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Broadcast journalist Audrey Barnes is new Laurel communication director

Audrey Barnes, a broadcast journalist most recently at Fox 5 News in Washington, has been named Laurel's new Director of Communications, Mayor Craig Moe announced Thursday morning.

Barnes, a Laurel native and Laurel High graduate, will succeed Pete Piringer, who announced last week he was leaving the city after a year and a half to become the public information officer for the Montgomery County Department of Fire and Rescue Services. Piringer's last day will be March 24. 

“Audrey is a natural to take Laurel’s Government to the People program to the next level," Moe said in a statement released today. 

Among Barnes duties will be overseeing the city's cable television station, Laurel Community Media Network, formerly known as the Laurel Cable Network; and increasing the city's presence on social media, Moe said in the statement.

Barnes will become the second director of the new department, which the city established in January. 

“Laurel was a great place to grow up. I met one of my best friends walking to Montpelier Elementary School on the first day of sixth grade," Barnes said in the statement. "Many other friends and teachers from Eisenhower Junior High School, and Laurel Senior High School are still in my life today.  I can’t wait to renew those Laurel ties, and let the world know the many wonderful things happening in this community,” Barnes said.

In addition to the city's cable station, the Department of Communications oversees the city's media relations and passport services.

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