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Rich honored as FOCUS Citizen of the Year

Inside today’s edition of The DAILY LEADER, readers will findour 18th anniversary edition of FOCUS – our annual tribute to thepeople, places and events that make Southwest Mississippi theunique place it is.

Each year from nominations submitted by readers, FOCUSrecognizes a Citizen of the Year.

This year’s honoree is Rita Rich, a former longtime educator whowas instrumental in organizing Brookhaven’s SesquicentennialCelebration for its 150th birthday. Rich touched countless lives asa teacher and administrator for more than 30 years locally and hasbeen a tireless volunteer for chamber of commerce and other localorganizations during her almost 40 years of living in theHomeseekers Paradise.

FOCUS also recognizes our community’s Unsung Heroes, who arealso chosen from submitted nominations. The 2009 edition recognizesJoe S. Davis, Nick Davis, Dexter Holloway, Sarah Lloyd, Rose Powelland Robert Tyler, six individuals who are contributing their ownunique talents to helping citizens and making Brookhaven andLincoln County a better place.

In addition, FOCUS 2009 includes sections – Lifetrends, Health,Leadership, People, Community and Commerce – that highlight variousaspects of life in Southwest Mississippi. This year’s 64-pageedition is full of interesting and uplifting stories on a widevariety of topics.

Of course, bringing together what is traditionally The DAILYLEADER’s largest special section of the year takes a tremendousamount of planning, effort and teamwork. 2009 was certainly nodifferent.

Story planning by the newsroom began back in January andstaffers worked diligently through early April to interviewsubjects, take photographs, write and edit stories.

Also during that time, our advertising representatives visitedarea merchants and others to secure advertising to promote thoseentities in the special sections. The graphics department joined inthat effort to produce the top-quality advertisements thatmerchants and readers have come to expect.

As work on each individual section concluded, the productiondepartment went to work to print them. Then, our mailroom inserterscompiled the sections into one and stored them until today’srelease.

The months-long process culminates today with delivery to ourreaders by our independent carriers.

FOCUS represents a lot of hard work by all members in alldepartments of The DAILY LEADER. But we know that labor will payoff in readers’ smiles and their enjoyment of the stories we haveassembled.