Eric Raby

Eric is a Marketing Representative.
He has been apart of the team since August 2018. He covers local businesses in the Steeleville, TRICO, Pinckneyville, & Du Quoin areas.
He is proud to represent a locally own newspaper and we are glad to have him be a part of the team.
He enjoys softball with his daughters, Josie & Olivia and spending time with his wife Melinda and his lab Wrigley. Eric loves to fish when he gets the chance.


Brianna George

Brianna is our Graphic Designer.
She creates ads for our paper from local businesses. She also works on printing jobs and helps come up with creative ideas as well. She likes working with her co-workers too and has been part of the team since 2017.
Brianna is from Steeleville, but now lives in Sparta with her husband Blake. She loves spending time with family and friends, and even her dogs Chewy, Kylo & Leia.


Jerry Willis

Jerry is our Editor.
He and his brother Larry established the County Journal in 1980, in their Dad's original retail building. Their goal was to cover our local news as it has never been covered in the area before.
Jerry sold his ownership in the County Journal in 2013 and has retired. He doesn't mind coming in every once in a while to fill in. Jerry lives in Willisville with his wife Judy and enjoys traveling and spending time with his grandsons. He still enjoys gathering our local news today and many years to come.


Larry Willis

Larry is a Co-Owner and Publisher.
Larry, along with brother Jerry, established the County Journal in 1980. He is our photography specialist along with covering news. He also heads up our printing department where we print flyers, invoices and other products.
Larry lives in Ava with wife LeeAnn and enjoys playing drums in the band Last Band Standing.


Sarah Kranawetter

Sarah works in Circulation and Accounts Payable.
Sarah has been with the County Journal for over 10 years. She does a little bit of everything in our office. Sarah helps anyone that needs her. She handles all matters with the post office and newspaper subscriptions, she takes care of accounts payable and payroll and even designs ads and lays out newspaper pages in her extra time.
Sarah lives in St. Libory with her boyfriend Dave and her two children.


Travis Lott

Travis Lott has been a staff reporter with the County Journal since 2014.
He covers general news and feature stories in Randolph, Perry and Jackson counties.
Travis was born and raised in Chester and attended Southwestern Illinois College and Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


Dan Zobel

Dan is our Sports Editor.
He has been with the County Journal since 2013. He gathers information about sports teams in the area. He is our go to for all of the information about local schools too.
Dan lives in Chester. He loves his wife Viviene and their daughters Roselene, Eliza and Ezraih and enjoys spending time with them.
He is a fan of all Chicago sports teams, including the Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks and Bulls.


LeeAnn Willis

LeeAnn is our Copy Editor.
She has been involved with the paper since its inception. She proof reads all the news copy, advertisements and newspaper pages and makes sure it it ready for the press.
LeeAnn lives in Ava with her husband Larry. Her passion is animals. She enjoys volunteering with the Perry County Humane Society and fostering animals.


Dot (Mom)

Dot is our Typesetter.
Dot has worked here since the paper's inception in 1980. She is the mother of Jerry and Larry. Around the office she is known as Mom to everyone.
She typesets all the obituaries, society news, lunch menus and such.
Dot loves the office so much she lives right next to it. She enjoys spending time with her children, grand daughter and great-grandsons.


Kristin Anderson

Kristin is a Co-Owner and Office Manager.
Kristin designs ads and printing pieces and lays out newspaper pages. She is our tech guru for any questions we have. She manages bookkeeping and oversees everything for us in the office.
Kristin lives in rural Ava. She enjoys assisting her husband Rodney (Ava's Fire Chief) with organizing activities with the Fire Department. She also enjoys spending time with her children and friends.


John Falkenhein

John is a Co-Owner and Sales Manager.
John has worked at the County Journal since 1991. Along with managing our sales department he also works with product printing and circulation. He also takes news photos when needed and has a great working relationship with many community leaders.
John lives outside of Sparta with his wife Robyn. He enjoys volunteering his time with the Sparta Chamber of Commerce and is an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan.

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