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Déja who? Familiar faces return to ‘Record’

After a five-year absence, two former staff members of The Erwin Record have returned to positions with Unicoi County’s award-winning newspaper.
Rebekah Harris, who served as news editor of The Record from 2003 until 2005, has re-joined the staff as associate editor. Dr. Jerry Hilliard, who now serves as editor emeritus, previously held the position of associate editor.
Harris, an award-winning writer and educator, was part of the Record’s staff when the newspaper, in 2003, won the Tennessee Press Association’s Sweepstakes/General Excellence Award for the first time. The newspaper has since won the distinction eight years straight.
Harris, who left The Erwin Record in 2005 to pursue a higher education degree, taught high school English, journalism and creative writing for five years in Carter County. While teaching at Hampton High School, she was instrumental in bringing back the school’s newspaper, the Bulldog Bark.
While Harris said she enjoyed teaching, she’s glad to be back reporting – particularly for the Record.
“I just like to write,” Harris said. “So coming back to The Erwin Record afforded me the opportunity to do just that while I work on other projects.”
Harris has a bachelor’s degree in English from Emory & Henry College and a master’s degree in education. She is working on a master’s degree of fine arts in creative writing through Spalding University in Louisville, Ky. She expects to graduate in 2012 with a specialized degree in “Writing for Children and Young Adults.”
She is also in contract discussions with a major publishing house for the publication of her first novel.
Brandon Kane, who had a successful internship with the Record in 2005, is returning to the Record following his graduation from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and electronic media.
Kane has worked for WUTK Radio in Knoxville; as a writer-blogger for the Kingsport Times-News; as a writer with TNJN, UT’s School of Journalism website; and as a contributing writer for Knoxville-based Metro Pulse.
He gets his talent naturally. His grandfather, Ed Kane, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his work at Kentucky’s Louisville Courier-Journal. His grandfather started his career at the Johnstown Tribune Democrat and went on to enjoy a 20-year stint at the Pittsburgh Press before moving on to the Louisville Courier Journal and earning the Pulitzer nod. He also served as press secretary to Indiana Gov. Edgar Whitcomb and later owned an advertising and PR agency for more than 30 years.
His aunt, Mary Kane, has worked for the Pittsburgh Press and the Cincinnati Inquirer and was the state bureau chief for the former United Press International. She is now a freelance writer in the suburban Washington, D.C., area.
Kane will serve as a full-time news reporter for the Record.
“I am extremely pleased to welcome Rebekah and Brandon back to our staff,” said Publisher Mark A. Stevens. “Rebekah was always a shining star while here at the Record, and I’m convinced that Brandon is a rising star. They are both bright, enthusiastic and excellent reporters.”