On the eve of New Year’s Eve, we’re finishing up our countdown to 2022 with this year’s five most-read stories.
It was a close call for ARLnow’s first and second place stories, which each exceeded 100,000 views and were within 1,000 views of each other. And for the first (and last?) time in ARLnow’s history, an opinion column rocketed into the top 5.
The countdown finishes up as follows.
5. While the Capitol was stormed, a group of men gathered near the Marine Corps War Memorial (March 1 | 56,882 views)
A group of 10 or so men loitered near the Marine Corps War Memorial on Jan. 6, the day of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol. What they were doing there remains unclear, though ARLnow hears that another news organization is working on a story about the gathering.
4. Police officer killed in attack outside Pentagon (Aug. 3 | 65,263 views)
A massive emergency response surrounded the Pentagon this summer after a police officer was attacked and killed at the Pentagon bus platform, outside the Metro station. The assailant, who died on the scene after shooting himself, was identified as a Georgia man who unsuccessfully tried to join the Marine Corps in 2012. That man’s brother is now charged in a double homicide in the Atlanta area.
3.Local couple killed in California plane crash (July 19 | 66,073 views)
An Arlington couple, Shauna and James Waite, along with Shauna’s father, died in the crash of a small plane in Napa County, California this summer. They are survived by her mother and Shauna and James’ young son. James worked for a California financial technology company and Shauna was a veterinarian. The two were avid runners who rescued a menagerie of animals.
2. Making Room: Stop using leaf blowers (Nov. 22 | 100,472 views)
As the era of columns on ARLnow neared its end, Jane Green published an opinion piece decrying gas-powered leaf blowers for being noisy and emitting copious carbon emissions. More than 425 comments later, it’s our second-most read story of all time.
1. Residents abuzz over mysterious bug bites possibly tied to cicadas (July 28 | 101,215 views)
Residents afflicted with strange, extremely itchy bites began suspecting oak itch mites, a microscopic organism that normally feeds on the eggs and larvae of the oak leaf gall midge — and also, it’s believed, cicada nymphs — but began biting humans. Our top story — later covered by TV stations, the Washington Post and other national and international outlets — came to us via anonymous tips and a Facebook group discussion. Mercifully, the long-lasting and absurdly itchy bites eventually faded away later in the summer.
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