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Over the years, Melvin B. Miller plowed thousands of dollars of his own money into the Bay State Banner to shore up the weekly newspaper he founded and owned. But by the summer of 2009, the longtime voice of Boston’s African-American community was on the brink of failure.
Then, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, in the midst of a contentious reelection campaign, threw a lifeline to the Banner, engineering a pair of loans totaling $200,000 from an arm of the Boston Redevelopment Authority.