Today’s paper features the top stories of the year, as decided by The Chronicle-Telegram staff. But below you will find another set of top stories of the year – the ones voted on by you, the readers.
You may be thinking, “I don’t remember voting for anything,” but that’s not true. Every time you read a story on our website – whether you clicked a link on Facebook or Twitter, found our story in a Google search, or went directly to our homepage – you told us what stories interested you the most.
The most interesting thing about this list is how widely it differs from the stories we deemed to be the “top stories.” Only two stories made both lists.
We put this list together because we want you to know that what you read, and what you’re interested in, is important to us.
Thanks to online analytics, I can tell which stories are popular with readers, and which ones aren’t as popular as we’d hoped they would be. I can tell exactly how many people are on The Chronicle-Telegram’s website at any given minute, what they’re reading and where they’re reading it from. To me, this information is fascinating – how else would I know that at 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 19, six people were reading The Chronicle-Telegram online from Morris Plains, N.J.?
Numbers don’t lie, and these top stories from the year indicate what you, our readers, thought were the biggest stories of each month this year. While grim stories gained the most attention for most of the year, there was one glimmer of hope, and even a popular sports story on the list this year.
Lorain police seize 24K worth of high-grade marijuana, 7 guns, Jan. 17: The year started with crime, when police responding to a home invasion seized $24,000 worth of high-grade marijuana and seven guns. Two men were charged in the home invasion, but the evidence inside the home led police to believe the two victims were drug trafficking suppliers. (7,324 views)
Elyria man killed in industrial accident, Feb. 18: Randolph Vayda, an ArecelorMittal steel plant employee, was crushed by a railroad car after falling from it in an accident at the plant in Cleveland. (8,010 views)
Friends say bullying drove 14-year-old boy to suicide, March 27: The tragedies continued into March, when a 14-year-old Sheffield Middle School student committed suicide. The boy’s friends and family say the boy had endured bullying by his classmates. (14,539 views)
Four people shot in Oberlin, April 26: Four men were shot after an argument in Oberlin, and the alleged shooter was arrested. Thankfully, none of the victims’ injuries were life-threatening. (16,934 views)
Police: Woman murdered in Elyria, May 31: In May, Lauren Moore was killed in Elyria, and her live-in boyfriend, Vernon Shallenberger, was charged in the murder. (7,416 views)
Cavaliers rumored to be talking trade with Dallas, June 21: As the basketball offseason arrived, your interests moved from crime to sports. A story about the Cavaliers rumored to be in trade talks with Dallas was the only sports story to top our web list. (13,679 views)
Elyria worker found dead in home, July 16: In July, an Elyria city worker who had been charged with driving under the influence in a city vehicle earlier in the year was found dead in his home. (14,638 views)
North Ridgeville man killed when SUV crashes, Aug. 27: Tragedy again caught your attention in August, when a 49-year-old man was killed in a North Ridgeville car crash. The man was killed when the SUV he was driving hit two trees and landed on its roof on Avon-Belden Road. (8,168 views)
Amherst students make classmates dream come true, Sept. 20: It’s rare for an uplifting story to outshine death and crime news, but that’s what happened in September, when Amherst High School students crowned Morgan Stock as their homecoming queen. What makes the story so special, however, is that 17-year-old Morgan, at 31 inches tall and 30 pounds, has been battling a rare disease since she was a baby. (25,047 views)
Woman shot dead in Lorain; suspect dies shortly after arrest, Oct. 13: Another crime topped our web traffic in October, when Catalina Ortiz was found dead in a Lorain home. The resident of the home, William Taylor Jr., was arrested after crashing through a window of a nearby home. Taylor died shortly after his arrest, and authorities later ruled he had overdosed. (21,063 views)
Police reporting string of overdoses, Nov. 9: Drugs ruled the month of November, when a string of heroin overdoses was reported in the county. The potent heroin was blamed for at least 13 overdoses, including two fatalities. Law enforcement later determined the drug being sold as heroin was pure fetanyl, and made several arrests in the case. (23,193 views)
Body found in West Ridge Road cornfield, Dec. 11: The year ended with another tragedy, after a farmer working his cornfield found a body. Police said the body had been in the field for a couple of months, and determined that the man did not die from natural causes. (38,160 views)