Not all local newspapers are suffering in the down economy.

The Carrboro Citizen, launched more than two years ago by former Indy managing editor Kirk Ross, plans to beef up circulation 20 percent by April and expand its coverage of Chapel Hill. Ross made the announcement on the Citizen‘s Facebook group, saying it would appear in Thursday’s edition of the print newspaper.

Publisher Robert Dickson said adding rack and news-box locations in Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and Pittsboro already has accommodated a 10 percent increase in circulation for the free newspaper, from 5,000 to 5,500. The newspaper plans to add additional distribution points to bring that number to 6,000.

‘We are slowly but surely growing our reach,” Dickson said. ‘The important thing is that reader demand for the newspaper is driving the circulation jump.”

The Citizen currently distributes 2,225 papers in Carrboro, 2,400 in Chapel Hill, 525 in Hillsborough and 350 in Chatham County at more than 130 locations.

Dickson said reader interest is also driving an increase in coverage. This month, The Citizen began weekly coverage of Chapel Hill town government. Editor Kirk Ross, who covered the town and UNC for the Chapel Hill News for several years, will be the chief reporter on the Chapel Hill beat.

The Citizen is also expanding online coverage blogs, adding contributors to itsMill blog and launching a new blog by Margot Carmichael Lester called Orange County Housing & Commerce.