Hard working, loyal and dependable
Celebrating Leah Justice’s 20 years with the Tryon Daily Bulletin
By Macy Cochran
The Tryon Daily Bulletin proudly celebrated on Friday, September 11, Leah Justice’s 20th anniversary as a reporter.
Justice was twenty-six years old when she began reporting for the Bulletin and has remained the longest lasting reporter in all of the Bulletin’s storied history. Her first solo story, published on September 19, 2000, was titled “New Look Coming for Columbus,” which discussed the N.C. D.O.T grant that allowed Columbus to update their downtown area.
Jeff Byrd, owner of the Tryon Daily Bulletin in the year 2000, hired Justice based on her countless journalistic qualities that made her the respected reporter the community knows to this day.
“Leah had a kind of journalistic toughness that she was willing to negotiate with the political beat,” Byrd says. “She knew everyone, and she wasn’t afraid to ask tough questions. She was a wonderful addition to the staff.”
Justice trained under Chris Dailey, the editor at the time, for close to six years and “picked up a lot of journalistic knowledge by learning from him,” says Byrd. “She’s continued to be a fabulous county beat reporter.”
At the time, many of the Bulletin employees weren’t from Polk County. Because Justice was a local girl, Byrd was confident that she would work well at the paper. The community, Byrd believes, was happy to see a local become a reporter at the Bulletin.
Kevin Powell, current General Manager of the Bulletin, claims that Leah is dependable and reliable. “She’s the most dedicated employee that we have,” Powell states. “She has been sick as a dog and still turn in her stories before deadline. Her dedication and love for this paper and our area cannot be matched.”
Byrd says, “Leah is hard-working, loyal and dedicated. She’s everything you could hope for in an employee and reporter. I’m proud of her continued career at the Bulletin.”
Powell, having worked with Leah for over seven years, can positively say, “There will never be another Leah Justice.”