Most read news stories, features and opinion pieces on justmelaniew.com in 2023

As 2023 comes to a close and 2024 begins, we took a look at the most read news and feature stories, as well as opinion pieces, which were published on justmelaniew.com in 2023, the inaugural year for this news and opinion website. The following garnered the most views:

Two stories chronicled how Jeremy and Michelle Christensen’s historical house at 1130 North East Avenue caught fire in the middle of the night, leaving the home inhabitable. In the midst of the horrible destruction, the Christensens found themselves overwhelmed with gratefulness as the community’s outpouring of help and care was incredible.

A harvest-time accident resulted in two people being very seriously injured. Allen Clark and Hunter Nebe were both transported to Lincoln hospitals in life-threatening conditions. This story led to another story regarding York County Sheriff Paul Vrbka recognizing two of his newer deputies who were the first on this particular scene, before EMTs arrived, as they rendered life-saving help.

Tyler Cox of McCool Junction was arrested at his home by the York County Sheriff’s Department and held in the York County Jail pending extradition to Colorado where he was charged with high level felony theft.

A Lincoln woman was killed in a collision at the intersection of Highway 81 and West Fourth Street in York.

The Heart of the Holidays festival brought thousands to the city auditorium, to celebrate Christmas in a myriad of ways, including an ice skating rink, light parade, live reindeers, the arrival of Santa, crafts, a human snow globe and much more. The amazing holiday festival was taken on by volunteers and local sponsors.

A story featuring the Demuth family ran in October, showcasing the family’s longstanding raising of Scottish Highland Cattle. The patriarch of the family, the beloved Dr. Dave Demuth, began their herd with son, Collin, who has continued that passion. The family hosted their annual national Highland cattle show, bringing many people from around Canada and the United States to York, Nebraska.

The York County Sheriff’s Department announced an inmate was found deceased at the York County Jail. The matter was investigated by the Nebraska State Patrol and a grand jury is to convene in the future.

Bart Beutler of York was convicted of killing his wife, Stacie, and eventually sentenced to a term of 100-130 years in prison.

Earlier in the year, Woody Ziegler was appointed as York County Commissioner to fill the vacancy that existed for District 2. Tragically, right before Christmas, Ziegler unexpectedly passed away. Many gathered at his funeral, to remember the educator, leader and church/community servant.

Bryan Driewer, a former bar owner in Bradshaw, entered a plea agreement with the prosecution in a case where he was charged with felony assault and strangulation.

With a split vote, the York County Commissioners elected to cut 10% in funding for all outside agencies that receive contributions from the county each year. This was during the budget process which runs through the summer.

The York County One Act team ventured into the 1930s with the production of “Whispers In The Hollow” and continued to win competition after competition until coming home with yet another state championship.

There were big changes made at the Wessels Living History Farm this past year. Genevieve Tonniges was hired as the new director who has been working to breathe new life into the tourist stop. New board members were appointed and progress has been made to restoring the historic church which sustained serious water damage last winter. The board, director and volunteers worked hard to restoring Wessels’ Christmas traditions and the stop was included in the state’s holiday passport program.

The City of York agreed to take over the maintenance and operation of the soccer complex. The York Sports Authority disbanded and the city agreed to step in. York University has since agreed to help contribute money toward the project as well.

A “time capsule” of sorts was found in downtown York when Clay and Becky Stodieck began renovations of a building, thereby discovering a “hidden” apartment which hadn’t been seen by people in at least 50 years. They have found many amazing historic items during the process and fortunately have been displaying them in the front windows of the old store.

Merlyn Hansen, a former business leader and champion for York County, was remembered upon his passing. He was one of the charter members of the York County Development Corporation and was instrumental in many economic development endeavors in York County.

 

Most read opinion pieces in 2023:

The magical Christmas in coveralls

Baby Maddie Update

The day I said “I do”

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