We’ve been publishing the Carter County Times for just over four months now, with this issue marking the 19th edition of your source for local news. We’ve come a long way since that first edition was published. It’s been a lot of hard work for two people with a toddler. Sometimes it feels more like four years than four months, but the community response and support has been overwhelming. On weeks when we feel like packing it all in, it’s been that support that keeps us going. The letters and cards from people excited to hold a community newspaper in their hands again, the enthusiastic parents calling or emailing to request extra copies of an issue with their child’s photo in it, the smiling business owners cutting the ribbon to open a new shop; you’ve all kept us going when we’ve asked ourselves, “Why did we take on this massive and time consuming task?”
We count on the support of all of our readers, distributors, and advertisers to keep us going, but there are a few among you that deserve special recognition for your unyielding support right from the beginning.
First and foremost, we need to thank William Waddell and the staff of Globe Funeral Chapel and Grayson Funeral Home. William was one of the first to see the value in our product and to commit to purchasing advertisements in our paper and on our website. Bob Thomas and the staff of Malone Funeral Home have been great supporters as well, and, along with the other funeral homes in our communities, help keep you informed of lost friends and loved ones through the obituaries they share with us.
We can’t discuss supportive advertisers without also mentioning Kim Wilburn at Olive Hill Auto Plus. Kim isn’t just an advertiser, she’s been a vocal cheerleader and was an early subscriber. Stopping in to talk with her always leaves us with a spring in our step, and sometimes a new story idea in our notebook.
Sally James, at Sally’s Flowers, is another advertiser we developed a relationship with early on. Those conversations with her led to an opportunity to shine a spotlight on local history through the scrapbooks of her uncle, Jack Fultz. We’ve been honored to be entrusted with these historical clippings and the column that has grown out of that relationship continues to be a favorite among regular readers who appreciate those glimpses into the early 20th century.
Like Kim and Sally, Pam Howard with Walking on Sunshine Wellness Spa & Shoppe in Grayson is an advertiser who has also brought us several story ideas. Our relationship with Pam stretches back to when our editor worked for the previous county papers, and we always enjoy our conversations with her.
When we were flummoxed for a way to spread awareness of our paper, and grow our subscriptions, we were lucky to run into Dee Shufflebarger. Dee offered us an opportunity to work with WUGO and WGOH to spread news of the paper over the airwaves, and it’s no exaggeration to say that we wouldn’t have the circulation we have today without the assistance of the radio station.
Speaking of circulation, we also have to thank our distributors. There has been a lot of change in our distribution sites over these first four months but Upper Tygart Mini Mart, Globe Farm Supply, and the Olive Hill Save A Lot, have been instrumental in our rack sales from the very beginning. Jean Marie’s and Trinity Sisters, too, have both been working with us as distributors since they opened their doors.
On the other end of the county we can’t emphasize enough the impact Ralph’s FoodFair has had on our circulation. The Hitchins Food Mart in Hitchins, and Andy’s Market & Hardware and Bayes General Store in Willard, have helped keep our other communities on the east end in the loop, something that has been important to us as we strive to serve the entire county – not just the two incorporated cities.
It’s not often we’d thank a specific reader, because we value you all equally, and we’ve received nice letters from several of you (we still have your cards displayed in the office, Sherryl Wooten and Lillie Burton!), but feel compelled to give a special nod to Robert Caummisar. Bob has provided feedback and encouragement since the beginning, and we value his input immensely.
The contributions of Keith Kappes also need to be acknowledged. In addition to providing regular weekly columns, Keith brings unique insight and experience. It’s no exaggeration to say we wouldn’t have a paper today if it hadn’t been for Keith’s guidance.
There’s also the Olive Hill and Grayson Chamber of Commerce and their members and so many, many more that we’re bound to leave someone out if we try to name them all.
There are no days off in the newspaper business, especially when you don’t have extra staff to share the burden, but you’ve all made it worthwhile. Thank you!