C-VILLE Weekly has a new news team. Graelyn Brashear (right) recently joined the staff as news editor, alongside staff writer Laura Ingles. (Photo by John Robinson)
I left Albemarle County nearly 11 years ago in a station wagon crammed with bags, a dog, and my teenage self. My family moved me to New Jersey from Crozet in my junior year, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to have called the Garden State home for the past decade. I got a top-notch education at Rutgers University, explored the parts of the state you can’t see from the Jersey Turnpike, and met enough wonderful people to fill a lifetime—including my husband.
I also got my start in a career I’ve come to love deeply. I cut my teeth at one of New Jersey’s biggest daily papers, the Asbury Park Press, as it was shrinking, and went on to run one of Patch.com’s many local news websites as the company launched its new media offensive. I developed a passion for community journalism and the way my job offered a backstage pass to exlore the places I lived and meet the people who made the news.
Being a reporter and an editor helped me love my adopted state even more, but I never stopped longing to come back to central Virginia.
This city and the mountains to the west have always been home. Throughout my long absence, I followed local happenings from afar, kept up with dear friends, and made the drive down I-95 when I could. I saw growth and change on my periodic visits, but mostly, things looked wonderfully the same. I watched and I waited for my chance to come back. And here I am.
I’m fortunate to be joining C-VILLE as news editor alongside staff writer Laura Ingles, whose name readers will recognize from recent stories she’s written as a freelancer. A North Carolina native and a Virginia Tech graduate, Laura, too, has come to love Charlottesville. She juggled half a dozen part-time jobs to get by while working toward a full-time writing gig, and she’s earned her spot on the editorial staff.
We’re thrilled to be your newly minted news team. Each week, we’ll aim to bring you stories you need to read—and won’t find anywhere else—about the issues, events, and people shaping life in Charlottesville.
See you around town!