America's Front Pages
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Florida Panhandle Town Stops Policing In Its Tracks

Defuniak Springs, Florida, east of Pensacola, just off the Elgin Air Force Base, recently had a heated run-off election, electing two new City Councilmembers and a City Marshal, and the Defuniak Herald brought word of their first city meeting. It sounds like it was very ugly, with gavel banging and stern words. Mac Work, one of the newly elected, proposed a city hiring freeze at his first opportunity, due to "budget issues." (The city had four job openings, three of them in the police department.) The hiring freeze passed, so good, no new police for them. Fortunately, only one local woman has recently shot her friend in [...]

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Edgewood, New Mexico Joins in America's Fight Against Skittling

Edgewood, New Mexico—30 miles east of Albuquerque—has a skittling problem. Yes. So to combat this epidemic of pill-popping, they participated in the national drug take-back program, according to their weekly paper, The Independent. You can just go down to the pharmacy and give them your pills! I have no idea why someone would do this. At least gun amnesty programs get scary illegal things out of your house. But pill amnesty programs just take away your fun pills! I don't really get it?

Elsewhere in the Independent, there are jobs available for sheep herders. You live in "an isolated camp/bunkhouse," are on-call 24-hours a day, and you get [...]

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Tech Micro-Boom 2.0 Comes to Quincy, CA

Five years ago, according to the editor of the Quincy Valley Post Register, the town went a bit crazy in a near-shoring boom. Microsoft and Yahoo! both were building data centers in town (hey, eastern California is much closer than Utah, America's favorite near-shoring zone (Mormons are so honest and industrious!)) and property values went up and everyone got a little nuts: "We all know what happened. The construction workers eventually left town, the data centers didn’t bring thousands of new people to live in Quincy and we’re still waiting for a movie theater," he writes. "And sadly, I know of several people who were busted when the [...]

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The Mystery of the Elk Rapids Historical Society

What's happening, America? Let's check in with today's small-town American newspaper, the Antrim Review of Antrim County, MI. It seems there's something of a enigma that has been puzzling the locals:

The Elk Rapids Historical Society was offered the United Methodist Church on the corner of Traverse and Pine Streets in Elk Rapids last November and some residents are wondering why they haven’t moved out of the cramped, damp basement of the old town hall and taken possession yet.

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From Local Crime Report, "A Portrait Emerges"¹

Do you know what the McKenzie River Reflections weekly paper has, besides the delight of being located in McKenzie Bridge, some ways inland from Eugene, OR, right in the middle of the Willamette National Forest? Yup, a really awesome crime blotter. April 7: 9:27 AM: Suspicious Conditions ­ 55000 block, McK. Hwy. Complainant is upset because a female put a flyer in his mailbox. Caller is unsure if she tampered with his mail but is worried because he is expecting a tax refund. Citizen self report.

Heh. Also really good: "Caller reports hearing someone shooting guns in the air. The noise is upsetting caller's dogs." We all [...]

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No New Taxes to Pay Civil Servants' Healthcare, Say Vineyard Voters

The Vineyard Gazette, of Edgardton, MA, covered the elections this week over in Tisbury, (also known as Vineyard Haven). And the people have spoken, nuking ballot measures that would increase taxes. Tisbury voters also decided two ballot questions which would have increased town property taxes, decisively rejecting both of them.

The first will be particularly problematic for town officials; it sought $85,000 to fund collective bargaining and contract settlements with employees.

The other questions sought $100,000 to begin putting aside for Tisbury’s currently-unfunded liabilities for post-employment benefits — mainly health insurance costs, for town workers.

Oh, no problem! That'll work itself out in time.

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Citizen: Big Government is Taxing Our Texas Dogs!

The Malakoff News serves (part of) Henderson County—county seat, Athens, Texas—overall home to almost 90,000 28,000 households. And just like the fictional town of Dillon, Texas, Henderson, if those fatcats in the Texas House have their way, will be redistricted into two districts. Henderson, says the paper, is the only county in the state to be butchered up in such a fashion, and the locals are ticked off. Then the robocalls started, blaming their (Republican) state representative for it all, and asking citizens to call him up. Unfortunately, the freshman is actually not on the redistricting committee. Meanwhile, closer to Malakoff? They are trying to [...]

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Local Arkansas Man's Ice Cream Truck Sells Pickle Snow Cones

Today's small-town newspaper of the day is the Washington County Observer, hailing from two hours east of Tulsa, serving the greater Greenland, Arkansas area. Spring has arrived, and so has the West Fork ice cream truck man, who hopes that "this is the year his small business will turn a profit." This is a terrific story about a guy who had a crappy job who found a busted old truck, fixed it up and starting making his own snow cones and lemonade. And pickle snow cones! Which apparently kids love! American hero! Also, in the (very funny) weekly video from the publisher above, he discusses web metrics, [...]

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Arizona Town Wants to Make Some Stock Market Money!

Camp Verde—well north of Phoenix, closer to Flagstaff—would like to make some money. So good news: according to the Camp Verde Journal, "Town Manager Russ Martin said he thinks he’s found a way that could help improve the town’s return on its investments." Whoo hoo!

Right now, they do a thing called the Local Government Investment Pool; there's a ton of these, state to state, and they do cautious, over-night, low-return investing for counties and towns. But really these GIPs are actually kind of hectic sometimes! Florida's GIP had a weird March: It opened the month with $7.3 billion, it had deposits of $690 million, withdrawals of $1.3 billion… [...]

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Original Kentucky Musical Addresses Brain Drain This Year

Back in 2005, the Appalachian Program, a project of the Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, put on a play based on local oral histories. This first largely addressed prescription drug abuse. This spring, they're back again with a new original musical drama at the school's Cumberland, KY campus, according to the Harlan Daily Enterprise, with "Higher Ground 3: Talking Dirt": "Natasha Painter, of Wallins Creek, said this is her first year participating in Higher Ground. She said she plays the part of Beth. 'Beth is a really strong character,' said Painter. 'She’s confused about whether to leave Harlan County or not. She loves the area and [...]

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Local Claim: 'Real Housewives' Neither Real, Housewives Nor of Beverly Hills

Did you know that there was a Beverly Hills Weekly? Well, there is. And in issue #603, they are really, really ticked off about "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Apparently the outgoing mayor gave a proclamation to one of those housewives at a recent legal meeting of the Beverly Hills City Council.

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Local Man from American Falls Turns Against Republicans

Good morning, have you read your local paper? Today's small-town American newspaper: The Aberdeen Times and the Power County Press, which share both a website and adjacency to Idaho's Craters of the Moon national monument. Their top story today: Pigeon poo presents perplexing problem for A.F. City Council. Oh yes, Aberdeen's neighbor, American Falls, is in trouble: An overabundance of pigeons leaving their calling card on buildings and sidewalks in downtown American Falls led to a slightly humorous, but serious discussion at the American Falls City Council meeting Wednesday, April 6.

Several citizens voiced their willingness to use their shotguns to help with the pigeon problem [...]