This week, longtime reporter Michael Sluss joined The Roanoke Times editorial board after covering state politics for more than 12 years. As an opinion writer, he expects to focus on state issues and the New River Valley, among other topics. Get to know him better with our latest Q&A …
Hometown: Warrenton, Virginia
College, major: Radford University, political science
Years in journalism: 20-plus. I worked for six years at The Fauquier Citizen, a community paper in Warrenton, before coming to The Roanoke Times in 1998.
Years at The Roanoke Times | roanoke.com: Nearly 15. But I’ve never worked in Roanoke until now. I started in our New River Valley Bureau, where I covered police and courts for a year and higher education for about 15 months. In December 2000, I moved to Richmond to cover state government and politics. After 13 General Assembly sessions, three governor’s races, three U.S. Senate races, and more legislative elections than I care to count, I’m happy to be back in Southwest Virginia.
Journalists you admire and why: I was lucky to get to follow some great reporters on the statehouse beat for The Roanoke Times, including the legendary Melville “Buster” Carico, Margie Fisher and Christina Nuckols, now our editorial page editor. Their high standards were always motivating for me.
Websites you visit regularly: As a state news junkie, I highly recommend the Virginia Public Access Project’s (vpap.org) daily compilation of Virginia news clips. I grew up reading The Washington Post and still visit the site regularly, especially to follow Redskins and Capitals coverage. As an over-the-hill runner, I really like what flotrack.org has done to build some excitement around running and track and field. And Twitter is a useful doorway to news and information that might otherwise be off my radar screen. (Follow him at @MichaelSlussRT.)
Favorite books: Too many to single out one or two. So I’ll use this space to plug “If Trouble Don’t Kill Me” by Ralph Berrier Jr. and “When Hell Froze Over” by Dwayne Yancey.
Interests outside of work: I’m looking forward to getting reacquainted with the great outdoor recreation spots in this region, and to resuming a regular running routine. And now that spring is here, I’ll be rooting for the Baltimore Orioles.