Brooklyn —

After serving 24 years in Congress, newly retired Rep. Major Owens is determined to keep making news. Owen plans to launch his own newspaper, called Dollar News, within the next few weeks. The paper, which in keeping with its name will cost $1, will tackle financial and social issues, the 70-year-old former Brooklyn lawmaker said.

“It will be one way for me to be able to comment and get exposure and push investigations,” he said.

Starting a Conversation

The privately financed paper will have an initial monthly run of 50,000 and be distributed citywide, though with a heavy concentration in Brooklyn. Owens, who hopes to make the paper a weekly within a year, said he wants to pay journalism students to do investigative reporting.

It can be difficult to get the conversation going on issues such as how the global economy or Hurricane Katrina has affected middle-class black families, Owens said.

“With a newspaper, I’ll force the issue in terms of my opinions and hopefully influence people who are in positions to do things about it,” he said.

Longtime Pol

A Democrat, Owens represented the 11th Congressional District, which includes Flatbush, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights and Park Slope. He was succeeded in January by former City Councilwoman Yvette Clarke, who won a hotly contested four-way Democratic primary last September, beating, among others, Owens’ son, Chris.

Owens’ retirement is an active one. He is working on a case study about the Congressional Black Caucus as a Kluge scholar of the Library of Congress. Known for writing political rap poems while in Congress, Owens also is shopping an unpublished novel, “Taliban in Harlem,” which takes place in New York City ten years in the future and touches on issues of race, religion and power.

“I hardly noticed that I have been retired,” he said. “It’s getting better everyday in terms of my being in control of my own schedule.”

“Now that I am not a congressman anymore I don’t feel like I should just rest,” he added. “Whatever I can do, I will do.”