June 23, 2017

Wheeler Peak Press Suspends Operations

wheeler-peak-pressBy Adam Muery

I would like to thank everyone who has supported our community’s newspaper over the past year. Unfortunately, Merissa and I have encountered a family emergency and must suspend print operations for the time being. Our website is active and anyone who has a press release may send it to us at wheelerpeakpress@gmail.com.

Merissa’s father, who lives in Swaziland in southern Africa where they served for three decades as missionaries, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer related to asbestos exposure. Her aunt is also going through chemotherapy and got an infection while in the hospital and has not yet been released. I followed Merissa and the kids down to Swaziland in the hopes of convincing him (Mickey) to see an oncologist in Houston for a second opinion. The first doctor he had seen told him that he had 6 months to live and treatment would do no good. He did agree to see an oncologist in Johannesburg and to return with me to Houston if the specialist in Johannesburg was not satisfactory. The next morning our 9 year old son Christian was attacked by a guard dog that was supposed to have been locked up.

We spent the next four days in the hospital with Christian and in total he had three surgeries over the next two weeks. He is doing well now physically but is still traumatized by the event. I had originally planned to return in time for the April 7th issue but extended my trip as a result of this incident. I rushed back to try to get the next issue out but when I got into the office at 9 o’clock the night before deadline I found the internet in Angel Fire was down. We can’t publish without internet.

At the same time this was happening with Christian, Merissa’s brother broke his leg. As of yet he has not had surgery but they expect he might. We had four family members in four hospitals at the same time.

To exacerbate things, the family business had been waiting 3 years for approval from government to complete a construction project. They received time sensitive permits to go forward on the project at the same time everyone was in the hospital.

The good news is that Mickey’s prognosis has improved and he is going through chemotherapy and is a candidate for a clinical trial. However, as a result of the treatment he is in bed all but a few hours a day. Brian is on crutches and can’t drive. So I’m going back to Swaziland to pitch in and help with the construction project. Merissa is also helping a great deal with the family’s obligations.

I don’t know how long we will be down there for but we’ll be there as long as we are needed. Our intent is to return in the coming months and continue where we left off printing the paper. Some friends of ours had committed to running the paper while we were gone but they have since had their own obligations arise that makes this impossible.

If any of our subscribers would like a refund, please send us a request including the number of issues you purchased and the number of issues your received. We can then compare that against our own records.

We never anticipated the newspaper making money but saw it as more of a community service. We obtained enough advertising to keep the paper in business but unfortunately many of the advertisers are 10 months behind in paying their bills.

Additionally, we lost the two Taos advertisers that allowed us to break even. So, all that being said, we really can’t afford to pay someone to run the paper in our absence. Ideally, a community organization would step up and take over the paper (temporarily or permanently) and if that happens will be happy to facilitate the transition. The same is true for private individuals wanting to take on the challenge.

We ask for your continued prayers as we face the challenges before us. Please pass this email along to anyone you feel appropriate.

Sincerely,

Adam & Merissa Muery

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