Dispatch has been serving greater NYM area since 2013

Since it began in 2013, the New York Mills Dispatch has been telling the stories of residents in the greater eastern Otter Tail County area. 

The Dispatch, which was started by Henning Publications, LLC owners Chad and Dani Koenen, began after former mayor Larry Hodgson and a former NY Mills city councilman asked the pair about their interest in starting a newspaper or publication in NY Mills. The New York Mills Herald was one of the premier small town newspapers in the state for generations, but was ultimately combined with a sister publication in another community to leave NY Mills without a newspaper of its own.

“I still remember when Larry came to talk to me about covering the NY Mills City Council and asking if we would ever consider starting a publication in town,” said Chad, who is also the current president of the Minnesota Newspaper Association. “We live near Deer Creek so we knew of the need in the community and it was always on our radar, we just never had a chance to start a publication. Once we had a little nudge from a few people everything just kind of fell into place.”

Beginning in January of 2013, the NY Mills Dispatch began covering the eastern Otter Tail County area and has been publishing every Wednesday ever since. The newspaper has won countless awards during the Minnesota Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest and routinely wins a top prize for its design and typography, as well as general reporting and general excellence. 

“We are a small staff, but we do our best to be as many places as we can be at once to cover what is going on in our own backyard,” said Chad. “While the world continues to evolve into digital platforms, we still feel there is a need and desire for a print newspaper in small town communities. There is something to be said about holding a newspaper in your hands and being able to cut out pictures for scrapbooks each week. You don’t get to do that with Facebook or other social media websites.”

In addition to Chad and Dani Koenen, the NY Mills Dispatch staff includes secretary/reporter Tucker Henderson who has been at the Dispatch for almost two years.

“We have always enjoyed Tucker’s history columns and he has really done a great job of telling the stories of people in our community,” said Chad. 

In addition to the printed newspaper, which can be purchased at a number of gas stations and grocery stores throughout the NY Mills, Bluffton and Deer Creek area, the Dispatch offers a digital version of the newspaper through its website. The digital version can be viewed on computers, smart phones, iPads and much more. 

In today’s world of social media and conspiracy theories concerning just about any topic at hand, Chad said it is more important than ever to get your news from reputable sources to prevent further disinformation and confusion. 

“We always say, if you want to know the score of a game or get a glimpse of what is happening in town then use social media or aggregate news websites. However, if you want to know the rest of the story, or why something happened, pick up a copy of our newspaper,” said Chad. “We are the only newspaper going to all of the school board and city council meetings in our area. It’s the only place you will find out what is going on other than just the tidbits you hear around the coffee shop.”

In addition to publishing a newspaper and operating a website, the Dispatch also offers colored copies, custom print design work, plat book sales and custom logo designs.

“We offer a little bit of everything for people, which has helped us make it through some of these difficult times we are all enduring right now,” said Chad. “Even with all of the uncertainty in our area, we are optimistic about the future of NY Mills and the entire eastern Otter Tail County area.”

The NY Mills Dispatch office is open five days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to  3 p.m. on Friday. 

Our main office is located at 17 E. Centennial 84 Dr. in downtown NY Mills (the former Hardware Hank building across the street from Lakeland Auto Repair and next to Vaughn Auto). 

A one-year subscription to the Dispatch is just $42 for Otter Tail County residents, which is about the cost of a tank of gas. The cost for a one year subscription is also a fraction of the cost of several local weekly newspapers in the area. 

In addition to the Dispatch, Henning Publications, LLC, also published the Citizen’s Advocate in Henning and the Frazee-Vergas Forum.