Top 10: Our most viewed local news stories for 2021
COVID-19, an election cycle, climate change and the Supreme Court all dominated national headlines in 2021. Here at WRVO, we looked at all the data and gathered our top 10 most viewed regional and local web stories of 2021. Were there any surprises on our list? What was your favorite local story of the year? If it didn't make the list feel free to share with us in the comments or send us a tweet to let us know.
1. Six reported cases of tick-borne disease prompts Onondaga County health warning
By Ellen Abbott, July 6 - The first tick-related story of our top 10, and the most viewed web story of 2021. Abbott reports on the rise of a tick-borne disease that had Onondaga County health officials on alert. Just another reminder to remember your repellant!
2. Experts urge vigilance in fighting tick bites in central New York
By Jessica Cain, May 24 - Ticks! As the weather began to grow warmer, the ticks soon followed, and experts felt compelled to urge central New Yorkers to remain vigilant about preventing tick bites.
"My advice is to always act like it's a bad tick year, always assume that there's a risk to interact with ticks on the landscape," said Kristina Ferrare, a forestry program expert.
3. Hochul says religious exemption not a legitimate excuse to avoid COVID-19 vaccine
By Karen DeWitt, September 16 - New York's newest governor joins the list at number three, weighing in on the COVID-19 vaccine. At a briefing, Gov. Hochul said she did not believe a religious exception should be accepted as an excuse from healthcare workers looking to avoid getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
4. State Fairgrounds distributes Johnson & Johnson vaccine in overnight operation
By Payne Horning, March 8 - Syracuse became one of the first sites in New York to distribute the newly released Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The clinic at the New York State Fairgrounds turned into a 24-hour operation, offering shots to the community around the clock.
"We’re the Fair, we are in the logistics business. People think we are in the entertainment business, but we are really in the logistics business," said Dave Bullard, a Fair Spokesperson.
5. Town supervisors say community grid replacing I-81 in Syracuse will ‘fail miserably’
By Tom Magnarelli, April 23 - Onondaga County town supervisors felt that their concerns were not being heard. Citing economic concerns, gridlock and pollution, town supervisors were almost unanimously against the proposed replacement to the I-81 highway.
6. Oswego County schools use emergency days after staff feel side effects from COVID-19 vaccine
By Madison Ruffo, February 15 - Hundreds of Oswego County school staff members received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination at a similar time. This prompted several school districts to use their allotted emergency days to allow their staff to recover from the side effects of the vaccine.
7. Onondaga County recycling agency says take glass to redemption centers, not blue bin
By Ellen Abbott, July 12 - Onondaga County's recycling organization is urging residents to stop putting certain glass containers into their blue recycle bins.
"It’s been a challenge with the blue bin, because it’s so contaminated, you really can’t turn them into new bottles in this geographic area, because it’s not cost effective," said Kristen Lawton, a representative from the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency.
8. ‘A dream come true’: 2 new, affordable homes built in Syracuse, more to come
By Tom Magnarelli, June 18 - Two new, affordable homes have been built in Syracuse, on what were vacant lots. They’re the first homes completed as part of Mayor Ben Walsh’s goal of 50 new single-family, affordable homes to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods.
9. Women, people of color in Syracuse wanted for construction apprenticeship to work on I-81
By Ellen Abbott, May 21 - The call is going out for anyone who wants to take part in a construction training program that could work on the massive Interstate 81 construction project in Syracuse.
10. Jefferson County providers host community-run vaccine clinic
By Madison Ruffo, March 5 - Collaboration among local healthcare providers in Jefferson County helped to bring the COVID-19 vaccination closer to residents.
“We figured pooling all of our resources together to offer larger clinics to the community would be a better approach,” said Jeff Leiendecker, the emergency preparedness coordinator for Jefferson County’s Public Health Department.