Janesville45.3°

Family-owned newspaper takes break from publishing

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GINA R. HEINE
May 21, 2008
— It was a tough decision for George and Betty Stewart to stop the presses on their weekly newspaper last month.

But the pair of 81-year-olds needed to tend to health issues that put Betty in the hospital for more than a month.


The Stewarts hope to begin publishing the Orfordville Journal and Footville News sometime in “the near future,” after publishing their latest edition April 9, George said.


“We have decided to take a hiatus which will allow Betty to regain her strength and ability to sell and write as she has done for more than 50 years as special interests editor and author of the column, ‘From Above the Journal,’” George wrote in a column in the Wisconsin Newspaper Association newsletter.


Betty is doing much better and can’t wait to begin publishing again, he said Tuesday.


The couple have lived upstairs from the newspaper office on Spring Street in Orfordville, but the break in publication will bring another change. The Stewarts moved to a home on the south side of the village and are moving their newspaper office there as well, George said.


The Stewarts are undecided about the future of the Spring Street office.


The couple also are looking for a part-time reporter, George said.


This year marks the 100th year of the Orfordville Journal and the 83rd year of the combined publication—The Orfordville Journal and Footville News. Subscribers have been understanding and sympathetic toward the couple’s decision, George said.


Ward A. Stewart bought The Orfordville Journal on Feb. 15, 1916. Since then, three generations of Stewarts have toiled in the letterpress and computer operation, George said.


As for the future of the family-owned newspaper, George said it’s always for sale at the right price.


“You bring the money, and I’ll talk to you,” he said.



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