Panama City Beach – Help The News Herald pick the Top 10 stories of 2009

Panama City Beach – We all have our notions on what the top stories of the year ought to be, so once again we are asking you to help us pick them.

Starting today, online at , you’ll find our candidates for the Top 10 stories of the year. Cast your vote between now and the end of the day Dec. 16, we’ll compare your Top 10 to ours, and we’ll provide you with a story on each beginning Tuesday, Dec. 22, through Dec. 31.

And if you think there’s something missing, let us know that, too.

The top stories of 2008 included some that might sound familiar — a faltering economy comes to mind — and some that have no chance of repeating themselves, like the dissolution of Cedar Grove.

To date, 2009 has proven to be newsworthy and we appreciate your help in sorting it out.

If you prefer, you can mail your selections to The News Herald, c/o Mike Cazalas, 501 W. 11th St., Panama City, FL 32401.

Following, in no particular order, are the candidates:

  • The Tourism Development Council adds two cents to the bed tax, targeting a low-cost carrier
  • Spring Break controversy, with the TDC dropping MTV, and the Beach drafting new special event rules
  • School closures, rezoning and repurposing
  • Bill Cramer unceremoniously removed as chairman of Gulf Coast Community College’s Board of Trustees FSU-PC faces closure
  • Dr. Michael Reed, Amy Cooper and the “cocaine conspiracy”
  • Baby Shannon’s abduction — and rescue
  • The economy: Jobs lost, wages cut, cutbacks abound
  • Recession hits banks, with the forced sale/merger of Peoples First and other banks hitting hard times
  • Dr. Jason Newsom loses his job over Health Department signage
  • Southwest Airlines picks Bay County’s new airport
  • Airport construction stays on schedule but is marred by flooding and controversy over the handling of the contract
  • The state attorney’s office has a new boss, as Glenn Hess takes over Jan. 1
  • Health care reform and state Rep. Allen Boyd’s town halls
  • Methamphetamine explodes in Bay County, a baby is burned, a new ordinance is drafted and the sheriff goes to war
  • Bus stop tragedy: A little girl is struck and killed crossing the street at a bus stop and her brother is seriously injured.
  • Girls Gone Wild saga continues in federal court, with a trial still looming
  • Hurricanes, or a lack thereof, though there was plenty of rain
  • Walmart on 23rd Street is out in favor of a Super Walmart a few miles away in Lynn Haven
  • Beach safety: A new ordinance gives law enforcement the authority to arrest people who refused to get out of rough surf and the number of drownings drops.
  • Swine flu
  • School prayers at football games
  • Mikael Cherry’s DUI/manslaughter trial and acquittal in Back Beach Road police chase

What do you think


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