Everyone is doing it, so we might as well too! Last year continued to see us grow and grow. On the website, we had 1.4 million unique visitors throughout the year. Our main Facebook page is ending the year with about 63,000 “likes.” And there are just over 18,000 people following us on Twitter. Wow–who would have thought in less than five years, we could have grown like that? It is humbling, and I personally thank you.
As for the top ten stories of the year, I was surprised at how little overlap our stories had with other media and their lists. I suppose that demonstrates that we can all get along and that we all offer something unique to our readers. Another surprise was that our list was heavy on school stories which is odd considering we have made a very deliberate decision to cut back on the Anne Arundel County Schools news and information.
10. Anne Arundel County Public Schools became a piñata for the national media when they suspended a seven-year old for nibbling his school supplied pop-tart into a very abstract gun-shaped pastry. The boys parents are still trying to get this suspension removed from his record.
9. Maryland ushered in many new laws in 2013. Among them was a new law regarding guns. An editorial written by local attorney Drew Cochran hit many nerves.
8. A federal indictment of 18 people in an Anne Arundel County drug bust was also big news and included the seizure of the assets of a high-end automobile reseller in Annapolis.
7. Our highways were deadly this year with fatal accidents in Crofton, I-97, and several bicycle fatalities. However, the triple fatal accident on Easter morning on Piney Orchard Parkway that killed three local teens was our 7th most read article.
6. More school woes as a Broadneck teacher was suspended and ultimately fired for having an inappropriate relationship with students.
5. The story of a Pasadena man who shot and killed his girlfriend’s newly adopted puppy after it nipped at his feet, tugged at the heartstrings of our readers.
4. A video surfaced of an Arundel Middle School teacher lambasting a student. Ironically, the teacher was returned to the classroom; yet the other teacher who allowed this behavior in her classroom was dismissed. Subsequently, we have learned that the teacher who yelled at the child, resigned and is now working in the Prince Georges County Schools.
3. An Old Mill High School teacher was suspended for “inappropriate behavior” and the Twittersphere went wild with speculation.
2. In early March, Robin Pope disappeared from her Kent Island home. The search for he involved many jurisdictions and unfortunately, her body was discovered three weeks later. The State Police are still investigating but have not released any information regarding suspects. Actually, there were several stories on Robin’s disappearance and death and combined, they would have been the top story.
But as far as single stories go…the top post of the year is ….. (click to the next page)