• Miss Frog Pond takes home the 24th Miss Brasstown Beauty Pageant trophy at the Possum Drop. We'll be celebrating unique things to Cherokee County all year long as part of "Celebrate Cherokee County." Photo by BEN KATZ

DAVID BROWN: Celebrating our county all year long

   For the last several years, your local newspaper has been engaged in an ongoing campaign to Celebrate Cherokee County. We’ve published articles about the history of every area, incorporated and unincorporated, across the county. We explained how each county department works, and why. The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner meeting even adopted the slogan.
   In 2018, we want to build on that positivity. This spring, we will unveil Celebrate Cherokee County magazine, which we are forming by combing the Cherokee Scout’s annual information guide, Peaks & Valleys, with the Andrews Journal’s annual information guide, Accent Andrews. The end result is going to be a much bigger magazine, with additional content that will showcase the county’s best sides from one end to the other. We can’t wait.
   I’m also working on a project with Tim Radford at WKRK-AM 1320 to bring Celebrate Cherokee County to the airwaves and online that we hope to debut later this month. When you have as much good news to share as Cherokee County, you want to use every available avenue to get the word out. Stay tuned.
   As you hopefully already noticed on the front page this week, the Scout also is starting a weekly feature for 2018 – “52 Things to Celebrate About Cherokee County.” Up first is the latest, and perhaps last, incarnation of the infamous Possum Drop. That means we have 51 more people, places and things to pat ourselves on the back for over the rest of the year.
   Some of the other things we undoubtedly will celebrate include everything from Murphy Medical Center to the Murphy RiverWalk, from Fields of the Wood to a Wagon Train, from Tri-County Community College to the three rivers that cross the county. If you have an idea for one, please let me know ASAP so nothing important will be left out.
   There are a number of vital issues facing the county this year. The school board is considering whether to build new campuses, renovate existing ones or both. New industry is on the verge of coming here. There will be important elections this fall. All the more reason your local newspaper is needed now more than ever.
   It bothers me greatly when someone on social media expresses concern or outrage about something they just heard about that the Scout has been reporting on for months. You can make sure that isn’t you for only 58 cents a week. By doing so, you’ll also be giving us the resources to cover everything from breaking news to human interest stories.
   As we head into the new year, the Scout wants to help local businesses succeed.
   We want to help Realtors and the building industry. We want to help our charities, ministries and volunteers. We want to grow into the future, while never forgetting where we came from.
   December’s newspapers were filled with good news and positive vibes. In 2018, let’s focus on celebrating our community – together. Thanks for reading.
   David Brown is publisher of the Cherokee Scout. You can reach him by phone, 837-5122; fax, 837-5832; and email, dbrown@cherokeescout.com; plus follow him on Twitter @daviddBstroh.