Monday, December 26, 2016

Remember Willie Howard? A short history of Post beat reporters in the little City of Lake Worth

There are many new residents in this City and every now and then will get a query like this: “Who is Willy Howard?”

Willy Howard was the City’s beat reporter at The Palm Beach Post for many years. Former Lake Worth blogger-extraordinaire Tom McGow chronicled one of Willie Howard’s many news items such as the one below, hard at work covering election results in November 2009:

Laurence McNamara lost big to René Varela in a landslide in November 2009.

The Post is a shell of what it once was. The paper went through a series of “bloodbaths” as Jose Lambiet at GossipExtra called them and the actual printed newspaper is published by the presses at the South Florida Sun Sentinel. There were also a series of buyouts and Mr. Howard was one employee who accepted and left the paper. 

Lona O’Connor was the City’s next beat reporter but by then she was already approaching retirement. She penned excellent news items about the City including an article on the then-newly-formed Cottages of Lake Worth

For a brief period of time Eliot Kleinberg was the beat reporter but he was also covering West Palm Beach as well. A herculean task.

The next beat reporter the Post sent to cover the City was Chris Persaud. He was honored with a coveted news award on election reporting and then he left the paper to go on to other things. Persaud is forever immortalized as one of the great reporters in Palm Beach County’s long history. 

The current beat reporter for Lake Worth is Kevin Thompson who is a long-time reporter at the Post. He is also tasked with covering Greenacres, the Lake Worth Corridor, and areas in between in suburban Palm Beach County but the focus, of course, is almost totally on the 6 square mile City of Lake Worth. 

So, that’s it for some history of beat reporters here in Lake Worth. If you live in Greenacres or an unincorporated area west of Lake Worth and are seeking news coverage from the Post for your community, well, good luck with that. You would have a much better chance contacting The Lake Worth Herald.