Saturday, December 28, 2002

Newspaper makes it to doorstep - 5 years late

The Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Bob Uhl's new earlier edition of the South Bend Tribune arrived a little late - 5 years late, to be exact.

The Dayton, Ohio, resident went to his mailbox last week and picked up his newspapers, which frequently arrive three or four at a time, and saw a sheet attached to one.

"This one had a notice that said, `Good morning. Here's your new South Bend Tribune,'" he said.

Then he noticed the paper's date. It was June 2, 1997, when the Tribune stopped publishing in the afternoons.

"It was the first issue of the morning edition," he said. "It just took 5 years to get over to Dayton."

As far as anyone at the Tribune knows, the paper Mr. Uhl received has been in the hands of the U.S. Postal Service the past five years. Ed Scott, who is in charge of the Tribune's mailroom, said papers were dropped off at the post office, with addressed labels, by 3:30 a.m. each day.

Dean McCool, customer relations coordinator for the South Bend post office, has a guess about how the paper could be overlooked.

"Sometimes a sack will have just one paper in it," he said. "The sack probably went somewhere where it was presumed empty."

Empty sacks might sit on a pile for days, months or years. When this sack was needed again, someone would have found the paper and sent it along for delivery, he said.

Mr. Uhl grew up in South Bend and became a subscriber when he, like other soldiers, was offered free papers during World War II. He kept subscribing when he moved away in 1948.

The June 2, 1997, front page had stories on the NCAA choosing Indianapolis as its new national headquarters and a special report on the arrival of legalized gambling in northern Indiana.

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Newspaper makes it to doorstep - 5 years late