News Journal’s most read stories show a community that cares


These were the most-read, shared from WNJ in 2015

By Nathan Kraatz



Also early in 2015, Ohio Gov. John A. Kasich chose Wilmington as the place where he would give his State of the State address, making the city the center of state government for a day. He touted job gains and outlined goals for the year.

Also early in 2015, Ohio Gov. John A. Kasich chose Wilmington as the place where he would give his State of the State address, making the city the center of state government for a day. He touted job gains and outlined goals for the year.


Mark Huber | News Journal

Shelby and Tom LaPine met Bill Repp, right, who received their son’s heart. Bill said the moment, and Luke LaPine’s donated organ, brought the family together as one.


Nathan Kraatz | News Journal

A semi-truck went onto the exit ramp for the weigh station north of Wilmington, through the concrete barriers, and through the structure, totaling the truck and the station on Saturday.


Nathan Kraatz | Wilmington News Journal

The Clinton-Massie Falcons made their annual deep run in the playoffs and finished 12-2 overall, led by record-breaking running back Davey Tunon (shown).


News Journal file photo

Quinten Rollins returns an interception for a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams, one of his two interceptions in the game. Rollins, a Wilmington High School grad who played at Miami University, was drafted in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, and he has seen significant playing time time his rookie season on both defense and special teams.


Courtesy Photo | Jim Biever, Green Bay Packers

Wilmington’s Jarron Cumberland signing to play for the University of Cincinnati basketball team was one of the most shared, liked and commented on of News Journal stories on Facebook. The 2014-15 Hurricane finished the season 24-2. Senior Jaevin Cumberland signed to play basketball at Oakland University in Michigan. Shown, Wilmington’s Cameron Stewart (left), Dylan Beauguard (top) and Jarron Cumberland (right) surround Clinton-Massie’s Ryan Collette during a game.


News Journal file photo

Wilmington Police Officer Jerry Popp and K9 Karson reunited early in 2015 after several months when Karson was nowhere to be found after escaping from a boarder. Karson soon returned to his job with the Wilmington Police Department, and his travels even led to a children’s book.


News Journal file photo

Hundreds of students and residents attended the ribbon-cutting and took self-guided tours of the 41,000 square-foot Center for Sport Sciences facility on the campus of Wilmington College. Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Drayer Physical Therapy Institute, Chiropractic Care, and CMH Regional Health System have satellite branches in the center. They will offer medical services to the community, as well as working with WC student-athletes who have injuries, and with athletic training students who will receive clinical experience on campus. The $10.4 million facility also features a 40-by-40 yard indoor turf field (shown).


Courtesy photo | MSA Sport

Media across the world are tasked with, among other duties, holding up a mirror to the communities they cover.

And in this digital age of big data, the media can see what stories people read.

Online readers of the Wilmington News Journal favored breaking news and heart-touching stories more than all others, according to an analysis of the News Journal’s Google Analytics data.

The top story read online in 2015 was that of a truck running into and demolishing roughly half of a closed weigh station north of Wilmington. Other breaking news stories rounded out the lion’s share of the most-read list, mostly traffic collisions and crime.

Breaking news cinched victory on social media, where stories of bomb threats and school buses in accidents were seen by more than 37,000 people each on Facebook. Meanwhile, stories of healing, victory, progress and city parks news rounded out more of our most shared, most liked and most commented on stories.

Our most read stories include when Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt warned the village about three overdoses that occurred in one night and on one block of the village. And when Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand announced the arrests of two people accused of confining two children to closets.

Some would say that the high numbers of people reading breaking crime and traffic news suggests “nosiness” while others might argue that it reveals a community concerned about public safety.

While the truth is complex and that both of those motives, and others, are at play, we can suggest another motive to add to the mix – our readers, you, care about your neighbors.

We base that on the data behind heart-string pulling articles on our site. Though fewer in number, they have just as many, and sometimes more, reads than breaking news stories.

When Wilmington Mayor Randy Riley shared, for National Suicide Prevention Month, personal details about his son’s suicide several years ago with readers of the News Journal, he probably didn’t know it would become the year’s second most-read article.

The same may be said about Shelby LaPine’s tearful meeting with her son Luke LaPine’s heart recipient. That article was a very close third, and readers took to social media to share encouraging comments. In fact, it was the most commented, shared and liked News Journal story of the year on Facebook.

Both of those articles received more than 12,400 page views. By comparison, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated in 2014 that less than 12,400 people, including children, live in Wilmington.

So, while thousands of people read breaking news about public safety, more people on average read Mayor Riley’s call to families to listen, believe and help their loved ones than live in the city he governs.

That’s encouraging. Idealists though we may be, Wilmington and Clinton County residents seem to care deeply about their neighbors. It may be because of the small town atmosphere, where everybody knows everybody.

