Jones Outlook

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Another year in the making

I remember that a year ago I was a nervous about starting an internship here at the Pilot and my first chance of working on a real newspaper. Now, I'm sitting here at my computer thinking how much has changed.

First, I'm not longer a intern. That was a big change for me instead of rushing between classes and covering stories, now I have the rush of covering stories. This hasn't always been an easy task for me. I had a lot of learning to go through and still have a lot left.

I have met a lot of great people in and around the community. Everyone from parents helping me to identify kids in photos of their activities, to politicians explaining their positions on issues. I have also talked to a lot of answering machines and voice mail services along the way.

A year ago, I didn't know where I was going or what I would be doing when graduation came in May. Now, I'm not so confused. I have a good job and I enjoy my work.

There have been some personal changes in my life as well. I find myself doing more service work. In college at Buena Vista University, we had requirements for some community service. I honestly hated doing the service because I wasn't doing it to be helpful, it was a requirement. Now it's different, from spending time with the Pilot's Partners in Excellence class or helping out with other projects around the community, I actually like giving my time to a good cause.

The year has gone by so quickly as well, a lot of the friends I was close to at BVU have gone on to other things as well. Most are working on starting careers and it's interesting to see how quickly we have spread out.

Storm Lake has offered no shortage of news to experience - from the Law Enforcement Center and AWAYSIS to the elections and new businesses.

Now we have one of the bigger stories about the likelihood of Walgreens moving into the area that has been the Pilot-Tribune's home. The property has been sold and we are moving to a nice site at the Siefer Consultants building. Walgreens isn't talking.

I look ahead to the new year. Moving of a newspaper will be interesting. I know the presidential race will heat up and probably come to the area. Governor Tom Vilsack has plans to run so Storm Lake might get a visit or two from him on his quest for the White House.

The LEC and King's Pointe should be finished in the summer. Even if I'm not often a patron of a lodge or water park, I am interested to see the project done. Through months of city meetings and early construction, I've formed a mental picture about how the end product will look. I'm curious about how close it will match that, and those initial drawings.

We will also have alternative fuel plants in our backyard, and a proposal for a new elementary. It's been a good year; it will be interesting to see how things will unfold from here.