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Choosing a Top 10 list never easy

From the Editor's Notebook

December 30, 2012
by Chuck Hunt - Register Editor (chunt@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

This year we are bringing you our choices for the Top 10 Stories in Faribault County for 2012 a week earlier than usual.

Well, you might think so, anyway.

Normally we wait until after the first of the new year to include these selections. While you may be reading this edition of the Faribault County Register in 2013, it still is carrying a 2012 dateline.

We had debated putting it in this week's paper, or waiting a week.

With a situation of having little other news this week, plus the fact we had some nice color pages we could use, the decision was to come out just a wee bit early with the list.

Of course, you may ask what happens if the actual biggest news event of the year happens sometime between Dec. 28 and Dec. 31 all days after this week's Register went to press.

Say something like a meteor striking the Green Giant statue and melting it into a flat green gooey mess that resembles a flattened sprout? Wouldn't that be the bigger story than a football team winning the state?

Well, I guess we would then have egg on our faces because we came out with the list four days too early and missed the biggest story of the year.

But that is the risk we are taking.

This year's Top 10 list was much easier to create than last year.

Last year there just didn't seem to be any news events that popped out and cried "I'm No. 1, pick me, pick me!"

This year there were many stories deserving to be on the list, as well as vying for the top half.

State football champs, a horrific murder, $29 million new school, three new administrators in one year many good choices.

Some things didn't make the list which certainly could have in other years.

Three persons in Blue Earth died in two separate house fires during the year.

Two grocery stores one in Elmore and one in Kiester closed during the year. That is big news in those small towns.

The ongoing saga of Singleteary Foods in Wells was another one that just missed the cut. That story is ongoing so it has a chance to hit the list in 2013.

Also not on the list was the story of a jailer/dispatcher being fired. Or several other stories of court proceedings.

Each year as I assemble the list by going through the entire year's worth of Register's, I am always struck by the number of odd stories we have in the newspaper each year.

Most of them are not meant to be humorous at the time, but become so after time goes by and they become "non-stories."

A non-story, in my opinion, is one that is reported on, but in actuality never becomes a pertinent thing.

For instance, the story about the great debate over sidewalks or no sidewalks in Blue Earth. Or Winnebago starting their own municipal liquor store.

Or the series of stories about the Kiester City Council granting a liquor license to Kee Lanes, then denying it, then granting it.

Or the Blue Earth City Council deciding on closing the campground at the fairgrounds, then adding the expense of upgrades into the budget for 2013.

How about the Faribault County Board of Commissioners arguing for several meetings over whether to combine two county boards into one. It turned out that was never the proposal in the first place.

It was non-story. So was the uproar over the county's adult-use business ordinance.

There is a lot more, but you get the idea.

But, I have to add just one more example of a non-story and personally apologize for it.

Our annual April Fools Day story. It had to do with the preposterous notion that the land swap talks between Blue Earth and the fair board would break down and the Green Giant statue would have to be moved elsewhere. Like Putnam Park.

That classic example of a non-story nearly came true in 2012. And everyone would be blaming me.

I hereby make a New Year's resolution to do better with the April Fools Day story in 2013. Or not do one at all...

 
 

 

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