Helping hands in tough times
The last couple of weeks have been a wild ride here at the Enterprise.
At the end of October we lost our Saranac Lake reporter, Amy Scattergood. As we had announced in July when she arrived, we were only able to hire her because of a generous grant the Adirondack Foundation offered through its Special Urgent Needs (SUN) Fund. That was enough to pay her for four months, and now it has run out. We had hoped the grant would bridge a temporary revenue shortfall as businesses reduced advertising amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and that we would be able to pick up the payment in November. At this point, however, we can’t. We hope we can soon.
Then there was the election, which is always a busy time for newspapers. This one had higher tension than most — an understatement.
And then one of our reporters got exposed to COVID-19 Halloween weekend, and tested positive a week later. Now seven of our employees are stuck at home until at least Nov. 17, including the entire newsroom staff (with the exception of the Lake Placid News editor).
There is good news, though. First and foremost, every one of those quarantined newsroom staff members received a negative test result Wednesday. The quarantine order still stands, but it looks like we don’t have the disease.
Second, amid Monday’s hurricane of changes, we managed to put out Tuesday’s print edition — with a lot of help. For that we have to thank the folks at our parent company, Ogden Newspapers. John McCabe, editorial director for the entire company and editor of the newspapers in Wheeling, West Virginia, personally laid out four inside pages for us. Others in the company made backup arrangements for the Enterprise to be printed at our sister paper in Gloversville, although that turned out not to be necessary. Lake Placid News Editor Andy Flynn put off his vacation, which was supposed to be this week.
Third, the news staff has cobbled together ways to work from home. There are technology hurdles and slowdowns, communication breakdowns and inefficiencies, but at the end of the day, the job gets done.
Thank you to everyone who sent us well-wishes. Thank you to the people who contributed photographs when we asked for them, including professional photographer Nancie Battaglia, whose glorious sunset shot brightened Thursday’s front page. She donated something she normally gets good money for, and for good reason.
Thank you, too, to everyone who keeps this newspaper alive by advertising in it, subscribing to it or buying it on a news stand.
We will need more helping hands if we are to keep reporting local news, carrying news of the region, state, nation and world, offering a central forum for local viewpoints, offering a central marketplace for local businesses to tell you of their offerings, comics and puzzles to entertain you, columnists to intrigue you and much, much more. But the supportive people around here give us confidence that the community will have our back going forward.