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Top 10 print, online and social media stories of 2014

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Featured in our top stories for 2014 were the elections of U.S. Senators and Congressmen, state house reps and state senate seat holders, county commissioners and disputes from losers; bond referendums for new schools and facility upgrades, and transportation infrastructure to ease traffic for pedestrians, public transit and vehicle drivers; plus the trials and tribulations of then county commissioner Brian Berger, suspect Judtih Nemeth accused of vehicular manslaughter, law enforcement legend Hovie Pope and the sudden death of former Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett.

Across the county, while elected officials, economic developers and environmental stewards were eyeing the Garner Report and the special use permit, law enforcement agencies were again grappling with an uptick in gang-related violence. In Wrightsville Beach, the buzz words “beach renourishment” captured many headlines, and while it was not a huge year for nesting loggerhead sea turtles, the two subjects are related.

As we archive our print stories in the following pages and summarize the year in review, we have highlighted the Top 10 topics, and note the online articles from 2014 that received the most clicks.

Online 2014 stories with the most clicks 

1 Four swimming advisories and one alert were issued by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Marine Fisheries for Banks Channel in Wrightsville Beach Aug. 5, after warning of possible advisories July 22.

2 Wrightsville Beach Police Department investigated a man found dead in the beach strand dune line around 8:30 a.m. Oct. 17, very close to Public Beach Access No. 31 at Chadbourn Street, who was later identified as 50-year-old Daniel G. Lloyd of Burgaw. He had no known address at the time of his death.

3 Roger Ackerman, a 68-year-of from Sewanee, Ga., died after a medical emergency during the swim portion of the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon Oct. 25.

4 While larger swells from Tropical Storm Bertha lingered at Wrightsville Beach Aug. 6, one male surfer in his mid-20s was found floating near the shore around Stone Street and was resuscitated by Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue.

5 Volunteers with Indo Jax Surf School and Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue attempted to save a male swimmer, later identified as 49-year-old Steve Ruppenthal of the 1980s Chapel Hill band The Popes, who was found face down in the water north of Johnnie Mercer’s Pier around 5:30 p.m. June 19. He died later that day.


 

Top stories on social media from 2014 

1 High surf created an approximately 4-foot cliff on the beach strand just north of Johnnie Mercer’s Pier Dec. 9, following a few days of larger surf and northeast winds.

2 Russell Bennett of Poe’s Tavern was offered a conditional use permit and a parking exemption to operate his franchise restaurant at 212 Old Causeway Drive by the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen at its meeting Nov. 13.

3 A pontoon boat loaded with around 25-30 people was taking on water in Masonboro Inlet around 4:10 p.m. July 4, when heavy wake from boat traffic caused water to wash over the bow. The vessel and its passengers successfully landed on the south end of Wrightsville Beach unharmed.

4 While larger swells from Tropical Storm Bertha lingered at Wrightsville Beach Aug. 6, one male surfer in his mid-20s was found floating near the shore around Stone Street and was resuscitated by Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue.

5 Boats adorned with bright lights and decorations participated in the 2014 N.C. Holiday Flotilla Nov. 30, including Mike Spivey’s turtle-themed vessel that won Best In Show, and Ava Werstlein and Leslie Armstrong’s People’s Choice award-winning holiday hound dog promoting animal adoption.

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