Recently, we've formed a new readers' advisory board to help us identify our readers' concerns and enable us to produce more reader-focused newspapers.
The board meets once a month to discuss everything from newspaper operations to story ideas and a little of everything else in between.
We've met twice and I have to say that these folks have given us some great ideas to improve the newspapers.
They've done a great job of talking with people in their neighborhoods, civic groups and such to give us more eyes and ears in the communities and we appreciate their efforts.
To help them help us, I wanted to let our readers know who serves on the board for the next year and to also encourage all of our readers to continue to write or call with ideas, complaints or compliments. We really do want to know what you think.
Our readers' advisory board members are:
n James Cain, a veteran attorney from Elkins. He served 27 years as Randolph County's prosecuting attorney and still practices law in the area. He's also been very involved with civic organizations and his church.
n Jacklin Romeo, an elementary school teacher from the Bridgeport area. She's very involved with education-oriented groups, including the Appalachian Educational Library Board of Directors and the National Education Association.
n Tina Canon, a housewife and mother of two from Wilsonburg. She's involved with many civic groups, including the Wilsonburg Lions, Clarksburg Elks, Friends of the Library and the United Hospital Center Woman's Auxiliary.
n Libby Stout is a retired journalist who worked for the Clarksburg newspapers for 44 years. She is also one of the most community-oriented people I know and is a member of so many groups it would take several paragraphs to name them all.
n Nanci Kotowski is a former nurse who is now disabled. She serves of the board of directors for an advocacy group for special children and is an advocate for those afflicted by panic disorder.
n Violet Reynolds is a local minister in the Reynoldsville area. She lists her interests as gardening, art, music, medical care, alternative health care and truth in news.
n Don Hamm is the former executive director of the local chapter of the Red Cross. He is retired, but still volunteers for the Red Cross and is very civic-minded. He lives in Mount Clare.
n Hal Miesner is retired and lives in the Sardis area of Harrison County. He's much like Libby Stout, working with or belonging to many civic groups.
n Helen Flanagan lives in Clarksburg and works in a local doctor's office. She has a degree in business administration and likes mountain biking and yoga.
If you know any of these fine people and want to share your ideas about the newspaper, please do so. Or just give us a call. You really are what makes this newspaper special.
John G. Miller is managing editor of the Clarksburg Exponent and Telegram newspapers. He can be reached at 626-1473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.