But we like to think the community has lived through so much together, and we believe Bill Repp, who received Luke LaPine’s heart, put it best when he said, “We’re family now.”

Also early in 2015, Ohio Gov. John A. Kasich chose Wilmington as the place where he would give his State of the State address, making the city the center of state government for a day. He touted job gains and outlined goals for the year.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2015/12/web1_Kasich-vertical2.jpgAlso early in 2015, Ohio Gov. John A. Kasich chose Wilmington as the place where he would give his State of the State address, making the city the center of state government for a day. He touted job gains and outlined goals for the year. Mark Huber | News Journal

Shelby and Tom LaPine met Bill Repp, right, who received their son’s heart. Bill said the moment, and Luke LaPine’s donated organ, brought the family together as one.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2015/12/web1_DSC_0153.jpgShelby and Tom LaPine met Bill Repp, right, who received their son’s heart. Bill said the moment, and Luke LaPine’s donated organ, brought the family together as one. Nathan Kraatz | News Journal

A semi-truck went onto the exit ramp for the weigh station north of Wilmington, through the concrete barriers, and through the structure, totaling the truck and the station on Saturday.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2015/12/web1_IMG_0751.jpgA semi-truck went onto the exit ramp for the weigh station north of Wilmington, through the concrete barriers, and through the structure, totaling the truck and the station on Saturday. Nathan Kraatz | Wilmington News Journal

The Clinton-Massie Falcons made their annual deep run in the playoffs and finished 12-2 overall, led by record-breaking running back Davey Tunon (shown).
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2015/12/web1_tunon.jpgThe Clinton-Massie Falcons made their annual deep run in the playoffs and finished 12-2 overall, led by record-breaking running back Davey Tunon (shown). News Journal file photo

Quinten Rollins returns an interception for a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams, one of his two interceptions in the game. Rollins, a Wilmington High School grad who played at Miami University, was drafted in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, and he has seen significant playing time time his rookie season on both defense and special teams.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2015/12/web1_quinten-pick-6.jpgQuinten Rollins returns an interception for a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams, one of his two interceptions in the game. Rollins, a Wilmington High School grad who played at Miami University, was drafted in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, and he has seen significant playing time time his rookie season on both defense and special teams. Courtesy Photo | Jim Biever, Green Bay Packers

Wilmington’s Jarron Cumberland signing to play for the University of Cincinnati basketball team was one of the most shared, liked and commented on of News Journal stories on Facebook. The 2014-15 Hurricane finished the season 24-2. Senior Jaevin Cumberland signed to play basketball at Oakland University in Michigan. Shown, Wilmington’s Cameron Stewart (left), Dylan Beauguard (top) and Jarron Cumberland (right) surround Clinton-Massie’s Ryan Collette during a game.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2015/12/web1_whs-boys.jpgWilmington’s Jarron Cumberland signing to play for the University of Cincinnati basketball team was one of the most shared, liked and commented on of News Journal stories on Facebook. The 2014-15 Hurricane finished the season 24-2. Senior Jaevin Cumberland signed to play basketball at Oakland University in Michigan. Shown, Wilmington’s Cameron Stewart (left), Dylan Beauguard (top) and Jarron Cumberland (right) surround Clinton-Massie’s Ryan Collette during a game. News Journal file photo

Wilmington Police Officer Jerry Popp and K9 Karson reunited early in 2015 after several months when Karson was nowhere to be found after escaping from a boarder. Karson soon returned to his job with the Wilmington Police Department, and his travels even led to a children’s book.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2015/12/web1_karson-back-cr.jpgWilmington Police Officer Jerry Popp and K9 Karson reunited early in 2015 after several months when Karson was nowhere to be found after escaping from a boarder. Karson soon returned to his job with the Wilmington Police Department, and his travels even led to a children’s book. News Journal file photo

Hundreds of students and residents attended the ribbon-cutting and took self-guided tours of the 41,000 square-foot Center for Sport Sciences facility on the campus of Wilmington College. Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Drayer Physical Therapy Institute, Chiropractic Care, and CMH Regional Health System have satellite branches in the center. They will offer medical services to the community, as well as working with WC student-athletes who have injuries, and with athletic training students who will receive clinical experience on campus. The $10.4 million facility also features a 40-by-40 yard indoor turf field (shown).
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2015/12/web1_wc.jpgHundreds of students and residents attended the ribbon-cutting and took self-guided tours of the 41,000 square-foot Center for Sport Sciences facility on the campus of Wilmington College. Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Drayer Physical Therapy Institute, Chiropractic Care, and CMH Regional Health System have satellite branches in the center. They will offer medical services to the community, as well as working with WC student-athletes who have injuries, and with athletic training students who will receive clinical experience on campus. The $10.4 million facility also features a 40-by-40 yard indoor turf field (shown). Courtesy photo | MSA Sport
These were the most-read, shared from WNJ in 2015

By Nathan Kraatz