No news is bad news: Weekly papers in Junction City, Veneta close

No news is bad news: Weekly papers in Junction City, Veneta close »Play Video

JUNCTION CITY, Ore. -- The Tri-County News printed its final edition this week after serving Junction City for more than 30 years, a sad finale to a gloomy year for this small Oregon town north of Eugene.

"I think all these little towns need their own newspaper," said Jack Adams, a long-time subscriber. "The sports coverage, the obituaries, the local news, the opinions. -- you know, it was just a complete newspaper, and when we lose it, we lose quite a bit."

The Tri-County News and its sibling publication in Veneta, the West Lane News, printed their final editions this week without fanfare: No look back at its history, no farewell column for readers.

Publisher Andy Polin said he lost big advertisers and could no longer afford the cost of printing the paper. He hopes to find a buyer, but so far no one has made an offer.

Twelve employees are out of work at the Tri-County News.

The closing of the Tri-County News comes at the end of a year filled with headlines about lost businesses and lost jobs in Junction City.

First the Ford dealer closed. Then Country Coach RV filed for bankruptcy. Hundreds of jobs vanished from a town where there weren't many to begin with.

A new state prison and hospital are on the way.

"But that's a little ways out to take care of immediate needs," said Brad King with the Chamber of Commerce. "We need businesses that are healthy now."

People in town are doing their best to stay optimistic.

"I think the businesses that are here, most of them are still going to be here at the end," said Leona Houston, manager of the True Value hardware, "and I think we're actually we're gonna come out of this stronger than we were before."

When that does happen, Houston hopes somebody is around to write the story.