Appearing on this page is a letter from my brother Walter announcing his retirement, and in the process selling his interest in Carteret Publishing Company to my wife Nikki and myself. This represents a major change for both families but not for the readers and community this newspaper has served for the past 75 years.

For Walter and his family it’s the end of a long and successful career as the editor of a community newspaper that has garnered numerous national and state awards for outstanding journalism while providing a consistent forum for the county’s residents and visitors.

But that is only one facet of a very successful career. During this period he has also played a successful and pivotal role in a variety of local and state organizations including the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain, the NC Aquarium Society, NC Press Association, the UNC Hussman School of Media and Journalism as well as his church. These are just a few of the numerous organizations that benefited from both his leadership and investment in time and money.

While this represents the closure of a book for Walter and his family, it in turn represents a new chapter for my wife and partner for the past 50 years and myself as we continue to maintain a viable and important enterprise of family-owned newspapers, and by doing so, to play a role in preparing our community for significant growth and change.

The growth is quite obvious with the expanding home sites and new businesses that appear almost daily. This growth is significantly changing the county and its eleven municipalities and it is this change that motivates us to continue the legacy of our family enterprise.

As the new year and decade begin we’re hearing the term “Roaring 20’s” harkening back to the 1920’s as America was on a growth tear. Arguably this is a good description for our county and region as we begin this third decade of the century.  

Over the next 10 years Carteret County will change radically. The development of I-42 alone will see to that. Just as I-40 overwhelmed Wilmington, likewise the new interstate that terminates in the western edges of Morehead City will have a similar if not greater impact. Interstate 40 has forced Wilmington to consider not one, but two by-passes because of the increased traffic flow. Because Carteret County is a peninsula there are limited opportunities for similar traffic relief.

While I-42 represents the most significant physical development of our county there will be other forces on our county that require attention such as sea level rise, and how the county and municipalities handle storm water and sewer concerns. And then there is the growing need for skilled labor and the resulting need for more work-force housing. These are just a few of many issues we will be addressing in our newspaper in both print and digital form in the years ahead.

This new year is bitter sweet for our family. It’s the end of a very long partnership that has weathered numerous challenges but has persevered with focus on serving our community. It’s a partnership that will be missed.

This ownership consolidation opens the doors to other changes that readers of both our print and digital publications will see.  Some changes have already occurred, such as our decision to out-source our printing operation, a move to our new location at 5039 Executive Drive in Morehead City and our change to a twice weekly newspaper. More changes to improve our services are being planned and will be very noticeable in the next six months.

One thing that won’t change will be our commitment as a family-owned newspaper to offer a forum for reader involvement and to provide professional coverage of the news and events that make our community strong, successful and unique.

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