Correspondents keep us posted on what's happening in the 'hoods

January 06, 2008|By TONY MULIERI

At our annual luncheon for our town correspondents over the holidays, it was mentioned that The Herald-Mail has run columns by the columnists since 1996.

My, how time goes by.

I can remember us talking about hiring people to write about the various towns in the county for the longest time.

In '96, we recruited a handful of them, and now, we have 13 columnists writing weekly columns about their towns or areas of Hagerstown.

Here's the lineup:

· Monday - Jonathan Street, North Hagerstown and South Hagerstown.

· Tuesday - Boonsboro, Clear Spring and Funkstown.

· Wednesday - Smithsburg/Robinwood and Williamsport.

· Thursday - Halfway, Hancock and West Hagerstown.

· Friday - Maugansville and Sharpsburg/Keedysville.


Until Oct. 1, the columns ran only in The Daily Mail, the afternoon paper.

After the company merged the two papers, former Morning Herald readers now were able to read those columns, too, in the new combined Herald-Mail newspaper.

In fact, several features that appeared only in the afternoon paper now are included in The Herald-Mail.

The columns have evolved over the years and different writers have held the positions.

The North End column probably has had the highest turnover. Ellen Rowland holds that position now, and she's about the fourth person in that slot.

At the other end of the spectrum are Susie Hoffman in Funkstown, Kristy Smith in Boonsboro, Cheryl Weaver in Clear Spring and Jamie Shekels in Halfway. They've been on board for the long haul.

Others came on board as the years went by, including Harry Nogle in Sharpsburg/Keedysville, Joan Knode in Williamsport, Anne Weatherholt in Hancock, Melita Wishard in Maugansville, Staci Clipp in South Hagerstown, Darylene Mowen in Smithsburg/Robinwood, Jess West in West Hagerstown and Madge Miles, who writes the "Around Jonathan Street" column.

When we went to the columnists, it was with the thinking that they could give a snapshot of what was happening in those neighborhoods and towns each week.

They could include news and photos in their columns that we couldn't get to with our regular staff reporters and photographers.

Schools and clubs have taken advantage of the situation to plug their various meetings and events.

Nonprofits have made it a point to announce upcoming events in the columns, as well.

It has been an interesting ride.

There are some very newsy towns in Washington County, and that has been reflected in these columns.

We have the luncheon each year to thank the columnists for all they do for The Herald-Mail Co.

They have become like mini-celebrities in their towns, and we applaud their contribution.

Tony Mulieri is a Herald-Mail editor.

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