Most people who get laid off stop doing their job. Doug Miner did the opposite. When AOL laid him off — along with 500 other reporters from its botched journalism experiment Patch.com — Miner poured his energy into opening an independent news site funded by local advertisers. Because he covers Maplewood, Brentwood and a smattering of nearby neighborhoods, he named it 40 South News, and he covers anything and everything that's important to the people who live, work and play in his mid-county reporting territory. Whether it's a ballot issue, a 26-cent price difference between two local McDonald's or the flock of plastic flamingos that mysteriously appeared on a neighborhood street, Miner gets to the bottom of it. Like any good small-town reporter, Miner knows who's who at the town halls, the high school football games and the chamber of commerce meetings, and his stories are uniquely well-sourced. Miner epitomizes shoe-leather reporting but with an Internet-age twist: His posts are often nothing more than a photo snapped on an iPhone with a brief explanation of some local oddity.