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The top monthly stories of 2017, by the numbers

By Sean Hart

Blue Mountain Eagle

Published on December 26, 2017 4:08PM

Ken Mayhead, left, demands to know how the Rainbow Gathering will benefit Grant County while Rainbow Gathering attendee Kathleen Todd, right, waits to respond at a community meeting in Canyon City.

Eagle file photo

Ken Mayhead, left, demands to know how the Rainbow Gathering will benefit Grant County while Rainbow Gathering attendee Kathleen Todd, right, waits to respond at a community meeting in Canyon City.

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Thomas Joseph Elliott

Contributed photo/Grant County Corrections

Thomas Joseph Elliott

Two members of a family staying at the Strawberry Village apartment complex in Prairie City died in a fire Nov. 30.

Eagle file photo

Two members of a family staying at the Strawberry Village apartment complex in Prairie City died in a fire Nov. 30.

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Chris Knight plays at the Madden Brothers Performing Arts Center on Aug. 21.

Eagle file photo

Chris Knight plays at the Madden Brothers Performing Arts Center on Aug. 21.

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Sidney Dean Porter

Eagle file photo

Sidney Dean Porter


In 2017, people viewed pages on the Eagle’s website, myeaglenews.com, more than 825,000 times.

The most-viewed story was published Aug. 25 when Thomas Joseph Elliott, 55, was arrested and charged with murder for the death of Todd Alan Berry. The incident occurred the evening of Aug. 24 on Marysville Lane east of John Day, where both men resided. They were related by marriage.

On Aug. 29, a grand jury dropped the murder charge but indicted Elliott on charges of first-degree manslaughter and unlawful use of a weapon.

Elliott remains in the Grant County Jail. A plea hearing is set for 2 p.m. Jan. 18 in Grant County Circuit Court.

Following are the top stories viewed on the Eagle’s website and Facebook page, month-by-month in 2017:


January


Website: John Day man charged with sex crimes (2,763 views): Kevin Andrew Brown, 27, John Day, was charged with 14 counts of sexual abuse.

Facebook: Here’s a look at downtown John Day today as the snow continues to fall this afternoon (78,697 impressions): Snow blanketed the city.


February


Website: Idaho murder suspect arrested between Burns and Vale (3,856 views): John David Wurdemann, 46, Twin Falls, Idaho, was arrested after a high-speed chase.

Facebook: Man who killed John Day cop will be freed (32,112 impressions): Oregon Supreme Court denied to review the decision reinstating Sidney Dean Porter’s prison release date for murder.


March


Website: Porter released, residing in Monument (1,523 views): Convicted cop killer Sidney Dean Porter, 57, was released from prison.

Facebook: Owyhee Reservoir set to fill for first time in six years (47,268 impressions): Snowpack filled the reservoir in Malheur County.


April


Website: Grant County midwife’s license revoked (1,917 views): A state midwife license was revoked from Sherry Dress, 69, John Day.

Facebook: Prairie City resident remains in critical condition after fire destroys home (14,612 impressions): Eula Waits was hospitalized after a home fire.


May


Website: Memorial Weekend crash kills two motorcyclists, injures several others (3,495 views): Lisa Ann Niehaus was charged with negligent homicide after the crash east of Fossil.

Facebook: Prairie City man arrested on meth charges (8,086 impressions): Thomas Pfeifer, 47, faced drug charges.


June


Website: Tensions rising: Heated exchange erupts at Rainbow Gathering community meeting (7,956 views): Locals and visitors clashed over the gathering held between John Day and Seneca.

Facebook: Rainbow Gathering attendees beware: You will be jailed for shoplifting and other crimes (46,907 impressions): District Attorney Jim Carpenter opted for executed, not probationary, sentences.


July


Website: Over the Rainbow: deaths, stabbings, beatings, drugs (10,697 views): Emergency personnel were swamped with the influx for the Rainbow Gathering.

Facebook: New concert venue debuts in John Day (14,068 impressions): The Madden Brothers Performing Arts Center opened.


August


Website: John Day man charged with murder (15,615 views): Thomas Joseph Elliott was arrested for the death of Todd Alan Berry.

Facebook: John Day man charged with murder (43,470 impressions): Same story.


September


Website: Elliott indicted for first-degree manslaughter (3,338 views): A grand jury dropped the murder charge again Thomas Elliott.

Facebook: Wolf numbers growing in Mount Emily, Meacham (23,543 impressions): Seven packs with at least 36 wolves have settled in Walla Walla and Mount Emily wildlife units.


October


Website: Injured hunter rescued (11,612 views): James Lee Moyer, 51, of Mapleton was rescued after injuring himself dressing an elk.

Facebook: Injured hunter found by search and rescue (57,684 impressions): Same story.


November


Website: Elk hunter kills wolf in self-defense (5,803 views): No charges were filed after Brian Scott, 38, Clackamas, claimed he shot a wolf in self-defense in Union County.

Facebook: Boy saved but two young girls die in fire (32,182 impressions): Kimberley Shelton and her three sons were hospitalized after a Prairie City apartment fire that killed her two daughters.


December


Website: Boy saved but two young girls die in fire (10,350 views): Same story.

Facebook: Rapp remains in jail on Dixie Creek Campground attempted murder charge (9,393 impressions): Kevin J. Rapp, 32, was charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon.



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