As you begin to read this article, the question maybe floating around in your mind, what happened to The Twin-City News? Well, first let us say that a lot has happened. Many new changes have been underway within the last few months and now we are finally unveiling our very first website. Local management, professional consultation, and feedback from the community, all suggested a redesign, an online presence, as well as reconsideration of content to restore our product. Our goal is to reestablish and regain our readership to where “The Twin-City News” is once again revered as the source of good reporting of information that people need to know.
We’d like to give you a little history on how we got to the present day. In the early 1920s, our great grandfather, William Wentz Bruner and his family came to Batesburg from Wilkes County, GA looking to purchase a local newspaper. However, this wasn’t on a whim because W.W. Bruner owned half interest of, “The New Reporter” out of Washington, GA. Since the newspaper business was what he knew, he pursued and seized the opportunity to buy a local paper in Batesburg called, “The Summerland Headlight.” Then, a short two weeks later, in 1925, this publication was transformed into what we now know as, “The Twin-City News.” In the beginning, the paper was published in a building across the street from our present location. Our family didn’t occupy or purchase it until about 1928. For nearly seven decades, Douglas (William Wentz’s son) and Sara Bruner, lived and breathed their work. They even lived in the same building as their business for about 7 years along the way. In the mid-2000s, Doug Bruner Jr. came out of retirement after his father, Doug Bruner Sr., passed away and his mother, Sara’s, health began to deteriorate. Unsure of what was ahead, he worked to help preserve a business that had meant so much to his parents and grandparents. Doug, Jr. watched the business struggle during the recession of 2008, just as it did during the Great Depression in the late 1920s when his grandparents started the newspaper, but it has managed to survive through the years. Throughout the decades, the newspaper and our family have always championed its readers by covering the community, civic and religious groups and always striving to assist the Town of Batesburg-Leesville in active roles for the growth, development and betterment of the area.
And now, the tradition continues with the fourth generation as we attempt to “take the torch” and continue the task of helping the town and its people. The fourth generation of our family includes Douglas N. Bruner, III “Trey” as Owner/Publisher and Leah W. Bruner as Owner/Editor. We are excited to join veteran staff member, Teresa Shealy, as our office manager. Although Teresa isn’t blood, we consider her family! After 42 years of faithful and loyal service, we are proud and honored to include her as an acting member in the family business.
We still believe in the same things, such as, that a brighter tomorrow where honesty, fairness and justice will prevail. We are aware that embracing technology is a must and that a shared presence is and will be the way of the future. Embracing things that have become common place like web pages, mobile devices, usage of apps and social media will be of great importance and it is our intention to integrate these into our business to provide a more comprehensive approach with information dissemination. Covering more newsworthy topics, adding new editorials, and including better photography will eventually be incorporated into a fresh, up to date product. This new design is easier to read, more appealing to the eye and its layout is more consistent, comfortable and purposeful.
From our family to yours, we hope that you enjoy, “The Twin-City News” from week to week as we continue to evolve and strive to be the best community newspaper around. We ask for your support as we embark on this new adventure and appreciate the opportunity to serve you, the citizens of Batesburg-Leesville and surrounding areas.
Trey & Leah Bruner alongside their children