The Top 10 catalogs what the news staff of the Addison Independent chose as the most important stories of 2013, but readers have their own opinions about what interested them most last year. To get one indication of that, we look at the top 10 stories on our website. Here are the headlines for the most-read stories of 2013 on addisonindependent.com, with their page views according to Google Analytics (note: This does not include a period in May when analysis was not working).
page views: 27,615
page views: 6,869
page views: 3,133
4. Between the Lines column by Gregory Dennis: Bob Dylan hiding in plain sight
page views: 2,541
page views: 2,241
page views: 2,217
page views: 2,115
page views: 1,901
page views: 1,826
page views: 1,715
Picking only 10 top stories in 2013 proved to be a challenge. Addison County saw ever so many important, interesting, touching and fun stories last year that the Independent staff kept going after compiling the first 10. Here are some of the other stories of 2013 that caught our eyes.
• Residents in the five Addison Northwest Supervisory Union towns rejected two attempts to pass multi-million-dollar bonds to renovate Vergennes Union High School (in November 2012 and February 2013), but then in May OK’d a $600,000 loan to fix a leaky roof. After state inspectors closed the high school auditorium in late August, the school board went back to voters one more time for some major repairs, and in December won a $2.88 million bond to update some systems in the building for the first time since it was constructed 55 years ago.
• The county saw some improvement in the overall economic climate as the unemployment rate dropped in 2013, and Middlebury got a boost when Woodchuck Hard Cider broke ground on a $30 million, 100,000-square-foot bottling plant off Exchange Street. In Vergennes, new owners started breathing new life into the Kennedy Brothers building. Middlebury Interactive Languages hired a new CEO — former Massachusetts governor Jane Swift — and expressed plans for a big hiring binge in the coming year.
• The Legislature discussed the Shorelands Bill designed to improve the state’s waterways by limiting growth near lakes and rivers, but the some constituents pushed back hard and the lawmakers sent it to a summer study committee. Look for more on the effort in the coming months in Montpelier.
• Brandon residents did approve a town budget, but it took four tries. The official town spending plan didn’t win approval until after the start of the fiscal year on July 1.
• A big story in the making for 2014, Middlebury was getting ready for new railroad underpasses in downtown during 2013. Look for the big dig in the shire town come springtime.