BENNINGTON -- In recent weeks The Banner has added three fresh faces to the newsroom staff: Derek Carson, staff writer; Khynna Kuprian, staff writer; and Jack McManus, arts editor.
New to the Banner as of Sept. 23, Carson covers many Vermont towns in our area that aren't ... Bennington, including Arlington, North Bennington, Shaftsbury and Woodford. Carson is also our Sunday reporter, covering whatever town has the news going on that day!
A native of Auburn, Mass., Carson is a 2013 graduate of University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a journalism major and a political science minor.
"In college I did a lot with radio. I was a sports broadcaster for the college radio, WMUA, and eventually became their community outreach director while still a student," Carson said.
Carson and his girlfriend, Rebecca, are new Bennington residents and have been enjoying exploring the town and meeting people.
"I'm new to the whole Vermont life," Carson said. "I really like Bennington. The downtown is nice, and there are lots of places that are walkable from my apartment. There's no need to travel great distances to go to the grocery store." He noted the closest supermarket to Sunderland, Mass., where he was living previously, was about 20 miles away.
Carson said he is a pretty big baseball fan, "I love the entire sport of baseball. And I've been a Red Sox fan all my life."
He added, "I've got my playoff beard right now. A lot of the team does, so I'm giving it a shot."
Send story ideas to Carson at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB.
With us since Sept. 10, Kuprian is a 2013 graduate of SUNY New Paltz, where she majored in journalism and minored in political science. During her final year of college, Kuprian was a reporter intern for the Poughkeepsie Journal. Kuprian also earned an associate's degree in fine arts/visual arts from SUNY Ulster.
In addition to covering the nearby New York towns of Hoosick Falls and Cambridge as well as Pownal, Vt., for the Banner, Kuprian is our Saturday reporter. You will likely see her out at upcoming events including Octoberfest and Bennington Fallpalooza.
"I've always wanted to be a writer, and now I think at some point I'd like to be a foreign correspondent," Kuprian said.
A new resident of Pownal, Kuprian said both the Pownal and Bennington communities have made her feel very welcome.
You could say she is a fan of the fall season. "I'm addicted to the spicy hot apple cider at South Street Café," she said. "And I can't wait to go apple picking!"
Other pastimes include running, snowboarding and travel -- Kuprian recently returned from a two-week trip to Europe to celebrate finishing her degree. The highlight? "Getting to practice my London accent," she said.
If you have a scoop for Kuprian, email her at email@example.com; Follow on Twitter @Khynnakat.
Also new to the Banner team is Arts Editor Jack McManus. He is a 2013 graduate of Hamilton College with a bachelor of arts degree in American studies and a minor in medieval and renaissance studies -- a minor he says sort of happened naturally per the coursework he took in Old English.
McManus, who started his new role Sept. 10, said he's originally from "all over the place." He was raised just outside Philadelphia in New Jersey and later moved to the Boston area with his family.
"Boating has always been my passion. I sail mostly small sailboats and dinghies," said McManus, who spent this summer working as captain of a 26-foot water taxi on Block Island in Rhode Island. He's spent time on Block Island since he was a boy, McManus said.
Despite the lack of ocean here, McManus is adjusting well to Vermont. "The area is beautiful. That's the one thing that struck me," McManus said. He noted that he's looking forward to exploring Lake Raponda in Wilmington.
When it comes to the visual arts, McManus said, "Some of my favorite artists are Jan Van Eyck, Winslow Homer, George Bellows, and Thomas Eakins."
When not at work, McManus enjoys exploring museums and attending concerts and is very much looking forward to ski season. He said his favorite band/performer of all time is Bruce Springsteen, with Josh Ritter and Phish coming close. He's looking forward to seeing Phish perform in Glens Falls, N.Y., in the coming weeks.
Look for Jack's stories, photos, arts calendars and page design in the Banner's four-page weekly Arts & Entertainment section that is published Thursdays, as well as the Saturday Arts Weekend page. He also helps to layout the Monday paper and lays out all the Banner's comics page.
If you have an arts story to pitch to McManus, track him down at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't miss his daily reminders on Twitter @Banner_Arts.
Contact Michelle Karas at email@example.com; Follow her on Twitter @bannereditor.