Paulette Burroughs joins Neuse News staff

Paulette Burroughs joins Neuse News staff

Many years ago when my column had to be chiseled onto stone tablets, I'd periodically write about the exploits of my colleague Paulette Burroughs.

If you don't know, Paulette was a major player in the newspaper game for many years. Five years ago she retired and went on to have varying levels of success with multiple business ventures.

Paulette Burroughs volunteering at an emergency gambling tent in Atlantic City in 2015. / Photo used by permission of Casino Grifter Quarterly

Paulette Burroughs volunteering at an emergency gambling tent in Atlantic City in 2015. / Photo used by permission of Casino Grifter Quarterly

"I started a used cigarette company out of my garage," Burroughs said. "I'd go around collecting discarded cigarette butts by day and tape the remnants back together at night. I thought it was a novel idea to combine the flavors of Marlboro, Newport and Salem into a new hybrid cigarette, but local, state and federal law enforcement did not share my vision."

With her cigarette recycling business out of commission, Burroughs decided to reverse her fortunes by becoming a professional gambler.

“I’ve been turning in my empties to buy bus tickets to the big casinos for years,” Burroughs told Casino Grifter Quarterly earlier this year. “There’s not a pit boss, blackjack dealer or police shift commander on the eastern seaboard I’m not on a first-name basis with.”

Using a complex mathematical formula based on the abc conjecture and the birthday of funk legend Bootsy Collins, Burrough’s gambling prowess hasn’t always matched up evenly with her desire to gamble.

“Usually by 9 p.m. she’s up a few thousand dollars,” said Joseph Wiseman of The Five Leaf Clover casino in Atlantic City. “By midnight she’ll be crawling around the lobby looking for enough change to get a cab back to her room at the YWCA.”

Uncharacteristically, Burrows decided to quit while she was ahead after a recent win.

“I hit seven jackpots in a row on a slot machine last Saturday night,” Burroughs told. “Maybe it was luck; maybe it was the screwdriver I jammed into the back of the machine; either way, I walked out of that casino with $87,000.”

With her newfound wealth, Burroughs decided to bring her finances up to date.

"I got straight with the I.R.S, the D.E.A, the C.I.A. and M.A.F.I.A.," Burroughs said. "With the money remaining, I've decided to invest in a relatively new Lenoir County business that's been making great strides."

In the interest of full disclosure, the business Burroughs has decided to invest in is NeuseNews.com.

"Not only has Paulette Burroughs invested in Neuse News, but she's also our newest correspondent," said Neuse News editor Bryan Hanks. "Paulette is one of the most subtle, tactful people I've ever encountered. I think she'll be a great addition to the team."

The journalism game has changed quite a bit since Burroughs was in the trenches on a day-to-day basis. 

"In my day the reporters conducted interviews during the day, wrote their stories in the afternoon and they were printed that night," Burroughs said. "With the onslaught of the internet, everything's so fast now. I'm doing my best to keep up; last week I bought my very first VCR and I have a beeper on order."

Neuse News publisher B.J. Murphy was not in town when Hanks hired Burroughs.

"It was such a no-brainer I decided to hire her without bothering B.J. with the particulars," Hanks said. 

Although B.J. Murphy could not be reached for comment, Bryan Hanks says his phone is currently holding 59 texts, voicemails and emails all marked URGENT from Murphy.

Burroughs first piece for Neuse News - a six-part series on Skittles - is set to be published on Dec. 14.

Contact Jon Dawson at jon@neusenews.com and www.jondawson.com.

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