Veteran writer to cover Isle of Wight

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 3, 2007

FRANKLIN—A treasured asset that had been lost to The Tidewater News is back this week, with the return of Merle J. Monahan’s writing to the newspaper’s pages.

Today’s edition includes a Monahan-penned story and photo from the Zuni Presbyterian Homes Day in the Country, representing a homecoming of sorts for the writer whose work graced the pages of The Tidewater News for 15 years, until 2005.

“We’re thrilled to have Merle back writing for our newspaper,” interim Editor Res Spears said. “Her newspaper experience and her extensive contacts throughout the area make her a wonderful fit with our staff. We’re excited about the ability and energy she brings to the job.”

Monahan will hold the position of contributing writer, and she primarily will cover the Isle of Wight beat, including county government and Windsor Town Council. Fans of her work, however, will be happy to see her popular personality profiles and features.

The Isle of Wight coverage is especially important to the newspaper, which sometimes has had trouble finding a permanent solution to the challenge of covering the rapidly growing portion of its circulation area.

“With the continuing growth in Isle of Wight County, we felt it was important to put a talented, experienced reporter in place to provide the best coverage possible,” said Steve Stewart, the newspaper’s president and publisher.

Monahan was a part-time reporter at The Tidewater News from 1989 to 2005 and worked as clerk for the Town of Ivor from 1991 to 2006. Since 2005, she has worked as a correspondent and photographer for the Suffolk Sun, a weekly supplement to The Virginian-Pilot, a Norfolk-based daily newspaper.

“I’ve always loved The Tidewater News,” she said of her return on Tuesday. “I get a chance to write more and a chance to see some of the good friends I made while I was there.”

Monahan may be reached via e-mail at