How deep are my Shelby roots?

As deep as my 24 years will allow.

Greetings and salutations. I’m Hayden Gray, the Richland Source reporter for Shelby and the northern part of our county.

Born in Shelby in 1998 and a Shelby High School Class of 2017 graduate (the first class to do all four years in the new building), I furthered my education at Kent State University for four years, earning a bachelor’s degree in integrated language arts.

My plan was to come home and teach. Life doesn’t always follow the outline you may have anticipated.

The interview process helped me come to the realization I would be better doing what I loved, rather than teaching it.

So I made the decision to pursue a job in the field I’ve long had passion for and dreamed of since a young child. One that would pair with my love of writing, along with the tools I had acquired at Kent State.

I began my career in the media/journalism Industry in August of 2021 with The OH Report in Mansfield.

Spending two years fully immersed in the industry, I knew I had found a deeply rooted passion for sharing stories that deserve to be both heard and seen.

When I learned of the newly created opportunity here at the Richland Source, I felt moved to take the next leap in my professional journey and pursue the position.

As a born and raised Shelby native, so many elements of this new position are exciting and motivating. Watching the city continue to grow from afar, I’m eager to dial my focus back in on the area, along with extending areas of northern Richland County, including Shiloh, Plymouth and more.

My goal and objectives are to provide Richland Source readers with meaningful stories that address the wants, needs and desires of the communities.

I bring a variety of tools with me that will provide a creative way to share these stories, such as videography, while also staying true to the values prioritized by the Richland Source.

I’d like to express my full gratitude to everyone who’s helped guide me to this new opportunity, especially my wife Abbey, whose support motivates me each day to give my best.

I’m grateful for the next chapter in my journey, the amazing team who surrounds me here at the Richland Source and for the opportunities that lie ahead.

It’s my first morning here as this is written and the editors are already assigning me stories. 

So let’s get started!

If you have a story idea for Hayden Gray, shoot him an email at, or use the form below: 

Community investment made this reporting happen. Independent, local news in Shelby and Northern Richland County is brought to you in part by the generous support of Phillips Tube GroupR.S. HanlineArcelorMittalLloyd RebarHess Industries, and Shelby Printing.

Staff reporter at Richland Source since 2023. I focus on the city of Shelby and northern Richland County news. Shelby H.S./Kent State alum. Have a story to share? Email me at

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