Thomas Celona

Thomas Celona

The internet world has grown to have a major impact on today’s work force. But at times, it keeps us from interacting on a face-to-face basis.

After working together for over a year, Thomas Celona and I finally got to meet in person.

Thomas is my liaison to The Phoenix, Reporter & Item and the editor of the paper. Each week, I submit my column to him.

He is the regional editor for 19 weekly newspapers in the Philadelphia area for Digital First Media. Most of the newspapers in our area are under the umbrella of Digital First Media.

We talked about how most of the newspapers no longer have a physical location to work out of. Most of the work is done from home base. He does go into the office several times a week.

We spoke about how the printed newspaper industry has dwindled. We both felt that an actually newspaper to hold in the hand is still important to many readers. Many daily papers are now weekly. It the advertising in these papers that keeps them afloat financially.

Phoenixville had a newspaper back as far as 1871 — The Messenger. Several papers later in 1888, a publication became known as The Daily Republican. There are still some of us around that recall when the paper was The Daily Republican. It was in 1975 the name changed to The Evening Phoenix. In 199,2 the paper became known as The Phoenix. Today, the actual title is The Phoenix, Reporter & Item.

Thirteen years ago, Thomas came to the area from Rollinsfored, N.H., to attend Villanova University. He graduated with an English major.

As he felt comfortable in the area, he stayed, first living in Conshohocken, now living in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia near the Schuylkill River.

As a runner, Thomas uses Kelly Drive as a running path. This year was the first year he ran and finished the Broad Street Run. His time may have not been the winner, but he is happy that he finished. Thomas likes to play tennis and has taught the game.

He and his circle of friends like to step out evenings and weekends to fun spots. The Philadelphia area has so much to offer, there is always plenty to do. He also likes to go to Phoenixville to check out the food and breweries.

He has a younger sister, Kasey, along with his parents Marybeth and Steve Celona.

Thomas likes to cook healthy for himself. Usually on Sundays, he preps meals for the week. He leans toward Italian and Mediterranean favorites.


6 boneless-skinless chicken thighs

½ tsp. paprika

¾ tsp. rosemary

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

2 tsp. olive oil – divided

½ yellow onion – chopped

1 cup broccoli – chopped

1 cup quinoa

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup spinach leaves

Season chicken thighs with the rosemary, paprika, salt and black pepper. Heat one teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add chicken and cook for about two minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Heat remaining one teaspoon olive oil in skillet. Add onion and broccoli, and cook until tender. Add both the chicken broth and quinoa to the skillet. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Add chicken back into skillet, and cover. Cook for additional 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Add spinach, and keep on stove until the spinach wilted.


Let Bette hear from you: Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cooking with Bette Banjack,” as well (search bar: Banjack) for this column. Find Bette on Facebook by searching “Bette Banjack’s Downtown Kitchen.” Her book, “2 Cups of Yesterday,” is available at Gateway Pharmacy or by contacting her.

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