(05/31/2016)

Dianne Weaver (left) and her husband Bob (right) will stop running the Hur Herald at the end of May. The news website mostly covers Calhoun County. Photo by Jake Jarvis for the Gazette-Mail

after 20 years hur herald ending this month By Jake Jarvis, Staff writer for the Gazette-Mail

HUR Bob Weaver can't hear the chorus of cicadas singing just outside his door.

He's sitting in a room where the buzz of an air conditioner working overtime on a humid day drowns out everything else. Well, everything else besides the occasional sound of a police scanner in a county where car crashes are the day's top news.

On Tuesday, he'll turn off that scanner for good.

Weaver runs the Hur Herald, a website catering to Calhoun County and the 7,000 or so people that live there. Twenty years ago, the Hur Herald started as a joke among he and his friends who live in the unincorporated community named Hur.

It's just too expensive to keep the site running any longer, and after running the publication day in and day out for 20 years, after living on-call all hours a day, he's ready for a vacation.

"Whenever news happens, I get up and go there, no matter where in the county it is," Bob Weaver, 76 said, even if it's 3 a.m. and there was a car crash on the other side of the county.

Bob Weaver and his wife, Dianne, 66, aren't sure what they're going to do next. They say it's hard to imagine a life where they don't update the website every day.

Sure, they'll keep the website online as long as they can. They want the photos and stories of their community to live on. Heck, Dianne Weaver might even post a column every now and then.

"This is the place where I grew up as a kid and I moved back here 20 years ago," Bob Weaver said. "I was one of those people that was really connected to the place as a kid, even though I was away working and things."

Before Bob Weaver found himself running the Hur Herald, he worked in drug and alcohol counseling in Wheeling after being treated for his own addictions.

He eventually came home to Calhoun County to reignite a passion that was almost forgotten.

Decades ago, Bob Weaver wrote as a stringer for the Charleston Daily Mail when he was going to college "I think I got paid 35 cents for each column inch." He also helped start a radio station in Roane County's Spencer.

So it seemed journalism, especially the hyper-local kind the Hur Herald is known for, came easy to the man.

As a joke, he printed up a few copies of a mock newsletter and shared it with his neighbors. There wasn't any "hard news" in that first newsletter.

"In fact, the first issue's top story was about a new outhouse," Bob Weaver said and laughed.

Neighbors apparently liked it because they shared the paper with their friends, and those friends shared it with their friends.

Dianne Weaver said the couple ended up printing thousands of issues of the Hur Herald and drove around Calhoun County delivering them. For years, the couple kept this up. Some folks in the county even constructed their own Hur Herald delivery boxes for the paper to be put in. It became too much, so they started a website in 1999.

Then, all of a sudden, people the Weavers had never met could access the website. People from Alabama to Wyoming could read about small-town living. Bob Weaver recalls one man from New York City who did just that after the attack on the World Trade Centers in 2001.

Bob Weaver wrote back why send these photos to him?

The man said with everything happening in the city, as fast-paced as city life is, even he reads the Hur Herald to slow it all down.

That's what Bob Weaver wants. He wants his community to sit up and take notice of what's happening. He wants them to value in-depth journalism, demand it, even, instead of just being plugged into Twitter's 140-character-limit bits of news. Most of all, he wants people to care about their neighbors, the people that make living in Calhoun County so great.

after 20 years hur herald ending this month By Jake Jarvis, Staff writer for the Gazette-Mail


Hur Herald ©from Sunny Cal
The information on these pages, to the extent the law allows, remains the exclusive property of Bob Weaver and The Hur Herald. information cannot be not be used in any type of commercial endeavor, or used on a web site without the express permission of the owner. Hur Herald published printed editions 1996-1999, Online ©Hur Herald Publishing, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019