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COL Expect extensive coverage as invasion of Iraq unfolds

The looming U.S.-led attack on Iraq is on the minds of people all over the planet this weekend, and it's naturally at the front of our thinking as we plan next week's newspapers.

For months, we've given the U.S-Iraq story substantial play, probably to a fault on Page 1A. In the A section for the past several weeks, we've loaded up on background stories, maps and graphics on the Middle East and Iraq, what types of U.S. forces and weapons would be brought to bear if war comes, and other information you need to understand and form opinions.

Next week, you can expect even more extensive coverage, and we'll keep you informed about southeastern Minnesota military personnel in harm's way, and their families.

Also look for complete, immediate coverage on Post-Bulletin Online.

OUT WITH THE OLD: We're making a few changes in our column lineup, beginning today. "The Motley Fool," a package of personal finance advice, will vamoose from the Money section, leaving more room for other technology and money features. The "Ask Beth" advice column, which ran on Tuesdays and Fridays, will move out, and on March 29, we'll publish the last "Faith Matters" column on the Saturday Faith page, leaving more room for columns and commentary on faith and ethics issues from a variety of perspectives.

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In other nooks and crannies of the newspaper, we're tightening up space a bit, in part to prepare for what's likely to be voluminous war coverage.

We're always on the lookout for new columnists and features. If you see something you like in other newspapers or magazines, pass it along and we'll take a look.

IN WITH THE NEW: Coming up this week: coverage by Post-Bulletin sports writer Troy Young from sunny Florida, where the Minnesota Twins are in spring training -- some writers have all the luck; a preview on Tuesday's Recreation page of the area marathon and running season; a profile in Thursday's Dining Out column on a new Indian restaurant in Rochester; and details on how area people are adjusting their plans for spring break because of U.S. war plans.

Also new for the season: The weekly NASCAR page has returned to the Sports section, giving racing fans the best in Winston Cup and motor sports coverage. When things really warm up around here, we'll add expanded local and area racing coverage.

Another sure sign of spring is our weekly Golf page, which will return just in time for the Masters, on Wednesday, April 9. The page combines the best of pro golf reporting with local and area golf news, every Wednesday.

SNEAK PREVIEW: Every Saturday, we run a sizable color preview of what's planned in next week's editions. Day by day, this promotional spot gives you a heads-up on news, sports and lifestyle coverage to look for. Clip and tape it up on the wall -- that's what we do, to make sure we stick to plan...

NEWSSTAND DEAL: If you're an occasional Post-Bulletin reader and you pick up the paper at newsstands, you'll have a little more change in your pocket next week. The single-copy price next week, Monday to Friday, will drop to 25 cents.

A few times a year, we cut the newsstand price to entice more people to take a fresh look at the paper. If you're an occasional reader and have comments on how we can make the P-B more valuable to you, give me a call.

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Jay Furst is the Post-Bulletin's managing editor. To comment, call him at 285-7742 or send e-mail to furst@postbulletin.com.

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