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Sierra Sun welcomes new staff, reporters

Staff reports

Change is good. And with four new staff members at the Sierra Sun, the newspaper is experiencing some significant changes.

“We’re planning to pump new life into the paper, reinvigorating it,” Nik Dirga, the paper’s new editor, said.

Nik is replacing the Sun’s previous editor, John Bayless, who is moving to Uvalde, Texas.

Nik began his position this week, after working for two years as the editor of the North Shore Truckee Action, the entertainment supplement for the Sierra Sun, Tahoe World and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza.

Born in Fairbanks, Alaska, Nik grew up in Grass Valley. After residing there for 15 years, he attended college at the University of Mississippi, majoring in journalism and English. While in school, Nik worked for the Daily Mississippian, the college’s newspaper.

After graduation in 1994, Nik moved on to working for the Oxford Eagle, the town paper. He became the managing editor and eventually the editor of the Oxford Town, the weekly entertainment section of the Oxford Eagle. After two and a half years working there, Nik moved back west in the summer of 1997, after spending a total of seven years in Mississippi.

Nik was a reporter for the Oakdale Leader in Modesto for less than a year before he became editor of the North Shore Truckee Action, where he worked for two years until moving to the Sun.

Nik, 28, and his wife Avril recently moved to Truckee from Incline Village. He says his future plans for the paper are to redesign it from the ground up, with effects taking place later this summer or in early fall. The Sun will also be moving into a new, more spacious building this fall.

Alex Freemon is the Sun’s new general assignment reporter. Alex is from San Francisco and graduated from Brown University in 1997 with a degree in German Studies.

He worked as a reporter for real estate news service Inman News Features in Emeryville before coming to the Sun.

Alex is 25 and loves camping and claims to have the largest rubber band ball of anyone in town.

Darin Olde, 24, the paper’s new sports reporter, was born in Littleton, Colo., and attended the University of Colorado, Boulder. Throughout college, Darin took mostly science classes and majored in biology before he found his calling in journalism.

Immediately following graduation in 1998, Darin wrote for the Colorado Daily and had the second story he’d ever written placed on the front page. Darin wrote a column for the Daily for about eight months before moving to California and becoming associate editor and finally editor of Couloir Magazine, published out of Prosser in Truckee. Darin started freelancing for the Sierra Sun in April and became the sports reporter in May. Darin’s favorite sports include rock climbing, ice hockey and back-country skiing.

As the summer intern at the Sierra Sun, Erin Roth is learning a lot. She does a little of everything, from reporting to proofreading. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she will be entering her senior year at the University of Colorado, Boulder this fall, majoring in journalism and minoring in psychology.

Erin is a reporter for The Campus Press, the college’s newspaper. Next semester she will be a news editor at the paper. She spent the last five months in Europe, studying in Seville, Spain for three months and then backpacking around numerous countries for two months. She says she is very excited about her new position as the Sun’s intern.


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