Archive for Thursday, March 2, 2006

Finally, some real good news

March 2, 2006

It's just been bizarre. That's all you can call it. I'm not talking about the last week or month, I'm talking about the whole year.

It's been one bizarre thing after another, but there has been one constant. Bizarre weather. To be experiencing 60 and 70 degree temperatures in January and February is usually only in our dreams. But, we've had it for real, including this past week when it was actually hot. Yes, hot in February.

But, that just seems to be the way this year is going.

Simply put, there's been too much news. Too much news that gets people riled, as a matter of fact. The list is endless. I can honestly say I've never seen a stretch of news like we've had in the two decades-plus I've been in this business.

Is it fun? No. If anyone thinks it's enjoyable to have to helplessly watch someone's home since 1989 burn, you're wrong. If anyone thinks it's fun to have to write about the state of affairs at Baldwin High School, you're wrong. It's painful, but it's news and it's news that has to be reported. Didn't you think that calling 911 was foolproof in an emergency? Nope. Didn't you think your kids were safe from being attacked in the cafeteria? Nope. Those are just two examples, but I think they illustrate quite well what's gone on in Baldwin recently that's kept us way too busy.

That's contributed in the last month to the absence of Around Town. Not enough time or space. The space has rightfully gone to many letters to the editor on various subjects and editorials on the same. The time has gone to those subjects, too. First comes first.

But, we had the closest thing to a "slow" news week this week than we've had in ages. And, it wasn't slow. We just didn't have that "breaking" news like fires, assaults in the high school cafeteria, water supplies in danger of going bad or hiring convicted felons. Of course, we did have one sentenced. Well, actually two.

However, we didn't have -- for the first time this year -- city council or school board meetings to go along with the mix. Good grief, the poor school board has been locked in meetings this year with the search for a new superintendent. It's still going on, too.

That's also where another bizarre twist came in. When Carol Hansen first accepted then declined the superintendent's job we were amazed. But, believe it or not, that's really not news to Baldwin. As pointed out by former City Attorney Bob Bezek, we had the same occurrence -- well, actually, with a wilder twist -- with a city administrator.

This was before our present City Administrator Jeff Dingman and before the one who he replaced, Larry Paine. Nope, the candidate ahead of Paine accepted the job and was driving across the country to assume the post when he changed his mind, called City Hall and turned around and went home. Paine was next in line.

Bizarre, yes. But, it didn't effect our weather.

Of course, at the top of the list of bizarre right now is the story that's captured the attention of everyone. That would be of Toby Young breaking her convicted killer boyfriend out of Lansing. The Signal has a couple of stories on it in this week's issue, thanks to one of our sister paper, The Lansing Current. People just can't get enough of it. I know I can't.

Like most people, I figured that they headed straight for Mexico or somewhere like that. When they turned up in Tennessee, well, it was bizarre. They captured them about an hour from where my brother Tim lives. He told me he and his wife, Teresa, have hiked the area around the "love nest" cabin many times. Just a little too close for comfort.

But, that's not all the weirdness. When I got an e-mail from Cindy Allen about her son, Tyler Trowbridge, it started. The Lawrence-based serviceman that was killed last week was in Trow's battalion. Talk about too close to home. I had hoped to do a story on Trow, who I call my third son, this week, but his outfit has been in e-mail lock down since the soldier was killed. To think he's in harm's way that way still gets me. I hope to hear from him soon.

I did hear from the Rev. Ira DeSpain, again via e-mail. This was not good news. His son, Dan, left for his third stint in Iraq Sunday. I thought he was through with active service. I guess I was wrong. He will once again return to my prayers and I hope yours, too.

This got me riled up even more. With the situation bordering on Civil War over there now, I'm even more frightened for our men and women serving. It made me think of another soldier I know who the Signal has profiled, Matt Roach. I e-mailed his mom, Gloria Roach, telling her that I was going to try and do a story this week on Trow, Dan and the others over there.

I was almost afraid to read her reply.

But, bizarre of bizarre for this recent stretch, it was good news. Matt is back from his tour in Iraq, is safe and sound and is serving state side.

I'll take good news, every time. We were way overdue.

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