"We're able to give this new magazine to our readers at no charge because of the advertisers you find inside," said Erma Harris, editor of Areawide Media. "The response to the first issue has been great and we look forward to the October issue which promises to be even bigger and better. If you like this magazine, please tell the advertisers. If you don't like it, or have suggestions to make it better, please give me at call at 870-895-3207."
The magazine has been distributed to stores in Cherokee Village, Hardy, Ash Flat, Highland, Horseshoe Bend, Melbourne, Salem, Viola, Mammoth Spring, Mountain Home, West Plains, Thayer and Alton.
"If your favorite store is already out of "Avenues," you can stop by any of Areawide Media's offices in Salem, Highland or Thayer for a copy," Harris said. "We printed 5,000 copies of this first issue, but they seem to be going fast."
Harris said the magazine has been developed to showcase and celebrate people and places in the Ozark region.
"We are covering a large area and hope to include features from each of these areas in the months to come," she said. "We plan to showcase as many of the larger festivals in the area as we can each month as well as include pictures of retirements, special club, church or organizational events, 90+ birthdays, 50th+ wedding anniversaries and items that you don't normally find in our regular newspapers."
Harris said the birthdays and wedding anniversaries are ones that have already appeared in one of Areawide's newspapers. "Although, we will pull some items for the Mainstreet section that have already been published in our newspapers, clubs, churches and organizations can still submit a photo and short write-up for possible inclusion in a future issue of 'Avenues,'" Harris said. "We are limited to a specific number of pages for the Mainstreet section each month, but we'll try to get as many pictures in it as we can."
Other monthly features of "Avenues" include book, gardening, floral design, decorating and music review columns -- all written by local people.
A monthly home tour will spotlight homes in the area. "We plan to feature unique homes from every area," Harris said. "We already have a list started, but if you know of a home you would like to see featured, you can call us and we will add it to our list and contact the homeowner to see if they are interested in being a part of this. We have heard about some beautiful, restored older homes and some energy efficient 'green' homes that we hope to feature in the coming months."
"Our goal from the start has been to produce a high-quality magazine that celebrates this area of the Ozarks and the people who live, work and retire here. Whether it's Hardy, Salem, Melbourne or Thayer, or a larger town like West Plains and Mountain Home, these are the towns most people rely on to supply their wants and needs," Harris said. "In these economic times, we're all looking for ways to keep budgets under control, and keeping our tax dollars in the Ozark area instead of sending them to the big cities is one way we can keep our local economy strong. When you shop at the stores you see advertised in "Avenues" every month, or use one of the services advertised, you are making a difference in the economy of this section of the Ozarks."
In addition to the monthly issue of "Avenues," Areawide Media will continue to publish their weekly subscription newspapers -- Villager-Journal, The News and The South Missourian News -- along with the three free weekly shoppers -- The Sharp County Record, The Izard-Fulton County Record and the Oregon County Record.
"Areawide Media has been in business for many years and we'll be here for many more years," Harris said. "Adding the "Avenues" magazine to our line-up of publications confirms our commitment to offer quality products that inform our readers and produce results for our advertisers. We thank everyone for their support and confidence in our publications and we look forward to serving you in the years to come."