“Doug Oplinger hit the ground running as a Beacon Journal stringer in March 1971, writing several articles about the ousted superintendent of the Springfield Public Schools.
“Hershey provided this vignette to Harry Liggett for the ABJ Alums Blog in 2007, after Doug was named managing editor: ‘I was covering a Springfield school board meeting in the fall of 1970 and noticed an earnest young man in the crowd. We introduced ourselves and he said he was a student – Doug Oplinger.
“I think he was monitoring the meeting for some student group. I told him to call me if he was ever at a school board meeting when news broke out and I wasn’t there.
“I don’t remember how many months later it was but during a snowstorm that shut down everything in Akron – at least we thought it did – I got a phone call at my apartment one night. It was Oplinger, reporting that the school board had fired the superintendent during a meeting held during the blizzard. Op, as I recall, got a front page byline the next day and the rest is history.”