Former SNAP news editor dies

Ritchie Starnes, who spent five years as news editor of The Stanly News & Press, died Friday while vacationing in Folly Beach, South Carolina. He was 60.

Ritchie Starnes

Starnes wrote for The SNAP for five years before heading to Forest City in January 2019 to be editor of the Daily Courier. In 2021, he would also take on the role of managing editor of the News Topic in Lenoir.

He worked for newspapers for more than 24 years, and had earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, according to the Daily Courier. He won many NCPA awards while at The SNAP.

Prior stops on his journalism journey led him to Elizabeth City and Union County.

He was known for his love of rescue dogs, the Duke Blue Devils and Elvis, and spoke often of his family and extended family, his friends.

“This has been a tragic, unexpected loss for The Daily Courier and the Lenoir News Topic,” said Lori Spurling, publisher of the two newspapers. “Ritchie had a reputation as a strong newshound with a commitment to accuracy and fairness. He was an aggressive editor with a nose for news.”

Service arrangements were not available as of publication.

Scott Carpenter of The Daily Courier contributed.