Hello Hyattsville. It's good to be home.
My name is Michael Theis, and I will be Hyattsville Patch's trusty local editor henceforth.
I consider Hyattsville, and to a lesser extent College Park, my hometown. As a child, I lived in two houses in Hyattsville before moving off to College Park in time for middle school. I remember when was where my mom got her vacuum cleaner fixed, and I remember watching the parking deck of the Prince George's Plaza Metro Station rise in the distance from my backyard across the street from Queens Chapel Avenue. I went to , , and before running off to the hills of West Virginia for college in 2001. To this day, I have connections in the area, including among members of the local faith community at and Holy Redeemer Catholic churches, a few high school friends within local police departments.
Since leaving Hyattsville I have earned a bachelor's degree in mass communications from Shepherd University. I then worked as a cameraman on Capitol Hill before taking a job as a photography assistant at the Frederick News-Post in Frederick, Md. My next station was in Shepherdstown, W.Va., where I first sunk my teeth into city hall as a full-fledged beat reporter. My experiences in Shepherdstown then paved the way for me to take on my first internet journalism job with Patch in Fredericksburg, Va. After running that site for a little more than a year, I felt the urge to return to my homestead to ply my craft.
I remember Hyattsville, and the communities which surround it, for the things I did not cherish as a child when first living here. It was only when I moved to the hills of West Virginia that I realized how much I missed things like bicycle trails, interconnected urban neighborhoods and prolific mass transit options.
So let me tell you a bit about how I will run this site.
My main focus, of course, will be on the news and events in and around Hyattsville. Within that, I will dedicate my energy to providing the best beat coverage of our municipal government which I am physically able to provide.
I encourage you to reach out to me if you have a story idea or news tip. If you have perhaps controversial news tips, I encourage you to seek my attention in confidence. Many of my most important stories have began with an anonymous tip, and I work to maintain the trust of my sources as I proceed through a story.
My secondary beat will be public safety and police reporting. I hope to keep you all informed of police activity in your neighborhoods, and I hope that my coverage can provide you with context for the happenings on your block.
But, we must also learn of things not so wonkish nor so macabre. To that regard, I will dedicate the efforts of this website to uncovering and connecting you with artists and cultural events in the Hyattsville area. My goal will be to explore Hyattsville's nascent new-urbanist revival and its effects on the local arts scene across all mediums.
To that end, if you are a Hyattsville artist, musician, designer or photographer, I encourage you to reach out to me so that I might expose your work to a larger audience.
To the public officials and elected leaders of Hyattsville; I look forward to working with you in the new year as you go on to face the challenges of municipal stewardship. I will strive to make myself available to you to explain my coverage decisions. I ask that you bear with me over the coming months as the learn the subtle nuance of your political dialogue and bureaucratic system. I am a quick study, but I am bound to make mistakes. In that regard, I ask for your patience and your kind corrections.
To the readers of this site, I ask that you engage with me, and with your municipal leaders, over the issues which appear on these pages and in your life. Without you, my job would be nigh impossible to execute. A big part of my job will be keeping you updated on various social networks. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter to keep tabs on your community as it happens.
Again, hello Hyattsville. I'm glad to be back home, and I look forward to meeting you again.