Staff, Contributors and Board of Directors


Contact Us

Carolina Public Press
PO Box 17595
Asheville, NC  28816
Main phone: 828-774-5290


Angie-Newsome-2014Angie Newsome, Executive Director

Angie Newsome founded Carolina Public Press, which launched in March 2011. A North Carolina native, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Warren Wilson College and a master’s degree in journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill before becoming a reporting and writing fellow at The Poynter Institute and a business and investigative reporter and an editor at the Asheville Citizen-Times. With more than 10 years of experience in print, online and magazine journalism, Newsome has won awards for her reporting, including on the international banking interests of a North Carolina congressman and for following the closure of the nation’s last Levis sewing plant. In 2012, she was named one of four New Media Women Entrepreneurs in the country by the McCormick Foundation, and Carolina Public Press has gone on to be a featured media startup by PBS MediaShift and J-Lab, a media think tank located at American University. Newsome is dedicated to making Carolina Public Press the regional go-to source for impactful, hard-hitting in-depth and investigative reporting and photojournalism about our region.

Frank TaylorFrank Taylor, Managing Editor
Frank Taylor worked in the news media for more than 20 years before joining Carolina Public Press in October 2015. He was as an editorial writer and columnist for The Fayetteville Observer from 2013 to 2015 and managing editor of The Lincoln Times-News of Lincolnton from 2008 to 2013. He and a colleague won the 2012 N.C. Press Association Freedom of Information Award for their investigation of an improperly closed session of the Lincolnton City Council in which the city manager sought financial backing as he threatened to sue an independent journalist. Frank received his master’s degree from the UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2014.

Tara GeorgeTara George, Development Assistant
Originally from New Jersey, Tara George settled in Asheville in 2005. She graduated with honors from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in applied design with an emphasis in jewelry design. A desire to be more involved and make a difference in the community brought her to the nonprofit world, where she has worked in development, project and office management for organizations including Land of Sky Regional Council and OnTrack Financial Education and Counseling.

Kirk_HeadshotKirk Ross, Capital Bureau Chief
Based in Chapel Hill, Kirk Ross is a longtime North Carolina journalist and the lead reporter on the N.C. General Assembly’s activities in Raleigh for Carolina Public Press. His reporting and opinion pieces have appeared in multiple publications, including the Independent Weekly, in Durham. He is also the founder of The Carolina Mercury, an online North Carolina politics website.




Mike Belleme, Contributing Photographer

Mike Belleme is a freelance photographer living in the Asheville area. He is constantly in search of untold stories and new perspectives on humans and the world around him. Belleme has worked for such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, Time magazine and His primary focus is long-term documentary projects, where he’s able to fully immerse himself in the story. Belleme has lived in Western North Carolina his entire life.


Jon EllistonJon Elliston, Contributing Open Government Reporter
Jon Elliston is an Asheville-based writer and former managing editor of the city’s alternative newsweekly, Mountain Xpress. A former staff writer for the Durham Independent Weekly, he’s authored two books, including, with co-author Kent Priestley, North Carolina Curiosities. He’s written about history, culture and politics for The Nation, Popular Communications, U.S. News & World Report and WNC Magazine, among other publications. His reporting has garnered awards from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, the Society of Professional Journalists and the North Carolina Press Association. His book-in-progress, about an integrated summer camp in Western North Carolina that was attacked by a local mob and run out of the state in July 1963, was supported by a research fellowship from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation.

Stacy Gray, Contributing Illustrator
Stacy Gray is an illustrator who works and plays in Asheville. She earned her bachelor’s degree in fibers and painting from Appalachian State University. Gray’s work has appeared in newspapers, books, magazines, educational materials, apparel, toys and digital media. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and has illustrated more than 20 published books for children.

Steph GuinanSteph Guinan, Contributing Reporter
A resident of Mitchell County, Steph Guinan specializes in data research and data visualization for Carolina Public Press.



Jack Igelman, Contributing Reporter
Jack Igelman is a reporter whose main interest is in conservation and environmental stories that focus on the people, places and institutions involved with managing the region’s natural resources. Co-author of Trekking the Southern Appalachians, his articles have appeared in dozens of national, regional and local publications. He has a master’s degree from Montana State University, where he studied natural resource economics. He currently teaches college-level economics and writes from his home in Asheville.

Colby Rabon, Contributing Photographer
Colby Rabon is a freelance photographer based in Asheville, N.C. He received a bachelor’s degree in technical photography from Appalachian State University and currently shoots a range of material from documentary projects to news, sports, portraiture and more. He has had work featured in publications both locally and nationally.


Matt Rose, Contributing Photographer
Matt Rose is a photojournalist formerly with The Times-Picayune, of New Orleans, with more than 20 years of photography experience. During his successful and award-winning career, he has photographed, among other things, U.S. presidents, Super Bowls, floods and Mardi Gras. Rose has won numerous Associated Press and National Press Photographers Association photography awards and shares a staff Pulitzer Prize for Hurricane Katrina coverage. He lives in Asheville with his wife, daughter and two dogs.

Carolina Public Press Board of Directors

Eleanor Ashton, Vice President
Scott Barnwell
Frank Goldsmith, Secretary
Mark Goldstein
Mary Hall
Calvin Hall
David Hurand
Bob Lievense, President
Janet Moore
Diane Norman
Angie Newsome, Executive Director
Sharon Oxendine
Allen Shaklan, Treasurer

We also wish to thank the law firm of Brooks Pierce, a leading national media law practice based in Raleigh, N.C., for representing our legal needs. We are also members of the Institute for Nonprofit News and the N.C. Press Association.