Levesque retires from St. John Valley Times

Longtime St. John Valley Times icon Don Levesque has retired after more than 25 years at the newspaper. Levesque held almost every position at the newspaper, from ad salesperson to business manager and from managing editor to publisher.
As publisher, Levesque advocated for the Valley as a unique cultural asset to the state and the world. His work in promoting Franco-American and Acadian culture will always be remembered, as will his commitment to the truth and to serving his community.
Levesque joined the St. John Valley Times in 1985, hired as an advertising sales representative by then-Publisher Barry Stokes. He was named advertising manager then general manager shortly thereafter, in addition to selling ads throughout the Valley.  Levesque became a reporter-photographer in 1988 and, during the same year, was named managing editor in addition to his duties as general manager and reporting from the greater Madawaska area.
Levesque was named publisher/editor in 1996 when ill health forced then-Publisher/Editor Emery “Legs” Labbe to step down. Labbe had been publisher for 10 years.
Publishers prior to Labbe were Barry Stokes, 1980-1986; Forrest Rahrig, 1971-1980; and founder Joe Falter, 1957-1971.
Levesque continues to contribute his popular weekly column “Mon 5 cents” to the Valley Times and is now working toward bringing a successful World Acadian Congress to the Valley in 2014. He also offers his time to the Levesque Association and Le Club Francais.
Tessie Dubois stepped into the publisher position in January, bringing fresh ideas and an equally strong commitment to the St. John Valley Times.
Dubois has worked for newspapers in New Hampshire, New York and Maine, including the St. John Valley Times where 20 years ago she had been recruited by Labbe to work as a reporter for Levesque. More recently, she attained her MBA in Organizational Management in 2007. Upon her decision to move back to Maine, she worked as a Research and Development Specialist at Northern Maine Development Commission before deciding to rejoin the St. John Valley Times.
Since that time, General Assignment Reporter Tory Bonenfant of Verret, New Brunswick has joined the St. John Valley Times team just as new, state-of-the-art computers replaced the majority of computers at the Times, bringing the paper forward 10 years in technology.