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The front pages of Uvalde's local paper capture darkness and the lives lost

Flowers and candles are placed around crosses at a makeshift memorial outside Robb Elementary School to honor the victims killed in the shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Jae C. Hong
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AP
Flowers and candles are placed around crosses at a makeshift memorial outside Robb Elementary School to honor the victims killed in the shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Lee esta historia en español.

In the days after the mass shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead, the front pages of the Uvalde Leader-News have captured darkness and the stories of the lives lost.

Two days after the shooting, the paper — which publishes a print edition twice a week — kept its front cover simple and solemn: a jet black background with the date of the shooting, "May 24, 2022," emblazoned in a bold white font.

On Sunday, the independent paper published the faces of the 21 victims. It's a powerful homage to the lives lost, and a stark contrast from the front page just days before. The headline reads "They were smart, funny, loved."

The article tells the lives of the victims. Among them, Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, 10, who dreamed of becoming a marine biologist; and Alexandria "Lexi" Aniyah Rubio, 10, an aspiring lawyer. Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10, loved coloring and Amerie Jo Garza, 10, enjoyed Starbucks vanilla bean Frappuccinos.

The Uvalde Leader-News newspaper on Thursday.
/ Uvalde Leader-News
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Uvalde Leader-News
The Uvalde Leader-News newspaper on Thursday.

The Uvalde Leader-News has been steeped in the community for more than a century. The paper's slogan, printed beneath the publication's name, reminds readers of a history that dates back to 1879. The paper is independent and locally owned.

Over the years, Uvalde has seen a slew of newspapers in the community, including the Uvalde Umpire, The Weekly Hesperian and The West Texan, according to the Leader-News website.

John Nance Garner, who served as vice president of the United States under Franklin D. Roosevelt, was once editor of a Uvalde newspaper.

H.P. Hornby Sr. established The Uvalde Leader and later bought The Uvalde News in 1901. The titles were blended together to reach the paper's current name.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rina Torchinsky