Choosing the stories that belong on our annual list of top ten stories of the year is always a challenge. This year may have given us the most difficult challenge yet.

Choosing the stories that belong on our annual list of top ten stories of the year is always a challenge. This year may have given us the most difficult challenge yet.            

 There are always many good stories that come along each year but some years, certain stories stand out much more than others.

Some years the stories are relatively run of the mill. This was not one of those years.

There were a terrific number of important stories this past year. Choosing just ten among them caused much discussion at our office.

 In fact, limiting the picks to ten stories was almost impossible. Many of them tie together with other stories.

 My assertion was that we need to take each event or development as a single story. Others thought that we should tie stories together to illustrate the how issues and/or events are often inter-connected.

While I’m not totally convinced of that,  this is all for fun and is a good way to discuss as a community to look back on what was important and why it may have happened.

While some stories would be an obvious choice most years, that was not always the case in 2015. There were many notable developments and events, making it very hard to choose which ones were more noteworthy than others.

We solved some of that by tying some of them together.

 I don’t totally agree with each of our choices but some are too obvious to ignore while others can be debated endlessly. Of course not all of these stories are necessarily good news.

Such is the way of recording the doings in lively communities.

Our goal in selecting these noteworthy stories is to remind everyone of the significant  happenings of the past year and to inspire some fun discussion.

Next week, we’ll publish our look back at the past year, a more complete review of the news items that made these pages interesting to read and these communities interesting places to live.

Meanwhile, take a few minutes and think about what you think were the most important events of the past year and compare them to our list.

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 While they are not rare, it is rather unusual to see a  pileated woodpecker up close, for any length of time. Usually they seem to be spotted flying away in a flash.

The photo on page 2A was taken with the closest available camera, in this case my cell phone. While far from perfect it does capture the large, ungainly looking but deft bird. She was perusing the tree bark for hidden hibernating insects and then found her way to our suet feeder.     

She seemed to be getting plenty of satisfaction from her visit in our back yard and was in no hurry to leave.