Top 10 Most Read Stories of 2015
Sex sells, and so does stupidity and guns
By Kimberley Jones,
7:35AM, Wed. Dec. 30, 2015
As 2015 draws to a close, we take a look back at our most popular stories of the year.
In compiling this list, we’ve passed over some of our most clicked-on packages – like our recently wrapped breakfast taco tournament, The Thrilla in the Tortilla, First Plates restaurant awards, and Austin Music Awards – to focus on individual stories. And in order to present a more accurate snapshot of the year, we’ve eliminated any stories not filed in 2015. The sudden, sometimes befuddling resurgence of years-old stories – for instance, Jordan Smith’s 2006 investigative story about a murder tied to the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, back in the news after May’s Waco shootout; perennial favorite “The Brunch Bunch” (SEO liquid gold); and four slim paragraphs on shirataki noodles from 2008 – is another list altogether.
So without further ado, we revisit the stories that had everyone talking.
The creator of the hugely popular anime series RWBY, Monty Oum died suddenly at the age of 33 from “an extreme allergic reaction to a routine medical procedure.” Fans took to our boards to grieve – and anti-vaxxers took the opportunity to put in their own two cents.
Just before he committed suicide outside New York City’s News Corp. building, former Fox News employee Phillip Perea handed out fliers detailing how Fox News – and specifically Austin’s Fox affiliate, KTBC – had ruined his career. Shortly after his dismissal in May of 2014, Perea approached the Chronicle about reporting on the “quid pro quo dynamic between FOX 7 and the police chief [Art Acevedo].” Chase Hoffberger reported:
“My career is over,” [Perea] wrote when asked if he wanted to associate his name with the accusations. “I have nothing left to lose.”
You can’t exactly file this one under good news, but at least its heart is in the right place: Readers flocked to our list of resources for those in need after the Memorial Weekend floods – and for those who wanted to lend a helping hand. (The nonprofits listed no doubt are looking for year-end donations, nudge nudge.)
Austinites sure do love their green spaces, and readers flipped for Robyn Ross’ August story on the first six miles of a planned 30 miles of trail newly open to the public.
In May, Chase Hoffberger took a deep-dive investigative look at the current state of Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services in the wake of several personnel suicides and staffing shortages.
Jessica Luther spoke with former Longhorn star quarterback Vince Young about his second act working at the university's Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.
were resurrected as joint effort The Sidewinder.
In a year the entire nation went gun crazy, Austin was no different. This story about an ill-conceived mock mass shooting demonstration – first intended by gun advocates to be held on the UT campus (famously the site of an actual mass shooting in 1966), then moved just off campus – went viral when counterprotesters announced their intention to stage a concurrent “mass farting demonstration” in response.