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Advocate Editorial Board opinion: 2013 was year full of big stories in area

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Dec. 31, 2013 at 6:31 a.m.


It's a new year, and we hope it is a good beginning for everyone. The previous year was filled with lots of big events.

We've seen elected officials come and go, a couple of record-breaking high school athletes take the field, businesses come and leave, festivals celebrate everything from fishing to fruit and controversies of all shapes and sizes brew in Crossroads communities.

Take a look at a selection of some of the biggest and most-viewed news stories of 2013:

"IHOP manager terminated after video tirade airs": This story emerged when a family took a cellphone video of a manager at the Victoria IHOP having a confrontation with a Cuero couple. The video was posted on YouTube and has so far received more than 25,000 views. It generated a lot of conversation among readers about the quality of customer service in Victoria.

"Council disagrees whether withdrawal signals new mayor": The Victoria City Council election sparked a surprising controversy when former Mayor Will Armstrong chose to withdraw from the runoff with then-councilman Paul Polasek. What was expected to be a quick meeting to canvas votes and swear in office holders became an hourlong debate that included public comments, accusations, insults and the passage and then withdrawal of an illegal amendment. It also resulted in a prolonged open records battle over communications exchanged between certain members of the City Council outside of the meeting.

"Drive Thru Doc raises concerns": This story about the legality of a medical practice in Victoria drew lots of controversy among readers. Some thought the practice was a great idea while others considered it to be questionable.

"Goliad's $1 million mess": The issues uncovered in the handling of the Goliad Municipal Development District economic development funds pointed out the importance of accountability in action, especially when it comes to handling taxpayer money. After the story published, the Texas Rangers began investigating the program's lending practices, and state lawmakers are reexamining the law concerning MDDs.

"Cuero man who wrote book loses battle with lung cancer": Andrew Heard was one of a few community members who passed away this year. We've said goodbye to Victoria Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Terry Simons; Rebekah Taylor, a missionary who went to Faith Family Church; Joe Ames, a Bay City man who died while fishing; Dr. Ahmad Qadri, a Victoria oncologist who was well liked in the community; and many others were lost in 2013. In addition, the area has seen fatal wrecks and accidents this year. We send our deepest condolences to everyone who has lost a friend or family member this past year. We hope 2014 will be filled with love and happiness, not more sorrow.

"Former Memorial salutatorian makes 'Saturday Night Live' cast": Noel Wells was just one of a few Crossroads natives who made a splash on national TV this year. The area also had connections to contestants on several reality shows, including "The Voice," "MasterChef" and "Face Off."

These are just a few of the highlights of 2013. It's been an eventful year for the Crossroads. We hope 2014 will be a year with plenty of good, very little bad and continued prosperity in our communities.

Happy New Year, Victoria Advocate readers. We hope it is a great one.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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