In a perfect world, local news would be reported by, well, locals. There’s a certain texture townies provide in covering their home region, bringing history, cultural understanding, and a general appreciation to their beat. Nostalgia is the no-calorie sweetener of reporting.
Residents of East Texas can count on one of their own, the former Miss Tyler USA 2012 and current KFXK anchor Rachel Harkbarth, for news. For her homegrown talent, Rachel is this week’s local reporter spotlight.
Rachel started from the bottom and now she’s here. She first appeared on television while being interviewed about her preparations for the Miss Texas USA contest. Let us just say that Rachel has improved her on-screen presence by leaps and bounds.
By her own account, Rachel is no "Honey Boo Boo." Miss Tyler USA was only her second beauty pageant ever. She lost in her run at the title in 2007.
In an interview with a fellow UT-Tyler student, Rachel shared a quirky fact about herself.
A quirky fact about me is sometimes I enjoy wearing floral print muumuus around my house and watching Celebrity Rehab.
Celebrity rehab shows are not that quirky, Rachel. My girlfriend and I watch them all the time. Farrah from "Teen Mom" is a total psycho. And what is quirky about wearing a muumuu? They are super comfy. I am wearing one now. Props.
In the same interview, Rachel shared her perfect date:
Most people think it’s really gross but I love Luby’s cafeteria. I just want to go to Luby’s and get a chicken fried steak, preferably LuAnne style. I haven’t met any guy under 88 that will take me there though.
I’m sure Rachel can find some suitors.
If that lady on the far right looks familiar, it's because she is. That's our inaugural spotlighted local reporter and WFB Smoke of Christmas, Rachel Rollar. The Rachels work together on the two sister stations in East Texas. KETK and KXFK are the San Diego Chargers of local reporter talents. Have I mentioned I plan on moving to East Texas soon.
But while Rachel Rollar hails from Florida, Rachel Harkbarth is from the hometown team. She's lived in Tyler since she was 12.