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The Good Life - The worst day on record at the Citizen
May 16, 2013 Lisa Betz   

Read more by Lisa Betz
On Monday at 2 p.m., the gizmo that we call a "drive" died.  Before we purchased this black box, Jim Headley researched it carefully and we thought it backed up all data on the drive onto four additional disks.  We discovered, much to our regret, that this black box did not in fact operate that way at all, the box created a “redundancy” and not a back up.  

Yesterday we lost every story, photo, file, document, template, everything the Citizen has created or collected since 2010.  Thankfully, we have a great deal online, and all of the eEditions since our beginning are preserved there. All is not lost, but most everything we use today is gone.  We do have some very old back ups we made before purchasing this device, but the template pages are a different size from the earliest days of the paper, when we printed on a smaller press in Greely, Colo.

Late into Monday night, I was busy recreating all of the pages, and rebuilding our standard art folder with column photos, etc. (taken from our website). Our graphic artist, Andi Hale worked diligently into the night as well, bless her sweet soul, recreating ad after ad and working to find logos and artwork that we had lost.

What a horrible day was Monday.  And really, it was just the beginning.  I couldn't sleep at all that night, a combination of being too warm and numerous interruptive thoughts as our loss sank into my brain.  So much work from the last four years will have to be rebuilt each week as we do special sections, and try to retrieve the data we collect weekly for our annual reviews, it's overwhelming.

But the silver lining is that we will be fresh and new, with opportunities to be creative that may have been missed otherwise. So thank you for being patient with us this week, dear readers. If the Citizen looks just a bit different than you are used to, you will know why.

Say a little prayer for the Citizen staffers this week, everybody is in shock, but the first thing we had to do is put this week’s paper together for you, our readers and friends.  Many of this week’s stories were completed, photos were ready, and then we lost it all. The staff had to rewrite many a story from memory and try to reshoot photos that had been filed before the crash, which happened well into our production process.

Special thanks goes to Philip Eckerberg, who seems to be everywhere with his camera, and who was able to provide us with photos of events around town that had been lost to us in this mishap.

Last Saturday, I worked diligently to create our Gering and Mitchell graduation tribute pages, carefully processing each grad photo for the press. The pages looked beautiful, so many smiling young faces. We planned to run the tributes this week and it was all ready to go when the crash happened.  

While I do have the grad photos on the disks that the schools provided, we will have to download and reprocess each photo, lay out the pages from scratch, and recreate all of the advertising. As a result we have decided to delay the graduate tribute by one week to give us time to do a nice job of it for the kids and their families. We hope that they and our readers will understand.

A sliver of hope appeared on Tuesday as I realized that our business insurance may indeed cover a data recovery process. While our trusty technical support guy, Ben Kuhlman at Intralinks did not feel we’d be successful, he thought perhaps the companies who specialize in this may have tools that could be successful. Thank you Ben for your quick response to help us get back on our feet Monday.

Until next week, we wish all of the Gering graduates a beautiful graduation day, and a memorable goodbye to their high school years. We have enjoyed covering your activities and accomplishments. Congratulations on a job well done.
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