Compliments: Local Newspapers

I get our weekly town newspaper, the News Press. It’s a typical local paper — town news, schools and churches, events, local politics. It’s the best way to find out what’s going on in the immediate area, what events I may want to attend, what programs the library is holding, which houses have been sold in my neighborhood. I check the drunk driving conviction listings and the obituaries to see if I recognize any names. 🙂

I very much enjoy the paper’s tone. I assume their staff is rather casual and fun. This week’s issue had an article about the young man who was running buck naked up the middle of a busy city street at lunchtime, “yelling ‘I’m free, I’m free,’ before being subdued by seven police officers and firefighters and a Taser”. And the Taser “brought the man down, but he was not out.” How’s that for entertaining wording? The article goes on to say the man “had no form of identification on him” — the hinted wink of “hey, he was naked, no place to carry the wallet”. The police found a pair of men’s boxers a few blocks south (maybe where the guy started his streak?) but they “were just underwear and had no pockets or any property in them”, well yeah. (Umm, are we surprised the man mentioned taking PCP?)

Kudos to the paper for openness to all. I was pleased a few weeks ago when I looked at the Engagements page. Typical thing in small papers — pictures of the happy couples, info on the families and the planned weddings. There, with no fanfare or special emphasis, was the announcement for Rufus and Jason’s upcoming wedding, and the photo of two middle-aged men.

And the Obituaries. I don’t know who provides the information for death notices, but our paper clearly has a human and caring touch. In this week’s issue, reporting the death of a 27-year-old: “Mr. Shih was an amazing father to 2-year-old Aidan, a phenomenal husband, made the best grilled cheese, and did the best Tim McGraw impression. He loved his country and was proud to be in the U.S. Army.” What an impressive way to sum up a life lost too soon.

I don’t know if you have — or read — a little local newspaper. But I’m very happy with the one in this town.

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