I'm renewing a tradition I began last year, by ranking what I believed were the top 10 stories in the area and beyond for 2010.
While not all of them were Mid-Ohio Valley stories, nearly all in some fashion were followed by viewers in our area.
One I didn't mention, which I reported in my "Year In Review" story on the air, was the two lawsuits by present and former deputies against the Wood County Sheriff's Department, something that is still to be resolved in 2011. And, my criteria for ranking them includes the fact that most of them unfolded over a period of several months, rather than in a 24 or 48 hour period, and whether several of them are expected to have effects into the future.
Here is the list:
1. The death of Sen. Robert Byrd and the succession issue: Gov. Joe Manchin is elected to fill Byrd's former Senate seat; State Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin becomes West Virginia's Governor
2. Tornadoes hit Wood County and Southeast Ohio; one person dies in Belleville during preparations for Belleville Homecoming
3. Upsets in area elections; County Commissioner Rick Modesitt is defeated by Steve Gainer, David McKinley is elected to West Virginia First District Congressional seat after long-time incumbent Alan Mollohan loses in primary to Mike Oliverio; John Kasich defeats Ohio Governor Ted Strickland
4. User fee debate in Parkersburg; Marietta discusses furloughs of some city employees; all due to budget issues
5. Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital agrees to buy St. Joseph's Hospital under United Hospitals agreement
6. Upper Big Branch mine disaster in Southern West Virginia kills 38 miners
7. Child dies in October house fire in Belpre; John Cristopher Fortney sentenced after March arson fire destroys Marietta Wine Cellars and damages nearby businesses (Wine Cellars business later reopened at a new location)
8. Wood County Schools names James Patrick Law its superintendent after Bill Niday retires; Belpre Superintendent Harry Fleming announces his retirement in 2011
9. Brent Radabaugh charged several months after the April murder of Rebecca Hoyler in Parkersburg; Landon Evans accused of infant's death in Marietta in 2008; Rodney Delancey pleads guilty to several rape and sex abuse charges involving children.
10. Deaths: former Parkersburg Mayor Eugene Knotts, businessman and community leader Edwin Dils, former Parkersburg Fire Chief John Owens, former Vienna Councilwoman Ruby Montgomery.
Several of these stories, as I mentioned, didn't just play in 2010. They may have lasting effects into 2011...and beyond.