Looking back, and looking ahead
End of the year columns can go in a lot of different directions.
I could look back on 2016 and some of the important stories that happened in Carroll County -- like Tyson Foods' announcement of major expansion plans in Green Forest, or the re-election of County Judge Sam Barr and Sheriff Randy Mayfield.
I could write about some of the more memorable stories that I personally covered in 2016. The one that sticks with me most is the death of a Carroll County woman and her estranged husband in early October. I listened to the 911 call and radio traffic related to the incident, and it was a tough story to write. My heart goes out to the surviving family members.
I could write about some of the big national stories of 2016, like the presidential election. But really, I don't want to talk about that and I'm sure most of you don't want to read what I have to say.
I could make predictions for 2017. Those could be serious -- the Green Forest Tigers win their fourth straight state cross country championship. Or they could be humorous -- former Justice of the Peace John Reeve embarks on a successful career as an MMA fighter, or Donald Trump appoints Mike Huckabee as director of the new Federal Department of Political Ethics. Wait, there's nothing funny about that.
I could write about the things that happened in my life over the past year. My youngest son moved to Berryville, my grandson celebrated his first birthday, the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series and Samantha Jones won more awards than I did in the state newspaper competition and taunted me about it for months.
Or maybe I could write about my New Year's resolutions for 2017: I resolve not to run a marathon (this is an annual favorite); I resolve to eat more spaghetti (that one's going to be tough); I resolve to watch more football (again, it will be tough); I resolve not to climb Mount Everest (another annual favorite that I almost broke in 2010, but not really).
An awful lot happened in 2016, some of it good and some of it bad. It was a big year for news at both the national and local levels. Earlier this month we started the process of selecting our top 10 local stories. Our initial list of possibilities included somewhere around 50 stories.
I really don't know what to expect from 2017. But one thing I do know is that it's sure to be interesting.
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Scott Loftis is managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com