The Akron Hometowner – More than just newsprint

Posted August 1, 2018 at 2:42 am


It’s your community’s hometown news source.

And the best part is The Akron Hometowner is locally-owned by

community members who not only report the news but truly care about

their communities.

The Akron Hometowner was started as a dream in 2001 by Dodie and Joe Hook of rural


Having worked for The Akron Register-Tribune for many years, Dodie, with the help of

family and friends, started her own newspaper along with her husband, Joe.

Discussing a name with several people including the first Office Manager Nancy Enstrom, the Hooks wanted a local feel and someone said “hometown” and Hometowner was born!

In 2005, the Hooks purchased The Akron Register-Tribune combining it with the Hometowner, keeping the archives of that 100 year old paper.

The Hometowner began at 330 Reed St. Outgrowing that building, the Hooks built in 2005 the present building at 110 Reed St. with enough space to rent half the building out. Presently, that half is rented by Akron Gold & Silver.

The Hometowner has grown over the years and covers the towns of Akron and Westfield along with some area news.

The present employees with Dodie, publisher; and Joe, advertising and tech support; are Julie Ann Madden, editor; Kim Renken, office manager; with help from Hank Krause,

sports writer; Erica Kjar, special graphics designer; Pat Clark, proofreader and Looking Back column creator; Deanna Boe, columnist; Brendan Uhl, columnist; Hazel Renken, videographer; and Char Hodnefield, delivery.

The Hometowner prides itself on covering local news which includes governmental meetings, sports, school activities, features, events, etc. Many hours are spent gathering and compiling information.

The job of any community newspaper is to be a watchdog for the community, according

to the Iowa Newspaper Association. The Hometowner tries to do its best to be that watchdog.

The Hometowner is sent via internet to White Wolf Web in Sheldon on Monday evening

usually by 7 p.m. and is delivered on Tuesday to the office and to the post office. The paper is dated Wednesday due to the fact that the majority of the subscribers receive their paper on Wednesday. Circulation is over 1,100 and besides locally, the paper goes all over the country.

The Hometowner is proud to have won more than 100 awards in the Iowa Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest in its 17 years in both advertising and editorial.

“Although awards are nice, putting together a paper with information subscribers want is what is most important,” said Dodie.

“Helping and promoting our community is also important to us,” said Joe.

Trying to keep up with changes, the Hometowner now has a digital version which is sent to email addresses on Wednesdays.

The Hometowner also keeps active Facebook and Twitter pages, each with a large following.

“When advertisers run an ad with us, we also promote the information on those pages,” said Dodie.

With changes in the newspaper industry and many newspapers struggling or even folding, the Hometowner relies on its subscribers and advertisers to keep afloat. Akron has

been good to the Hometowner in that way, said the Hooks.

The Hometowner has a sister company, Koala-T Printing, which handles design and print jobs such as business cards, flyers, sale bills, and more.

Call: 712-568-2208


Mail: PO Box 797, Akron, IA 51001.

Better yet just stop by!

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