Published: Jan 09, 2008 12:25 PM
Modified: Jan 09, 2008 12:25 PM
There is something about a new year that kind of makes you want to take stock of the old and get on with new and exciting things.
Taking stock: Our newsroom had a planning meeting a few weeks ago and I asked the staff what stories from our paper in 2007 had stuck with them.
One of the first mentioned was one written in March about a Cary teen who fell victim to a counterfeit guitar scam. Not all stories have a satisfactory ending, but a few months later we reported that the seller pled guilty to two counts of criminal use of a counterfeit trademark for selling fake Gibson guitars. Among other sentencing the judge ordered him to pay restitution to his victims.
High-stakes poker in Cary? Apparently. In April we reported Cary Police and other agencies raided a warehouse on East Johnson Street, seizing playing cards, poker chips, more than $20,000 in cash and six poker tables. Forty-one people were charged with gambling, two of whom had additional charges.
A few area residents had more than casual interest.
Â“IÂ’ve gotten a couple of calls from spouses thanking us for doing this because house payments were missed [because of money spent] at this place,Â” Cary Police Capt. David Wulff said at the time.
In the fall, we received a call from an old military buddy of a local homeless man, Bill Fredere, who had recently died from a fall on his bicycle. The subsequent story turned out to be a revealing portrait of a Marine veteran who lost his way but hung onto cherished books and photos, some of the few possessions he had when he died.
One of my personal favorites from the year was a story we did on neighbors coming together to help a man in the hospital keep his hair salon open.
Upon hearing John Michael Tucker would be out of work for some time, other Ashworth Village business owners helped establish a fund for their friend. Then a couple of hairdressers stepped in to keep the salon open, even freshening up the place with new paint, art and carpet.
Now thatÂ’s mighty neighborly. ItÂ’s also a fine example of community journalism. And we got the tip from Â“the other sideÂ” of our office Â— an advertising sales rep.
Getting on: Ever since IÂ’ve been here, six years if you count my time freelancing for The Cary News, the paper has made changes of some sort Â— redesigns, increased distribution, Web site improvements. We will continue to assess and make changes.
Let me first point out some changes you may or may not have noticed within the last year.
We began a reporterÂ’s blog over the summer. Check it out from our Web site, carynews.com. There youÂ’ll read tidbits that donÂ’t make the paper, little insights from our reporting, even some personal journaling about things we hope are of interest to readers. Some of the posts get pulled into the paper each week.
Also in the summer we began a weekly Webcast filled with news, videos and other features, which can also be viewed via our Web site.
WeÂ’re doing more and more multimedia. WeÂ’ve started some fun features such as Â“One On One,Â” an award-winning Â— yes, already! Â— video segment in which sports reporter Tim Candon takes on local high school athletes in various sports challenges. Just wait until we get him on ice skates.
We have added two new columnists to our regular rotation: Terri Andersen, a Cary senior who writes a column called Senior Moments; and Amber Keister, our Â“greenÂ” page designer who has a lot of hands-on knowledge of environmental stewardship.
Also new is our monthly The Scene page, which we will fill with features of interest Â“to the young and young at heartÂ” Â— or more specifically, teens and their families. WeÂ’ll be sharing stories of young people doing great things in our Â“KudosÂ” feature on that page, which will appear the first issue of each month.
We have changed our reportersÂ’ beat structures slightly as our coverage area and readership grow. In addition to covering Cary town government, Beth Hatcher will be Â“rovingÂ” a couple days each week to bring you stories, photos and videos from our western Wake towns, which also include Apex, Morrisville and Holly Springs. And this year we hope keep readers informed on the growth and increasing diversity that are changing our communities. We will also bring the 2008 national elections to the local level.
We hope to have a feature soon in which readers can click to comment on stories they read on our Web site. Already, they are able to post comments on our blog.
WeÂ’ll continue to bring you news and photos that readers have submitted on share.triangle.com. Check it out if you havenÂ’t already. That photo of your handsome little prince on the first day of kindergarten just might make it into the paper.
On page two today, look for a new regular feature, Â“On the Web,Â” in which we will let readers know whatÂ’s online each week.
And finally, on our Opinion page, Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht will be doing a bimonthly Â“town update.Â” WeÂ’ll link you to his blog so you can stay informed about town issues. And youÂ’ll be seeing more columns from reporters who have something to say about issues that are important to them, and hopefully, to you.
Let us know how weÂ’re doing.
Contact Wendy Lemus at 460-2605 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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