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Michelle Turnberg, Published August 14 2011

Turnberg: Excited to speak my mind

How on earth did I end up here? If you would have told me a year or even six months ago that I would be writing for The Forum, I would have laughed and said you were crazy. I have not always agreed with what The Forum published or considered news. But I, like this newspaper, am capable of evolving. Some of the changes happening at the paper are exciting, and I am excited to be involved.

In case you’re wondering who I am, or why I am here, let me introduce myself. I was on local television for about 16 years. Many of you graciously invited me into your homes, which allowed me to develop a special connection with some of you; you may even feel you know and trust me.

I’ve been through floods, blizzards, tornadoes, breaking news and happy and heartbreaking stories with many of you. During my tenure as a television newsperson, I graduated from Concordia College, got my first job as an anchor, got married, had two kids, got divorced and ran marathons.

About a year ago, I was “let go” from KVLY/KXJB television. The change was sudden and unexpected; I basically just disappeared from the air, and never got to say thank you and goodbye to my viewers. I think this new adventure will be fun. And it allows me the privilege to thank you for the many years we spent together during my broadcast years, and to say hello once again.

During my time in television, I received hundreds of emails and letters. Some were sent to simply say they enjoyed our show, some offered hair and fashion tips, some were creepy. But the majority of letters would ask questions such as: How did you get through your divorce? Any suggestions on how I can get started running again? Do holidays get any easier without your kids? While I don’t consider myself an expert in any of these subjects, I have gone through many of the same challenges as others; my experiences just happened to occur in a fishbowl.

I’m like anyone else. I’m going through life making mistakes, learning from them and then trying to do better. The key is to rise again, stand tall and never let negative people get you down.

So what will you find in this column? Probably no political commentary or negativity, and perhaps a side of me that you didn’t get to see as much on television. I encourage you to “like” me on Facebook and send me your thoughts, comments and ideas. Sometimes this column will be serious, other times it will be fun, but I will always be honest and direct, and hopefully give you something to think about.

I’m looking forward to this new adventure and once again having a voice in the community.

Today The Forum welcomes Turnberg as a columnist on our Sunday commentary page. She brings a compelling personal life story and her professional experiences as a broadcast journalist to her commentaries.