by Judy Hodgson, Editor and Publisher

We were looking for a cover story idea that would be appropriate to begin the new year. Since we are also celebrating our eighth year of publication, just for fun we looked back over our past January editions to see if there's a pattern.

In January 1991 we took a look at the 10 worst roads in Humboldt County in terms of traffic accidents. I recall it was a popular edition especially with the folks who lived and travelled on those "Killer roads" on a daily basis.

In 1992 we had a story ready to go on the shortage of primary care physicians when Alann Steen was released from captivity. Steen, a former student and journalism instructor at Humboldt State University, had been teaching in Beirut, Lebanon when he was captured by extremists and held hostage for five years. The exclusive interview, our cover story, was conducted by Journal copy editor Howard Seemann who also taught at HSU.

In 1993 we had a story on the economy, "Signs of hope, signs of stress" that perhaps could be rerun today and still be valid. In 1994 Viola McBride, Ferndale's guiding spirit and light who died in 1996, was our cover subject.

In 1995 the environment was the topic in "A story of six rivers" and the sale of Yakima, an Arcata based company that manufacturers car top carriers, was on the cover for 1996. Last year it was the phenomenal explosion of women sports, "Not your mother's game."

There you have it. No pattern to January: Public safety, people, the economy, people, the environment, business and sports.

This month? Back to business. Reporter Jessie Faulkner takes a look at a number of rising stars in the food and beverage industry here in Humboldt County who are flexing some economic muscle.

Best wishes for the new year.

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