Tuesday, Oct. 28, marked the 25th anniversary of the Highland Community News’ first issue. The newspaper was created by Laurie Frymire (then Laurie Payne) in 1994, seven years following the incorporation of the city of Highland.
It was launched as a bimonthly paper to focus on the community and issues of the new and growing city. The newspaper’s first office was at 26940 Base Line, Suite 106, two buildings west of the current office.
At 12 black-and-white pages with a circulation of 15,000, the issue’s top stories show it was a constructive time for the developing city.
The front-page story featured photos of the nearly complete Beaver Medical Center on Boulder Avenue. At 62,000 square feet, the center was scheduled for completion that December. Other top stories included the signing of a charter for a new Kiwanis Club in Highland and the upcoming election for three city council seats.
Laurie Payne, who left the council to start a town newspaper, vacated one of those seats.
Highland Community News’ second issue, Nov. 12, 1994, announced the reelection of Jody Scott and the election of Ray Rucker and John Starbuck as new councilmen.
Scott remained on the council until the city’s move to by-district voting in November 2016. Mayor Dennis Johnson and Councilman John Timmer made up the rest of the council.
According to the Oct. 28 article, the Kiwanis Club signed its charter on Sept. 23, 1994, with 47 members and Steve Walker as the first club president.
The issue also reported the appointment of longtime Highland resident Pat Kohlmeier to the Redlands Unified School District Board of Education. Kohlmeier filled a vacancy left by the death of Mike Dirksen. She had previously served in the Arroyo Verde Elementary PTA and as Redlands PTA council president.
Kohlmeier served the district for 20 years, stepping down Oct. 28, 2014, when she moved out of the RUSD district boundary.
In addition to these stories, that first issue also printed the newspaper’s mission statement:
“The Highland Community News is committed to providing information to the residents of the Highland Community. The information provided is for the purpose of improving the quality of life, promoting the local economy and developing community leadership.”