By Joe Johnson
Today marks four years since the online debut of Classic City News and I hope that you have enjoyed and benefited from the news and features that I have been providing to the Athens-metro communities at no cost.
From the dangerous problem of violent local street gangs and disarray within the DA's office to the mismanagement of the county-sanctioned homelessness encampment, CCN has been at the forefront of some of some of the biggest stories that are of interest to the citizens of Athens-Clarke and neighboring counties.
After 19 years of award-winning service to them, the ABH in May 2019 laid me off, because they apparently had no more use for a 59-year-old journalist who'd just been diagnosed with having a brain tumor.
That was a mistake on their part that I believe has been proven since my founding of CCN, with which I continue to do the type of journalism for which I was frequently recognized in the state and nationally.
Little did my former employers know that they would be losing my nearly two decades of institutional knowledge of the community, which includes reliable sources within the Police Department, neighboring law enforcement agencies, and throughout the ACC government.
I have retained ,ma cadre of friends and sources throughout the county who are keenly aware of happenings on our city's streets and they alert me the moment that something happens.
This has allowed me to bring you significant news stories as they develop, sometimes at least a day or two before other local news outlets even learn about them.
CCN has also provided a forum for folks to express opinions and air grievances in the regular Letters to the Editor section, and brings unique perspectives from homegrown writers, such as T.W. Burger, Shane Sims, Eddie Whitlock, and Oconee Joe in the Community Voices section.
I've practice journalism since 1986 because I love it
News reporting is in my blood. As many of you know, even my numerous hospitalizations have failed to slow me down, much to the consternation of medical staff lol,
What I have not previously disclosed is that this year I received a secondary diagnosis of myiositis which, like the brain tumor, is rare and untreatable, and it has presented a whole new set of personal challenges.
I said all that to say this: if you have liked what Classic City News has been doing, please consider donating to help keep it operating.and assisting with paying for the ever-mounting medical bills.
CCN has and will continue to be offered for free,
As a not-for-for-profit news organizatiion it still has operating expenses, but they are not always easily met when the main source of income is from Social Security disability benefits which also go towards the family's living expenses.
There is a Donate button on at the top of CCN's homepage, and also atop every story that is published.
There are options for a one-time donation or recurring contributions.
Anything and everything will be greatly appreciated and put to good use.
In its three years of existence CCN has gained an amazing 11,000 Facebook followers, but the number of donor/subscribers is disappointingly low, at 47.
Thanks for listening, and most of all for reading Classic City News.
All my best,