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Morris Township-Morris Plains Editor’s Choice 2013

Patch editor Russ Crespolini looks back on the stories he found memorable.

This week we have reflected back on a lot of what grabbed the attention of the Morris Township and Morris Plains communities and what kept you talking long after the post was published. Now I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of stories that impacted me in my time here.

This story was one of the first I did when the transfer was complete. The retail arm of Homeless Solutions works to fund their good works in the community and their new store in Morris Plains hadn’t seen a lot of press. It was nice to start off a new beat with a positive story.

The next story that leaps out to me was the return Headquarters Plaza movie theater to Morristown. A few months after Clearview Cinemas closed down there was this momentous announcement that AMC had stepped in to pick up the slack. The story did very well, but the reason it is so memorable to me is that I broke the story first at the side of the road using the Patch app on the iPhone. It was a fun confluence of new media journalism and old school scoop fever.

The Greystone saga (which continues to develop) was fascinating to me because it is so inexorably linked to the Morristown area and everyone has an opinion on it. I also scared the crap out of myself taking photos of the Kirkbride building and surrounding grounds. I was also delighted to learn so much about the history of the building from the historians trying to save it, and from my own mother who did her psychiatric training for nursing school there.

This story isn’t spectacular. It is a solid update story on an issue in Morris Plains everyone is interested in, the development of the old Pfizer buildings. What I liked about this story is by waiting a bit we were able to avoid some of the pitfalls of misinformation that was published elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, we ALL make mistakes and it is hard swallow under the best of circumstances. This instance I was glad a little patience paid off with an accurate accounting of an important issue.

This was my first big exclusive breaking news piece in my new beat. Morris Township dissolving their own court was a big deal and it was one of those times sticking it out at a meeting paid off.

I just really like the headline in this post, and my boss did not. So it made the list.

A bunch of Frelinghuysen Middle School kids dropped eggs from the top of fire ladder in the name of science. Come on! Who has a better job than I do? I got to watch these little eggs in various parachutes plummet to their doom on a beautiful fall morning much to the delight (or chagrin depending on how the eggs landed) of the students and faculty. Check out the video, it’s a fun way to waste a minute.

A lot of what comprises my day is grinding out trying to find the stories that will impact my communities. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. A lot of it is, to wax poetically, a lot like the old gumshoe detective pounding the pavement looking for a lead. It means I sit through a lot of meetings with no guarantee that I made the right choice of what to cover until the meeting is over. Being the only member of the media to nab this nifty story on excellent AP scores for Morristown High School is an example of a night well spent.

So as we wind down 2013 and look forward to 2014 I wanted to thank you all for being so welcoming and patient with me. I look forward to partnering with you to make this site a true reflection of this community. And as always, drop me a line at russ.crespolini@patch.com for any reason. 

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