Thursday morning as I arrived at work, the lights were out.
It wasn’t that I arrived before co-workers but rather the power outage that affected large portions of the City of Newberry and Town of Prosperity affected our offices, too.
According to Duke Power a dove interfered with a high tension wire at a substation, causing the outage.
Though a dove is a symbol of peace, the complications that threw into our morning around here were anything but peaceful.
Thanks to cell phones, laptops and portable power sources, we kept working on journalism during the power outage and we kept folks posted via our website and social media.
But as I pulled up to the stop light at Calhoun and Main Street, before I navigated the four-way stop, I thought about just how much our lives depend upon the power grid and the workers who keep it up and running.
For the short term, I could still be plugged in, but Thursday was a deadline day for us at The Observer.
Without power at the office that big printing press does not run. Not only would this paper not get out to our readers, but readers in Union and Winnsboro would be affected since those sister papers also print in Newberry.
In a changing marketplace, The Observer is part of an interconnected media conglomerate, Civitas Media. In the good old days every paper had an editor who handled layout and page design. Now we have one regional editor for six newspapers.
Our graphics and layout are not done in Newberry. Instead our graphic designer hub in Lumberton, N.C., receives the copy and photos from our editorial staff and those designers do the layout.
We give them a list and make suggestions about the layout, to be sure, but they handle the look and determine how many photos go on each page, etc. Then they email PDFs back to us for review.
Those PDFs, in turn, are released to Johnnie and Sammy in the press room where they transfer the PDF onto a metal plate.
The metal plate is used to put ink onto paper and then things are printed.
Ad design also is handled by a graphics hub and staff who are not based in Newberry, though our ad sales rep is here.
Though the business model has changed, the commitment to local content and news coverage remains strong here and we are honored to provide that service to the community, the area where many of our staffers grew up and now live.
So Thursday morning as I sat in the lobby of our office using natural lighting, I typed up this column as a word of thanks to the workers with the city and with the power company who helped bypass an issue in the power grid and restore power to us as soon as possible.
Without your efforts, without power our readers don’t get this paper. Thanks for the support.