Publisher Barbara Ellestad retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Chief Master Sergeant after serving from 1971 to 1994. She received a dual Master's Degree in information systems management and management from Webster University in 1992. She was an adjunct professor in the Computer Science Department and the School of Business at Montana State University from 1995-1999, where she was a pioneer in developing online college courses.
Ellestad also served as an adjunct professor for the University of Phoenix Online from 2002-2007, work she did online after moving to Mesquite in 2001 with her husband, Scott. She continues to work in the field of online computer education, creating content for online college courses and writing textbook instructor manuals for Prentice-Hall, a subsidiary of Pearson Publishing, one of the leading college textbook publishers in the country.
Ellestad was a news reporter/stringer for Mesquite Local News from 2007-2008, and February to June 2011. She was instrumental in creating dynamic online content that was valuable to local citizens in evaluating candidates in the 2011 Mayoral and Council elections. She is well-known for her in-depth reporting of activities in the Virgin Valley Water District and Mesquite City Hall.
Ellestad created her corporation MontanaSky.com Inc in 1998, when she began helping small businesses establish a presence on the Internet.
Carrie Gomez is a news reporter/string for the Mesquite Citizen Journal. Gomez moved to Mesquite from Attleboro, Massachusetts in February 2004. She attended Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts for two years before transferring her credits to the College of Southern Nevada and completing her English and Sociology degrees. Gomez works as an Event Coordinator for the CasaBlanca and Virgin River Casinos, and also teaches "Dance Aerobix" at the Mesquite Recreation Center.
She has been married to her husband Juan for almost two years, and enjoys reading, writing, traveling, dancing, sports, and shopping. She has two dogs, an English bulldog and a Chihuahua, who she considers her children - for now.
Even though Gomez has lived in Mesquite for over seven years, you'll still hear her east-coast lingo come through occasionally, especially when something is "wicked" awesome or she wants a drink from the "bubblah."
Gomez will be writing human interest stories and about special events around Mesquite that are not connected with Mesquite Gaming.
John Taylor is a contributing news reporter for the Mesquite Citizen Journal. Taylor is an Army veteran, drafted in 1966. He spent a total of 16 years in the Army, both active and reserve, as part of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division (CID). After leaving the military, he became a police officer for the Portland, Oregon, Police Bureau rising to the rank of supervisory sergeant and was in command of a highly successful undercover Joint Auto Theft Task Force.
His wife, Linda, was also a patrol officer in the Portland Police Bureau earning the Bureau's highest award, the Police Star, for actions in the line of duty. They have been married 30 years and have lived in Mesquite since retiring 10 years ago.
Although they live on the Canyons golf course, neither play golf. Taylor is an avid motorcycle rider and is a member of the Nevada Patriot Guard Riders and the American Legion Riders. He participates in several veteran-related motorcycle events throughout the year.
Susan Lang brings her weekly column, "Mesquito Bites" to the MCJ every Friday. She is known for her interesting recipes and tips for cooking. She has a large collection of recipes to draw from and encourages readers to submit their own.
Born in Washington, D.C., Lang grew up in a suburban Maryland home with her two brothers and a sister.
"My Dad worked every day outside the house. My mother worked every day inside the house, cooking and cleaning," Lang remembered. "She put a balanced meal on the table every night. I learned from her how to do that."
That's where Lang's love for cooking began. She also helped her dad when he took over the kitchen duties on weekends.
Just before her 50th birthday Lang decided to move west to Las Vegas, where she met the love of her life Richard. They were married in 2003.
In 2005, she and Richard moved to Mesquite, where she became an executive assistant at Black Gaming.
"We were tired of the Las Vegas lifestyle, and moved to Mesquite. That turned out to be a great decision," Lang said.
Cooking is still her passion, even after retiring in 2010.
"I don't claim to be a professional chef, but I always gets rave reviews from my friends and family about the food I serve them," Lang pointed out.
Her goal is to share great recipes that are easy to make with ingredients that are available locally.
You'll find "Mesquito Bites" under the Consumer News section of the Mesquite Citizen Journa.
Michael M. McGreer writes on public policy. He also reports on events as they happen in Mesquite. His recent book, "No Harm, No Foul, Bioterrorism in the 21st Century" is currently available in the Mesquite Citizen Journal online bookstore. See his blog at: http://www.generations.typepad.com/.
Betty Haines reports on club events in Mesquite. She writes college curriculum on Customer Service and Business Management; she is the author of the fiction novel “Reluctant Hero”, about the civil rights movement in southern unions, which is available in the Mesquite Citizen Journal online bookstore and www.bettyfreemanhaines.com
Terry Donnelly is a retired teacher and the author of “First You Hear Thunder” a novel retelling events and history of the civil rights movement. For more on the book go to www.firstyouhearthunder.com and for more of Terry’s writings, both opinion and fiction, go to www.firstyouhearthunder.blogspot.com. Terry's books are available in the Mesquite Citizen Journal online bookstore.
Pamela Mulligan is the part-time office manager for the Mesquite Citizen Journal. She retired from Mountain Bell Telephone Company, later Qwest, after 34 years, ending her career as a Director of Information Technology. She moved to Mesquite in 2004 from her hometown of Denver, Colorado. She works part-time at the CasaBlanca Golf Course Deli. She enjoys playing golf and being a "Nana" to her four grandchildren.