Column: Happy first anniversary, Augusta Good News!

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.

Don Rhodes with Barbara Mandrell in 1983. Photo courtesy Linda Humphreys

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.

Seventeen year old Didier Fuentes throws the first pitch of the 2023 season for the Augusta GreenJackets at SRP Park in North Augusta on Tuesday, April 11, 2023. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News.

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.

Ja’Queze Kirby of Augusta reaches for a rebound against USCA at the Division II NCAA Southeastern Regional game at Christenberry Fieldhouse in Augusta, Ga. on March 12, 2023. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News.

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.”

Members of Trail Life Troop in conjunction with American Legion Post 192 of Evans, Ga. place 2,000 flags on the graves of military service members at Bellevue Memorial Gardens in Grovetown, Ga. on May 27, 2023. Mike Adams/Augusta 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.

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.

Pat Carpenter, right, helps a member of the RECing Crew with his batting stance at SRP Park in North Augusta on June 17, 2023. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News.

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 Sign up for the newsletter here.

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4 thoughts on “Column: Happy first anniversary, Augusta Good News!

  1. Charmain – you are in the right place at the right time and thank you so much for your positivity and bringing that positivity to the attention of the Augusta and Aiken area communities. May you have many more years of happy success in our wonderful Garden City. #lovewhereyoulive.

  2. Charmain, congratulations on the first anniversary of Augusta Good News! I also think the exclamation point is appropriate! It is refreshing to read your publication because it truly is 100% good news. For those of us who really love Augusta, it is wonderful to see all that’s good highlighted so positively.

    Thank you and keep up the amazing journey!

  3. Congratulations on the 1st anniversary of Augusta Good News! Thank you for remembering Don and what his friendship / mentoring meant to you. He always did a favorite quotes Ramblin’ Rhodes column at the end of every year. He probably would have shared a quote from you this year. His birthday was Christmas Eve and the holiday will be a very sad one for our family especially this year. Keep up the good work of sharing Augusta Good News!

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