The bad with the good

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The old saying goes, "You have to take the bad with the good." It's been that kind of week around here.

Our pursuit of a story about the new Weiser State Forest district office building and garage along Route 42 near Aristes seemed like a cut-and-dry news feature. The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is relocating its headquarters to a new site in our coverage area in southeastern Columbia County from Cressona in Schuylkill County. As the story is developing, however, we learn of a state Department of Labor and Industry investigation about the construction project, and the reporting process takes on a second track. The result was two stories, published Sunday, about the building and the L&I probe.

A story in the same edition about a stolen and then wrecked car took a wrong turn as well, when police revealed a few days later that the car, in fact, wasn't stolen. By Thursday we had a new story documenting the case, which is further updated in today's edition. The "bad with the good" phrase doesn't exactly apply here, but suffice it to say the story wasn't as it appeared at first blush.

Even our happy story of nine puppies being found under the bleachers at the Silver Bowl in Mount Carmel, published in Friday's edition, ruffled some feathers. The story developed from contacts we made at a Mount Carmel Area School Board story Thursday night and we made a quick turn-around for Friday's edition. Some folks involved in the "rescue" of the puppies took exception to their lack of recognition in the initial story, but Friday gave us time to collect further details for a follow-up that's in today's edition.

Regardless, this can't help but go down as one of the cutest stories of the year.

New content

There are some new features in The News-Item that are worth a mention.

The first two, involving publication of code citations and the listing of civil claims for "recovery of real property" filed by landlords against tenants, each developed out of our ongoing coverage related to blight. This information is generally a matter of public record, but the larger point as far as we're concerned is that more information is now readily available to the public relative to the desire for a better quality of life in our communities.

More fun is our new "Blast from the Past" weekly photo feature. These photos, rather than being so old no one recognizes the place or the people, are instead more "current," mostly from the 1950s to the 1980s. We're digging into our archive of photo negatives for "Blast from the Past," and in addition to the photo we publish on Page 2 each Monday, we're posting others from that same assignment in a "Blast from the Past" folder under "Latest Photo Galleries" at Readers can purchase the photos and products such as mugs, T-shirts, buttons and more that incorporate the photos.

There's nothing like a look through an old photo album, and we have one for the entire community.

(Andy Heintzelman, editor of The News-Item, writes "The Week In News" for each Saturday edition.)

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