Makeshift newsroom helps Ky. newspaper in pinch

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DANVILLE, Ky. (KT) – A two-vehicle wreck Thursday morning caused a power outage and fire hazard in the building of a Kentucky newspaper which to set up a temporary newsroom in a local hotel to put out Friday’s edition.


The wreck forced a truck to crash into a utility pole outside the newspaper’s office. The impact caused the wooden pole to split vertically and knocked out two phases of the three-phase electrical line. This in turn caused most of the power to go out inside The Advocate-Messenger building, but left some lights flickering


While police and first-responders were directing traffic and making the accident report, an Advocate-Messenger employee told police fire alarms were going off and there was a strong smell of smoke inside the building.


Battalion Chief Mike Mulholland and several of his firefighters checked out the building and discovered that a small motor in the basement was overheating and on the brink of catching on fire.


Once the breaker was located and all power was turned off inside the building, the threat of fire was over, Mulholland said.


Because the power was shut off and phones weren’t working, Advocate-Messenger Editor Ben Kleppinger and Publisher Mike Caldwell made arrangements for the newsroom staff to pack up computers and set up a temporary office in a conference room at the Holiday Inn Express.


“The newspaper comes out no matter what,” Kleppinger said. “When the big ice storm hit in 2009, a skeleton crew worked off of a gas generator to put out a four-page black-and-white paper several days in a row. This isn’t anywhere near as big a deal, so we’ll take it in stride.”


The driver of the truck was taken to the hospital but no other injuries were reported.


Power was restored later Thursday evening.

 

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