Ledger-Transcript adds 3 to staff

The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript recently added three new members to its staff ­— one in the news department and two in advertising sales.

Reporter Brandon Lawrence joins the news staff, where he will be covering the towns of Antrim, Bennington and Francestown, while Lyn Falcone and David Groder join the advertising department.

Lawrence’s interest in journalism began with a whim, when he took a journalism course as a ConVal junior to fill a free period. But once he saw his name in print, he was hooked.

He began to seriously consider journalism as a career as a high school senior, becoming co-editor of the ConVal Current. Being a big sports fan, he eventually focused on sportswriting. He completed an internship his senior year with the Ledger-Transcript under current Sports Editor Tim Goodwin. By the time he entered college at the University of New Hampshire, he declared his major in English and Journalism.

A recent graduate of UNH, Lawrence, a resident of Antrim, has returned to the place where he got his start in journalism to begin reporting on the region’s northern towns. While Lawrence still writes sports as a New England Patriots freelancer for Boston-based sports radio station WEEI.com, he said he’s ready to take on the challenges of covering local town news.

“It’s definitely different,” said Lawrence. “But it helps that I’ve lived in Antrim for more than 20 years, and I feel like I know the area and have a sense of the town meetings and the issues.”

While Lawrence would like to continue to write sports in the future, he said the variety of his new position is appealing.

“Sports is all sports,” he said. “Covering towns, it could be bridges, it could be wind farms, budget hearings, meetings, moving police stations. It’s all different, and it’s cool to think that this is all going to be part of my experience, and it’s going to really help out in terms of becoming well-rounded.”

Lawrence said it would be fitting to start his career at the Ledger-Transcript, the same place his interest in journalism was first fostered.

“I’m very much looking forward to my time here,” he said. “It’s a cool thought to be here, almost like I came full circle. I started here in high school and now I’m back here again.”

Groder, a Jaffrey resident and a proud member of the first graduating class of Franklin Pierce College, joined the advertising sales staff of the Ledger-Transcript this week.

Groder, who was born in Skowhegan, Maine, and grew up in Connecticut, first came to the Monadnock region to attend Franklin Pierce when the college first opened in the early 1960s. He still has close ties to the school, both as a neighbor in a nearby town and as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Groder got his start working in the newspaper business in the early 1970s in Connecticut. He spent more than 35 years in sales, most of that time selling printing services to book publishers. He worked for a long time from Rhode Island for Federated Litho, and later for Quebecor Inc., which bought out Federated.

A lot of his sales were for Quebecor’s plant in Leominster, Mass., and after their children graduated from high school 11 years ago, Groder and his wife, Gail, moved to Jaffrey.

“The kids went off to college and we decided to move back to the area,” he said. “We’d always loved this part of New Hampshire. We found some land and built a house, just down the road from Franklin Pierce.”

About four years ago, Groder retired from printing sales, but he’s not ready for settle down.

“I call myself semi-retired,” said Groder, who will be doing inside sales for the newspaper, selling special promotion ads, classifieds and help wanted ads. “You still have the desire to do something. I thought I’d give this a try. I’m really looking forward to getting to know the community on a personal basis.”

Gail Groder works in the office of Monadnock Internists at Monadnock Community Hospital. The couple has two adult children, one living in Boston and the other in Newport, R.I.

“My daughter will be getting married at end of August in Rhode Island,” Groder said. “We working on that now.”

Groder said he enjoys “tinkering” with wood carving, making replicas of shore birds. He’s also a fan of Formula One racing and tries to get outdoors regularly.

“I love to climb Mount Monadnock whenever I can,” he said.

Falcone and her husband, Vincent, moved to Peterborough about two and a half years ago from Long Island, N.Y. After both of their children were done with school, the couple decided to make the move.

“Most people retire and relocate south, but we always had the plan to go north,” said Falcone.

They actually found Peterborough by chance on a road trip visiting colleges with their youngest, Matt, and were really intrigued with the town. So they began to research it.

Falcone grew up in Madison and attended Kennett High School in North Conway, but wanted something a little less touristy for their final destination. Since moving to Peterborough, Falcone has enjoyed all the Monadnock region has to offer. She said she has always been an outdoors person and has climbed all 48 4,000-footers in New Hampshire.

“It’s a lot easier to find the avenue for it than when I lived on Long Island,” said Falcone. “So many people embrace an active lifestyle here.”

She enjoys playing golf, skiing, snowshoeing and cycling, having completed a 100-mile ride.

Since arriving in Peterborough and prior to joining the Ledger-Transcript, Falcone spent her days perfecting her craft as a fiber artist. She knits, weaves and dyes felt at her home and currently has some of her scarves on display at the Sharon Arts Center.

“I have a studio set up in my cellar at home,” said Falcone.

Falcone is also a member of the NH Weavers Guild and the Peterborough Garden Club. She has been gardening for 30 years and has what is known as a kitchen garden at her home.

Ashley Saari, Dave Anderson and Tim Goodwin contributed to this story.

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