As 2013 ends, it’s natural to take a look back.
We all do it.
News outlets do it. Here at the Daily Globe, we were no different as we featured our top 10 stories of the past year.
There were some that brought joy. Some sorrow. Others were the product of many, many hours of hard work as projects throughout the area were completed.
Right now, 2014 is a blank canvas.
Our stories — your story — has yet to be written.
But as we turn our calendars to 2014 — and begin to struggle writing that date on the few checks society writes — I have begun to think of what the next 360-some days will bring.
Here are some things to watch for in 2014 — in no particular order.
The year of Worthington
The city will be hosting the 2014 National Windsurfing Competition as part of the Regatta in June. In September, the 75th annual Turkey Day will be celebrated. And if that’s not enough, Gov. Mark Dayton will be hunting in Worthington to open the 2014 pheasant season. If there is a bigger year in Worthington’s history, I’d love to hear about it.
Lewis and Clark
The water situation is the tri-state area isn’t getting any better. For years, the federal government’s funding has dried up. The Minnesota and Iowa members have asked their respective state legislators for help to move the project forward. A “capital call” was defeated at a meeting in 2013, but could resurface in 2014.
2013 was an “off” year for elections, with very few local races. 2014 will be a big year on the ballots. In Worthington, Mayor Alan Oberloh — who has served as mayor since January 2003 — will be up for re-election. City council members Mike Kuhle and Ron Wood are also up for re-election. On a state level, the seats occupied by representatives Rod Hamilton (22B) and Joe Schomacker (22A) are on the ballot. So far, Worthington resident Cheryl Avenel-Navara has announced her intention to run for the 22B seat.
This year, some tough decisions and choices will be made in the local schools. District 518 is mulling how to proceed after an operation referendum failed in 2013. Also failed was a new intermediate school with additions to the current high school. If Worthington keeps growing, where will they put the students? It could become an issue in coming years. On the facilities front, the school, city, college and chamber of commerce have been in discussions about new athletic facilities. Richard Shrubb, president of Minnesota West Community and Technical College will be retiring this summer, leaving the school on a presidential search to find the next person who will shape the direction of the local junior college.
Housing continues to be an issue. Despite countless meetings, 2013 didn’t make a big dent in the needs of the area. The Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp. (WREDC) is working on it. Minnesota West is working on it. Will 2014 be the year that makes some real progress toward an issue that is crippling Worthington?
Other stories yet to be written
There will be other big stories in 2014. What will happen with the Northland Mall? What new businesses will begin or what existing business will expand? What exciting and inspirational stories will happen in our area?
These are things we just don’t know.
And that’s the true excitement about the calendar flipping to a new year.
Here’s to a great 2014 and hoping you all make this year the best one yet.