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Looking back @ 2013

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Readers get their say in top stories of year

By Greg Summers

In the Sunday, Dec. 29, issue of The Lancaster News, we had our say as to the top 10 stories affecting Lancaster County and its citizens in 2013.

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Coming up with the list did involve some subjectivity. 

Factors taken into consideration included impact, the number of people it touched and public taxpayer dollars, as well as overall news value and interest.   

When sifting through the 157 issues of TLN published during the prior year, we identified 38 possible stories. The list was then pared to 32, 16 and finally 11. 

The one story that barely missed our Top 10 cut was the recent retirement of Lancaster High School football coach Bennie “Coach Mac” McMurray.

McMurray coached and taught a combined 38 years at four different schools, including two in Lancaster County.  

In making our decision, it simply came down to numbers. We instead opted to include the county’s unemployment rate drop from 11 percent in November 2012 to 8.8 percent in November 2013.

As a newsroom, we also exchanged ideas on how to rank them in our hometown Top 10. 

There was a consensus on the top three: Chinese textile manufacturer Keer America building a plant here; missing funds from the J. Marion Sims Foundation/Rotary Club/Clemson Club; and the smoking ordinance.

Positions 4 through 10 could’ve been easily interchanged.

Now, it’s time to put our readers and subscribers on equal footing by looking at data from the previous year.

The photo that generated the most interest by our readers was taken at an Oct. 23 house fire on Franandel Drive by reporter Reece Murphy. 

For obvious reasons, Nathan Wall of Lancaster County Fire Service and Steven Goings of Gooches Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department were oblivious to the American flag waving about their heads. They had a more pressing matter at hand.

The top story in reader interest was also easy to measure because it’s still happening. It is also very close to our hearts.

It’s the recovery of TLN photographer Aaron Morrison, who suffered a severe head injury July 15, in a Ballantyne, N.C., car crash. 

I received an email from someone Christmas Eve asking how A-Rod, as we call him, was progressing in his recovery. I had someone ask me about him on Friday and again on Saturday. We, his extended family, along with his family, thank you, our readers, for your concerns, words of encouragement and prayers as he recovers.

And to start the New Year off on a happy note, look for A-Rod, camera in hand, in the upcoming weeks. We’re sure he will thank you in person.

Now, here is your say about what mattered most to you in 2013. 

The top five front pages are based on rack sales; pages that, for what ever reason spurred you to drop six bits in a TLN box.

The top 10 stories list published today is based on the number of hits to our website, www.thelancasternews.com. 

Keep reading. 

We’ll keep writing.

Top 10 web ‘hits’ in 2013 at www.thelancasternews.com

1. Traffic accident on U.S. 521 (Nov. 22) 

2. Man charged with stealing almost $510K ( June 21) 

3. City employee shoots self at work (March 26)

4. Man dies in Camp Creek Road wreck (May 7)

5. Five-year-old girl dies from child abuse (March 5)

6. Bogus ad leads to armed robbery (July 9) 

7. Man dies from shooting injuries (Jan. 29)

8. Real estate agent charged with breach of trust (Jan. 18) 

9. Woman stabbed to death (Oct. 28)

10. J. Marion Sims Foundation reports possible theft of $220k (Feb. 26) 

 

Editor’s note – The website datat was compiled by Athena Remond

 

– Greg Summers is copy editor of The Lancaster News