A look back at our first year
Whenever someone opens a new business, people talk about "hanging out the shingle." It's a peculiar saying, particularly since not many folks are very good at hanging, and I don't know of a run on shingles in the last year.
Still, it's the first thought that came to mind when reflecting on the last 43 issues since we first "hung out our shingle." I wonder some weeks how that shingle is still hanging, and then there are weeks that we can point proudly to that figurative shingle. Some weeks, we've been a pretty good newspaper. Some weeks, we've fallen short of our goal.
We've told a lot of interesting stories this year, and some are re-told in this week's issue of the News. We've tried to select the big stories of the year, and in some cases, the big story was easy to choose.
Picking the biggest news story was one we've been kicking around the office the last couple weeks. Bill Harlow's 'graceful' re-entry into the public sector, Dan Bloom's graceful exit and the news that we may need a new school all are at the top of the list. Continued growth of Eudora is joined on the list by the closing of one of our largest employers, Communicolor. The heat of the fall joined the cold in December as big newsmakers, but the news was the impact the weather had on our schools.
In sports, our fall was dominated by news of the first conference champion football team in 27 years. Aaron Barnett's team was a rousing success, but not to be forgotten was the support the entire community showed "our boys." The booster club's walking taco tailgates, the cheerleaders sideline support and post-game food, the band's hard work and the pulling together to host 4,000 fans at the Hiawatha game are as important as the games themselves.
Athletic success wasn't limited to the young, just the young at heart. Paul Heintzman showed us age is irrelevant to a body's ability, as I'd take his 69 year-old body against 90 percent of the runners half or a third his age.
As a paper, we had an interesting year as well. Now, as Pat Sangimino rides off into the Olathe sunset, we welcome the return of Jackie Hosey. She's got big shoes to fill, as Pat's value to this paper was his passion for what he did. Jackie will be fine, as she's gotten a taste of editor life in Bonner Springs and brings a renewed energy to this community.
I encourage you to stop in the office and say hi to her sometime. A community newspaper has to be exactly that: for the community. Let Jackie know what you want from your community paper. I'm sure she's interested to hear, and I bet she's got a pretty good idea of how she's going to deliver a paper you'll enjoy reading every week. Happy holidays. We thank you for inviting us into your home every week, and look forward to another great year in 2001.