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It was a year for quirky stories, not all on the 2008 Top Ten list

By Staff | Jan 5, 2009

I hope you enjoy the 2008 Top Ten story list starting on the front page this week.

It takes a few hours to compile, so the hope is it’s worth the effort, and that you, our readers, enjoy seeing what we think are the top stories for this area.

You may disagree with our choices, and if so, that is fine. It is a purely arbitrary choice – not only as to the order of the top ten stories, but also as to what goes on the list.

Or to be more specific, what doesn’t get on the list.

There could be some very good arguments made for other stories which should be on the list.

For instance, one which comes to mind quickly (since it is so fresh in our minds) is Zitnak Pharmacy closing.

We didn’t include it on the list, but if there was a number 11 story waiting in the wings to make it into the Top Ten, this was probably it.

There were others as well – some very deserving no doubt.

There was John Roper defeating incumbent County Commissioner Barb Steier. An announcement of a $2.8 million runway extension at the Blue Earth airport. Formation of a new Faribault County Humane Society.

There was the story about the county treasurer position being combined with the auditor office. A story about the USC Middle School in Kiester closing.

Those stories did not make the list.

And, unbelievably, the new Faribault County Law Enforcement Center did not make our Top Ten story list, for the first time in quite a while.

That might be because the jail was under construction most of the year, but will not be completed until next year. At that time it will probably go back on the list.

After all, this year the biggest story at the jail was the water softener equipment, and how it should be bid.

Not exactly Top Ten story material, if you really think about it.

We brought you a lot of stories about people over the year. Stories about battling disease, having interesting hobbies, or being childhood sweethearts.

Then there were the stories of heroes from four different wars, included in Our Heroes magazine.

These stories were fun for our staff members to write, and some of the most interesting for our subscribers to read, but they are not even on the list of stories considered for the Top Ten list.

Neither are the stories which we call just a little ‘different.’ ‘Quirky’ might be a better word.

You know what I mean. There was the story of a bomb threat at the courthouse. One about the county sheriff taking a cold plunge in a frozen lake. Another one was about a praying mantis named ‘Vern.’

Of course, one of my personal favorites is the story about a man who works in Blue Earth running for the U.S. Senate. Chuck Aldrich was on the ballot along with Al Franken and Norm Coleman.

Think about it. If he took enough votes away from either Franken or Coleman, maybe he had more of an influence on the outcome of the election than we first gave him credit for.

If the people who voted for Aldrich would have all voted for Franken, maybe there wouldn’t have been a recount.

As for the future, we certainly expect to bring our readers more stories about the people and events of Faribault County.

Not all of it will be good news, of course. There will have to be stories which cover the tragedies of the year, the controversies and the bad news which will surely happen.

We know we will have to cover the local budget cuts coming to our local cities and the county.

But we pledge to bring you good news as well. There will be stories about local people and their accomplishments. Stories about progress and improvements.

Stories you will want to know about.

Thanks for reading.