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As someone who grew up reading the Kansas City Star every day before school all the way through middle school and high school, this story warms my heart.

I know the newspaper industry, at least in its traditional printed form, is in big trouble and that makes me very sad, but it’s people like Carl Butz who are keeping the tradition alive.

Butz is a retiree who recently stepped in and saved California’s oldest newspaper, the Mountain Messenger from shutting down. The paper has been around for 166 years in Downieville, California, and, get this, even Mark Twain once wrote for the Messenger.

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California's oldest weekly newspaper saved by last-minute buyer! ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ After nearly 30 years of pounding the pavement, Don Russell is passing the torch to Carl Butz, a local retiree and regular writer for the Mountain Messenger. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ It has a circulation of 2,300, no website, and the new owner, Butz, will have to be the writer, editor, delivery boy and more, but he says it'll be worth it.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Tap the link in bio to get a closer look at the historic publication.⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ #abc10 #sacramento #california #abc #downieville #mountainmessenger #history #historic #mountain #news #newspaper #editorial #press #media #local

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Don Russell has been the owner and editor for the past 30 years and he said about Butz,

“I’m just delighted that I found someone stupid enough to take it over.”

Butz retired to Downieville about ten years ago and decided to buy the newspaper instead of taking a long vacation.

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A retired software consultant has canceled an around-the-world trip to save California's oldest weekly newspaper, the MountainMessenger, which was set to shut down when its editor retires this month. The paper began in 1853 as a twice-per-month publication; its claim to fame is that Mark Twain once wrote there under his real name, Sam Clemens. #savelocaljournalism #oldestnewspaper #printingpress #mountainmessenger

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He said,

“I thought, ‘God, if I’m going around the world and the paper is gone, I’m going to feel guilty for the rest of my life for not stepping up and, and doing something.'”

Butz added,

“Local papers can be something to bind together a community.”

Yes they can, sir.

Here’s a video about Butz saving the Mountain Messenger. Enjoy!

What do you think?

Are you sad to see the decline of the printed newspaper?

Talk to us in the comments!