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Mystery ad calls for a reporter/editor

On Wednesday a help-wanted ad appeared in the local newspaper:

Editor/Reporter for ground floor start up of local newspaper. Fax resume to 530-223-5200.

Questions began arriving in email, even from a complete stranger: Did I know anything about it? Was it me? Was I starting something new?

Why would I go back into newspapers? For the incredible hassle yet chronic headaches? Do you see me relaxing here by the fireplace? Reading?

Besides which, I'd never write start up (v.) when I meant start-up (adj.), as in, a ground-floor start-up newspaper.

But OK: A dip into public records turned up no matching business licenses. (Although, psst, confidential to the local paper -- yours has lapsed. Maybe there's a grace period if you hop to.) And the criss-cross directory yielded nothing.

I won't send you away empty-handed... I can tell you that number is the fax line for Mr. Eric Berg, attorney, in Redding.

Somebody else can take it from here. My book is calling...

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