That said, there are regular features in every newspaper that are often chock full of ideas, but often ignored by reporters.
There are stories known as "watercooler stories" or "talkers" which mean they're hot topics of the day. They may not be the most important stories, but they're the ones people are most interested in at that particular moment. They may not be on the front page.
But they're easy to spot when you read the editorials, the op-ed page, and the letters to the editor. If you want to know what's foremost on people's minds, you'll find it here. People don't write letters or editorials about things they don't care about.
Need a feature? Check out the classifieds. Look under "items for sale" and "services." You might find someone selling an antique horse and buggy or a craftsman who makes something interesting by hand.
And don't limit yourself to the local paper. Check out out of town publications, many of which are free online.