Heartland News Restarts Circulation After Fire
A North Omaha street paper rises from the ashes. The Heartland News is circulating its message once against months after arsonists torched their headquarters.Photo: Video by kmtv.com
Omaha, NE -- A North Omaha street paper rises from the ashes. The Heartland News is circulating its message once again months after arsonists torched their headquarters.
Investigators say the fire that destroyed the newspaper office was started intentionally. Firefighters responded when flames broke out at the Heartland News at 62nd & Ames Ave. on February 6, 2012. The paper hires people at shelters to sell copies. They’ve since reopened at 40th & Ames Avenue. The circulation of the June edition of the paper signifies more for the papers president, M.A. Yah.
"Everyday it was on my mind, I couldn't stop, I couldn't rest until I got it back up and running,” M.A. Yah explained. “It was devastating but I always looked forward to this day. The people that depended on me, my vendors that needed a job, the public that read my paper and loved my paper."
The Heartland News focuses on issues of poverty, and also hires the homeless to sell the paper instead of panhandling so they can get themselves out of homelessness. The non-profit worked with Don's Barber Shop to share their building.
“People in the community need to know how to work together. There's a lot of hatred in North Omaha and I just wanted to show love to another black locally owned business. And I love his newspaper," said Don Fantroy, Owner of Don’s Barber Shop.
M.A. Yah also has a restaurant in the news building to help with fund the newspaper, and so their vendors don't have to worry about missing a meal at the homeless shelter.
"It's a blessing because now we can feed our vendors when they come up to pick up their papers," M.A. Yah described.
The Heartland News is one of 23 street papers across the country.
KMTV Action 3 News tried to contact the Omaha Fire Department for an update on that arson investigation. We did not hear back. Initially, authorities had not identified or arrested a suspect.