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End of an era Longtime publisher ready to close book on Omaha's alternative newspaper

John Heaston opens the door to a brick warehouse next to Johnny's Cafe in South Omaha and walks through rooms holding his life's work.

"It's kind of a hot mess," says the 52-year-old longtime publisher of Omaha's alternative newspaper, "The Reader."

Here's a garage bay holding empty green newspaper boxes emblazoned with the word, "FREE." Here are floor-to-ceiling shelves stacked with yellowing copies of "The Reader" and "El Perico," a separate publication that Heaston owns.

Sticky notes scribbled with years like 1998, 2012 and 2016 aim to bring some order to the chaos of the last three decades...


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