Beginning March 15, the Prairie Voice will merge with the Handle Extra. The Prairie voice, seen the last two years as a handout as well as part of the paper on Thursdays, and the Handle Extra, covering both Kootenai and Bonnner County, formerly seen Saturdays, will switch to the Sunday edition. With the combination, there will no longer be free distribution. You'll have to buy a Sunday paper. The positive side, is that a much larger audience will see what is published, than in the prairie Voice.
For those of you that are disappointed about the lack of local news for Bayview, Athol and spirit Lake, It's goint to get worse. Starting with the first combined issue, I will only have one column per month, plus whatever features that pop up in between. Thereafter, only the second Sunday of each month will carry my regular column.
The staff of the spokesman-review are trying very hard to find a self sustaining level that is both profitable for the paper, and still stand out as a quality news source. The emphasis will still be on people and places that are in the local scene. I urge anyone that has a story that needs to be told, to e-mail me with the particulars.
I've been told that while some of the larger market correspondents will write twice per month, lack of readers in the hinterlands of North Kootenai County, keep me limited. As I have told others, our editors really don't get much feed-back and when they do it's usually negative. Most people wishing to say nice things are just too busy to respond. The hint here, is that if enough people give feedback about lack of coverage, something might change. They need to know what is working and what isn't.
The combining of the two editions hopefully will bring the previous quality back to the North Idaho news.