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Some stories make ‘non-story’ list

By Staff | Dec 29, 2013

One would think coming up with a Top 10 News Stories of the Year list would be fairly simple to do.

It isn’t. At least, it isn’t for me.

Creating the list always takes a lot of my time, going through a year’s worth of newspapers and making the selections. Next, it takes up some more time to write them all up.

And I still take time off to celebrate Christmas.

The list is in this week’s Faribault County Register, and, as usual, it comes with a disclaimer.

The list is entirely arbitrary. There could be different stories on a list you create, or you could put them in a different order.

For instance, here are few stories that came close to making the list but didn’t quite make the cut.

WFS closing their Blue Earth elevator. Fitness Center expansion project begins. Detke Morbac sold and becomes part of Kibble Equipment. Former Vice President Walter Mondale at Elmore All-School Reunion. Elmore, Wells and Winnebago Veterans Memorials dedicated. StateLine Cooperative builds facility near Guckeen. Kiester saves its grocery store.

You get the idea.

A very good argument could be made for any of those to have made the Top 10.

On a somewhat related note, for the past 20 or so years I have created something I call the top 10 “non-story” list each year.

With my tongue firmly placed in my cheek, and working towards trying to create a bit of humor at the end of the year, the list includes stories which, for one reason or another, did not turn out to be entirely true.

I first started the list when I had announced in blazing headlines across the top of the front page the name of the newly hired superintendent of schools at a school in Southwest Minnesota. Only to learn the next morning that he had changed his mind and was not coming after all.

It instantly became a total non-story.

In all my years of coming up with this list, I have never had so much material to choose from as I did this year.

In fact, topping the list is the all-time epitome of what I mean by a “non-story.” And I wrote it.

The feature piece detailed how it came about that Merrill Osmond of the Osmond Brothers was coming to Blue Earth to give a benefit concert. Well, due to conflicts in his schedule, Merrill Osmond never came to Blue Earth and never gave a concert.

Never happened. Non-story.

Want some more examples from 2013?

How about our story about an armed robber at one of Blue Earth’s motels? The next week we had a story that it wasn’t true a clerk had made the whole thing up.

What about the story concerning Prairieland Compost Facility possibly partnering with a Winnebago businessman? Didn’t happen.

The county’s pipeline ordinance passed but now there isn’t anyone planning a pipeline.

Blue Earth Area eighth graders moving to the high school? Might happen, might not.

A Veterans CBOC (community-based outpatient clinic) coming to Winnebago? Nope, it went somewhere else.

The ‘bridge to nowhere?’ Well, actually that was a real story, just a little odd and the bridge actually did get built.

Another story related how the Blue Earth City Council fought with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to get a thicker layer of pavement put on two streets used as detours. They succeeded. But it became a non-story when the council opted out of the deal and took the cash offered by MnDOT instead of the thicker asphalt.

There are several more examples, but you get the idea.

What will we have in 2014?

I am sure it will be more of the same. Big news stories, some not so big and a few non-stories just for fun.

Thanks for reading us.