“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

— Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

Hello, Hancock County! And welcome to your brand-new weekly newspaper, The Hancock County Eagle!

About four years ago, when The Rogersville Review began publishing an annual magazine entitled Discover Hancock County, we came to know, love and appreciate this beautiful county and the folks who call it home.

The response to that magazine was overwhelming. And to tell the truth, we love spending time here, writing stories and making pictures of people, places and events ... overhome.

While we are here working on the magazine, people often tell us how much they enjoy Discover Hancock County and many asked us to consider starting a paper here.

I’m a country boy who grew up in a small, rural, Alabama county very much like Hancock in many ways, so I feel right at home here, and to tell the truth, the idea appealed to me. I have been in this business a long time and God has blessed me to be able to do something that I absolutely love for a living, I know a thing or two about starting newspapers, and my bosses were graciously willing to give us the opportunity .... soooo, with that said, we are pleased to present to you the very first issue of The Eagle.

The paper will be distributed every Friday at local businesses around the area, and you can also get a subscription and have it delivered right to your mailbox.

The Eagle will be free of charge for the first month at local businesses and afterward, single copies will be available in vending boxes and over-the-counters at local stores for 75 cents.

News and events included in the “print” edition will also be posted to our website, www.therogersvillereview.com/hancock_county, where you can access those articles and photos 24/7 from anywhere in the world on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Here, you will find news, sports, opinions, community happenings, and feature stories about the people, places and events that are important to you.

This is a major undertaking for us, folks, and while we are willing to work long hours, nights, weekends and holidays to make it happen, we cannot do it alone ... we must have your help and cooperation.

Let us know when news or events are happening that you think are important. We may be many things but mind readers we aren’t, so send in your announcements!

We have set up a brand-new Facebook page where you can “like” us and share news that you would like to have included in the paper.

Schools, send us your calendars, and give us a heads-up when special events are happening on your campus. If you snap photos of these events, we can use those, too. We will also be covering meetings of the Hancock Co. Board of Education on a regular basis.

Churches, the Eagle is a FAITH FRIENDLY newspaper where your news and announcements are welcome! When you have Vacation Bible Schools, homecomings, etc., snap photos and send ‘em to us. Pastors, if you enjoy writing Bible study/devotional columns, here’s your invitation. Call me and we’ll get you set up on a schedule.

City and county governmental agencies, tell us how we can help publicize the “people’s business” that your departments are involved in. From news about elections, taxes, and actions taken by the Sneedville Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the Hancock Co. Commission ... we will be there to cover those meetings, too, and share with you what happened.

Emergency first responders, we’re here to help and support the work that you do. We hold in high regard our law enforcement officers, emergency medical personnel, fire departments, rescue squad members, and others whose job it is to keep the community safe and healthy.

If you have personal opinions to share about an issue that is of interest or concern to you, share it in a Letter to the Editor.

Got a family recipe? A historic photo of a person, place or event of years gone by? Are you celebrating a milestone in your life, or that of your family? A new baby in the family? An engagement, wedding, anniversary, college honors/graduations, or a child serving in the U.S. Military? Are you a military veteran with a ‘war story’ to tell?

We want to know about all of those ... and more!

Looking to buy, sell, trade or give something away? Advertise it in our CLASSIFIEDS where your message will be read by several thousand people in not one but TWO counties (Hancock AND Hawkins).

When it comes to ‘Legal’ notices, those will also appear in the print editions of the Review as well, in addition to being posted to our website and the Tennessee Press Association’s Public Notice website AT NO ADDITIONAL COST.

Please let us know what you think of our first effort ... and tell us if you have ideas or suggestions of how we can make it better.

Help us grow by sharing our contact information with your friends, neighbors, co-workers, church members and social media contacts; and by encouraging the merchants and professional clinics that you patronize to support The Eagle with their advertising dollars, which, in turn, will help us add even more pages and more news coverage to your brand-new community newspaper.

Our email address is: hancockeagle@therogersvillereview.com, and you can reach us by phone at 423-272-7422 (office) or on my cell at 423-754-0312.

News items may also be sent by U.S. Mail to:

Hancock County Eagle

P.O. Box 215

Sneedville, TN 37869

And in case you’re wondering, we chose to name the new paper “The Eagle” because Hancock County is home to so many of those beautiful birds, and because the Bible verse that you read at the beginning of this column is one of my personal favorites.

As your editor, I would welcome the opportunity to come and speak with your school, church, civic group, business, senior citizens group or any other organization that would like to know more about the Eagle, so please, let’s get to know each other.

And, if your event involves bluegrass, gospel, or country music, fried chicken, barbecue, fried catfish, cathead biscuits and homemade jam, turnip greens, ‘nanner puddin’, hot coffee or sweet tea, in any combination, I especially want an invite ... I’m not opposed to begging if that will help ... lol!

We look forward to serving the folks of Hancock County for a long, long time to come.

That’s my view for the week. What say you?