I’m an old newspaper guy, so I have to admit I was more than a bit excited when I witnessed the birth of a weekly rolling off the press for its first edition in early February.
Three thousand copies of The Paper began hitting the streets of Burke County in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on Saturday, Feb. 4. Editor Bill Poteat and Publisher/Owner Allen VanNoppen smiled like proud papas as they waited for the first run of their new baby to come off The Charlotte Observer press the night before.
“It’s something that I have thought about doing, dreamed about doing and talked about doing for four years. And my wife finally said to me, ‘If you don’t do this now, you’re going to regret not doing it.’ So we pulled the trigger on it.”
The two Burke County natives would each grab 150 papers before leaving Charlotte for the twilight drive home that Friday night. Starting at 8 a.m. Saturday they began distributing their 300 copies of The Paper themselves at places where locals hang out like Timberwoods restaurant off Interstate 40 and Sain’s Barber Shop in Morganton’s downtown.