O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

By staff 

During This Time

A Note To Our Readers


A note from Richard and Mari Radtke and our Staff

Federal, State and Local officials are pushing hard for each of us to keep our distance from people as much as possible. COVID-19 has presented a health threat once relegated to science fiction movies and less developed countries far from here. And right now, the only real way known to human-kind to “kill” this virus is to not allow it to transfer to another human by keeping your physical distance. That’s tough on business. Business relies on the interaction of people.

As a publishing company our staff members are largely working from home. For us that is not unusual. There are a few places to make that an everyday workplace and that will be complete this week. We are still available by telephone at your local phone number. Even if the office isn’t staffed, the phone forwards to the Paullina office which is currently staffed Monday - Friday 9:00am - 4:30pm. We can also be reached by email. There are several email addresses: sanbornpioneer@yahoo.com, marcuspaper@midlands.net or bellnews@tcaexpress.net are the easiest to remember. Our website also had an interactive link. Go to http://www.belltimescourier.com to renew via Paypal, read stories, send story ideas or advertising and announcements. We’re here for what we hope to be the “long haul.”

We are making some immediate changes to each of our products we want you to be aware of. Although some newspapers are taking advantage of the postal reprieve to keep your mailing permit while publishing less often than required, we will continue to publish each week in print. But because many of our advertisers are shut down per the proclamation it is ill advised for them to advertise until the shut down is lifted, so our revenue has been hurt. Our response to that is to eliminate color for the duration of this national health emergency. This a large savings to us. Each week we will produce only an 8-page newspaper. Although our goal is 12 pages each week (some weeks are better than others) we are fully aware that between the almost nil human activity out there and the severely curtailed revenue, it would be foolhardy to produce more pages than that. Finally, Each newspaper will share some pages. Content on the pages will certainly be moved from its normal placement. That is to accommodate a less costly print setup. We hope you understand these trying times. In order for each community to come out of this with limited financial impact it will take each citizen to do their part during this time by staying home and using electronic means, quickly developed delivery services such as food delivery or pick up, hardware/houseware services or grocery delivery. Purchase gift cards/certificates as much as possible from a local merchant or gift subscribe through the mail or online to keep your local media as a community asset.

Public meetings are being held electronically. Contact your city or county office to find out how to participate. Please continue to support all of your local businesses, but please stay home so that we all have a better chance to fight another day.


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