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Jacks Valley mom starts publication

by Linda Hiller

Like so many small business entrepreneurs, Darcy Otranto saw a need and decided to fill it.

The Jacks Valley mother of three young boys said she had depended on a publication called Space Coast Parent at her last home near Cape Canaveral in Brevard County, Florida. After moving here one year ago, she wondered why no one was offering a regional newspaper.

“Space Coast Parent was a very important publication for parents there,” she said. “We depended on it for information, especially the calendar of events for families. I decided I wanted to provide that for parents here.”

So Otranto, a former sheriff’s deputy in Florida before starting her family seven years ago, set about teaching herself how to put out a family newspaper, with articles, a calendar of events for Douglas County, Carson City and Washoe County and contests for readers sponsored by advertisers.

“I’ve always liked to dive right into things, but this has been a much bigger project than I’d anticipated,” she said. “But I am determined to make it work and get this information out to parents. So far, the Washoe County School District has been great – they want it to go home with students. I am also putting it in doctor’s offices, libraries and restaurants – anywhere they’ll let me, really.”

n Where to find it. Otranto’s free publication, Northern Nevada Family, is premiering tomorrow, with issues available throughout Washoe County, Carson City and Douglas County.

The June/July issue features two articles by East Fork Fire District Captain/Investigator Terry Taylor on keeping kids safe from fire hazards and home computer fire dangers. Packing for vacations with kids, kid facts, hiking with children and a two-month calendar of events are some of the other informational items included in this issue.

“I’d eventually like to go to a monthly publication,” Otranto said. “But for now, I’m just happy to get this first installment of 10,000 issues out there. I really encourage people to give me information they might like to see included in the calendar, or to make suggestions about articles they’d like to see us do.”

n Jacks Valley family. Darcy, 31, is married to Rich, 38, a former deputy and canine operator in Florida. He now works security at the Carson Valley Target. They have three sons – Jason, 6, who is in kindergarten at Jacks Valley Elementary School; Eric, 4, and Hunter, 2 (featured on the cover of the premiere issue). Those three boys are the strongest motivator for Otranto’s urge to work at home, she said.

“These kids are my world,” she said. “And, I do think they do better with one parent at home –mom or dad. I have one writer in this issue who stays home with his kids while his wife works. I think it’s great. I admit it is a challenge trying to launch a paper like this with three little boys at home, but I think it’s worth it. I love the challenge.”

If you have a calendar item or story suggestion for the next issue, e-mail Otranto at NorthNVFam@aol.com, fax 267-5976 or call 267-0911.