Jim Heffner

HOORAY !!! BannerNews Online Fulltime !!

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Congratulations to our local hometown paper the BannerNews on their launch of an online version of the weekly paper. The Belmont Front Porch has added your link under our column of “websites of interest” (below).

We sincerely welcome Republic Newspapers and the reporters and editors of the Belmont Banner and Mt. Holly News to the 21st century and wish them well.

As we have noted before, as subscribers and neighbors, we DO appreciate your efforts to report on the “Good News”, as former editor Dwight Frady would often comment. Your commitment to the communities is evident by this upgrade to your service.  

This particular development, after a few trial and error “semi-launches”, is particularly welcome after the Observer announced continued cutbacks to its service in Gaston County. Recently, the Observer announced that it would only publish the Gaston/Lincoln Neighbors section on Sundays.

The BannerNews, by adding the online edition will fill a small part of the weekly good news void for those people who use the internet on a regular basis. It is a great resource for our children,  former neighbors, and grandchildren who have moved away from the area.

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Belmont Abbey making area headlines lately

Maybe this blogsite has tweaked area media outlets a bit. Maybe they didn’t like being upstaged a few times. We don’t care either way, Belmont seems to be getting better coverage across the board for everything from the Abbey’s personnel policies and the monastic community lifestyle to our Belmont politics and school functions.

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Even the local paper, the BannerNews has dramatically cleaned its lense (well, except for the sports reporting) and scope.

The Abbey has made news with sports – doing well; With the faculty/staff personnel policies — opportunity to debate faith adherence practices versus having a job — or not. And, what it is like to become a member of a religious order.  

An explanation of a Monk’s Life —from Mount Angel Abbey, a Bendictine community in Oregon:

Locally, the more vocal religious fundamentalists certainly support the Abbey’s stance on taking away women’s health choices. Those supporters, both Catholic and Protestant appear to have a public viewpoint and a completely different set of values in their private lives. But hey, why would we call a spade, a spade, just for the heck of it?

The Catholic Church’s stance has been unwavering for 1500 years in their view towards women. Most Protestant denominations are closer in philosophy to the Universal Church than they think.

Unfortunately, the shrinking numbers of the priestly vocation, even in the developing world, contributes the crisis of faith by many Catholic-born. 

Local dioceses are ordaining fewer and fewer young and middle-aged men into the priesthood. Those who are entering are more fervently “conservative” and sometimes downright misogynistic in their practice of faith leadership to the faithful and seekers.

The local bishop, Peter Jugis of Charlotte, has a Belmont connection. He served as pastor of Queen of the Apostles a few years ago. Rarely did he venture out into the community unless heavily prompted by a few notable citizens. Upon appointment as leader of one of the fastest growing dioceses in the US, he issued a politically inspired letter threatening excommunication toward any Catholic who would vote for pro-choice political candidates.

Is it any wonder that the largest parish in Gaston County, St Michael in Gastonia, has had at least 4 pastors in the past 6 years?

In this ramble of an entry, it is good that the Abbey, its practices and operations, are becoming more transparent to the larger community. As the “driver” of the second or third largest land tracts in the area, it is a smart move to keep an outreach going with the traditional media outlets, many of whom like to think that they can guide debate along their own agenda pathways.

We prefer to be a bit more skeptical.

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Link to Gazette video of  celebration of vows of two newest brothers:

http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1155201824/bclid1155106715/bctid1410389962

Props and Shin Kicks

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(BannerNews online logo) 

The BannerNews, formerly the Belmont Banner and the Mount Holly News, deserves several positive comments on the formatting and new-found energy for our “hometown” weekly.

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Current BannerNews editor, Diane Turbyfill, has done an excellent job of turning around the staid, worn out look of the paper. Under the the rejuvenated leadership of the Republic Newspapers publisher, the local papers are actually enjoying a comeback of readership by each of the owned publications.

As in the past, locally submitted articles can be published, however the BannerNews has improved its own reporting of activities and events in the Belmont and Mt. Holly area.

There seems to be a good balance of attention given to both communities. The number of column inches devoted to “news” in each of Gaston Counties largest satellite cities often is determined by which town makes a bigger splash each week county-wide.  

The once frequently moved office of the BannerNews, has been stable at its present location, 132 North Main Street (that’s in Belmont,  for you Mt. Holly readers –nahny nahny boo boo), now for several years. This has helped its own visibility and has contributed to the renewed vitality of the downtown community. Yup, one EDC win for us!

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We don’t understand the recent reassignment of young reporter, Thomas Lark, off the local sports beat and giving the responsibilities to Jim Heffner. The shin kick to Heffner comes from his obvious “over-love” of the old school traditions of  pointyball, roundball, and gloveball, and lack of knowledge of all the other opportunities given to people of all ages within the athletic arena.

Apparently, the BannerNews will have to continue to accept locally submitted articles on things like softball, volleyball, wrestling, soccer, golf, cross country, track and field, and yes, even ultimate frisbee.

We are always a willing to give props when deserved: the BannerNews is a wonderful hometown weekly paper that a lot of people seek each week.

It is technically published on Thursdays, however, you can find newly issued copies in the stand at the office after 2 PM on Wednesdays and in the various boxes around town shortly thereafter.

To submit articles, you can write them out and take to the office, or email the editor, Diane Turbyfill at diane@mybannernews.com . Sports articles can go to Jim Heffner at jim@mybannernews.com . Local reporters are Thomas Lark and Tara Manjarres. You guessed it, their respective email addresses are thomas@mybannernews.com, and tara@mybannernews.com .

Keep up the good work, ya’ll.  all-thumbs-up.jpg