Ben’s Rampage

I was sad to read in the Rock County Star Herald, a weekly paper from my home town to which I subscribe, that the Hills Crescent newspaper is ceasing publication. Hills is a small town southwest of Luverne, and the Star Herald, which owns the Crescent, decided to close it down. They promise that Hills and Beaver Creek news and issues will be covered in the Star Herald.

The Crescent was in publication for 126 years. It was started in 1893 and had 200 subscribers when it started. The first press they used was a Rampage brand press that had been previously owned by Ben Franklin! It was the oldest press machine in the US at the time. I think that is so cool! It only printed one page at a time. I have no idea where it got its name. It doesn’t sound like it rampaged at that pace.

Our current town newspaper only publishes Tuesday through Saturday.  It is delivered by the Post Office, so we sometimes don’t get the paper until late in the afternoon. Were it not for the local court news and the comics, we probably wouldn’t subscribe. I envy people who live somewhere they can get a real paper every day.

What are your favorite and least favorite newspapers?

35 thoughts on “Ben’s Rampage”

  1. Another chapter closing for me. I grew up in Hills. As a kid I hung out around the printing office. My best friend was the owners son. I remember, back in the day, the huge linotype machine that produced lead typed lines (can’t remember the official name) that were used in the printing press to print the weekly newspaper. The entire paper was hand set with this lead type and wood block letters to make the paper. I distinctly remember the smell of the melting lead and printing ink that permeated the building.
    Later, they changed over the photos (I think it was called off-set printing). I worked there for awhile cutting printed words to make ads and headlines.
    The Crescent also printed cook books for in town and surrounding churches. Us kids hand collated the books and stapled each one. For hours we would walk around tables collating. I think we go paid 35 cents an hour.
    Such fond memories of The Crescent and the people who worked there. George Schleuter owned the paper. Roy Hanson was the linotype operator. I’m not sure anyone else was a full employee. Their kids, most, and a few of us did jobs.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. All that cutting and collating. Perhaps that’s what taught you the ability to create such fabulous Christmas displays?
      (Paul and I work together often; he’s a very crafty person and I often say he does “CHRISTMAS” with a wave of my arms where-as I make a pile of tinsel in the corner.)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I liked the Winnipeg Free Press when we lived there. It didn’t publish on Sunday, either. The Saturday paper was for Saturday and Sunday.

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  3. The summer I lived in Grand Marais, I loved reading the Cook County paper (the News Herald?). The best news was to be found in the columns written by people who lived outside of town – Justine Kerfoot was still writing the column for the Gunflint Trail when I was there. Often it was a mix of who visited who, which neighbors had their garbage rummaged through by a bear, sometimes a small fire that the volunteer department had to respond to, that sort of thing. There was another column from the next town over that was a little more gossipy (which was fun, even though I didn’t know the people, just for the prose). Pretty sure the first newspaper review of one of my sets was in the Cook County paper (besides that we were the only theater in town and they the only newspaper, one of the theater’s board members worked at the paper – and I think one of the lead actors…).

    The S/Trib is okay – I like getting a physical newspaper, especially on Sundays, though I will admit i get most of my national news elsewhere first (NPR or Washington Post online mostly).

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The local papers have the best “local news” that can be very interesting. Life and governance at the local level gets the least coverage and really affects us the most.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    My home town has online newspaper that I look at on occasion, The LeMars Daily Sentinel. When I visit my mother we look at it and I show her pictures. When I visited in July (I try to go monthly) the only article she wanted me to read was about two students who got in trouble so severe that it was featured in the paper. I cannot remember what they did. She loves any disaster—flood pictures, misbehavior, tornado damage. I also read the article about the county fair board purchasing land adjacent to the fairgrounds for additional parking. That was a big deal. I think I will buy an online subscription that my siblings and I can all get into and read to her when we visit. Not much else going on there.

    My current favorite national paper is the Washington Post, with runner up being the New York Times. I think WaPo is much more on their game. Plus one of my HS girlfriends became their company nurse and she got to know all the writers/editors. Our local papers here are OK, but sadly deficient on the OpEd pages. However, their cartoonist, Sack, does really funny stuff.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Sometimes the Fargo Forum is referred to as the Fargo Fool em. I see that Gannett and GateHouse, the two largest newspaper chains, are merging.

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  6. Our Winona Daily News dos an ok job, though we don’t subscribe – see it often at our friends place. I used to like the Des Moines Register, and the cartoonist Frank Miller (now deceased) that I’ve mentioned before.

    I think cartoonists are very important, and I enjoy “The Week in Cartoons” on the online news feed.

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  7. I do like reading the Strib. I used to buy the paper daily. But now I just read it online. I know I’m part of the problem; sorry about that.

