Makin' changes

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A little less than two weeks ago, I was promoted to associate editor foe Carroll County Newspapers. That means I'll oversee the day-to-day operations of the Lovely County Citizen while still working with the team I've grown to love here at Carroll County News.

The promotion came as a bit of a shock. I'm not sure what I expected, but I certainly didn't think I'd be able to continue to work so closely with everyone in our Berryville office if I began spending more time in Eureka Springs. I'll be honest; until the last few weeks, there was a bit of a disconnect between our two offices.

I don't know what to blame for that dissonance. The people who work at our office in Berryville are just as friendly and helpful as those in Eureka. We've put out quality publications at both. For the most part, everyone has gotten along really well across the board.

Somehow, we just weren't connecting as a whole. The restructuring we've been doing over the last month has already changed that in a pretty obvious way. Our publications are better. The people I work with have always respected one another, and it's showing now more than ever.

Next week, we'll add another person to our team to take over reporting duties in the county. Kelby Newcomb will start working with us on Monday, slated to take over most of the reporting I've done in Berryville and Green Forest over the past two years. He'll also work with me in Eureka Springs occasionally, just as I'll work with him at our Berryville office when needed.

I've known Kelby for almost four years, and I'm sure he's going to do well here. He worked with me on our school newspaper at Lyon College, where we became friends. Our friendship has been a whole lot more successful than that newspaper, but that's a story for another day.

Kelby is a good writer, a kind soul and exactly the type of person we need at Carroll County News. He attended high school in Mountain View during his senior year, so he knows the value of a small town newspaper. He actually worked for the Stone County Leader a bit after graduating from college last year before moving to the Fayetteville area.

I'm excited to introduce him to all the wonderful people I've met in Berryville and Green Forest in my time here. I've spent the last two years bragging to him about how awesome Carroll County residents are, inadvertently creating quite a bit of hype. In my defense, I didn't know he would be working here at the time and I can't help but boast about all the fun things I get to write about in Carroll County.

He knows a little about that already. Earlier this month, he wrote a wonderful feature story on the upcoming Arkansas Master Gardeners conference. When he was done interviewing local leaders for that story, he told me he was happy with how excited

and friendly those people were. I told him how I've found that to be true for most of the people I interact with in the community.

I meant that. I'm so looking forward to watching Kelby grow and improve on our Carroll County News team, especially since he's already pretty good.

In the coming year, I hope our publications can continue to serve all of you the way they are supposed to. This paper is a reflection of a community where people work, worship, learn and love.

With our team expanding, I believe we'll be able to capture that better and better as the weeks go on.

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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is CCNNews@cox-internet.com