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Why Friday's edition was late
Friday’s Baker City Herald was probably delivered to you Saturday morning due to a series of unrelated, and unfortunately timed, production and press equipment failures at our printing facility in La Grande.
In April of 2010 we invested in state-of-the-industry CTP (computer-to-plate) equipment that takes the newspaper page put together on a computer through a process that creates a press plate without the intermediate step we formerly used that created a film negative.
On Friday, the CTP machine’s main computer board failed before the Herald was printed.
So we went to plan B — using the old machine, known as an imagesetter, that makes a film negative of each page. But the motor on the imagesetter wouldn’t start.
At this point, we knew the press runs for the Baker City Herald and The Observer would be late. We were preparing for plan C — to send the pages to another printing plant — when our operations director, Frank Everidge, got the motor on the imagesetter started. Behind nearly three hours, we posted notices on our websites and sent press releases to area radio stations to alert readers.
The Observer was printed.
The Baker City Herald was on the press when the press stopped. The pin holding the cylinder in one of our press units had come loose, and the cylinder had to be re-secured. So the first press run had to start all over again, putting delivery even further behind.
At nearly 10 o’clock Friday night, the van bringing our papers back from La Grande arrived at the back door of the Baker City Herald. Our carriers were told not to risk their safety delivering newspapers so late, and to deliver by 9 a.m. Saturday morning.
Friday’s issue is one of just two in the past 15 years that has been delivered the day following scheduled publication.
The other late paper was due to a blizzard that closed I-84 and Highway 30 between Baker City and La Grande.