Looking Forward: Your Local Newspaper

Photo by Ange Hamilton
Pictured from left: Christy Porter, Managing Editor, Scott Hamilton, Co-Publisher, Shari Harris, Co-Publisher and Christy Dieman, Graphic Artist.
Photo by Shari Harris
Pictured from left: Elijah Hamilton, Support Staff; Ange Hamilton, Graphic Artist and Emma Jones, Office Staff.

By Christy Porter,
Managing Editor

  Your local community newspaper, The Licking News, tells the story of life. It’s a story of you, the citizens of Licking and the surrounding area, in your own environment, living life day by day. It tells of your accomplishments as individuals and as a whole. The victories and setbacks as individuals and as a community are recorded for prosperity.
  It may be anything from a successful fund-raiser that shows the caring and willingness to help one another, to the death of a local loved one, depicting that each and every life really does matter.
  It is a timeless human need to belong and to make a connection. For some, that may mean a desire to reconnect or to stay connected to home and loved ones when living out-of-town, or it may be a desire to make this a home, as for recent arrivals to our community. It may be a desire to connect with the people and events of home on an ongoing basis.
  With hundreds of television channels and almost unlimited web and social media access to world, national, state and regional news, local weekly reporting is not necessary or timely for those that are constantly connected with their smart phones. However, much of the personal touch is lost in this worldwide reporting, and there are still people who are not “connected” to the constant media stream. Our role as a weekly local newspaper is about providing that personal touch: caring and sharing about Licking and the people of Licking. Our job is promoting Licking’s citizenship and community. At the same time, we continue to report on local “hard” news, both as a means of notifying our “not connected” subscribers and as a means of establishing an historical record.
  It takes cooperation from readers, advertisers and publishers to make a real live weekly,” says Virgil Sweaney, Editor, in an October 30, 1947 edition of The Licking News.
  We are not trying to be any other publication, just the best publication at journaling the life and times of Licking and the surrounding communities. At The Licking News, we strive to carry on the 120-plus years of the publication of The Licking News. We encourage you to stay in touch and stay connected with us. Let us know what’s going on with personal achievements, and with achievements and activities of your church and organizations. We promise to do our best, covering it in a non-biased, honest and personal venue. We want to present the history of our people and our place, the current events and happenings, as well as the future hopes, dreams and aspirations of our people and our community. We strive to have something of interest in the publication for everyone, as everyone’s interests are different and their needs from the paper are varied. Even what could be considered mundane to some, actually gives people an idea of what is confronting our community and how tax dollars are being spent.
  We ask for your support by sharing your news, ideas and what you’d like to read.
  We ask for your support by subscribing or renewing your subscription.
  We ask for your support by sharing your advertising budget with us. “A paper going out into the world without advertising shows the town to be very dead and backward,” says J.A. Prigmore, Editor and Publisher, in a January 1, 1915 quote from The Licking News.
  We ask for your support by letting us help you and/or your business with your printing and office supply needs.
  J.A. Prigmore concludes quite accurately, “We sincerely ask the cooperation of every citizen in the town and surrounding country to help us, as no man can run a successful paper alone. A newspaper without the assistance of the people is as much a failure as a town without a newspaper. They must go hand in hand and each work for the best and noblest interests of the town and country.The Licking News, January 29, 1909.
  We are a small staff - please know we have lots of story ideas and interests in the people and events of Licking and the surrounding communities. As we get to know the community more intimately and learn all aspects of what we’re trying to achieve as your hometown newspaper, we do not take any story, interest or idea for granted.
  As we get to know you for the first time or know you better, we offer a little of ourselves.
  Shari Harris – Co-Publisher: “I was born and raised in Edgar Springs. I attended Phelps County R-III in Edgar Springs and Licking High School. I had the honor of being Valedictorian while at Edgar Springs and Licking, but I am most proud of the Citizenship Award I received at Licking. After playing basketball at Licking, I attended Three Rivers Community College at Poplar Bluff on a basketball scholarship. I finished my education at Mizzou in 1990 with a BHS in Physical Therapy. I have been involved in all aspects of physical therapy during my 28 years in the field, with the last five years specializing in Strain-Counterstrain Manual Therapy after training with the Jones Institute.
  “I don’t believe in doing something unless I can give a full 100%, which included with my patients, I can’t do that anymore, except possibly part-time due to the effects of Marfan’s Syndrome.
  “Why newspaper? I still wanted to do something that would help people. The newspaper is a vital part of a community – as vital to a community as healthcare is to an individual. So I’ve moved my energy from treating the individual to helping provide some of the glue that holds a community together. I want The Licking News to succeed, grow and be pertinent as a resource to all age groups.
  “On a personal note I love to read and write. My hobbies include farming, growing flowers and animals-my cows, dogs and cats.”
  Scott Hamilton – Co-Publisher: “I was born and raised in Clarksburg, W. Va. along Interstate 50. Ironically Ange, my wife, and I discovered she was born and raised near Clarksburg, Mo. along Interstate 50. My family and I have been in the Edgar Springs area for twelve years.
  “My career has been in high performance computing/specifically integrating standard computers to operate as a single computer system, such as in weather forecasting. I have a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Computer Electrical Engineering and a minor in English Literature. I am also a licensed minister with International Pentecostal Holiness Church.
