Signal readers invited to vote on 2010’s top local stories
Whether it was local tax increase, damaging storms or high school teams notching academic or athletic success, Baldwin City was its share of news the past 12 months.
The Signal has compiled a list of 15 stories from 2010 worthy of consideration of the community’s top news story of the year. During the next week or two, readers can vote for their three top choices for story of the year on the Signal's online poll. The top stories will be announced in the Dec. 30 issue of the Signal.
Here is the list of stories for consideration.
Last winter, Baldwin City and surrounding areas experienced the harshest winter in recent memory, as blizzard that struck near New Years Day was followed by more in January an February.
Snow wasn’t the only weather problem in 2010. In early May and August, thunderstorms ripped through the area. The storms produced heavy damage to houses and vehicles as trees and limbs fell in the Baldwin City area.
Last spring, Baldwin High School academic teams made headlines. The BHS Real World Design team won its second-straight state title and then it went on to win the national championship. Four of the students returned to Washington, D.C., this fall for a national convention and meet President Barack Obama.
The other state championship during the spring was the BHS restaurant management team. BHS has also won this title two-straight years. The students designed a restaurant and all of its details. They also competed in nationals, which were in Overland Park.
The new Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center opened when school started in August, despite fears the new building wouldn’t be ready until after the Labor Day weekend.
But perhaps overshadowing those stories was the long debate on the fate of two rural schools, which was resolved Monday when the Baldwin Board of Education voted to close Marion Springs and Vinland elementary schools at the end of the 2010-2011 school year.
The summer saw both the city and the school district approve budgets for that increased mill levies. The city council also approved a large increase in electrical rates.
Sadly, the year was not without misfortune for Baldwin residents. A house fire destroyed the Ojanguren’s house in November. The house caught fire overnight and was destroyed.
Despite the bad news, there was plenty of good news this year. Some of it was individual success. Baldwin City resident Tom Holland won the Democratic nomination for governor in August but lost in November’s general election, as did all other Democrats running for statewide office.
Noteworthy people stories in the last 12 months included: Becky Henderson, Baldwin City resident Becky Henderson’s appearance on “Jeopardy;” and a feature on JoAnne Fluke’s on TLC which talked about the Baker graduate’s effort to overcome a rare birth defect and become a professional dancer.
Other local news of note were: the Baldwin City Volunteer Fire Department marked its 100-year anniversary; phase one improvement to the Lumberyard Arts Center were finished and the building was open to classes, events and exhibitions; Baldwin City’s annual Maple Leaf Festival had one of its largest crowds ever as warm, sunny weather boosted attendance.