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Newsmakers

Paper Has a Lock on Journalism

August 10, 1987|ANN HEROLD

Their reporting beats are fairly confined and it's hard to get color into their photography, but a prison newspaper that uses "It's Never Too Late to Mend" as its motto has helped a lot of inmates make the time pass profitably. The Prison Mirror, the newspaper of the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater, turns 100 years old today, having started in 1887 with a $50 donation from Jesse James' gang. The publication, which prides itself on a lack of censorship and its outside circulation of 2,000 non-inmates, has kept up-to-date on its topics, with recent stories on AIDS, prison overcrowding, tips on getting a job and computer know-how. One former editor has even decided to continue in journalism. Eldon Anderson says he has included the Mirror experience in his job-hunting since his release from prison. "The incarceration and prison are part of my life, and I believe honesty is the best policy," he said. "Sooner or later, it will pay off and someone will take a chance on me."

--After some disappointing equipment failures, blind sailor Jim Dickson declares he's gotten his second wind and is considering pressing on in his attempt to solo across the Atlantic. Dickson had said he was turning back to Nantucket after his boat's autopilot and talking computer broke down. But after a good night's sleep he declared himself revived and will head for Bermuda to make the repairs. "He's in excellent spirits," said spokesman Steve Graham. "He basically said: 'It's beautiful out there, the weather's great and I'm going to go sailing.' " Dickson wants to continue his voyage to Plymouth, England, but a final decision will not be made until after his arrival in Bermuda, expected in about three days, Graham said. Dickson will now receive his course readings via radio and, without his autopilot, will have to take down his sails and drift when he takes a break to sleep, Graham said.

--First their dream honeymoon to Antigua dissolved into a nightmare when their travel agent was arrested for embezzlement. Then, when they went to pick up the wedding rings they had ordered, they were told that the jewelry shop had gone out of business. Just when Diane Childs and David Comerford thought nothing was going to go right, jewelers who heard of their wedding woes began lining up to offer their services to the Rhode Island couple. After being offered rings by six jewelers, the couple accepted two 14-karat gold wedding bands from James Howe Co. of North Providence. "I read of their plight in the paper and said to my wife: 'Theresa, call these kids and do what you want to do,' " said James Howe. And instead of Antigua, the couple have decided to dip into their savings and go to Barbados.

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