Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 30, 2014

Choosing the top 10 list

By David Hotle | Dec 08, 2011

What a year it has been! With Christmas and invariably 2012 just right around the corner, December is always a good time to reflect back on what has happened over the past year and what we can learn from it.

Being with The Washington Evening Journal tends to make this easy for me. Have you seen the Top 10 ballot we have been running for the past few weeks? I’m the one who comes up with the stories that are featured. Of course, I don’t mean to say that my ideas are the absolute set-in-stone end of the stories that can be voted on for the end of the year top 10 list that will be featured in our Chronology special section. That is the purpose of the “other” category. Anyone with any thoughts on what should be one of the big stories of the year should take a minute and fill this out.

New this year is the ability for people to vote using our Web site. If you have been to our site and seen the square in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, that is it. Just click on it and your results will be sent directly to me. I tested this about a week ago and I was able to submit a ballot inside of two minutes, so this doesn’t take a lot of time.

I have my idea of the top stories of the year, but I’m probably a little biased. As a reporter, I know firsthand the blood, sweat and tears that go into getting some of the bigger stories you see. I would probably vote for a story that took a lot of hard work to get. Of course, some of the bigger stories fell right into our lap — or in the case of 2011 fell out of the sky as in the plane that crashed in Craig and Holly Jones’ yard. I can’t begin to tell you the sinking feeling I got walking up to the house from where I parked on the road about half a mile away wondering if everyone was all right.

I don’t think any Journal top 10 of the year list could be complete without a failed bond referendum from the school district. There is one on the list again this year. Maybe the work the school board is going through to cope with the loss of the revenue that the bond would have brought and moving forward to try to make repairs to the 1918 building is what you want to nominate.

How about the push to put a lagoon system in at Richmond. There are many people in the community who have feelings both ways on the issue. In any event, it is an important topic for a lot of people.

Those are just a few stories that come into my mind. The idea isn’t to suggest any as a top 10 story. That is up to the reader. A top 10 list is a personal thing.

Believe me, the hard part of coming up with the list of stories to choose the top 10 from is deciding what stories don’t go on the list. Of course, the reader has the option to simply write the story back in. Our pressman, Dale Gonterman, was recently featured in a photo. I took a picture of him sitting on a plow driving a team of horses. He is joking that he is going to have people write it in as the No. 1 story of the year. I tell him by all means have people submit a petition. If they feel it is the top story of the year, go for it. Just write in “Dale on plow” and I will know what you mean.

I encourage everyone to submit a ballot for top 10. The more we get the better. This is one of the tools we use to determine what to focus on during the coming year.

Of course, like I said, we have plenty to choose from. It kind of makes me wonder what 2012 has in store for us.

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