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The newspaper was formed in 1975 by former Bourbonnais May John Slater and other area businesses. The paper's first edition was published on May 8, 1975.

BOURBONNAIS — The Bourbonnais Herald & Country Market newspapers have ended their 44-year run in Kankakee County.

The final edition of the newspapers were published this week. Publisher Toby Olszewski said this decision was difficult and one which had been in discussion for about a year.

The weekly newspaper had a staff of eight, mainly part-time employees. The paper covered news from many Kankakee County communities, but focused on Bradley, Bourbonnais and Manteno.

Herald general manager Jon Olszewski was unavailable for comment.

Retaining subscribers and advertisers were a constant battle for the Herald.

“We just got tired of playing the economic game,” Toby Olszewski said Thursday. “We’ve been talking about it for a while, but we just didn’t want to do it. You hate it ... for the employees and for personal pride.”

The Olszewski family also owns and operates a weekly newspaper in the south Chicago neighborhood of Beverly. She said the Beverly Review remains in publication.

Started in 1975 by former Bourbonnais Mayor John Slater and other area businessmen Dennis Norden, Ron Romano and Dean Kirchner, along with Robert Hunter, a friend from California, the paper’s first edition was published on May 8, 1975.

In mid-1977, the paper, under the corporation Compass Publication, was sold to Lewis and Jean Fons, of Wellsville, N.Y. The couple formed B & B Publishing Company. Lewis died in July 1979, and the paper was sold by his wife to Bob and Toby Olszewski.

Toby had been a reporter for the newspaper nearly since it began.

The business was expanded in July 1989 when The Country Market began.

The publication has had a variety of homes, but it has been at its 500 Brown Boulevard office since March 1994.

Toby Olszewski said it will be hard imagining her life without this newspaper.

“It’s one part of my life. We had a great time. We loved it.”

A version of this story appeared in the Friday digital edition of the Daily Journal.

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