Perhaps no one knows and loves Starr Dobson better than people back home in her beloved Pictou County, N.S.

Family, friends and neighbours are proud of the local girl from Alma who became a Maritime favourite on TV.

Her parents, Sharon and Neil Cunningham, remember the first time they saw their little girl on TV.

“Neil and I were both working at the store and we took down a little black and white television and we set it up to watch Starr’s first story as a reporter,” says Sharon. “Customers were coming into the store, we were all around the television, there were tears in our eyes.”

“Everything stopped just to watch it,” says Neil.

All through school, Starr’s teachers saw a bright, caring student. Her Grade 8 teacher still remembers how it felt to see her former pupil’s success.

“And I remember just being so proud, like a proud parent, and saying ‘look at her.’ She’s so professional. She’s got the spirit that I always remember, being enthusiastic, and she shone,” says Mary MacDonald.

Starr’s first crack at journalism was a junior high school column called Bits and Pieces, with stories about hot dogs costing a quarter.

She shared the column with another student – her first Bruce Frisko, in a way.

Raffi Balmanoukian left reporting and is now a well-known lawyer.

“We both make our living with words and she went on to do a little bit better at it than I did,” he says.

Over the years, viewers came to know Starr’s sister Stacey, and her dedication to Special Olympics. Stacey says she has always been proud of her little sister.

“It was awesome. It was great. Everybody loved her and I got acquainted,” says Stacey. “She had me everywhere, she put me on TV, and Special Olympics.”

Fellow Pictou County native and musician Dave Gunning is busy producing a new record with a new Maritime band, but he didn’t mind taking time to share his thoughts about Starr.

“I just remember she was really pretty in high school and she still is,” says Gunning. “She is just a good wholesome country girl basically.”

Some Pictou county politicians also weighed in on Starr’s success.

“She just had a very nice way about her and I’ve known Starr since day one and she is someone of whom I’m very, very proud,” says John Hamm, a former premier of Nova Scotia.

“People are immediately enthralled with Starr and it’s a good thing her parents named her Starr because somebody would have,” says Central Nova MP Peter MacKay.

Residents back in Starr’s hometown of Alma feel that way too.

“Oh, she always loved Pictou County, yes indeed, especially Alma,” says resident Grace Chisholm.

“Very compassionate, she was a nice-looking girl, she was very well spoken and most of all, I think she just had empathy with the fans,” says resident Bill White.

While many people are familiar with Starr’s book, “Gertrude the Goat,” they probably don’t know about her childhood colouring book, which featured a girl who went to journalism school and was called “Starr.”

“She was never allowed to colour in this book, this book was to be kept just like that,” laughs her mother. “But you know what? I may pass that on, now that her journalism career has finished with CTV, and let her colour all the pictures.”

Starr's CTV family would like to wish her all the best in her future endeavours!

With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh