The Daily Star launched its “On the Bright Side” feature more than 10 years ago, establishing a commitment to bring local readers at least one “good news” story on the front page of every single newspaper. (The only exception to this rule was the day after the 9/11 attacks.) This year, in addition to summarizing the top 10 local news stories of the year, The Daily Star is remembering the 10 “brightest” Brights of 2012.
1. Paul Wolfe of Milford wins NASCAR championship
Race fans can be picky in their allegiances to specific drivers or teams, but plenty of locals were rooting for the No. 2 car in the final NASCAR race of 2012 in November. Some may have been cheering for the driver, Brad Keselowski, but many were also rooting on crew chief Paul Wolfe, a Milford native who has risen in the NASCAR ranks.
Among the fans cheering Wolfe on in November were Harriet Hotaling, 86, formerly of Milford, who was at the Oneonta Veterans Club with her son, Tim O’Donnell.
“I think it’s just great that a local boy is making it good,” O’Donnell said.
2. Oneonta ‘Nutcracker’ reaches milestone
The Fokine Ballet Company’s production of the “Nutcracker” ballet marked 25 years of presenting the traditional holiday program to the Oneonta area in 2012. Under the direction of Donna Decker, scores of young dancers have twirled on the stage as sugar plums, flowers and soldiers to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s famous music.
Decker, whose roots with the “Nutcracker” stretch back to her grandmother, a prima ballerina who once danced at the Maryinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, greeted many former students who returned for the performance in December, and said goodbye to a dancer who had been with the production since its first incarnation.
3. Area woman, 90, showered with birthday cards
Birthdays are always a special occasion, but some are more special than others. Alice N. Hanley’s 90th birthday was very special indeed. The Walton woman woke up Aug. 21 to find 144 birthday cards hanging on lines outside her home.