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After 133 years, the newspaper closes due to lack of staff

The Moundsville daily ultrasound, a small, independent newspaper in northern West Virginia, has ceased publication after 133 years. Publisher Charlie M. Walton said this week that he was “exploring options.” Walton told the AP that the newspaper published its final edition last Thursday and locked its doors Friday afternoon. Walton said he and two part-timers were the only employees at the newspaper and his efforts to expand the staff were unsuccessful.

“We simply can’t get anyone to work there,” Walton said. “I’ve been advertising for people for years. I’m not getting any resumes. It’s just been a disaster trying to find anyone who will even work part-time.” A note on the door of the newspaper reads: “The Ultrasound is permanently closed due to lack of assistance,” WTRF reported. The Daily ultrasound, published on weekdays, was delivered by mail and had no website. It was unusual for obituaries to be regularly published on the front page. It was founded in October 1891 by James Davis Shaw. His son, Craig Shaw, took over in 1917 and grandson Sam Shaw followed in 1951. Sam Shaw was the publisher, editor and chief reporter for over forty years, gathering the day’s news by bicycle.

After Shaw’s death in 1995, his longtime assistants Charlie L. Walton and Marion Walton published the book Echo for the next twenty years before turning over control to Charlie M. Walton, their son. Moundsville, population 7,800, is located along the Ohio River about 70 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. WTRF reports that former residents across the country have subscribed to the Echo by post to stay informed of the news from your hometown. (More stories from West Virginia.)

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