Small-town news


When you’re a reporter for community media — a small-town radio station or a newspaper in a suburb — you have a different role and a different relationship with people than the big-shots. In many ways, it’s a better relationship, and the stories are more meaningful, too.

The Shakopee Valley News is providing a great example of that this week. Unfortunately, it’s happening in the context of the killing last week of Ruth Ann Maddox. Readers of the paper are submitting remembrances of their encounters with her on various stories. It’s a not-to-be-missed read.

Her husband is charged with second-degree murder. The story appears in this week’s paper, pretty near Maddox’s last story about a 5-year-old who’s collecting crayons and coloring books for orphans in India.

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