Please wish South Charlotte News a happy birthday.
It was just one year ago this week that you were holding in your hands the first edition of our community newspaper.
Much has happened since our launch.
This month we expanded the circulation of the two editions of South Charlotte News that are published on Wednesday. We are now distributed to 66,000 households.
On April 17, we converted several of our Sunday Neighbors sections to our Wednesday format and launched University City News, Union News and two editions of South Charlotte News. These new community papers are reaching more than 185,000 households on Sunday with improved local news focused on where readers live.
Our successful venture could not be possible without our readers. You have amazed us with your incredible stories, news tips and flood of positive feedback.
I keep a stack of printed emails on my desk from readers saying thanks for a profile, or a story on a fundraiser, or a good deed being done by a church group. The emails number in the hundreds.
Hearing from you is the best part of my job.
Here's a March excerpt from Janet Correll of Charlotte about a profile we did of Eric Yarborough, a teacher at Providence High School: "I simply cannot thank you enough for the outstanding article on Eric Yarborough. He is a humble but incredibly talented teacher. And indeed, he uses his talent to take college-level material and communicate it in an understandable way to 16-year-olds. He is truly a gift to these students. The last of my three children is a senior at Providence this year. We were blessed that two of them had Mr. Yarborough as their calculus teacher."
Another key to our success is the talented freelance writers who work for South Charlotte News. We have more than 25 writers living in neighborhoods all across the area. Their strong community ties add to the local flavor of our coverage.
Of course, our full-time reporters, Caroline McMillan and Jessica Milicevic, are the leaders covering our communities, reporting important stories every week.
Caroline recently wrote about Sardis Forest residents who were concerned about Covenant Day School's new ball fields - the construction of which depleted the area's once-lush tree canopy. It looks like the same may be happening to a tract of trees near the Piedmont Town Center near SouthPark, which Caroline wrote about last week. She is also following the developments surrounding the proposed expansion of Foxhole landfill near Ballantyne.
Jessica has reported about next year's improvements to Community House Road, the opening of Pineville's first farmers market in May and Ballantyne's plans for its first major community festival.
You can count on these two reporters to provide you with in-depth community news.
Corey Inscoe, our prep sports reporter, and his band of freelancers bring you the best of high school sports every week. When school is out, Corey writes about the full array of sports in our community.
To help produce the newspaper, credit goes to Elizabeth Templin and Bryan Bailey, two dedicated desk editors.
To reach our staff with your suggestions, please see the staff box on Page 2.
Also be sure to check out our website. It now contains all of the Wednesday and Sunday stories, photos and slideshows plus daily updates, which will become more frequent in the weeks ahead. Go to www.newsofsouthcharlotte.com.
As we enter our second year, we'll continue to look for your help telling your stories.
Most of all, those of us on the community news team would like to take the occasion of our first birthday to say thank you. Please keep reading and email or pick up the phone. We get better with your feedback.
Help us do it right.