Striving to serve the community

By Abbi Overfelt

October 21, 2013

Nice to meet you. If we haven’t yet met, I look forward to it.

As editor of The Laurinburg Exchange, I often find myself too busy to make the rounds that I should, and see all there is to see in Scotland County. But from what I have seen of the county, and of Laurinburg, there isn’t much I don’t like.

I’ve been a small-town girl in rural North Carolina all my life, so I’m used to seeing downtowns with not much activity and more storefronts boarded than open. My first time traveling down Laurinburg’s Main Street was a pleasant surprise. Not only were there several appealing storefronts with unique monikers, there was a dance studio, performing arts center and a local radio station.

If it weren’t for the signs in the windows showing support for the Fighting Scots, which I don’t need to tell anyone is the local high school football team, I would have thought I had stumbled into a section of a town much larger than Laurinburg.

Maybe it’s just because press releases come across my desk all the time, but it seems that there is much more to do in this community then people let on. There are several things I would like to attend not to cover, but to simply enjoy, if I only had a few moments to myself. Maybe someday, I will find the time, and meet all of you as well — but I think I already know a little about who you are.

Most, I think, are proud to be in Scotland County, and a lot of you genuinely want to make it the best place it can be. I’ve met several of you who work long hours for little (or not enough) pay in a position where you might not ever receive your due recognition — and you are OK with that, as long as what you are doing betters the community.

Everyone I’ve met in person has a general hung-ho attitude about the community, and the Scots, who seem to roll over each and every opponent like a monster truck. At Friday’s homecoming game, I was impressed just as much by the large crowd who cheered after each touchdown as if the whole game was on the line — even though Scotland had put up 61 points to Pinecrest’s 0 by halftime.

What I’ve seen when driving around town is a broad display of community support. Businesses use their signs, which could display sales, to promote local events. On Facebook, the business community is constantly sharing and re-posting things of interest to the community in general, and “likes” abound. It all goes back to my first point — that those who have made Scotland their home are proud of it, and are willing to invest whatever it takes.

I too, am excited to be a part of this community, especially in my new role. I want this newspaper to be local, as local as it can be with a staff of three people. I want it to be attractive. I want it to be accurate. I want you all to look forward to reading it. And most of all, we here at The Laurinburg Exchange want to serve the community with an appropriate mix of breaking news and compelling features that make you come back for more.

As much as we’d like it to be, our final product won’t be perfect. We will make mistakes. Even if we don’t, there is always room to improve; when you see a clear way to do so, let us know. Drop us a line. Shoot us an email. Find us on Facebook at and give us some feedback.

We look forward to hearing from you — and, as always, to telling your stories.