Some notes from a small-town editor trying to help build a big-time paper:
There were a couple of shining examples in recent days that underscore how police have to be ready for just about anything.
In a Phil Ray story last week that described an extensive Cambria County drug ring, one of the suspects was confronted in his home by at least eight officers. The suspect decided to assume a "football stance," apparently in preparation to attack the officers. He was handcuffed before a full game of "Red Rover" took place.
If that wasn't bizarre, consider the argument of a brother and sister - both in their mid-50s, one from Roaring Spring, the other from Altoona - had last weekend in Woodbury.
It was over bananas, according to state police, and it escalated into a fight. The brother allegedly accused his sister of eating and hiding the bananas. Both were cited for harassment.
No word on whether police have banned honeydew from the premises.
A friend called and asked, "Why would you put that in the paper. That's ridiculous."
It's a simple reason: Police were called, and police reports are public information.
It's a news organization that covers statewide politics and is part of a larger chain based in the Midwest. In addition to The Associated Press, we have used Capitolwire for many years, and PA Independent gives us another option to supplement what goes on in Harrisburg.
Because people can comment without using their real names and can hide behind the cloak of anonymity, when we have room, we try to pick the most balanced of the views to bring into our print editions.
The more biting the comment, the more it's necessary to use your real name.
It will add some emotion to the paper, and we plan to do a few per year. (I'd say several, but that led to an admonishment a few weeks ago on the exact definition of several.)
A few years ago, Cory Giger did a couple for our sports section, on Phil Witherspoon and Jack Trueblood. Both died in their 20s.
We'll try this with the idea that the stories will be focused on people whose deaths were not well documented. Email suggested possibilities to me.
Worthington's intern, Hannah Frank of Altoona, won two Pennsylvania Newspaper Press Association awards in graphic and page design. For a story on the award winners, please see Page D1.
When I arrived for work two days later, a couple of our good-natured colleagues had constructed and affixed a makeshift guillotine to my door.
Mirror Managing Editor Neil Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.