Keeping track of R-C area lifestyles

Published 8:33 am Tuesday, March 1, 2011

By the time you finish reading this particular edition, the “big 3” in the Roanoke-Chowan Publications newsroom will be catching our collective breath before tackling our next major project.

As the calendar flips to March, so ends our annual Crossroads month – a special section published each Saturday (R-C News-Herald) and Wednesday (Gates County Index) during the month of February. For the Index readers, Crossroads actually comes to an end on March 2 due those 28 short days of February.

This marks our 11th year of publishing Crossroads – so named back in 2000 based on the rural nature of northeastern North Carolina being the home of crossroad communities. We also felt our area was at a proverbial crossroads as far as future growth was concerned.

While we’re not a large base of population, we have noted growth in other areas. Since 2000 we’ve seen the likes of Nucor, Rivers Correctional and a state prison in Bertie County help employ our citizens. Ditto for the Lowe’s Home Improvement Regional Distribution Center in Northampton County. On deck is Enviva LP, a biomass plant scheduled to open this fall in Ahoskie while Gates County and the town of Ahoskie are investing heavily in infrastructure in an effort to build a foundation for economic development.

The job of your local community newspaper is to keep you informed of the direction our county and municipal leaders are taking, hopefully spending our tax dollars wisely. If you are not able to follow what “road” they are taking, it’s our job to attend those meetings, those planning sessions, and report it to our readers, either in print form or on our website.

Crossroads – 2011, and its predecessors, give myself, Amanda and Thadd (joined this year by our Gates County correspondent Tara Kinard) a chance to break from the daily tasks of general news/hard news reporting and provide fun features for our readers to consume. This year’s theme – “All in a day’s work” – let us explore the inner workings of local education, medical providers, public service workers and general business and share those stories/photos with our readers.

While it takes a lot of work to balance four weekly special editions along with the daily tasks of producing a tri-weekly and weekly newspaper, the effort was well worth the time. We met a lot of good people along the way who allowed us to peek inside their professional lives. We hope you enjoyed learning about these hard-working people as much as we enjoyed writing about them.

And, for a bit of icing on February’s cake, Monday (Feb. 28) marked the official release date of Front Porch Living, our newly created local lifestyles magazine. As it was for our inaugural release of FPL back in November, the latest edition is full of amazing people who do equally amazing things within our four counties.

If you missed seeing Crossroads, we have copies of all four weeks here in our Ahoskie office. And if you haven’t yet experienced Front Porch Living, stop by our office for a complimentary copy.

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be reached at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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