Top Stories of 2014 — No. 1 (Motorcycle Crash) and No. 1A (Recycling)

Top Stories of 2014 — No. 1 (Motorcycle Crash) and No. 1A (Recycling)

  • Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series counting down the top five Kane County Connects stories of 2014.

Traditionally, I might ask for a drumroll to go along with our announcement of the top-most-viewed Kane County Connects articles of 2014, but there are a few complications.

First, as I’ve mentioned previously, we haven’t been in business for a full year, basically launching in April. Second, when we switched our URL to in August, some of the early stories weren’t tallied in the year-to-date site stats. (The stories migrated successfully, if you want to search for them, but the stat totals started from scratch when we switched the URL.)

Third, these aren’t necessarily the “best” stories of 2014; they are simply the ones most read.

And fourth, we had a latecomer to the party. One of the stories of the final days of 2014 actually finished in the No. 2 slot after we already had started the countdown.

So, what we’ve got for your reading pleasure is the Top Story of 2014 and the Top Story (1A) of 2014.

As a quick observation, the top two couldn’t be more diverse.

Most-Read Story (1A) of 2014: Hey, Kane County! Do NOT Recycle Wrapping Paper

Christmas holiday wrapping paper, recycling 1

Maybe it was the exclamation point or the NOT in all caps in the headline. More likely, this was information some people didn’t know, so they started sharing it on Facebook (the Facebook post had 4,318 views), which gave the article a boost.

Maybe it was the passion and the clarity of Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland’s messaging. Here’s a sample from the article:

Kane County Recycles is asking residents to please NOT put these materials in your recycling bin.

“The reason is they are such low-grade paper and the wood fibers are so short that they cannot be turned into paper again,” she said.

Additionally the mass volume of wrapping paper at Christmas can overwhelm the sorting facilities.

“The best practice is to salvage as much as you can — for reuse next year!” Jarland said.

Whatever the reason, this article took off and became your second-most-read article of 2014. (With the provisos mentioned above.)


Most-Read Story of 2014: Sycamore Man Dies After Motorcycle Crash in Hampshire

Sheriff's Office badge

The most-read story came from a compilation of two Kane County Sheriff’s Office press releases.

The first summarized the events of a Friday, Aug. 1, when two motorcycles crashed on Allen Road east of Walk Road in unincorporated Hampshire Township. The second was the sad news that one of the men — John Beach, 22, of Sycamore — died at about 2:50 a.m. Aug. 3 from injuries received in the crash.

The motorcycles collided “for unknown reasons” and the second motorcycle driver — Benjamin Fletcher, 26, of Elgin, also suffered life-threatening injuries in the Aug. 1 crash. Fletcher later was charged with driving under the influence and driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol content of .08 or more. A Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office spokesperson said Tuesday that the case is pending.


Top 10 Stories of 2014 Countdown

(10) St. Charles Township Man Charged With Massive, Indoor Cannabis-Grow Operation

(9) Data Breach at Jewel: What You Can Do

(8) Now Is Your Chance to Weigh in on SB16 School Funding

(7) Say It Ain’t So: Cubs Leaving Kane County Cougars

(6) CORRECTION: 70 MPH Speed Limit Could Affect I-88, I-90 in Kane County

(5) UPDATE: Kramer Is New Sheriff, Batavia Referendum Falls — And More Election Results for Kane County

(4) Medical Marijuana Dispensary Likely Will Be in Elgin

(3) Please Don’t Feed the Coyotes — And Other Useful Tips For Coyote Coexistence

(2) 5 Kane County School Districts Among Illinois’ Top 100

(1A) Hey, Kane County! Do NOT Recycle Wrapping Paper

(1) Sycamore Man Dies After Motorcycle Crash Near Hampshire