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Roger Watson Column: A new reporter joins the SNAP

Our readers who notice bylines have likely picked up on the fact we have a new reporter working for us here at the SNAP.

Chris Miller joined us Jan. 3 and has quickly become a major contributor. His work made up six of our Top 10 most read stories last week. He has definitely hit the ground running.

Roger Watson

A Concord resident, Chris earned a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from N.C. State.

One of the more interesting things Chris has done is work with FEMA as part of the national service group AmeriCorps at the Texas/Mexico border taking care of unaccompanied children. He and his team of 11 helped care for a thousand young children at the Fort Brown Border Patrol Station and also worked as a media representative for FEMA.

In addition to his FEMA experience, Chris spent some time with the Capital News Service in Annapolis, Md.

I was impressed by Chris’ ability to take a complex government issue and put it in the perspective of the citizens affected. He moved out of the meeting room and into the community to discover the impact, good or bad, of governmental decisions through the eyes of those who often do not have a voice. We need more of that type of reporting at this newspaper.

Chris Miller

I learned everything I needed to know about Chris at the Pfeiffer groundbreaking Thursday. We challenged Chris to put the event on Facebook Live and sent him out there with just his IPhone. The problem was he didn’t have a tripod so he had to hold the phone and shoot video the entire 30-minute program.

Try holding your hands up and keeping an IPhone steady enough to shoot video for 30 minutes with no breaks. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s painful.

But Chris did a great job and we had a good number of viewers. We will be doing much more live video and blogging as we work to beef up our digital capabilities. We will also buy a tripod.

In addition to writing, Chris describes himself as “a huge Star Wars nerd.” He said he has a chest of Star Wars memorabilia and for Christmas, his big gift was a poster from “The Force Awakens” signed by the Daisy Ridley, the actress who played Rey.

In addition to Star Wars movies, Chris likes movies of all types including James Bond and Hitchcock movies.

He is a Duke basketball fan and was rooting for the Patriots this weekend.

Chris said one of the most enjoyable things he does is hang out with Stella, his 5-year-old niece. He said it is interesting watching her grow up.
We are happy to have Chris on board and look forward to some very cool stories from him this year.

Pfeiffer Basketball = Fun

As you may know by now, I am huge college basketball fan. I will pretty much watch any game anywhere.

Wednesday night I got my first taste of Pfeiffer Falcon basketball and it was a blast. The Falcons had 19 players in uniform. They shuffled them in and out of the lineup and ran up and down the court at an extremely fast pace as they nipped Greensboro College 114-113. There is no need for a shot clock at Merner Gym.

If you are looking for a fun night of basketball give the Falcons a look. They have three home games next week. Averett comes to Misenheimer Wednesday at 7 p.m. Then back to back games Saturday against LaGrange at 2 p.m. and Sunday against Huntingdon at 3 p.m.

Roger Watson is publisher of The Stanly News & Press.