You would think it would be fairly easy to come up with a top ten news stories of the year list.
Trust me, it isn’t.
First, we generally have a couple of dozen stories in the Register every week. Multiply that by 52 weeks, and there are a lot of choices to make.
It takes a while to ‘whittle’ them down to just ten.
Then there is placing them in some sort of order. Usually the top five seem to sort themselves, but the next five is difficult.
The order that you see in this week’s paper is not the same order we originally chose. There were several changes made.
In fact, one of our first picks for the top ten list eventually fell off and was replaced by another. I’ll let you guess which one – and no it wasn’t the last one.
The list is totally arbitrary. There were several which could have made the list and didn’t. Stories about the Wells Depot, Green Giant Museum, snow storms, late harvest and H1N1 flu did not make the list.
Perhaps they should have.
Then there are all of the court case stories we ran through the year. We opted not to put any of them on the list, although a couple could have been on it.
The story of the homeless registered sex offender moving into Faribault County might have made the list. The mobile meth lab couple arrest is another.
There were other court cases in the news, including a nurse accused of stealing drugs, a Blue Earth man accused of sex crimes and charges in the shooting incident in Bricelyn.
Of course, our personal favorite was the accusation against a man for making ‘hootch’ (homemade liquor) in the Faribault County Jail. There is just something totally ironic about that story.
And then there is our annual ‘quirky’ story list.
It is difficult to describe the exact qualifications a story needs to have in order to make it to this list. A short version of the requirements would be that the story just did not ever pan out to be much after it first appeared in the paper.
Maybe it will in the future, but for the time being it is sort of a fizzle, news-wise.
If you need some examples, I have a few.
We ran a story about a Michigan woman who might be the Jane Doe buried in the Blue Earth cemetery. Turns out, she isn’t.
A story about St. Luke's buying the nursing home in Wells was accurate, because it was being considered. But, turns out they didn’t make the deal.
The stories about a proposed new charter school were interesting reading, but as of this date, the project seems to be in limbo.
Same thing is true about a story we ran on a new school for Jewish girls opening in Bricelyn. Several girls were here for a while, but they went home to New York because the school has not actually opened yet.
Two stories about the Blue Earth City Council also fit the category.
One dealt with eliminating the ward system in the city. Although the Charter Commission voted yes, the City Council voted no – twice.
Our story about a special election being needed to replace Blue Earth Councilman Rick Scholtes, who was moving to a different ward, fizzled. Scholtes has not moved.
Our favorite quirky story of the year? It had to be the ongoing feud between a Blue Earth businessman and the group from South Dakota he sold his building to – who later evicted him from it.