1Highway 34 Four-Lane Campaign Buys Masons' Building: "Build it and they will come," said campaign organizer John Goeman of Four for the Future members' decision to buy the Madison landmark. "We're sick of begging for federal money to build more road to Madison. We're going build something to give people a reason to come to Madison." Goeman and his colleagues have formed a non-profit corporation and hired local carpenters and artists to turn the old Masonic temple into a cooperative coffee house, gallery, meeting hall, and movie theater.
2TSA Officers Work Naked: "I wasn't trying to start a revolution," said Chicago airport security agent Ralph Jablonski. "I just tell this lady to step into the body scanner, and she says, 'You show me yours and I'll show you mine.' So I says o.k., I drop my pants, and the lady steps right into the scanner, no questions asked. Pretty soon everybody in the airport's droppin' their drawers." Jablonski's initiative was so effective at improving customer satisfaction and trust, President Obama soon mandated nudity for all TSA staff. This new government transparency has inspired passengers to fly naked and made security a breeze.
3Fahrenwald Named MadChestRut Superintendent: Following the resignations of their superintendents, Madison and Chester school districts both realized they could get along without a superintendent. "We farmed out duties to the principals and business manager, and no one noticed a difference," said Madison board president Jay Niedert. Madison and Chester then pursued further cost savings by taking up an offer from the Rutland school district: the two school districts dissolved and merged with the Rutland School District. Rutland Superintendent Carl Fahrenwald will run the new district, which spans three-quarters of Lake County. Madison residents responded with cautious approval: "Maybe now we'll win some football games," said former coach Tom Milne.
4Jason Bjorklund Places Third in County Commission Race: Local 9-12 Project activist Jason Bjorklund came within two votes of winning a Lake County Commission seat in the November 2 election. Bjorklund's third-place finish was the closest any Glenn Beck/Tea Party candidate came to actually winning elected office on any South Dakota ballot. "I love politics!" said Bjorklund, vowing to run again. "I just need to keep improving my public speaking skills. I also need to remember that real county politics are about fixing roads and hiring good cops, not banning the Federal Reserve and preaching Natural Law."
5Heidepriem Names Munsterman Economic Development Czar: After a literally bruising gubernatorial race that saw primary season fistfights and independent challengers splintering the state Republican Party, Governor-Elect Scott Heidepriem announced the olive-branch appointment of his main challenger, Scott Munsterman, as state economic development czar. "Scott knows South Dakota's future depends on promoting growth through cooperation in our rural communities," said Heidepriem. "Plus, the economic portfolio will keep Scott away from his nutty fundagelical friends in the all-abortion-all-the-time crowd."
...read on: here's the second half of the Top Ten Stories of 2010!