Guide answers county queries

September 12, 2004|by TIM SHEA

Are you looking to spend a day at the park or at a museum?

Interested in joining a service group?

Do you know who the mayor of Funkstown is?

The answers to these and many other questions are answered in the Hometown Guide. This annual resource guide that gives the answers to many of the most frequently asked questions in Washington County will be published in Monday's issues of The Morning Herald and The Daily Mail.

There are many changes in this year's guide, including prices for golfing at many of the county's courses and some of the members of local government, to name a couple.

But the most significant change is the title of the guide itself.

In past years, this section was known as Welcome to Washington County, or the Welcome tab, as it was called in the newsroom.


We decided that the time was right to change the title because this is a guide that can be used by ALL residents of Washington County, not just those new to the area. We think Hometown Guide more accurately reflects our intent in publishing this section.

The planning for this guide began back in July, when reporters began updating the stories that are in the section. Some of the stories didn't change at all, while others had significant changes.

This year's feature story is about the best spots for fishing in Washington County. Staff writer Julie Greene wrote the story and also included information on how to obtain fishing licenses in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Chief photographer Kevin Gilbert took the pictures for the story and graphic artist Ryan Harpster created the map of the top fishing spots that is in the center of the guide, on pages 48 and 49. FYI - the fishing stories begin on page 46.

The task of figuring out where the stories would be placed began in mid-August. The index for the guide is on page 2 and is broken down into several different categories. Attractions, including museums and significant events in the county are first, followed by the city, county, state and national parks in the county. There also are categories for education, resources/media, sports/activities, community, business and government.

Also in the guide are nine town history stories that were written by newsroom intern Heather Smathers and appeared in the Monday editions of The Morning Herald and The Daily Mail from June through August. The guide wraps up with four recreation stories that were written earlier this year by Lifestyle reporter Andrea Rowland.

I may have been the person responsible for this guide, but I could not have done this without the help of many co-workers.

Our local reporters, Lifestyle and Sports staffs and the editorial assistants put in the work necessary to make sure the information in the guide is accurate and up-to-date.

Copy editors Tammy Baker, Meg Partington and Lisa Prejean laid out all of the pages, while Linda Duffield and Tammy helped me proofread the final pages.

Employees in our display advertising, ad services and pagination departments also played a significant role in this guide, and the pressroom staff put the final product to paper in the last few days.

I hope you find the Hometown Guide to be a valuable resource as your questions about Washington County are answered. We'll do this again next year.

Tim Shea is Weekend/Business editor of The Herald-Mail. He may be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2329, or by e-mail at

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