From the Editor: Just a few reasons to celebrate this month

Maria d. James (right) and Dana Patterson, the new HLT intern.

BY MARIA D. JAMES — Can I brag — just for a little? If I can say so myself, the Hyattsville Life & Times (HL&T) has a couple of great reasons to celebrate this month.

June started off with an email announcing that we are the recipients of an award from the 2017 National Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Editorial Contest. Staff sports writer and DeMatha Catholic High School assistant freshman baseball coach Chris McManes was awarded second place in the Best Sport Story category in the Daily & non-daily division, circulation 9,000 or more, for his article “DeMatha rallies late to stun St. John’s, wins fourth straight WCAC championship.” This is the third year in a row that the HL&T has been recognized. This year, there were 1,433 entries in the Better Newspaper Editorial Contest, and we were one of 475 other publications selected to win.

Then, just a few days later on June 5, my colleagues and I stood before the city council to say thank you and to ask for their continued support for our publication. Each year the mayor and council must vote to renew their advertising contract with our paper. Their advertising includes the Hyattsville Reporter, which is published in both English and Spanish. I’m happy to share that the motion was approved for fiscal year 2018. In my statement during the public comment period, I shared with the council that their support also helps me continue the goal of supporting young journalist in our community.

This leads me to the third reason why I’m gushing. In this edition, you will see two articles written by our new intern, Dana Patterson. She is a Hyattsville resident and rising junior at Penn State. The HL&T has been actively developing internship programs with Howard University and the University of Maryland. I feel honored that Dana is starting her career working with us.

And, finally, I’d like to brag about our staff. I work with an amazing group of individuals. We volunteer our time while working jobs, attending graduate school, and parenting. We’re working hard for our readers and striving to do our best every day. I’d add that if you don’t receive a copy of the paper, we also hand-deliver papers to businesses around town each month, including the new Whole Foods in Riverdale Park.