Some notes from a small-town editor trying to help build a big-time paper:
You'd think chicken wings wouldn't be an overly controversial subject.
And you'd think wrong.
The Mirror's coverage of the annual Wing Off at Lakemont Park stirred the comment option on altoonamirror.com and brought feedback from both patrons, organizers and park promoters.
Of particular concern was the reporting of the park's decision to charge $5 for those attending after years of free admission.
A ride-and-slide pass - in which some if not many of the Wing Off patrons weren't interested - is now included.
Why is this news? Because the Mirror is a community newspaper and the Wing Off over the years has become a community event. Is it the hardest news we've ever had? No. But it is reportable information.
As for whether the park is out of line, that's for the customers to decide.
Attendance for the first two Wing Offs this year was reportedly about the same as the first two weeks a year ago. Thursday's event was off, but Felix and the Hurricanes playing in downtown Hollidaysburg may have contributed to that as well as the oppressive heat.
A well-placed source informs that last year's Wing Off did not bring even close to the kind of revenue worth all the preparation such as set up, tear down, clean up and security expenses.
This year's approach seems more manageable and profitable.
As it is, the park offers $5 admission Wednesday through Friday with ride and water park privileges. Admission is free on Saturday and Sunday, but the ride/slide pass is $9.95.
Both, from this view, are very reasonable.
To expect Lakemont to host thousands of people free of charge and facilitate the consumption of wings and beer for a nonprofit organization - as the Wing Off benefits - is like asking you to do the same thing in your own backyard.
The short answer: Advertising is placed, and news is filled in around it. Our ad department will attempt to accommodate special requests - like don't put the Hooters ad in the Religion section or try to avoid placing ads from two competing car dealers next to each other.
But generally, we flow the news around what is given to us. Truthfully, we don't have time to examine every ad, just as Bob Eger and the ad crew downstairs may not read every word of every local news story.
Sites, who moved to Washington D.C. as a young boy, was 77 when he died last year.
An apprentice electrician on the job in 1950 at the Blair House in Washington, Sites knotted up a jacket to help stop the bleeding of the policeman who later died.
The incident is chronicled in "American Gunfight: The Plot to Kill Harry Truman."
Mirror Managing Editor Neil Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or email@example.com.