Our New weekly segment on Alt-Weekly news

The Featured Five: Dog Days of an All-American Summer

Common sentiment suggests the golden age of alt-weekly newspapers was the late 1990s or early 2000s. Some old-school alt-weekly writers, editors and salespeople even argue it was well before then.

Regardless of where you stand on that particular debate, few people seem to believe we’re currently in the halcyon days of local alt-weeklies. But there are still plenty of alts going long (more than 3,000 words), breaking news the MSM misses or blatantly ignores, writing with a literary flair or just getting weird. Need proof? Look no further than our new section The Featured Five — a weekly roundup of top alt stories from across the United States. 

This week, of course, there were an abundance of stories related to Covid-19, the Delta variant, rising cases and the unvaccinated and the problems they’re causing. The Kansas City Pitch’s “Here’s Why the CDC Recommends Wearing Masks Indoors Even if Fully Vaccinated” was among the standouts in that particular category.

But alts have long been read and admired for their variety, which there was plenty of this week. The Paper, a new Albuquerque-based alt, reported on a Native American grave site that was discovered underneath a city park. While that past trauma and others like it are still ever-present for too many of our indigenous citizens, many communities continue grappling with more contemporary sources of pain. 

In Northern California this week, past and present day pains converged. What do a Derek Chauvin defense witness, a marble statue in downtown Santa Rosa, Calif. and pig’s blood have in common? The Northern California-based Bohemian helps introduce and solve this twisted riddle.

From pig’s blood to farm-to-table food — Lansing, Michigan’s City Pulse turns our attention away from dark divisions and to the kitchens that bring us all together. Still, their feature story “Putting the Farm on Your Plate” isn’t all rosé and rose pedals. It examines the trials and tribulations of producing and using ingredients purchased directly from local farms. 

But there’s life far above our domesticated tables, which is why, this week, we end The Featured Five with our friends at the Colorado Springs Indy. They take us to dizzying heights in their informative feature on Elevate the Peak — a new initiative exploring how people in the Pikes Peak region, especially its underrepresented communities, spend time outdoors. The goal is to better serve residents by finding ways to improve access to the region’s stunning natural features — majestic landscapes always right there, even as they remain out of reach for too many. 

The Featured Five is a weekly roundup of top alt-weekly stories from across the nation. Please suggest a story by emailing matthew@thenewsstation.com

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