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To the editor: Not too short and not so sweet.

Friends and relatives have been coming to town to enjoy the holiday season. What have they been greeted by? Your tacky, tabloid attempt to sell papers by plastering embarrassing headlines across the front of your paper boxes for all to see. Some recent ones that come to mind are “Subway robbed at gunpoint,” “Furniture thrown on councilman’s lawn,” “Skeletal remains found,” and let’s not forget the woman who beat her child for putting chicken in the rice. 

This does not sell papers. It embarrasses our community. Yes, these things happen and should, maybe should, be in the paper, but there is absolutely no need to plaster our town with this poor attempt to be witty. 

This is a horrible advertisement for our community. I walk this square several times a day with my dog. I see the visitors looking at our town. I notice the tourists, talk with them. I see a beautiful story book town that people work so hard to maintain. 

Then what do visitors see, plastered everywhere? Those boxes with screaming bad news written all over them. 

Too many merchants, residents, volunteers and city and county employees work hard to make our town somewhere that people want to visit and to live. For years many people in this community have strived to make this town a safe, happy and welcoming place people can call home.

These negative, blaring headlines make new families who may be looking at our town run screaming to county line. Prospective new residents who could be an asset pass right on through. Industries thumb their noses. Who wants to live in a place that screams Steven King novel from every paper box in town?

Last, but not least, I have attached the lastest banner plastered on the boxes to this letter. “Father-son machete fight." Lovely, just lovely. Thank you for sharing this with all the visitors walking around in our downtown doing their best to try and stay upbeat during the holiday season, not to mention these trying times. These headlines really bring out the best in everyone — not.

Isn’t it bad enough that a select few residents of our town give us a black eye? But must you, our hometown paper, blacken the other one too?

Fleeta Smith Baggett