What were the most popular stories this year at nelsonstar.com? It’s not an exact science, as our website tracks separate figures for desktop and mobile readers and some topics registered multiple times, but these were the general themes that earned the most clicks.
A letter to the editor by Jerry Arsenault was our single most-read item online this year, registering more than 21,000 hits. Arsenault was writing in response to an emergency meeting at L.V. Rogers Secondary school called to address a staffing crunch that threatened the ability of some students to get into the courses they wanted or needed.
“My son, who is suppose to be in Grade 10, cannot attend any core academics in his grade,” he wrote. “He cannot and most likely will not be able to get into an English 10 course this fall that is required to graduated.”
The letter obviously struck a chord, receiving 78 comments online in addition to the thousands of views.
This was just one in a series of stories about the Duhamel-Sitkum wildfire that received thousands of hits. It was a scary few days for residents who were placed on evacuation alert. The online comments included praise for the efforts of firefighters and arguments about whether the fire could be attributed to climate change.
The trial, conviction, and sentencing of Cst. Drew Turner generated intense online interest. Turner denied that punching a woman unconscious during her arrest in May 2014 constituted excessive force, but a judge didn’t believe him, based in part on the testimony of three other Nelson police officers. He was sentenced to 30 days house arrest and a year’s probation but his fate with the department remains unclear. He’s been on desk duty since he was charged.
Stories with “Shambhala” in the headline are always well-read, no matter what they say. In this instance, it was all positive, with police reporting the 18th annual music festival went off without a single major incident. Will Johnson’s photo feature on the people who attend the festival also received thousands of views.
In one of the most shocking tragedies of the year, fire claimed the life of Ryan Tapp, 28, a musician whose Taghum trailer burned. It required the collective efforts of three fire departments to put it out. Damage was extensive after 40 to 50 butane cannisters and several propane tanks ignited. Luckily, no emergency personnel were harmed and neighbouring properties were unscathed.
There are as many stories about the windstorm that struck Nelson this year as there are people in the city. The Star’s collection of some of those stories and a photo gallery illustrating the damage were among our most-viewed pages of the year.
“What the heck was that?” many people asked on June 6 after a loud rumbling woke up them up. There were plenty of guesses — Earthquake? Meteor? Military aircraft? Industrial blasting? Mine explosion? — but ultimately no definitive answer.