This week, the Cassville Democrat has published its second annual Progress Edition. The 56-page special section is dedicated to showcasing the growth and progress Barry County businesses, industries and organizations have experienced over the past year.
The publication also includes two historic overviews written by Bob Mitchell, former editor of the Cassville Democrat and a current columnist for the newspaper. In this year's Progress Edition, Mitchell has offered our readers a look back at the history of Table Rock Lake and how it came to be. In particular, Mitchell chronicles how the construction of the Table Rock Dam impacted Barry Countians. He also reports on how area residents were able to successfully lobby officials in Washington, D.C., to ensure that bridges were built to serve the lake area community. Both articles required quite a bit of research and we know our readers will appreciate Mitchell's efforts to retell the history of Table Rock Lake and its very positive impact on the Barry County area. The lake area continues to attract tourists, retirees and permanent residents to the Shell Knob area. We are grateful that past citizens and community leaders realized how important the lake would become to the local economy and fought for it.
In preparing for this year's Progress Edition, we had the opportunity to interview local business owners and industry executives and get an update on the progress they experienced over the past year. We are proud to report that the Barry County economy is growing and business remains strong for local merchants.
The Progress Edition is a huge undertaking for our newspaper staff. We have been working on this publication for the past four months. I appreciate the efforts of each member of the Cassville Democrat staff, including our advertising sales personnel, graphic design team and reporters. They did an extraordinary job in continuing to produce the weekly newspaper while also working to keep up with our Progress Edition deadlines. We also appreciate all the advertisers who support this annual publication, which serves as a testament to this county's commitment to progress and growth. Without you, the publication would not be possible.
I would also like to take this opportunity to announce that our 2005 Progress Edition was an award winner. The Missouri Press Association gave the publication one of its top awards in the most recent Better Newspaper Contest. The Cassville Democrat received a first place plaque for the 2005 Progress Edition, which was named the Best Special Section in the statewide contest. This is an award that is shared by the entire newspaper staff and is something the Barry County community can take pride in.
We hope our readers will take the time to read the articles that appear in the 2006 Progress Edition. This publication is one that is meant to be saved and savored. By reading about local business and industry success, you'll realize how blessed we all are to live in a county that is thriving. The Progress Edition is proof of Barry County's vitality and becomes a good tool for recruiting new residents and new business and industry to our community.