News might travel fast in a small town, but there are many days that Christa Vasquez wishes it would travel a little faster.
“Sometimes I’m like, ‘OK, can somebody go out and create some news for me?’” said Vasquez, the office manager at the Akron News Reporter. “It can be slow. It definitely can be slow.”
Vasquez has worked at the paper since graduating high school in 1987. She said she loves her job, but occasionally has a hard time filling the front page with newsworthy items.
She might be missing a story -- one that's happening right in the newspaper’s office in downtown Akron.
“We just never thought it was news,” Vasquez said.
Alicia Barry, Vasquez’s advertising manager, does not see the story either.
“They’re following us; we’re not very exciting,” Barry said to a client at a local store.
The story that plays out every day at the Akron News Reporter is that Vasquez is not only Barry’s boss, but she's also her mom. Barry said when her mom helps her at work, it reminds her of when she was growing up.
“They were always right there to help us with our school projects and everything,” Barry said.
A mother and daughter working side by side in a town as small as Akron might not seem newsworthy, but adding a third generation might.
Vasquez's own 72-year-old mother, Jo Anne Busing, is the paper’s editor and main reporter.
“I don’t want to retire,” Busing said. “As my daughter said, I’d stay home and die.”
Vasquez laughs about this, but said she feels like it's good for Busing to come into the office and socialize with the community. Vasquez said she is also grateful her mother attends all the area’s meetings.
“I appreciate that she goes to all the meetings,” Vasquez said. “That’s not something I would want to do.”
Busing said she loves covering meetings because she learns a lot about the community. Barry is happy to let her grandmother have that responsibility.
“I’m not a fan of covering the meetings,” Barry said, laughing. “Unless there’s something juicy going on.”
Busing not only covers the meetings, she even caters one of them. The monthly “Action Team” meeting is treated to whatever Busing is able to whip up in her kitchen.
These meetings might be Busing’s social time, but there is another she likes even better.
“My granddaughter a lot of times will bring in my great granddaughters," Busing said. "That gives me a chance to visit with my great granddaughters which is really nice.”
Those visits pose a question about the future of the paper: will Busing’s great granddaughters, who are too young to even write, eventually take over the paper?
I don’t know what they’ll do,” Busing said. Hopefully the Akron news is still here when they are ready, if that’s what they want to do.”