New in town

Published 3:46 pm Thursday, July 6, 2017


Three years ago, a petite and reserved 19-year-old parked her mother’s car at a journalism building in a small town. Hoisting her backpack onto her shoulders, she entered the office space with the uncertain assertiveness of a college freshman taking on her first summer job as a full-time intern in an industry she was unwittingly called to.

She said that God told her to go. So she did.

She liked to write. Besides that, she had no idea what she was doing.

Caroline Carmichael worked 10 weeks that summer at the Shelby County Reporter. She learned much, and she brought invaluable experience back to school with her in the fall.

Three years later, I graduated.

Wednesday, I parked my car at the Clanton Advertiser and entered my new office space with the confidence of a recent college graduate venturing into the professional world.

God told me to go. So I did. I would be receiving a confirmation of sorts soon, and I was waiting for it.

It came as I was beginning my employment paperwork. A man was carrying a cross on the street outside, my editor told me. Would I be interested in covering it?


I spent the next hour first searching for the man, and then listening to his powerful life story once I had found him. Contributing to the interview was a local woman I consider a new friend.

I left our conversation certain that I am where God desires me to be.

You may have seen me that late morning, walking along Seventh Street and standing in the shared left lane to snap photos of the cross walker in the Alabama heat.

I’m new in town. My name is Caroline Carmichael, and I’ll be covering news in Chilton County and parts of Shelby County. You can contact me about crime/public safety, faith, non-profits, community, Jemison and Montevallo news, and I’ll report to the best of my abilities.

In close to my welcome, and to quote the 19-year-old Caroline Carmichael in one of her first stories, “My adventures here have been wonderful, and they have only just begun. I welcome the many challenges set before me.”

Hello, Clanton. Thank you for having me.