The following are reader-submitted responses to the Plain Dealer & Sun “Question of the Week” from our March 11 edition. That week’s question was: What kind of businesses need to be added in Jennings County to fulfill all your hometown shopping needs?

I would very much like to see an Aldi come to North Vernon. Ever since Save-a-lot closed, if we want to shop at a discount food store we have to drive to Seymour.

Yolanda Breidenbaugh, Butlerville

Dear Editor:

A recent article in the Reader’s Digest almost brought me to tears. It was about a little newspaper in a tiny town in Minnesota that was producing its last issue before closing its doors for good. It hit me at a particularly sensitive time as I’m still dealing with the changes of retiring from my job at the North Vernon Plain Dealer & Sun a little over a year ago. It was a job I had taken to hold me over until I could “find something better.” Somehow the years passed and nothing better ever came along, so I spent over 24 years doing a job that became more and more a part of my life, that I loved and couldn’t imagine leaving. Over time it became very clear how important the local newspaper was, that it was an integral part of the lives of the readers as well.

But this year came the word that the newspaper was being sold. The inevitable was happening. Who would take a chance on this little newspaper? I wasn’t the only one who was having to make some tough choices.

Then there appeared some hope. New ownership. The North Vernon Plain Dealer & Sun would continue. It has now been given a new lease on life. New owners have expressed the belief that this newspaper is worth preserving, that residents of the community will feel the same way and will continue to support it. Unlike the small town in Minnesota which lost its newspaper, hopefully North Vernon and Jennings County will have a newspaper for many years to come. We need to have the benefit of a local free press whose steady voice will be heard above the din and drama of Facebook or Twitter, a free press which still strives to discover and tell the truth in accurate detail. The paper needs us and we need the paper!

As far as what shopping opportunities Jennings County needs, I will tell you that living in Columbus with many stores in the city and surrounding area, I still go to North Vernon to do a lot of my shopping. I won’t list all the places I frequent, but I invite the residents of Jennings County to look around, read the ads in the newspaper, see what you already have and go from there. Your wish list might be shorter than you think.

Donna Skelton, Columbus