It’s always interesting to look at our website stats at the end of the year. We think we know what’s going to be the most-read story, based on questions we’ve gotten about stories, or letters to the editor, or even Facebook comments. And we’re usually surprised.
This year, for instance, our best-read story, with about three times the views of any other story, was a court case, but not the one I was expecting it to be. And three of my favorites — Darci Gillen’s dramatic retelling of saving a drowning boy, the huge response the Valley gave to the Snoqualmie Muslim Association’s first-ever open house, and the two students who represented themselves so clearly in calling on the school board to act in response to the discovery of a “hate list” created by students in Running Start at Bellevue College, didn’t even make the top 10. They were in the top 20, though.
One law enforcement story also got less response than I had predicted, because of the far reach that the area’s hiking trails have. When DNR officers were authorized to issue parking tickets and have illegally parked vehicles towed from area roads serving trailheads, it seemed that the whole Mount Si Road community breathed a sigh of relief.
It was actually two law enforcement stories that got less than expected attention, but the report on the first crash to be attributed to drivers playing Pokémon Go in Fall City could be found on websites across the country, so I shouldn’t have expected our views to be more than average.
And what was our average? More than 300 views a day.
Now take a look at our list and see how your predictions matched up.
1) Attorney General files charges against water treatment plant manager at North Bend fire academy (March 8)
Charges filed against a Shelton company contracted to manage the wastewater treatment plant at the Washington State Fire Training Academy in North Bend included falsifying records to indicate less bacteria present in reclaimed water, which firefighters then used in training exercises.
2) Vehicle crashes into Fall City Roadhouse and Inn; (June 2)
The Fall City Roadhouse was unexpectedly closed when a car on the curving S.R. 202 went straight instead of following the road, and crashed into the dining room of the restaurant. The good news is they were open again for business by the weekend.
3) Human remains found near Snoqualmie Parkway, (Dec. 2)
Police are continuing to investigate this sad case. A man’s remains were found in the wooded area between S.R. 202 and the river, across from the Snoqualmie Parkway, but he had no identifying information and his case doesn’t match any missing persons reports.
4) Duvall cancer survivor riding 50 miles for Fred Hutch fundraiser (July 15)
Duvall resident Katie Bunker is fundraising for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, after a childhood bout with malignant melanoma. As part of the Hutch’s Obliteride, Bunker planned to ride her bicycle 50 miles and raised more than $1,400 for the event.
5) Duvall Fire District hacked; Snoqualmie pays ransom (April 6)
Snoqualmie has paid a ransom of $750 to hackers to restore files they encrypted to the Duvall Fire Department (Fire Protection District 45) on Jan. 22. Snoqualmie provides IT services to the fire district and determined that the ransom was the most efficient way to restore the files, which were corrupted when a district employee clicked on a link in a falsified email Jan. 7, giving the hackers access to a district server.
See our follow-up story for information on how to protect your own computers from hackers, http://www.valleyrecord.com/news/snoqualmie-it-director-discusses-duvall-hack-how-to-protect-your-own-data.
6) Snoqualmie man, area substitute teacher, arrested on child pornography charges (June 3)
A notice went out to several school districts, including the Snoqualmie Valley, that a Snoqualmie resident and substitute teacher was charged with possession of child pornography.
7) Five Mount Si students earn sports scholarships (February 10)
Mount Si High School seniors Camryn Buck, Tova Barden, Alden Huschle, Parker Dumas, and Colton Swain signed their letters of intent to play college sports on National Letter of Intent Day.
8) Celebration of life planned July 9 for Adrienna Rasmussen (June 29)
The death of Annie Rasmussen June 19, after hiking in an extreme heat wave in Arizona, was a shock to much of the Snoqualmie Valley community.
9) Snoqualmie man pleads guilty to federal wire fraud charges; (March 11)
A summary of fraud charges filed against a local businessman and his response to them.
10) Scott’s Dairy Freeze getting new owner and starts up Soul Food nights (Feb. 24)
North Bend’s go-to burger joint was sold in early 2016. Owner Ken Hearing handed over the keys to the business and the name to Andy Moreno, a longtime friend who started talking with him about taking the shop over in 2015.
And, because it was such an eventful year, here are a few more that got a lot of attention.
Snoqualmie Tribe files lawsuit to stop Salish Expansion (June 7)
Talking Rain hires Brian Kuz as chief marketing officer (Oct. 25)
DNR officers to get enforcement authority for illegal parking at trailheads (June 22)
Camp Korey expands to site in Mt. Vernon, leaves Carnation Farm in September (July 27)
Snoqualmie Muslim Association open house event draws standing-room-only audience (Feb. 2)
Snoqualmie woman saves child with CPR
Mount Si students named to ‘hate list’ on social media; police believe there was no real threat