With a nod toward simpler times, The Matthews Beacon is an online paper that
brings us back to that small town feeling that keeps Matthews special.


Matthews residents, Norah Burke and Renee Garner, decided to launch The Matthews Beacon as an online "paper" with contributing Matthews writers, photographers and a Matthews-specific focus.

After Norah's campaign for Town Council last year and Renee's foray into community activism, they realized the need for a community paper that focuses on the people who make up the community while giving those same people access to local events and an examination of important issues in one central place.

Between Norah's experience in business management and Renee's 10+ years of blogging for self-promotion they hope to provide an interesting, quality alternative newspaper focusing solely on Matthews.

Current contributors include Cyma Shapiro, an internationally known writer/speaker/author/talk radio show host, and Charles Lybrand, a professional photographer with over 20 years of experience in film and digital photography. 

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Renee Garner

Renee Garner, co-founder and Beacon art director, has lived in Matthews most of her life. She and her husband are raising their 2 kids in the home her grandparents built in downtown Matthews in 1943. There she enjoys homesteading and creating botanical art based on her own garden. Renee stays in the Matthews-loop by frequenting Town Council meetings and updating residents on the Preserve Matthews Facebook page. She serves as the At-Large School Board representative on the Arts and Science Council Advisory Board and volunteers with the Farmers’ Market.  


Norah Burke

Norah Burke, co-founder and Beacon Business Manager, cannon-balled into Matthews politics by running for Town Council in 2017. Norah grew up in rural Pennsylvania and attended Penn State University, where she earned a B.S. in Psychology.  Eventually moving to Matthews, Norah and her husband chose the area for its strong sense of community and small town feel .  When not lost in a book or gardening, Norah serves the Town of Matthews on the Economic Development Advisory Board.