From the publisher:

Just over a week ago, two of The Sampson Independent’s journalists, Chase Jordan and Kristy Carter, along with the newspaper’s advertising staff — media director Shannon Best and media specialists Gary Pate, Clay Boney and Beth Reynolds — earned state awards for writing and design.

The honors, given by the North Carolina Press Association each year, aren’t easy to win and, because of that fact, are coveted by those of us in the newspaper business. This year, for example, in both news and advertising, we were (in our circulation category) recognized along with the likes of state newspapers like The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer and others like The Wilson Daily Times and our sisters papers The Rockingham County Daily Journal, The Bladen Journal and The Robesonian.

As publisher of The Independent, seeing my hard-working staff honored for their dedication to their craft and to the readers and advertisers they serve is an even bigger honor than the NC Press certificates they brought home. The awards they earned, however, are testaments to the positive changes you see in the newspaper daily.

Having been at The Independent for over 23 years, I can attest to the growth in our paper, much of which can be credited to the current group of dedicated individuals you see around town.

I am honored to work shoulder to shoulder with them. They make my job far easier because of their integrity, attention to detail and determination to get things right.

So I offer my congratulations to them all, including Managing Editor Chris Berendt for running a great newsroom and Best for her dedication to providing the highest quality of advertising service.

And I offer thanks to the NC Press Association for recognizing the talents I’ve always known we have here.

Three cheers to SI staff