It has now been a couple years since we at WBONtv have been bringing you local news in Central Kentucky. As is now tradition, we compiled the top ten most viewed, and most discussed news stories that we produced over the past year for 2019.
There were many breaking stories of crime, weather, and wrecks that beat out almost all of the following for views, clicks, and shares, but we wanted to focus on the feature stories that garnered some attention over the last 365.
Starting off at the 10 spot, there was much ado county-wide over the potential property tax increase that was proposed by the county in order to fund an expansion over the chronically over-crowded detention center. Not only were we there for the multiple town halls that featured both county officials attempting to explain the increase, but many disgruntled citizens. We also made sure to capture on video the counting of the petition signatures that made history as being one of the first in the state to overthrow the tax increase.
Next, at number 9, as always our dedication to election coverage and the two minute sitdowns made the list. Dozens of candidates, from the governor’s race down came to our studios to discuss their platforms for viewers for the 2019 statewide elections. As always, we also covered election night until the last vote was counted, with a surprising gubernatorial outcome.
Coming in at the 8 spot for memorable stories, one that shockingly made national news…that we were lucky enough to break. Councilor Emily LaDouceur in Berea wore leggings to a tour of City Hall with students, and was met with outcry from some in the community. This sparked a hashtag and a movement that was discussed all over the country, and we were lucky to get the story from Emily herself.
The number 7 spot was a story no one saw coming, and that we did not think would have garnered as much attention as it did. When a local gym allegedly denied membership to a woman who did not speak English, we delved into the situation and spoke to multiple outlets, including civil rights lawyers and the owner of the gym herself to attempt to clear the air.
A touching story with a happy ending is only appropriate to break the top 10, and therefore was selected for the 6 position. Little preemie Lakyn from Berea was a miracle, and even broke records as being one of the youngest to survive an early birth–at only 22 weeks. We sat down with the little girl’s parents to hear about her amazing story of recovery and survival–and she is still thriving today!
Being the first on the scene is always exciting, and WBONtv was there right when everything happened for the number 5 feature. The shutdown of three local internet cafes in town occurred within the span of hours, as attributed to alleged illegal gambling activities.
Following that at the 4 position, our own Madison Central High School band made it to the big time by getting the unique distinction of playing in the Macy’s Day Parade. WBONtv’s Samantha Burford covered this story from start to finish, getting unique perspectives from the band members, teachers, and of course, the sendoff videos which got an astounding amount of views.
The third most memorable story of 2019 was picked to be one that you would not think would cause much of a stir–but we were once again shocked and surprised. The closing of Richmond’s only Frisch’s Big Boy dismayed many in town, as it seemed quite sudden. After some back and forth with the franchisee and those that worked in management, the restaurant shuttered it’s doors for good in August.
At number 2, a fun story that just recently broke the top ten simply because of the views, shares, and engagement with viewers. The first ever mullet competition in Rockcastle County brought out some fascinating examples of the classic hair cut, all for a goos cause for Rockcastle High’s FCCLA.
And finally, a story that made international headlines that was unfortunate to cover, but necessary: the disappearance and discovery of Savannah Spurlock. The mother of four went missing at the very beginning of this year, leading many to search tirelessly in the Central and Eastern Kentucky area. Wbontv followed the story from the very beginning, and unfortunately had to report that Spurlock’s body was found seven months later in Garrard County. Hopefully there is some semblance of closure in the case, as the man accused of the 22 year old’s murder is currently going through the court system.
As we provide video stories to you daily, there are obviously so many more that didn’t make the top ten, so I have to throw out some honorable mentions: the official begin to the destruction of the chemical weapons at the depot, the handful of arrests that were made internally at the jail of employees, the retirement of Berea Police’s K9 unit after many years of service, and the laying to rest of former Madison County sheriff Dude Cochran all made for interesting and well-watched stories.
We want to thank everyone that watches and follows our local news here at WBONtv and all the Wallingford Broadcasting stations, and we hope you have a wonderful New Year.
Here’s to lots more (hopefully positive) stories for 2020!