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I bid you a fond farewell

By By James Crawford
News Editor
Dear Atmore.
It is with a great weight on my heart that I write this letter to inform you of my resignation as News Editor effective tomorrow at the end of the day. My time here at The Advance has been the fulfillment of a dream and the opportunity of a lifetime. I moved here with my family to pursue the continuation of my own personal and professional development in the field of journalism and to become a part of wonderful small town that was ripe with potential – I feel I have done just that.
At this time, however, due to personal conflicts I, with great regret, must now act in the best interest of my family and myself and that action is to return to Tuscaloosa and pursue other interests, most likely to enter graduate school, but I remain hopefully that one day soon I can return to the profession that I love in a setting like I have here in Atmore.
I fully believe that Atmore can continue to prosper and thrive and I hope The Advance stays an active part in that development. I am very proud of what we have accomplished here in the last six months and the accomplishments we have made to reestablish relationships with the schools, the city, the public sector and the business leaders of this outstanding small town.
I want to personally thank those I have worked with in the office for all their support and tireless efforts. I would like to say thanks to Paul for everything you taught me that was worth its weight in gold; to Tammy for jumping in headfirst and helping me cover all the bases from the start – including the correct spelling of last names. Without you, I would've had a much rougher time of it; to Chuck, the guy with the most positive can-do attitude I have ever seen and never fails to chip in when you need him; to Lindsey, a fantastic worker who came through for us in the clinch when we needed her too. It's nice to know you have someone you can count on; to Kimberly for typesetting all those many press releases and endless cutlines for me; to Bill for his kind words of encouragement; and to my new publisher Brian for his instance support and understanding under trying circumstances. He barely knew me but without hesitation offered me a great deal of help.
To those in the community I have dealt with on a regular basis I would also like to say a round of thanks. To Mayor Shell for always having an open door and a willingness to talk; to Beth Drew, David Nolan, Betty Warren, and Herbert Payne for welcoming me into the schools and letting me take endless pictures of students. To John Garrard for his tireless support; to Anne Hetzel and the reader advisory board for all their time and efforts; to Michele Gerlach for a great deal of cooperation at JDCC; to Chief Dean who responded to my request for a working relationship from the start because he cares about this community being informed; to all my fellow Lion's Club members who have treated me with kindness from day one; to the late Charles Karrick who was the first to welcome me to this town and offered immense support; to my land-lady Alice for great understanding; to my neighbors the Byrds for all the little things that made my life here easy, you guys have been great; and to all the readers of The Atmore Advance that made my job possible and made it rewarding when I was able to help; to all the others I've encountered during my days here. I greatly appreciate each and every one of you and wish you all the best in life.
I will miss my co-workers and all the people I've come to be close to very much and will hopefully continue my relationships with all of you from a distance. My experience here will afford me memories of a lifetime and I have been privileged to work with an outstanding group of people here at The Advance and in the community I have endeavored to call home.
Thank you very much for the outstanding opportunity to work with a group of the friendliest, outgoing community leaders I have ever met. I wish you, the city of Atmore, and The Atmore Advance the best, now and in the future, and I hope to some day work again within the Boone Newspaper Group and possibly even return "home."
With the greatest respect,
James Crawford