Where do I begin? First off, my name is Jeremiah Papineau and I am the new editor of the Clinton County Free Trader Today and the North Countryman. There ... that was easy ... even if it did sound like I was introducing myself at some school's Career Day.
I've spent the past four and a half years working for the Carthage Republican Tribune, a weekly newspaper not much unlike the Free Trader and the North Countryman. I've covered stories from village board meetings to business grand openings to benefits for those with terminal illnesses, and seemingly everything in between. I've had a strong focus on municipal news, getting out the facts about taxes and village policies to the readers, but have always had a soft spot for features a feature about the sweet, frail little lady turning 100 years old, or a feature about the young student working to make a difference in the community with a class project. It's news the people seemed to want to read, and it's news I enjoy writing.
I'm a long, long way away from home. I've spent the majority of my life living in Jefferson County, in the small village of Carthage, settled along the banks of the Black River. Carthage Central High School is my alma mater, home of the Comets, a fierce competitor in Section III football, wrestling and, most notably, lacrosse.
Some of you may have heard of Carthage in your travels. Most times I hear, "Oh, Carthage. Isn't that the home of the Powell brothers?" It is indeed. Lacrosse superstars Ryan, Casey and Mikey Powell, along with former lacrosse players Joshua and Jason Coffman all hail from Carthage too.
But Carthage is known for many things other than lacrosse and sports in general. It was known for decades as the northern New York home of the papermaking industry. Until 1998, with the closing of the Fort James Paper Mill, it thrived as one of the largest employers within the village.