I am back from spending a week's vacation in Rolla, Mo. As you might imagine, it is not a vacation destination for most folks, but we have family there and they needed Grandma's help. Grandpa helped, too, but Grandma did most of the work. 

I looked and looked for a copy of the local newspaper, as I usually do, wherever we travel. To my shock, the only paper I found was a free flyer filled with press releases and submitted photos. The only locally written content I could find was a column that contained important family information, but I never did find a copy of the local daily paper. 

I was really concerned that the city of 19,000 didn't have a daily paper. And, that was a possibility. 

Rolla is a college town. The Missouri University of Science and Technology is there. One 30-something person I spoke with said she and her husband do everything online and really don't pay attention to local news. 

Needless to say, that was more than a bit disconcerting to this reporter. 

Aside from being the source of my paycheck, I know daily newspapers are a vital part of any community. 

"How do they know if the City Council is making proper decisions?" I asked my wife. 

"They don't pay attention," she replied. 

Many people do the puzzles and read the comics in our Paper. Of course, obituaries and the police blotter are important to everyone. 

Names and faces. Names and faces. That is what people want to see. 

But more important than just who died and who was arrested is the information about taxes and how government makes decisions and what decisions are made. That information affects our children and our children's children. 

It's also important to each of us to check out the advertisements in The Paper. We can save money and save time when we learn just how much shopping and other services are available in Montgomery County. 

I learned that lesson the hard way when our daughter was a young child. She wanted a certain doll for Christmas. We searched Indianapolis and Lafayette. My wife was in tears because that toy was so important to Amanda. But we found it - right here at home in Crawfordsville!

Yes, I believe in the daily newspaper. It was a real shock to think there was a community larger than Crawfordsville that didn't have one.