By Rachel Martin
Courtesy of 21Alive
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – A well-known newspaper that’s been around for 45 years may cease to exist. The publisher of “Frost Illustrated” says thousands of dollars were stolen, which has put the weekly newspaper in the red.
“Frost Illustrated” is a newspaper that gives a voice to the black and minority communities in Fort Wayne.
Publisher and retired lawyer, Edward N. Smith, Sr. says $12-14,000 was stolen by a former employee.
On Monday, Rosilene Taylor, 27, was charged with forgery. A probable cause affidavit states in October 2013, Taylor signed Smith’s signature on multiple checks written out in her name for thousands of dollars.
Since then, Smith says the paper’s account has been frozen and he’s been struggling to keep the paper alive.
Smith says he’s had to cut staffing, turn off the heat and air conditioning, and the electricity. The employees he has left are working from home.
Currently, Smith says he is $30-40,000 in the hole, but some help from the community has given him hope.
“What’s been very promising it that the community has really looked up to help. I’m very happy and surprised about that and thankful about that. I didn’t realize that Frost was as important to as many people as it is,” said Smith.
Smith says people have been donating money on their website, www.frostillustrated.com, and stopping by the office, 3121 S. Calhoun, with checks.
“Frost Illustrated” was founded in 1968, and Smith says with the donations he is confident he can keep the paper going.