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MONIQUE BATSON — Path to Port Arthur News takes twists, turns

It was about a week ago that you were formally introduced to me as the new editor of The Port Arthur News. In that article you learned I’ve been in journalism for more than 20 years with a background that includes reporting, web and social media development, graphic design and even page layout.

But there’s a bit more to me than just putting words on a page (which I will now explain with many words on a page):

  • I have four children – two bio babies and two former stepchildren that I will forever consider mine. My youngest two are 15- and 13-years-old, and couldn’t be more different had one been switched at birth. My sophomore is on the drumline at PN-G High School, has taught himself to play piano and will spend four hours at marching practice but won’t walk the half-mile home from school.

My 8th grader would prefer to walk just about anywhere, cannot pass up a basketball goal without throwing something in it and has a knack for art and metal/wood shop. He also holds the house record for most electronics shattered by a PlayStation controller — two televisions and one iPhone. (Thanks, Fortnite.)

  • If we meet in person, we will become friends. When stuck in a Walmart checkout line, I will strike up a conversation with anyone in earshot. Since my voice tends to carry, “earshot” should not be underestimated. And because I was born a Quibodeaux, you can guarantee I’ll be illustrating with both hands. (No, I’m not related to whoever just popped up in your head.)
  • The beach is probably my most-favorite place, but I won’t get in the water because I have an irrational fear of flesh-eating bacteria. I did make one exception last February when I took a cruise to Mexico, getting in the Caribbean just long enough to take a photo in the clear blue water. You would think with water that clear, someone might have pointed out the giant stingray behind me; but he wasn’t seen until we went back and looked at the photo. Yes, the one time I decided to break my water rule, I almost ended up a stingray shish kabob.
  • Prior to that trip, I hadn’t left the state to go anywhere but Louisiana, which doesn’t count when you can accidentally end up there by missing a turn. In 2018, I was sent on assignment to West Texas and flew for the first time. Mid-way through the flight, our plane blew an engine. Two days later, my first-ever rental car blew a tire. So my friend became a little nervous when she realized she would be with me on my first-ever cruise.
  • My mother gives all her advice from one of two people – Jesus or Dr. Phil. I worry one day she’ll start to confuse the two, awaiting Gabriel to blow his horn and a talk show host to appear.
  • I once wrote an article that almost caused a now-rich MLB player his career before it ever started.
  • I never really considered journalism as a career. At the end of my sophomore year at Nederland High School, I needed another elective and opted for Intro to Journalism just because my best friend had signed up. It was on the second day, after reading an assignment aloud, that my teacher said, “You are newspaper writer.” The late Regina Cowles was married to then-Port Arthur News editor Roger Cowles. And 21 years later, I’m right where she wanted me to be.

 

Monique Batson serves as editor for Port Arthur Newsmedia. She can be reached at monique.batson@panews.com.