Courthouse watch was interesting

I spent an interesting evening at the courthouse Tuesday night as I followed the election returns and uploaded the info to our Free Press Web site.

When I arrived about 9 p.m. only three of the 12 polling places had been counted and posted. I found a bench with an outlet nearby and plugged in my wireless router and my laptop and hooked up to the Internet.

We had made a template for our breaking news story for the election results ahead of time so all I needed to do was fill in the numbers and update the article from the back end of our Web site.

County Clerk Carol Maggard and her support staff had things well organized. They posted the results to the county Web site, which was projected onto the south wall of the main floor of the courthouse. They also wrote the information by hand on a grease board set up in the main hallway.


To make it easier for myself I just logged on to the county?s Web site and pulled the numbers from it and transferred them to our Free Press site as they were updated.

In all, I updated the results 17 times throughout the evening until about midnight, when the final results had been counted.

Once I started updating info, I noticed we had about 250 people on our site from then on.

Our metrics showed we had more than 1,200 hits on this one breaking news story that night.


Now that the elections are over, I?ve been wondering what I am going to do with all of my free time.


I used a little bit of electricity at the courthouse that night so I got to wondering later whether or not I might owe for it. Maybe a little bit of my taxes can go for the juice I used.


Reports are that the need for food distributed by Main Street Ministries might be greater than normal this year.

This next weekend, during the Spirit of the Season event promoted by the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, will provide an opportunity to give to this worthy cause. The annual ?Scouting for Food? will also take place on Saturday, so hopefully the amount of support is equal to or exceeds the need.


We may be experiencing a slowing economy even in rural America, which thankfully never booms or busts like it does on the coasts or metropolitan areas of the country. The thing to remember is that people still need things and some people are still doing business as usual.

Now is the time to let people know what product or service you provide and the value you offer so that you will be the one who makes the sale.

Studies show that those who advertise during slower times actually gain marketshare when times get better.


In this week?s edition of the Free Press you will find the Holiday Gift Guide and Cookbook, which is the first of our weekly promotions now through Christmas.

The best way to avoid or minimize an economic slowdown for our county will be to do business with your friends and neighbors as much as possible.

We all wish to enjoy the quality of life that our communities offer, but without strong businesses operating here those benefits will not be sustainable.

In the big picture we need for our businesses to be strong in order to provide employment, pay taxes and support the community in return.

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