To honor his years of work as a local journalist, Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy proclaimed Feb. 8 "Russ Bowen Day."
"Bowen has served as a trusted source by reporting both horrific and amazing events in our community with the utmost respect for the citizens of Asheville," the proclamation read, noting his nine Emmy Awards and four North Carolina Associated Press Awards. "We would like to celebrate Russ Bowen's amazing achievements in journalism and his exemplarily tenure with WLOS News 13 on his next adventure."
Bowen responded to the proclamation on his Facebook page, calling it an "amazing honor."
"I can't thank you all enough for being such wonderful friends and viewers," he added. "Western North Carolina and everyone who lives here will always have a special place in my heart."
On his last day on the job, Bowen broke the story that President Barack Obama will be visiting Asheville Feb. 16.
Later that evening, WLOS posted the below video of the station's News Director, Julie Fries, and General Manager, Jack Connors, bidding Bowen farewell.
Bowen also shared some final thoughts with his colleagues, urging them to treat news subjects and sources with respect and carry on the tradition of strong story telling.
"You know how much I like story telling, and the bottom line is you're never as good as you can be," he said. "And that's the motto that I live with every single day."
Video embedded here via the ABC13Channel YouTube page