributions to the Oak Ridge community. Thank you for all the encouragements that you have given me for my writing. As you follow the next dream, let me know if I can be of service to you.


    • Stan R. Mitchell 04/10/2014 / 9:59 am

      Thanks, Dale, for the really kind words. It’s been nice getting to work with and know you through these years. I’m not going anywhere, so I’m sure we’ll cross paths soon! Until then!


  113. Slim Randles 08/15/2014 / 1:37 pm

    Best of luck, Stan, from another newspaperman and novelist. I will have to check out your books soon.
    Slim Randles, Home Country
    Albuquerque, NM


    • Stan R. Mitchell 08/15/2014 / 9:26 pm

      Thanks so much!!! Slowly but surely, we’re getting readjusted to what “normal” life is! lol


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