|One of the broken Herald-Leader windows|
(Photo by Editor Peter Baniak)
Herald-Leader Publisher Rufus Friday said in a news story about the vandalism, “It’s concerning,” especially given the level of rhetoric directed at journalists recently in the United States and in Kentucky. “We’re going to be vigilant and continue to do what we do,” Friday said. “We’re not going to be deterred by this senseless act of vandalism.”
The story said, "Exterior windows were damaged on the first-, second- and third-level banks of windows of the press room on the Midland Avenue side of the building. Three exterior windows were shattered, leaving broken glass on the sidewalk outside. Two windows on the upper level of the press room were damaged, but did not shatter. Those windows show small holes and cracks that appear consistent with small-caliber bullet damage. Lexington Police on Monday confirmed that they are investigating the incident as criminal mischief, and that investigators believe the damage is consistent with small-caliber gunfire." The Herald-Leader no longer uses its pressroom.
Southeast Kentucky Publishing, which prints several CNHI newspapers, found a letter on a printer at its plant at 8 p.m. Saturday saying the plant had been wired with several explosives that would be set off unless $25,000 was sent via Western Union to someone with a Brazilian passport. “We contacted the Kentucky State Police and we evacuated the building,” plant manager Jill Meadows said. "She said the bomb threat interrupted printing at the plant for 2 ½ hours but no production deadlines were missed," CNHI reported.
Tuesday morning, police in Portland, Tenn., near the Kentucky border, said on the Kentucky Press Association's Facebook page that they received the “exact same letter on our printer this morning.” While the threats appear to be false, KPA Executive Director David Thompson asked member papers, "Please report any similar letter that your newspaper or any business in your area receives."