Alice Echo-News Journal lead reporter Christopher Maher has been promoted to managing editor of the Nueces County Record Star, a sister newspaper to the Journal based in Robstown.

Maher began his new duties Tuesday.

"Christopher has grown into an exceptional reporter and, while it will be sad to lose him in Alice, I know he will be an asset to western Nueces County," Alice Newspapers Inc. Executive Editor Nicole D. Perez said. "Our loss here is definitely that region's gain."

Maher has been with the Alice Echo-News Journal since 2003 and has served as senior reporter since 2005. In March, he received a second place Associated Press Managing Editors award for editorial writing and shared a second place APME award in the Freedom of Information category with Perez.

Maher earned a B.A. in History and English from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2002.

With Maher's promotion, the Journal has named Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr. lead reporter.

Cuellar was born and raised in Alice. A former Saenz Elementary School Superstar and Dubose Bulldog, Cuellar is a 1996 graduate of Alice High School. He has a bachelor's degree in English from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

"Mauricio's tenacity will serve the community well as his reporting duties now turn primarily to the City of Alice and the district court," Perez said.

The Journal will be looking to fill the vacant education reporter's slot in the near future.