HARDWICK, VT. >> An essay contest to win ownership of a local weekly newspaper in Vermont is having difficulty getting off the ground.

The Caledonian Record reports Ross Connelly, publisher and owner of the Hardwick Gazette, has collected just 100 compositions since June 11 for the competition, which requires at least 700 entries to begin.

Connelly says he's considering a 30-day extension for the contest, which had an original entry deadline set for Aug. 11.

The entry fee is $175 and the number of applicants is capped at 1,889 — which represents the newspaper's 1889 founding.

If Connelly receives the minimum number of entries, he would make $122,500. If the maximum number is reached, he'll make $330,575.

Connelly attempted to sell the newspaper in the past but failed to attract serious buyers.



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