Wondering what readers on the Charlotte website were most interested in this year (well, from Jan. 1, 2016, through Dec. 30)? Here’s a look at the most-clicked-on headlines. Stories not by Observer staffers or correspondents are asterisked, and page views are rounded.
*1. She survived her first distracted driving accident – but not her second: A story out of Oakland, Calif., viewed about 1.6 million times.
2. Charlotte police release videos of shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Note: The police video alone also made this list, as a separate article; see below. Combined, the two are the year’s top-viewed coverage, with just under 2 million views.
*3. Photo of Kansas dog with a mouthful of ladybugs is freaking out pet owners. 1.1 million.
4. What would Donald Trump say if he quit the presidential race? A speculatory op-ed column. 1.1 million.
5. CLT faces aftermath of protests ignited by fatal police shooting; 16 officers injured. 1 million.
6. Understanding HB2: North Carolina’s newest law solidifies state’s role in defining discrimination. 980,000.
7. Pat McCrory: Firebombing ‘an attack on democracy’. 740,000.
8. Mother lets son drive golf cart at resort, gets jailed for child abuse. 690,000.
9. VIDEO: Charlotte police release body camera video of Keith Lamont Scott shooting. 650,000.
*10. Rehire teacher who resigned over nude photo, students demand. From Union County, S.C. 620,000.
*11. Darryl Hunt, wrongly convicted of murder, found dead. A story from Winston-Salem. 610,000.
12. Local vet fires back on Facebook after being told: ‘Have some respect’. 570,000.
13. Rae Carruth’s son will be at prison gates when father who wanted him dead goes free. 550,000.
14. FBI: Man urinated on floor of San Francisco-Charlotte American Airlines flight. 460,000.
*15. She wanted to be ‘fun weekend mom.’ Police say that’s why her teen’s dead. A story that happened in Akron, Ohio. 440,000.
16. Presidential debate surprise: Clinton loses ground among some voters in swing state. 440,000.
*17. Girls caught in custody battle after parents are killed in head-on collision. A story out of Fresno, Calif. 340,000.
18. Man arrested for berating Trump backer for 2 hours on flight to Charlotte. 340,000.
19. Doctor prescribed man 145 opioid pills. Nine days after surgery, he died. 320,000.
*20. Why are severed feet washing up on Pacific shores? 300,000.
For readers in the Charlotte area (as opposed to all readers), the lineup is a little different:
1. The updated Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools salary database. 120,000.
2. CLT faces aftermath of protests ignited by fatal police shooting; 16 officers injured. 115,000.
3. Understanding HB2: North Carolina’s newest law solidifies state’s role in defining discrimination. 105,000.
4. The updated City of Charlotte salary database. 100,000.
5. Dusting of snow possible for Friday, as region plunges into ‘cold wave’. 65,000.
6. 1 shot during uptown protests over police shooting. 65,000.
7. Charlotte police release videos of shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. 60,000.
8. Gov. Pat McCrory, Roy Cooper in tight race for NC governor. 60,000.
9. Database of Mecklenburg County salaries. 60,000.
10. Snow, wintry mix begins to fall in Charlotte area; CMS cancels school. 60,000.