One chapter ends, another begins

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One twist of the knob and the microfilm rewound itself onto the plastic reel.

The microfilm reader light went dark.

An adjacent computer screen that showed documents scanned and printed was turned off one final time.

No more “This Week in History.”

No more Mount Olive Tribune, for that matter.

We sadly made the announcement earlier this month that this century-old newspaper which provided news to the county’s second-largest town would close its doors permanently.

Our staff fought the good fight for more than 18 months after we almost shuttered our doors in 2021. Our circulation and rack sale numbers picked up and folks called us to subscribe.

COVID kicked our butt, though.

Local businesses scaled back on their expenses, including advertising. Some folks elected to try social media and radio, unaware that organic reaches were not providing true statistics.

I won’t discuss that any further.

Instead, I want to thank the residents of Mount Olive and the surrounding communities for supporting us. We did our best to deliver local news and sports in a positive fashion. We heard very few complaints.

Those who did voice their criticism weren’t derogatory in any way. We took to heart what was said, and incorporated it into our stories and coverage.

There is not enough room on this page or entire final edition to thank everyone. All I can say is I humbly appreciate you embracing and welcoming me into the community. So many of you graciously answered text messages, DMs and phone calls, which undoubtedly made my job easier.

To the coaches, I’m going to miss covering your games, athletes and communities.

I hate I’m not going to see the classes of 2023 and 2024 graduate from Southern Wayne, Spring Creek and North Duplin. For the last two years, you guys and girls have held a special place in my heart. It’s been both an honor and privilege to immortalize your successes through words and pictures in each edition of this wonderful vessel of information.

I certainly won’t forget any of you.

A special “thank you” to my boss, Emily Weaver. We’ve butted heads on occasion over the past two-plus years and those moments undoubtedly taught me valuable lessons.

You took me way out of my comfort zone, but I’m forever grateful that you called me on New Year’s Eve in 2019. You gave me the opportunity to dive back into a profession that’s been part of my life for 36 years.

The Tribune is the latest chapter in my career.

Beginning next month, I’ll pen a new chapter when I begin working with Emily at The Daily Record in Dunn. I’ll continue to expand on what I’ve learned in this job, hone my skills even more and help provide the best possible coverage for the Harnett County area, its many communities and Campbell University.

I will miss you Mount Olive!

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