As 2011 winds to a close many people find themselves bidding it a welcomed good-bye. The challenging economy and a string of natural disasters including an earthquake, rank the year as an epic low spot for many American’s. However, as we at the Clarke Daily News look back, we see many good things and look expectantly towards what 2012 holds in store.
As we begin our third year publishing the news and events of Clarke County, we see a community that is seriously interested in the well being and welfare of its residents. Volunteer efforts are consistently in the news and the county always takes a keen interest in the education and welfare of our youth. We see hopeful residents who persistently struggle to prosper and build a better community in a radically different region and economy that has become the “new normal.”
Yet, in spite of all of the challenges that steal people’s time and energy, they still nurture a desire to stay connected with their community. Time constraints and the ever increasing pressure of day to day life often prevent people from being involved in civic and community events. That’s why more and more residents are turning to the Clarke Daily News to stay connected and informed. Last year 435 thousand visitors read over 1.3 million pages on our site. That’s a big number for a little county.
So, as we close out the year and look back on the events of 2011 we thought we would share what our readers felt were the most interesting and important stories of the past year. The following list shows the top 10 articles that garnered the most page views. It provides an interesting perspective into not only what Clarke County residents are interested in, but what the outside world sees when they look into Clarke County.
The Top Ten Most Read Articles of 2011
1. Archaeologist Claims 12,000-Year-Old Solstice Site in Clarke County – 8,004 Views
The leading story of 2011 was the discovery of an ancient solstice site in the county. The Clarke Daily News broke the story and archeology sites around the world picked it up boosting readership from places like the UK, Australia, Germany, and France.
2. Berryville Makes Its Debut in Wendy’s Commercial – 7,482 Views
High on the list and occupying two slots, Berryville’s debut in a Wendy’s commercial was a big read. Former Berryville residents who now live elsewhere saw the commercial on television and vectored back into the goings-on in Berryville through the photos and articles on the Clarke Daily News.
3. Billy Thompson Found Dead in Home – 3,231 Views
The untimely death of White Post resident and world renowned auto restorationist was a sad shock to the county.
4. Wendy’s is Coming to Berryville – 3,061 Views
The initial announcement that a Wendy’s was coming to Berryville created quite a stir.
5. Virginia State Police Bust Weekend Party – 3,029 Views
The perennial problem of underage drinking popped up in the form of a busted party in the county and readers wanted to know who was responsible.
6. County Seizes Horse on Animal Cruelty Charges – 2,988 Views
A terrible case of animal cruelty to horses resulted in the seizure of the animals and caught the interest the general population as well as the equestrian community.
7. Berryville Man Files Federal Lawsuit Over FOIA Response – 2,687 Views
A Freedom of Information Request filed by a Berryville resident was denied and spurred him to file a lawsuit that sparked interest from many different points of view.
8. Local Woman Arraigned on Charges Stemming From Shirley Death – 2,683 Views
Another manifestation of the underage drinking problem weaved its way through the court system as a local woman dealt with underage drinking charges.
9. Feds Arrest Four in $8.5M Cigarette Scam – 2,677 Views
A multi-million dollar cigarette scam was busted in Northern Virginia and a Berryville merchant was implicated.
10. Updated: Rash of Credit Card Fraud Sweeps Area – 2,442
Entertainment is a safe haven in a tough economy, but so is fraud and the two endeavors collided at the Alamo Theater in Winchester as readers followed the story of a massive credit card fraud case.
As we close out 2011 we would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our readers. We believe information is vital to a healthy community and we are proud to play a part in keeping Clarke County in the know.
Thanks for another great year and we wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year in 2012.