Top 20 stories viewed online trended toward crime, accidents

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Subscribers to the Banner Graphic website ( showed a decided preference for clicking on coverage of accidents and criminal activity in a survey of 2018 stories.

Of the top 20 stories on the website listed by page views, nine involved the coverage of serious accidents, while seven were related to coverage of criminal activity or courtroom coverage. Two other stories were actually a combination of accidents and crime.

Accidents and criminal activity stories were clicked on the most by Banner Graphic online readers in 2018.

The outliers among the top 20 stories were Banner Graphic coverage of the closing of the Dixie Chopper plant on Nov. 27 and the loss of approximately 107 jobs in the year's fourth-ranked story and the reporting of a death of a senior student athlete at Wabash College on Sept. 11, which came in at No. 13.

The most viewed story of 2018 -- with 17,467 page views -- was the July 31 coverage of charges being filed against a Putnam County couple, Robert F. Glaze Jr., 57, and April D. Glaze, 37, and a Fountain County man, Paul M. Crowder, 70, Covington, for human and sexual trafficking of minors and child molesting as result of an investigation into multiple 2016 incidents.

No. 2 on the page view list for 2018 was the Dec. 20 coverage of a one-car U.S. 40 fatality that claimed the life of Dakota Hacker, 20, Greencastle, near Reelsville.

The third-ranked story of the year probably owes its popularity and nearly 13,000 page views to its headline as much as anything considering 'McDonald's sack delivery fails' was part of the story of a trafficking case in which a Rockville woman was attempting to deliver drugs to an inmate named Burger by using a McDonald's sack. No, you cannot make these things up.

The tragic death of former Bainbridge Fire Chief Mike Smith, who was killed in a Nov. 23 head-on collision in Hendricks County near Lizton, was the story that produced the fifth-most page views (10,113) of the year on Nov. 24, while the deaths of three Cloverdale residents -- Brett Bundy, 28, Jami Kinsler, 27, and Cassedy Brown, 25 -- in a Morgan County accident on Sept. 2 was the sixth-most viewed entry.

The top 20 stories and their dates and page views are listed below.

Meanwhile, some of the stories that just missed that top-20 threshold included the announcement of a new KFC to be built at Putnam Plaza on Greencastle's East Side, 4,765 page views; mold closes Tzouanakis School, 4,312 views; skeletal remains found at VanBibber Lake, 4,590 views; duo wanted since 2003 arrested in Florida, 4,379 views; and Jaycee Park activity concerns neighbors, 4,289 views.

The top 20 page views for 2018 were:

1. Human trafficking for sex charges filed against trio (July 31), 17,467 page views.

2. Local woman dies in single-vehicle crash on U.S. 40 (Dec. 20), 15,641 page views.

3. McDonald's sack delivery fails, leaving Rockville woman facing four felonies in alleged trafficking (May 30), 12,872 page views.

4. Dixie Chopper ceases manufacturing locally (Nov. 27), 12,262 page views.

5. Former Bainbridge fire chief dies in head-on collision (Nov. 24), 10,113 page views.

6. Three Morgan County accident victims identified as Cloverdale residents (Sept. 3), 8,740 page views.

7. Victim flown from motorcycle mishap scene had been shot, GPD says (July 27), 8,561 page views.

8. Construction flagger struck by impaired driver on U.S. 231 south (May 24), 8,440 page views.

9. Semi crash on I-70 claims two lives (Aug. 24), 7,874 page views.

10. Cloverdale woman charged with 2 felonies after construction flagger accident (May 25), 7,820 page views.

11. Helicopters respond to two Putnam County incidents (Aug. 23), 7,520 page views.

12. Cloverdale woman succumbs after crashing into Putnam pond (Jan. 10), 7,394 page views.

13. Wabash College mourning death of senior student (Sept. 11), 6,959 page views.

14. Three in custody following recent pursuits, home invasions, vehicle thefts (July 19), 6,452 page views.

15. Duo arrested for allegedly trying to sell drugs to children on playground (May 22), 6,416 page views.

16. Suspicious person held after Thursday incident at Greencastle Dollar Tree (July 27), 6,160 page views.

17. Child custody exchange ends in fight, five arrests (Aug. 1), 5,963 page views.

18. Greencastle woman charged with OWI in Dec. 27 accident (Feb. 23), 5,698 page views.

19. Three arrested following traffic stop on Courthouse Square (Aug. 24), 5,599 page views.

20. Two hurt, one airlifted after motorcycle-car crash on State Road 240 (Aug. 30), 5,541 page views.

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