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Pannebaker becomes Courier editor

By Gail Joiner

Gail Joiner, owner and publisher of the Bandera County Courier, has announced Judith Pannebaker will become editor of the weekly community newspaper, effective immediately.

Pannebaker joined the Courier staff in March 2007. Prior to that, she spent five years as staff writer for the Kendall County newspapers, Hill Country Recorder and Hill County View, covering county government and the City of Boerne.

Pannebaker and her husband, Bill, moved to the Hill Country in 2000 from Baltimore, Maryland.

Prior to relocating to Bandera County, Pannebaker was on the faculty of the University of Maryland Dental School for 10 years, serving as clinical coordinator for the PLUS Program, a sub-specialty dental clinic treating HIV+ and AIDS patients.

As clinical coordinator, she wrote grants that garnered over $1 million in funding from Ryan White Titles I, II and III. Pannebaker also published and edited newsletters designed for health care providers for HIV+ and AIDS patients, as well as initiating community outreach programs. In addition, she supervised clinical dental hygiene practitioners and students. Pannebaker also presented at national and international about dental care and nutritional considerations for patients diagnosed with HIV+ and AIDS.

While a freelance writer in Maryland, she contributed regularly to the Maine Antique Digest, Mid-Atlantic Antiques Monthly and Western Horseman.

Pannebaker received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Dental Hygiene from West Virginia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

While her husband served in the United States Army, the couple lived in the Panama Canal Zone and Germany. Bill Pannebaker retired as a lieutenant colonel from the US Army reserves in 1997. He currently practices dentistry in San Antonio.

The couple have one son, Lucas James Martin, a graphic artist, who lives with his wife, Leah, and two pit bulls in Los Angeles.

Pannebaker and her husband have one cat they brought from Baltimore, as well as four others plus four dogs, including “Doc the News Hound,” the couple accumulated since moving to the Hill Country.

“Becoming an editor of a viable community newspaper is exciting for me, since I successfully resisted the temptation for so long,” Pannebaker said. She gave high praise to staff writer David Arny. “Dave has been wonderful to work with the past 10 months. He’s an important part of what we’re attempting to do here.”

She also holds Joiner in high regard, offering, “It’s great to be working with Gail again. She’s been a wonderful and supportive boss.”

Pannebaker and Joiner first worked together in 2001, when Joiner was in charge of classified advertisements for the Bandera County Review. At that time, Pannebaker worked part-time for Joiner, in addition to writing feature articles for the Mountain Sun.

“It was such a relief when Judith accepted the position of editor for the Courier position,” Joiner said. “I couldn’t wait to get rid of that title.”

“As this area grows, it becomes increasingly imperative that a newspaper offer effective coverage of the community, particularly the local political scenes,” Pannebaker said. “The Courier will continue to serve as the voice of the people, and, for the rest, my advice is, ‘If you don’t want to see it in the newspaper, don’t do it’.”