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Philomath is getting its own newspaper.

The Philomath Express, a publication of Lee Enterprises, plans to publish a weekly print edition along with providing daily coverage online. The newspaper will be published on Wednesdays with a tentative start date of Jan. 7. The online version of the Express is expected to go live later this month.

"I'm really excited at the opportunity to serve Philomath," Express general manager Mike McInally said. "I think there are really great things going on in Philomath right now."

Lee Enterprises also publishes the Corvallis Gazette-Times, Albany Democrat-Herald and Lebanon Express. Like those three publications, the Philomath newspaper will be printed in Albany.

Jeff Precourt serves as publisher for all four Lee newspapers in the mid-Willamette Valley. In addition to McInally, the management staff also includes Bill Draper as director of operations, Brad Fuqua as editor and Jeff Robischon as advertising director.

The newspaper plans to direct mail the new publication to Philomath residents for the first six weeks. After that, the publication will be available via home-delivery subscription for 75 cents an issue or at newsstands for $1.

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The presence of a newspaper in the community dates back to at least 1879 when W.S. Walker, who also served as president of Philomath College, published the Philomath Crucible. The Benton County Review covered news from 1904-64 and featured various subtitles, including the Philomath Hi-Times. The Benton Bulletin had a run from 1976-98, and there have been other publications over the years.

Fuqua has 26 years of journalism experience, including editor positions at weekly newspapers at Grand Canyon, Ariz., and Libby, Mont. Most recently, he worked for more than three years as a copy editor and reporter for the Gazette-Times sports department.

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