’Tis the season to reminisce about the past year

’Tis the season to reminisce about the past year

Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012 8:00 pm
By: By Kevin Bowden, Staff Reporter

’Tis the season to reminisce about the past year | ’Tis the season to reminisce about the past year

I just passed my second anniversary back at The Messenger and thought this would be an appropriate time to do a little reminiscing.
A 12-month look back revealed some interesting items from the pages of The Messenger — some sad, some frustrating and some uplifting. I can’t wait to see what 2013 holds.
We began 2012 with Obion County still reeling from the Goodyear plant closure and then things brightened a little when Titan Tire announced plans to have 300 people at work by the end of this year.
It’s been an interesting year for Obion County and this coming year there’s going to be plenty to write about.
Maybe 2013 will be the year we can remove the question mark from the 2011 marijuana raid west of Hornbeak. Many Obion Countians are still waiting for arrests in the case and I’m personally looking forward to the day I’m able to take this story to the next level — arrests and prosecutions.
It’s an awfully big question mark that I’d like to delete.
Another question mark that directly affects Obion County is I-69. Without federal funding, this new interstate appears dead in the water and that’s  bad news for Obion County.
Keeping with the bad news theme, hopefully this coming year we will be able to remove our designation as having one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. It’s a distinction we don’t need and I believe you’ll really start to see the impact in the coming months. Business closing announcements are already beginning to surface.
And if it’s not business closings it’s buildings deteriorating and falling apart. Hopefully in 2013 we can do something about that. Hint, hint.
OK, enough of the negative stuff.
This past year we celebrated the safe return of our troops (in the Tennessee Army National Guard’s Union City-based 913th Engineer Co.) from their one-year deployment in support of Operation Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
Looking ahead, the 13th year of the new century will have plenty to celebrate — the opening of Discovery Park of America, the opening of Lake County’s Cates Landing and the opening of the new Samburg City Hall.
You can also expect continuing good news from Everett-Stewart Regional Airport.
Simply put, Discovery Park is going to be spectacular.
As a fan of museums, I can’t wait for the park to open. It should also help the local economy.
Another project that will certainly have a major impact on the region’s economy will be the opening of Cates Landing, just north of Tiptonville. I’ve been covering this project for the past two years and I don’t think I can even grasp just how big a deal this riverport will be for the region. Considering the ongoing shift toward a more global economy, Cates Landing will put this area on the map with a very large exclamation mark.
On a more local level, I continue to be impressed by all the work going on at the local airport, and Samburg (one of the smallest towns in the county) is continuing to prosper.
The opening of the new Samburg City Hall and all the other projects being done by city officials are making a difference.
On a personal note, I’d like to report that efforts to start a new countywide animal shelter are moving along. Our group, Wags & Whiskers, has already raised nearly $6,000 and we’re looking around for a site to build a new shelter.
One more good news snippet is the work taking place at the former Virgin’s Nursery off Nailling Drive.
Virgin’s Nursery closed its doors after more than 60 years in business this past year, and this spring the nursery will reopen as Soleil. Knowing the new owners, I’m certain it will be a spectacular shopping destination for all things horticultural.
Reflecting on this past year’s events, I’m happy to say it seems we’ve put to rest all the controversy over countywide fire protection.
And I’m also looking forward to a new year that doesn’t include another year of oppressive heat and drought. We don’t need any more of that either.
Here’s hoping everyone had a very Merry Christmas and I hope you have a safe and happy New Year.
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Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden can be contacted by email at kmbowden @ucmessenger.com. 

Published in The Messenger 12.28.12

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