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What was your top story of 2009?

By now, Santa Claus should be well on his way back to the North Pole with the only evidence left of his arrival being the mess in your living rooms.

Attention now turns to the oncoming of a new year and reflection of the passing year.

From my perspective, 2009 was certainly jam packed with noteworthy happenings.

One of my favorite things to do as the year winds down is too think back on the headlines from 2009 – both local and global – in search of the most significant news events that are scattered across the previous 12 months.

Next week, we will publish what we consider the top 10 local news stories of 2009 in the Demopolis Times. There is room for plenty of debate, but in researching through our bound volumes and back editions, it was clear that the events we have chosen deserve to be recognized for their newsworthiness.

On the national level, many 2009 headlines were both memorable and historical.

Barack Obama’s inauguration took place in 2009. Given he is the country’s first minority president, it would seem a given to place that story near the top of the list.

The virtual collapse of the automobile industry is also a headline-topper for 2009, as is the death of Michael Jackson.

Like him or not, his music influenced millions of people and was the driving force behind the success of the music video.

Once in a lifetime someone like Michael Jackson revolutionizes an entire industry and he certainly did that.

The Hudson plane crash is probably one of my favorite stories from 2009; not because the plane crashed but due to the circumstances that surrounded it and now-famous pilot Chesley Sullenberger. If you’ll recall, no injures were reported as “Sulley” coaxed the crippled commercial airliner to a watery landing.

If you haven’t heard the in-flight recording of Sulley’s communication to the tower, I encourage you to find it and listen. It’s impressive.

As you box up your Christmas decorations this week, take a moment and think back on what you consider some of the top news events of 2009 and look forward with us to the headlines that are to come in 2010.

Jason Cannon is publisher of the Demopolis Times.