McGrath named Courier editor
September 18, 2010
Art McGrath was named editor of the Littleton Courier Sept. 7. The veteran reporter promised news and feature coverage with the same insight and depth he's delivered over the past seven years while working the local beat.
"I've covered two presidential elections as well as off-year elections," McGrath said. "In New Hampshire politics seem to be the state sport."
McGrath — who moved to The Courier in February of 2006 after covering local news for The Caledonian-Record for three years — has interviewed numerous presidential candidates while documenting two national-election cycles. But he renewed his desire to focus on local personalities and newsmakers.
"I see this as a community newspaper," McGrath said. "I hope to bring a harder edge to the paper as far as news while still keeping a focus on the features that people enjoy to read….it's an opportunity to take the newspaper places it hasn't been. It's taking me places where I haven't been."
He said the fabric of the community extends far beyond the usual movers and shakers and The Courier will continue to hear their voices as well.
"It's important to talk about the news and newsmakers but it's also important to talk about ordinary people and their stories," McGrath said. "Our focus is going to remain local."
The economic recession's repercussions will continue to be a priority.
"In all our towns there seems to be a consistent focus on budget and taxes," McGrath said. "A question many are asking is whether towns can continue to afford the services they have provided up until now. There's a focus on services and taxes — there's this tug of war going on right now."
The ongoing debate on local environmental issues is expected to continue unabated.
"In Bethlehem the perennial issue is the landfill," McGrath said. "We will continue to keep a focus on that. And we will renew our focus on the local business community."
McGrath also recognized the important of local sports coverage and intends to continue that mandate.
"Parents and kids look to see what's going on in their schools," McGrath said. "Schools are a vital part of the local community."
McGrath served in the Marine Corps, going through basic training at Parris Island, S.C. Among his station posts were Camp Pendleton in California, Okinawa and mainland Japan.
He earned his bachelor's degree from Lyndon State University with a double major in English and Social Sciences. He went on to attain a master's degree in American History from the University of Vermont. A history buff — his hobbies include participating in historical reenactments. His specialty is French Napoleonic Infantry reenactments.
McGrath and his wife, Christina, reside in Guildhall, Vt. They are the proud parents of two sons — 6-year-old Connor and Ethan, 4. He counted himself fortunate to be raising a family in the North Country.
"People take this area for granted," he said. "People come from all over the world to visit this area. We live here. How lucky is that?"