280, Helena newspapers to launch April 22

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

Shelby County Newspapers, Inc. is launching two new weekly community newspapers this month, the 280 Reporter and the Helena Reporter newspapers.

General Manager Katie McDowell said the response to the new papers, which were officially announced during launch parties last week, has been “overwhelmingly supportive.”

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of the 280 Reporter and Helena Reporter,” she said. “We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response we received from community leaders, business owners and local residents.”

McDowell said the newspapers and their websites will “focus exclusively on the issues and stories that matter to the communities.”

“We firmly believe in the importance of community journalism,” she said. “Our goal for these newspapers is to reflect the values of the communities they serve, and we welcome all comments, questions and story ideas from readers.”

The 280 Reporter will cover the Shelby County communities located on and around U.S. 280, including Hoover, Greystone, Meadowbrook, North Shelby, Inverness, Highland Lakes, Mt Laurel, Chelsea, Harpersville and Vincent.

Print copies of the 280 Reporter will be available at high-traffic locations, libraries and schools throughout the community.

All 280 Reporter news will be available daily through 280Reporter.com, social media channels such as the 280 Reporter Twitter feed and Facebook page and the 280 Reporter’s daily morning and breaking news emails.

The Helena Reporter will cover news in and around the city of Helena.

Print copies of the Helena Reporter will be located at high-traffic locations, libraries and schools throughout the community.

Helena Reporter news will also be available daily through HelenaReporter.com, the Helena Reporter’s Twitter feed, Facebook page and the paper’s daily morning and breaking news emails.

All 280 and Helena content will continue to also be available within the pages and on the website of the Shelby County Reporter.

Local leaders were optimistic about the new publications and their impact in two of Shelby County’s fastest-growing areas. Launch parties for both newspapers were held last week.

“Congratulations to Shelby County Newspapers, Inc. on two very successful launch efforts on their newest publications: 280 Reporter and Helena Reporter this past week,” said Kirk Mancer, president and CEO of the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. “The Shelby County Newspapers’ staff consistently provides excellent coverage in their current publications, and these two new publications promise to be excellent opportunities for business owners and residents along Highway 280 and Helena to keep abreast of all the news and activities in those areas.”

Helena Mayor Mark Hall said the Helena Reporter is a sign of the city’s growth and ability to support a publication created specifically for the community.

“We’re very excited to have a weekly paper available to people in Helena,” Hall said. “I feel like that means that the city is growing in a positive way. It’s a great thing.”

Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bill Powell said the 280 Reporter would give businesses in Hoover another outlet for advertising.

“I think it will be great for us and great for businesses all the way around,” Powell said. “I think it will be a great addition to the entire marketplace.”

Shelby County Newspapers, Inc. also publishes the Shelby County Reporter, Alabaster Reporter, Pelham Reporter, Shelby Living magazine, Hoover’s Magazine and corresponding websites, social media channels and emails for each publication. The Shelby County Reporter was founded in 1843 and has been recognized as the top community newspaper in its category in the Alabama Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest for each of the last eight years.