A weekly newspaper that serves the residents of northern Dauphin County has announced it will soon cease publication.
In this week’s edition of the Upper Dauphin Sentinel, publisher Ben Kocher announced that the last issue will be published next Tuesday, Aug. 31.
Kocher purchased the paper in 1970 at the age of 24 and now at age 76, he said “It’s time to take a break.”
“During the past several years, I’ve tried to sell the newspaper,” he wrote in Tuesday’s edition. “In today’s world, weekly newspapers are not an easy thing to sell.”
The newspaper is located at 510 Union St. in Millersburg.
“We’ve only been able to publish these last 50 years, week in and week out, because of the hard work and dedication of some phenomenal employees,” Kocher wrote. “They have been essential in making this newspaper what it is, and I’m forever grateful.”
The newspaper’s coverage area covers upper Dauphin, lower Northumberland and western Schuylkill counties, which includes the Halifax, Line Mountain, Millersburg, Upper Dauphin Area and Williams Valley school districts as well as Dauphin Borough and Middle Paxton Township.
The Sentinel traces its roots back to 1884 and the founding of The Millersburg Sentinel, and that newspaper eventually acquired the other community weekly, The Millersburg Herald, according to the Sentinel’s website. Kocher acquired The Millersburg Sentinel in 1970, and a year later purchased The Elizabethville Echo and The Williamstown Times. The first issue of The Upper Dauphin Sentinel was published in January 1972.
Kocher’s other businesses that operate out of that location will continue: SDPcreative, a design, marketing and printing services firm and Everyday Blessings Gift Shoppe.
Subscribers are asked to call the newspaper’s office by Sept. 30 for a refund if their subscription is due in October or November. If their subscription is due in December through July then they will receive an automatic refund. August subscribers were not billed.
Last year, two other weekly newspapers in Dauphin County ceased publication — the 166-year-old Middletown Press & Journal and the Paxton Herald, which was based in Lower Paxton Township.