PUBLISHED: 1:11 PM on Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Three new members join weekly newspaper staff

  Amanda Gragert
New faces and Southern drawls now are part of the atmosphere the Capital City Weekly office.

Amanda Gragert has joined the staff as editor. She attended West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communication. She has worked at weekly and semi-weekly newspapers.

"I've wanted to be a journalist since I was a small child," she said. "I enjoy getting to know a subject and sharing the information I've gathered with people knowing they may be able to benefit from it."

Gragert said she moved to Juneau because of her new job and to embark on an adventure.

  Shelia Chancey
"The climate and scenery is much different here, but the people are so friendly and warm," Gragert said.

Shelia Gallaher Chancey made the trip to Juneau from Cleveland, Tenn. with her son Andrew and cat Mary. She joins the CCW as an advertising sales representative.

"We are both looking forward to our new lives in Alaska," Chancey said. "I already feel like Alaska is where I belong."

She said moving to Alaska is a "natural migration."

"I feel like everything in my life has led me to Alaska," Chancey said. "I hope to have a little of heaven on Earth. I think I'm in the right vicinity," Chancey said. "I'm looking forward to meeting and getting to know the people of Juneau."

  Lee Leschper
Chancey has 13 years of professional sales experience. One of her first jobs was in the business department at The Cleveland Daily Banner in Tennessee.

"We are working to bring Southeast Alaska a bigger, better quality weekly that reflects the vitality and unique perspective of our communities," said Lee Leschper, who became CCW general manager in June. He also serves as regional advertising director of Morris Communications-Alaska and advertising director of the Juneau Empire.

Leschper joined Morris in 1998 as the classified advertising manager of the Amarillo Globe-News. Previously, he was publisher of the Stephenville (Texas) Empire-Tribune; associate publisher-advertising director of the Brownwood (Texas) Bulletin; and assistant advertising director of The Eagle, Bryan-College Station, Texas. After earning a journalism degree from Texas A&M University in 1979, he spent six years as an advertising agency account executive.

"In my time here, I've really come to love Alaska in general and Juneau in particular," Leschper said. "Beyond the beauty and the unlimited outdoor opportunities, I admire the honesty, spirit and openness of the new friends I'm making here."