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Happy to be here in the Valley

As I drove across the state line Tuesday to begin my first day as managing editor of The Valley Times-News, I had a good feeling about what is to come. If I had to guess, that feeling likely stemmed from being back in Alabama, my home state.

Of course, I have no idea where exactly that state line falls. Even after covering events in West Point, I’m still not entirely confident where West Point ends and Lanett begins. I finally changed my phone settings to ensure the time zone remains the same when I travel to the Valley newspaper office, no longer automatically updating away from Eastern time. 

I actually covered an event Thursday morning at a spot on West Point Lake that listed an address of LaGrange, Alabama — which as far as I know doesn’t exist.

For those that don’t know, I’m also the managing editor of The LaGrange Daily News, which is close to enough to Alabama that I tell faraway friends I’m basically still living in eastern Alabama. That’s where I live with my wife, Alyssa, and my 1-year-old daughter, Autumn, who is growing so fast I can barely keep up.

I was born in Huntsville, but moved around often due to my dad’s military career. I started my life jumping from elementary school to elementary school from one state to the next. Eventually, he chose a new career, and moved us to the Birmingham area.

Specifically, I moved to Woodstock, Alabama, which some of you may recognize from its recent S-town podcast fame. I graduated from West Blocton High School in Bibb County before attending and graduating from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

After graduation, Alyssa and I moved to Selma, where I started my newspaper career.

I worked as the sports editor for four years, but took on a larger role as news editor during my Selma days as well.

A year ago, Alyssa and I moved to LaGrange, ready to start a new adventure.

She was eight months pregnant at the time, so finding a place to live was the only thing that trumped finding where the hospital was located.

However, we’re more than settled now and happy to be living in Troup County. We’re also excited about this new adventure and the chance to learn more about Chambers County and to tell the stories of the people who live here.