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From Post staff reports

The Wilson Post announces two new additions to the staff of the local newspaper.

They are Connie Esh, a former staff writer for The Post, and Amelia Morrison Hipps, former managing editor of The Lebanon Democrat.

They join Dallus Whitfield, a photographer who formerly worked for the Lebanon daily newspaper.

Over the past couple of weeks we have brought on three very experienced and award-winning local journalists, Dallus Whitfield, Amelia Hipps and Connie Esh, said Dave Gould, owner of The Wilson Post. We are committed to strengthening our position as the local newspaper for Wilson County.

I am beyond thrilled to welcome Connie and Amelia to The Post, said Editor Jennifer Horton. Great things are happening here. We continue to grow right along with Wilson County and that demands an experienced staff to cover all that is happening here. This is going to be fun.

Esh is The Posts new Mt. Juliet correspondent and rejoins the paper after previously serving as a staff writer and photographer from 2007-2009. Readers may remember her feature on the late Bro. W.L. Baker and the sermon he preached on his 100th birthday.

That story won a first-place award in feature writing from the Tennessee Press Association in 2009. Esh also performed award-winning writing and reporting about the need for a new Lebanon High School and other local topics during her earlier stint at The Post, and she has spent the past four years as an educational assistant at Tuckers Crossroads Elementary.

Im just tickled to be back and Im really looking forward to covering Mt. Juliet for The Post, Esh said, adding that one of her favorite stories from West Wilsons fast-growing city was a profile of Charlie Daniels, based on a phone interview she conducted with the famous country singer and rocknroller in her dining room.

My husband, John Butwell, is a graduate student at MTSU, and he was trying to write a term paper while I was interviewing Mr. Daniels right beside him, Esh recalled. Hes always been a big fan, and he says it was pretty distracting. But he kept writing and he says he made an A on the paper.

In addition to writing, which is her favorite hobby, Esh is a quilter, weaver and gardener. She urged Mt. Juliet readers to get in touch with her and let her know about local issues and stories theyd like to read about their community. She can be contacted at cewrites@yahoo.com.

Hipps is a freelance political writer, columnist and consultant. Currently, she writes a column called Down Home Politics for Wilson Living Magazine, as well as a blog by the same name for the magazines website and her own website, www.DownHomePolitics.com.

For the past two legislative sessions, Hipps covered the Tennessee General Assembly for TNReport.com, as well as for her own company Capitol Newswatch, LLC. In addition, she worked on two city elections in 2012 as a campaign manager and media/political consultant.

In May 2006, Hipps moved to Lebanon to become the managing editor of The Democrat and was responsible for the news and editorial direction of it as well as the Mt. Juliet News and Hartsville Vidette.

She left in January 2012 to start her own company, Capitol Newswatch, LLC, a news service for small, rural community-based newspapers covering their state legislators.

Prior to joining the newspaper in May 2006, she operated Elite Word Design, a freelance writing and public relations firm in Statesboro, Ga.

Her newspaper experience includes stints as executive editor at the Statesboro (Ga.) Herald, managing editor/COO of the Enterprise (Ala.) Ledger, managing editor of The Dothan (Ala.) Progress, and editor of the Walker County (Ga.) Messenger.

A graduate of Shorter College in Rome, Ga., Hipps studied for her masters degree in journalism at The University of Georgia. She was one of 16 international students selected for the 1996 Media Leadership for Journalism Graduate Students program.

She and her husband, Jim, have four dogs and live on Trousdale Ferry Pike.

You can follow her coverage of Wilson County government meetings on Twitter at @DwnHomePolitics.

I'm so excited about being able to do what I love the most cover the issues that impact me and every other citizen of my home county, as well as cover and write about politics, Hipps said.

Her first article for The Post appeared in the Aug. 9 edition. In addition to covering Wilson County government, Hipps will also do special investigative and in-depth stories as warranted along with writing her political column every other Wednesday for the newspaper.

Hipps may be reached at amhipps@downhomepolitics.com.

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