Anyone with the slightest awareness of what's going on in the world knows that the newspapers are in trouble.
The Internet provides instant stories and breaking news, not to mention weather forecasts that are up to the minute. Should a national catastrophe occur, the television networks are ready with information and commentary right at the scene. And for a generation that is not particularly interested in slogging through long books or articles, hand-held electronic devices deliver compact news bits at the speed of light.
Even the family of papers of which the Avon Grove Sun is a part suffered a drastic cutback and bankruptcy earlier this year -- with 10 of the 12 papers covering Lancaster and western Chester County going out of business.
And even loyal readers of ink-and-paper journals who habitually combine a morning read with a cup of coffee ask, "What is the future of newspapers after our generation dies?"
We do not have a clear answer. We do know, however, that small-town papers like the Avon Grove Sun and its sister paper, The Kennett Paper, serve a purpose and population that are likely to outlive the national giants and even some Internet venues. That's because we bring you the small items and local gossip that is not covered by the big boys.
The fact is, they have neither the interest nor the personnel to cover these items of local fascination.
N In July, a new dog-jumping champion was crowned in Anson B. Nixon Park in Kennett Square. Geoff Brutscher's German short-haired pointer, Mark, cleared the four-pole level to out-leap perpetual winner, Misty Myers of Kennett Township, a Llewellin setter and pet of Norris and Karen Myers of Kennett Township.
Update: The Myers' said recently that they have a new puppy -- a relative of Misty, who they believe will rise to the occasion and again return the ribbons to the Myers home.
N In June, West Grove was all abuzz because a peacock had come to live in the town for awhile. People reported seeing it on roofs, on driveways and strutting down the main street of town, with tail feathers on display. A little more than a month later, the same (or another?) peacock showed up in East Marlborough Township with a mate.
Update: Your local paper will keep you informed of future sightings.
N In September the contestants in the antique car event at the Mushroom Festival were in an uproar because a 1969, lime-green, Oldsmobile Cutlass with trash inside and scratches on the exterior won the most prizes.
Update: Many people commented that when the public is asked to vote, the results are not always what they want. Mushroom Festival Chairman Kathi Lafferty said she intends to eliminate prizes in the future.
N At the Unionville Community Fair, a raccoon apparently slipped past the security patrols during the night and entirely consumed the prize-winning cake. Fair officials, including the baker of that particular cake, admitted not remembering to store in a refrigerated truck overnight.
Update: Cake-baker-award-winner Terry Hawkins turned down an offer to be given a new, fresh ribbon. Instead she preferred to keep the original ribbon that was soiled and a little dirty after the encounter with the raccoon.
Stick with us for awhile longer, and you'll continue to get the lowdown on the stories you won't hear about anywhere else.
As they say in Minnesota, "It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon. ..."