By editorial board • 

Here are the Top 10 stories of 2019 (maybe)

No, that headline is not a misprint. On Tuesday, the News-Register releases its Top 10 Stories of 2018. In the meantime, our editorial board thought we would take a crack at predicting the major stories in the following 12 months.

Landfill — This was the first year since 2010 that Riverbend Landfill did not land somewhere in our Top 10 stories of the year. That’s because we’ve been waiting since Nov. 13, 2017, for the Oregon Supreme Court to rule on the landfill’s expansion. 

We assume the court will announce its ruling sometime in the next 12 months, which will have major implications regarding the next chapters in this long, contentious saga.

Water — As the calendar changes to 2019, most of Oregon is in severe drought (this week, Yamhill County moved down to moderate). Furthermore, groundwater resources in rural parts of the valley are becoming more of a quandary as development continues. Many are forecasting a dry year that could lead to many water restrictions.

Homelessness — The Yamhill County 10-Year Ending Homelessness Plan was adopted June 29, 2009. The issue is, or at least appears to be, worse than ever. That’s not the lack of effort by countless people and organizations. But this is a West Coast epidemic that’s not going away anytime soon.

The Museum and Falls Event Center — One of the Evergreen Space Museum’s landlords continues to be embroiled in legal issues involving multiple, complicated bankruptcy (again). Parts of the campus up for sale clearly seems a possibility. 

Juvenile murder trials — It’s possible the county courtroom will endure two murder trials involving minors in 2019. Andrew Vineyard allegedly killed his father’s girlfriend, and Nicholas J.D. Aulig allegedly killed his grandfather by setting the house on fire. Both troubling stories that will play out in the courtroom.

Care centers fight back — The Oregon Health Care Assocation may seek a citywide vote, legal action against McMinnville or legislative remedy (or a combination of the three) to combat recent fees and fines placed on them for code enforcement and overuse of local emergency response services.

Big retail makes it or breaks — Many have been predicting the demise of national retailers like J.C. Penney and Staples, saying it’s only a matter of time before they’re pushed out by online sales. However, others think the corporations may rebound by reinventing their stores with expanded methods of drawing customers. Either way, there could be a major shakeup along the commercial stretches of Yamhill County in 2019.

More behemoths in Wine Country — St. Michelle is on its way to a new winery in the Dundee Hills, and Jackson Family is firmly planted in the valley. It wouldn’t surprise us if a few more major headlines develop out of the local wine industry in the next 12 months.

Shakeup at the county — Yamhill County enters 2019 with a new administrator in Ken Huffer and an ambitious new commissioner in Casey Kulla. Will it be business as usual, or a new day for the government?

Another major crime/death/loss story — Not something we enjoy predicting, but history tells us another tragic story will inevitably affect the local community.


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