The June 29 derecho windstorm caused many scenes of damage involving electrical lines and trees like the scene above from Tully St. in Convoy. (Times Bulletin file photo/Lindsay McCoy)
The June 29 derecho windstorm caused many scenes of damage involving electrical lines and trees like the scene above from Tully St. in Convoy. (Times Bulletin file photo/Lindsay McCoy)
BY ED GEBERT

Times Bulletin Editor

egebert@timesbulletin.com

We have almost reached the conclusion of 2012. During the past 12 months, many important things have happened in Van Wert County. While naysayers claim nothing happens here or nothing good happens here, nothing could be further from the truth. This year's list of top ten stories of the year contains the good and the bad, the trials and the triumphs of life in this area. Choosing ten stories from a year as the top stories is always difficult, and certainly your ideas may differ. The rankings were made subjectively by the staff of the Times Bulletin, taking into consideration the number of people affected and the amount of attention given from members of the public, the media, and public officials. Today, we wrap up the series with stories three through one.
#3 It's all elementary

For some, the opening of Van Wert Elementary School did not seem like that big of a deal. Just a few years ago a new school opened for middle school and high school students, but cost overruns and many other issues made that building controversial in the Van Wert community. Compared to that production, the opening of the new elementary building was farther off the radar.



#2 High on the list

Perhaps the one story in Van Wert County that tends to go unnoticed is one that is an underlying issue in every community. Illegal drugs have become the root cause of most crime in this area. It is not talked about much outside of those who participate in the practice or those very familiar with the drug culture. For students it is relatively unhidden. It then chooses to entrap many in either the selling or the consumption of these substances - oftentimes both.



#1 Blowing through town

As we discussed the possibilities for top story of the year among the Times Bulletin staff, the conversation ended quickly after the events of June 29 were mentioned. When a summer thunderstorm began to hit the area, no one was really prepared for what happened next. Winds gusted to 65-89 mph in the area. Trees fell by the dozen. Power poles were right behind also, especially a string of poles north of Van Wert which helped keep a sizable chunk of the northern part of the county without power for up to eight days.



For more on these stories, as well as a list of stories that missed the cut and stories to watch in 2013, see the Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 print edition of the Times Bulletin.