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What stories drew the most hits of 2017 on

Did you read all the stories that drew the most hits on during 2017? Can you guess what they were?

One different thing about reporting news on the internet, compared to how we used to do it with newspapers: we know precisely how often a story is read. Each time someone reads a story, Google Analytics records it as a “hit” or “page view.” stories that drew the most hits during 2017 range from serious to sad to happy to preposterous and everything in between:

Serious subjects

Baptist Memorial Health Care has invested more than $70-million in Baptist Union County since 1989. This is the new Emergency Department,

The serious subject that drew the most hits to during 2017 had to do with medical care. More than 50,000 hits on during 2017 were about local medical care. Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County, the city’s highly rated and much awarded full service medical center, was the organization that drew the most hits. A single NAnewsweb story on June 21 about a change in Baptist’s policy on opioid drugs drew 21,205 readers to the website. The hospital was the subject of about 20,000 other hits on various stories during the year. Nearly another 8,000 hits pertained to other local medical news including new physicians hired and new medical and dental clinics opened in the city.

Serious or topical stories about the city’s municipal election contests early in the year brought nearly 10,000 page views to the website. The mayor’s race was closely contested. Party politics was a major factor in the city elections for the first time. Three candidates were elected to the city board as Republicans. In most previously elections candidates of all types and in support of all issues, generally ran on the Democratic ticket.

Board of Aldermen oaths of office

Shown left to right after taking oaths of office Wednesday morning are: New Albany Police Chief,Chris Robertson; Alderman-at-Large, Keith Conlee; Ward One Alderman, Amy Livingston; Ward Four Alderman, Will Tucker; Mayor Tim Kent; and Ward Two Alderman, Johnny Anderson, who is helping Municipal Judge Steve Livingston with a button on his robe.

Happy Subjects

Tanglefoot plaza, New Albany MS

Tanglefoot Trail Plaza, New Albany, MS

The happy story drawing the most hits of 2017 was that USA TODAY named New Albany the “BEST Southern Small Town.” USA TODAY nominated 20 Southern small towns as candidates for the designation. Among others they included Eureka Springs, AR, Travelers Rest, SC and Madison, GA. A major factor in New Albany receiving the honor was on-line voting, which was promoted by Sean Johnson, then the city’s tourism director. Many local organizations participated in encouraging voting. More than 7,500 people read stories on regarding New Albany seeking the designation. On April 28, it was announced on that New Albany was the winner. Johnson said the contest had already brought new visitors to the city, and that the “BEST Southern Small Town” honor could be used in the city’s advertising and promotional efforts.

Another happy event that got a fair amount of attention was our photo-heavy story about the “Snowflake Ball,” which is sponsored by the New Albany Pilot Club every February. Held at a local church social hall, the “Snowflake Ball” is the opportunity for young girls to put on fancy dresses (and perhaps a little makeup) and be escorted to a dinner-dance by proud fathers, grandfathers, uncles, family friends, and other good guys for a memorable and glamorous evening. It draws young ladies from age four to sixth grade and proud escorts from all races, social and economic groups in the city and county. It is perhaps the most egalitarian social event held in the city every year. The story about the 2017 Snowflake Ball got 2,167 hits, not a huge number but one of which we are proud. A good many of the Snowflake Ball hits were from families downloading photographs of girls and their protectors. does not charge for such photo downloads.

Jeff Zinzer escorted his daughter Jayni Bell to the Snowflake Ball on February 25, 2017. Jeff died less than two months later.


Public Safety Subjects

Highway 30 wreck

Transport truck wrecks on Highway 30 west

We get good cooperation from local law enforcement officials regarding public safety occurrences — accidents, crimes, fires, etc. — and is usually the first to post such stories. A truck overturned and blocking both lanes of traffic on Highway 30 between New Albany drew 4,581 hits in just a few hours on December 9th. Another truck accident on Highway 30 a couple of days later drew nearly 3,000 readers in two days. In early September shooting death near Myrtle was read by 2,490 NAnewsweb visitors within a few hours and was not reported elsewhere for several days.

NAFD vents smoke from dwelling on North Street after extinguishing fire.

New Albany and Union County enjoy extraordinary fire protection from city and county volunteer fire departments. The work of Fire Chief Steve Coker, Assistant Chief Mark Whiteside and dozens of volunteers serve our community well. Fire insurance rates have been lowered because of their work. Although there were many, many fire calls during 2017 and significant property damage, not a single life has been lost to fire in the city or county this year. Stories about the work of the fire departments are generally posted on hours, even days, before they are reported elsewhere, if at all.

Astonishing Subjects

“Just Hangin'”

Of the hundreds of stories posted during the last 365 days, the most astonishing story of all was the one we posted on February 22. This one can only be classified as preposterous, one the most imaginative fiction writer could never make up. The afternoon of Tuesday, February 21st, the 911 center got a call about a naked man hanging upside down in a dead cedar tree near Blue Springs. Sure enough, when officials arrived, there he hung, 15 or 20 feet above the ground, naked as a Jay bird. Public safety workers got Anthony Shane Treadaway, age 38, cut down and sent him to the hospital with multiple abrasions. On the last day of 2017, we still haven’t heard a clear explanation of that event and don’t expect to ever receive one. The story got 2,398 hits.

And we wish all of you a sane and safe 2018.

DO NOT get naked and climb any trees.

For more on these stories, check the links below or use the Search feature on the home page of

New opioid policy
New Albany named best
Naked man in tree

1 Comment on What stories drew the most hits of 2017 on

  1. Lance Phillips // December 31, 2017 at 6:49 PM //

    Appeciate the nanewsweb! You do a great job of reporting local issues. I’ve learned things here before I’ve heard them anywhere else sometimes. Wishing you all a great 2018 filled with more interesting local stories and local politics. Happy New Year and much success!

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