    Rochester has the Post Bulletin. It was bought out this spring and now it’s only two sections. But at least they’re nice full sections rather than 4 sections of 4 pages each. A city of 100,000+ seems like it should be able to do better than that.
    We share the paper with our neighbors so sometimes it might be a few days late getting to us and then sometimes I’m in rehearsals and I’ll pile up a week’s worth of papers to read. And then it’s interesting to see what was in the news last week and how it’s already resolved. Or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. i get the strib and enjoy the new york times
    never got into the post but i will look into it

    the local eden prairie sun sailor is garbage but prints about the local stuff no one else cares about

    they offer the paper free to keep circulation up so they can charge more for ads

    i have a friend who does eden prairie magazine and he’s having a tough time.last edition he was the entire staff

    i always enjoyed the crabapple cove paper hawkeye got on mash
    good small town news

    Liked by 2 people

  9. my wife is from chicago
    not chicago but des plaines bear ohare
    her family reads the northeast suburbs herald tribune.
    really no chicago paper?
    no we only care about local news
    the chicago tribune and the sub times don’t print anything about what’s happening out here
    what’s happening out here
    nothing
    then they printed it all

    Liked by 2 people

  10. The Washington Post has become the paper I rely on. Each morning I read the online version for at least an hour. The Post covers a wide variety of topics. The highlight of the morning is usually reading Carolyn Hax, who is as funny as she is smart. The best recipe I’ve ever discovered was the butter-chicken recipe I found in the Post. I live alone, so the Post is a treasure in my life. While I love the Strib, I can only stretch reading it to a few minutes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I should add that I read the Strib every day while living in Oregon and Michigan. It was another case of learning to appreciate the virtues of Minnesota. There isn’t a single paper in Oregon worth reading, or if there was I didn’t run across it. I didn’t give the Detroit Free Press a fair chance. It might be a pretty good paper, but I learned to avoid local news stories in Michigan because there so many local stories were painful to read. My daughter watched one Detroit local news broadcast and never again watched another. I have had five years of learning unexpected reasons to love Minnesota. Once, I might have been embarrassed to be so enthusiastic about this area. Now I’m more enthusiastic and not embarrassed.

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  11. Did you see the NYTimes special section on the death of small town newspapers (weeklies more often than others)? The headline feature was about the late newspaper in Warrod, MN.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I read four online daily newspapers: The WAPO, the NYT, Jyllandsposten, and the Pioneer Press. Jyllandsposten is a Danish paper that gives us some insights into what’s going on in Denmark; it also gives us a little broader perspective on what’s going on here and around the world.

    I would much prefer reading the paper versions of these papers, but it has proven to be an exercise in frustration trying to get them delivered to our house, so I finally gave up several years ago. My least favorite newspaper is one I’ve paid for and haven’t received.

    I also read a smattering of other online news from sources such as AP, BBC, NPR, Reuters, the Christian Science Monitor and the Economist.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Just trying, desperately, to find a ray of hope somewhere by getting some different perspectives on what’s happening all around us. So far, I’m not overly optimistic that things will change for the better anytime soon.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Um, Fred,’s last name was Manfred. I knew him since childhood, as he lived in Luverne. He was really tall and went to all the home high school basketball games. His real name was Fieke Fiekema. He grew up in Doone, Iowa.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Because he was so tall and was so uncomfortable sitting in the bleachers in the high school gym, they always had a chair under one of the baskets just for him to sit in.

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        1. I think he was about 6’8″. A friend of my mom ran into him in Blue Mounds State Park. His house bordered the park. He was wearing nothing but a Speedo. It was alarming.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. His daughter, Freya, spoke at length about that house. For a while after the Manfred’s were forced to sell it, it was used as the Visitors’Center for the park. I don’t know whether it still stands or if it has been torn down at this point. It was a Prairie style home with some pretty unique features. Freya spoke fondly of the various friends of Fred who visited the family there, many of them well known authors.Sounds like it was a pretty charmed life while it lasted.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. I still have a subscription to the Sunday Pioneer Press. Delivery was spotty for awhile, but then a paper carrier took over the route who delivers faithfully every Sunday morning at about 7:30. I used to get the paper more often, but they only run Bulletin Board once a week now, so the Sunday paper is enough for me. It’s more ads than news these days, but I still would hate to see it go under, so I keep sending them money.

    The Pioneer Press has a very conservative Opinion page; drives me crazy to read it some weeks. I don’t think they really understand their audience very well.

    The Highland Villager is a pretty good neighborhood paper. I think it comes out every two weeks.

    My favorite newspaper title is the one in the town where I spent most of my growing-up years – the Hudson Star Observer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are loyal, Linda. The Pioneer Press has been conservative as long as I can remember. The paper used to excel at covering the State Capitol and all its doings. I doubt they have the resources for that now. One of the veteran legislature reporters was a guy named Lahammer. His daughter, Mary, continues to work that old legislative beat, but she writes for TPT.

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  14. I just remembered that I’ve really enjoyed the Minnesota Women’s Press – started in the 80s and went several years ago from weekly to bi-weekly, and more of a magazine-like format. I miss it, should probably subscribe but I have too many magazines to read already…

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