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Adrift without its local news, a Maine coastal town gets its ‘Anchor’ back

Picture the town of Harpswell, population around 5,000. It’s essentially three fingers of land that extend into Casco Bay south of Brunswick, with dead-end side roads spidering off two state highways that run north to Route 1. It has no town center to speak of, no concentrated business district, no real nucleus where folks can cross paths every few days and tap into the pulse of the community.

So imagine the angst people there felt just over a year ago when the Harpswell Anchor, the town’s monthly newspaper, shut down after 22 years under the stewardship of editor Bob Anderson. Already isolated by the COVID-19 pandemic, many soon found themselves longing for the printed lifeline they didn’t realize was so important until, just like that, it was gone.

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