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The Kalona News, Wellman Advance, Riverside Current, the Lone Tree Reporter and Highland Review was purchased by Anamosa Publications on October 1, 2016.

The five newspapers -- owned by two companies, Slechta Communications and Three Chicks Publications -- were sold in separate deals completed Wednesday, Sept. 28.

Anamosa Publications President Jim Johnson is the publisher and editor of the new publication. Anamosa Publications is owned by Johnson and his wife, Bridget. 

“The five newspapers will be combined into a single, larger newspaper called The News,” Johnson said.

“All of these newspapers have a long history of serving their communities,” Johnson said. “We plan to continue this long tradition of excellence and improve the news and advertising delivered to readers in north Washington County and south Johnson County.

Ron and Helen Slechta wanted to make sure their newspapers were in the hands of strong community newspaper publishers who would be involved in their communities.  The Slechtas published The Kalona News, Lone Tree Reporter and Highland Review.

The Johnsons publish the Journal-Eureka in Anamosa, which has a reputation for journalistic excellence.

The News will maintain offices in Kalona, Wellman and Lone Tree.

The Kalona News dropped Kalona from its name on Nov. 2.

Publisher Jim Johnson said the change reflects the newspaper’s coverage of all communities in northern Washington and southern Johnson counties.

The names of the four largest communities served by the newspaper – Kalona, Wellman, Riverside and Lone Tree – have been added to the newspaper nameplate.

He added: “Now we are the Kalona News, the Wellman News, the Riverside News and the Lone Tree News.”

In October 2016, Anamosa Publications – a company owned by Jim and Bridget Johnson – purchased the Kalona News, Wellman Advance, Riverside Current, Highland Review and Lone Tree Reporter. After the purchase, the newspapers were combined into a single publication, providing news from all of the communities along Highway 22.

The newspapers were previously owned by two companies, Slechta Communications and Three Chicks Publications.

“The name change is the latest in our efforts to be more reflective of the communities we cover,” Johnson said.

The Old English type used in the newspaper nameplate reflects the history of the newspaper, which was first published in 1891. The Wellman Advance began publication two years earlier in 1889.

“Al l agree that a live, local paper is a valuable acquisition to any town, and it is our purpose to make the News worthy of the confidence and patronage of all,” Allen wrote in the first edition. “With a firm belief in the town and its future we shall do our utmost for the interest of Kalona and the surrounding country, and trust that your patronage will enable us to make the News a first-class local paper. The better a paper is the more valuable it is to a town.”  - Emma Allen Dunlap

The first issue of The Kalona News was published on November 19, 1891 and continues as Kalona's oldest continuously operating business. Emma Allen Dunlap founded the Kalona News.

It is the goal of The Kalona News to provide our readers with the most comprehensive coverage of news, photos, sports, features and advertising of any publication in northern Washington County and southern Johnson County. It is our goal to keep our readers informed about the activities including the cities of Kalona, Wellman and Riverside plus the Mid-Prairie, Iowa Mennonite School and Highland School District.

The Kalona News is a leader and pioneer in the use of color photos in news and advertising.  The Kalona News launched its first webpage in 2000.


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