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Leader to publish a day late

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Treacherous road conditions following Winter Storm Titan this weekend has prompted many closures, among those a two-day closure of The Leader that will affect this week's issue. 

On Wednesday, most of the county's roadways, excluding only Highway 51 and a few other major roads, were still covered with 3-5 inches of solid ice and half an inch of snow. Sleet began falling Sunday afternoon, making Tipton County a mess. 

Schools, government offices and many local businesses have remained closed this week while crews continue their work clearing roadways to make them safer for travel. 

"We're trying to blade down some of the ice so it's easier for roads to thaw," said Tipton County Public Works Director Shannon Reed. "We're focusing on the major thoroughfares and trying to make it easier for emergency vehicle, then we'll concentrate on our secondaries." 

Reed said the impact is widespread, making many areas more difficult for county vehicles to travel to clear trees and debris blocking roads. 

"It was easier to get to the trees in the ice storm a few weeks ago, but getting equipment to the trees is harder this time. Taking a dump truck down these roads is hazardous, so we have to drive the equipment there in other vehicles instead of hauling it. We just don't want to risk our employees or our equipment, which makes it a longer response time." 

Employee safety was also a concern at The Leader. This week's issue will be published on Friday, March 7, instead of Thursday, March 6, a first in the paper's 127-year history. 

"We regret the inconvenience this presents to our readers and advertisers," said publisher Brian Blackley. "Obviously we understand the importance of our role, but we do have an obligation to our employees as well. By coming out a day late, we've tried to balance those concerns." 

Schools – including the county's colleges – remain closed Wednesday, however many government offices have reopened despite the unsafe road conditions. To view current closures, please see our Winter Weather Closures page. To report a closure, please send an email to news@covingtonleader.com. 

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