Turner was local government watchdog


Allen Turner, who covered local government as a staff writer for The News Reporter, died Saturday after complications from COPD and metastatic cancer.

Turner, 71, continued to work part-time in the latter stages of his career despite being on oxygen full-time and dealing with a difficult cancer diagnosis.

His last bylined story, about the newly opened apartments designed to help Fair Bluff rebuild its population, appeared in the Dec. 22 edition of The News Reporter.

Turner’s recent beats included the Columbus County Board of Commissioners, Whiteville City Council, Chadbourn Town Council and Fair Bluff Board of Commissioners. 

The North Carolina Press Association bestowed Turner with the prestigious Henry Lee Weathers Freedom of Information Award in February 2020 for a series of stories he wrote in 2019 about how county government didn’t provide adequate minutes of closed sessions as required by the North Carolina Open Meetings Law.

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