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A for effort?

August 21, 2008 - Meg Alexander
Anyone who's noticed my by-line in the paper, or the lack there-of, has probably realized this hasn't been a productive week for me. But that doesn't mean I've just been sitting around watching television reruns all day. (OK, so just during breaktime. What can I say? I'm a Bravo junkie.)

Starting out Monday, I plan to write three, maybe four, articles for Tuesday's paper — Truman School Board; Fairmont Economic Development Authority; following up on a tip regarding a business coming to town; and a preview for the Rally for the Cure golf event at Rose Lake Golf Club.

Looking at everything on my to do list, I push back the preview story for later in the week, when the paper looked less full, so then I am down to three articles for the day.

At 4 p.m., I find out the FEDA meeting is cancelled. Cross that one out.

I check into the tip about the business, but my source needs more information before he can give me the scoop I need. (Three days later, and I'm still waiting, but based on the research I've done in the meantime, it looks like my original informant blew things out of proportion and there isn't much of a story there after all. A familiar outcome in this business.)

That leaves me with one article: Truman School Board. Ordinarily, I don't cover Truman, but Christine is busy doing layout for the evening since our editor is out of the office for the day, and I had volunteered to attend the meeting and check into a rumor that no one had filed for Truman School Board.

Arriving in Truman, I immediately notice my vehicle is the only one at the school, and I'm not early — anyone who knows me realizes what a rarity that would be. I check the door anyway, and sure enough, it's locked. However there is a sign posting the dates to file for school board — starting Aug. 26.

What a waste of a day. I'm doubly frustrated because I agreed to lay out/paginate the inside pages of the newspaper on Tuesday, so I know I won't be able to get as much done as I'd like — and I was right.

Tuesday, I find that one had returned my phone calls from Monday, and no one is around today either, so I leave message after message on different voicemails as I struggle to remember who I am calling and what it's about.

That evening, I plan on attending the park board meeting, a first for me but I assumed for some reason they were discussing plans to move the channel at Gomsrud Park, and I want the story. I stop by City Hall first, since it's just down the street from the Sentinel, and when no one is there (I'd forgotten to call during business hours to find out for sure where the meeting was) I head to Gomsrud. I'm pretty sure based on the agenda that the meeting is there, but I can't find the park board. (Turns out they were on the north side of the shelter house, discussing renovations for the facility, and I walked all around the playground area, but didn't see the group on the other side of the building. Doh! Picture Megan smacking her forehead!)

Thankfully, city employee Rande Isenberg was kind enough to call me after the meeting and fill me in. And while the story wasn't what I originally had in mind, it turned out all right.

Now I just have to wait for the flood of phone calls that will inevitably result from the many messages I've left for people the past few days. I'm hoping next week I will be too busy to even think about blogging.


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