Happy first anniversary, Augusta Good News!
I usually wouldn’t use an exclamation point because AP Style says not to use them except on rare occasions. This is one of those where I think it’s appropriate.
Augusta Good News launched on Nov. 22, 2022, with seven stories by one writer with a dream of accentuating the positive in Augusta.
Since then, more than 750 additional items have been published including features on sports, business, arts and entertainment, education and individuals as well as photo stories.
Early on, I was blessed when the inimitable Don Rhodes expressed a desire to write a column that he called Ramblin’s Roads, a play on his longtime Ramblin’ Rhodes column.
During his six months writing for Augusta Good News, he taught me a lot of things, and I can’t tell you how much I miss his knowledge, his insight and his encouragement. Bill Kirby, with whom both Don and I worked at The Augusta Chronicle, compared Don to Google. Don truly was a wealth of facts, figures and dates.
He remembered details of the night in 1987 when Tina Turner had been in Augusta, and he still had the ticket stub to prove it. That was the last column he wrote before his death in June.
He told me that if I did a look back over the year that I needed to include the photo below. He called it a favorite.
And that makes for an easy transition to Mike Adams, a multiple-Georgia Press Association award winning photographer, who took Don’s favorite photo.
Mike has a great eye when it comes to sports photography and news features. I’ve worked with Mike for many years, back to our days at The Augusta Chronicle. He adds so much to this newspaper.
I’m adding a few of the nearly 500 photos that Mike has taken since his first assignment covering the North Augusta Christmas festivities last December.
One other thank you to Mike. He’s the one who nudged me into seeking membership in the Georgia Press Association. Don also helped on that front. In June, Augusta Good News became an associate member.
Over the months, many talented writers have made their mark on this fledgling newspaper. Tyler Strong, Ron Baxley Jr., Dustin Turner, Maxwell Shaffer and Rakiyah Lenon have all contributed stories. Christopher Rickerson has developed into Augusta Good News’s sportswriter.
Columnists Francie Klopotic, Ann Beth Strelec and the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Taylor have shared music, food and faith. I hope to see more of them again soon.
And last but definitely not least, a huge thank you to everyone who has read stories, shared them and commented on them. Thank you to the many people who’ve said, “we all need a little good news.”
I’ll share with you the 10 most-read stories for the first year, and if you haven’t read them, click on the links.
- 10 – Don Rhodes’ obituary
- 9 – The Congregation Children of Israel welcomes Augusta’s first female rabbi
- 8 – Liam Hewitt sings Elvis
- 7 – Miss Augusta reflects on wearing the crown
- 6 – Paine College choir director comes full circle
- 5 – Stuckey’s CEO infuses hospitality into confections at Wrens’ plant
- 4 – Thriller shot at Partridge Inn comes to Tubi
- 3 – Filmed in Augusta, The Hill champions more than one underdog
- 2 – Pecan Log Rolls and road trips fuel company’s rebirth
And our top story of the year shows just how much Augustans love film in their hometown. Back in March, I was invited on the set of Five Star Murder when they closed off part of Walton Way to film a hurricane scene. That story was your favorite.
So, on this Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful for, and I pledge to bring you more content highlighting the people of the Augusta area and what they are doing in 2024.
Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News and Inspiring: Women of Augusta, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for the newsletter here.
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