While I never left Northeast Arkansas, taking the position of regional editor for Paxton Media definitely feels like a homecoming of sorts.

I have spent nearly 24 years working with The Times Dispatch in Walnut Ridge, and the last two years being involved in different aspects of production for the Paragould Daily Press and the Newport Independent, as well.

This newly-created position offered me the opportunity to maintain my connection with those three publications while also overseeing news coverage for The Sun.

A 1994 graduate of Nettleton High School and a 1998 graduate of Arkansas State, the Sun provided coverage of my high school and college, announced my wedding to my husband and later the births of our sons, as well as the loss of many loved ones through the years.

The Sun is a crucial part of the Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas community, just as The Times Dispatch, Paragould Daily Press and Newport Independent are so vital in their communities.

To be given the opportunity to have an impact and voice in these four publications is both humbling and exciting. As a community journalism student at Arkansas State University, I was taught the importance of being informative, relevant, fair and accurate in my reporting, and those are the standards we will live by in producing community newspapers in Northeast Arkansas.

As we continue to serve our readers, we call on our news sources to help us keep those readers informed about community events, local achievements and other newsworthy happenings. News submissions and story suggestions are most certainly welcome for all four publications.

As we make this transition, there will undoubtedly be some bumps in the road, but I’m excited about this new leg of my journey. I look forward to working with the news staff of Paxton Media’s four Northeast Arkansas newspapers as we strive to provide the best coverage possible to all our readers.

Northeast Arkansas has been so good to me through the years, and I look forward to giving back as much as I can to these great communities. While I never really left, I’m still happy to be home.

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