Bryer Schmegelsky, left, and Kam McLeod, of Port Alberni, were found deceased on Aug. 7 in dense brush near Gillam, Man., where they had eluded police for nearly two weeks. (Police handout)

Bryer Schmegelsky, left, and Kam McLeod, of Port Alberni, were found deceased on Aug. 7 in dense brush near Gillam, Man., where they had eluded police for nearly two weeks. (Police handout)

Online readership shows what Hope Standard readers are looking for

Top stories in Hope in 2019 included national news, obituaries, and crime

The top ten stories read online in Hope include grim stories, but also those that reflect this small community. Using Google Analytics, every year we look over the numbers to learn what our readers are mostly interested in.

And the list always has some surprises.

But there’s no surprise at the top story of 2019. It was the same story that had the entire country at a standstill. When human remains were found in Manitoba, many assumed it was either the young fugitives wanted in multiple murders, or more victims of their crime and murder spree.

It turned out to be not connected, and the hunt continued.

LINK: Human remains found in Manitoba not connected to B.C. fugitives: RCMP

The second most read story was more local. This was about the disciplinary action against a teacher at Hope secondary school who was found to have inappropriate contact with a student.

LINK: Hope Secondary teacher disciplined for inappropriate contact with student

The third most read story celebrated something more positive. Local designer Kay Peters was off to Paris to be a part of the Indigenous Fashion Week in the city of love.

LINK: Indigenous Hope designer is Paris-bound for world-renowned fashion week

While there is no local connection to Hope, a story about a brawl in Surrey garnered the fourth most reads online.

LINK: ‘So tired of all this violence’: Dramatic brawl in Surrey caught on video

The fifth read story is proof that there’s no telling what topics will pique our readers’ interest. Thousands of people clicked on a story titled: How do you get rid of fruit flies? We hope the tips and tricks worked for everyone.

LINK: How do you get rid of fruit flies?

Next on the list is a sad story about a local loss. Sandra Loring passed away shortly chaperoning a European school trip. The beloved, long-time school receptionist had a medical emergency on the flight home, and died a week later in Chilliwack General Hospital.

LINK: School trip tragedy leaves Hope mourning the loss of one of their own

The entire Fraser Valley was out searching for Chilliwack senior Grace Baranyk, and when her body was found it was big news everywhere. That story was our seventh most read article for 2019. Since her death and others, there have been multiple calls for better safety measures for those with dementia.

LINK: UPDATE: RCMP confirm body of missing Chilliwack senior found

When local veteran Jack Lawrence celebrated his 100th birthday, our readers loved sharing the story of his amazing life. His was the eighth most popular story online this year.

LINK: Local veteran celebrates 100th birthday

When the Independent Investigations Office attended a fatal motorcycle crash in Hope in May, it was big news. The crash disrupted traffic, but also was part of a police chase following a suspected theft from a local business. No updates have been provided on this incident.

LINK: UPDATE: IIO attends early morning motorcycle accident in Hope

Finally, the 10th most read story is back where we started. When the bodies were actually found of the fugitives who killed at least three people earlier this year, the story ended up being the 10th most read of the year.

LINK: Bodies of B.C. fugitives believed to have been found in Manitoba

Stories of note:

Proving that good news does reign in Hope, despite readers’ appetite for crime stories, just under the 10th most read story is an exciting one The Standard just published earlier in December. That was the story of a new hiking trail being approved above Silver Creek.

LINK: New hiking trail to be built overlooking Hope

And perhaps as a testament to her loving heart, an obituary for a very special woman landed in the top read list, as well.

Deanna Marie Thokle’s obituary was read thousands of times and we expect it will be visited many times in the future.

LINK: Deanna Marie Thokle


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