Community Owned. Local News. Burke County, NC.

Meet our experienced team at The Paper


With the goal of providing Burke County with comprehensive, fresh, thorough, and responsible local news, The Paper has staffed its reporting and advertising teams with a fantastic blend of experienced, dedicated, and accomplished professionals.


The Paper extensively covers and publishes local news – and only local news – about our schools, businesses, governments, recreation, entertainment, happenings, and the celebrations and accomplishments of its people.


Community owned and locally managed, The Paper is published weekly on Saturdays.


“For months we have been working quietly to assemble a local news organization that is second to none,” said Allen VanNoppen, Publisher of The Paper. “Critical to this is balancing compelling and objective reporting with fresh and community-wide insight. We have an incredible team to do just that.”


Publisher - Allen VanNoppen

Richmond Times Dispatch, The (Morganton News Herald), Greensboro News & Record, 1978 - 1985: Furniture industry Sales and Marketing Executive, 1985-2001:  VanNoppen Marketing, LLC, Founder, CEO, 2001 - present. Columnist, The The News Herald / Meda General - 2000 - 2005: Leading Civic Activities: Board of Directors, UNC Health - Blue Ridge (2004-present); Grace Healthcare Foundation (past Chairman of Board);  Western Piedmont Community College Foundation (former Board member); Rotary Club of Morganton (past president); Morganton Day School (past Chairman of Board); Burke County Chamber of Commerce. 

VanNoppen and his family are multigenerational residents of Morganton, NC, all of whom have a demonstrated record of business leadership, economic entrepreneurship and civic stewardship. Allen and his wife, Jean, are both business owners in downtown Morganton.

Editor Emeritus - Bill Poteat

Former editor (18 years) & political reporter of The News Herald, teacher at East Burke High School and Draughn High School, columnist for Gastonia Gazette. BA- UNC-CH journalism.

Earned multiple North Carolina Press Association First Place Awards for editorials, business writing, and serious, critical and humorous columns.

Editor -  Angela Copeland

A South Carolina native, Copeland holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Auburn University and a master’s degree in English from Troy University. She recently moved to Burke County from Colorado, has worked as a reporter and editor for the Rocky Mountain News, as the public information officer for the Montgomery Public Schools, and in community relations and economic development for the municipality of Castle Rock in Colorado.

Director - Business Development - Janina Linens

Former advertising / marketing director for The News Herald. Under her leadership The News Herald received several First Place NCPA awards for advertising effectiveness and special sections.

Advertising Account Executive - Devan Barry

Devan, a Burke County native, graduated from Patton High School and ASU with a Bachelor of Science in Design. She began her sales/design career at Blowing Rock Furniture Gallery before moving back to Morganton. She now provides advertising sales and ad creation and design for The Paper. 

Sports Editor - Paul Schenkel

Best known to Burke County readers for his award-winning tenure as sports editor of The News Herald for more than 11 years. An honor graduate of the University of South Carolina – Upstate, Schenkel also worked as a sports writer for the Spartanburg Herald and as assistant sports editor of the Shelby Star before coming to Burke County in 2010.

Morganton-County Governments Reporter - Marty Queen

Queen has served as sports editor of The McDowell News in Marion for the past 30 years, and in addition to award-winning sports coverage he has written feature stories, personal columns, and editorials.

Valdese and Law Enforcement -  Saydie Bean

A resident of Valdese, Bean is a graduate of Freedom High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. 

While attending WCU, Bean served as editor-in-chief of the Western Carolina Journalist and also worked with the Western Carolinian, the Sylva Herald, and the Smoky Mountain News. 

Education, Business Reporter - Charda Pearson

Charda Pearson has joined The Paper as its Education, Business, and General Assignment Reporter. A graduate of Valdosta State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Public Relations and Mass Communication, Pearson has vast experience in communication and public relations, including nine years with Sky at Twelve Media Group in Los Angeles, Calif., where she specialized in marketing and public relations.

Arts & Entertainment Editor - Sandra Queen

Sandra Wilkerson Queen taught for 28 years in elementary education and taught an additional year in a private school before joining The Paper. She was the McDowell County Teacher of the Year in 2000, and also earned her National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification.

Previously, Wilkerson Queen worked as a journalist for The McDowell News for four years, including two years as the newspaper’s lifestyles editor.

A McDowell County native, she is a 1980 graduate of McDowell High School, and she holds a bachelor of arts degree in Mass Communication and a BA in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. 

Assistant Sports Editor - Josh McKinney

Josh McKinney, 33, is a native of Burke County, McKinney attended public school here and is a 2008 graduate of East Burke High School. After two years at Western Piedmont Community College, he received his bachelor of arts degree in communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Over the past decade, McKinney has served as assistant sports editor of the Wilkes Journal-Patriot in North Wilkesboro, sports editor of the Daily Courier in Forest City, and most recently, sports editor of the Hickory Daily Record.

Visual Creative Director -  Jessica Beane

Jessica Beane oversees page design, graphic presentation, prepress production, and an assortment of other design-related needs. These services had previously been outsourced.

Beane has 30 years of experience in newspaper production, including a decade of page design and layout for the Lee Enterprises family of regional media properties including those in Marion, Morganton, Hickory, Statesville, and Concord.

Circulation Manager - Lilly Brown

Jack of all trades, master of some.