The 25 most popular stories on the Flyer in 2012

As we prepare to close the books on 2012, we decided to have a look back at the top 25 most read stories on the Fayetteville Flyer as a way to remember the year that was.

What a long, strange year it has been.

A collection of local fireworks displays, fueled by a local burn ban topped the list of most-read posts in 2012.

Not surprisingly, the Bobby Petrino scandal that led to his ultimate dismissal as head football coach led to at least two of the top stories of the year (and arguably, a third). The arrival of The Great Food Truck Race in May also led to two of our top-read stories of the year.

The tragic death of former KNWA anchor Matt Turner, and the passing of Arkansas blues legend Michael Burks were also among the list, testaments to the huge impact those men made on their communities over the course of their lives.

It was an election year, and as popular as some of our coverage of the local mayoral and City Council races were, only one cracked the top 25.

In all, we published over 1,650 posts in 2012. We passed 6,400 followers on Twitter, 3,700 Likes on Facebook, and we recently passed 3,700 followers on Instagram.

The Flyer also turned five years old on Dec. 21 and despite what those Mayans thought, the world didn’t end on that day.

In 2013, we promise to continue to try and provide helpful and useful news and information in as many convenient formats as possible. Thanks for your continued support of the Flyer, and the awesome sponsors that make the site possible.

Here are the top stories on the Fayetteville Flyer from 2012:

1. Where to watch fireworks in Northwest Arkansas in 2012

The top story of 2012 was one of those helpful, convenience-based posts we mentioned above. We compiled a list of all the fireworks displays around the region the week before Independence Day, and since there was a burn ban in effect for the holiday this year, lots and lots of local residents were looking for a municipal display to watch in order to keep their 4th of July traditions alive. We were happy to provide the list they were looking for.

2. Keep up with the Great Food Truck Race in Fayetteville

The Food Network filmed an episode of their reality series, The Great Food Truck Race, in Fayetteville back in May. We provided a post that we updated over the course of the weekend so that local residents could keep track of where the trucks were located around town. We also added photos, aggregated Tweets about the food trucks in real time, and thanks to you guys, had a lively discussion in the comments of the post as well.

3. Petrino had a passenger, Jessica Dorrell, during motorcycle crash

Former Razorback head football coach wrecked his motorcycle on April 1 of 2012, but it wasn’t until Thursday, April 5 that we learned Petrino had a passenger on the motocyrcle.

Her name was Jessica Dorrell, a 25-year old former volleyball player at the University of Arkansas who Petrino had recently hired to his football staff, and as we later learned, had been having an “inappropriate relationship” with. As we’re sure you remember, things unraveled pretty quickly for Petrino after that.

4. Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race to film in Fayetteville

The announcement that the Great Food Truck Race was coming to Fayetteville also appears in the top ten stories of 2012. It was a pretty big deal.

This story in particular had 155 comments, which also places it in the top ten most discussed stories on the Flyer of all time.

5. Former KNWA anchor Matt Turner dies in one vehicle accident

Former KNWA news anchor Matt Turner died on Oct. 6 in a one-vehicle accident in central Arkansas. He was 32 years old.

According to an Arkansas State Police report, Turner was headed westbound on Interstate 30 in Benton when his 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe left the roadway, struck the base of a highway sign and caught fire. He was alone in the vehicle.

6.Arkansas bluesman Michael Burks dead at 54

Legendary bluesman Michael Burks passed away back in early May. Burks was born in Milwaukee, but moved to Camden, Ark. where he and his brothers helped build their father’s 300-seat juke joint, Bradley Ferry Country Club. There, Burks began fronting bands, and backing some of the blues and jazz greats that passed through town. He was a frequent visitor to Fayetteville, and was in town last December for a show at George’s Majestic Lounge with local legends The Cate Brothers.

7. Bobby Petrino’s $2.5 million house is for sale

Former Razorback head football coach Bobby Petrino’s house had been on the market since May of 2010, but his firing in April led to a renewed interest in the real estate listing.

Located at 4518 E. Bridgewater Ln. in Fayetteville, the six-bedroom, nine-bathroom house is just under 8,800 square feet on a 2.97-acre lot just off Mission Boulevard. Petrino eventually sold the home for $1.7 million.

8. Ozark Natural Foods workers on strike, demand resignation of board members

Workers at local grocery store Ozark Natural Foods went on strike back in June, demanding the resignation of two members of the co-op’s board of directors. The staff was upset about the firing of general manager Alysen Land, among other issues. The strike ended the next day, and our post about it ended up with 350 comments, more than any other story on the Fayetteville Flyer all time.

9. Arkansas Razorback Football: Head problems

After being picked by some to be national championship contenders before the season, the 2012 Razorback Football suffered their first setback in what proved to be a very, very long season on Sept. 8 versus Louisiana Monroe. Columnist Seth Gunderson analyzed some of the “head problems” the Razorbacks faced the next day, and the story took off among disgruntled, and severely disappointed Razorback fans.

10. Coming here: Dayglow, Oct. 18 at Arkansas Music Pavilion

Part electronic music concert, part rave, part circus, and part paint party. Dayglow announced in July that they were bringing their tour to Fayetteville, and our brief post about the concert ended up as one of the most popular of the year. As it turned out, the party did not disappoint, and UA students and residents from around the region packed the Arkansas Music Pavilion for the Oct. 18 event.

11. Coming soon: Arkadia Retrocade with nearly 75 vintage arcade games
12. Reports: Deer crashes into Fayetteville home
13. Academy Sports + Outdoors could be coming to Fayetteville
14. University of Arkansas listed among top party schools
15. Police attempting negotiations with man on ledge atop Garland Center parking garage
16. What’s going on with Brenda’s Bigger Burger?
17. Election 2012: 10 questions for Mayor Lioneld Jordan and former mayor Dan Coody
18. Architectural renderings offer early look at upcoming 555 Maple complex
19. Organizers request funding for new local events
20. Fayetteville police seize over 10 pounds of marinjuana
21. 2012 Arkansas- LSU football game to be played in Fayetteville
22. Photos surface of black Arkansas Razorback football uniforms
23. 2012-2013 Arkansas Razorbacks basketball schedule released
24. Restaurant and bar news: Now open and coming soon
25. Four Fayetteville businesses closed for non-payment of sales tax