Meet the staff

Cheryl Allen

News Editor

Cheryl is originally from Western Michigan.  She studied creative writing and philosophy at Grand Valley State University and received a Master of Arts degree in philosophy from Michigan State University.  She taught composition and philosophy courses for several years before moving to Wellman in 2010.  She has spent much of her tenure in Iowa working in educational assessment and making custom Christmas stockings for her Etsy shop. 

Cheryl’s passion is long distance running.  She has finished 9 marathons, more than 50 half marathons, and many other races.  She qualified for and finished the Boston Marathon in 2017, and finished 3rd place overall at the Little Rock Marathon in 2022.

Paul Bowker

Sports Columnist

Paul Bowker covers local news and sports.  He also is an Olympics writer and editor, and children's book author.

He can be reached at   Follow him on Twitter: @bowkerpaul

Giovanni Coronel

Sports Editor

Giovanni Coronel grew up in Washington, Iowa. He went to the Kirkwood Community College in Washington before moving to Iowa City to enroll at the University of Iowa. He studied English/Creative Writing at the University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree. In his free time, he likes to read, watch sports, and walk his dog.   

Giovanni can be reached at: or at The News office, 419 B Ave., Kalona.

Morgan Dakarian

Graphic Designer

Morgan Dakarian is the graphic designer for The News.  

She creates ads, does page layouts, sells ads and updates the website.

Morgan graduated from the University of Iowa with a BFA in Graphic Design. In her free-time she enjoys creating with her sister and listening to music. 

Feel free to contact Morgan at

Emily Marner


Emily Marner is a part time reporter/photographer and is a student at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa City.

TJ Rhodes


TJ graduated from Scott Community College in 2020 with an associate’s degree.  TJ majored in both Journalism and Sport Studies at the University of Iowa, graduating in December of 2022.

Ron Slechta

Owner and Publisher

Ronald Slechta, publisher and ad sales, is a 60-year veteran of the newspaper industry.

He is the recipient of two Iowa Newspaper Association awards: Distinguished Service and Master-Editor Pusher.

Colette Yoder

Office Manager

Colette Yoder is the office manager for The News. She is usually the first person you see when you walk in our B Avenue office. Her responsibilities include classified and legal advertising, obituaries and subscriptions.

She has been at The News for 14 years. Prior to that, she worked with her mom and dad at Ellen’s Sewing Center where the Kalona Brewing Company is now located. In addition to the sewing shop, the family held flea markets and craft shows in the building.

Colette grew up in Kalona and graduated from Iowa Mennonite School. She attended business college in Mason City.

She has three boys. In her spare time, she enjoys sewing.