Briscoe County had only 1,637 people at the 2010 census, but Sally Arnold Threet bought the Briscoe County News, and transformed it, writes Laverne Zabielski, who recently sold the Motley County Tribune to Threet: "It had come alive: full of stories, ads and photos. What that communicated to me was that Briscoe County was also alive." Before, "It seemed to represent a community that was dwindling and a newspaper on its way out. Other papers, however, were inspiring: The Clarendon Enterprise and The Canadian Record."
Now Larry and Laverne Zabielski's paper is part of it, and Arnold announced in this week's paper that it will again be printed weekly again. Laverne Zabielski said in a Facebook post, "Becoming the publisher and editor of the Motley County Tribune was a dream come true. Selling the paper to Caprock Courier Publisher Sally Arnold is a dream come true."
Zabielski wrote that she and her husband bought the Tribune in 2007 "because of its strong, historical connection to Motley County and because my ancestors had settled here," but family obligations forced them to move to Kentucky in 2008. They published the paper from there, with the help of digital technology and people in Motley County. (Motley is just outside the Panhandle, according to the more or less official definition, but is in the territory of the Panhandle Press Association.)
|Valley Tribune map|
The three counties are also served by another newspaper, the weekly Valley Tribune, based at Quitaque, near the counties' conjunction. It is the successor of the Quitaque Tribune and is published by Becky and Luke Taylor, who bought it from family members Jan. 1. It does not put news online and bills itself as the "Voice of the Rolling Plains," the geographic area east of the Llano Estacado.