IM’s Gaynor has filled several roles
Editor’s Note: The following is part of a series of articles profiling The Inter-Mountain’s staff.
ELKINS — Starting off as a summer intern while attending West Virginia University, Anthony Gaynor has now worked at The Inter-Mountain for more than a decade and has filled several roles at the paper.
“I started as an intern in the summer of 2005 and later that year, in December, I began working as a full-time reporter while finishing my degree at WVU,” Gaynor said. “I began my career at the paper covering the city of Elkins and the Randolph County Board of Education, as well as taking pictures and writing crime and feature stories.”
Throughout his years as a reporter Gaynor covered several important events throughout the region. Early in his career, he covered the story of Jacob Allen, an autistic youth who was found alive after being lost in Dolly Sodds for four days.
“I never expected to cover such a huge story so early in my career,” he said. “The story gained national attention and was covered across the country. I am pretty sure it was the first story I wrote that was picked up by the Associated Press and ran in newspapers across the country. It was a very emotional story also. Hearing the radio call that Jacob was found alive was a pretty amazing feeling.”
During his approximately 10 years of covering the city of Elkins, Gaynor worked with three different mayors, Judy Guye, Duke Talbott and Van Broughton. He covered the city throughout much of the construction of the new water treatment plant and water system upgrades, the construction of the skatepark at Glendale Park and several other issues that impacted the area.
“The whole process of the group of kids, Youth Empowered Solutions, working to construct the skatepark was inspiring,” he said. “The discussions went on for months and the kids never really backed down. They had a lot of help from certain Elkins City Council members, like Van Broughton, who walked the streets in town with a bucket raising money for the construction. The work of the kids and adults with YES really showed me how the Elkins community could come together and work to a common goal.”
Gaynor said being a reporter can sometimes be difficult when dealing with accidents and fires. One of the hardest for him was the shooting of Deputy U.S. Marshal Derek William Hotsinpiller on Central Street in Elkins. Hotsinpiller was with a group of marshals and local police officers serving a warrant in 2011. As the officers made entry, the suspect opened fire, striking the officers and killing Hotsinpiller.
“It was a very somber day,” Gaynor said. “I spent most of the day on scene as close to the incident site as possible. I knew many of the local officers on scene and seeing them deal with the loss of a fellow officer was hard.”
Also during his time as a reporter, Gaynor learned how to paginate and assist with designing pages in the paper. He also spent time as the paper’s night editor, designing pages and getting the paper ready for printing. A need at the paper arose for a graphic designer in the advertising department. Gaynor moved into the position and learned how to design advertisements, while continuing some of his pagination work for the daily paper. He spent about two years working with advertising before moving back to the newsroom.
“I learned a lot about advertising and working with customers in a new way while designing adds,” he said. “I enjoyed my time in design, but was excited to move back into the newsroom when the opportunity arose.”
Gaynor currently designs pages, helps gather stories for pages and performs photo editing. He also chips in with writing news stories and taking photos.
“I have really enjoyed my career at the paper,” he said. “I have met several people throughout my years from several different backgrounds. I have had the opportunity to speak with famous musicians, war heroes, politicians and just everyday normal people. It is rewarding being able to provide local news to the readers of The Inter-Mountain.”
Gaynor said the fact that the paper has never missed printing an issue is a great source of pride for the employees.
“Even during Super Storm Sandy in 2012 and the summer derecho, we lost power for several days, but still managed to get a paper on store shelves by printing elsewhere,” he said. “We basically learned to put the paper together remotely during Super Storm Sandy. It was a challenge, but we still put out a paper.”
The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every business out there in some way, and the newspaper is no different.
“I spend a lot of my time in the office, but the pandemic has still impacted the way I do my job,” he said. “Covering public meetings virtually has been a challenge at times, and making sure to take all the necessary precautions when going out for a photo assignment is important, even if you are in a hurry to get to breaking news.”
During his time at The Inter-Mountain, Gaynor has received several West Virginia Press Association awards for news writing, photography, ad design and page design.
“Being recognized by the Press Association is pretty special,” he said. “It is nice to have your work recognized on a statewide level.”
Gaynor currently resides in Elkins with his girlfriend, Kerri Ours. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games and spending time with friends and family. He is also a sports fan and enjoys following the Pittsburgh Penguins and the WVU basketball and football teams.