Monday, Sep. 21st, 2009
Friday, Sep. 18th, 2009

HOTTEST LOCAL TOPIC OF CONVERSATION

1st Place: Jail expansion
2nd Place: Budget cuts
3rd Place: Sand plant in Chippewa

Honestly, the winners of this year’s hottest local topic came as a complete surprise to us, probably because the only people we really talked to were our mothers, and we have a year’s worth of newspapers in the closet that we really meant to get to, but you know … So anyway, apparently someone wanted to build a jail on the river? What the heck? Didn’t anyone think that maybe that land could be used for more attractive construction? And, get this, everyone was slashing budgets. That totally sucks! The schools, the city, local businesses – jobs and services were lost all over the place. And you’ll never believe this – some Canadians want Chippewa Falls’ sand! For what?! Giant sandboxes? Someone should probably point out that that would bring lots of heavy truck traffic, and would probably leave a big hole when they are done. Good thing we learned about all this in time … – Eric Rasmussen

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LOCAL NEWS STORY YOU WISH WOULD GO AWAY

1st Place: Brett Favre
2nd Place: Jail expansion
3rd Place: Anything with Bon Iver

In case you didn’t make yourself heard last year, you wanted to reiterate that you are really, REALLY tired of anything having to do with that Favre guy or that jail thing. More people came out of the woodwork to opine about Favre playing for the Vikings than almost any other single vote in the poll. It has become like a family drama that you wish would go away, but someone always drags it back up. On the other hand, people have quieted down about the jail expansion for a while. Exercising your free speech and political power is a lot like exercising your quads and your deltoids – you need time to rest in between. The Bon Iver media blitz was right up there with the jail issue. Justin Vernon’s music is sweet, but even chocolate can make you sick if you eat too much of it. – Betty Rae Matthews

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BEST LOCAL URBAN LEGEND

1st Place: Caryville hauntings
2nd Place: East Hill elephant
3rd Place: Uniroyal Suspension Bridge ghost

Caryville not only boasts spooks such as Mary Dean, Blackie the shadowy demon, and hellhounds that roam the cemetery and lake, but also a haunted school house and church that reside across the street from one another. Another legend dares those brave enough to peer into the river when crossing the bridge into Caryville to see it they can see headlights in its depths. Back in the day, a circus elephant was struck by lightning during a performance, and its bones were buried on the East Hill (sans feet, which were sent to New York – apparently they’re a delicacy). People have reported crossing the old Uniroyal Suspension Bridge in Boyd Park and having a sense that someone, or something, is there with them.  – Bailey Berg

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BIGGEST NEWS STORY GOT/GETTING SWEPT UNDER THE RUG

1st Place: School board cuts to elementary art
2nd Place: The one none of us knows about
3rd Place: College student river drowning conspiracy
 
With reductions to teaching positions and increases to athletic fees, local media seemed a tad too tied up with the school board cuts in spring to mention little old elementary art, which went from 60 minutes a week down to 45 and likewise had position cuts. That’s a big deal, but I don’t have to tell you – you voted it the biggest unreported story. Of course, it’s always safe to go with the one none of us knows about. There’s bound to be one, right? The story that will be on the radars of Eau Claire and La Crosse for years to come is the college student river drowning conspiracy that some believe to be more than a series of drunken accidents and maybe, just maybe, a ridiculously clever serial killer is behind it all. I don’t think that. Just some people do. – Trevor Kupf

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