From now until New Year's Eve, the Times-Gazette will take a look back at 2007 by counting down the top 10 news stories of the year as voted by a panel of T-G staffers.
What makes a story newsworthy? There are several factors that can come into play. Some stories are newsworthy because they have long-term implications for the community. Others are newsworthy simply because everyone in town is talking about them. A countdown like this one is intended, not to make any sort of point, but simply to reflect what held people's interest and attention during the past 12 months.
Once all the choices have been revealed, we'll conduct an online poll to see which story you, the readers, would have picked as number one.
Today, we look at the 10th and ninth most newsworthy stories:
10) Standardized School Attire proposed (19 points)
(T-G File Photo by John I. Carney)
After approving a draft proposal in October, the school board scheduled four public hearings to gather input from parents and students. The first such hearing, held in November at Liberty School, drew a mix of comments -- the first half of the meeting was dominated by SSA opponents while the second half belonged to supporters. But speakers at the second hearing, held this month at Cascade High School, were unanimously opposed to SSA.
Two more hearings are scheduled before the school board votes on SSA in February. If some form of SSA is approved, it would take effect in fall 2008 for the 2008-2009 academic year.
9) Celebration runs smoothly, but numbers down (32 points, 1 first-place vote)
But the show's numbers were down. Spectator numbers for the first part of the show might have been hurt by the end of a blistering August heat wave (the heat wave itself just missed being one of the year's top 10 stories). The previous year's uncertainty may have made some spectators and exhibitors reluctant to make the trip to Shelbyville, out of fear they might be disappointed again.
Officials hope that the numbers will turn around in 2008, now that the industry's regulatory problems seem to have subsided. But in the months since the show, there has been other Celebration-related turmoil -- a separate story, which will appear elsewhere on the countdown.
Top story suggestions were solicited from the T-G news staff. A ballot containing 22 story possibilities was circulated to 10 different T-G staffers, each of whom selected his or her top 10 choices. Ten points were awarded for a first place vote, nine for a second place vote and so on.
THURSDAY: Honoring the past and building for the future.