Version of ID and OS? Any error messages? What happens when you try to open the files?
As an aside, since I used to work for a newspaper and know workflows vary, do you recycle the previous issue by doing a Save As, or do you start each issue clean from a template?
And have you tried opening the file as a copy?
We are running InDesign CS6 on OSX 10.9.4
It won't let us open it at all, even as a copy. We start each issue clean from a template.
When we try to open the problem document, it says it's trying to recover then crashes right away.
The error message is long, it won't let me copy and paste because of length.
Thanks for your help.
Post the crash log on pastebin.com and give us a link.
And you can empty the InDesign Recovery folder (it's hidden but should be in Hard Drive/Users/<USER>/Library/Caches/Adobe InDesign/<Version #>/<Language>/ and you can find out how to show it at Access hidden user library files | Mac OS 10.7 and later ) and you should be able to relaunch ID without the recovery kicking in.