As any professional journalist can testify, an old axiom holds that there are no stories in the newsroom. Really? Tell that to the staff of the Daily News in Eden, N.C. On Tuesday, as employees busied themselves with the next issue, a visitor barged in and thoroughly disrupted their work - leaping over desks, toppling a Christmas tree, and becoming entangled in phone and computer cables. Eventually, the visitor, a mature doe, found the way back out and was last seen dodging traffic en route to a local woods. Yes, the story made the front page.
A bit further west, in Chatta-nooga, Tenn., Roger and Imogene Gorsuch also have made news - by calling it quits. No, not by divorcing. The couple decided 45 years of being foster parents were enough. Records show they took in 233 children of 13 nationalities, in addition to four of their own.
Whether it's coincidental or not, western and southern states not only voted virtually en masse for President Bush Nov. 2, but they also are the fastest-growing as people from the urbanized and high-cost East, upper Midwest, and even southern California seek open space in which to spread out. According to the Census Bureau - which earlier this week reported that the nation's population grew by 2.9 million from July 1, 2003, to the same date this year - Nevada led the way for the 18th consecutive year. It gained 4.1 percent in population, spurred in large part by the bright lights of Las Vegas. The new arrivals have hiked Nevada's population to 2.3 million. The top 10 states in population growth, from the bureau's report:
9. North Carolina
10. New Mexico