WEST POINT — Mississippi”s smallest daily newspaper is looking for a new leader. Meanwhile, the managing editor”s business partners have been left in limbo.
Jeannetta Edwards, managing editor of the Daily Times Leader in West Point, did not show up for work Monday. She reportedly notified Don Norman, publisher of The Daily Times Leader and its sister newspaper, The Starkville Daily News, of her resignation via a letter through FedEx.
Norman confirmed Edwards” departure in an e-mail to The Dispatch.
He said the 82-year-old publication would not close its doors or merge with the Starkville paper despite being short a managing editor and a sports reporter. Sports Editor Kenneth Mister left the paper last week for a job in Greenville.
Edwards wore a number of hats at The Daily Times Leader. In addition to being managing editor, she paginated the paper on a daily basis, collected past-due accounts and wrote news stories and editorials. She began at the paper as a reporter several years ago before working her way up to becoming the Daily Times Leader”s first black editor.
Edwards did not return calls to her cell phone Monday and Tuesday, and the number was out of service Wednesday.
Election Commissioner Wendy Fuller, a friend of Edwards”, said she had not spoken to Edwards since late December and suspects she left town.
“People have been calling her house and going by her house and her car”s not there,” said Fuller.
Edwards was involved in a failed barbecue venture in Aberdeen, Tony”s Barbecue, with Sylvester Harris of West Point and held a business privilege license in West Point for Gazelle Consulting.
She also was involved in Teen World and Kidsville, a teenager recreation center, with Harris. As with Tony”s Barbecue, Harris was the primary renter for Teen World”s location at 639 Highway 45 Plaza, across from the old Wendy”s.
Pastor R. J. Matthews of Kingdom Vision International Church in Columbus said he and his church had recently signed on to provide counseling and mentoring at Teen World. Neither Matthews nor Harris know Edwards” whereabouts.
The Daily Times Leader is published Tuesday through Friday and Sunday mornings except July 4, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.
The Starkville Daily News and Daily Times Leader are owned by Horizon Publications Inc. in Marion, Ill, according to The SDN Web site. Horizon owns community newspapers in 16 states and Canada.