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Enhanced newspaper website offers users new features

The new and enhanced went live last week and offers users added features not available previously.
With the new site, the newspaper is able to alert readers of breaking local news via their computer or smart phone.
Just hours after The Messenger went to press last week, State Rep. Mike Keown announced his intention to challenge U.S. Representative Sanford Bishop and The Messenger was able to alert the currently registered subscribers of the development.
“This is a unique and helpful feature that allows us to keep our readers informed any time of the day or night. When local news happens, folks in Cairo and Grady County know they can trust us to report the facts. They just don’t have to wait until Wednesday to get them,” said Messenger Editor & Publisher Randolph H. Wind.
On Aug. 1, 2009, full access to the website was restricted to newspaper subscribers only. However, news briefs, full obituaries, community calendar and other website features can still be accessed by non-subscribers.
Paid subscribers can access the on-line edition of the paper and read the full updates posted to the website.
Registered subscribers will automatically receive news alerts unless they notify the newspaper they no longer wish to receive the breaking news alerts.
Non-subscribers who would like to sign up to receive breaking news alerts can do so by visiting the newspaper’s website and on the left hand side sign up to receive alerts by providing your email address and clicking the “submit” button. It’s that easy.
The Messenger also was able to notify registered subscribers that the Joyner Road bridge reopening was postponed Friday by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The DOT had previously said the bridge would open last Friday and the newspaper reported that on Wednesday. Because of a delay in the installation of guardrails, the DOT postponed the opening until Monday.
“We sent out a breaking news alert and updated the website of the change. Then on Monday, it was delayed indefinitely. Thanks to our website our community can stay informed,” Editor Wind said.
Another feature of the new site is a polling feature. When the new site went live last Wednesday, the poll question was posted: “Who would you vote for? – Sanford Bishop or Mike Keown” At the close of business Tuesday the results were 56% for Keown and 46% for Bishop with 84 votes being cast.
“We did not publicize the poll last week because we were testing our new site. In the future, we will not only post a new poll question on the website, but we will also publish each week’s new question and the results from the previous week’s question in the newspaper. It was a great question and very timely since Rep. Keown has said he is running for Congress,” Wind said.
All of the paper’s subscribers were mailed information regarding how to set up their account to access the website, but if you have questions or need assistance, call The Messenger at 229-377-2032 and someone will be happy to assist you.
“We appreciate your comments and suggestions, but most of all we appreciate your readership of both our printed newspaper and our new website. We believe the new site complements our printed edition,” Editor Wind said.

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