The Cobb County Courier’s top 10 stories of 2019

Welcome to Cobb County brick sign at Henderson Road on Veterans Memorial in article about resolution condemning racismCobb County welcome sign on Veterans Memorial at Henderson Road (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

There are four days left in 2019, but I feel pretty safe in predicting the top ten stories of 2019 won’t be supplanted by anything we publish in the next four days.

So here’s a list of the ten articles that got the most traffic in 2019, starting with the 10th ranked story:

10. Two Deaths in collision on Floyd Road

This tragic story of two young men killed when the car they were in entered the path of two drivers who were allegedly racing was particularly powerful among our readers, since quite a few people who engaged with the article on social media knew the victims.

There were also followup articles about the arrests in the collision here and here.

9. Boil water advisory issued for parts of Cobb

This very brief article about an advisory on possible drinking water contamination made the number nine slot. As information became available we reported that a pump failure caused untreated waste to be released into Nickajack Creek, but that the county determined there was no danger to the drinking water supply.

We reported on the progress of the repairs at the facility here, here and here.

8. BBQ restaurant, coffee shop, and Reformation Brewing join Riverview Landing

An article by Haisten Willis on the additions of Grand Champion BBQ, Chattahoochee Coffee Co. and Reformation Brewing to the Riverview Landing development on River View Road took eighth place on our list of highest traffic articles.

We’ve reported extensively on Riverview Landing from the time it was announced. You can read all our coverage of the project, with a lot of progress photos, by following this link.

7. Cobb County School District accused of hiding bullying

This article by Rebecca Gaunt reported on a press conference by attorney Mitch Skandalakis along with three families who alleged extreme bullying at Harrison and Walton high schools. The families said that the school district refused to deal with the bullying.

Skandalakis said that the Cobb County School District under-reported incidents, and covered them up with euphemisms like “joking around.”

Read all our coverage on school bullying in Cobb County here.

6. Mushroom foragers of Georgia

The mushroom foragers of Georgia by Alex Patton is the most surprising story on the top 10 list for 2019, because we published it in 2017, and when it was first published it really didn’t pick up a lot of traffic in the first week or two.

But like the Tortoise and the Hare, it picks up readers every single week, so by the end of each year it’s in the top ten. It has a high ranking on Google searches for mushroom foraging, which brings a seemingly small stream of readers that adds up over time.

5. Millenial Restaurant owner Ryan Campbell aims to become Smyrna’s mayor

Although he was defeated in the mayoral race by Derek Norton, Ryan Campbell had an enthusiastic following on social media, which boosted this article by Haisten Willis into the number 5 slot on our list. I suspect this won’t be the last time time Campbell seeks public office, since he has a large and enthusiastic base of followers.

4. Residents launch social media campaign against blighted Sprayberry Crossing

Rebecca Gaunt has been covering the efforts by neighbors of the Sprayberry Crossing shopping center to get the property cleaned up for over two years, and this article about a social media campaign in March made it to our number 4 slot.

Read all our coverage on Sprayberry Crossing here.

3. Monica DeLancy evicted from her apartment

The eviction of well-known renters rights advocate Monica DeLancy from her apartment two weeks before Christmas picked up a lot of readers, not just locally, but nationally.

In fact there was so much interest in the story nationally that it affected our statistics for December. Normally Marietta, Mableton and Smyrna dominate our readership statistics, but the article on Monica DeLancy’s eviction scattered our statistics all over the U.S. map.

2. Hiram Acworth Highway crash leaves two dead, two injured

The second-most read article for 2019 was the story of a tragic collision on Hiram Acworth Highway. It occurred in March, when a driver attempted to pass a truck and collided with an oncoming car.

1. GA Department of Public Health issues measles alert in Cobb County

Our top story by far was our report on the measles alert in Cobb County, and its high ranking was almost an accident.

I was working at my desk the weekend evening the alert was issued from the Georgia Department of Public Health, and happened to see the alert flash into my inbox. I wrote a brief intro, cut and pasted the alert into the article, and published it. So we were probably the first media source to break the story.

Then I put in calls to the county communications director, Cobb Douglas Public Health, and the Cobb County School District.

I think the main reasons this article made the number one spot was that I published it soon after the alert was issued, and since the person with the reported measles case was a Cobb County student, there was a lot of concern among parents.

You can read our followup stories on the measles outbreak by following this link.

The Cobb County Courier wishes everyone a Happy, Safe and Prosperous New Year!

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