Looking forward to getting to know Vicksburg, Warren County

Published 3:36 pm Friday, December 29, 2023

When you make a job change in the newspaper industry, it isn’t as simple as just getting to know a new working environment, new coworkers, and where the new coffee pot is. When you join a new newspaper, it is vital that you get to know the people who make up your new community – and that you do so quickly!

For those of you who missed the story a few weeks back, my name is Blake and I came aboard at The Vicksburg Post in mid-December. I won’t get bogged down here with a list of where I’ve worked and how many papers my byline has been in. But I will say I have worked in the newspaper industry, in one form or another, since I fell in love with journalism on my high school newspaper staff way back when Bill Clinton and boy bands ruled the headlines.

Most recently, I was the publisher of the Madison Journal across the bridge in Tallulah, but for those three-plus years, I lived here in Vicksburg. I love it here. I love the history in this town; I love the food at the locally owned restaurants; I love the people. My kids love it here, too. We always find something new to do around town. Whether it is touring the McRaven House on Halloween, taking in all of the Civil War history, or just strolling through downtown, we always have a blast checking out what this community has to offer. We stop at The Tomato Place almost every time we’re headed south on Highway 61 and, if we get within eye shot of the Lower Mississippi River Museum, my son is going to beg to go for the umpteenth time. 

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Despite all the fun we’ve had here, though, getting to know a community you live in is very different from getting to know a community you serve. And that’s what we do here at The Vicksburg Post: we serve this community. This is your paper, after all. We’re here to keep you informed, up-to-date, and hopefully even entertained. And I have a long way to go, but I’m already working on it. 

Last week I was able to cover my first meetings of the Vicksburg city council, the port commission and the Vicksburg Warren School District and I’ve already met a lot of wonderful people. Mayor George Flaggs and Fire Chief Derrick Stamps have already been great about taking my calls about stories – even at inopportune times – and their clear dedication to the city and its residents is wonderful to see. 

I also made my entrance during the holidays and It has been heartwarming to see what an amazing job everyone does during the Christmas season. From parades and other events to more community outreach programs than I can list, it’s very easy to see the Vicksburg community is full of love and generosity. And that’s what it is all about.

So, as we move into a new year, I encourage you guys to reach out and let me know what’s going on in our community. I’m anxious to learn about it all. Whether it is a problem that needs solving, a resident doing something that deserves some public recognition, or just something cool you run across while you’re out there doing life, please let me know. I can’t wait to learn more about the place I’ve called home for a while now by covering the stories that make up your lives every day here in Vicksburg and Warren County.

I’m looking forward to it. And to those I’ve already met, thanks for such a warm welcome!

Blake Bell is the general manager and executive editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at blake.bell@vicksburgpost.com.