After year filled with major news, what lies ahead?
This week’s issue features the newspaper staff’s annual ranking of news stories from the previous year—a popular activity of news organizations on the local, state and national levels. It always brings forth a lot of discussion on those top story choices, and like me, I’m sure many of you readers are amazed at what happened here in just one year.
Except for the overall top story chosen this year, I’ll have to say it was one of the hardest years for me to rank the 2019 news.
Unfortunately, late in the year something we haven’t had to deal with here did in fact happen in our community—a murder investigation and subsequent arrest of three people in the death of Annika Swanson of Imperial. Six of the eight of us put that as the No. 1 story of 2019, although it’s likely going to be part of the news in 2020, as well.
When you also look at the other 11 stories we chose from in our rankings, a lot happened here in Imperial and Chase County.
On the positive side, we had a national champion FFA team, thousands visited our area for the Cattlemen’s Ball, ground was finally broken for the Chase County Veterans Memorial, it was another successful fair and the first women joined our fire department.
But, as in any year, there were less than positive stories we covered, as well—two of the people of the community’s top positions, the school superintendent and hospital CEO, are no longer in those jobs; devastating storms left paths of damage especially one on 9/11—a date marked by other sadness; and city and county issues remain.
Residents were definitely on both sides of the hospital bond vote, but it was disappointing to see it fail. A Nebraska Supreme Court ruling on who’s responsible for a medical clearance hospital bill for a city police-arrested prisoner didn’t really give the county or city an answer, or their taxpayers.
It will be interesting to see what 2020 has in store. We’re already covering a big story on those nasty drones that are receiving national coverage. What else lies ahead?