  “I bought in with The Licking News due to the historical aspects. I also have an interest in introducing technological development to the area. My long-term goal is expanding the services at the newspaper office to include full-service business and computer support and training.
  “I’ve enjoyed getting to know the people of the community and learning more about the community and becoming more involved by covering the events.
  “Ange and I have five children, aged six to twenty-two; two granddaughters, two and three years old; and one grandson. My hobbies include construction, woodworking and hiking. The latest construction job was building our own home where we live off the grid, a unique lifestyle.”
  Christy Porter – Managing Editor: “I grew up on a working farm west of Rolla surrounded by family and extended family. That’s where I got my roots. Growing up, I always wanted to be a writer and did write. I attended Missouri State University and my interests in high school and college were journalism and business. I am a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
  “My career has included twelve years of radio and television, starting in small market for one year and then eleven years in Nashville, Tenn. While still in Nashville, I worked at a large advertising agency as an accountant for an additional fourteen years.
  “I remarried and moved to Licking where I started a unique combination of my love of writing and my administrative skills and experience. I’m currently working on a couple of books with completely non-related subjects. I also enjoy making quilts and other fabric creations, and have a related website for that interest. My personal goal is to be the person that God created me to be.
  “My goal as managing editor is to help make The Licking News the best small town newspaper possible. It’s a perfect medium and Licking a perfect place for my love of history and people. I have a firm belief that everyone and everyplace has a story.”
  Christy Dieman – Graphic Artist: “I was raised on a farm in southeast Laclede County near the very small town of Nebo. My grandmother owned a general store in Nebo for ten years and some of my favorite memories come from this place. As a girl, my two interests were riding horses and creating art.
  “I graduated in 1991 from Plato High School and started college at William Woods University on both an art and an equestrian science scholarship. I eventually transferred to Missouri State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s in animal science along with 20 hours of art and design classes. One of the highlights of my time at MSU was being part of the equestrian team.
  “Horses are still a big part of my life, as is my love of the creative process. I’ve worked as a freelance writer for an agriculture publication, and also self-published a stained glass pattern book. I’m a part-time starving artist. My latest project is constructing five stained glass windows for a new home. I also do murals.
  “One of my goals in working at The Licking News is to use whatever ability God has given me, to serve those around me.
  “My husband and I live on a farm near Roby with our son and daughter where we raise beef cattle and sell alfalfa and grass hay. It’s my favorite place to be.”
  Ange Hamilton – Graphic Artist: “As a child I wanted to be a professional baseball player, nurse and teacher. I attended Three Rivers Community College before transferring to Fairmont University in W. Va.  I have studied photography and have done professional photography. I like photography and hope to do more in the future. I am also studying to be a doctor of naturopathy.
  “My experience has included some graphic design. Here at The Licking News I’m enjoying learning new things, learning more about graphic design and print production. It’s rewarding combining the technical and the creative as was done with the production of the Downtown Licking calendars; I really enjoyed that and hope to do more of that type of production work.
  “Until coming to the paper; I was a full-time mom and I homeschool our children. (Ange is Scott’s wife.) I enjoy sports, in particular basketball, and my hobbies include scrapbooking when time allows.”
  Emma Jones - Office Staff: “I was born in Fairfax, Mo. and I grew up in Licking. I graduated from Licking High School in 2017. I began working at The Licking News in eighth grade part-time and have continued working part-time on Wednesdays,” says Emma.
  Emma helps out with many of the office responsibilities including helping Elijah process the newspapers for delivery. She also helps with subscriptions, posting Coming Events on the website, invoices and bank deposits. Emma is always willing to do whatever is asked of her and likes to stay busy.
  “I enjoy singing and dancing, reading and watching movies. I also like to watch my niece, Raylin and my sister’s dog, Kimber. I always wanted to learn how to be a cheerleader as part of a squad, doing the flips and stuff,” said Emma.
  Emma is a big help around the office and we’re happy to have her as part of our staff.
  Elijah Hamilton – Support Staff: Elijah is the staff factotum, the employee who has many different responsibilities, depending on what is needed at the time. He consistently delivers The Licking News to the post office for mailing and to the vendors who carry our publication. He is always willing to help out and has done some photography and writing.
  He is the son of Scott and Ange Hamilton and lived in W. Va. before moving to Edgar Springs. Elijah was homeschooled and now does online schooling, his favorite subjects being math and history. He has done carpentry and tinwork, as well as scaffolding and plumbing.
  According to reliable sources he has been a soccer player since the age of five and loves to cook. His chili has won two – first place awards and one – second place award in chili cook-offs.
  You may have seen Elijah on stage as he has performed in four ballet/musical theater productions including Annie, Snow White and The Nutcracker in addition to some smaller shows. His hobby is performing and dance, which includes ballet, tap, jazz and modern.
  We here at The Licking News are looking forward to knowing you and our community better in the future. To that goal, we will be hosting an Open House in the newspaper office, 115 S. Main Street, Friday, February 8 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
We hope you will plan on stopping by to visit and share refreshments with us.



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