Don McCracken, long-time news announcer and reporter with AM 1140, 99.7 Sun Country and The Eagle 100.9, is retiring.

Today (Mar.28) is McCracken's last day at the radio stations after 39 years of reporting on everything imaginable across the Foothills and beyond.

He started his broadcasting career after graduating from the SAIT broadcast program in the early 1980s. He worked in Grand Forks, B.C. for a stint as well as in Brooks until making his way to High River with his wife Mel and their young son Max.

Don McCracken from the mid 1980's while covering News in High River at CHRB 1280.Don McCracken from the mid-1980s while covering news in High River at CHRB 1280.

McCracken says the one story he'll never forget is the flood of 2013.

"Because it was just such an ordinary day to begin with and so later, we found out by looking at our security camera it took seven minutes for the water to go from our parking lot to us running out the back door of the station."

He's interviewed prime ministers and premiers but the ones that stick close to his heart are the mayors of High River.

"Eldon Couey was just a top-notch guy, everybody loved Eldon, now Craig [Snodgrass] has kind of taken over that mantle. And all the mayors that I've dealt with, Les Rempel, Emile Blokland, Dan Campbell... always been great dealing with the different mayors."

Many friends and colleagues had great memories to share including the current mayor of High River.

"Congratulations to the kingpin Mr. Don McCracken for his 39 years of reporting in High River and making sure we're all informed with what's going on. Don was always a lot of fun to work with and a class act at all times when he does his reporting," said Snodgrass.

Former Town of High River Councillor Cathy Couey was also a colleague of Don's as she used to work at the radio stations for a time and she remembers his sense of humour.

"Don, first of all, let me thank you for all the laughs we've shared over the years then there's your work bringing local news and sports to the Foothills. Thank you for doing so with compassion, respect, understanding and sometimes even humour. You not only shared the moments, but you celebrated and lived them. You have been that familiar and trusted voice that we turn to. 'Cracky' as my dad Eldon always called you on behalf of myself and the Couey family thank you and all the best to you and Mel."

Another longtime resident of High River, Ted Dawson, who organized the Santa Claus Parade and the lighting of the Christmas lights in George Lane Park, had some grateful words to share.

"Don has a great sense of humour and a really easy-going attitude. He had a way of asking you a couple of questions about whatever excited you whether it was parades, lights in the park, the Show n Shine, Rotary flags and then he would edit all that rambling into something sensible to put on the air. So, thanks a million Don, enjoy your retirement.

Don, his wife Mel and son Max have no plans to move away from High River and you'll see him out around town at various events but this time he'll be enjoying them instead of reporting on them.