Well, it’s done.
The infamous Top 10 News of the Year is included in this issue of the Faribault County Register.
No one knows (or cares) the insane number of hours I spend on this list. I’ve spent a lot of time at home over the past few weekends reviewing every issue of the Registry produced in 2021, reviewing all the stories we’ve released throughout the year.
And to make lists of them, which grow longer, page after page of a legal notepad. Then I color code all entries by subject.
Then comes the very difficult decision of which are the 10 most important stories and in which order they should be. This is one of those cases where I constantly change my mind, both as to which ones should be on the list and in what order.
Let me just say that the order you see here in the log is not the order I started out with. It has changed… many times. That may change again moments before this issue goes to press.
Again, I publish my annual disclaimer. The list is arbitrary, both in content and in order. It could be totally different (see paragraph above). You can look at it and say, “What about that other big story, why isn’t she on the list?” “ Where, “Why is this story number four and this one number five?” It should be the other way around, fool! OK, you might be right. I’m definitely not going to argue with you.
Why is COVID-19 returning as the # 1 story for 2021? He earned it in 2020, and after considering all the impact he has had and continues to have in 2021, he edged out the other contenders.
There are other anomalies in this 2021 list as well.
For the second year in a row, the weather was not on the list. Of course of course we had a very hot summer, a few thunderstorms here and there and a 64 degree day and high winds in December. But it just wasn’t enough to make it into the top 10.
However, the buildings of the Three Sisters of Blue Earth have returned to the list.
They were our story # 8 in 2019, story # 1 in 2018, and in 2017 and 2016 they were our story # 6.
These three sisters have a long history. This year the big story was that the Blue Earth City Council went against the EDA recommendation and voted to hand over the sisters to the sisters in Project 3 without contingencies.
One wonders if the Sisters will be in the Top 10 in 2022… maybe because something good will happen there.
There are several other stories that weren’t on this year’s list, and you might be wondering why. Guess I’m wondering a bit too, and some were on the list at one point but came off.
Take the stories we made when the new Golden Spike Go-kart Raceway opened. It ended up on the list of the best sports stories of the year.
What about the new tennis courts offered at Blue Earth? Well, they’re still in the field as this year draws to a close. Decisions are still being made as to where and how the courts will be built.
Maybe they’ll be in the Top 10 next year.
The same may be true of the new Dinosaur Fossil Discovery Center being established at the Blue Earth Community Library.
While it’s certainly in the works, it’s not quite a “Deal concluded” as they say. And an agreement was not completed and signed on the dotted line.
But, it should be completed in January.
What about the history of Riverside Town and Country Golf Club, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary? Yes, it was a serious contender to be either on the top 10 list or the top 10 sports list. We didn’t get either one or the other, and those who think it should have been are probably right.
Faribault County census numbers weren’t on the list either – and it can easily be proven that they were.
But, the numbers were supposed to show a drop in the overall population in the county, and they did. Every town also lost population, except Wells and Frost.
Our schools may have also been pushing to get them on the list, as their enrollment numbers are actually up this year, despite COVID and despite the county’s overall population declining.
I could probably go on and on and list other things that could – or should have – been on our list. But I think you get the general idea.
This is, after all, a purely arbitrary list.
I personally would have liked to add to the list the story of the creation of the Buccaneer, the new student-run newspaper at Blue Earth Area High School.
It was on the first global list before the list was reduced to 20, then 15, then 10.
So, for 2022, we wish everyone a very happy and healthy, wonderful and prosperous New Year.
And that there is no bad news and nothing but good news to put on our list of the 10 best stories in a year.