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Honorable mention stories of 2016

January 1, 2017
Chuck Hunt - Register Editor ( , Faribault County Register

I can hardly believe that our list of top 10 stories for 2016 does not include three stories that each involve millions of dollars.

One would think that any story involving those kinds of big-money numbers would automatically make the list. I would for sure think that.

But they didn't. They are, of course, our leading contenders for the honorable mention list. And, there is a reason they didn't get included this year.

What reason? They are all possibilities for the future, and we are pretty sure they will be on the list next year.

One is a story about a plan for a possible $14-million project to remodel and add on to both Parker Oaks in Winnebago and Parkview Care Center in Wells.

Another story deals with a $6.6-million plan for a large street reconstruction and sewer project on the north side of Winnebago.

The third story deals with a $5.5-million reconstruction of the wastewater treatment plant in Blue Earth.

All three of these proposals do not have definite schedules or funding methods in place at this time, although the Blue Earth treatment plant is getting close and should be in the works this coming year.

There were some other stories that were, oh, so close to being on the list, but were not. Perhaps you'll think they should have been.

One was the election, of course. While the national race for president was dramatic (to say the least), locally there was not much in the way of big news.

Sure, two Blue Earth men were running for state and federal offices, but neither one of them won.

Jim Hagedorn came very, very close to defeating incumbent Tim Walz in the First Congressional District. And Zac Huntley took on longtime State representative Bob Gunther and lost.

Winning the election just might have put either one or both of them on the Top 10 list this year.

Another story that was a very close contender for the list was the one about the Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce and its plan to build a new combination Chamber office, Giant Museum and Welcome Center.

This year, the Chamber did purchase the old building in front of the Green Giant statue, with the plan of constructing their new building there next year.

That will probably automatically qualify it for inclusion on our list next December.

There was another story that was briefly on our Top 10 list, then moved down to just out of contention.

It was one my personal favorites, but only because so many people thought it was our annual April Fools Day story and that it wasn't true.

I refer, of course, to the story about Preparation H coming to Kiester, Minnesota, to film a television commercial.

We broke that story in the pages of the Register right before April 1. And, to be honest, it did sound exactly like what we would have had for an April Fools joke story.

But, it wasn't. The film crew came and made the commercial and it is still being shown on TV quite often. It is pretty short, but yes, indeed, it is all scenes from Kiester.

And, then, to top it all off, Preparation H and its public relations firm came back and threw a big, free dinner and party for all the residents of that little town in southeast Faribault County.

That Preparation H commercial was not the only strange national promotion to grace our pages last year.

It was all the way back in January of 2016 when we received the word KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) was coming to the middle of nowhere west of Winnebago, in Nashville Township with a food truck and give away lots of their new Nashville style KFC chicken.

Although it sounded hokey, turns out this deal was also very true.

There were a couple of other suspicious stories we tracked down last year.

One was that a once very short-lived school for troubled New York Jewish girls in the former Bricelyn School building, was going to open again.

Turns out that was true as well, only now it was going to house any troubled girls from anywhere in the U.S.

There was also that story last summer about the Beatles reuniting and performing at the Faribault County Fair.

Well, we all knew that couldn't possibly be true. I mean, aren't two of them still dead?

But it was partially true because a Beatles tribute band showed up and performed at the fair to a pretty sparse crowd due to the heat. Or maybe most folks just didn't believe it was true and stayed home.

We hope all your news this year of 2017 will be good news. Or at least be true.



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