The year doesn't just stop at 10 stories. There were a number of others that drew our eye as we looked back at 2013.
It was a year of true showings of compassion and terrible moments of tragedy. There were major improvements, events and construction projects.
One project which took much of the year was the continued repair and renovation of Engine 1023 by the Heart of the Heartlands. The engine, which had been slowly deteriorating in Schlanger Park over many decades, was given to the club for its new home at the Carona Depot. Sandblasting, new painting, and a number of new security measures have been put into place to help preserve and protect the engine.
Continuing with the thought of long-term projects, the problem of the Crawford County Courthouse elevator came to a head as county commissioners bit the bullet and moved on plans to replace the elevator. Parts for the elevator were no longer available and it was not ADA-compliant. While the replacement of the elevator is its own issue, the displacement of the district court was its own issue. The project is expected to be completed early in 2014.
Downtown Pittsburg saw a number of positive improvements in 2013. That included the third phase of façade grants for local businesses. Downtown was also decorated with color through the inaugural Run Your Art Out 5K in August. Art Walks continued to grow in size and popularity throughout the year. One final newsworthy event happened in downtown this year: Jeff Wilbert was brought on as the new downtown district coordinator.
There was an important milestone for one local business this year as Watco reached its 30th year of operations.
Before this year, Randy Jones was just the mayor of Mulberry. Now he is the 2013 Kansas Mayor of the Year. Jones was nominated by Tammy Wyland, Mulberry city clerk, on behalf of the city's staff and residents.
Education received a boost of its own in the area with a number of 1:1 initiatives transforming the classroom. USD 248 Girard started the year with an iPad program that is turning the traditional idea of a classroom on its head. Other school districts have seen simliar results.
The Arma Public Library also completed a major renovation and expansion that was completed in the early part of the year. The expansion more than doubled the amount of available space for the library.
The Morning Sun's own Nikki Patrick was honored twice this year. First, the green room at Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium was renamed in her honor in August for her service and dedication to arts and theater in the community. Second, she received the "Inspiration of Hope" award at the 15th annual breast cancer candlelight vigil in October.
In one of the more inspiring community events of the year, Family Life Assembly of God "adopted" Westside Elementary. The church held a community fair for the school, offering haircuts, clothes, health essentials, and more, as well as providing backpacks, socks, shoes and school supplies to each of the school's students.
Finally, among the many tragic deaths of the year, it's perhaps the youngest death that left the most impact. After more than a year of battling through surgeries, hospital visits, and more, Lylah Harris lost her battle with a congenital heart defect and a chromosome disorder in November. Throughout the year, a number of fundraisers took place in her name. Lylah Harris was 14 months old.