The battle over a proposed wood-burning energy plant in Rothschild pits neighbors against neighbors and leaves others in a plume of confusion over who’s right and who’s wrong. In a comprehensive report, the Wausau Daily Herald today sorts through the controversy and separates facts from fears.

Amy Ryan, another reporter at the Daily Herald, and I worked on this project for the last month. Amy handled the resident feedback, talking to the real people whose lives could be affected if the plant is approved and built. I focused on the science and economic information included and wrote the piece with guidance and help from editors, of course.

This issue isn’t going anywhere and I have a lot of ideas about how to follow up this report. But just on its own, I’m really proud of today’s story. I do wish we had spent more time thinking about online components, video to start with and other graphic presentations for the story itself. Practically, I’m still adjusting to what we can and can’t do. But I think this issue is important enough to create some evergreen content – flash graphics, etc. – that people will be interested in for several years.

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