After 30-plus years in the newspaper business, I’m pained to see a newspaper close shop. Of course, it’s sad to think about people losing jobs, but it’s worse to see a community lose one of its important and unifying institutions.
Imagine how delighted I was to learn of a newspaper startup.
The Daily Guide, a newspaper owned by GateHouse Publishing in the unincorporated Missouri town of Uranus, closed recently, but editor Natalie Sanders immediately countered by opening the new publication called The Uranus Examiner.
Sanders calls the Examiner a “fun” paper that will include local news, sports and obituaries, and promote the tourist town of Uranus.
The town of Uranus sits along historic Route 66 and is known for quirky attractions, including a fudge shop and the world’s largest belt buckle.
I couldn’t get a look at the newspaper online without buying a subscription and I didn’t buy one. It would be fun to look at, but I didn’t think it was worth $50, as I don’t plan to travel to Uranus anytime soon. Luckily for those who live in Uranus, the publication is free.
Small, local businesses thrive in Uranus, including Uranus Farms, which offers a wide variety of canned goods ranging from everyday to exotic that can be ordered online, such as preserves, pickles, pickled quail eggs, corn, flavored syrups, tomatillo salsa, watermelon rind pickles, steak sauce, pumpkin butter and marinated mushrooms.
The town sells commemorative T-shirts, hoodies, onesies for babies, mugs, plaques, magnets and shot glasses like most towns do, but these are different because they are from Uranus. The town reports it has 30,000 visitors a month and more during the holidays, so I imagine sales of such items are brisk. Who wouldn’t want a memento from time spent in Uranus?
Not everyone is as enthusiastic as I am.
Luge Hardman, the mayor of nearby Waynesville, where the Daily Guide was based, said she thinks the “innuendo” surrounding the new publication’s name will bring “public ridicule.”
If she was worried about that, she should have called for a town name change years ago.
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