by Phyllis Rozzelle

Ten years ago this week, Feb. 8, 2002, to be exact, the first issue of the Herald arrived in thousands of homes throughout Huntersville.  With the publication of that paper, Tucker Mitchell realized his dream.  Those of you who lived in Huntersville during that time, probably know the story and remember the man. Tucker was no stranger to newspapers.  For many years, he had been the editor of the Leader, the Charlotte newspaper owned by Stan and Sis Kaplan, and he had finally decided to take a leap of faith and entrust his dream to the community he called home.  The residents of Huntersville were happy to have a paper to call their own, a place to share their good fortune, learn of each other’s concerns, and keep up with what was happening in their schools, churches and government.  Through each of those early issues, Tucker brought his style of down-home journalism to the front page with his weekly column, which featured issues ranging from the biggest homegrown tomato to the latest political controversy.

Tucker’s vision served him well and we are honored to still be a part of the continued success of that paper.  Through the years, the paper has grown in circulation and expanded to cover Cornelius and Davidson.  It has become the flagship for three other publications in the area, as we added papers in Mountain Island, Mooresville and Denver.

The years have found us in different places, from our initial office off Maxwell Street, to the Business Park, to Old Statesville Road, but to the best of my knowledge, through it all we have never missed an issue. 0During our early years, Tucker had the ultimate goal of running the paper from a restored house in the center of Huntersville.  We eventually were able to make that move into the Smith House and work in the midst of the town we served.  That location represented Tucker’s ideal in community newspapers – to be an integral part of the community, to be entrenched in the lives of those who read our papers who allowed us to market their businesses and contributed to the articles we wrote.

Tucker has moved on to other endeavors, resulting in the Herald being sold twice during these 10 years.  The current keeper of the Herald’s flame is Craig Moon, our new owner and former publisher of USA Today.  As fate would have it, he also has newspaper ink running through his veins and plans to grow and improve the Herald while building on the foundation laid by Tucker.

Although our location and our management may have changed during these ten years, many of the staff who worked for and were mentored by Tucker are proud to still be part of the paper.  I personally owe my start at the Herald to Tucker, as do my fellow staff members, Cindy Dorman, Lynn Marshall, Cynthia Wittig and Julie Austin.  We all were fortunate enough to catch Tucker’s enthusiasm and still call the Herald home.  Ultimately, we owe our career success to him placing his faith in us to help his paper become a part of the Lake Norman community.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all those who have been a part of the Herald through the years – all those past and present employees who have helped us bring the news to you each week, our advertisers who have allowed us to deliver their message, and our readers who always look to the Herald for their link to the community.  It is my hope that each of you will join us as we start on this journey of a year-long celebration in honor of our 10th birthday.  We hope to catch up with old friends, update previous stories and continue on in the tradition set forth in our first issue.  We are committed to Tucker’s dream of producing a newspaper for our community.  We are proud to have shared these 10 years with you and look forward to many years of continued service to Huntersville and the surrounding areas.

We want to hear from you

In the next year, the Herald Weekly will look back at how our community has changed over the past 10 years.

• We’ll catch up with some old friends

• Update earlier stories

• Dust off some of the photos from our archives

• And hear how the past 10 years has changed from readers and community leaders.

But we want to hear from you. Send us your photos from the past decade. Tell us what stories you want to see updated.

Also, tell us how you ended up in Lake Norman. What brought you here and what made you decide to stay. We’ll publish some of the best answers in upcoming editions.

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