By David Fong
Regional Sports Content Director
For 70 years, nothing stopped the Troy Daily News from printing a scheduled edition.
Through wars, technical difficulties and weather, the TDN always managed to print as planned.
In January of 1978, however, Mother Nature finally won.
On Jan. 27 of that year, the Troy Daily News did not publish an edition. It wasn’t for lack of news — it was for lack of personnel. The previous day, one of the biggest winter storms in Ohio history pounded Miami County, dropping 12.2 inches of snow in 24 hours and whipping the area with winds in excess of 70 miles per hour. The heavy winds caused snow drifts that were several feet high.
The TDN managed to put together an edition the next day — one small problem, however.
“We put a paper together that day, but we couldn’t print it because all our pressmen lived in Piqua,” former TDN executive editor James Morris said in a 1988 interview about the blizzard. “We wouldn’t have gotten it all of our subscribers, of course, but we could have distributed some copies if we could hve managed to get it printed. It was the first time in the paper’s history this happened and we hope it was the last one.”
Eventually the pressmen made it back to work — many of them on snowmobiles.
The blizzard had a paralyzing effect not only on the TDN, but on the entire county. Schools were closed for an entire week. Much of the King’s Chapel neighborhood had to be evacuated to the Troy High School gymnasium when power in the area was knocked out.
The blizzard led to a number of interesting news stories (once the TDN was able to print an edition again, of course):
• One rescued motorist who was taken to the Troy High School refuge center became drunk, pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot out the gym lights. He spent the rest of the evacuation period in the Miami County Jail.
• One stranded motorist on Fenner road built a fire to warm himself in a barn at the Hershey Farm. The barn caught fire and spread to another barn. Both barns were heavily damaged as the fire department was unable to get through to the snow to the scene.
• Chip Douglas Fisher was born at his grandfather’s house near Covington after snowplows managed to clear the way for a doctor and nurse to deliver the baby.
After more than a week of digging out from under the snow, life did return to normal in Miami County.
And the Troy Daily News hasn’t missed a scheduled edition since.