Year in Review: Most Read General News Stories in 2015

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Archaeologists from the Jamestown Rediscovery Project work at a site where the bodies of four of the founders of English America were discovered. (Courtesy Jamestown Rediscovery Project)
Archaeologists from the Jamestown Rediscovery Project work at a site where the bodies of four of the founders of English America were discovered. (Courtesy Jamestown Rediscovery Project)

In the last weeks of 2015, WYDaily took a look back at the year in news with overviews of stories from James City CountyYork County, the City of WilliamsburgYork County School DivisionWilliamsburg-James City County Schoolshigh school sports and more.

But which stories had readers clicking and sharing when they first published?

Below is a listing of WYDaily’s 10 general news stories that received the most pageviews in 2015.

10. Our readers are always interested in the new places to shop and dine in the area, and the opening of a tapas-inspired bar and restaurant in downtown Williamsburg was no exception. Triangle, a small plate dining bar, opened in the city-owned Triangle Building at the corner of Prince George Street and Armistead Avenue. Launched by proprietors Matthew Black, Tyler Eason and Anna Krouse, the new restaurant boasts a leadership staff who together have more than 30 years of restaurant experience. The Triangle’s opening put the Triangle Building at full capacity for the first time in years, with MAD About Chocolate and the recently opened Rick’s Cheese Steak Shop filling the other two spots.

Fireworks by Grucci put on a free show for Grand Illumination in 2015. (Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg)
Fireworks by Grucci put on a free show for Grand Illumination in 2015. (Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg)

9. In the days before Colonial Williamsburg’s annual Grand Illumination celebration, the living history museum announced a new company would put on the 2015 fireworks display – free of charge. Fireworks by Grucci Inc., which is based in New York and holds two Guinness world records for its work, wanted to offer their services for free in an effort to build a lasting partnership with Colonial Williamsburg.

8. After Colonial Williamsburg announced its plans for an ice rink on Duke of Gloucester Street – near Merchants Square – readers kept up with the ensuing coverage, making Williamsburg City Council’s approval of a long-term special event license one of 2015’s top stories. The proposal received unanimous support from the council members, and the Liberty Ice Pavilion opened in mid-November. The rink will be open through the end of February.

This year's stars, pictured left to right, are: (Seated) Linda Hertzler, Elizabeth Foxx, Carol Taylor, Dawn Holihan, Kimberly Renner. (Standing) Carrie Hanley, Chris Scrofani, Dave Gaston, Terryl Times, Joe Steele, Jr., Greg Carter. Not pictured, Greg Biernacki.
The 2016 contestants for Dancing with the Williamsburg Stars are made up of community leaders. (Courtesy of Dancing with the Williamsburg Stars)

7. Was your neighbor chosen to participate in Dancing with the Williamsburg Stars? Judging by the surge in pageviews for our unveiling of the contestants, you already know the answer to that question. The 2016 batch of amateur dancers include Sentara doctors, local business owners and other involved members of the community. Tickets go on sale soon, so make sure you catch up on who’s involved and the good causes the show supports.

6. On Nov. 3, readers woke up to a handy Election Guide on WYDaily.com. In addition to offering basic information for Election Day, the guide linked readers to past coverage on the candidates that could help them make their final ballot decisions before heading to the polls.

When larger and bulkier breast plates began to fall out of fashion, colonists would cut out pieces of iron from them to repurpose. The clean cuts on the edges of this plate are indicative that something like that probably happened to this particular artifact. (Elizabeth Hornsby/WYDaily)
When larger and bulkier breast plates began to fall out of fashion, colonists would cut out pieces of iron from them to repurpose. (Elizabeth Hornsby/WYDaily)

5. Our August edition of Jamestown Unearthed – our monthly look into the discoveries being made by the Jamestown Rediscovery Project – became the most popular of the always well-read series. In this edition, archaeologists came closer to declaring one dig site as a cellar that was not filled in during the fort cleanup of 1610; most cellars were filled in around that time because colonists were unable to keep out water long term. The August edition also outlined the discovery of pieces of an iron breastplate that was likely recycled for other purposes, as well as a sturgeon bone plate and German stoneware.

4. George T. “Duke” Diggs Jr.’s long-fought legal battle for punitive and actual damages related to the 1998 repossession of his car ended in a win for the James City County man. His civil suit victory grants him $1.5 million.

(Ty Hodges/WYDaily)
(Ty Hodges/WYDaily)

3. When Williamsburg Aquatic Club’s Board of Directors fired founder and head coach Harold Baker, supporters of the longtime coach did not just respond by reading about it in droves on WYDaily, They organized rallies, posted tributes on social media, organized petitions and, most importantly, took action: A month later, Baker’s supporters ousted the Board of Directors that fired him and voted in new representation, who rehired Baker.

2. Our readers take their deals seriously, and must be generous enough to spread the word about a good deal. Our story about the flash sale for tickets to Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town garnered enough pageviews to be our second most-read story of the year.

jamestown burial1. The most read story of 2015 is also the most read story in WYDaily’s history: The Jamestown Rediscovery team announced they discovered the graves of four men believed to have been founders of English America, and hometown readers helped spread the news while admiring the researchers they also call neighbors. WYDaily had full coverage with providing readers with an in-depth look at the four men, a compilation of videos from the archaeologists, access to a 3-D rendering of the dig site and a podcast with Director of Archaeology Dr. Bill Kelso and Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation President James Horn.