“I am primed for the challenge and opportunity of assuming the helm of an award-winning and diverse newspaper,” he said. “Through his talents and commitment, Stan has injected a high level of quality and community synergy here.
“I wholeheartedly appreciate what he has taught me, and the gateway he opened two years ago when he gave a fledgling writer and permanent dreamer a chance,” Cummings said.
In the last two years, The Catoosa County News has earned 25 Georgia Press Association Awards under the leadership of Guess and publisher Don Stilwell, including two coveted General Excellence awards for the staff’s work in 2002 and 2003, making it the best weekly newspaper of its size in the state both years.
“And we expect to win the General Excellence award again for our work in 2004,” Guess said.
“The staff we have in place now is tremendously gifted in a variety of ways that complement one another,” Cummings said. “They are and will continue to be the engine and wheels on this truck, and I’ll try to be the guy with the big belt buckle who keeps us in the right lane heading north.”
Cummings, 30, began as a part-time writer with The Catoosa County News in August 2003. He earned a 2004 Georgia Press Association humorous column award for his weekly column “Word Drops.” His previous writing experience is rooted in poetry and short stories. He majored in journalism at Chattanooga State and is penning his first novel, tentatively entitled “Mirrors and Dust.”
He is the father of a six-year-old boy, Evan, who attends Ringgold Primary School.
“Anyone who reads my weekly column knows that I love to talk about my kid,” he said. “He has faced many medical challenges since the first day he came into this world and is easily my number one hero. I love that little blond-headed monkey.”
Guess, who worked as a staff writer at the newspaper for a year before taking the editor’s position in spring 2001, has accepted a position in corporate communications at Northwest Georgia Bank.
“Serving as this community’s editor has been an awesome and fulfilling responsibility, though with such a powerful staff, this ship practically ran itself; I just grabbed hold of the rudder now and again,” he said. “Though I will miss being the biggest and loudest horsefly on the ears of local governments and the role I served in helping guide public policy for this community, I am doubly excited and honored to join the Northwest Georgia Bank family and look forward to learning the marketing ropes from one of the best corporate leadership teams in the country.”
The Catoosa County News, which began operations in 1949, is owned by News Publishing Co