How's your news sense? If you can pick the top 10 Utah news stories of 1994, you could win cash, a Far Side calendar, a video documenting the career of BYU football coach LaVell Edwards or a Deseret news Marathon T-shirt. The Deseret News will compare your list with vote tallies of all contest entrants.

Contest rules: From the 29 story summaries listed below, rank which news stories you think made the top 10. Your choices for the top 10 stories should be numbered by the blank at the beginning of each listed story. Please submit or fax ballots clipped from the newspaper. Additional entry forms are available at the Deseret News office. Only one entry per person.

Prizes: The entry that most closely matches the top 10 list determined by balloting will win the grand prize, a $150 gift certificate from ZCMI Center. Two second-place prize winners will receive a $50 ZCMI Center gift certificate. Ten other winners will receive a 1994 Far Side calendar, and fifteen others will get "LaVell Edwards, BYU's Football Classic" or a Deseret News Marathon T-shirt. Any ties will be broken by a drawing. Winners will be announced in the Jan. 1 Deseret News.

The ballot

Your top story should be No. 1, the second No. 2 and so forth.

Make only 10 choices.

-State Fair: Controversy rages for months over the future of the State Fair and its facilities. A task force recommends major revamping and Jackie Nokes steps down as director.

-Facilities sold: The deal to sell the state's Olympic facilities to the Salt Lake Olympic Bid Committee is signed in August, after changes were added in the contract to make sure taxpayers get proceeds from commercial development.

-Crazy weather: A long, hot summer is followed by a very wet and snowy November, setting new records.

-Child-welfare overhaul: A lawsuit alleging Utah's child-protection system abuses and neglects children in its care is settled. To repair the child-welfare system, the Legislature passes a Child Welfare Reform Act, hires new staff, beefs up training and standards and pours more than $13 million into the system to improve it.

-Incorporation drives: Three communities stage incorporation drives in Salt Lake County: The Cottonwoods, Union and Taylorsville/Bennion.

-Buzzball: Buzz baseball is a big hit in Salt Lake City, setting a Pacific Coast League record for attendance, and far surpassing city and team hopes. But success comes with a price: Salt Lake underestimates the cost of operating and maintaining the stadium.

-Cold War tests: Press digging reveals more secret Cold War tests that put Utahns at risk, including eight intentional meltdowns of reactors at Dugway and 68 heretofore unknown radiological weapons tests that scattered radioactive dust in Utah.

-Zoo deaths: Many Hogle Zoo animals die during the year. Results of a USDA investigation are still pending.

-The November election: Republicans sweep to power in both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years, and Rep. Karen Shepherd, D-Utah, is swept from office in the rout by Republican Enid Green Waldholz. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch is re-elected to a fourth term and takes over chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The GOP takes a supermajority in the Utah House of Representatives.

-Term limits: An initiative on term limits championed by independent Merrill Cook that also would have forced runoff elections in some races is defeated at the ballot box.

-Olympics opposition: Recent polls show support for the Winter Games bid falling to an all-time low of 56 percent, down from a high of 73 percent. An initiative petition drive to stop further state spending on the Winter Olympics was launched in October.

-"War on the West": Westerners in Congress combat what they call the Clinton administration's "War on the West," fighting proposals to double grazing fees, expand protections for threatened species, give the federal government more power over water rights on its land and restrict flights in national parks.

-Bonneville Pacific: A federal investigative task force enters the second year of a criminal investigation of failed Bonneville Pacific Corp. One of the masterminds of an alleged fraud that bankrupted the company, John Dunlop, meets with investigators looking at former employees, investors, professional service firms and business associates. Salt Lake Mayor Deedee Corradini and her husband are among those investigated.

-Shootout: Michael Scott Welcker, a Salt Lake County deputy sheriff, is killed and another deputy sheriff injured during a shootout with a barricaded gunman at the Granada Apartments in Taylorsville. The suspect dies after shooting himself in the head.

-Weapons destruction: Air Force starts destroying Poseidon missiles in the western desert, a welcome though controversial procedure; and an industrial complex at Tooele Army Depot designed to destroy 43 percent of the nation's chemical weapons stockpile nears completion. The safety chief says the plant is unsafe.

-F-16 crashes: Two of the jets from Hill Air Force Base crash in separate mishaps-- one in October and one in November. This follows another crash one year ago.

-Merger: Southwest Airlines purchases Utah-grown Morris Air.

-Gangs: A continued rise in gang violence, capped by high-profile homicides involving the death of a man trying to use a pay phone and a showdown in a grocery store parking lot that left two dead, sparks an unprecedented war on youth crime.

-Local hero: A drifter, Clifford Lynn Draper, holds 10 hostages in the Salt Lake City Library for 5 1/2 hours. After posing as one of the hostages, Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Lloyd Prescott shoots Draper three times when Draper indicates he is going to execute hostages.

-Rollin' into Utah: The Rolling Stones rock Utah.

-Hill Air Force Base: Layoffs at Hill Air Force Base continue as surrounding communities lobby Washington to keep the base off a 1995 closure list.

-Transition: Mormon Church President Ezra Taft Benson dies at age 94 and is succeeded by President Howard W. Hunter.

-Reform failure: Lawmakers had promised that 1994 would be the year for ethics reform, but it turned out to be anything but. The Legislature declined to open the Rules Committee, failed to tighten lobbyist disclosure laws and refused to deal with the practice of former lawmakers returning to Capitol Hill as lobbyists.

-Economy: Utah's economy continues to expand in 1994 as people continue to migrate into the Beehive State, fueling construction growth and other sectors of the economy. Southwestern Utah outpaces the rest of the state.

-NBA Playoffs: The Utah Jazz fall to Houston in the NBA Western Conference finals in a journey through the playoffs marked by owner Larry Miller's fracas with visiting Denver fans.

-Shooting: A teenager, Nathan Martinez, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of his stepmother and half-sister at the family's Bluffdale home. Martinez, who some believe was influenced by the movie "Natural Born Killers" is arrested in a Nebraska motel.

-Hi-tech marriage: Novell and WordPerfect merge.

-Hockey franchise folds: The Salt Lake Golden Eagles say goodbye to Utah.

-Leavitt: Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt emerges as a national political figure in his chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association and the Western Governors Association and in his calls for states' rights.


Send, bring or fax the marked ballot to the Deseret News.

Entry deadline: All entries must be received by the Deseret News by noon, Tues. Dec. 27.

Winners will be announced in the Sun. Jan. 1 Deseret News.

Please mail entries to:

Deseret News, Top 10 Contest, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, UT 84110

Deliver entries to: Deseret News, 30 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City

Fax entries to: (801) 237-2121





Employees of the Deseret News, Newspaper Agency Corp. and employees of other newspapers are not eligible to enter.