For years, the Mercury has published obituaries as a news service. As such, we subjected obituaries to news judgment, and edited them so as to include important information and cut out extraneous information. After many years, we decided to allow families to include the information that we would have previously cut out, for a fee. That fee is 30 cents per word. That is substantially lower than it would cost to buy a classified ad in our paper to say the same thing. For most families, this charge is handled by their funeral home.