So long, 2013. The last of the four-part look at local news in Dodge City and surrounding communities last year.
As a final goodbye to the year, here are some of the local stories the Globe told at the end of the year, from October through December. Expect many of these to re-emerge as the post-holiday haze wears off sometime in mid-January.
A story in the making for years reached its final chapters as several gang members involved in Kansas's second federal racketeering case received sentencing for gang-related murders, assaults and other crimes. The last of what has become a steady stream of announcements from the office of U.S. District Attorney Barry Grissom will happen in January, as the last of the 23 Dodge City gang members indicted in May 2012 find out their time.
Sutlers Store at Fort Dodge had a grand re-opening after years of neglect. The new store features a limited lunchtime menu and plenty of talk about the good ole days with residents of the veterans community.
The supply of housing continues to be tight in Kansas. In Dodge City, the school district and local companies have had difficulty retaining newly hired employees in light of the need. Expect some slackening next year.
Gas prices fell below $3 in much of the country, but Dodge City with its longer supply lines didn't see those lower prices until December.
The areas new indoor football team got a name, the Dodge City Law, and will begin playing in March. Since then, the owner, coach and support staff have been steadily signing talent and selling buckets of season tickets.
Dodge City started preparing for a number of big road projects, including the extension of Comanche Avenue to US-50 and the paving of US-50 as it takes its place as the city's major northern throughway.
The area saw an unseasonable snowfall in October, which meteorologists at the Dodge City National Weather Service station said happens about once every six years. It melted soon after, giving way to a relatively gentle rest of the season.
The Dodge City Police Department put out a request for body cameras to be worn by every patrol office. Since then, the plan has stalled somewhat, but the city says more information is on the way.
Larry Osborn and Josh Johnson from Asbury, Mo., took the westbound road to visit Dodge City in what should now be considered the quintessential pilgrimage for Old West aficionados, in a covered wagon.
The FDA announced new rules intended to secure the animal-feed supply line following hundreds of deaths of pets connected to China-made food. The new rules will apply to livestock feed producers, as well, which will need to invest equipment and labor to meet the regulations. How this will affect the retail price of beef is yet to be seen.
United Wireless saved South Drive-In by purchasing a digital projector. The theater would have had to shutter its shutter otherwise because they really don't make movies like they used to: film prints of movies will be unavailable next year.
The Veterans Administration clinic will move from Fort Dodge in the coming year to a new building in the northeast corner of Dodge City. The new clinic will be better suited for the clinic, which will be expanding its staff and its off-site tele-medicine program.
As the weather got cold the local fire departments had a busy couple of weeks as local residents kept inadvertently setting their homes on fire. On top of that: an arson, a house fire that ruined everything a family owned and a couple of tractor and hay fires, which firefighters say are a pain in the neck to fully extinguish.
Commentators, the federal banks and local experts continued to release a stream of information pointing to the same thing: 2014 is going to be difficult for both ranchers and farmers with high land values, low grain prices and structural changes to the beef market.
Ford County started working on converting the old jail into a clinic, which county officials hope to have ready by the end of 2014, where it will become the cornerstone of a new clinic district on the east side of town.
On an issue that will continue to produce news copy in this paper, the "Why Not Dodge?" advisory board approved tentative plans for a $10 million water park. City staff members say the timeline is already tight if the park is to open in May 2015. When the city and county will meet on the issue within that timeline remains to be seen, or when they do, if they will find a way to agree.