Storm, State Challenge Philadelphia Papers’ Plant Access

By: E&P Staff

Pennsylvania officials and the publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News were at odds Wednesday night over allowing employees to use roads to the newspapers’ printing plant in suburban Montgomery County.

The Inquirer reports that the dispute threatened Philadelphia Media Holdings’ ability to print and deliver its newspapers.

Inquirer staff writer Robert Moran reported that “for a time, workers were being blocked by members of the Pennsylvania National Guard,” who were deployed to keep “nonessential” motorists off major routes.

The newspaper company’s transportation director, Rich Allen, told the Inquirer, however, that drivers were able to proceed after showing a letter citing a directive from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency that allows them to use the roads in a storm.

Publisher Brian P. Tierney last night urged officials to honor the directive, saying, “There is a danger that for the first time in 180 years, we won’t print the paper.”

According to Tierney, the state agreed just before midnight, informing the National Guard that newspaper employees were authorized to use routes restricted during and after Wednesday’s heavy snow storm.

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