Reader picks: Top 10 most popular Item stories of 2015, by Facebook views

Published 8:06 am Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Don’t look now, but the year is almost over.

Over the past 12 months, The Picayune Item has covered everything from drug arrests to movie debuts; from Latin American supermarkets to football games—all the things that make up our community. It’s not always good news that makes it into the paper, our job is to keep the community informed of local events. Judging from this crop of most-popular news stories, our community has wide ranging interests.

We have assessed the popularity of these stories based on Facebook traffic over the past year.

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Usually, our stories might get a few thousand views. But our most popular story of the year, from May 17, got 50,336 page views.

The story was about how part of Old Kiln Road washed out from under a Hancock County driver late Saturday night.

Pittari wrote, “His vehicle made it across, but as the road fell beneath the vehicle its transmission was sheared from the bottom and the airbags deployed, (Michael) Laptas said.”

Laptas’ adventure plus the photos made it a story not-to-be-missed.

Our second most-popular story was from Sept. 14, when a Pearl River Central school bus loaded with kids collided with a truck on Highway 11. Although the photo of a burned out school bus certainly looked dramatic, there were no injuries. That story got 27,917 views.

Right behind it was another story about collisions, this one from June 1, involved multiple collisions on Highway 11. That story got 26,192 views.

For the No. 4 spot, we have a Jan. 15 story about skeletal remains. According to the story, a woman living near Rock Ridge Road went looking for her ducks and instead found a human skull. That story got 23,440 views.

January was a good month for interesting news, as the No. 5 spot goes to a Jan. 27 story about a missing hunter. The Item brought the good news that hunter Rob Varnado was found safe, after missing for several days. That story recieved 18,456 views.

The bottom five are as follows:

May 21, countywide drug arrests: 18,000 views.

Feb. 3, a fatal one-vehicle accident took two lives: 16,184 views.

Jan. 31, a high-speed car chase results in a drug arrest: 14,704 views.

May 11, 100 percent of PRC’s upper elementary students pass their tests: 14,616 views.

And finally, rounding down the Top 10:

Dec. 23, “Dreams of Stardom,” a Picayune girl makes an appearance in “Star Wars”: 14,421 views.