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Newspaper Editor Suspicious Of Papers Sell Out

A small town paper says more than three thousand copies of their election special has been hijacked. The editor of the paper thinks someone would try to cover up their story about a local race.

Letcher County's Mountain Eagle newspaper has been around for nearly 100 years. Monday morning, they delivered around three thousand copies of the special edition to stores around the community. But Ben Gish, Editor of the paper says by noon, the complaints started coming in.

"They were saying, you wouldn't believe it, you all have any more papers? Some guy came around and bought up all the papers," Gish said.

Gish says they received hundreds of phone calls from around the county. He says some people said store owners were having employees remove the papers.

Gish says he investigated one complaint.

"Rather than actually take the paper totally out there, they obscured it behind a model car display and they removed the rack from the front of the store," Gish said.

The political story in the paper is about the Letcher County Judge Executive race.

"It feels like whoever bought them was trying to hide something or they aren't wanting the opponents information out to the public," said Mike Vanover.

When we contacted local stores, employees said they have been told by their owners to not talk about the controversy over the paper.

"They're messing with our livelihood. I mean you can't work together to do that sort of thing," Gish said.

Gish says the Mountain Eagle has retained a lawyer and they are looking into the actions they can take.

The Attorney General's Office says they have sent the complaints about the buy-out of the paper on to the Kentucky Bureau of Investigations for review. There is no investigation at this time.

For an online copy of the Mountain Eagle, log onto www.RuralReality.org.


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