Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Local News Scares Me...

...And here's why.

Ok. So apologies if I repeat anything you might already know, but with 100 (!) posts under my belt, it gets a little complicated to go back through and see if I've already written about something.

Anyways, I believe I may have thus far spared you all the gory details involved with my subscription to the local newspaper, the Lincoln Times News (LTN). But a few months ago, I decided it would be a good idea to know what was going on in town - the politics, the issues, the events - so I mailed in a subscription request for the LTN. About a week later, on a Saturday, I found my first copy rolled up on the ground at the base of the mailbox.

But then nothing. Not for a week. So I called and spoke to someone who told me she would make sure my name got in the book but that I also needed a tube (basically an open mailbox where they stick the paper instead of throwing it on the ground). I asked if they could deliver the tube with the paper and she said no problem.

Another week. No tube. No paper. More calls. Apparently there was a new girl on the delivery route. I thought if she was new she wouldn't be stuck in old routines (or on old routes) but apparently she was using an old book. Aside from being left out of the loop on local news, what bothered me most was that I had received that first copy of the paper so someone, somewhere had a notion as to what was going on.

I'll tell you this. It took a month for my subscription to kick in. It was painful. The calls. The questions. The confusion. In the end it seems the new delivery girl (who apparently had "experience") wasn't experienced enough to handle the delivery route and was either fired or quit. Once she was replaced, my papers started coming like clockwork and ever since then, I've been plugged in.

So, the LTN. My little hometown paper. Actually, my little home-county paper - it covers all of Lincoln County. And you want to know how much news there is in the county? Not much. The paper comes out 3 days a week - and there's a fair number of wire stories, ads and classifieds.

The local news is dominated by car accidents. A headline a few weeks ago screamed "8 Days, 4 Dead" in reference to a rash of bad car accidents. What scares me is these aren't highway accidents. They happen on Main Street and Generals Boulevard and Startown Road and Highway 27. Roads I am frequently on. Roads where the maximum speed limit is less than 55 MPH. Sometimes alcohol plays a factor. More often than not, I don't think it does.

Frankly, when I got into a car accident a few weeks ago, I was glad it didn't make the paper (mine was thankfully accident and fatality free so that day's story covered a pedestrian struck by a car a few blocks away from our accident).

Besides car accidents, the news is also dominated by crime. But crime by our standards is a little different from what you all might be used to. To emphasize this point, Wednesday's edition featured the Lincoln County Sherrif's Office 10 Most Wanted. Here's a sampling of their crimes:

* Roger Dale Willis is wanted for felonius possession of personal property

* Christopher Turnball is wanted for breaking and entering to West End Housing. Officials believe Turnball stole three Country Clipper Zero Turn Radium Mowers and one Craftsman Riding Mower valued at $15,435

* James Dean Turner II is wanted for forgery and falsely making a counterfeit check drawn on Carolina Trust Bank in Lincolnton.

I won't go on - it's simply too boring.

Most recently, I thought that the paper may have yielded a new dining discovery. Plenty of local restuarants advertise and when I saw the below ad for Norman's Cafe, I was intrigued.

Perhaps it was the font they chose. Or the use of the word Cafe. Or the pretty illustration of the sun setting over the mountain. I thought that perhaps we had discovered another Willow Creek Inn . I thought maybe this was another fine dining discovery.

It's a good thing Marty called before heading out there on Thursday night because while the ad had an air of possibility to it, the menu didn't (sorry - that's the biggest I can get it to load).

Marty said the woman on the phone sounded offended when he asked if they served wine.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...