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The Times launches paywall for website

For many years, our website, mywebtimes.com, has been free for readers. That will soon change.

Every day, The Times brings you coverage of how your elected officials spend tax money, local sports, crime, event happenings, obituaries and much more.

On Monday, Oct. 15, readers of mywebtimes.com will be asked to pay for a subscription to the website – where they will find all the information mentioned above and more.

We try our best to bring readers news they can't get anywhere else. And we do this by sending reporters and editors to meetings, breaking news events, games and court hearings. We field phone calls and emails from readers with tips and concerns. We send out Freedom of Information Act requests to public entities to get to the bottom of issues. We shoot photos every day that tell stories.

It's an incredible amount of manpower and dedication to community journalism.

Non-subscribers will still continue to receive a limited number of free articles each month prior to being asked to subscribe.

Current print subscribers will have free access to the site, however, all subscribers must register at mywebtimes.com/register. Those who wish to subscribe only to mywebtimes.com can do so for as little as 99 cents their first month.

As part of the online subscription, readers will also have access to our online newspaper, or e-edition. You'll be able to peruse our Election Central site, which will include stories about and questionnaires from candidates in the Nov. 6 election to help you make more informed decisions when voting. You'll also have access to our newsletters – the Morning Minute, which brings the day's top news straight to your email Monday to Friday, and the Sports Minute, which provides a roundup of local sports each week.

We understand this is a big change, and readers have been used to free access. But simply put, we can no longer give away our product for free.

Our commitment to bringing you timely, relevant and interesting news has not changed. We encourage readers to provide feedback and ask questions about what's happening in our towns, and we promise to look into it. While not all tips or questions turn out to be a story, we value your feedback. We welcome you to call, email or stop in our Ottawa or Streator offices if you'd like to talk about content. Contact Editor Tammie Sloup at 815-431-4048, or tsloup@shawmedia.com; or News Editor Derek Barichello at 815-431-4073, or dbarichello@shawmedia.com.

Your subscription is an investment in your community. It is essential in our pursuit to bring you investigative journalism from professional journalists with a healthy balance of local sports and features.

Starting on Oct. 15, current print subscribers may register and readers who would like to subscribe to the website can do so at mywebtimes.com/register.

For registration issues, please contact our circulation department at 815-433-2003 or ottcirc@mywebtimes.com.

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