Newspaper articles can be an excellent way to learn about local history and current affairs, but the death of local journalism can make it challenging. Many smaller towns do not have their own papers, and other outlets either don't put their archives online or hide content behind paywalls.
Look at larger metro area newspapers for coverage of less populated areas.
Find a newspaper you CAN access and select a topic from browsing through it.
Be flexible in your choice of towns and issues.