I hope you enjoyed the ringing in of 2011 and our compilation of the top stories of 2010.
Our No. 1 news story turned out to be the investigation of two off-duty Altoona police officers for the alleged beating of two people in an incident at Pellegrine's Lounge May 31.
Four unnamed officers were placed on administrative leave over the incident. Two have since been fired, and one has resigned.
The case has been referred to the state Attorney General's Office.
Voting is done by our reporting staff along with its editors, a total of 13 people, including me.
I was mildly surprised by the results of the voting since they didn't quite match my ballot.
My choice for story of the year were the three area Marines - Matt Ingham of Altoona, Derek Shanfield of Hastings and Ralph Fabbri of Gallitzin - killed in Afghanistan.
Wanting to respect the process but also wanting more information, I checked out the other ballots and learned of the significant number of first-place votes on the incident involving our local police force.
Further discussions revealed that the ramifications of the case could heighten its importance to the public even more, and it was noted that shortly after the voting was completed, the two firings were confirmed.
I concluded I was in the voting minority and can accept that.
We then talked about whether our coverage was equal to the story of the year. It was suggested that because the case is still pending, the coverage isn't complete, meaning it may come under consideration for 2011, too.
I had an interesting and cordial call from a reader the other day that suggested we went too far in outlining how a drug known as "Blizzard" is being used and how it affects people who use it.
The information was published in a story in which an alleged stabbing took place during a fight over the drug.
While some details of stories are disturbing - even to us - we feel it's our job to impart as much information as we have to explain why the incident may have taken place.
And in this case, the information about "Blizzard" hopefully can help educate people, especially parents.
While enjoying a New Year's Eve dinner at the Outback Bowl, we were once again reminded how news doesn't follow a time schedule.
Cory Giger, via his phone, reported to our table that Pitt football coach Michael Haywood was in jail on a domestic-abuse charge in South Bend, Ind.
We had an early deadline on New Year's Eve (outlined in the last Shop Talk column), but Giger hustled to pull a story together for altoonamirror.com and followed it up with commentary before the ball ascended to the top of Times Square.
The 24-7 news cycle never sleeps, and while it's nice for the paper to publish early on the eves of Christmas and New Year's, in order that the staff can spend time with their families, it's also beneficial to have a round-the-clock vehicle as an extension of the print product.
It underlines how we're in the information business, no matter what form it's transported.
The Mirror will once again sponsor our Hunting and Fishing Show this year. Circle Feb. 18-20 at the Blair County Convention Center.
Just can't wait to see Dan Slep in his camouflage vest.
Mirror Managing Editor Neil Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or email@example.com.